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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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

Challenge modes 101: Ranking the dungeons by difficulty

This is the fifth in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

There's no universal agreement on which dungeon is the easiest or most difficult; groups with different CC and cooldown options don't experience dungeons in the same way. However, there's some consensus on which dungeons demand the most effort:
  • Easy: Gate, Scholomance, and Scarlet Halls
  • Intermediate: Temple, Shado-Pan Monastery, and Scarlet Monastery
  • Hard: Mogu'Shan, Siege, and Stormstout
I prefer to classify them somewhat differently.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Challenge modes 101: Pull McNasty

This is the fourth in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

Pull McNasty (noun: 'púl mik-'NAS-tē): The worst and most difficult pull in a challenge mode dungeon, and most common point of failure for a group attempting to beat the gold timer.

Learning how to survive "Pull McNasty" is an essential challenge mode skill. Once your group knows how to coordinate its cooldowns, stuns, and interrupts, each successive McNasty will simply be a matter of tailoring that rotation to each dungeon's context so you're not pulling faster than your cooldown timers can support.

I've assembled a list of the various Pull McNasties past the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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

The Queue: Timeline confusion

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 we attempt to tackle timelines and alternate dimensions. Attempt being the operative word.

Breadsammich asked:

Something's bothering me about the Warlords cinematic. We see a pitlord, presumably Mannoroth, angered over the orcs' refusal to drink the blood. However, if the legion exists outside time and dimensional boundaries, how could that be Mannoroth? A "new" one wouldn't have been created by the new timeline if he's separate from it to begin with, right? Is this just Blizzard waving it off a little for the sake of the cinematic?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Sunday Morning Funnies: Brood more

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

This week, in comics: The importance of being adequately armed. A messy mix-up. A new rocket design sparks a duel. Plus: A slizard!

Last week, Contested Territory celebrated its second-year anniversary! Congratulations, and thanks for everything, Maiu!

Also last week, Gratz: Adventure wrapped up, leaving us wondering what was next. This week, the new book has been revealed! It's called Solace, and the three pages up so far are openers. I can't wait to see how this takes shape!

In other news? Richard is helpless and under attack. The characters of Away From Reality are prepping for Draenor. Someone's gullibility is showing. Plus, we learn about ogre culture and some of Four's background.

Onward to the list:

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

Challenge modes 101: Farming invis pots and how to use them

This is the third in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

For non-mages and groups without access to the rogue's Shroud of Concealment, plan on using a lot of Invisibility Potions for challenge modes. If you're not on a big server, the odds of finding them on the auction house are low, but farming them in quantity is easy. Ghost Mushrooms grow and respawn very quickly in the Fungal Rock cave in northeastern Un'Goro, and you can get more Sungrass than you'll ever use with a few circuits around the edge of Thousand Needles. Get a potion-specced alchemist to make the pots for you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Challenge modes 101: Shopping list


This is the second in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

Gear in challenge modes is scaled down to ilevel 463, so it's crucial to bring buffs to maximize your group's performance. You will need:
  • Extra helm if needed Legendary meta gems do not work in CMs. If your regular helm has one equipped, pick up an ilevel 463+ helm somewhere and equip it with an ordinary meta gem.
  • Restorative Amber Healers may find this useful as it will regenerate mana substantially faster than ordinary drinking. On the down side, it requires honored with the Klaxxi to buy and it's expensive. I don't use it while healing, but many do.
  • Invisibility Potions: Plan on using one of these in every dungeon with the exception of Gate, Stormstout, and possibly Mogu'shan and Siege. Rogues can eliminate the group's need for these altogether with Shroud of Concealment. Mages can use Invisibility instead and continue to use their potion cooldowns for DPS. You can also use Lesser Invisibility Potions, but I find the 18-second version easier to farm. We'll talk more about these tomorrow.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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

Challenge modes 101: Finding a group before it's too late

This is the first in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

Because challenge modes for Mists of Pandaria dungeons are set to disappear in the Warlords of Draenor content patch, I thought it might be helpful to run a series on how to get your golds squared away before that happens.

I would advise everyone to read Adam Koebel's article from January on getting started with challenge modes. I won't repeat the excellent advice given there, but will try to expand on it for the benefit of players who are trying to get all 9 golds done quickly. Take heart: My character is living proof that no one is too dumb or incompetent to do these things.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Queue: Ashran and avocados

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's Queue gets a little meta. You've been warned.

Toro asked:

Now that the Ashran hub is in-game, what do you think?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Do certain roles encourage bad behavior?


I still like tanking and healing more than anything else in the game, but they have their deficiencies while you're trying to smash Hexos into a well-deserved stain on the floor. In order to finish off Brawler's Guild achievements, I went DPS for the first time in 6 years and then thought, "This is actually kind of fun. Let's try some LFR and see what this puppy does in a raid."

In a matter of days, I and my hapless raid-mates encountered the following:
  • A tank who RP-walked to everything. (Spoils took forever.)
  • A tank who posted the meters after each trash pull and boss to make fun of the least well-geared DPS.
  • Tanks who couldn't be persuaded to kill the blademasters in Gates of Retributon, trapping the entire raid in perma-combat.
  • Tanks who kept taunting Thok back and forth to alternately breathe on or tail-swipe the raid.
Notice a pattern?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Warlords of Draenor: New mount and pet revealed

I'm personally not a big pet or mount person. I have the one mount I really ever use, I'm happy with it, and that's pretty much the beginning and end of it. But a lot of people (like my fantastic wife, for example) do like those things. And so, the news that Jonathan LeCraft revealed this weekend will undoubtedly make those people very, very happy - namely, that there will be a new mount for obtaining the 250 mounts achievement Mountacular, the Emerald Drake.

Even more interesting to me, from a game history perspective, is the Time-Locked Box and its occupant, the Bronze Whelpling. This is a pet with, as one might expect, a long history within World of Warcraft.

That's a long time to wait for a pet to be introduced. But at last it's here, right? Looking forward to both, at least from the perspective of a guy who wants people to be happy.

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

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