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WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Filed under: Blizzard

Maintenance extended until 4pm Pacific (updated)

If you're sitting around waiting for the servers to come up, you have a bit longer to wait - the roll out of patch 6.0.3 is continuing apace, and the servers will be down for a while longer.

This is apparently due to last minute issues with the new patch, so it may or may not be the final say in terms of delays. Don't get too overexcited either way - things could end up resolved earlier than expected, or they could be delayed past 1pm Pacific. Just know that currently the call is that maintenance has been extended past the 11am PST point.

Updated - Server Maintenance has been extended until 4pm PST.

Filed under: Events, Bugs, Blizzard, News items

Patch 6.0.3 notes for October 28th

So tomorrow we're getting patch 6.0.3, which hotfixes a lot of issues thus far in patch 6.0.2 and brings the game more in line with what's running on the beta servers. So what issues needed fixing, you ask? Well, there's a host of fixes, so why not let them speak for themselves?
  • In the hilarious words of the patch notes, "Thrall received a reminder that he is currently still on Azeroth."
  • The glitch that was making Undead players' jaws vanish in certain helmets has been fixed.
  • Shamans can rejoice that Flame Shock, Chain Lightning, Lightning Bolt, Frost Shock and Lava Burst have received a discount and now cost 50% less mana to cast.
  • You now can't complete the quest for Warforged Seals if you already have the maximum amount (20) of Warforged Seals.
For the complete list of hotfixes, click the link below! And remember, you are currently still on Azeroth.

Read more →

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

Characters of Warcraft updates with Velen, Archmage Khadgar

The Characters of Warcraft page is a useful one to keep abreast of what's coming in the Warlords of Draenor expansion. Recent updates have made it more so, with focus on Velen and Archmage Khadgar. The focus on each character explains their roles in the expansion to come (for example, how Velen has responded to the Iron Horde) and how they're involved in the story of the expansion. I'm excited to see some mention of Khadgar's having been aged by magic, although it's not really reflected in his current model - if anything he looks younger now than he did in the Burning Crusade days.

If you're looking to get a sense of who the people we'll be dealing with when we get to Draenor are, the Characters of Warcraft page and these updates definitely offer some help.

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

New Warlords of Draenor TV spots

It's time for some serious orcface, as the Warlords of Draenor hype machine kicks into overdrive with these new TV spots. There's one where Grommash just glares out from the screen, I admit that one makes me kind of uncomfortable. This one, with Garrosh getting a couple of beats, is my personal favorite (I've grown to like Garrosh in that love to hate sort of way - he made a pretty compelling bad guy, at least I thought so).

The weeks have flown by and we're in the home stretch now, with November 13 a few short weeks away. Are you ready for the Iron Horde? These TV spots want to know.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Latest Artcraft covers exterior level design


One of the things I love about the Artcraft series is how it covers an aspect of World of Warcraft that's critically important and yet often overlooked, namely the look of the game. This week, Blizzard has a new Artcraft for us, covering level design out in the world. As presented by Julian Morris, lead level designer for World of Warcraft's exterior level design team, we get a glimpse into what goes in to giving us the lush visuals of zones like Shadowmoon Valley or Nagrand.
Artcraft - Level Design Part 1
Exterior level design is the process of designing and constructing the zones of World of Warcraft, from Azeroth to Draenor and everything in between. Our team has planned, plotted, and designed the rise and fall of ancient cultures, as well as shaped mountains, forests, seas, lakes, rivers, roads, ruins, and every land feature imaginable. In addition to the land itself, we also design and create cities, towns, and Battlegrounds (with the random exterior dungeon or two in there every now and then, too).


One of the things I remember thinking when I first arrived in Shadowmoon Valley on the beta was how amazing it was that they managed to create a zone that actually felt like a living place, yet you could believe it could become the ruined hellscape of Outland's SMV. Reading about how the level design team works with artists and designers from all over WoW to create these zones is something we've not really gotten much exposure to in the past, so I'm very excited to see how the series continues.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Arts and Crafts, Warlords of Draenor

A Behind the Scenes look at Lords of War with Senior Illustrator Laurel Austin

Earlier this month, Blizzard released a behind the scenes look at Lords of War, the latest short series from the team that brought us The Burdens of Shaohao. Although that behind the scenes glimpse was pretty good, it focused mainly on the story of the short films, the ideas behind the process. Yesterday, another Behind the Scenes featurette was added -- this time, featuring Senior Illustrator Laurel Austin, the artist behind all of those gorgeous moving frames. Austin goes through the process of character design for the shorts and the challenges of bringing the various warlords to life.

This is frankly the kind of behind the scenes stuff I really like to see -- don't get me wrong, I love a story as much as the next person, but I like seeing how it's all put together from a technical standpoint. While the exact process of animating the still paintings is only brushed on, it's still incredibly cool to watch Austin work and explain why particular stylistic choices were put into play. I didn't expect a second installment to this series, so I'm almost hoping we might yet see a third installment that goes into the animation process itself and how all those stunning paintings are brought to life. Either way, the video is a fascinating watch for anyone who wants to see how Blizzard puts their art together.

If you somehow missed Lords of War when it originally aired, you can catch the entire series on World of Warcraft's Youtube channel -- they've even put together a helpful playlist of all the episodes in order.

Filed under: Machinima, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Warcraft wallpaper, costume, art, and comic updates

Another round of new art and updates has been added to Blizzard's official website. This time around, the costume updates are all featuring cosplay from BlizzCon 2013. Mylune makes another appearance, along with some stunning costumes of various tier sets and familiar characters from the franchise. In addition to the costume updates, a new wallpaper has been added to the fan art section. The piece, by Juyoung Oh, is a warlock flanked by a couple of Nightmare steeds and wings that would make Deathwing jealous.

And if you're still anxiously awaiting Warlords of Draenor, the concept art gallery has been updated with some new images. There are a few new concept pieces of draenei temples, as well as a pretty stunning piece of Tanaan Jungle lit at various times of day. Rounding it all off is an update to the comic section, appropriately themed for Hallow's End. Take a look at Blizzard's official post for links to all the new updates.


Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

Ion Hazzikostas: "Without a question" WoW will last another ten years

PC Gamer has an interview up with Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, and it didn't hold back - and neither did he, really. Asked if he thought World of Warcraft could last another ten years, Ion's yes was unequivocal.

I can't tell you exactly what our 20th anniversary celebration event is going to bemaybe new content which hasn't been createdbut I can tell you there's going to be one.

So now that I'm sitting here desperately curious about what that 20th anniversary celebration is going to be, let's look over some other interesting points from the interview.
  • Baking all previous expansion into the Battle Chest is all about removing obstacles to play - they like the depth of having ten years worth of content, but not the feeling that in order to check out the newest content you have to run all the old stuff first.
  • Visual updates being discussed include various forms like moonkin and cosmetic additions to armor, things like quivers for hunters and updated geometry on the armor itself.
  • It's unlikely we'll get another Cataclysm style visual update anytime soon - resources are more likely to be allocated to new content.
So head on over to PC Gamer and read Ion's interview.


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

Blizzard puts some character services on sale


Blizzard has discounted faction changes and character transfers by 25% for the next week. This means that you'll be able to get the services for the following prices:
  • Character Transfer -- $18.75
  • Faction Change -- $22.50
This is a great opportunity to transfer characters and get a new faction started before Warlords releases on November 13th. Interestingly, this makes the faction change cheaper than the race change, which is still going for $25. I gather moving from a human to an orc is easier than moving from a human to a night elf, at least for the next week.

A discount of similar stature is running on the EU servers. The sale ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Free Character Migrations for select EU realms

Players on EU realms looking for a change of pace or simply a new place to call home should take note -- Blizzard has opened up free Character Migrations for select EU realms. These Character Migrations are a one-time move from a predetermined list of source realms to a choice of a few destination realms. It's a one-time, one-way move, but it's absolutely free of charge for those that want to take advantage of the process while it's available. At the moment, these Character Migrations will be available until October 23. However, they can be closed down at any time, if enough people have taken advantage of the offer.

Players may also want to note that this is on an individual character basis only. Any guild leaders looking to move their guilds may do so through the Guild Master Realm Transfer service, which they'll still need to pay for. However, guild members that want to follow to the new realm can do so for free with the Character Migration offer. Please note -- this service is only available to EU realms, and at this time, there are no free Character Migrations available for US players. Read on for the official announcement, as well as the full list of available realms for the Free Character Migration offer.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

World of Warcraft back up to 7.4 million subscribers

Though Activision Blizzard's quarterly earnings call isn't for another month, Blizzard has released their latest subscriber numbers a little early. As of October 14, World of Warcraft sits at 7.4 million subscribers, up 600,000 from their previously reported 6.8 million.

Warlords of Draenor's impending release is having an effect -- players are finding a renewed interest in the game. More than ever, it's clear that the long wait between content releases is Warcraft's worst enemy. If you build it, they'll come. But in the meantime, they'll have fun somewhere else.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

World of Warcraft Battle Chest now includes Mists of Pandaria

Mists is now included as a basic part of WoW. This means that, for the time being, the entire game and all expansions are available for $20.

This is great news for those that are trying to come into the game, and presents a super low barrier of entry. As the game continues to age it's important for newer players not to have to spend hundreds of dollars to purchase parts of the game that they're only going to spend a little bit of time on. Included Mists in the Battle Chest makes a ton of sense, and is a smart business and community move on the part of Blizzard.

You can find out more about the Battle Chest over on Blizzard's page.

Filed under: Blizzard

World of Warcraft patch 6.0.2 release date announced

You need wait no longer -- World of Warcraft patch 6.0.2, the pre-expansion patch for Warlords of Draenor, has been officially announced for next week. The upcoming patch features a host of systems changes - talent and abilities changes, the item squish, the removal of justice and valor points, the end of PvP Season 15, as well as a new world event involving the Iron Horde invasion and a new level 90 version of Blackrock Spire.

Head over to the official site and take a look at the announcement, and get ready for the Iron Tide to roll in.

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

Blizzard's third Garrison preview shines a spotlight on followers

So we've seen parts 1 and 2 of the Garrison Preview, and now it's time for part 3, which should feature ewoks if my memory serves me. This time, however, instead of ewoks we get followers - they fulfill many of the same functions as ewoks but they're mostly less cute. Mostly. I think Lantresor of the Blade is adorable, myself.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have Leeroy Jenkins, Milhouse Manastorm or Archmage Vargoth as your companions and friends? Well, wonder no more! It's like pet battles, only with NPC's! You can collect as many followers as you like for your garrison, but there's a limit on how many you can have active at a time - think of it as a 'too many cooks' situation. Each follower has specific abilities that make them better or worse for specific missions (some have crowd control, for example) and some followers will even be your bodyguard, accompanying you on missions and protecting you as you (and they) level up.

For more details, please check out this third preview of the Garrison feature coming in Warlords of Draenor.

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

Do we need bigger friend lists?

This is a problem I hear about, but don't actually have, because I'm not a terribly friendly person. Try not to be shocked. But I do have some friends, and a lot of those friends are very friendly people (they'd kind of have to be to be my friends, I suppose) and they often complain that they're full up on friends. I'm not sure how one can possibly manage that many friends, but nevertheless there are folks who have completely used up all one hundred potential friends and want/need more. However, it seems they may have to wait a while. Bashiok had this to say on twitter:

This is one of those issues that makes me wonder. For one thing, the battle.net friends list actually extends past World of Warcraft - it has to be coded to work with Diablo III, Starcraft II, Hearthstone and soon Heroes of the Storm. That's a lot of different games with different code, and WoW is certainly the oldest of them. I can imagine the limits of the oldest game holding back the development. Still, for the friendly souls among us, I hope it gets solved soon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Diablo 3, StarCraft 2, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone Insider

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