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Sarah Pine

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A new Blizzard parody from CarBot Animation

CarBot Animation has done some fun and adorable Blizzard parodies in the past, and today their up to their usual tricks with a new parody of the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls trailer. Diablo isn't generally an IP we see a lot of blatant funny stuff about, considering the source material is easily the darkest of Blizzard's franchises.

This adorable animation hits all the right comedic notes, from Tyrael casually eating a sandwich while the Horadrim handle the Black Soulstone to Malthael's owl-like head twist before he sends the guards to their humiliating end. The ending is easily the best bit, but I won't spoil that for you, you'll have to watch it for yourself!

Filed under: Humor, Diablo 3

8 quests you might have skipped, but shouldn't

Northshire quest giver
Right now in WoW is a time many of us know all too well: the pre-expansion lull. The last major content patch of Mists of Pandaria is out, and we're not going to see much new stuff until whenever 6.0 shows up on the horizon. Many of us are casting about looking for things to keep us occupied in the game until then--things such as finishing up old rep grinds, working on achievements, collecting mounts, and putting together the perfect transmog set.

Something else you might consider doing is going back and finishing up some old, low-level quests, even if you're not working on your Loremaster title. And why might you want to do this? Because some low-level quests are pretty dang fun, good for a laugh, and offer some interesting perspectives in terms of fleshing-out Azeroth's world. I've picked out eight low-level quests (or quest chains) that are a particular delight. I've tried to focus on those in some of the world's more overlooked areas, so as to highlight a few fun adventures you might have missed. Unless otherwise marked, all listed quests are available to both factions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

New Hearthstone card backs revealed

Hearthstone logo
A post on the Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Facebook page has unveiled several alternate artwork options for the backs of your cards. They are colorful and fun, and will be visible to both you and your opponent while you play a match. You can earn the card backs by attaining certain ranks in ranked play. Thus, your card backs can serve as reminder to your opponents just who they're up against.

Hearthstone CM Zeriyah has also let it be known that the new card backs will be animated, though we don't yet have a preview of that. Currently, my favorite of the lot is the rainbow (who doesn't love rainbows? Besides imps, anyway), but I'll withhold my final judgement until we get to see just what the animations look like. I'm sure more unique, animated card backs will be on their way in the future, as well, and they'll provide a nice goal for collectors and competitive players to work toward.

Filed under: News items, Hearthstone Insider

WoW Insider's guide to Blizzard Twitter accounts

Celestial dragon
More and more Blizzard developers are joining Twitter every day. It's a great thing for us fans, because they often see fit to post interesting tidbits about their work, many of which we probably wouldn't otherwise see. Unfortunately, Blizzard doesn't announce when one of their own hops on the Twitter bandwagon. Though other Blizzard folks do usually tweet about their newly-added colleagues, thanks to Twitter's ephemeral nature, if you happen to be away from your computer when it happens, you may go days or weeks blissfully unaware of all the fun you're missing.

In the spirit of prevention, WoW Insider has compiled a handy-dandy list of all the Blizzard Twitter folks we could find so that you don't have to miss any more of the good stuff. Check it out after the break, and make sure to update your Twitter lists!

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Filed under: Blizzard

Five recommendations from the first fanfiction challenge thread

Gnome scribe
The new fanfiction forum is in full swing and filling daily with stories from the avid fan-writers of WoW. Nethaera has been helping things along by adding new writing challenge threads about once every two weeks or so. The first of these asked the readers to imagine they were an attendee at the trial of Garrosh Hellscream and to describe what they saw. It's not a competition, but Nethaera did outline a few rules, notably, the writers could not exonerate Garrosh.

It's been fascinating to read the responses. Many feature similar themes and ideas, but there is endless variation on the theme. As I did a few weeks ago with the forum at large, I've picked five of my favorite stories from the thread and listed them below. There are many more than these that deserve attention, but time is short and I am but one person. Please feel free to comment with some of your own favorites, as well!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Arts and Crafts

Alex Afrasiabi's design framework for Benediction

Benediction design notes
Today on twitter Alex Afrasiabi is at it again with the pictures, this time with the above: a photo of his 10-year-old notes for the design framework of two classic priest weapons: Benediction and Anathema.

Priests from World of Warcraft's days of yore probably have vivid memories of these coveted items, Benediction and its counterpart, Anathema. In order to obtain them, an eager priest would first have to get The Eye of Divinity from Majordomo Executus in Molten Core, then The Eye of Shadow from an elite demon in The Blasted Lands or Winterspring. With both trinkets equipped, the ghostly questgiver Eris Havenfire became visible in the Eastern Plaguelands. Eris would then task the player with healing and curing 50 peasants escaping the undead. If 15 of them died, you failed the quest. Once you had successfully completed the objective, Eris would give you the Splinter of Nordrassil, which together with the two trinkets created Benediction. Priests could then switch the two staves into each other as they wished.

Afrasiabi's photo is a nice little glimpse into a world WoW has largely left behind, and a sure shot of nostalgia for those who were there. It's also nice to see how much of the work was done the old fashioned way, with pen and paper! What a nice, pre-Valentine's Day gift for the playerbase.

Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: Do you have guild lore?

Guild shot
My guild's unofficial motto is "definitely not an RP guild, nope," with the members' tongues firmly in their collective cheeks. While it's true that we're not really an RP guild, we feature an abundance of avid fanfiction writers, artists who draw their characters, and many of us work to provide an in-game or in-character reason why we joined the guild in the first place--it's "officially" a guild of cartographers, as our guild master periodically reminds us.

In real-life reality, of course, we raid on Fridays, made bad puns in guild chat, work on achievements, run dungeons, and kill lots of things on the Timeless Isle (fondly nicknamed "Murder Island") just like anyone else playing the game. But I do admit that the in-character, RP-like setting of "cartography guild dedicated to exploring and mapping the world" gives a flavor to logging in that I've come to cherish. What about you folks? Do you run an actual RP guild or has your guild evolved its own in-game personality over the years? Or not? Do you make goofy guild-themed Spotify playlists like we do? Please say yes, I don't want to feel alone.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Warlords of Draenor: New Gorgrond screenshot

Gorgrond in Draenor
Hot on the heels of the Talador screenshot we got the other day, Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi has also tweeted the above picture of another Draenor zone: Gorgrond. Gorgrond is found in Draenor's north, a formerly lush oasis that has been reduced to Victorian levels of pollution (thanks Olivia!) by the Blackrock clan's industrial development.

I'd say the picture, with an Iron Horde fortress looming ominously in the background, makes Gorgrond seem like a suitably hostile place. It's certainly far less inviting than Talador was. My poor druid is already feeling the distaste.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New Talador screenshot

We've had several recent tweets from Blizzard developers coyly discussing aspects of certain upcoming patches, or, say expansions. With no Warlords of Draenor beta access yet in sight, every potential glimpse into that world gives us something to get excited about, and last night's tweet of the above picture from Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi is no exception.

If you're not quite yet familiar with the different areas of Draenor, our own Matthew Rossi has an excellent article to enlighten you. Talador is a the center of the continent, described as "the heart of Draenor." In that area can be found both the draenei's central city Shattrath and the great mausoleum of Auchindoun. Unfortunately for those draenei players who may wish to make a pilgrimage to Shattrath, Warlords of Draenor finds it almost completely occupied by the Iron Horde. At least Talador itself is serene and beautiful, as the screenshot shows.

Preliminary speculation among the WoW Insider staff has us fairly sure that the settlement in Afrasiabi's picture is none other than Tuurem. Burning Crusade era players may remember Tuurem as a ruin in the middle of Terrokar Forest filled with hostile Broken. It was also the key to several quests, including forging the connection between Firewing Point and the unfortunate fate of the Cenarion Thicket. In any case, Tuurem looks a lot nicer in that screenshot than it does in Terrokar, that's for sure.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Scroll of Resurrection retired

Spectral windrider
The Scroll of Resurrection, a longstanding incentive for current WoW plays to bring lapsed players back into the fold, is reaching the end of its tenure. On February 18th, one week from today, the Scroll will be removed from the game and no longer available to send. Players who have received Scrolls by that point will have up to 30 days from the day it was sent to activate it.

If you or someone you know has been considering returning to the game, now might be the time to make the jump. The Scroll's perks include a fancy Spectral Gryphon or Windrider for the sender, and 7 free days' of game play for the recipient.

Filed under: News items

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