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Filed under: 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.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

BlizzCon 2014 Online Merchandise sale begins

BlizzCon's online merchandise sale is now open for business and selling a variety of cool new products. If you have purchased tickets for this year's BlizzCon, or a Virtual Ticket for the show, you may now check out and purchase several of the items that will be available at the convention this year through Blizzard's Gear Shop. The sale has a ton of new items from all of Blizzard's titles -- it's not everything we'll be seeing at BlizzCon, but there's still a wide selection of items to choose from, both brand-new items, and familiar favorites from BlizzCons past as well.

This year's items include several new t-shirts from Blizzard's titles, some new hats, and a special World of Warcraft 10 year anniversary messenger bag, which you can see in the image above. The new faerie dragon plush has also been made available, as well as two new posters -- one featuring art from Heroes of the Storm, the other a stunning image of Grommash Hellscream from the recently released animated series Lords of War.

To check out the items and order, you must have either purchased a Virtual Ticket for BlizzCon 2014, or tickets for the event in Anaheim. If you have purchased a Virtual Ticket, your account should already be flagged for the sale. If you have purchased physical tickets, you'll need to use the redemption code included in your ticket email in order to flag your account. Supplies are limited, so take a look at what's available and place your orders quickly.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Clarification on honor and upcoming PvP changes

Community Manager Lore has posted an update on honor changes that are coming to WoW, and more clarification on what's happening on what's happening at level 100 in PvP.

One thing to note is that Blizzard is clearly making strategic decisions regarding PvP, and there's a renewed interest in making it a more active part of the game. Their designers are quite active on social media and other outlets in making sure that the community's feedback is heard loud and clear.

Lore's full post is as follows:
Blizzard Entertainment
Okay, few updates and some more info:

At level 100, Skirmishes and Battlegrounds will award Strongboxes as the primary reward mechanic. You'll get some Honor from a win, but the contents of the Strongbox will be what you're really interested in. Those are obviously not available at level 90, which is why PvP gearing feels slow right now.

That said, we agree that 18 Honor is too low as a base value for a Skirmish win. We're going to bump that up to 36. That amount will still increase based on how long a match goes, starting at 45 honor past 1 minute and increasing from there. Again, keep in mind that we want shorter matches to give more Honor per time spent, so that players don't feel obligated to drag out Skirmishes for better rewards.

As to why it's not a higher number ("this gear won't matter in a few weeks"), there's a few key points to keep in mind. First off, there's the relationship between Skirmishes and Battlegrounds. Battlegrounds take longer and often have longer queues, which makes them a much larger personal investment to participate in. We want to make sure that extra personal investment feels worthwhile, so we're tuning Skirmish and Battleground rewards so that you earn slightly more Honor per time spent in a Battleground than you would in a Skirmish. If an average Battleground takes 15 minutes, and an average Skirmish only takes 2 or 3, the Battleground should reward significantly more Honor.

Also, keep in mind that there's no weekly cap on Honor gains. It's okay for a rated Arena match to reward 180 Conquest points, because after you get your 10 wins (or reach your catch-up cap), that's it for the week. You might earn Honor a little slower, but you could earn your entire Honor set in just a few days if you really wanted to.

Finally, we don't want to set unrealistic expectations for Warlords and level 100 PvP. We're okay with letting players gear a little bit faster right now in preparation for Warlords, but we don't want you to feel like you've had the rug pulled out from under you once the expansion launches and you start gearing at level 100. We want Skirmishes and Battlegrounds to feel rewarding in the interim period, but we don't want them to be some kind of loot piñata either.

Filed under: News items, PvP

Patch 6.0.2 hot fixes for October 16

Blizzard has released another round of hotfixes for patch 6.0.2. These fixes corrected a few of the more fun bugs, like procs on Shadowmourne and amazingly powerful old enchants. Highlights of this round include:
  • Shadowmourne's Chaos Bane effect was granting too much Strength. The amount of Strength granted has been reduced to a more appropriate amount.
  • Reduced the Bonus Armor on a number of items that had too much Armor.
  • Resolved an issue where item enchants from expansions prior to Mists of Pandaria were scaling incorrectly and wound up being stronger than intended.
  • Blackfuse Shredders now have 40% less health.
  • Desecrated Weapon and Empowered Desecrated Weapon now deal less damage on Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulty.

The full list of hotfixes after the break.

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Filed under: News items

Class guides updated for Warlords of Draenor and patch 6.0.2

Wondering what's up with your class in Warlords of Draenor and patch 6.0.2? Class guides on both Wowhead and Icy Veins have been updated with all of the class changes you'll find on live servers right now.

First up, Icy Veins has updated their popular class guides, including 6.0 transition guides. These are currently aimed at level 90 players, but you should look for them to be updated with level 100 talents and gear in the near future.

Next, Wowhead has updated their class guides for Warlords of Draenor at level 100. These guides are aimed at beginners or recently returned players, so if you've just leveled or boosted a new character you should definitely check them out. Each guide also has a section dealing specifically with patch 6.0.2 and any gearing changes you may want to consider at level 90.

You might recognize some of the Wowhead guide authors as former WoW Insider class columnists, including yours truly (hunter guide). You can find all of the updated guides right here.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.0.2 hotfixes for October 15

The second round of hotfixes for patch 6.0.2 are in, but some of these will require realm restarts to take effect. Some of the highlights include:
  • Resolved an issue where some Iron Horde Incursion quests were awarding items that had a level 100 requirement to equip or not awarding an item correctly.
  • To better account for the changes to player health and ability scaling, we've reduced the health and damage of nearly all non-player creatures and NPCs on a level-by-level basis (larger reductions for lower-level creatures, in general).
  • The damage dealt by several of Ordos's abilities has been reduced.
  • Heart of the Thunder King: Resolved an issue where players were not receiving Lei Shen's heart if they've already defeated them earlier in the week.
  • Garrosh Hellscream now has 15% less health on Mythic difficulty.
  • Resolved an issue where characters that have completed the achievement: Proving Yourself: Endless Damage (Wave 30) (Level 90) were not retaining their titles.
  • Resolved an issue where Battleground queues were not working correctly.
The full list of hotfixes is after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Lost on what's happening in WoW? Catch up here!

The lore of World of Warcraft can be a bit hard to keep up with, being as it's spread not only throughout the large (and growing) game world, but also in books, comics, and the original Warcraft games. And with Warlords of Draenor -- and yesterdays's patch 6.0.2 -- poised to shake up the story even more, you may want to take the time to figure out what's going on so you'll better understand the events to come.

So just how did we go from crash-landing on Pandaria to repelling a Blasted Lands invasion? To help answer that question, Blizzard has put together a nice walkthrough of the story of Mists of Pandaria with a glimpse of what we'll start to see with today's patch: Iron Tide Rising. And if you're still looking for more lore, there are also suggested novels to dive in to -- or you can check out our novels guide.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Patch 6.0.2: Blasted Lands quests now rewarding gear

If you completed the Iron Horde Incursion quests in Blasted Lands shortly after the patch went live on US servers, the only rewards you received were the Iron Starlette pet and the "of the Iron Vanguard" title. Now it appears these quests are rewarding some gear as well. More specifically, an item level 515 ring, amulet, and cloak plus a item level 520 trinket.

As of now, this is not listed in the official hotfixes but I would suspect these were last minute additions since they were never present on the PTR.

Level 90 boosted characters start right in the Blasted Lands in patch 6.0.2 and must complete these quests to unlock all of their abilities, so this gear likely aimed at them. The revamped Upper Blackrock Spire dungeon has an item level requirement of 510 and this will help those new characters reach the requirement. As for those of you who need this gear but already completed the quests, there's no word yet if it's going to be possible to reward it retroactively.

Update: Blizzard is aware of the problem and working on a fix for those of you who did the quests early and didn't receive any gear rewards, but there is no ETA at this time. Any fix they implement will be global, so there's no need to submit a support ticket.

Filed under: 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

Patch 6.0.2: How to queue for UBRS at 90

Players are of course salivating at the idea of exploring the first new content we've seen in World of Warcraft since Patch 5.4 dropped well over a year ago. That being said, it's worth remembering that there are always issues on patch day of a big new patch like 6.0.2, and also that this particular dungeon is a special case - it's a dungeon that will ultimately be for level 100 players, and we're getting a taste of it now at level 90. So it's worth keeping the following in mind.
So remember, when you're trying to run UBRS when the servers come back up, please keep these two facts in mind, as it will make your experience more pleasant. And also remember, this is new content tuned for ilevel 510 and up - if you've been steamrolling Mists of Pandaria dungeons for a while, those were tuned for much lower gear requirements. Maybe slow your roll a tiny bit until you get the feel of the place.

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

'Twas the night before patch 6.0.2

I'm excited. Patch 6.0.2 is going live in a matter of hours. My dwarf is going to look handsomer than ever, I'll finally have inventory space, and I'm going to tame the ugly but lovable Chimaeron as my very own pet. If for some reason you were thinking about skipping this patch and waiting until Warlords launch, you should know that the "of the Iron Vanguard" title will be unobtainable after launch. It is rewarded for completing the Blasted Lands series of quests, which should be offered to you when you first log in. In addition, you'll also receive an Iron Starlette battle pet.

The official patch notes should be up soon, but in the meantime you can take a look at the latest PTR notes.

It's a big patch with lots to download and a lot of data shuffling on your hard drive. Araxom from Blizzard has some tips to make the patching process as smooth as possible.
  • Make sure your launcher is set to automatically download future patch data (you can find this under Settings then Game Install/Update) so that you don't have to wait for the entire download tomorrow.
  • Leave your launcher open overnight or open it before heading to work/school in the morning. The patching process should happen automatically while it's open.
  • Defrag your hard drive. The game is being switched to a new file system called CASC. All you really need to know is that the patch is converting game data to the new system and it can be a time consuming process. A defragged hard drive will finish the conversion faster. Don't bother with this if you have WoW installed on a solid state drive.
  • Blizzard has a patch and installation troubleshooting guide if you run into any problems.
And last but not least, don't forget your addons will all be out of date! You may want to get on that and save yourself some time tomorrow.

Filed under: News items

Reminder: Character names being freed up tomorrow

Tomorrow with the release of patch 6.0.2, Blizzard will be freeing up unused and abandoned character names. Any character that has not be logged in since November 13, 2008 will automatically have their name freed up. If you have any characters you've let idle for that long, today is your last chance to log in with that character before someone else can claim the name.

Tomorrow will also be an opportunity to try and claim some new names for yourself. I'm sure there's many desirable names out there just waiting to be claimed. If you can't find the name you want listed on the armory, I'd say it's worth a shot. The announcement from Blizzard can be found here.

Filed under: News items

Characters of Warcraft updates with Blackhand

Yesterday's comic reveal also brought about a new addition to the Characters of Warcraft section of the official website. Blackhand, Warlord of the Blackrock clan has gotten his own entry on the mini-encyclopedia, along with a full size wallpaper with art by Alex Horley. In our version of history, Blackhand's story is fairly different than what we'll be seeing on Draenor. He was appointed the first Warchief of the Old Horde, and later killed and replaced by his second-in-command, Orgrim Doomhammer. Powerful, yes, but also very much the pawn of Gul'dan.

On Draenor, Blackhand is not the leader of the Iron Horde -- but he was the first to join with Grommash Hellscream, and immediately set to work creating armor and powerful weaponry for the Iron Horde's armies. He might not be the appointed leader we remember, but he's certainly a force to be reckoned with in his own right. You can take a look at the full entry for more information on Blackhand, and while you're there, pick up the wallpaper and download the new comic as well.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

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

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