Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Filed under: BlizzCon

Warlords of Draenor's Trial of the Gladiator

Warlords of Draenor is bringing some big changes to many parts of the game and PvP is no exception. Not only are there various long-overdue UI changes coming in, but we're also going to be seeing a whole new PvP island zone, a new system of measuring battleground performance and a new arena ladder: Trial of the Gladiator. Of these, the biggest change, the biggest thing people are worried about is certainly the Trial of the Gladiator system. So, let's dispel some myths about that.
Lore
I don't know where this idea came from, but just to clear things up, we have no plans to remove the current Arena ladder.

World of Warcraft Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka was also very clear on the BlizzCon Global Invitationals stream, on the virtual ticket videos, at 8:43:28 on the second video of the first day's play, that the existing ladder wasn't changing. The Trial of the Gladiator is going to be a completely new system on top of what currently exists.

Trial of the Gladiator: What is it, and why?

Trial of the Gladiator is, on a very basic level, a system that allows players to gain rating and ladder position at specific times through the week. So, for example, if you want to gain rating and try for a title this season, you'd want to be playing at these times. They might be Saturday at 10am, maybe also Wednesday at 6pm, Monday at 8pm, Tuesday at 4pm, and so on.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, BlizzCon, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Breakfast Topic: Should there be a BlizzCon next year?

BlizzCon main stage
So, I heard that some convention or other happened earlier this month, and apparently it was kind of a big deal or some junk.

Oh, whoa, look at that: It was a big deal! More than 20,000 people attended the two-day affair, and many thousands more no doubt bought virtual tickets. We learned about a new WoW expansion, an upcoming Diablo expansion, an online card game, an upcoming movie -- heck, we even learned about an entirely new game based around cooperative team PvP. There were contests, tournaments, live bands and a guy in a red shirt. Wowhead and WoW Insider threw a party, and oh my dear lord so many people came.

Was it all worth it? Undoubtedly. The amount of excitement, community buzz and media coverage coming out of this conference was absolutely incredible, and it was a transformative moment in Blizzard history.

But is it worth doing again next year?

Making BlizzCon happen takes an absolutely stunning amount of time, energy, money and resources. In the weeks -- no, months -- leading up to it, people up and down the Blizzard company ladder have to stop what they're doing in order to prepare for the convention and then make it all happen. Designers, developers, artists, community managers, you name it: Their work becomes increasingly consumed by BlizzCon, which means it becomes increasingly not consumed by, you know, their actual regular jobs making and managing the games we so deeply love to play (and complain about).

In 2012, the awareness of how much work they had to do on their games, and their desire to meet the demands of their players (and perhaps their shareholders and corporate boardmembers, too), led Blizzard's top brass to cancel BlizzCon entirely. If they hadn't, it's very likely Mists of Pandaria would have been released many weeks, even months, later than it was.

So. Given how much BlizzCon takes away from Blizzard employees' regular duties, which would you rather see: Another convention next year, or a potentially faster release schedule for new games, expansions and features? What if BlizzCon always occurred just once every two years, but lasted for three or four days instead of two?

Or is there some other kind of happy medium? (Besides cloning the entire Blizzard company directory.)

Should there be a BlizzCon in 2014?
Yes! Bring on the BlizzCon!2989 (49.9%)
Nah, let's skip a year and bring it back in 2015.2821 (47.1%)
I've got a better idea entirely, and I'm gonna post a comment about it, just you wait and see.185 (3.1%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, BlizzCon

Why Heroes of the Storm is the MOBA for me

First and foremost, if that trailer from CarBot didn't even crack a smile, you have a heart of stone. This trailer, or tribute as CarBot calls it, was shown at BlizzCon to introduce gamers to Blizzard's newest offering: Heroes of the Storm. Anyone who's been keeping an eye on my Twitter will know that I was almost as excited about Heroes of the Storm as I was about Warlords of Draenor, so I took the earliest opportunity to go and play it. And then two subsequent opportunities to go back and play it again.

I've played a fair bit of League of Legends, and more recently quite a bit of SMITE, and I enjoy both games, and the MOBA genre as a whole. Blizzard is, I should mention, apparently keen to get away from calling this a MOBA, and move towards the idea of a "Hero Brawler". There are several important differences between the mechanics of Heroes compared to League, particularly, which I really think are fantastic shifts away from a bloated system.

Talents over Item Shop

Now I will not pretend for a second that I am a pro League of Legends player. Heck, I'm probably not even a good one. I got into LoL very late, very late indeed, and there are a couple of elements that have stood in my way as a newer player. The item shop is definitely one of those elements. Even since the introduction of the Shopping List system, and with the Recommended Items list, it's confusing when you're just getting started. Working out what you need and knowing what's good are second nature to a seasoned player, but tricky to a beginner.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, BlizzCon, Heroes of the Storm

Warlords of Draenor and the draenei

Okay, let's just put our cards on the table. The only thing I want to do with orcs in Warlords of Draenor is kill them. Bring on the Iron Horde for me to stomp on. I will eventually level my Horde characters, sure. But I'm not particularly interested in the Frostwolves and how the Horde is going to relate to them and the Horde's search for an identity somewhere between murderous lunatics and Thrall's happy fun-time frolic friends - it's certainly not a bad hook for a Horde storyline. But I don't care about it. We've had a lot of the Horde and their civil war and their struggle to stay united under Hellscream. It was often very interesting stuff - I very much liked the Dominance Offensive quests - and I'm glad we got to see it. Mists of Pandaria ended up being a very dark expansion in a lot of ways, with themes of personal responsibility and how good intentions can go bad, missed opportunities and the fog of war, and I thought that the Siege of Orgrimmar made a lot of sense.

I wasn't one of the Alliance players who was upset about the Horde rebels having a role in SoO. I don't feel like it diminished the Alliance story any to show us working alongside them, I wasn't bothered by seeing Varian's actions at the end of the raid. I thought it was all good and proper.

But frankly, I'm done with the Horde's problems. I play Alliance. I want to see Alliance stories. Horde players should have their stories, too, I'm not saying they shouldn't -- more power to y'all solving that whole issue of inheriting a legacy of murderous psychopathic lunacy from the Old Horde, that's gotta be rough for you -- but I am done. Because Warlords of Draenor has promised me the one thing I've wanted to see since Burning Crusade itself failed to deliver it, and that's draenei. Draenei cities, as they appeared at their height. Draenei culture, not the ruined remnants of it. The draenei we saw in BC were the ragged remnants cast adrift on Azeroth, survivors of a near total extermination. They were the embattled refugees desperately seeking a place to rebuild. I fell in love with them in no small part due to their tenacity and willingness to keep going, but I've always wondered what they were really like before the horrors Ner'zhul and later Gul'dan unleashed upon them at Kil'jaeden's behest. And at last, I'm going to get to find out.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, BlizzCon, Mists of Pandaria

Can't get enough of BlizzCon? Check out the post-BlizzCon swag sale!

If you've spent the week lonesome for more BlizzCon excitement, then some shopping in the BlizzCon store may be just the thing. This is the same loot that was available in the store for virtual ticket holders and on sale at BlizzCon itself -- plus some extras from BlizzCons past -- but if you missed anything, you can now pick it up online even if you don't have a virtual ticket. Unfortunately, some things are sold out -- like Hearthstone tshirts and mugs -- but there's plenty of loot to go around, like Warlords of Draenor tees, the Lil' Chen plushie, and the epic purple lanyard.

So if you still have cash to spare after BlizzCon, there's shopping to be done! If there's anything you want, you should act fast, because supplies are limited.

Filed under: BlizzCon

7 things casual players need to know about Warlords of Draenor

The dust has finally settled from the BlizzCon newstravaganza, which means it's time for us more casual players to figure out just what's going on with World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Here's the basics:
  • Where's the expansion set? Draenor, before it became Outland. Yep, we're heading back in time for this expansion.
  • What's the new level cap? 100. But don't panic if you haven't even reached the Mists level cap yet, because Blizzard is going to boost one of your characters to level 90 so you can play in Draenor.
  • What can I do in Draenor? In addition to the standard leveling, questing, dungeoning, and raiding, the expansion will have garrisons for you to build. Think of them as a seriously amped up version of the farms in Mists, letting build your own in-game city.
  • What new classes or races are coming? None -- however, all of the current classes are getting new models. It may not sound like much, but it makes the original WoW races look brand new.
  • When will I be able to play? We don't know yet. But as with most Blizzard games, we suspect it will be out "when it's ready."

So that's what the next expansion has in store for us. But there are some upcoming gameplay changes that will definitely help low-level or more casual players find their footing and get through the game -- if that means you, read on for 7 things you'll want to know about the next expansion.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Rookie, BlizzCon

Warlords of Draenor and the absence of Aggra

Let me tell you a little about my sister. My sister is married, in her thirties, and has four children -- all boys -- ranging from four to sixteen. Her house is a wild cacophony of boys being boys and the calls of various animals that she's acquired. It's a mini-farm, if you will, full of chickens, goats, pigs, dogs, cats, a couple of snakes, and possibly a species or two that I've missed. In addition to raising four boys with her husband, she also owns her own business. She runs her own grooming company here in town, and is both the sole employee and owner, successful enough that she's usually booked for at least a month out, if not more.

In addition to that, she runs two Renaissance festivals a year, hauls her family to regular camp-outs with the faire crew, regularly plays D&D with the gang, and knows how to shoot a longbow and a black powder rifle (and is a pretty good shot with both of them), along with cannons and trebuchets. She's a dab hand at cooking at home and over a campfire out in the wild, knows how to kill, gut and butcher just about anything, and how to tan and stretch a hide. On top of all that, I've heard she's a marvel at breaking up fights, reading bedtime stories, wiping tears from faces, kissing boo-boo's away, and snuggling in the mornings when little ones are sleepy and grumpy about getting up for school.

And god help anyone that comes between her and her family.

I'm telling you this story not to brag about my sister, although I love her very dearly, but to make a point that seems to have been sorely missed somewhere in the story of Warcraft. My sister isn't just a wife and mother. She's a warrior. She's a fighter. She's a spark of ferocity that will not be quenched. Where is her counterpart in Warcraft? That's a really good question.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon

The Light and How to Swing It: Paladining at BlizzCon

The Light and How to Swing It Paladining at BlizzCon

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Wow, what a weekend. Not only was the convention a lot of fun but it was great to meet fellow paladins and non-paladins alike. Most of my time was spent meeting people, watching panels, and playing demos. Amidst the chaos I didn't allocate much time to mulling things over, how the proposed changes in Warlords of Draenor would affect how I, and so many other ret paladins, approach the game, so now that I've had a decent night's sleep and my liver is mostly alcohol-free, I'm spending my day off in blessedly quiet reflection.

We didn't see much of any class discussion this year, and unless I missed an entire panel there wasn't a single paladin-related question throughout the entire convention. There are some big questions that it would be nice to have answered, like the permanency of holy power, the relative weights of our stats, the deletion of the warlock class, etc. We did get a few overall changes, changes that will affect ret in turn, so let's see how some of these could impact our day-to-day facesmashing in Warlords of Draenor.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, BlizzCon, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

BlizzCon 2013 Guide


Listed below is all of the live blogs, interviews, news posts, and galleries from the two days of BlizzCon 2013 -- that's over 20,000 words and thousands of pictures. As new things come in we'll update this guide.

Expect lots more about Warlords of Draenor in the coming weeks and months!

Live Blogs Warlords of Draenor News Other News and Views Galleries







Read more →

Filed under: BlizzCon

Conan O'Brien takes over Arena casting at BlizzCon

We're all used to some serious names taking the commentator's seat for the Arena Global Invitational at BlizzCon, but this year a first-round series between Skill-Capped and Flash Wolves got a special treat from the world's best gamer, Conan O'Brien. Conan took his Clueless Games segment to BlizzCon and joined Adam "Hoodrych" Brown and Jared "VHell" Coulston to lend some gravitas and real gaming knowledge to the commentary.

The full 25-minute version you see above will no doubt be condensed down into something far shorter for the show itself, as on watching it I certainly found the whole thing rather stilted and awkward, but there are some funny moments tucked away in there which will no doubt make for great TV. It's also possible that I'm just not used to Conan's comedy style. But I certainly cracked a smile at certain points, especially where he was grabbing the more knowledgeable casters' tidbits on, for example, gateway usage, and accidentally saying just the right thing! Oh and paladin healers? Conan says to make sure you use your potions.

Filed under: PvP, BlizzCon, Worldwide Invitational

The Queue: Doomed Planet. Last Son.

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 is all sorts of nerding out right now.

So I got the Man of Steel box set cause my wife is awesome and I've been watching and rewatching it. I know a lot of people hated it, and I even understand why some of them did, but for me there was a lot I really liked. I though Cavill did an excellent job as a young, inexperienced Clark trying to figure out who he is and what he wants to be, and the Krypton in the movie is fantastic in my opinion - it comes the closest to capturing the strange alien beasts and geography the planet developed in its ever expanding mythology. And the fight scenes are amazing. Okay, so Metropolis should be a crater, and that does still bug me - how the heck did they rebuild the Daily Planet that fast? Then again, the end of Avengers is pretty freaking bad in terms of destroyed buildings in the middle of the day in New York City, so I guess we just ignore that kind of thing now.

I still love the "You think SMASH you can threaten SMASH my mother SMASH SMASH!" sequence.

Anyway, onto The Queue.

Jasonfelliot asks:

Will an insta-90 have appropriate-level professions? If it's done the DK way, it will be very unfriendly to the "new players" who want to play with their friends.

"Here's your new 90, now go spend hours grinding your professions in low level zones you've never experienced so you can keep up with your friends."


Having just leveled a character to 89 (she'll make 90 today or tomorrow, depending on my time to do so) I can say that the improvements they made in Pandaria allowing you to skill up gathering professions on Pandaria nodes need to be moved to Draenor, and I expect they will be. It was also mentioned at BlizzCon that they want to move catch up mechanics like they did for cooking out to other professions as well. So I expect that they're aware of this issue, and will have something in place to deal with it. I don't have specifics for you though.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, BlizzCon, The Queue

Mythic Raiding: Why 20-man?

Mythic Raiding
Mythic raiding in Warlords of Draenor won't be the first time we've seen this particular raid size. Both vanilla Zul'Gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj were 20-man raids. It also won't be the first time guilds were fractured by raid size changes, such as the vanilla to BC transition. Heroic raiders in both 10-man and 25-man guilds are wondering why neither of them was chosen to be the official raid size going forward. Why do both raid sizes need to have their teams disrupted?

Community Manager Lore chimed in on the forums to explain why Blizzard chose 20 as the magic number. Essentially, the problem with the 10-man raid size is they can't reasonably guarantee you will have a specific class to handle a unique mechanic. This isn't a problem in 25-man, but when you are trying to make both raid sizes equal in difficulty you cannot design mechanics which only work in 25-man.

Read more →

Filed under: Raiding, BlizzCon

Blizzcon 2013: Classic Warcraft games may be coming to a PC near you

Q & A question
During Saturday's BlizzCon panel "World of Warcraft Q & A About Almost Everything" an astute goblin-lady cosplayer posed the panelists a question: considering that the upcoming expansion is all about the past, would Blizzard ever consider re-releasing the old Warcraft RTS games for modern computer systems?

The answer, surprisingly, is yes! Production Director J. Allen Brack revealed that there does exist a small team of people at Blizzard who are working on making just that very thing a reality. Folks at Blizzard are, rightfully, proud of the accomplishments of those games and fans of those older games themselves, and they would love to see them given new life. Personally I think it would be great to have the option to replay those games on a newer system -- I can't help but think of how much I'e enjoyed redone versions of The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge on Steam. While it might end up being more work than Blizzard has time for, it would be fantastic to see their earlier titles get a similar treatment. What about you? Would you like to see the original Warcraft RTS games on your modern PCs?

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Warlords of Draenor interview with Senior Game Producer Ray Cobo

Warlords of Draenor interview with Ray Cobo
Over the hectic BlizzCon weekend, I had the pleasure of sitting down with World of Warcraft Senior Game Producer Ray Cobo. Ray oversees various aspects of game design, with a specific focus on the art and design elements of WoW.

WoW Insider: So, the character models we've seen so far look amazing, the dwarves, gnomes, the orcs and draenei, what else are we expecting to see at the launch of the expansion?

Ray Cobo: Well, we're also going to have gnomes, we're also going to have undead, I think we're working on everything we can up to launch. Our hope is to be able to get them all out at the same time, and that includes trolls, that includes draenei. But it comes down to, you know, we only have so many hands in the fire, so we will just have to see what we can do.

So are you able to say anything about the ones that are furthest from completion? The ones that we're least likely to see at launch?

Well, of course the ones that we've seen at the con are the ones that are furthest along, we feel they're kind of representative of the kind of direction we want to go there, and we feel really good about them as a set.

Read more →

Filed under: Interviews, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2013: World of Warcraft Adventure Continues Q&A

The World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues panel during Friday's action-packed BlizzCon featured Lead Narrative Designer Dave Kosak giving a short presentation on the story behind the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Along with the history lesson, which was summed up by Matthew Rossi, the panel also featured a brief Q&A session that wasn't advertised in the program, but proved to be a pretty good list of questions and answers about the new expansion and what we can expect to see.

Along with some clarifications on whether or not this is a time travel expansion (it isn't), there are also a few new lore reveals regarding the next expansion, and some tasty tidbits of odds and ends that have yet to be addressed. Read on for the full list of questions -- some of the answers may surprise you.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, BlizzCon

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

Mists of Pandaria Screenshots And Concept Art
Mists of Pandaria Screenshots of the Day
Kalimdor in Minecraft
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2012
It came from the Blog: Caroling Carnage
It came from the Blog: Hallow's End 2011
It came from the Blog: Pilgrim's Bounty 2011
Mat's Birthday Wish
WoW Tier 13 Armor Sets

 

Categories