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Filed under: News items

US Connected Realms update for July 25

The list of US realms scheduled for the Realm Connection service has been updated with new dates, and a new planned connection. Realm Connections take place on Thursdays, beginning at 5am PDT and ending at approximately 1pm PDT. If you're on a realm scheduled for connection, keep that in mind. The following list is for US realms only -- EU realms should take a look at the official forum thread for more information regarding the EU connection schedule.

The following US realms are scheduled for connection on Thursday, July 24.
  • Malfurion and Trollbane
  • Ravenholdt and Twisting Nether
  • The Venture Co and Maelstrom

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Warlords of Draenor: New login screen music

Adriacraft is at it again, digging up new models and music from the latest build of Warlords of Draenor. One of the more notable datamined pieces is a brand-new login screen track, labelled Siege of Worlds. While it bears resemblance and shares sections with the previous login track found on the beta, this version feels much more complete and includes several sweeping, intriguing themes right along with the now-familiar beat of the Iron Horde's war drums.

But perhaps the coolest part of the soundtrack starts at approximately 11 minutes into the piece. Long-time Warcraft fans should immediately recognize the familiar sounds of the human theme from Warcraft III, beautifully re-done with a triumphant flourish. It's a gorgeous new piece of music, but it's also a fantastic nod to one of Blizzard's beloved classics. Listen to the full theme above, and be sure to check out Adriacraft's channel for more from the Warlords beta.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

SDCC: Warcraft movie details from Legendary Pictures panel

With San Diego Comic Con in full swing, people are starting to get to see previews and hear details about upcoming projects, and one of those projects is director Duncan Jones' Warcraft movie. During the Legendary Pictures panel, details were released about the movie (coming March 2016) and here's what our sources have to say about it.
  • We're looking at an origin story, one that details how the First War got started. Durotan is the orc focus character, while Anduin Lothar plays this role for the humans of Azeroth.
  • Duncan Jones, the director of the film, says he wants the movie to be accessible for everyone and that it's been fantastic working with Blizzard.
  • The teaser trailer "Looks just like the game. Amazing. Stormwind and throne room looks exact (like that tiny glimpse we saw in an earlier photo.) Armor, gryphons, orcs in full cgi that look just like game trailers."
  • The teaser trailer varies between the human and orc perspectives.
  • We're told that there is a blend between CGI and live effects in the trailer and that it looks natural and clean.
For now the teaser seems to only be available to view at SDCC, but if it goes up online we'll be sure to give it to you as soon as we can.

This is a post in progress


Filed under: News items, Warcraft Movie

Warlords of Draenor: Claws of Shirvallah cat form datamined

New female tauren aren't the only shiny new player character models this week -- our friends at Wowhead have datamined the new druid cat forms that will go along with the level 100 talent Claws of Shirvallah. The talent allows druids who take it to cast all non-damaging druid spells while in cat form, and the half-humanoid half-cat model is a visual indication of the talent's hybrid nature. The animations are fluid and certainly make the model look intimidating. The worgen snow leopard version is my favorite, however, I do wonder if the models will be available in all the same color variations of the normal cat form models, or if the colors displayed are the only ones.

While I can appreciate the skill and care put into these new cat form models, I'm not entirely feeling it, at least not yet. I just can't imagine my druid looking like that! Fortunately, it doesn't seem as if the talent is really relevant to my personal playstyle -- Lunar Inspiration seems more my speed -- but I can see how it may be very important for PvP'ers in particular. What about you? Are you going to grab Claws of Shirvallah at level 100? Is the model part of the reason why or why not?

Check out Wowhead for the full 3D models of all four forms in their modelviewer, as well as video of the new forms in action.


Filed under: Druid, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Log in before September 30 to claim your Horde chopper

The Azeroth Choppers webseries ended as most expected. In a battle of faction pride, the Horde is going to come out on top every time. Of course, it probably didn't help that the Alliance bike looked like some kind of gross beetle, but that discussion is probably best left in the past. As the winners, the Horde will receive their faction-themed bike come Warlords of Draenor. However, a stipulation was announced last night: to flag your account to receive the mount, you must log into the game between now and September 30, 2014.

For the sake of clarity: you can claim your mount right now (and need to do so before September 30) but you won't receive it until Warlords of Draenor's launch.

Filed under: News items

Blizzard unveils new products at San Diego Comic-Con

Blizzard revealed a fresh suite of swag at San Diego Comic-Con this week. Their new offerings include a pin program, hoodies featuring artwork from Carbot, new plushies, new figurines, and more. It appears Blizzard's licensing trend is to make everything freaking adorable. I, for one, am perfectly okay with that.

You can see some of their new products on their Battle.net panel recap or in our gallery of pictures from the show floor below.

Filed under: News items

Beta raid testing rescheduled to Monday

According to Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, the Warlords of Draenor beta raid test that was planned for today, has been rescheduled for Monday.
Raid Testing Schedule - July 25 (CANCELED)
So, sometimes things literally catch fire.

We were hoping we could get the servers up in time for the scheduled raid test, but that's looking unlikely. Servers should be up today, but I'd rather not speculate while everyone is waiting on the off-chance that testing will happen.

I'll post a new schedule for Monday testing, in a short while.


It's really unfortunate that the raid test had to be delayed - I was hoping to get a look at some of the new mechanics, get a feel for how raiding is going to work in Warlords, but I'll admit to understanding the motivation for postponing it. It's not likely that the servers will be as stable as one would hope, and sitting around waiting for them to be up doesn't make for a good, focused group to really test the content.


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

Latest Warlords beta build opens new zones, increases level cap

The beta forums are abuzz with discussion of an upcoming beta build -- the servers are down for maintenance this afternoon. Two new zones, Nagrand and Spires of Arak, will be open for testing, and the level cap is increasing to 100. The leveling portion of the beta is moving along at a steady clip now. Though there are still many major bugs with fixes in progress, nearly every leveling zone will now be open for testing.

In addition, the new beta build will be renaming beta realms for clarity. They will lose their unique names, and instead be given names that are simple descriptors.
  • Lost Isles (PvE) is being renamed to Beta Leveling Realm 01
  • Gilneas (PvP) is being renamed to Beta Leveling Realm 02
  • Mekkatorque (PvP) is being renamed to Level 100 PvP
While these clear descriptions are far more useful than their old names, I'll miss having the ability to personify Lost Isles. Cursing its name aloud each time it crashed was cathartic. Screaming Beta Leveling Realm 01 to the heavens doesn't quite have the same effect.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

New female tauren model

Female Tauren
The latest artcraft post has been released on the WoW official website, and it previews nothing less than the new female tauren model. This model update in particular has been highly anticipated, because the old female tauren models are...well, they're not all that expressive, are they? Fortunately, their blank bovine stares are all set to be a thing of the past. The new models take full advantage of newer texture-rendering capabilities, featuring gorgeous detail in the fur, a full range of facial expressions, and far more natural-looking hair. In addition, their hands have also been scaled-down, as Senior Art Director Chris Robinson notes that female tauren hands were particularly huge, even by WoW standards.

Head on over to the official site for the full preview, it's well worth your time.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warcraft movie logo, props revealed

It's that time of year again - the San Diego Comic Con is in full swing, and with it, news about the upcoming Warcraft movie directed by Duncan Jones. While we still have to wait for Legendary's panel on Saturday for any really juicy details, we do now have the logo for the movie (seen above) and pictures of the Doomhammer and a Stormwind-themed sword and shield set.

I admit, I'm not much for movies adapting game properties, but that's one heck of a Doomhammer, and the Stormwind sword/shield set - I'd like those in game. Considering Travis Fimmel's in this thing and we know Ben Foster is playing Medivh in it, I'm hopeful we'll get to see Anduin Lothar up in this.

Thanks to Craig Everson for the tip

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Lore

Iron Skyreaver 40% off this week

The Iron Skyreaver mount, first released back in January, is 40% off this week. If you're willing to spend $15.00 USD, you can get a taste of Iron Horde aesthetics in advance of Warlords of Draenor. Go ahead -- we won't judge you.

Filed under: News items

Heroes of the Storm: New hero announced

Today a new hero option was announced for Blizzard's MOBA Heroes of the Storm: Rehgar Earthfury. I'm not surprised that Blizzard is giving us a shaman hero--after all, shaman are an iconic group in WoW lore and gameplay--but I am surprised that they've chosen Reghar as the shaman's representative. Compared to more well-known shaman in WoW such as Thrall, Rehgar tends to fly under the radar. He does, however, have his own history and tale to tell. Rehgar is one of the older generation of orcs and was born on Draenor. When Thrall came to power he eventually served as one of his advisors but before that Rehgar was a slave master who owned a particularly infamous gladiator: Varian Wrynn.

Rehgar is a support character who posseses an ability set that goes along with his shaman class: he can turn into a spirit wolf, drop totems, and call upon the elements to aid him in battle. He seems to use a fist weapon for his basic physical attack, and I'm certain he'll have a range of fun shaman specialist attacks to go along with that. Frost Shock had better be on the cards! I'll also be interested to see what additional skins he gets--maybe a Thrall makeover, complete with epic braids?

The announcement of Reghar as a hero makes me very sad that Varian isn't a playable hero option. If you've been playing the alpha or watching streams, you may have noticed that heroes with lore connections in their respective franchises often have more personalized banter when they interact on the battlefield. I would love to see what Rehgar and Varian have to say to each other, but it doesn't seem to be on the cards just yet. Here's hoping for the future!

Filed under: News items, Heroes of the Storm

World of Warcraft earns over $1 billion a year

According to statistics from SuperData Research, World of Warcraft still dominates the MMO market with 36% market share. The game raked in just over a billion dollars in revenue in 2013, putting it well ahead of its nearest competition -- $253 million for NCSoft's 1998 title Lineage. The ranking of top subscription titles suggests that MMOs need staying power -- WoW is nearly 10 years old and Lineage is 16 -- and a strong Asian presence -- the top 3 are all big titles in Asia -- to sustain them over the long haul.

However, even though WoW continues to pull in strong subscription numbers, the industry has seen the subscription model declining sharply while microtransaction revenue has been on an upswing. With both a healthy subscriber base and its own microtransaction strategy, WoW seems prepared to succeed no matter which direction the industry goes. However, the overall subscription trend begs the question: will we ever see a free-to-play version of WoW? Blizzard has said no, and with subscription stats like this we can see why.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Warlords of Draenor: Beasts of a savage land

Beasts of the savage lands
Zone previews have become an expected and anticipated facet of the news surrounding Warlords of Draenor, and now mob previews are being added to that mix. The first of them highlights some fearsome new creatures--some familiar, some not--that are to be found in Shadowmoon Valley. The hulking, rocky-skinned Riverbeasts are reminiscent of hippopotamuses, with their square snouts, pillar-like feet, and bad attitude. Podlings are creepy-cute evil flowers that will forever haunt my nightmares, and of course, the elekk should be familiar to anyone who's ever played a draenei--though these new models are definitely a step up in intimidation. Draenor ancients are tree-based forest guardians, the draenic equivalents of the treants we all know and love.

I love this little sneak peak into the roaming creatures of Shadowmoon Valley. The zone previews have been some of my favorite promotional items for Warlords of Draenor, because they give you just enough information to let your imagination fill in the gaps. This mini-beastiary adds a few more set pieces to the landscape of Draenor, and I hope that some versions of these mobs are rare spawns that drop loot or at least bragging rights for the intrepid players who bring them down. I'm also hanging on every word about the draenei rangari, because so far we know relatively little about them but they sound like the most fascinating sect of the draenei by far. Check out some of the beasts of Shadowmoon Valley, and I'm certain we will see more from other zones in the future, as well.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New Hallow's End rewards in next beta build

Although we don't know if the holiday itself will be getting a facelift in Warlords of Draenor, it looks like fans of Hallow's End will be getting some new toys to play with in the next expansion. Senior Game Designer Jeremy Feasel posted on Twitter this week with a question for players: If they could dress up like one major lore figure for Hallow's End, who would they choose? A later tweet suggested he had found whatever answer he was looking for.


In-game holidays have long been a source of fun and sometimes frustration for players. Certainly the events are an entertaining diversion, but when you've seen the same event roll around year after year with no changes or updates, it tends to make the seasons seem a little monotonous. A new costume wand reward might not be the full revamp players have been hoping for, but at least it signifies that in-game holidays are still very much on the minds of the development team.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

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