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Filed under: Blizzard

Tom Chilton: "We are already in progress with our next expansion"

According to an interview with gameplanet.co.nz Blizzard isn't just working on Warlords of Draenor right now - they're in fact working hard on the next expansion, and have ideas for six or more future expansions they could do.

We are already in progress with our next expansion. We already have zones in production for it. Our next expansion after that, we have a couple of different options that we'll be choosing between over the next several months. Beyond that, there are about six or seven different ideas for expansions that we can take elements of and say, 'You know what? Let's take that and put it in this one for our next expansion after the next one.' Or we might shift the timelines around from what we originally envisioned. There's easily 10 years worth of stuff that we can draw from – more, really.

When I first heard that Warlords of Draenor will be coming out on November 13th, I wondered if that meant it would be all that Blizzard had to talk about at BlizzCon this year. Now that I've read this, I wonder if they'll have the fortitude to announce a new expansion before Warlords even comes out. As crazy as that sounds, if they're working six expansions deep, even if just conceptually, it's definitely a possibility.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard donates to bring back GaymerX

It takes a lot of money to throw a gaming convention, which is why second-year LGBTQ gaming convention GaymerX wasn't certain there would be a third year of the event -- especially after NIS America backed out of a sponsorship deal (though the company eventually came through). Now the GaymerX crew is working on a third convention, which they're calling GX3, and they've pulled together some impressive financial backing in advance.

The biggest donor on the list -- besides dating app Hornet, which donated ad space -- is Blizzard Entertainment, which has pledged to chip in $10,000 to the convention. Blizzard doesn't have the best track record on supporting diversity lately -- especially where women are concerned -- and this seems like a solid move to change some of that public perception... and help keep an awesome gaming con going.

If you'd like to attend GX3 yourself, it will be held in November or December 2015 in San Francisco and you can pick up early tickets -- and other goodies -- on Kickstarter.

Editor's Note: Our moderators have bedded down for the night, so we're disabling comments on this post.

[Thanks, Orkchop, for the tip!]

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Warcraft wallpaper, costume, art, fan art and comic updates

It's been a while since we've seen any updates to the various galleries Blizzard has featured on the World of Warcraft site. Blizzard has just updated its costume and fan art galleries with a handful of new photos from various artists. The costumes are pretty clever, but my personal favorites have to be a really clever training dummy costume, and a checkered box that should be very familiar to anyone who has played on any of the beta servers over the years.

In addition to the costume and fan art galleries, there is a new community comic available in the comic gallery, as well as a new wallpaper featuring the Jade Forest rare, Martar the Not-So-Smart. And if that weren't enough, several new images of Mists of Pandaria concept art have also been added to the Blizzard art gallery. I do love the early hozen concept art, but I hope we get to see more of the concept art from Warlords, too. Check out Blizzard's official post for links to all of the new additions.


Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

EU Connected Realm Updates for August 22

The list of EU realms slated for the Realm Connection service has been updated with new information and new realms in regards to upcoming dates for the service. At the present time, there are no additional updates for US realms -- all US realm connections have been completed as of last Thursday, and there are no further US connections scheduled at the moment. EU realms, however, still have plenty of realms left on the connection schedule.

The following EU realms are scheduled for connection on Wednesday, August 27.

German Realms
  • Proudmoore and Madmortem
  • Frostmourne and Nazjatar/Dalvengyr
  • Gorgonnash and Nefarian/Nera'thor/Mannoroth/Destromath
  • Der Mithrilorden and Der Rat von Dalaran
  • Kult der Verdammten and Die Arguswacht/Die Todeskrallen/Das Syndikat/Der Abyssische Rat

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Connected Realms updates for US realms

It's another round of updates for the process of connecting up our realms.

Today, Thursday, August 21st we should be seeing the following realms connected. The process should have already begun (5:00 AM PDT) and will hopefully conclude by 1:00 PM PDT, allowing anyone playing on these realms back in at that time. This is of course subject to change based on circumstances. The realms connecting today are:
  • Lightninghoof and Maelstrom, The Venture Co
  • Shattered Hand and Coilfang, Dark Iron, Dalvengyr, and Demon Soul
  • Sisters of Elune and Cenarion Circle
So if you play on these realms, you should have more folks to play with soon. Yay!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

New Hellscream Short Story available now

If you're curious about exactly what is going on with Garrosh, Kairoz, and the Draenor we're all about to find ourselves on, then you'll want to read Hellscream, the new short story by Robert Brooks that's up on the official site right now. It goes into detail, bridging the gap between the end of War Crimes and the beginning of the expansion. How does Garrosh motivate the orcs of Draenor to become the Iron Horde? Well, that's exactly what this story covers.

Without spoilers, it's definitely an interesting read, and it gives us a sense of what the major actors are up to, especially Garrosh and Kairoz. Head on over to the official site and check it out.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Beta: New Login Screen

With the newest patch to the Beta servers we're one step closer to what Warlords of Draenor will look like at release with this new login screen. As you can see, it hearkens back to the days of classic with the return of the Dark Portal, but changes it up with the signature red portal used by the Iron Horde to invade Azeroth and threaten both the Alliance and Horde with destruction.

I like it. It's retro, but it also changes it up enough with the images of what's going on behind it and that red glow seething, it's very interesting. I really enjoy that, when I first come back to the login screen after clicking the cinematics button, the portal is dormant, and then bursts into red light again. It's a very neat effect. What are your thoughts?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Beta: New character models incoming

One of the things about the beta is, it can still surprise you. CM Zorbrix just posted to the forums about something we've all been wondering about - several of the new character models will be making their appearance in the beta. Both male and female trolls, human males, tauren females and night elf males will all be playable.

Zorbrix - Beta Realm Maintenance - 8/21/14
I just wanted to confirm that this build will have 5 new Player Character Models. Troll Male and Female, Human Male, Tauren Female, and Night Elf Male.

We've mentioned this before when models are first shown to you folks in beta, but I wanted to stress this point again: These models are a Work-In Progress. Things will not be perfect, and our QA testing of these models (and the subsequent bug fixes) are not yet complete.

I do hope you enjoy the models and give constructive feedback as appropriate, but please keep this is mind when looking at the models today.


It's important to note that the night elf male hasn't even had an Artcraft yet. This is definitely a work in progress, as was the case when the draenei male appeared on servers before it was previewed. But I find this amazingly exciting - finally we'll get to see how these models look in action.

We've added a slideshow of the new night elf male model below for players to look at.




Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor beta: Play with the blues August 21

Holinka
For those in the Warlords of Draenor beta, this coming Thursday you'll have the opportunity to potentially test directly with some Blizzard Blues. From 3:00 to 5:00 pm PDT on Thursday, August 21, members of Blizzard's Development team, Community team, Quality Assurance, and Customer Service will be available on both the PvP and PvE level 100 premade realms to test 3v3 Arena matches and 5-person dungeon groups. Depending on faction, you'll be able to identify Blizzard representatives by their guild tag: <Blizzard Horde> or <Blizzard Alliance>. The event will be a great way to test out some dungeons and arenas while mingling with both your fellow WoW players and creators. If you can make it, I'm sure the event will be worth your while!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

WoW subscription price increases in UK

Recently it's been announced that the price for a WoW subscription has increased for those paying in pounds (namely, residents of the United Kingdom). These prices are adjusted for all levels - recurring subscriptions will be £9.99 for 30 days, £28.17 for 90 days, and £52.14 for 180 days. In addition, the price of the 60-day prepaid time card will be £20.99.

Now, if you're currently a subscriber to World of Warcraft in the UK, there is a way around this - namely, stay subscribed.

Taepsilum - Secure your current recurring subscription price for two years
As a thank you for current World of Warcraft subscribers, we guarantee that players with recurring (auto-renewing) subscriptions at the time of the price change will retain their current price for two years, as long as they remain in the same recurring subscription without interruption. This applies to anyone who is already in, or signs up for, a recurring subscription prior to the price change, which is scheduled to take place at the Warlords of Draenor release. We will reach out to relevant players approximately two months prior to the price change with a reminder.


I get why players are upset about this, especially since it means that if you decide to do what a lot of us do and drop your sub for a few months when there's no content, you'll be resubbing at the higher rate. I would find that a bummer, personally.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Blizzard considering Robin Williams tribute NPC

Ever since Robin Williams' death this week, there's been talk of him getting an official NPC in World of Warcraft. It's an idea I certainly support -- Mister Williams was well known as a WoW player and overall lover of things gaming (when I lived in San Francisco, I actually bumped into him at a game store there, and he explained Warhammer figures to me for several minutes) -- and so far, Blizzard seems pretty receptive to the idea. Asked about a change.org petition on the subject, Celestalon tweeted the following response.

Since then, Ion Hazzikostas has spoken out about the topic as well, and while he hasn't said specifically where or what the NPC would be, he was pretty encouraging. Mentioning to the AP that they hadn't decided yet how best to proceed, he went on to note:

"All of us are massive Robin Williams fans," said Hazzikostas. "We love and appreciate his work. We grew up watching his movies and stand-up. We knew he was an avid WoW player, which was awesome. We have a number of pop culture references and things that reflect great figures of our time here and there. We're just thinking about the appropriate and right way to do it."

So it seems likely that there will be a Robin Williams tribute NPC in the game once that's been worked out. It's just a matter of figuring out how best to do it.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Animated miniseries Lords of War makes its debut

In addition to the cinematic and a bunch of previews, the Community Event also handed us a sneak preview of Lords of War, the new animated series covering the history and backstory for each of the warlords we're going to meet when we step through the Dark Portal and confront them on Draenor. The first is the Shattered Hand.

The series has an interesting premise -- King Varian is faced with the same force that destroyed Stormwind under his father's rule and he's desperately trying to figure out how he can beat what his father couldn't. Vindicator Maraad faced them on his Draenor, so he has the dirt on each of the warlords. We get the story from him. I'm not sure how well that works when we're dealing with an alternate Draenor, but it makes for some well-animated storytelling, I'll tell you that much.

So head on over and watch episode one of Lords of War and get ready for the remaining episodes.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: UBRS available at level 90 before expansion

During the Community Event we got a surprise from Ion Hazzikostas, namely that before we can even go to Draenor, when patch 6.0 drops, we'll get a chance to get up close and personal with the Iron Horde as they invade Upper Blackrock Spire. This dungeon will be available as a level 100 dungeon once the expansion releases, but before that, in patch 6.0 we'll be able to run it as a level 90 dungeon to get loot that will serve us as we get ready to go to Draenor.

In addition he mentioned the world event of the Iron Horde pushing into the Blasted Lands, overwhelming the area around the Dark Portal and putting both the Horde and Alliance on the defensive. It's up to players to take the battle to the Iron Horde, push them back through the portal, and defeat the forces under Warlord Zaela in Upper Blackrock Spire.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Three new Heroes of the Storm

Well, gamescom is tomorrow, and we're already seeing news from it (like for instance this gigantic and frankly somewhat terrifying statue of Grommash Hellscream) but one piece of news that might have gone out a little early is this trailer. It reveals three new heroes for Heroes of the Storm -- the cunning Anub'arak, the loathsome Azmodan, and the inebriate Chen Stormstout.

Blizzard's MOBA entry is as dependent as any game on the quality of its roster of heroes, so it's not surprising that they'd beef it up, but I'll admit to being surprised on who they've chosen here. With Diablo in the game already, does Azmodan bring anything? We'll find out soon. Still, count me in among players who might have appreciated a Jaina or a Sylvanas.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm

US Connected Realm updates for August 8

The list of US realms scheduled for the Realm Connection service has been updated with a few new dates, the return of a few servers that have been on and off the list, and some updates on the future of the service. If you are on one of the servers listed below, please note that Realm Connections take place on Thursdays, beginning at 5am PDT and ending at approximately 1pm PDT. The list below is for US realms only -- EU realm schedules were updated earlier this week. For more information on Realm Connections, take a look at Blizzard's official blog post about the service and its features.

The following US realms are scheduled for connection on Thursday, August 14:
  • Burning Legion and Agamaggan, Archimonde, Jaedenar, and The Underbog

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

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