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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Currency Changes coming for Patch 6.0

We mentioned already that item upgrades would become purchasable with Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. Now, Blizzard has clarified a host of changes to how currency will work in Patch 6.0 and beyond. In addition to being used to upgrade items, Lesser Charms will now be directly tradeable for Warforged Seals, and there's no longer a restriction on how many you can get in a week - You can dump literally all of your Lesser Charms to Seals if you so desire.

Other changes include the utter removal of Valor and Justice points (not Honor/Conquest, those remain), the removal of the Test of Valor component of the legendary cloak quest (you can still get the cloak, you just don't need to get the Valor points first), and the switching of all honor/justice items over to costing gold to purchase, including heirloom items.

You can read the post here.

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

Siege of Orgrimmar gear will not become multi-spec in 6.0

If you're waiting for the big multi-spec gear shift when patch 6.0 drops, you'll have to wait a little longer. Rygarius took to the forums today to clarify that the gear that drops in SoO will not be changed to the system announced for Warlords of Draenor.

Rygarius - 5.4 SoO Gear Conversion
Hey Danthedruid,

Gear obtained from Siege of Orgrimmar won't be multi-spec. That's for the new items that will be obtained in Warlords of Draenor. There's no change to existing item levels and they'll will retain their upgrade ranks. If they were reforged they'll be returned into an unreforged state.

Some of the details are still being worked out. We'll be posting more information once there's more info for the remaining stuff.


Basically, this means that you'll still need multiple sets to do things like tank or heal or DPS as long as your wearing gear from Mists of Pandaria - it's not until Warlords itself comes out that you'll get the gear which switches when you do.


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

New players get World of Warcraft free until September 26th

You read that right. It's apparently as easy as downloading the Battle.net app, using it to download World of Warcraft and launching the game. If you're on the fence about returning or have someone you want to show the game off to, now is possibly the best time imaginable, since you won't have to pay for the majority of the month. There's also a helpful link to Blizzard's beginner's guide, which can help you dive in and get started in WoW.

Probably a pretty good time for a promotion like this, with a lot of people having let their subs lapse during the long content drought, it's an easy way to try and ease some of them back into the game while also giving new players a painless way to explore whether or not WoW is the game for them.

Edit: Turns out it's not all new players. It's part of a specific email promotion.


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

World of Warcraft as a teaching tool?

Things you don't always think about. According to a study by Pia Sundqvist and Liss Kerstin Sylvén, games like WoW are causing boys in Sweden to pick up English faster. Essentially, by playing multi-player games where the language of choice is English, the boys are learning the language faster in order to increase their proficiency at the games in question. There's also discussion of WoW in Schools, a program designed around using the MMO to instruct.

What's interesting to me in the Slate article is the reference to situated meaning, the concept that something is easier to learn if it has a context provided by actions rather than simply being told its definition. It's easier for people to learn what words mean if they're using the words to mean things, rather than simply reading what they mean. That fascinates me - it actually makes me want to start playing WoW on a server where the language is one I want to learn. Maybe I need an EU account.

For the complete article, head over to Slate and give it a read.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

The Queue: To fang or not to fang

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.

Fangs for life.

Andrew10 asked:

I've decided to use my lvl 90 boost on a female Nelf druid. I love the new female Nelf model, with the fangs. My question is, if I do this now, and I like the face I choose, am I still going to be happy when we get the new models? Or will there be differences in the models that don't exist now, so I'll wish I had chosen a different face? Like, will I pick a face, and then come new models, realize mine doesn't show the fangs, but another one has them on display?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

The Queue: Hard labor

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 didn't sleep much last night and it's supposed to be a holiday here in the US. Let's just do this thing.

@EctoMaster asked:

Blizzard has said there will not be an alt-azeroth exploration but, what do think u think became of our world in alt-draenor?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: So cardboardy

Guilded Age
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: A limerick, a task to impart wisdom, a leap of faith, missed experiences, an ending. Plus: Owltupus!

In comic news this week, Erik of Away From Reality will be working on a new project! It is called Father's Shield, and will update every Wednesday. There's more information linked in the list, as well as the first comic, but it will be more serious than Away From Reality and not connected to its characters.

Gratz also recently started a new project, called Solace. In addition, Lackinganame surpassed 500 posted comic pages this week (across all books of Gratz and including the new Solace pages). Congratulations, and thanks for all the hard work bringing us entertainment each week!

Russell Brooks of Experience Boost will be attending a convention this week (Dragon Con), and so there may be fewer updates to post next week.

A few of our sporadically updating comics did not update this week, including WoW, eh? and Kibble & Bit, and Teh Gladiators should appear next week. However, Sara & Kleeyo has new content up, and NPC has a new Hearthstone storyline. Contested Territory updated with two pages, which is a nice bonus.

Ready for the comics? There might not be any corgis (like last week), but we do have a half gator!

Read more →

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

The incredible aging demographic

Let me put it on the line - LFR and Flexible raid sizes are the most important raiding experiences currently available in World of Warcraft, and the upcoming Mythic 20 person raid difficulty is an atavism, barely even an appendix, that only a vanishing few players will experience when it is current. It exists for a sense of achievement and prestige that only a few players really have the time for anymore, and every year, that group of players gets smaller.

The reason for this is simple - as Tom Chilton put it, the demographic is getting older over time. People like me who played for the raid game back in classic are older. They have jobs, kids, schedules that don't permit the kind of time investment hard modes currently demand, the kind Mythic will demand. And it's not that you can't do cutting edge raiding in, say, six hours a week. I'm not arguing that you will have to put in 20 hours a week to do Mythic. I'm arguing that even scheduling one or two nights a week and being there reliably is actually really hard when you have other commitments that can often demand your time on a moment's notice - in essence. being able to go when you want/need to raid instead of when the group is scheduled to go is a huge boon to that aging demographic. For all the elitism, all the sneering, and all the slurs directed at the LFR player base, the feature allows people who love raiding but who can no longer commit to scheduled WoW play a place to do it.

You can ask if this is healthy for the game as a whole - whether or not your answer is yes or no, though, there is no escaping this simple fact. WoW is a decade old. Many of us playing it have been here for years now. Even players who started in Wrath or Cataclysm have now been playing for years. This is an aging game with aging players, this is the reality of the situation. And this means that more adaptive raiding solutions are going to keep presenting themselves.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Tom Chilton: Blizzard had hoped to have Warlords out a couple of months ago

In a recent interview with Icy Veins, Tom Chilton talked about Warlords of Draenor and one of the things he mentioned that struck me immediately was that Blizzard was hoping to have Warlords out by now. Specifically, a few months ago.
We did a good job earlier in Mists of Pandaria, having the content come at a more frequent intervals, and certainly we had hoped to have Warlords of Draenor out a couple of months ago. The reality is that scaling up the number of people that we have, to work on multiple projects at once has slowed us down. Honestly, it should have not come as a surprise to us. We increased the size of the team by 50% and the majority of those people had never worked on World of Warcraft before or any other MMO, so it is really difficult for them to create content right away, without getting up to speed.
This echoes what other developers have said in interviews and it interests me because one of the things we've bemoaned is the huge drought in content between the end of Siege of Orgrimmar and now - if they'd intended to have Warlords out in June, that would have been a fairly reasonable amount of time for a new expansion, really. (September to June is 10 months, long, but much more reasonable) and the idea that just throwing people at development doesn't immediately bring more content because they have to learn what they're doing makes sense.

I still feel like it's been a heck of a dry spell, all things considered. I really would like to see the alternate timeline where Warlords released in June.

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

Know Your Lore: Alliances

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.

Unlike the Horde (as we discussed last week) there have really only been two Alliances. There was the Alliance of Lordaeron, formed by the human kingdoms of the northern parts of the Eastern Kingdoms, the Wildhammer dwarves and the refugees of Stormwind (and later joined by the dwarves of Khaz Modan, gnomes of Gnomeregan and the high elves of Silvermoon) - this Alliance ultimately died many small deaths as members left. Gilneas over the establishment of internment camps for orcs rather than simply exterminating them and the expense of maintaining Nethergarde Keep, Stromgarde over Thoras Trollbane's argument with Terenas Menethil over Trollbane's wish to simply execute all orc prisoners outright. The high elves of Quel'thalas left as soon as they reasonably could after the death of Anduin Lothar, since they originally only joined the Alliance due to an ancient oath to the Arathor bloodline, of which Anduin Lothar as the sole survivor.

It was the rise and fall of this Alliance, which came together fitfully, was nearly destroyed by betrayal, and ultimately died not from defections or secession but by the hand of the man born to rule one of its kingdoms that created its successor. To understand the Alliance of Lordaeron, we must understand the First and Second Wars.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

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

The Queue: Time

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.

Today is one part serious, one part silly. Brace yourselves.

antiganon asked:

Did anyone else have a Queue to log in to the battle.net app on Sunday night?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: Grow, little melons

Teh Gladiators
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: New discoveries are made. School is in. Preparations are underway for moving to a new land. Plus: Flawless reasoning!

I hope you've all got your coffee brewed, your tea steeped, or your otherwise comforting drinks prepared, because we've got a lot of extras this week!

Several comics that update sporadically have posted. Massive Pwnage has a new WoW-related comic (that includes corgis!), and both Sara & Kleeyo and WoW, eh? updated, so be sure not to miss them!

Plus, Kibble & Bit updated twice, which is a real treat. One is the latest installment of "Pet Meets Pet", and the other is a special, which will be especially useful for anyone looking for a new guild (and perhaps server).

Gratz started its latest book last week, Solace, with some opening material. This week, the story kicks off in earnest with six whole pages!

There's also a lot happening at Gnomeregan Forever, including a new Extra, and two guest comics by Rug. One of these is heavy, and discusses suicide, depression, suicide prevention and Blizzard's decision (specifically, the timing of that decision) to memorialize Robin Williams. The other features the gang trolling an ERP'er, so you know -- something for everyone!

Read more →

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

World of Warcraft as religious experience

How much of what we do in World of Warcraft matters, and how much does it matter? Can one be said to be engaging in a spiritual or religious experience when we play the game? Robert Geraci would seem to think we can at least start talking about that. Dr. Geraci is a professor of religious studies at Manhattan College, and his new book is about the interaction between the virtual worlds we inhabit (his current book discusses World of Warcraft and Second Life) and our inner lives. Dr. Geraci seems to be using WoW as a means to explore how we approach life itself, and how we can interact with it fundamentally in the same way we do our day to day, walking about lives.

it's just about virtual reality - in particular, virtual reality experiences that millions of people are seeking out. From a religious perspective, people are making their lives rich and meaningful and interesting in these virtual worlds. The grant project was to expand on that and say, 'Ok, in what other ways are virtual worlds meaningful for their participants?

The idea that what we do in game has an impact on our lives seems pretty irrefutable -- Dr. Geraci mentions how we make friendships in game that are as real to us as any we make outside of it (indeed, many in-game friendships quickly transcend the game they started in) and he discusses how the game presents concepts of morality, good vs. evil, environmentalism and so on. One could go further with his argument -- the nature of in-game interaction presents a kind of meta-contextual exploration of good social behavior, ultimately. The idea that 'it's just a game' vs. those that argue game or not, you're playing with real people for stakes that matter to them and how you behave in that situation has an impact. In other words, the evolution of in-game morality isn't limited merely to the game's storylines, but the players themselves develop a code of conduct, mores that govern and shape their behavior. Concepts like ninja-looting, PuG etiquette and how to navigate guild social structures are all part and parcel of the game, but they're not narrative focused -- the community evolves these standards itself.

To my mind, any discussion of MMO spaces as religious experiences has to take these kinds of issues to heart. It's not the game, ultimately, that provides much (if any) real spiritual value. It's the evolving consensus between players - the discussion of what is and isn't of value, the behaviors chosen, the direction of the internal zeitgeist of the experience. If we're discussing the investment of meaning into these experiences, it is almost always the players who make that investment. All the game itself can do is give them a framework on which to hang these connections.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, 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

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