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Filed under: Interviews

Player sweeps all three Stranglethorn Fishing winning spots in one day

Hunter sweeps all three Stranglethorn Fishing winning spots in one day
Relatively few WoW players will ever experience the alignment of timing and luck required to nab a win at the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza. Contestants vie for only three prize-winning places that award a handful of coveted items including unique fishing trinkets and baubles and an experience-boosting account-bound ring. The weekly tournament tests anglers' efficiency and resolve with a race to the turn-in in neutral Booty Bay. Particularly on a PvP realm, a win can be less about catching 40 Speckled Tastyfish than surviving the combat on the way to turn them in.

So it was a great surprise to everyone involved when early this summer, Nirad of The Underbog (US-PvP) snagged not only first place in the tourney but also second place and then third as well -- all in a single day. "The contest wasn't a ghost town event," Nirad says. "I was killed once and had to avoid seven or eight Horde. I fished around Yojamba Isle and Grom' gol Base Camp, as well as inland. I set my hearthstone to the inn and teleported in all three times. I stealthed to hand in the quests all three times, as there were 5 or 6 horde immediately around the NPC you hand in the quests to. Later I heard that a number of Horde were also at the entrance to the tunnel heading into the city to keep people from running in."

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

TradeChat interviews Dave Kosak

Panser of TradeChat has posted the video of her interview with WoW Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak about what's to come in patch 5.4. Covered topics include things to look forward to on the Timeless Isle, Wrathion's legendary quest line (including some discussion on the legendary cloaks themselves), the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, flex raiding, proving grounds, and the much-anticipated noodle cart scenario. You can watch it embedded above or head on over to TradeChat's Youtube channel to check it out there. September 10th is only two weeks away, folks!


Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard livestream today at 1:30 pm Pacific time with Legendary

Patch 5.4 is just around the corner and plenty of Blizzard developers are doing the rounds of interviews. Today, at 1:30 pm Pacific time, World of Warcraft's Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas and Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street are going to be on Gamebreaker's Legendary livestream. We'll be watching, so you should, too.

Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Tom Chilton talks mistakes and successes in WoW design

quest tracker in action
In case you hadn't heard, Gamescon is going on over in Germany, and Blizzard has a good chunk of representatives over there giving interviews, showing off Hearthstone, and talking about all kinds of stuff. If you're familiar with Blizzard interviews, one thing that becomes apparent over the years is the way they're willing to talk openly about design decisions that they consider to have been a mistake.

You may remember the furious storm in a teacup that accompanied the statement that the implementation of Arena PvP was, in retrospect, something they regretted. Well, over at PCGamesN they've got a similarly candid interview up with Lead Designer Tom Chilton about the limitations of questing, dailies, and secondary professions.

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Filed under: News items, Interviews

Micky Neilson, Doug Gregory discuss The Burdens of Shaohao

Micky Neilson, Doug Gregory discuss The Burdens of Shaohao
The Burdens of Shaohao, a six-part series released earlier this month, was met with resounding praise across the board from players and devoted lore fans alike. The sweeping tale of the last Emperor of Pandaria was unlike anything we'd ever seen before from Blizzard -- a stunning, gorgeous piece of animated, narrative storytelling featuring artwork by Laurel Austin. While we've seen narrative tales in the form of cinematic-style storytelling, this is the first time we've seen anything of this nature.

We sat down with Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson and the director of Shaohao, Doug Gregory to discuss the piece and how exactly it all came to be. While we were originally supposed to have lead editor Lucas Merino on board as well, he was unable to attend the interview as he and his wife received a special gift shortly after the release of Shaohao -- a healthy baby boy! Despite Lucas' absence, we had a delightful time discussing the film, its development, and the possibility of future projects in the unique style of Shaohao.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

All-pandaren guild rolls its chi into action

Allpandaren guild rolls into action
In today's Mists of Pandaria era, you'd think there would be a pandaren-themed guild on every street corner, especially on roleplay realms. Oddly, that's not the case. Is it that the pandaren haven't captured the imagination of players in the same way other races and classes have, or are players simply more pragmatically focused on personal playstyles and achievements?

Keeping the faith in this time of rugged individualism is Faithful of the Ways, an all-pandaren guild on Emerald Dream (US-Alliance). Coming together just recently, the guild has already fully leveled with players drawn by the idea of honoring the pandaren roots and lore. Support from the realms other RP guilds has helped Faithful of the Ways carry pandaren principles throughout the land.

"The Faithful is one of the few one-race roleplaying guilds on Emerald Dream," says Zhiang Liu, the group's GM. "There has been talk of a lack of open roleplay on the server, and the Faithful serve to counteract that 'hole,' if you would. While we are based in Pandaria, we are primarily roleplaying everywhere we go in Azeroth. We've been to the Blue Recluse, Ironforge, Dalaran. We've even roleplayed in the middle of a raid. It doesn't matter what we do or where we go -- we always seek to turn it into an epic adventure."

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Filed under: Interviews

Patch 5.4, flexible raids, dailies and more with Tom Chilton

Patch 5.4 is nearing completion, and soon we'll see the Siege of Orgrimmar and the fate of Garrosh Hellscream on live servers. But 5.4 has much more to offer than the raid itself -- we'll have plenty of other content to play through as well. Featuring new pets, new mounts, a new raid difficulty and much, much more, patch 5.4 is shaping up to be a substantial addition to an already massive expansion.

We had the opportunity to chat with Lead Game Designer Tom Chilton regarding all of the above, as well as plenty of other topics of contention in regards to both patch 5.4 and Mists of Pandaria as an expansion. Read on to hear what he had to say about Flexible raiding, the upcoming Connected Realms feature, the future of daily quests and the challenges of creating a raid out of a capital city.

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

World-ranked brawler shares secrets of Brawler's Guild success

Persistence pays for worldranked WoW brawler
How do you achieve a #2 world ranking in something without having any idea you're busting through every mark of achievement to set a blistering, world-record pace? You enjoy the process too much to even notice –- at least, that's how things went for champion brawler Lubricatèd of Eredar (US-Horde). The undead assassination rogue's rise to the top of the ranks was built not on a drive to set new records but on a burning desire to own a cool mount.

"I had been trying for the mount from Galleon basically since launch with no luck, so I saw reaching rank 10 as a way that I could earn the mount without having to deal with the low drop chance of Galleon's mount," he explains. "I was already rank 8 with all rare bosses down the afternoon that patch 5.3 went live, so I went directly into the arena and started queuing up for the new fights."

When the dust on the arena floor settled, Lubricatèd had nabbed himself not only that cool mount but also the number two slot in the world for the Brawler's Guild. We chatted with Lubricatèd about his winning strategies, what it was like to discover he'd torn up the charts, and his top tips for players new to the Brawler's Guild.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Twizzcast live interview with Ghostcrawler at 3:00 p.m. EDT

Watch live video from Twizzcast! on www.twitch.tv At 3:00 p.m. EDT today, August 12th, Twizzcast of BlizzPro will be holding a live interview on Twitch.tv with Blizzard Entertainment's Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street. The interview is scheduled to last about half an hour, and hopes to cover topics on patch 5.4 and the Mists of Pandaria expansion overall, as well as potential future developments in the game. We have it embedded above, but if you can't watch it live, make sure to check BlizzPro's homepage for a YouTube link later tonight.

Filed under: Podcasting, News items, Interviews

Valor-capping a realm's worth of 90s every single week

Altaholic valorcaps realmful of level 90s every single week
And you thought the guy with 50 level 85+ characters was crazy.

Last week, we met a player who's packed his entire account (five realms and 50 character slots, all told) with level 85+ characters. This week, we visit yet another plane of insanity: a player who's valor-capped every character on a realm (11 level 90 characters) in a single week -– more specifically, every single week, because Bluespartan of Lightbringer (US) has been valor-capping his entire crew like clockwork every week for the last four weeks in a row.

"Didn't really set out to do it, but with the changes to patch 5.3, it became viable despite working full time," he muses. "Under the pre-5.3 options for capping valor on the first toon, I would have run one heroic dungeon and one normal scenario for 80 + 50 valor. But now, a single heroic scenario gives about the same valor as both of those, plus better gear rewards."

Is this the dawning of the Age of the Altaholic? Maybe it's the fact that both of these altaholic players play characters named with forms of the word "blue." Or maybe it's just that Bluespartan is a college math teacher and enjoys figuring out a formula for success. Whatever it is, let's take a look inside the week of the player who just might be WoW's reigning King of Valor.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Player packs entire WoW account with level 85+ characters

Still Ticking Player works through a full account of level 85s
Ever wondered what it must be like to level every last character slot on your character select screen to the level cap? It's not unthinkable for players who enjoy devoting a lot of time and energy to the game, but it's not exactly a project most players have the mental stamina to grind through. Shiver in fear, then, as we bring you the story of a man who's leveled characters to 85+ not only for an entire realm or even two but in every possible slot of his WoW account. That's five realms: two with 11 characters, two with 10 characters, and one with eight, hitting the hard cap of 50 characters on a single account, all told.

And that's just the Cataclysm-era installment of this altaholic's leveling efforts. Bluemain of Darkspear (EU-Alliance) is still ticking along. That's right: This herd of 85s is still leveling. Since we began our interview process, Blue's replaced and scooted a couple of characters here and there, but they're all 85 again as of this week, and he's working on his 19th level 90 character.

Could this guy be the prototype for Insane in the Membrane?

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Ghostcrawler, potentially, details the future of WoW at Chinajoy [UPDATED]

Ghostcrab
There are some eyebrow-raising bits in a foreign Ghostcrawler interview, and we caution everyone that none of this has been confirmed with Blizzard (we reached out earlier today), and we have a feeling that a good deal of nuance may have been lost in translation. That being said, if the interview is correct, it gives us some fascinating hints as to the directions that Blizzard may be exploring for future WoW content.

Apparently Blizzard either was or has been considering the Naga as an addition to the playable races, though their lack of legs is a big hurdle to overcome for things like armor design. In terms of future plot, the interview seems to imply that following Mists of Pandaria we will be headed back into mainland Azeroth, and that further story lines involving the trolls, the Burning Legion, and the Emerald Dream are slated to "gradually develop". Now, we know that an Emerald Dream expansion is something that many fans have been hankering after for a good long time, so this kind of news would be very much welcome to hear. Here I feel compelled to state that again, there is no official confirmation for any of this. However, there is one bit about the lore that I feel relatively confident is accurate, and that's Ghostcrawler's assertion that the relationship and conflict between the mogu, the Old Gods, and the Titans will be revealed in patch 5.4.

Happy speculations, everyone!

Update 10:42 p.m. EDT: 2P, the Chinese gaming site, has updated their English translation of the article noting that Naga will not be the next playable race. They also modified the way in which the next areas of WoW's content were talked about; however the three big areas (Trolls, Burning Legion, and Emerald Dream) are still areas in which Ghostcrawler noted content can expand into.

Filed under: Interviews, Rumors, Mists of Pandaria

Collaring a new line of business thanks to World of Warcraft

Collaring a new line of business thanks to WoW
Here's a neat little story that'll get you thinking about how you'll spend your free time this weekend. Haven't you ever wondered what it would be like to do some of the things your character does in daily life in the game? The man behind Solles of Alleria (US-Alliance) did. He found himself wondering what it would be like to craft the utilitarian pieces Solles created while leatherworking. Being a practical sort of a man, he marched right out to investigate leatherworking in the real world –- and lo and behold, today he is the sole proprietor of Spoiled Dog Leather, where he creates custom leather dog collars.

The pride he pours into his WoW-inspired craft is evident: "Between working with pets and promoting the art of leather work, I could not be happier to make these hand crafted collars for you," he writes on his website. "At Spoiled Dog Leather we give you the ability to completely customize your collar so it matches you and your dog's style. Our collars are made to order using the best leather and hardware available to make these last a lifetime."

We visited with Solles to find out how he nudged leatherworking out of Azeroth and into his life as a sideline business to an already busy life in the Army.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Greg Street and Marco Koegler Korean Q&A on WoW and its future


Some very interesting things were revealed in this Q&A from Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street and WoW Technical Director Marco Koegler. The interview was conducted in Korea, so there's a bit of down time while translations are being made between interviewers and interviewees, but the hour-long video is worth watching for a few meaty tidbits. In particular, Ghostcrawler has essentially stated that Garrosh will not be replaced at the end of patch 5.4. Oh, his days as warchief will be over for sure, but the patch is intended to end with his defeat at the hands of the players. These actions will set in motion a chain of events which will lead to the new warchief's implementation--but not in patch 5.4. So it seems that the mystery of who will next lead the Horde draws on!

Other bits of information worth noting include the confirmation that patch 5.4 will be the final raid patch of Mists of Pandaria, which leads us here at WoW Insider to speculate on the timeline of the next expansion. Considering that traditionally new WoW expansions have been announced at Blizzcon--still a few months away--and given that the next warchief will not be revealed quite as soon as we expected, it seems reasonable to speculate that there might be a non-raid 5.5 patch in the works to take us through to 6.0. However, there is no mention of that in the Q&A and really, it's just idle speculation on my part. Still, I'm now more fascinated than ever to see what the future holds in store for us denizens of Azeroth! How about you?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

How do celebrity gamers keep the burden of fame off their backs?

How do celebrity gamers keep the burden of fame off their backs
When we interviewed Playboy's Miss October 2012 Pamela Horton last month, more than a few readers were aghast that we would print her character names and realm and her BattleTag, even though she clearly stated during the interview that she's happy to hear from and play with fans. "Do you think it wise to give out this poor girl's toon name?" wondered commenter lifecrits. "It can be used to find every single one of her characters on her account, and if she thought the male community in video games was bad before, wait until people harass her in Azeroth. I foresee an expensive name, faction, or server change for her in the near future."

"I hope that the members of the WoW community respect the trust she has placed in the gamer fan base by NOT hounding her and harassing her," worried commenter Aranyszin. "She took a bit of a risk revealing her 'online' persona; I'm sure she gets approached by fans, but remember people -- be respectful. Don't hide behind your anonymity and be a jerk."

Meanwhile, the feedback from Horton behind the scenes was all good –- which got us to wondering how other well-known people who play WoW and other online games handle in-game fan interaction. We checked in with Horton, Game of Thrones' Kristian "Hodor" Nairn, Olympic gold medalist Aries Merritt, pro football punter Chris Kluwe, America's Top Model winner Adrianne Curry, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Aron "Nog" Eisenberg to find out how they protect and enjoy their video game time when fans are clamoring to connect with them in game.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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