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Filed under: Horde

Survey: Figuring out the faction transfer numbers


I've been thinking about this ever since the faction changes went live: obviously, Blizzard will never actually release the numbers on how many server transfers or faction changes they do, just because they are notoriously guarded about the information they release, not least because riots are pretty easy to incite on the forums (imagine the reaction if Blizzard officially said that Alliance was the more popular faction). But I wonder nevertheless: how many players have transferred their characters over from one faction to another already? And lots of people seem to think that the vast majority of transfers are Alliance to Horde (not to mention I've heard many anecdotal stories of people flooding back to the Horde), but is that true?

Obviously, we don't have access to all of Blizzard's audience, and our polls are definitely much less scientific than the data Blizzard gets to look at (you better believe they're tracking transfers and faction and race choices with a close eye, just as they're tracking server populations 24/7), but just for the heck of it, we'll ask. After the break, we've got a few polls designed to give us a very general look at how transfers are playing out so far. There's a lot of anecdotal experiences flying around since transfers went live, but I'd like to know, a little more objectively, just how things are panning out.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Blizzard, Factions, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Worgen and Goblin starter zone maps


The great thing about playable demos are the tidbits of info and sneaky souls with cameras snapping things they shouldn't be snapping. Such was the case in the press room at BlizzCon this year, where cameras were prohibited from pointing their lenses towards computer screnes. However, it appears that Spanish fansite WoW Todo got around the floating press room attendants somehow, and posted maps of the new starting zones for Goblins and Worgens.

Both of the maps have a couple of unique touches. For example, both have images of their inhabitants on it. The Lost Isles map has a particularly ugly female Goblin in a bikini while Gilneas features a human in Victorian garb. The latter also has a couple of shredded bits as if a Worgen adventurer had used his or her claws when trying to read the map. The Goblin map features a scattering of indented gold coins at the corners, as if to hold it open. Both are awesome little touches that add that special bit of pizazz to the new zones.

But the maps do give us a proper glance at what we can expect from the two zones. Gilneas is dominated by Greymane Manor and the town of Duskhaven. Looking at it, I was expecting something a bit larger, but then you remember it is a starter zone. The Lost Isles is smaller still with an Alliance encampment to the North and an Orc settlement to the south, which explains their presence in the trailer.

We should note that the Gilneas map is only part of the Worgen starting zone. The city and the Greymane wall are due East of what's presented.

Check out the Goblin map and Worgen map over on WoW Todo.


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Comes The Cataclysm


Last week, The Care and Feeding of Warriors covered loot in a new five man not ten minutes before the doors were ripped off of our new expansion. As we promised, this week Matthew Rossi goes gaga over all the new Cataclysm information for warriors.

So yeah, we learned a lot last week. We learned that we'll have two new races to play (both of which can be warriors), with new racial abilities to consider. We learned that Blood Elves will finally remember how to pick up something pointy and jam the aforementioned pointy end into someone without first siphoning the Holy Light from a rock candy alien, putting poison on it, or dying first. Heck, they might even decide to use two really big pointy things! (They can also settle for crushy or choppy things.) We also learned that our gear is going to be radically changing (and frankly, anything that makes me less likely to have to fire up a freaking spreadsheet... and yes, I use the spreadsheet, you know we all do... to figure out my gear options makes me happy) and streamlining.

We also learned that a really big (no, bigger than that... seriously, he's huge) dragon with an extreme hate-on for everything that lives is going to rampage across the surface of Azeroth. Frankly, though, speaking as a warrior they don't pay me to understand the motives and reasoning of giant scaly things. My purpose is to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield until pointy/blunt/choppy things have been introduced repeatedly to said giant scaly things.

It's a good system, and I don't see any reason to stop now. So now, without further ado, let's dance with the Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Expansions, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

BlizzCon 2009: Goblin backstory and zone info


The DirecTV stream cut out for me after the opening ceremony, so it's possible there are a few things I'm missing; drop a comment if it looks like I've omitted anything. Anyway, here's what we know about the Goblins (the new Horde race) so far:

BACKSTORY


The playable race is a group of Goblins based on the Isle of Kezan, a new zone between the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. While Goblins and the neutral Goblin trade organizations as a whole originate here, the official site and trailer both hint that the playable group has had (or is that, will have?) a recent and deeply unpleasant encounter with the Alliance that makes the Horde a logical choice when the time comes to pick sides. From the trailer, it would appear that much of the Goblins' starting zone is taken up by the eponymous cataclysm, the need to get away from the destruction, and their induction into the Horde, but we don't have too many details on it yet.

The playable Goblins won't be formally associated with any of the neutral Goblin trading organizations we already know and love (figuratively speaking, of course; the Steamwheedle Cartel's been bilking us for years). There's also no mention so far of the other Goblins going anywhere, so I'm assuming that the game's preexisting Goblins will remain in the game in whatever capacity they can post-cataclysm, and the Horde Goblins are a faction unto themselves named the Bilgewater Cartel.

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Filed under: Horde, Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW Social Conventions, Expansions, Factions, Classes, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Goblin

Creative to unveil World of Warcraft headset at BlizzCon

Creative Labs posted a World of Warcraft-related teaser yesterday, and today WoW.com is proud to deliver an exclusive reveal: they're promoting a brand new product called the Sound Blaster World of Warcraft headset. This will be a state of the art gaming headset available in both wired and wireless versions, complete with all of Creative's high end gaming audio technology, including THX TruStudio PC Surround, which they say is the "most advanced 'virtual' 3D surround" on the market today. Creative's CMSS is already recognized by many as the best virtual surround sound in gaming, and THX TruStudio PC is supposed to sound even better. The headset also features Creative's VoiceFX technology (so you can disguise your voice with a few different effects), and they say the wireless version of the headset will feature an uncompressed signal that sounds terrific as well.

The headset itself is designed in coordination with Blizzard, and the ear cups (which are complete over-ear) actually feature lighted glyphs, available in Horde or Alliance flavors at launch (with other designs released eventually), and illuminated by programmable RGB LEDs. They have their own software interface, so you'll be able to choose from 16 million colors. Price isn't set just yet, but we'd expect it'll be in line with other high-end headsets, from $100 to $150 depending on what options you go with.

The headset releases in November, but Creative also sent us the pre-prototype render at right, and they've updated their teaser with a picture of the Alliance glyph. Creative tells us they'll have the headset on display at BlizzCon, so if you're there this weekend, stop by their booth and check it out. And be sure to stay tuned to WoW.com -- we're working on a way to give you the chance to win one of these for yourself.


BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there's some great looking costumes.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, BlizzCon, Hardware

Chinese Warcraft casemod is awesome


A few things about this Warcraft-flavored PC casemod, seen over on this Chinese website. First: it's awesome. Warcraft art is faithfully recreated, and as you can see, there's a nice Horde montage on one side, Alliance on the other, and the Dark Portal sitting right there in front. Second: it's probably pretty old -- most of that art is from the game's original release four years ago.

So it's probably not exactly the latest and greatest in Warcraft PC designs (though it might be a little later than the ghost train pirate art). But still, it looks great. And I definitely wouldn't mind wandering around Azeroth on that rather than my current gigantic black tower of a PC.

Update: Turns out the case is for sale. That is, if you want to spend $299 on a case.

[via Technabob]

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Orcs, Mage, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, NPCs, Galleries

Scattered Shots: So you want to be a Hunter - Part 1 Racials

Good day folks and welcome to Scattered Shots. The column that takes a good look at what it takes to be a Hunter in the World of Warcraft. I am Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from the Hunting Lodge. This week we'll be starting our "So you want to be a Hunter" class guide series.

I have to admit something, I'm a chronic leveler. I do it over and over. Yes, I know it's not the typical play style. Yes, I also know it's highly unorthodox. By now you are probably thinking, "Who in their right mind would want to be a chronic leveler?" That someone would be me.

See when I get bored, and the game starts to become a bit of a drag I can't help myself. It only becomes a matter of time till I feel the need to scratch an itch to start over. Yes, I know it's crazy. But you can look at it this way, at least I know how the game works for the beginning Hunter just as well as the raiding one.

Having done this a few times now, I thought it would idea to put this experience to some practical purpose. It seems to be a waste and not at least write up a Hunter guide for new Hunters. So I thought I'd create a new series of posts entitled, "So you want to be a Hunter."

Before we get started, I need to make sure we're all on the same page by setting some ground rules.
  1. This series is intended for the new player and/or a new Hunter.
  2. Since most new player won't have a rich uncle in game, nor does everyone use Recruit-A-Friend, I'll just focus on leveling up the old fashioned way.
  3. When discussing zone and levels, I'll only highlight some key quests along the way.
  4. Except for when we reach the "getting ready to raid" guide, all guides will focus on using a solo-leveling/grinding build.
So there, with some ground rules set. Let's get started on making you the best Hunter possible.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Night Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Draenei, Blood Elves, Leveling, Factions, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Blizzard to focus on battlegrounds more

Ghostcrawler has posted a little paragraph on the forums, reaffirming something we've already heard from Blizzard: that in the past, they've spent more time on Arenas to the detriment of battlegrounds, and that battlegrounds are going to be gaining a little more focus in the future. They've already started, actually, with the Isle of Conquest in 3.2, but GC says there's even more on the table, and that future plans will be revealed at BlizzCon.

He also brings up another good point, however: in terms of class balance, Arenas are a much more striking example of imbalances than battlegrounds are. Battlegrounds have all sorts of things going on, and so you don't get as good a picture of just how the different classes work with and against each other as you do in Arenas. And so, if you're a dev trying to figure out class balances, of course you'll spend more time looking at the Arena gameplay than the BGs. GC also says that the majority of issues in BGs tend to be map-based rather than class imbalances, which is really a whole other science. Not that BGs aren't relevant to how the classes work, just that there are many more variables in there than the relative vacuum chamber of Arenas.

All good points. I'm a fan of battlegrounds much more than Arenas, but I don't particularly feel that Blizzard has ignored them necessarily. The real problem, to my mind, with BGs is simply how faction imbalanced they are: it seems like on every realm in every given BG, one side always seems to have the upper hand, for whatever reason. Sometimes it's a population problem, sometimes it's a map issue. But GC is right: those problems are more pressing than class balance in the BGs.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Classes, Battlegrounds, Arena

Guildwatch: Just don't say "priceless"


We got quite a few good photoshopped victory pictures in the email after our suggestion that you send us some a few weeks ago, so you'll probably see a few of them here in the column over the next few weeks (assuming, that is, we don't get any hilarious chat logs that we need to show you). This one's from Tyranis, GM of The Arcane Council on Bloodhoof, who adds in some fun stuff to every screenshot his guild puts together. Go see more of them on their website.

More downed news, as well as drama and recruiting notices, in this week's Guildwatch, which starts below. If you have news to send in, please do: drop us a quick note (the more you can emulate the format of the news below, the better) at guildwatch@wow.com. Meanwhile, read on for this week's column.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

All the World's a Stage: Possibilities for worgen and goblins


All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one man in his time plays many roles.

Ever since word broke about the possibility of playing either a worgen or a goblin, I've been thinking a lot about how it would be to roleplay them. In terms of lore, each one fits in very nicely -- the goblins have the neutral city of Undermine not far from the great Maelstrom at the center of the world, and the worgen have lots of connections to other dimensions, possibly the Emerald Dream. Assuming the expansion is in fact going to be a combination of the Maelstrom and the Emerald Dream, each race could have a lot to do with why the Horde and the Alliance are eager to go and continue the adventure after Northrend.

Some others are talking about how and why these races would join either faction. The goblins seem a shoo-in for the Horde, since they've already got so many connections with one another above and beyond the ostensible neutrality the goblins maintain between the Horde and the Alliance. The worgen connection to the Alliance is a bit tougher to figure out, but there are two apparent possibilities: either the humans of Gilneas have become worgen and wish to rejoin their former brethren, or the original worgen from their own dimension somehow join up with the Alliance in order to fight off a shared enemy such as the Burning Legion or the "Nightmare" of the Emerald Dream.

Today we'll discuss both of these possibilities and stake my claim on which I think is more likely, and look at a number of the story hooks that worgen and goblins could create for roleplayers if and when we get the chance to play them.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying), Rumors, Cataclysm

Bruce Campbell and Metzen on the movie at Comic-Con

I have geeked out many times while writing for this site, but I think this is the geekiest geekout I've ever geeked out about: Bruce Campbell talking about World of Warcraft. He's hanging out at Comic-Con promoting Burn Notice (a series that I'm still watching, if only because of him), and IGN cornered him on the topic of his friend Sam Raimi's new movie, based on our very own Azeroth. Campbell says he has no idea what Raimi has in mind for the movie, and that he only just heard about the job when we did. But then he says something that will lift all of our geeky hearts: when it comes time for casting, Bruce says, "I'll get a call." And Raimi will say to him, "You play some schmuck. Some idiot guy. Some garbage man."

We can't think of too many garbagemen in Azeroth -- Topper Mcnabb, maybe? But the fact that Campbell knows about the movie and is ready to take a role is good enough for us. And he isn't the only person speculating on the part he might play: Chris Metzen brought up Campbell at Comic-Con and suggested he might play a CG-based character, like a goblin. That doesn't sound so awesome to us, though -- you've gotta let that world-famous mug shine through. It does seem a little unlikely that Campbell would play a really huge part, but a lot of people have brought up Varian Wrynn, and we can't really think of any part more fitting (plus, maybe that means the movie will focus on Horde instead of Alliance). Hail to the King, baby!

Keep an eye over on our sister site Massively for more Comic-Con coverage all this weekend, and if we hear any more about the movie, we'll be sure to let you know.

[via BlizzPlanet]

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Humor, NPCs

Gary Whitta worked on a Warcraft screenplay

You'll notice that I surreptitiously left the question of "screenwriter" out of the other day's Breakfast Topic. That's because, quite frankly, I have no idea who I want writing the Warcraft movie. The folks I really like in Hollywood are probably too quirky to write an epic movie like this, and the folks who usually write these epic movies are too lame to handle a world like Warcraft. In my mind, only someone like Metzen should wield the pen for this one, and even then, his strengths lie in creating universes, not dialog. So I have no idea.

But apparently there's already a screenplay being worked on: with the news that Sam Raimi is taking the helm, screenwriter Gary Whitta (who's written both for games and movies) says he'd been working with both Legendary and Blizzard on crafting a screenplay that included both the sprawling world and a story that would resonate with non-players. But he says that since Raimi took over, it's likely the whole thing will go in another direction, as "his own pretty specific vision of what he wanted to do story-wise." Whitta does say, however, that, from what he's heard, "Raimi is the best possible director for this." Sounds good to us.

It'll be quite a tightrope to walk: depending on what Legendary actually wants out of the film, they've got to make the story interesting and pressing enough that even non-WoW players will get into it without ruining and/or ignoring the reason why there are so many players in the first place: the lush and intriguing universe we've all enjoyed playing in. Anyone tasked with putting together a script that uses all of those blocks to build something great will have quite a job ahead of them.

[via Blue's News]

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs

Breakfast Topic: Pick a faction, any faction...


It's one of the first choices you make when you start to play: Alliance or Horde? Horde or Alliance? Orcs or Elves? From thence forward, your entire gaming experience is defined by this decision. So -- which way did you choose? Do you fight for the glory of the Alliance? Or for the honor of the Horde? And whatever you chose... why? Did a particular race appeal to you? Were you joining friends? Do tell!

What's your faction?
Alliance8267 (37.3%)
Horde9638 (43.5%)
A little of both3249 (14.7%)
Oh, who cares?990 (4.5%)

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Factions

Twinked-out NPCs in patch 3.2 thrill twinks

As expected, the twink enthusiasts over at TwinkInfo are supremely excited about that experience switch coming in patch 3.2 -- not only are they finally getting to stop XP gains on demand, but Blizzard has given them their own little easter egg in the game. We already knew the two NPCs with the switch for each faction were called Behsten in Stormwin and Slahtz in Orgrimmar (get it? "Best in slots?"), but now that the PTR is open, they've discovered something else: the NPCs themselves are twinked out with classic Rogue twink gear. From the Blackened Defias Chest to the Feet of the Lynx (and dual Assassin's Blades with Lifestealing), Blizzard went all out on these guys. As Drayner says, the only thing missing is a 'chanted Fishing Hat.

Not everybody is big on twinking -- lots of people think it's annoying to duck into the BGs for the first time and get rolled by an alt who's got a lot of money and time behind them. Fortunately, though, this XP change will not only legitimize twinking even more, but it'll get it out of our way as well, as players with XP turned off will only face other players with XP turned off (other twinks, essentially). Throw in that it's something twinks have been asking for a long time, and it's a win-win for everybody.
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, NPCs

Guildwatch: System error beep bop


We have no idea why Coridane is so against Warlocks getting made fun of in the game (he must not be a fan of our very own Warlock-hater, Christian Belt), but apparently it's serious -- serious enough for him to kick you from a raid. We do especially like that the need to assault downed Warlocks is actually a system error ("beep bop"): we would just have assumed that was normal protocol. It sure is in our raids.

More drama like this, along with downed and recruiting news, in this week's Guildwatch. If you have tips for us, feel free to send them in -- just drop us a note (please keep it short, sweet, and clear) at guildwatch@wow.com, and you might see it here next week.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch

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