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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Holinka on Tarren Mill vs. Southshore Battleground

If you're wondering just how the coming 10 year anniversary's PvP content, the Tarren Mill vs. Southshore Deathmatch BG, is going to work then Brian Holinka, senior PvP designer, has answers for you.

He goes on to clarify that making kills causes you to go up in rank, which also makes killing you more valuable to the enemy team. Since this is purely a deathmatch BG, adding a system like this adds a little metagaming to it - it's not just mow down everyone, you want to try and find and kill the best killers on the enemy team. Similarly, if you yourself are too good at killing, you become a target. I like the implication of the system.

I'm hoping that tower becomes some kind of murder death kill vortex. Oh, we would fight over that stupid tower for hours. For nothing at all. Memories.

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

The Queue: With my big black boots and an old suitcase

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

It was this or Seven Mary Three. Questions. Let us answer them.

MichaelVakian asks:
Q4tQ: What are your thoughts on Blizzard releasing the title of it's next Wow xpac at Blizzcon this year?

I think this is almost certainly going to be the case. I'd be amazed if they didn't have an expansion to preview in some fashion. Not to sound cynical, but it's hard to imagine them doing a BlizzCon without a big tentpole announcement like a new World of Warcraft expansion. And frankly, after this content drought and the lost subs that followed along with it. they need to keep the future content patches coming to retain subscriber interest.

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

New Gul'dan and the Stranger comic available now

If you've been wondering, like I have, how the Iron Horde changed the destiny of the alternate Draenor we find ourselves journeying to, then Blizzard is finally doling out some of that information. Gul'dan and the Stranger, a comic downloadable directly and at now cost from Blizzard, has some of those answers for you. Micky Neilson, the author of the comic, assures us that each following issue will also be free to download, so you can read each issue and see what happened to make the Iron Horde a reality, and how the most evil warlock in creation reacted to these events. Man, sometimes it's hard not to spoil things.

The art's by Alex Horley and it looks pretty awesome. I recommend checking it out.

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

Warlords of Draenor: Spires of Arak zone preview

We have another zone preview, guys. This time Blizzard is previewing the Spires of Arak, a zone that has no analogue in Outland, an entirely new zone for players to explore. We'll get to see the arakkoa, both the cursed ones we're familiar with from Outland and their kinfolk with the ability to fly and a freaking laser beam.
In The Burning Crusade, the arakkoa of Skettis had pretty much fallen entirely into evil, but in Warlords of Draenor we see them at a crossroads. They're outcasts, hated and oppressed by the flying arakkoa who are torching their villages with an enormous beam weapon fixed atop Skyreach. To make matters worse, the Shattered Hand orcs have begun expanding into the region, killing anyone in their path. These arakkoa outcasts are caught between several enemies, and they really have nobody on their side before you show up.

Over the course of the zone, you're helping this shady resistance group of cursed arakkoa to make their final stand. You're learning about the curse they bear, the ancient gods of their land, and the very real threat posed by the Adherents of Rukhmar, the ruling caste of zealous arakkoa in Skyreach.

I don't know about you, but I'm fairly certain allying with the cursed arakkoa is going to come back to bite me in the posterior, but that's a song we adventurers have sung before. Also, I don't know who decided to let the goblins start up an expedition to Draenor, but I'm calling it now - huge mistake, guys. Huge mistake.

Head on over to the official site now for the preview.

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

Know Your Lore: The Deceiver Awaits

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.

Sargeras is of course more powerful. Archimonde more directly destructive. But for sheer malice, for spite, for a turn of mind so devious and sinister that it pursues vengeance for over 25,000 years for the slight of not wanting to become a monster, you can never find evil more cunning and persistent than that of Kil'jaeden the Deceiver.

Make no mistake. Even Gul'dan pales in comparison to the hate, greed, and wanton cruelty that motivates Kil'jaeden. The demon lord par excellence, when we look at many of the greatest ills of the modern age it was the hand of the Deceiver that shaped them. The corruption of the orcs? The creation of the Scourge and the Lich King? The Third War? Others may have taken these actions, pursued them to their ultimate conclusion, but it was the mind of the Deceiver that brought them forth and worked to make them a reality. Indeed, it's fair to say that Kil'jaeden is often far more successful when he can resist taking an active hand in events - his most recent defeat at the Sunwell took place because he chose to attempt what Sargeras had failed to do and what had killed Archimonde, namely the bodily invasion of Azeroth proper.

So let us look now upon the Deceiver, lord of lies, spreader of falsehood - liar and betrayer of betrayers.

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

The Queue: Opinions

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.

Let's get this party started.

Banjo asked:

What is your honest opinion of WoD?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Warlords of Draenor: Illusions change your enchant effects

If you're one of those players who enjoys transmog but hates it when an enchant doesn't seem to go with your weapon, the folks at Wowhead have datamined an interesting new wrinkle - the ability to transmog your weapon effects. It seems to be achieved via an item called an illusion, like this one for the old BC era Executioner enchant, that applies only the visual aspect of a specific enchant. In addition, rogues get a special rogue only effect, Illusion - Poison, which does exactly what you'd expect, as well as certain Warlords enchants having a poisonous variant just for rogues with a similar effect.

There's also another kind of enchant variant, the hidden variant, that has the same basic effect as the baseline enchant but which has no discernible visible effect.

This is all pretty interesting stuff if you're an enchanter, or into transmog, or just don't like a specific enchant effect and want everything to look like it's got fire or butterflies on it. Ooh, fire butterflies.

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

Warlords of Draenor: Nagrand zone preview

The Warlords of Draenor zone previews continue with a look at Nagrand. Often listed as one of people's favorite BC zones, the Nagrand of Draenor is a different place with familiar landmarks. Just seeing the zone with harborages and familiar sights like Telaar and Oshu'gun interspersed with entirely new (to us, at least) places like Grommashar and Highmaul Palace caught my eye.

So how do we get to Nagrand, you ask? Well, Senior Game Designer Eric Maloof explains:
You'll be led to Nagrand by a quest you'll receive in your Garrison that involves sending new supplies to the front. The Alliance and the Horde-not working together, of course-are trying to establish a toehold in the zone in order to take on the Warsong clan. The Warsong clan has had problems with the ogres in the past, but they're really the top power here.

The Alliance will be working alongside characters such as Vindicator Yrel and Rangari D'kaan, Thaelin, and Hansel as they progress through the storyline. The Horde will be working alongside Thrall, Durotan, Draka, and Drek'thar-even Aggra will show up and surprise Thrall.
Hopefully the process of building your outpost and fighting the Warsong clan throughout Nagrand will include a trip inside Oshu'gun, one of my favorite locations in the zone. Head over to the official preview now to take a look at what awaits you in Nagrand. Here's a hint - the words 'mounted' and 'combat' pop up in there.

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

Breakfast Topic: When will the Siege of Orgrimmar reach Orgrimmar?

Though the Siege of Orgrimmar patch was released way back in September 2013, the situation in the live version of Orgrimmar has changed very little since the so-called siege begun. If you play a horde character, portals throughout the game send you to Orgrimmar as the horde capitol... even though Orgrimmar under the rule of Garrosh is hardly a friendly place. Patrolled by the all-orc Kor'Kron Guard, the city streets aren't particularly welcoming to non-orcs -- or anyone who disagrees with Garrosh's leadership.

While this made for a strong story element when patch 5.4 was launched, it's rather outstayed its welcome. At this point, even a wrecked, post-siege Orgrimmar would seem a more welcoming place than the fear-filled city that's been the center of the horde's game world for nearly a year. So tell us, readers -- when do you think Orgrimmar will get a post-Garrosh makeover? And what will we see taking its place come Warlords?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

The Queue: Kitty cat power hour

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 tried to think of a clever intro for today's edition of The Queue, but I slept very little this weekend due to a sick cat. He has medication and should be just fine now, but ... wait, we're supposed to be talking about WoW.

DerekNorman asked:

I derped and accidentally let a cross-realm mail get deleted that contained a full set of leather heirloom gear for my alt. What are the chances that I could get it back if I open a ticket?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: Redundant? No way

Contested Territory
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: Congratulations are in order (and boy, does time fly!). The wheelbarrow of death. Mountain climbing. Plus: Double cat!

On the list this week, Teh Gladiators has returned with new comics. In fact, there are six new ones to check out!

There are also a couple of comics on the list today that don't update with WoW-related content every week. NPC has three comics, which is a treat, and Sara & Kleeyo has something new as well.

On Away From Reality this week, there's some discussion about the decision to restrict player flight in Warlords. And on Trigonometry Comics, this week's update is apparently the most difficult page Trig has ever created.

If you'd like a few hints at the plots, well, just glance up. Contested Territory is reminiscing. I missed their childhood selves! Plus, big things are happening on Gratz. (Or a little thing? Hmm.)

That's all you get! On to the list:

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

WRUP: Guardians of the Twisting Nether

Guardians of the Galaxy is out this weekend, a thrilling tale of a motley crew of unexpected allies who somehow manage to come together and save the galaxy from certain destruction. I saw it on Thursday night and thought it was hysterically awesome. It's the combination of unlikely characters that makes the film, really -- so when I was putting together this week's WRUP, I thought I'd throw out an unlikely bonus question: If you were going to assemble an unlikely crew from Azeroth's finest to save the world, who would you stick together?

I'm pretty sure Cro Threadstrong would have to be on my team, as well as Asric and Jadaar, Thisalee Crow, and Myra Tyrngaarde. Yes, the bread vendor from Ironforge. You just know she's hiding the secret ability to go ballistic. They'd totally defeat the Burning Legion. ... or at least they'd provide enough of a startling distraction for the other heroes to come in and take care of business.

And of course we ask, as we always do, what are you playing?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Know Your Lore: The Ashbringer, Alexandros Mograine

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 other KYL's we've written here, this one's actually about two things - a person, and a weapon. The weapon is one of the most powerful ever forged, crafted by the hand of a dwarven king mourning a brother he believed slain, made with a chunk of crystal from another world. The man was a tireless crusader for his people, who stood against the forces of the Scourge - and when he did, whole armies of the undead were as ash.

We speak of both, for both were the Ashbringer. But to speak of the blade, first we have to speak of the man - for it was by the actions of Alexandros Mograine that the blade came into existence.

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

Artcraft focuses on facial customization

One of the hot button topics when talking about the new character models is faces. Many players worry that when the customization comes in, their characters won't feel like their characters anymore. Blizzard has now released a new Artcraft discussing exactly how they're planning on dealing with that issue.

Our next big focus is doing justice to the facial options. With the original models and their simplistic geometry and low-resolution textures, a lot of facial expressions were simply painted on. Now that we've moved to higher-polygon models with lips, teeth, and fully articulated faces-not to mention higher-resolution textures-recreating those same facial options isn't as simple as painting them onto a flat surface. Previously, to get a sneer out of a model, you'd just paint a sneer on its face, and that was that. To do it correctly now-and make it look great-we have to fully pose a sneer, create a custom texture, and mesh that base pose with all of the existing emotes and animations.

So it's still a work in progress, but take heart in the knowledge that Blizzard abandoned their original plan, which was to release the new faces before customization was completed. "Our initial idea was to release the new models with their base face, and then add additional options in updates over the course of the expansion." That would have been a huge mistake, in my opinion. People would likely have been very unhappy with the uncertainty of knowing whether or not they'd get the face they identified with.

Head on over to the latest artcraft and check it out now.

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

The Queue: Let's get mad about orcs

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.

Oh boy, this first question is going to get me in trouble.

RustinMeek asked:

for those in the beta, is WoD giving appropriate attention to the more peaceful and shamanistic side of orcs? It's not all war and mayhem, and the players that don't read the novels should know that

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

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