Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Filed under: Blizzard

A plethora of World of Warcraft mysteries

Well, actually the article from Kotaku mentions ten, but I feel strongly that ten is a plethora. The video from the DDG guides covers various commenters questions about what that snake in Gundrak is, what the dwarves dug up in Bael Modan, what happened to Neptulon after he got snatched out of Throne of the Tides, and where Tyr went after he abandoned his Temple in Northrend.

It's pretty neat stuff all told, so go watch it already. Number one is pretty interesting, at least I think so. I go there from time to time via the Stratholme dungeon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Is BlizzCon bad for World of Warcraft?

Okay, I'm sure with a headline like "Is BlizzCon bad for World of Warcraft?" you're already thinking this is it. Rossi has finally snapped. But hear me out for a second. We've had BlizzCons since 2005, before The Burning Crusade was even released. While they haven't happened every year (there was no BlizzCon 2006 and no BlizzCon 2012) it's been fairly regular since its introduction. Last year, Warlords of Draenor was previewed at BlizzCon 2013 - for many of us it's the source of pretty much every opinion we have on the expansion.

That, in fact, is exactly what got me thinking that it's possible that BlizzCon itself is bad for the game, for the game community at large, and for the future of the franchise. BlizzCon, by its very nature, is a hype machine. It's where we learn details about the expansion - its name, its features, its setting and goals - before they are even close to being ready for players. People play demos. Developers give talks about the games. In many ways it's very exciting. I've never been myself, but most of my coworkers and a lot of my in-game friends have. So my argument isn't that BlizzCon itself is bad.

But looking over the past year or so, in terms of Warlords of Draenor and player interaction with it, I start to wonder if having the big reveal at the convention does more harm than good, overall. Expectations are set at the convention - looking at the recent player reaction to the news that Karabor and Bladespire wouldn't be capital cities in Draenor, the issue can in part be traced back to the fact that we were told they would be at BlizzCon. Players (like myself) had months to get excited about the idea of Karabor as a capital city. Then, suddenly, we were told (almost as an afterthought) that no, the capitals were moved to Ashran.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft earns over $1 billion a year

According to statistics from SuperData Research, World of Warcraft still dominates the MMO market with 36% market share. The game raked in just over a billion dollars in revenue in 2013, putting it well ahead of its nearest competition -- $253 million for NCSoft's 1998 title Lineage. The ranking of top subscription titles suggests that MMOs need staying power -- WoW is nearly 10 years old and Lineage is 16 -- and a strong Asian presence -- the top 3 are all big titles in Asia -- to sustain them over the long haul.

However, even though WoW continues to pull in strong subscription numbers, the industry has seen the subscription model declining sharply while microtransaction revenue has been on an upswing. With both a healthy subscriber base and its own microtransaction strategy, WoW seems prepared to succeed no matter which direction the industry goes. However, the overall subscription trend begs the question: will we ever see a free-to-play version of WoW? Blizzard has said no, and with subscription stats like this we can see why.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

US Connected Realms update for July 18

The list of US realms slated for the Realm Connection service has been updated with new dates and new planned connections. If you are on a realm that is scheduled to be connected, be aware that Realm Connections take place on Thursdays rather than during Tuesday maintenance. Scheduled realms are brought down at approximately 5am PDT, and back up at approximately 1pm PDT. And just in case you're wondering what exactly this Realm Connection process will do for you, the player, Blizzard has a handy blog on the subject that explains things in detail.

The following US realms are scheduled for connection on Thursday, July 24.
  • Deathwing and Executus, Kalecgos, and Shattered Halls
  • Gilneas and Elune

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

The rise and fall of features in World of Warcraft

I've been playing World of Warcraft since its inception. As a result, I'm as likely to view the game through the lens of my experiences as any player. One of the reasons I'm so thoroughly anti-nostalgia is because I'm actually incredibly nostalgic. If I don't stop myself, if I don't actively make an effort not to, I'll drown in falling down the well of this is how it was and just spend hours annoying the crap out of people who started playing after me. In one guild, I remember doing exactly this - I would spend all raid reminiscing with the other old hands (there were like four of us) and driving the newer raiders crazy comparing fights to raids from BWL to Blackwing Descent. Remember - every fight can be compared to Omnotron. Every fight.

One of the ways this shows up is when any new feature is introduced to the game. As a writer for the site, I always try and stay objective about a new feature, and often, I come to love them - I'm a huge fan of transmogrification, for example, and when they announced reforging a few years back I knew immediately it was going to become a mandatory and huge part of gear strategy. But the fact is this - on an emotional level I hate every single new feature as soon as I hear about it, because they're not my World of Warcraft - it takes an effort on my part to be open minded and I don't often succeed.

As an example - I've written multiple posts essentially defending the decision to remove flight for a while in Warlords' 90 to 100 zones and leave it out. But the fact is, flight was introduced back in The Burning Crusade and I've gotten used to it. I understand and I support the decision from a design perspective. But emotionally? Emotionally I have flying mounts and I want to fly on them. I just plain like being able to shortcut all the things on the ground, even while I get why the design doesn't support it. This divide between what's new and most probably better for the game and my own desires while playing the game isn't limited to wanting flight, either.

Read more →

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

Warlords of Draenor: Gorgrond preview

Fresh on the heels of today's Talador preview, we get a look at Gorgrond, forbidding home of the Iron Horde's industrial machine. Gorgrond is the next step for fighting back Iron Horde aggression -- after you've fought them off in Shadowmoon Valley or Frostfire Ridge, it's time to take the battle to them, and Gorgrond is exactly where you're going to do just that. Smash them Iron Horde. Smash them good.

But they won't just sit back and take it. In Gorgrond you'll come face to face with some of the most powerful and destructive weapons the savage world of Draenor had to challenge you with.

After withstanding the Iron Horde's initial assault, you'll make your way into Gorgrond with a handful of allies to try to discover the Blackrock orcs' intentions and find a way to thwart any plans the Iron Horde may have. It's a perilous recon mission. Gorgrond is a land of giants embroiled in an epic struggle between creation and destruction. It's the kind of place you avoid unless you have a death wish.

If there's one thing I know about players, it's that they can't resist going someplace conce they've been told not to go there. It's like candy to them. I expect we'll all flood to Gorgrond as soon as we possibly can. I for one welcome our new Iron Horde victims, and everything else in the zone that gets in the way, too.

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

US Connected Realms update for July 15th

Another update to the Realm Connection list has been made, with realms scheduled to be connected on the 17th and 24th of July. As is always the case, these connections will take place on Thursdays, and are scheduled to occur between 5:00 AM PDT and 1:00 PM PDT.

This month's scheduled realm connections are:
  • Thursday, July 17th
    • Dawnbringer and Madoran
    • Zuluhed and Andorhal, Scilla, and Ursin
  • Thursday, July 24th
    • Deathwing and Executus, Kalecgos, and Shattered Halls
    • Gilneas and Elune
Also on the list but not scheduled yet are Malfurion and Trollbane, and The Venture Co and Maelstrom. As a player, I hope these go without a hitch as my main is on Elune.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Blizzard

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 programming schedule released

San Diego Comic-Con International has begun to release its program of events for this year's convention. Blizzard Entertainment will once again have a presence at the convention as well as a panel with Chris Metzen himself. The panel, titled Blizzard Entertainment Showcase, takes place Thursday, July 24 from 2:15-3:15pm in Room 6BCF. Attendees looking for expansion information should take note that this is a panel about Blizzard merchandise and licensed products. While it may include some new information on upcoming projects, there likely won't be a lot of talking about game development -- but the panel does include a Q&A.

However, attendees looking for other Blizzard information would do well to hit up Hall H on Saturday, July 26. Legendary Pictures will be presenting a panel featuring their upcoming slate of films in Hall H from 12:25-1:10pm. Last year, Director Duncan Jones made a brief appearance at the convention to show off what he called a "mood piece" for the upcoming Warcraft film. Filming for Warcraft officially wrapped in May of this year, which means that attendees at the panel may very well see more than just a brief glimpse of Warcraft.

Fans looking for Blizzard on the main convention floor can head to booth 115 for Blizzard Entertainment. At the moment, there still isn't an official schedule for any signings that might take place at Comic-Con. Given last year's list of notable names, we should see an official announcement regarding potential signings and other pertinent Comic-Con info soon.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warcraft Movie

Enter to win exclusive Comic-Con prizes from Blizzard

If you aren't lucky enough to be heading to San Diego for Comic-Con 2014, good news -- you can still get yourself some Comic-Con goodies. Blizzard will be giving away 25 Comic-Con goodie bags chock full of cool and exclusive Blizzard merchandise. To enter, simply follow the link provided on the official announcement post, and earn entries by completing a variety of social actions using the contest app.

Winners will receive a Heroes of the Storm T-shirt and lanyard, a Diablo Whimsyshire Treasure Goblin, a Starcraft Cute But Deadly Cloaking Zeratul, a Starcraft Funko Pop! Vinyl Primal Kerrigan, and a Warcraft Nether Faerie Dragon Plush. The contest runs until July 27, so you have plenty of time to get plenty of entries in. For more information, and the official rules, head to the contest app page. Good luck to all who enter!

Filed under: Blizzard, Contests

Artcraft previews the male draenei model


It's no secret that I love the draenei -- with getting a chance to play through Shadowmoon Valley on the Beta, they've leapt into the lead and are now my favorite race. Now, thanks to Blizzard's official Artcraft previews, we get a chance to look at the new draenei male. Having experienced it on the beta (as a work in progress, mind you) I already felt like it was a vast improvement. The proportions, the expressions, even the way the facial tendrils move is much, much better.

Head on over to the official site and take a look for yourself.

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

Mike Morhaime apologizes for lack of diversity in Blizzard games

It's been a bad year or so for women in Blizzard games, for a lot of reasons. At BlizzCon, Warlords of Draenor was described as a "boy's trip" that Aggra wasn't invited to -- which fits with the Warlords marketing material that shows almost exclusively male characters (a few women appear in the trailer and one in the art, but they're unnamed). But Warlords isn't the only concern: the company's April Fool's joke came off as tone-deaf to many, Heroes of the Storm uses female characters as eye candy (which game director Dustin Browder argued didn't send a message), and, recently, Rob Pardo stated in a talk at MIT that diversity wasn't really a value for the company.

Though Warlords has come a long way since BlizzCon and both Browder and Pardo apologized, the fact that any of these things were an issue in the first place is off-putting -- at best -- to female gamers. Even long-term Blizzard fans have started to wonder why they're continuing to play in a gaming world that didn't accept women amongst the cast of heroes. It's from this place of disappointment that Starcunning wrote to Mike Morhaime, explaining why she's walked away from Blizzard's games. The surprise, however, is that Mike Morhaime responded stressing Blizzard's commitment to listening to the playerbase and building games that are fun for everyone.
Mike Morhaime
We are very conscious of the issues you raise and are discussing them more than ever, at every level of the company, in an effort to make sure our games and stories are as epic and inclusive as possible. Blizzard's employees form a broad and diverse group that cares deeply about the experiences we are creating for our players. And we know that actions speak louder than words, so we are challenging ourselves to draw from more diverse voices within and outside of the company and create more diverse heroes and content. We are also actively looking at our story development and other processes to ensure that our values are fully represented. We've always believed that positive, lasting change comes from examination, discussion, and iteration, and this applies as much to story as to gameplay. There is no reason why inclusivity should come at the expense of an amazing game experience.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

US Connected Realms update for July 7

The list of US realms slated for the Realm Connection service has now been updated with new information regarding upcoming dates for the service. Players on realms that have been scheduled for connection should be aware that connections take place on Thursdays, and the scheduled realms will be down for the service from 5am PDT until approximately 1pm PDT. There are two sets of scheduled dates, as well as a few realms that have been added for an upcoming realm connection, with no date scheduled just yet.

The following US realms are scheduled for connection on Thursday, July 10.
  • Ysera and Durotan
  • Zuluhed and Andorhal, Scilla and Ursin

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Bottom's Up for the continued tale of the Mists cinematic

Blizzard decided to post the above video, titled Bottom's Up, to their official Youtube account yesterday, stating that they found some extra footage shot just moments after the Mists of Pandaria cinematic had come to an end. The video features the return of the human and orc featured duking it out in the original cinematic -- only slightly less keen on tearing out each other's throats.

Personally, I could watch these two all day. I kind of want to see a series of cinematic shorts about their adventures, now. My only minor complaint is that they didn't use the kazoo music from Pandaria's inns for the backing track. I mean, I understand why, it would have been far too distracting, but man I love that music, and I'm going to miss it when we leave Pandaria's shores for good.

Filed under: Blizzard, Humor, Mists of Pandaria

EU Connected Realm updates for July 4

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. Please note that the realms scheduled for connection next week are only tentatively scheduled -- that information might change. Players on the realms listed as scheduled may want to keep an eye on the official forum thread just in case there are any changes made. At the present time, there are no additional updates for US realms, this list is for European servers only.

The following EU realms are tentatively scheduled for connection on Wednesday, July 9.

English Realms
  • (PvE) Khadgar and Bloodhoof
  • (PvE) Bronze Dragonflight and Nordrassil
German Realms
  • (PvE) Tichondrius and Lordaeron
  • (PvE) Arygos and Khaz'goroth
Russian Realms
  • (PvP) Король-лич and Седогрив

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Soloing the Black Temple with Blizzard


Daxxari is back with another guide to soloing old raids, this time, The Black Temple. Whether it's transmog loot you're looking for, a chance at a warglaive, reputation with another faction (The Ashtongue Deathsworn) or just giggles, Black Temple has it all from Tier 6 sets and lookalikes to some of the coolest scenery the game's ever seen.

Black Temple is by far one of my favorite raids. It's quite soloable by a max-level character -- the hardest fight is the Reliquary of Souls because you can easily do enough damage to yourself and the interrupts get brutal -- and it has some really awesome looking loot, cool fight mechanics, and some big lore deals like Teron Gorefiend and of course Illidan himself waiting for you. Daxxari explains the fight mechanics and how they work for a solo player, so head over to the official site and read up before heading into the Black Temple.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Raid Guides

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories