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Filed under: News items

The making of Grommash Hellscream

If you've ever been to BlizzCon, you're probably familiar with the super-detailed character statues that adorn the show floor, including Illidan, Tyrael, Jim Raynor, and Kerrigan. This year, a new statue joined the ranks, welcoming con-goers on to the show floor: Grommash Hellscream. Towering over spectators, with one foot resting on Mannoroth's still-smoking head, this larger-than-life orc was more than a little threatening -- with much more of an intimidation factor than anything we'd seen before.

However, Grommash is somewhat less threatening when you see him in pieces in the video above, which explores how the statue was created, from the tiny maquette model to the full-sized sculpt we saw at BlizzCon. Interested in going behind the scenes to see just how this vision of Grommash came to life? Watch and learn.

Filed under: News items

Select pets and mounts 50% off until January 5th

Well, it's Christmas (or Winter Veil if you're Azerothian) and it seems like Blizzard's taking the opportunity to hook into your last minute gift buying impulse with this holiday sale. Selected mounts and pets (you can see which by looking at this page) are available for half price. And worry not, European players, you haven't been left out. So yay for everyone who can finally snag that pet or mount they wanted, whether as a gift or just buying it for yourself.

I'm considering finally getting that Enchanted Fey Dragon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat

The WoW Insider Weekly Recap is back again this week to discuss all of the hottest news of the past week. This week's topics include: If you enjoyed the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave a comment, and come back next week for the next episode!

Filed under: News items

Hearthstone now available for Android

Android fans rejoice, for today Blizzard's super-addictive digital card game, Hearthstone, is available for Android tablets. Sure, it's been out on PC and iOS for a while, but it's a newcomer amongst the Android ranks -- and since it's a game that's really designed for the touchscreen experience, that's definitely a tough fact for Android owners to cope with.

The rollout of Hearthstone for Android has already begun, with the game currently available for free on Google Play for players in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Gamers in other regions still have a bit of time to wait, but Blizzard promises that Hearthstone for Android will be available worldwide in the coming days (including on the Amazon Appstore for Kindle Fire owners). Android players will get to enjoy all of the content the game features elsewhere, including Curse of Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes. Anyone playing a match on Android will also get a free pack of classic cards -- so there's no reason to wait!

Unfortunately, not all Android tablets will be supported: you'll need a tablet with at least a 6" screen and 1GB of RAM that runs Android 4.0 or higher. Check out the system requirements for full details.

Filed under: News items, Hearthstone Insider

Paragon scores world first mythic Highmaul clear

Paragon scored the world first clear of mythic Highmaul this weekend. Method, the first to slay 6 out of 7 Highmaul bosses, was anticipated to finish first, but Paragon came from behind to win the day. Congratulations to Paragon!

Hopefully this means their raid team will be able to take a break for the holidays -- assuming the pursuit of mythic gear doesn't override their celebrations. Blackrock Foundry isn't slated to open until early 2015.

Filed under: News items

Recruit garrison kitty Goldmane as a follower

He may not be the best-dressed or most literate garrison follower you'll ever have, but Goldmane has one thing going for him, and it's right in his name. Goldmane the Skinner is a level 100 follower with the Skinning trait, allowing him to work at your garrison Barn and increase work order production. Available to both Alliance and Horde, Goldmane is pretty easy to pick up -- he just requires a short trip out to the southern coast of Nagrand.

Head to Ironfist Harbor on the southwest shores of Nagrand and you'll come across a base for the Iron Horde that also includes a bonus mission, if you feel up to the challenge of killing a lot of orcs. If not, look around for the tallest tower in the base -- your objective is at the top. Fight your way up the tower, and you'll see two things of note: One very angry kitty locked away in a cage, and an orc by the name of Bolkar the Cruel, who is gloating over his latest captive.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Grimoire of the Four Winds offers BoA Pandaria flying for alts

There may not be any flying on Draenor, but if you have alts that you haven't boosted to 90 and still need to take through Pandaria, you might be wondering how they can learn flying early. Bind-on-account flying manuals have been in place since Wrath of the Lich King, and although it appeared at first that there were no manuals present for Mists of Pandaria -- or at least the flight vendor out at each faction's respective shrines didn't seem to be selling anything along those lines. However, there is in fact a Grimoire of the Four Winds available -- it just requires a little hike and a possible bidding war to acquire.

The Grimoire of the Four Winds is only sold at the Black Market Auction House, which has been relocated from its old home in the Veiled Stair to the Ring of Blood in Nagrand. The approach to the Ring of Blood, located at roughly 53,14 if you have coordinates available in your game, is crawling with level 100 mobs. However, once you get to the Ring of Blood itself, all guards are neutral. Madame Goya is in a small building at the back of the Ring, and offers much the same items as usual -- raiding gear, transmog gear, and of course, the Grimoire of the Four Winds. While bidding starts at 1,000 gold, be aware that this is of course an auction house, and you might find yourself outbid.

Reports on Wowhead suggest that either the tooltip or the manual itself is bugged for the moment -- players that have successfully bought the tome and tried to use it receive a message that the item cannot be used until level 90. It's likely we'll see this hotfixed or addressed in the future -- after all, if you're level 90, you're going to be on Draenor and not really caring about flight at all anyway! But if you've been looking for the Grimoire, just head to Nagrand and see if you can pick one up.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Go behind the scenes on PvP with Brian Holinka and Wowhead

This week our friends at Wowhead sat down with Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka to talk about the state of PvP. You can watch the entire interview above or head to Wowhead for a transcript if you'd rather read than watch. So who's getting buffed and who's getting nerfed? Beyond this week's hotfixes, Holinka isn't saying, but Blizzard is definitely keeping an eye on everyone to try to keep PvP in balance.
Brian Holinka
Representation in ratings are important to players but we consider that one facet. We pay attention to what people are saying, and our own play experiences. We use all those to balance PvP classes. Rets and Discs are a good example - were very slightly nerfed (set bonus and silence). Those classes were doing too well and were reined in. Under performing specs include DPS shaman. Any changes we make have effect on the whole game. So many things to take into account. Decisions are made deliberately.


Click through to the whole interview for more.

Filed under: News items, PvP

Hotfixes for December 11


Another day, another round of major hotfixes. Highlights include:
  • Ghost Wolf modified by Glyph of Ghostly Speed no longer provides a movement speed increase while indoors.
  • Ashran: Fangraal and Kronus no longer scales their health based the number of players they're fighting. Each faction guardian's health now scales based on the number of enemy players active at the time when they're summoned.
  • Based on player feedback, a number of adjustments have been made to Alchemy recipes. Combat potion recipes no longer requires Crescent Oil and meat/fish, and will require herbs instead. Flask recipes now use more herbs, increasing the number of herbs needed from one type of herb to two.
  • Based on player feedback, a number of adjustments have been made to Jewelcrafting recipes. Tier 1 gem recipes now requires more ore and less herbs. Tier 2 gem recipes will no longer requires herbs and instead require a tier 1 gem.
The full hotfixes after the break.

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Filed under: News items

Level 55 Death Knight restriction going away


In what seems like part of an antiquated system that's outlived its usefulness, the Death Knight creation restriction of needing a level 55 character or higher previously on the account is going away. This is mildly significant in that now a new player can create an account, load up a Death Knight, and jump right into Burning Crusade content. But obviously with the level 90 boost, there's more incentive for new players to skip even that bit and go right into Draenor.

At the end of the day, is this really a big deal? Not so much. But it's interesting, nonetheless.
Nethaera
With availability of the level 90 character boost, we feel the requirement to have a character level 55 or higher to unlock the Death Knight as a playable class is no longer relevant. The plan right now is to remove the limitation sometime next week, at which point players will be able to start a new Death Knight (which still begins at level 55) without first having to reach level 55 on another character.

Filed under: News items, Death Knight

PvP hotfixes for December 11th

Whether you'll be pleased or disappointed by today's PvP hotfixes -- which Nethaera says are coming soon -- likely depends on which class you play. Balance druids, discipline priests, retribution paladins, enhancement shaman, and warriors are all getting tweaks (or, as some might say, nerfs). The exact changes are below.

Nethaera
We wanted to take a moment to update everyone on some of the latest PvP related hotfixes that are incoming which will affect the following specs and classes:

Balance Druid
  • Starfall damage against players is now reduced by 33%.
  • PvP set bonus that grants a charge of Starsurge when Entangling Roots breaks now has a 15 second cooldown.
Discipline Priest
  • Silence now has a 2 second duration (Shadow Silence is unaffected).
Retribution Paladin and Enhancement Shaman
  • The PvP 2 set piece bonus now grants 25% reduction in crowd control effects (down from 50%).
Warriors
  • Glyph of Shield Slam now requires defensive stance.

Filed under: News items, PvP

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat

The WoW Insider Weekly Recap is back again this week to discuss all of the hottest news of the past week. This week's topics include: If you enjoyed the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave a comment, and come back next week for the next episode!

Filed under: News items

Highmaul LFR and Mythic will be live at 10AM PST

If you've been paying attention to the Highmaul opening schedule, then you know that today's the day to both LFR -- at least the first wing of it -- and Mythic Highmaul will go live. (European servers will see their LFR and Mythic variations up tomorrow.) But after rolling restarts this morning, there's no Highmaul. So just when can raiders expect to find these new raids in operation? According to Bashiok, 10AM (in each region's release time) is when raids typically arrive -- including Highmaul.

That means players on North American realms, you'll be able to hit up LFR and Mythic Highmaul starting at 10AM PST (or 1PM EST), while European players will see their own LFR and Mythic Highmaul go up tomorrow morning at 10AM CET. If one LFR wing isn't enough, the second and third wings open on December 16th and January 6th, respectively.

Filed under: News items, Raiding

World of Warcraft Annual now available in the UK

Blizzard EU has announced the World of Warcraft Annual, published by Pedigree Books Limited, is now available via Pedigree's website or Amazon UK. For a limited time, the book is available 50% off -- £3.99 via Pedigree. The World of Warcraft Annual is an activity book full of quizzes, crosswords, puzzles, and more. This product is a UK exclusive -- unless you can find someone to ship it overseas, you aren't getting it at all.

As an American, I found the product itself puzzling. A hardcover activity book? That's a bit fancy for something you're going to chop up and scribble in, isn't it? Apparently annuals like these are a popular Christmas gift in the UK. Where Americans make activity books in paperback with the expectation that they ought to be disposable after children tear them to pieces, they're made to last overseas where they often become an heirloom of sorts, kept for a lifetime alongside baby's first crayon doodles. Let's be real, though: the vast majority of these will end up on grown adults' bookshelves, right?

Filed under: News items

Grommash Hellscream statue now available for pre-order

If you've seen any of the photos or footage from BlizzCon this year, you have doubtless seen at least a few shots of a larger than life Grommash Hellscream statue, proudly poised atop Mannoroth's decapitated head. Although the full-scale piece is off limits, Blizzard has opened preorders for a slightly smaller version of the statue on the official Blizzard Gear Store. The statue, measuring a full foot and a half in height, was sculpted in house by Senior Sculptor Brian Fay, art directed by Nick Carpenter, and features paint work by none other than Senior Illustrator Lauren Austin -- that would be the woman also responsible for the gorgeous art in Blizzard's Lords of War animated series.

If you're looking to pre-order, you can head to Blizzard's official site -- but be warned, for something this detailed and large, it's going to cost you. The Grommash Hellscream statue is $350, and is expected to be shipped by the end of August, 2015. Check out more images of this impressive piece and preorder one for yourself if you're so inclined at the Blizzard Gear Store.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

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