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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WRUP: Welcome to Warlords edition

It's the first weekend of Warlords of Draenor, and after the long wait for the expansion to arrive, Team WoW Insider -- and, probably, all of you -- are pretty excited about getting their playtime in and rushing to max level. So we're up to this weekend probably won't surprise you: we're playing Warlords. But for the specifics on what in-game antics we're up to and what we've enjoyed the most along the way, read on.

And, of course, feel free to speak up in the comments below, telling us just what you're up to in-game this weekend -- as well as what your favorite part of the expansion is so far.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor's launch failure and where responsibility lies

This is an editorial; an opinion piece by a member of WoW Insider's staff.

The last 36 hours have not been kind to Blizzard. They've encountered a number of problems at all levels of their technical and gameplay infrastructure. In the grand books of game launches, this isn't how they, or anyone, would want things to go -- it's been the opposite of smooth and reliable. While it's hard to say if the worst is over (although I'll say it anyway), what we do know is Blizzard has been working nonstop to fix every problem.

Yesterday the server engineers didn't go home. The community managers didn't leave. Developers were cranking out hotfixes at seven o'clock in the evening. From my vantage point as an observer of this company, they were firing on all cylinders well after the close of business. Was it enough? No, not by a long shot.

But let's clear a few things up. Blizzard has their share of responsibility for what happened, but they also are not responsible for the idiocy of the criminal behavior of the DDoS attack.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Last Week on Massively: BlizzCon 2014

This post originally appeared on Massively from Editor-in-Chief Brianna Royce. At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO story last week, you've come to the right post.

BlizzCon 2014 dominated the weekend in all corners of the Joystiq network, Massively included. Blizzard not only announced OFPS Overwatch but spilled details on Hearthstone's upcoming expansion, Diablo III, Heroes of the Storm, the Warcraft movie, and the World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor expansion launching this coming Thursday. We've rounded up all the best bits from Massively and WoW Insider right here!
Liveblogging the opening ceremonies of BlizzCon 2014
World of Warcraft Q&A liveblog
World of Warcraft items, class changes liveblog
Blizzard announces new charity pet for ebola relief efforts
Warcraft movie panel liveblog
Blizzard takes on superheroes with Overwatch
Live blogging the Overwatch panel
Overwatch hands-on gameplay impressions
The heroes of Overwatch
Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion announced
Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes cards and mechanics
Diablo III previews Season 2
Heroes of the Storm panel

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, MMO Roundup

Tuesday will be a normal server reset

I've been asked several times if we're going to have a server reset this Tuesday, and I assumed we were, but I didn't actually know. Because people have asked me, I decided to settle this question by the most expedient manner possible - I asked Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas. I'd do this more often, but frankly I think he has better things to do than tell me what color shoes I should buy.

So there you have it - are we going to have a normal server reset this tuesday, and a last two days to farm those old raids, run SoO for Heirlooms, or whatever? All signs point to yes. Enjoy your last two days in Pandaria, guys. Midnight pacific time on Thursday morning, we're all off to Draenor.

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

Warlords of Draenor Live Q&A Wednesday

This Wednesday, at 11 Am Pacific, CM Lore will be hosting questions about Warlords of Draenor on Twitch.TV, with Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut. This will be a Q&A that allows for class questions, so if you were a little disappointed that they didn't answer class questions at BlizzCon, this is your chance to ask them.

Lore - Warlords Launch Q&A, Live Wednesday Nov 12th!
This Wednesday, I'll be joining World of Warcraft Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut to answer your questions live on Twitch.TV! With Warlords of Draenor's launch only a couple of days away, we're sure there's plenty of questions we weren't able to answer at BlizzCon, and now is your chance to ask them!

When: Wednesday, November 12th, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific Standard Time (see this handy tool to find when that is in your local time!)
Where: The World of Warcraft channel on Twitch.TV/WoW

There are two ways to submit questions. If you're using Twitter, simply tweet your question using the hashtag #WarlordsQA. You can also ask it as a reply to this forum thread; however, as we'd like to get to as many questions as possible, we will only consider questions using 40 words or less. Make them count! In order to be considered, your question must be submitted before 12:01 AM PST on Wednesday, November 12th.

See you there!

So there you have it. Tweet your questions with the above hashtag (#WarlordsQA) or reply to the forum threat linked above but for your own sake remember that 40 words or less limit - you don't want to ask a question only to have it disallowed for length, after all. You've got until 12 AM PST Wednesday, November 12th to ask your questions, so get to work guys.

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

Sunday Morning Funnies: A sunbeam calling

Guardians of the Garrison
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: Evil Overlord checklist. Being far from innocent. Casual (and cat) friendly. Plus: Asking about rabbits, for a friend.

In comic news this week, Guardians of the Garrison, a relatively new comic, will be undergoing some changes. Namely, it will split into series, the first of which, Preparations for War page 1, is up on the list this week. The style will also be changing to shorter strips, however, this may mean that sometimes we get more than one per week.

If you missed us last week, you might not have noticed that Surviving Azeroth is back! It's also going to be a little different, with fewer characters and a focus on humor. Check out Where Are They Now? to learn what became of the characters that are being dropped, and head to this week's list for new content.

In more depressing news, it is cold and flu season, and a couple of our regular content creators have been hit. Best in Slot did not update this week, because unfortunately, Jenn is sick. However, there is a new Extra available, which I've added to the list. Hopefully you're feeling better soon, Jenn! In addition, Russell of Experience Boost has also been feeling sick, in a lingering, this should be gone by now, I'd better go back to the doctor, sort of way. There is a comic up, which is awesome, but if you're wondering why we have not been seeing our usual three weekly updates, it is because Russell needs to start feeling better already!

But there are some great things happening this week, too. Trigonometry Comics kicks off a new chapter, and Contested Territory has updated with a new comic. Plus, NPC wraps up its Spooky D&D storyline and promptly starts up a new WoW-related story arc!

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

Blizzard makes changes to official forums

So if you use the official forums a lot, you should probably be aware that they're going to change. This November 12th (known by its official name, Aaah it's the Day Before Warlords) the role sub-forums - Damage Dealing, Healing and Tanking - will be closed, along with several others. In addition, the Fan Fiction forum is being merged into the World's End Tavern forum. Kaivax has the skinny.

Kaivax - Changes coming to the WoW forums Nov. 12
On November 12 at 6:00 p.m. PST, we will be closing the following sub-forums permanently:

Tech & Science
Books & Comics
Raid & Guild Leadership
Community Events & Creations
Class Roles ->> Damage Dealing, Tanking, & Healing

Additionally, the Fan Fiction forum will be merged into the World's End Tavern forum at that time.

We will also be opening some new sub-forums immediately thereafter, with the launch of Warlords of Draenor.

We suggest that you save any content in any sub-forum (that you wish to keep a copy of) as soon as possible.

So if you make use of those forums, and there's something on there you want to keep or save, get on that - it's gone in six days.

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

Patch 6.0.3 hotfixes for November 5th

Once again into the breach, dear friends, and instead of using dead bodies as material for a wall, we're going to look at the hotfixes that Blizzard made for November 5th. Shall we? Let's do.
  • Hunter's tenacity pets saw a couple of fixes.
    • Tenacity Pet Specialization: Blood of the Rhino now reduces the pet's physical damage taken by 15% instead of increasing armor by 20%.
    • Tenacity Pet Specialization: Great Stamina now increases the pet's health by 60% (up from 12%).
  • Priests saw a 15% nerf to Holy Nova's healing, while Divine Star's healing or damage (based on spec) was buffed by 15%
  • Fixed an issue where Zidormi may send players to an incorrect phase in the Blasted Lands.
  • Once a Challenge Mode has started, characters can no longer change specializations, talents, or glyphs.
For a full list of the hotfixes, follow us beyond the curtain.

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Filed under: Hunter, Priest, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Death Knight, Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft: Looking for Group documentary debuts at BlizzCon

This Saturday during BlizzCon, we're going to get to take a look at a new documentary about World of Warcraft, with a lot of familiar faces (seriously, the trailer alone is packed with celebrities) and an interesting perspective on how WoW took what was a pretty niche market in MMO's and made them a lot more mainstream.

My first reaction was "Wow, that's a heck of a Garona cosplay!" Which is why I headed up the post with that picture. Seriously, she looks more like Garona than Garona does. WHoever you are, Garona cosplayer, please let me know so I can put your name in this post. But beyond that, as someone who's been playing for ten years, I found it amazing to see it all laid out like that, how we were all just stumbling our way through the game, having no idea what it was or what it would lead to.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Yrel, the Light of Hope, comes to Characters of Warcraft page

One of the things I personally love about Warlords of Draenor is the spotlight it puts on the draenei, and new characters like Yrel really give that spotlight emphasis. Yrel is one of the draenei who serves as a synecdoche for the whole expansion - what she experiences is what the draenei as a whole have experienced and what they will experience if she does not succeed. It's what fascinates me about her, about how she is the road not taken, the path that didn't succeed in our history.

If you want more details on Yrel, the spiffy new page for her is up here. But to really get to know her, you're going to have to play through Warlords of Draenor (specifically on the Alliance side, for the most part) and I for one recommend it. Yrel is an excellent draenei face character, one who showcases the race's forgiveness, determination and courage.

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

The Queue: We're having an adventure

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.

We seem to be rather light on questions lately. That's no surprise, given where we stand now: days away from BlizzCon and not much further from the official release of Warlords of Draenor. In a lot of ways, we've exhausted what there is to be said until those events hit us square in the face. Admittedly, I am not too upset about this fact -- because today's Queue is being written from a hotel room in Barstow, California. The town is a madhouse and the wifi is terrible. Please bear with me; we're in the middle of adventure.

@OriginalMrGoat asked:

Any bets as to what fills the Blizcon void?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Why updated graphics matter

What you see above is the result of time marching on - in my draenei's right hand is Sulfuras, the Extinguished Hand, a drop from Firelands. In the left hand, Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros, the legendary drop from the original Molten Core. (Yes, I know technically it doesn't drop, the Eye drops, you craft a Sulfuron Hammer and then use the Eye on it, I've had the thing since MC I know how I got it.) What I'm showing you is essentially the orderly progression of time via graphic upgrades - you can essentially see the history of the game unfolding via the difference between these two weapons.

Everything from the spikes to the grip to the shape of the head, it's all more detailed and crisp on the newer model. The older model is a collection of polygonal shapes that bear only a vague resemblance to a hammer compared to the newer model, which is itself still not as good as models we have in the game now, never mind some of the Warlords drops we're about to see. The gap between these two hammers is the gap between 2004 and 2011, and here we are, three years later than that - and they show us how much a ten year old game can in fact change.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Transmogrification, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor's first rated PvP season starts December 2nd

Brian Holinka, Senior PvP designer for World of Warcraft, tweeted the big news today - the next official rated PvP season for World of Warcraft will be starting this December 2nd. This means that if you intend to take part you have about three weeks to get to level 100 and get started, whether it be arenas or rated BG's you intend to make use of.

So there you have it. Get your weapons sharpened, polish your staves, stock up on arrows, get your best prayers set. On December 2nd you can start accumulating Conquest Points by horribly destroying your fellow players in pitched combat.

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

Sunday Morning Funnies: Thrill of the hunt

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

This week, in comics: Chomps. Hamsters and a li'l tickle. Getting into character. Hugs. Plus: What to do when you like a pair of goggles.

In comic news this week, Surviving Azeroth is back! Linked on the list this week is a post that wraps up Chapter 1, because there are going to be some changes in Chapter 2, which starts up next week. Namely, the character roster will be reduced to two, Immersa and a new character, Dracyn. The comic will also be more focused on humor, with an aim to be relatable to a wide audience. Welcome back, Surviving Azeroth!

Also on the list this week, Trigonometry Comics concludes the chapter Doors, and it's a don't-miss comic! Gratz has updated with three new comics, which go back to the main storyline after last week's Halloween specials. Plus, the NPC storyline, Spooky D&D, is definitely getting spookier, and there's some resolution on Experience Boost (although I don't know that we should count on being Orhan-free).

We are missing a few of the comics that update only sporadically, including Kibble & Bit, WoW, eh?, and The Brotherhood of Iron, as well as The Warchief's Command Board. In addition, Contested Territory missed the deadline. However, there's a new Sara & Kleeyo to check out, and Teh Gladiators updated this week.

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

WRUP: So it begins

BlizzCon inches closer with every passing day. It's close enough now that there's little else on the minds of the WoW Insider crew. Whether we're going to be there in person or watching via the virtual ticket, this weekend is one of preparation. One does not walk into BlizzCon unprepared.

Follow along to find out what we're all up to this weekend, and tell us how you're spending your weekend in the comments.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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