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Filed under: News items

War Crimes novel release date details

So if you're wondering when War Crimes (the upcoming Christie Golden novel about post-Siege of Orgrimmar Garrosh Hellscream and his trial) will be released, we have the details straight from author Christie Golden's Twitter account.
So not only do you know that the book will be released on May 6th, but if you just can't wait that long, you can go to Denver to the StarFest convention and snag a copy there three days early. I'm not saying you have to do this, nor am I saying to get me a copy while you're there, but I wouldn't mind it, either.

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

Azeroth Choppers premieres first episode of new webseries

Episode 1 of Azeroth Choppers, the new webseries featuring Paul Jr. of American Chopper is now officially available. As the premiere epiosde in the series, it's a pretty good introduction to what we're going to see -- two unique bikes being built, one Alliance themed, one Horde themed. At some point, players will get to vote on which design they'd like to see officially placed in World of Warcraft. While the initial reaction from myself was a resounding "What," I have to say I'm pretty excited to see where the series is going to go. I like shows that highlight building things, or even restoring old antiques back to their original beauty.

That said, I wasn't expecting much from the premiere episode, and I got pretty much what I expected. First episodes are usually just an introduction to what we're going to see down the line -- and that's exactly what this is, an introduction. However, the episode did manage to surprise me with some shots of frames that had already been built. Honestly, I'm just wanting to see the actual production and construction itself -- which isn't something you can really just jump into point-blank in one short web episode. But hey, at least I'm looking forward to next week, right? Take a look at the full episode above, and hit the official website if you're wondering exactly what we're going to see out of Azeroth Choppers in the future.

Filed under: News items

Compare new and old female gnome model animations

Though we saw some brief previews at BlizzCon -- and detailed Artcraft posts on certain races since -- we're still waiting on the official unveil for many of the updated character models coming in Warlords of Draenor. But for those of us who can't stand to wait any longer, Wowhead's model viewer offers previews of female and male gnomes, female and male orcs, female and male dwarves, and male tauren.

But if you're particularly interested in gnomes, like I am, you'll be especially interested in this video preview of the updated female gnome model complete with animations and emotes. Compared side by side, the new animations -- especially the facial animations, which bring a lot of life and personality to the character -- are pretty stunning. Keep your eyes open for more videos from Wowhead -- and more Artcraft posts from Blizzard featuring the remaining races.

Filed under: News items

Legendary East strikes deal over Warcraft film distribution

Tauren and night elf
You're probably familiar with the Burbank-based company Legendary Entertainment, at least because they're the powerhouse behind the "Warcraft" film. Their affiliate, Legendary East, has recently announced that the largest film distributor in China, China Film Co., has made an eight-figure investment in two of Legendary's upcoming films--"Seventh Son" and, you guessed it, "Warcraft." If either film gets released in China, China Film Co. will be the one to distribute it.

This is an interesting development because until 2012 China capped the number of foreign films allowed into the country every year at 20. The current limit is 34. It does make sense that Chinese film distributors would be very interested in having the Warcraft movie be one of those 34 allowed films, because World of Warcraft is hugely popular in China. Legendary Entertainment currently lists the Warcraft movie as being scheduled for release on March 11th, 2016.

Filed under: News items, Warcraft Movie

Muffinus serves up Garrison details

Senior Game Designer Jeremy Feasel (he has an NPC named after him, the ultimate honor) has been answering questions on twitter about garrisons. Quite a few, in fact. Under his twitter handle of @Muffinus he dished out some pretty interesting details on what the current design for the feature is.
  • Garrisons are going to give you perks outside of them (we already knew about the faster mount speed perk, but others are being worked on).
  • Some perks, like a free resurrection, will not carry over into raids so as to keep them from becoming mandatory perks everyone has to get for their garrison. They want to keep customization as a draw and let players pick the perks they want.
  • You aren't hard gated by the initial quest that establishes the garrison - you can pursue the benefits and perks of the feature even if you decide to bypass it when leveling.
  • You will not have to stop doing something to run back and defend your garrison if/when it comes under attack. It's not a time-limited mechanic.
I'm pretty excited about garrisons, as they combine elements of player housing, RTS elements from the old Warcraft games, and new kinds of minigames. Should be interesting to get to see them in action.

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

Old models to remain available at low graphics

Over on the EU forums is an ongoing discussion of a type that usually comes about every expansion cycle: the question of whether or not your computer will need upgrades in order to run the new content. The short answer from CM Taepsilum is that, if you're happy with your computer's current performance in WoW, you're probably fine for Warlords of Draenor. So there's the answer to that.

However, fleetingly mentioned at the beginning of the post is the following interesting tidbit:
Taepsilum
Quote: Maideen

Since we are being blessed with new character models (Which can be disabled? Yes, no?)
Yes, if you set your graphics quality to Low.

This isn't something that's been explicitly clarified before now. There's been some talk that there would be a way to switch between the old and new models but we hadn't heard exactly how that would be done. It seems we now know: just set your graphics to "low" and it will enable the old player character models. If you've been nervous that your beloved main of many years might be changing irreversibly, hopefully this allows you to breathe a little easier. There'll be a way back!

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New info from PAX East

Elekks on Draenor
PAX East 2014 has come and gone, but we at WoW Insider have come away from the weekend with juicy new information to share with you about Warlords of Draenor. During the expo, I sat down for a chat with senior game designers Steve Burke and Brian Holinka, lead class designer Kris Zierhut, and other developers.

In our brief time together, they told me some exciting info about garrisons, raiding, transmog, and the expansion's starting experience. They also provided insight into what a boosted level 90 will experience after the expansion launches.

Please note that mild spoilers about the early story of Warlords of Draenor will follow. Join me after the break for all the new info!

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Interviews, Transmogrification, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard headed to PAX East this weekend

If you're heading to PAX East in Boston this weekend, you'll want to download the PAX guidebook app (for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry) and check out the schedule to make sure you don't miss anything. But con-goers, whatever their schedule, will be glad to know that Blizzard will out in full force at Booth #848. Lucky attendees will be able to check out demos of: There will also be Blizzard developers on hand, plenty of prizes given away, and a panel on Heroes of the Storm on Friday April 11 at 10:30 a.m. EDT. For everyone staying home this weekend, the panel will be streaming live on PAX's Twitch channel, so if you're itching for new Heroes info, be sure to check it out.

Filed under: News items

The Heartbleed bug and its effect (or lack thereof) on Battle.net

The Heartbleed bug, as it's been dubbed, is certainly hot news lately, with various sites being impacted and password reset advice abounding. But Blizzard has some good news: Battle.net was unaffected. However, the advice is to change your password if you used the same one elsewhere.

This is especially true if you're using the same email and password combination as you use for your Battle.net account on other sites. A big way that players get hacked, especially those without authenticators, is that their guild forums get hacked, or their email gets hacked, or their Facebook. Once those username and password combinations are known, it's possible for hackers to try them in various different places, one of which might be your Battle.net account. So be careful, mix up your passwords, and in light of these recent security issues, consider changing your passwords.

It's also a good idea, again as a general rule, to get into the habit of changing your passwords fairly regularly, for everything. So now might be a great time to start, even though Battle.net is unaffected by the recent issues. Hit the break for Blizzard's full post.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Account Security

Azeroth Choppers is a real thing that's happening

What?

That one word encompasses the length and breadth of the WoW Insider team's reaction to the newly announced Azeroth Choppers. World of Warcraft and American Choppers is not the kind of marketing cross-over we expected anytime soon, but when you really think about it, it isn't all that much of a shock considering Blizzard's Chris Metzen and Samwise Didier. And it isn't quite as weird as Mr. T and his obsession with mohawks.

Azeroth Chopper is a webseries/competition wherein custom chopper designs will be created for both the Horde and the Alliance by bike experts hand-chosen by the famous-to-some Paul Jr. Players will vote on which chopper becomes an in-game mount, which is an odd approach considering whichever faction loses the battle is likely to miss out completely. Perusing the Azeroth Chopper website, it appears the webseries will run for eight episodes, the first of which is debuting next week.

Personally, I'd have preferred an American Pickers crossover. I have a whole lot of World of Warcraft junk (or treasure, depending on the day) piled up in my office closet and I'm not very good at bartering. Prime target, I say.

Filed under: News items

Warlords of Draenor: Eight level 100 dungeons at ship

Warlords of Dreanor will ship with eight level 100 dungeons. These dungeons will be put into place in patch 6.0, which is currently in alpha testing at Blizzard. The clients that have been datamined are currently only showing six dungeons, however as Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas points out, this is incorrect. Alpha clients are not final products, so there's a lot missing.

The dungeons we know about are:

  • Bloodmaul Slag Mines
  • Blackrock Depot
  • Auchindoun
  • Arakkoa Spires
  • Shadowmoon Burial Grounds
  • Iron Barracks
  • Upper Blackrock Spire (updated to a new layout and heroic difficulty)
A lot of people got upset over only having six dungeons at release. It was said at BlizzCon that at least six dungeons would be added, and then when there was only six in the alpha client, it caused angst. It appears, as is often the case with datamining, that no one needed to get upset at all.

Ion also noted that 7 out of the 8 dungeons are new.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Beta Installer appears on Battle.net

WoW Insider was alerted to the presence of this installer on battle.net. It's apparently there for every account, even starter editions with no World of Warcraft license. Its presence should not, therefore, be taken as any indication of alpha invitations being sent out or access granted.

Nonetheless, the installer is downloadable, and runs, as can be seen below. It appears to be a 24.48GB download, so the CASC file system's smaller size will likely not be seen at the install stage.
This definitely is not a mis-labelled PTR, either, as it doesn't replace them on the game list in the launcher, and launching it from the desktop app gets you to a set of servers that just don't seem to work, so it looks like access is not set up just yet. Closing that window will put you back to the Warlords of Draenor alpha-style Dark Portal login screen. There is not access to the game at this point.
[Thanks for the tip, @Spazzo!]

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Last Week in WoW: Warlords of Draenor cometh

After a ten thousand year drought, Warlords of Draenor rains down upon us. While the alpha is not yet accessible for anyone besides those within Blizzard itself, copious Warlords news has surfaced. We've seen patch notes, interviews, and the myriad of things datamined from the client. This has been a wild week.

Most popular posts of the week Follow along as we catch up on the last week in WoW!

Read more →

Filed under: News items

Warlords of Draenor: Adriacraft hunts down new male tauren model

Our friends over at Adriacraft have been busy mining away at data from the Warlords of Draenor alpha, and discovered something interesting -- the new tauren male model. While we saw a brief glimpse of the model at BlizzCon, it was just a flat model, lacking expression or animation. The images from Adriacraft look to be from the character selection screen, and the model has its familiar stance and expression.

Adriacraft has other shots from the character selection screen as well, including both male and female dwarves, male and female gnomes, and the male orc model. A tweet from Senior Art Director Chris Robinson indicated that the tauren male and his animations will be featured in an upcoming edition of Artcraft -- so players wondering what the model looks like with some emotion on its face may not have to wait too long to see it. For more screenshots and images of the new models, take a look at our gallery.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Possible character undelete option?

We've all been there -- we needed another character slot. Or maybe we were just bored with the class. Deleting a character is one of those final decisions that occasionally leads to regret. While characters can sometimes be restored, it usually takes a ticket or a phone call to Blizzard to get the job done. Wowhead has been busy datamining the Alpha client, and discovered an interesting set of strings that suggest that particular service, much like the item restore service before it, may be put in player's hands come Warlords. The following strings were found:
  • UNDELETE_TOOLTIP_DISABLED:: Restore Deleted Character is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.
  • UNDELETE_SERVICE_TOOLTIP:: Restore this character
  • UNDELETE_FAILED_ERROR:: There was a problem restoring your deleted character. Please try again later.
  • UNDELETE_TOOLTIP:: Restore Deleted Character
  • UNDELETE_TOOLTIP_COOLDOWN:: You must wait before restoring another deleted character.
From the looks of the strings, the service will work similarly to the item restoration service -- in other words, it will likely have a cooldown period to prevent abuse. Keep in mind however that this is datamined information, and is in no way official -- we may never actually see it implemented when the expansion goes live. But hey, for now I'm going to look forward to the possibility that the paladin I viciously decided to cut might just make another appearance on my character list, some day.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

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