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Filed under: Blizzard

Lords of War focuses on Kilrogg Deadeye

In case you were wondering, Kilrogg Deadeye absolutely is possibly the most ruthless Warlord we've seen yet in these animated shorts. Without spoiling the above video (go ahead and watch it) it's got interesting bits in it - the arakkoa make an appearance, we get to see Kilrogg's father, and the actual ritual where the infamous Deadeye earns his name is shown. It's a fascinating glimpse into the culture of the Bleeding Hollow clan and Kilrogg's role in it.

I think this might be my favorite of the four videos so far. It's plausible that Maraad might know this - there's no reason it should be unchanged between his Draenor and the one we're going to explore. But moreover, and suitably, it's the darkest of the four to date, which Kilrogg making a very difficult decision that costs him quite dearly... and more than an eye.

I also like the rumination on the Alliance's faith in the Light at the opening. Varian's 'So I'm told' was a nice beat. Check out the video now.

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

Pirate's Day hits World of Warcraft for one day only

Look, piracy is a scourge and a disgrace, no one's denying it. But for one day, World of Warcraft embraces this scourge with a host of events for people of a piratical bent. You can transform your character into a pirate with the Dread Corsair buff, attend various revels, or do other things that, to be honest, aren't really all that synonymous with these dread reavers of the oceans. It's almost as if this is all just an excuse to have a good time or something.

It's only one day so if you've been dying to look like a pirate for 12 hours, this is your chance.

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items

Patch 6.0.2: PvP season 15 ends

In the spirit of get it done soon that we see getting more and more prevalent as patch 6.0.2 gets closer, here's some news about PvP Season 15. Namely, it's ending as soon as the patch drops.

This means several things - there will be no Arenas or Rated BG's after the patch, all Conquest Points will be converted to Honor, with excess Honor above 4000 points being converted to gold.

Blizzard - Patch 6.0.2 PTR Patch Notes
  • PvP Season 15 comes to an end with the launch of Patch 6.0.2. (Date has not been determined yet.)
    • Conquest Points will be converted into Honor Points, and any Honor above the cap of 4,000 will be converted into in-game currency at a rate of 35 silver per point.
    • Season 15 items will have Conquest costs converted into Honor Points equivalent to their previous Conquest Point cost, with the exception of any items that have a rating requirement.
    • Season 15 items with rating requirements will no longer be available for purchase.
    • Note that Arena and Rated Battleground matches will not be available until PvP Season 16 begins.

So there you have it - the upcoming end for Season 15 is as soon as the patch itself (which we still have no date for) and when it comes, the usual conversions will commence. If you're trying to hit a certain rating, you have been warned.

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

Blizzard debuts Engineer's Workshop

It's always interesting to get more behind the scenes about how World of Warcraft is created, and Blizzard is doing exactly that with the all-new Engineer's Workshop series of posts. This week's column is about anti-aliasing and the new technology Blizzard is using to help evolve the game engine and update it going forward. Keep in mind, World of Warcraft is a ten year old game, and graphic updates like these are necessarily planned out to keep the game's look from sliding into obsolescence.

I admit I'm no expert on the technology being discussed, but if you are, here's a nice summary to get you started on explaining the whole thing to me in the comments. Use small words.


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

Warlords of Draenor: Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas on healing in dungeons

Dungeons can be tricky to balance. Too easy, and everything turns into a 'go go go' zergdown. Too hard, and no one wants to run them. This is of course subject to change as gear and skill and familiarity all increase, of course. But it's a topic that Ion Hazzikostas recently took up on the forums. One of the things people have been concerned about is the change to how healing works, and Ion discussed it and why they made the changes. Basically, it came down to the idea that with mana regen effectively not a factor in Mists, the only way to kill players in raids was with massive spikes of damage that required immediate reaction from healers to survive.
Our goal is not to make healing more difficult. Note that nowhere in the above did I say that a problem with Mists healing is that it was too "easy." We want to slow down the pace a bit, and for the challenge in healing to lie more in making decisions about spell usage and targeting, and less in twitch-reaction and sustaining a DPS-style rotation. This also means that the cost of a mistake is not a dead player, but rather a more injured one, giving you a chance to fix your error.
So what does this have to do with dungeon tuning? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Dungeons are being tested on the beta now (I've recently gotten to run Auchindoun and Shadowmoon Burial Grounds) and when they're tested, your level is adjusted to the bare minimum necessary to run said dungeons. This of course means that players are testing the content at its lowest possible threshold, because it has to function for players in the minimum gear to get into the door. And this leads to issues with healing, because the dungeons aren't final yet. It's an interesting job, beta testing. Often, stuff doesn't work - that's why you test it.

We've reproduced Watcher's post in full after the cut. For the most part, I'm interested to see if Blizzard actually succeeds with their goal of slowing down healing.

Read more →

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

Voice acting in Warlords of Draenor

There was a moment in the Warlords of Draenor beta when I realized that I was getting a quest from Frank Welker. Aka Megatron. Aka Nibbler from Futurama. Aka a million other voices. The man has 728 credits as an actor on IMDB, and here he is, doing a voice in the Warlords beta. Specifically, Reshad the storekeeper. See, they recently added a ton of voice acting to the beta - pretty much every character you interact with has significant voice work put into it, and for the most part it's frankly stunning. I'm not trying to exaggerate here, but the difference between this expansion and, as an example, Lady Sindragosa's Betraaaaaaaaays you dialogue is night and day.

Heck, just pop over to Frostfire Ridge at level 90, or run through the Tanaan Jungle opening, and you'll hear a variety of voice actors, more so than World of Warcraft has ever boasted.

Read more →

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

Warlords of Draenor Beta: Face Re-customization via Barber Shop

There's been a lot of discussion of the new character models and people being afraid they won't like their character's face after they come in. Well, it appears Blizzard has been listening, because on the beta you can recustomize your character's face at the barber shop, meaning that you can now change your face, hair style, hair color and facial hair at the barber, and all for in-game gold. Of course it's the beta, things can change, don't count on this feature until it makes it live. But it does seem a pretty good way for Blizzard to address the concerns people have had that they may not like their characters after the model changes.

It works exactly as the barber shop does now - you go in, sit down, get the menu and make your changes. You click through the available facial options with the right and left arrows. No mess, no fuss. Hopefully it'll make it live to the thunderous applause of those who were worried.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard releases World of Warcraft's 10th Anniversary details

So, today the folks at Blizzard posted more details about the upcoming 10th Anniversary of World of Warcraft, featuring the Tarren Mill/Southshore deathmatch BG and the revamped level 100 40 player LFR version of Molten Core.

One thing we now know for sure is that Molten Core will become accessible on November 21 (a week after the launch of Warlords itself) and last until January 6th, 2015. This gives you a little more than a month to get to level 100 and run the revamped Molten Core. It's a little worrying to me that you'll have to hit 100 and run this content (remember, it's a 40 person LFR) during the holiday season, but that's what we are currently being told. Also, thanks to the folks at Wowhead we also know that there are four helmets you can get when you defeat Ragnaros - an updated Crown of Destruction and plate, leather and cloth versions. In addition, Ragnaros drops the Core Hound Chain as well.

The new battleground will have a 90-99 and 100 version, and winning either version of the Southshore/Tarren Mill battleground will reward you with the Tarren Mill Terror title for Alliance players and the Southshore Slayer title for the Horde. Rated PvP play will begin on December 2nd, and the first raids will begin opening at that time with Raid Finder and Mythic difficulty opening the next week. A full schedule for the raid releases is incoming.

So that's how things stand so far. Looks like you'll want to get to 100 as quickly as possible if you're looking forward to that Molten Core LFR or the Southshore/Tarren Mill deathmatch.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Raiding, Raid Guides, Warlords of Draenor

EU Connected Realm Updates for September 4

Although we have yet to hear of any more updates for US Realm Connections, the list of EU realms slated for the Realm Connection service has been recently updated with new information and new realms in regards to upcoming dates for the service. For more information on Realm Connections, take a look at Blizzard's official blog post about the service and its features.

The following EU realms are scheduled for connection on Wednesday, September 10.

German Realms
  • Anub'arak and Nazjatar/Dalvengyr/Frostmourne/Zuluhed

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

New Warcraft wallpaper, costume, dessert, art and comic updates

Blizzard has put together another gigantic round of updates to many of the fan content galleries on the official site this week. Included with this update is a new wallpaper featuring Grommash Hellscream, a Pandaria-themed cake, another round of Mists of Pandaria concept art, and a new Warcraft fan comic. In addition to all of that, there's another group of images for the costume gallery, including the familiar face shown above. Cosplayer Lyz Brickley made the amazing recreation of everyone's favorite critter enthusiast Mylune for BlizzCon 2011, and we interviewed her about the process shortly after.

I think the costume section updates win out as my favorites for this round -- in addition to Mylune, there are several other really well done costumes featured, including an amazing Garona and even someone who chose to cosplay as a Training Dummy, of all things. This is also the first update we've seen to the dessert gallery in quite some time -- I'm hoping that means there are more updates on the way for that particular section as well. Check out Blizzard's official post for links to all of the new additions.


Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

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

EU Connected Realm Updates for August 28

US Realm Connections may have halted for the time being, but EU Realm Connections are still in full swing. The list of EU realms slated for the Realm Connection service has been updated with new information and new realms in regards to upcoming dates for the service.

The following EU realms are scheduled for connection on Wednesday, September 3.
English Realms
  • Defias Brotherhood and Scarshield Legion/Ravenholdt/The Venture Co/Sporeggar
German Realms
  • Zuluhed and Nazjatar/Dalvengyr/Frostmourne
  • Kil'Jaeden and Anetheron/Festung der Stürme/Rajaxx/Gul'dan/Nathrezim
  • Forscherliga and Die Nachtwache

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

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

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