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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Yes, Molten Core LFR will grant Hydraxian Waterlords reputation

I'm pretty excited about the upcoming 10th Anniversary Molten Core LFR, but I have to admit, of all the reasons I have to be excited about that, the idea that it would be a way to gather Hydraxian Waterlords reputation would have been absolutely on the bottom of the list. However, some of you apparently care about this, and now it's official - Crithto has confirmed that yes, Virginia, there is a Hydraxian Waterlords Reputation Santa Claus. So there you have it.

Now, when I ran Molten Core, back in the day, you needed that rep to get the Aqual Quintessence you needed to douse the runes. And you needed one Quintessence per rune, so several people in your raid had to be gathering rep with them in order to get enough to complete the raid! You kids today, you don't even need to march 40 people through Blackrock Depths to get them to the Raid entrance inside the very base of the dungeon! Now (well, soon) you just queue up in LFR and get all the sweet Hydraxian Waterlords reputation you want, and you don't even need it for anything!

I'll be over here in my rocking chair.

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

Patch 6.0: Treasure room keys removed

If you're trying to get the achievement In The Hall Of The Thunder King, get working on it not, because as soon as Patch 6.0 drops the achievement becomes a Feat of Strength, and the key will no longer drop. That's the word from Kaivax on the forums.

Kaivax - Treasure Room Achievement -> Feat of Strength
n WoW Patch 6.0.2, we will be retiring the Achievement In The Hall Of The Thunder King, as the treasure room will no longer be accessible. That achievement will become a Feat of Strength, and Elder Charm of Good Fortune will drop in place of the key to the room.


I admit I don't understand the reasoning behind this. First the legendary cloak, then the Brawler's Guild, and now the Treasure Room, all effectively removed in a few weeks. Seems strange to see so much content going inaccessible like this. But you've been warned, so if you're working on this, get a move on.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Warlords of Draenor: New Mythic Tiers will not be cross-realm

With the patch 6.0 pre-expansion period almost upon us (certainly within the month) we know that we'll get to see the debut of Mythic difficulty Siege of Orgrimmar. However, that difficulty will be cross-realm, just as heroic SoO has been up to now. Watcher answered a recent question on twitter about how Warlords of Draenor mythic raids will work in this regard.


What this means is that the newest Mythic raid will always be realm only, keeping the prestige of realm first chases alive, but as another tier is launched, that previous Mythic tier will hopefully become cross-realm, allowing you and your friends (or even just willing strangers, ala today's SoO pugs) to run the older content. Seems fairly reasonable to me.

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

The Queue: Sentimental value, garrisons, and heavy metal

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

If you aren't reading this at work or school, I recommend playing this song in the background while you read today's Queue. Why? All will become clear in time.

Rahkarne asked:

I have noticed an awful lot of people talking about what ilevel they need in order to avoid replacing gear when we get into WoD. I'm just curious as to why people seem to consider replacing old gear often while leveling a bad thing? For me personally, it's an aspect of leveling through new content that I really enjoy. I enjoy both the sense of progression it gives, as well as the visual variety (I don't mind "clown suits" while leveling and don't xmog til max level). I'm not saying everyone who doesn't like replacing gear is wrong at all, just that I don't see the appeal. Does it have to do with replacing gear that took you so long to earn so quickly?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: Stand up straight

Experience Boost
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: A name exchange, anybody can fall down, a disrobing, new hooves. Plus: You can't escape your nemesis.

In comic news this week, Away From Reality and Father's Shield will be on a temporary, hopefully short, involuntary hiatus due to computer gremlins. Luckily, there's one new Away From Reality comic to enjoy this week, which will hopefully help ease the pain. Plus, as you may (not) recall, From Draenor With Love is also on a short hiatus, preparing the next chapter.

Fortunately, the rest of this week's news is positive. The Brotherhood of Iron has updated twice, with some mock BlizzCon posters. And there's a new storyline starting up on Gnomeregan Forever. Finally, On Teh Gladiators, the new Hearthstone-related content has already begun, which rocks; we didn't even have to miss the comic for one week!

I even have a surprise treat for you this week, courtesy of Jim from Gnomophobia (which has five new updates for you):

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

WRUP: It's all about Maraad

Another week leads into another weekend, and this weekend's buzz around the virtual office is all about Vindicator Maraad, who wrapped up Blizzard's Lords of War series by telling his own story. A draenei jumping into the thus far all-orcs tale of the Warlords of Draenor? How odd!

Long-time followers of WoW Insider can probably already guess at our response to Maraad's appearence, but read on to find out what we're up to this weekend -- and let us know what you're playing in the comments!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Know Your Lore: Through The Dark Portal Again

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Okay. Up front and with no fanfare - we're going to spoiler country. Huge, gigantic, terrifying spoilers for Warlords of Draenor and its Tanaan Jungle opening experience aplenty. I'm not going to waste time being coy or making cryptic statements about which guy is doing what. I'm going to drop spoilers, lots of them, like a rockslide so if that's soething you don't want to read, this is not the post for you. I've now burned an entire opening paragraph warning you about these spoilers, so you have absolutely no excuse for not avoiding them if you're of a mind to. '

Warlords of Draenor opens with a crisis at the Dark Portal. A new threat, a massive armed force of maniacal orcs have stormed the Portal and poured out into Azeroth, destroying both the Horde and Alliance bases in the area and making alliances with the local ogres. Once this threat is dealt with, it becomes clear that as long as the Portal remains open on the other end, the threat will continue. And so, once again, Azeroth must send forces through the Portal and onto an alien world. All of this is very familiar, and yet, once they set foot on the other side, these heroes of Azeroth find not the blasted and surreal Hellfire Peninsula, but rather the Tanaan Jungle, as terrifyingly lush as it was in distant memories of the time before the Rise of Gul'Dan's Horde.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard's second garrison preview focuses on buildings

So it's Garrison Preview time again, and this time, we're being told about buildings. Wondering how the Garrison Tier system affects your buildings? How large and small plots work? How you can progress your garrison and gain different buildings and new plots to put them on? Wonder no more, for the preview explains all of that for you.
Your Garrison mainly comprises buildings and the Followers who inhabit them. As your Garrison grows, so will your options and opportunities to use these assets to your advantage on Draenor. The Followers that populate your Garrison will grow in number and power, and what they can do for you depends which buildings you choose to construct in your base.
So if you're interested in how this new feature so central to the Warlords of Draenor experience is going to play out, head on over to the official site right now and take a gander at the write-up.

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

New Undelete Character feature for World of Warcraft

I have to admit, I didn't see it coming, and I probably should with the push to get players to return for Warlords of Draenor. A new automated service, useable once every 30 days, will allow you to restore a deleted character. What are the restrictions on this service? Well, for starters, level 10 and below characters are just plain gone. Same with level 55 DK's. If you barely even played it, don't try to undelete it, it's gone.
New Feature Incoming: Undelete Character
In the upcoming pre-Warlords of Draenor content patch, we're adding a new feature that allows players to undelete characters. But before you delete that character, there are a few limitations we want you to let you to know about first.
  • Characters under level 10 and Death Knights at level 55 are not eligible to be undeleted.
  • Characters between level 10 and level 29 will no longer recoverable after 90 days.
  • Characters between level 30 and 49 will no longer recoverable after 120 days.
  • All other characters level 50 and above are eligible to be undeleted at any time.
  • Please keep in mind you will only be able to use the undelete option once every 30 days.
Undeleting a character restores all of its enchantments, gems, and items fully intact. You'll be able to get back into action right away, and your character won't remember being deleted-we won't tell, either.

Shhhh. . . .

Reclaiming Your Name: What About Flugur?

We'll be holding deleted character names for a limited time, and the original creator can reclaim it for use on a new character during that time. If you create a new character with the same name as one of your deleted characters (let's say Flugur), the new character must be renamed, transferred, or deleted to complete the restoration of the original Flugur.


That last bit seems odd to me - wouldn't it be easier to just force Flugur to be renamed? Does this mean if I created a new warrior named Flugur and leveled him to 90, I'd have to fork out for a rename if I wanted my old BC era Flugur back? But otherwise it's a cool thing to have added, and I might even make use of it for that paladin I deleted back in BC. He had some weird stuff in his bags from Naxx.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Scenarios, daily quests, and events in Warlords

It's true that scenarios still exist in Warlords of Draenor, but it's also true that their existence is radically altered - no more the easy three person content you can queue for at max level for easy rewards. Now, you may be trumpeting this as a grand thing, and in some ways you may even be right, but scenarios and heroic scenarios served a purpose in Mists and I'm starting to be concerned about their removal and the change in dungeons. One of the things to keep in mind is, with the removal of valor points and the conversion of many items to costing gold, we're essentially taking out the mechanism that once served as a consolation prize when it was first introduced back in The Burning Crusade. Furthermore, by removing scenarios as content players can essentially run whenever and wherever they wish, we're winnowing down options at endgame. The Timeless Isle model for endgame content has its flaws, and converting all of Warlords to it has some potential pitfalls.

For starters, the heavy de-emphasis on daily quests combined with the lack of scenarios and the placing of heroic dungeons behind the proving ground barrier removes a solid amount of low pressure, easily accessed content. Considered separately these ideas aren't an issue, but when you put them all together you can start to see one problem - they remove choices for players, and in doing so offer no replacement. This may be by design. Some players lament that there's too much to do in Mists of Pandaria's endgame. Starved for choice is a real phenomenon, and it may be a good move to thin out those options. But it may not.

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

The Queue: Death knight riot

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Jeez, Adam forgets to mention death knights and you guys riot and burn the comments down. This is why nobody likes death knights.

I'm kidding. Please don't kill me (and then raise my corpse as a ghoul).

DespicableBrad asked:

With the recent release of the WoD Cinematics and revelation of the end boss for the expansion along with the announcement of only 2 raid tiers for WoD, I can't help but shake the feeling that Blizz is sort of planning to rush us through WoD and get us into the next expansion more quickly than we found ourselves on WoD's doorstep post-MoP. With the upcoming Blizzcon, and a possible expansion announcement on the horizon... do you think this is possible? Is Warlords perhaps a "short" expansion to get us more quickly into the next one and into more frequent content patches/releases?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Will running five player content be viable in Warlords?

I actually really enjoy five player dungeons. One of my disappointments in Mists of Pandaria was that we never got any five mans beyond the start of the expansion and that they basically became just a means to farm some valor - since no new fives were introduced, they couldn't be tuned to in any way keep up with gear from Throne of Thunder much less Siege of Orgrimmar. They became laughably easy unless you were running them as Challenge Modes, ultimately.

And this bothers me because I'm one of those people who feels like five player content never really had lived up to its promise in World of Warcraft. Especially now that raid dungeons have become so accessible, with LFR and flex making it easier than ever for almost all players to get some level of raiding if they want it, I've always felt like fives need a refocusing. Having normal and heroic difficulty fives really separate with better rewards for fives is a good start, but where Challenge Modes didn't grab me was in their completely cosmetic rewards. I always felt like CM's should offer gear on par with at least normal mode raiding - a group that decided to focus exclusively on Challenge Modes or some other form of very hard five player content should be able to progress their character not just visually, but actually as well.

Why do I feel this way? Well, I'll tell you.

Read more →

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

Blizzard cancels Titan

Well, it's official - Blizzard has stopped all work on their mystery next-gen MMO Titan. The never announced project is as dead as Starcraft Ghost. In the interview with Polygon Mike Morhaime says that Blizzard 'didn't find the fun' and that they attempted something very ambitious only for it to never really come together. Chris Metzen states that the decision to pull back was 'excruciating' -

"We were trying to do the right thing and build the right, smart product, and keep it all moving," Metzen said. "The opportunity to get that perspective and dust off a little bit, scraped knees and all, stand back up and reevaluate as a team, as leaders, as a culture - it was a big blessing."

We reported last year when Titan went back to the drawing board - seems like it may have been a victim of Blizzard's desire to really only focus on the one MMO. When asked about supporting World of Warcraft, Metzen said "My hope personally is that we'll support it forever." Alas, Titan, we never knew ye.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

How will Warlords affect low-level characters?

It's something that's fairly easy to forget in all the talk of item squishes and character boosts, but Warlords of Draenor is going to make a lot of significant changes to how it feels to play a low level character and level up. That's why forum threads like this one interest me so much, because it's important to get that low level balance right. Yes, we have the boost, we have things like heirlooms, but in the end the game has to function at low levels for people without them. If it doesn't or can't, then people who try the game on trial or who decide to start an alt after using the boost are going to end up feeling lost, and that's a feeling that leads to people not playing at all.

So I decided to roll a low level character and level him without heirlooms on the beta, just to try it out for myself. And so far, I feel like they've made pretty decent strides in balancing things out - I'm at level 7 now after a half hour and I could probably get to ten after another 20 minutes. I am, however, concerned with what Kalyeatrish says about the level 8-9 relative weak spot in leveling. If players can't get stuff done at those levels, it'll be a hard slog to get to 10. And most people who try out WoW don't get past 10 - that's a barrier to entry you don't want to imbalance when you make game changes.

Hopefully it's something Blizzard keeps watching, and I hope everyone in the beta manages to find time to roll a character and test it out at low levels - it may seem like a waste of time, but it's actually incredibly important for the game long term.

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

The Queue: Let's make things awkward

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

I've started far too many Queues with grumblings about Mondays, but ... let's grumble about Mondays.

Mer asked:

Have they given Mystic Birdhat on the back of my (very expensive) Grand Caravan Yak a new job yet since he won't be reforging anymore?

Transmog!

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

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