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Filed under: News items

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!

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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

Warlords of Draenor: Combo points no longer on target for rogues, druids

Rogues and feral druids have had one very important change that wasn't announced in the recent patch notes for the 6.0 alpha build. Combo points, the bread and butter of every rogue and feral druid attack since the game began, are now on the rogue or druid, instead of on the target being attacked. This was confirmed in a tweet by Celestalon -- who was quick to point out that the change might not see live, but is being tested for now.

This is honestly a really big change for both classes. One of the unique frustrations of playing the class was spending the time and energy to build up enough points for a big finisher, only to see the target die before that finisher could land. Don't get me wrong, having a target die is always the name of the game, whether you're stabbing with daggers or skulking around as a cat. But once that target was dead, all combo points you carefully built up would simply vanish when the next target was acquired.

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Filed under: Druid, Rogue, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Connected Realms update for April 4

The list of US realms slated for the Realm Connection service has now been updated with new information regarding upcoming dates for the service. However, the schedule looks a little different now. Realm merges that were scheduled for Thursday, April 10 are no longer scheduled for connection -- in fact, there are no scheduled realm connections at this point in time.

The realms listed below are on the list of future realm connections, but do not have a date set.
  • Drenden and Arathor
  • Nagrand and Caelestrasz
  • Blackwater Raiders and Shadow Council

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Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Warlords of Draenor: Attack and Spell power changes

One of the changes the Warlords of Draenor alpha patch notes mentions is a pretty large change to how our primary stats work and interact with critical strike and attack or spell power (depending on which you care about). It can be broken down as follows - first, agility and intellect no longer increase physical and spell critical strike chances respectively. In addition, there no longer is any such thing as spell critical strike chance, ranged chance, or melee chance, merely critical strike chance that applies to all three. Since this is no longer affected by primary stats, it's set at a base 5% chance before gear. (Among other things this removes the last tiny vestiges of any use for agility for strength classes.)

Next, agility based class gain a new passive ability called Critical Strikes which increases base critical strike chance by 10%, likely to compensate for all the crit they lose from agility. Those of us who never got crit from our primary stat (strength DPS) are left wondering where our free 10% crit is.

Next, how primary stats react with attack or spell power has also been changed. Attack power from Agility or Strength has been halved - each point of Agi or Str only gives 1 AP, down from the 2 it gains currently. In addition, weapon damage has been reduced by 20% across the board. This is because Attack Power now contributes more significantly to weapon damage - 1 DPS per 3.5 AP, which is a pretty significant increase from the current 1 DPS per 14 AP. Finally, weapon damage and attack and/or spell power now contributes to the entire throughput of player spells - if you're a healer, your weapon damage and spell power will much more directly contribute to the strength of your heals, and casters will see a similar benefit from their weapons. Weapons have just become far more important for many players, if not all.

To read this section of the patch notes in their entirety, just click on through to the other side.

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

Warlords of Draenor: Dodge, Parry, Hit and Expertise and their loss

Well, we finally have a concrete sense of how we're going to function in a world without hit, expertise, dodge or parry on our gear, thanks to the Warlords of Draenor alpha notes. So far, it looks rather interestingly painless.

First up, dodge and parry as stats on gear are gone and the amount of dodge and parry we get for agility and strength, respectively, will be reduced by 25%. Active mitigation is in, avoidance is out. You can still get some small amounts of dodge or parry from class-specific effects (Riposte, for instance, has been reworked to give 100% parry after a critical strike until you parry an attack, and it can stack up to 2 times, meaning you can have two parries in a row before you lose the 100% parry from Riposte) but in general, you won't be able or willing to gear for those stats anymore.

As for hit and expertise, their removal leads to the change in design to balance out how we hit things. Against monsters and such up to three levels higher (including bosses, who as skull level are always three levels higher) you'll have 100% chance to hit, 3% chance to be parried, and 0% chance to be dodged. This means that you'll still want to be standing behind them if at all possible. Tank classes, however, will have an extra 3% parry reduction baked into their tanking specializations, meaning that they will have 100% chance to hit and 0% chance to be parried or dodged. They can stand up front.

Dual-wield classes (rogues, enhancement shamans, frost DK's, fury warriors, potentially windwalker monks) will have an additional 17% chance to miss with no way to improve it in order to balance their DPS out against 2h users.

For the complete list of the removed/changed abilities that once granted hit or expertise or which now reduce chance to be parried, the full list is behind the jump.

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

Warlords of Draenor: The missing pet battles alpha patch notes?


Jonathan LeCraft posted the following to Twitter today, answering the questions about pet battles not being in the alpha testing patch notes. He listed off the following as a response:
  • Baby hippos
  • Baby gronn
  • Carpnado
  • Elite pet trainers
  • Eggs
  • Leveling stones
He ended his tweet with "Boom. Plus more. #tipsytweets" Does this mean that we're going to see all these things for pet battles in patch 6.0? We already knew that breeding is going to be a thing, and that there are going to be new pets and trainers, so it doesn't seem far fetched. The "carpnado" is a little weird though, given it was part of the Warcraft Pets April Fools joke. His #tipsytweets hashtag is likely related to the Diablo 3 celebration that's going on at Blizzard HQ right now.

Filed under: News items

That Warlords of Draenor alpha key is fake, but your hurt will be real


Consider this the friendly reminder that all those alpha keys you're getting in your gmail inbox for Warlords of Draenor are 100% fake. Blizzard will only enable accounts and there is no external access yet to the alpha.

No wait, let's not have this be a friendly reminder. Friendly is too easy. This is a mean, rotten, no good reminder! This is the most evil reminder known to mankind!

Want to know what will happen if you open up one of those fake Warlords of Draenor emails? I'll enumerate it for you so even the daftest of trolls can understand:
  • All of your original tier 3 will be sharded
  • Your Unborn Val'kyr will be released to the wild
  • Zarhym's head will reattach to his body
  • The set pieces you're farming for in Diablo 3 will never drop
  • Titan will be sent back to the drawing board and delayed for even longer
Thus concludes the meanest reminder ever.

Filed under: News items

Earn 50% bonus XP in Diablo 3 this weekend


The fires of hell have opened up (unless you live in Minnesota, where you just got slammed with another Blizzard) and Diablo 3 is offering another weekend of increased XP gain for all characters.

Personally I'm having a blast in Diablo right now. Reaper of Souls' adventure mode is holding my attnetion like nothing else has in a very long time. Plowing through packs of enemies on Torment 1 or 2 and getting gear that actually matters is an amazing experience. Plus, the legendary gear has interesting bonuses on it that make the gameplay that much more fun.

If you haven't picked RoS up yet, do so now. You won't regret it.
Lylirra
Over 1.5 million players around the world have stopped Death since Reaper of Souls™ launched last Tuesday, March 25. To celebrate this achievement and help support your ongoing crusade against the forces of evil, all nephalem who log into Diablo III this weekend will receive a +50% bonus to XP! This bonus XP period begins in the European region tonight, April 4 at 17:00 p.m. CEST and ends on Monday, April 7 at 5:00 a.m. CEST. Thank you so much for being a hero of Sanctuary. We hope you have fun this weekend, and we'll see you in Westmarch!


Filed under: News items, Diablo 3

Warlords of Draenor: Garrison to have its own fishing hole


Cory Stockton has teased us yet again with news on the upcoming Garrisons for Warlords of Draenor. This time, he's working on fishing.

What is becoming ever more clear with each successive tweet (many of which we've covered) is that the Garrison is more expansive and a lot more content than anything like the Farm we've gotten before. Cory confirmed this in a followup tweet, promising some new blogs on the feature and what to expect from it in the near future.

Honestly, I'm starting to get the sense that I need to pay a lot more attention to the Garrison and that it's going to be a big new part of how we play WoW in this expansion. We've seen that they'll have portals to major cities, be a place where you can display achievements, work on professions, there's a follower style minigame planned, pets and mounts displayed via stables, and I find myself wondering just how big the Garrison is intended to be. Very interested in those promised blogs.

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

Professions divorced from combat in 6.0

Armored draenei
The Warlords of Draenor 6.0 patch notes brought many surprises, but one of the biggest is that professions will no longer provide bonuses that affect combat.

Amidst the endless sea of notes, it's easy to miss these two sentences that will forever change the role of professions in WoW:
Warlords of Draenor: Alpha Patch Notes
Some of our goals with Professions in Warlords of Draenor are to make them more of a personal choice, and less of a mandatory "min/max" selection. To that end, we're removing the direct combat benefits of Professions.

For many years, theorycrafters and min/max'ers have baked profession bonuses into their calculations. The crit from skinning, the Synapse Springs of engineers, the eye gems of jewelcrafters, the warmer wrists of leatherworkers, etc. -- all of them have affected which professions are "best" for certain specs.

In recent expansions we've seen Blizzard try to make the bonuses more or less even across specs, with mixed success. Now, all of these bonuses are headed to the chopping block in patch 6.0, at least in their current incarnations.

Maxed-out professions will no longer be essential for high-end PvE or PvP activities. We will no longer need to weigh our personal preference against possible combat advantages. In fact, players will be able to skip leveling professions at all, if they choose, without penalty to their character's performance. This strikes me as a good change.

Will professions only provide an economic advantage from 6.0 on? Or will they give us other bonuses, such as extra lesser charms, bonus pet battle XP, or faster garrison construction? Will Blizzard tweak the existing combat-related recipes to provide different bonuses? Or will the developers remove them entirely? Many questions remain to be answered as the alpha progresses!

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Automatically learned glyphs

The first release of the Warlords of Draenor patch notes revealed that certain glyphs will be learned automatically during the leveling process. These glyphs, as stated by developer Celeston, are chosen largely based on their usefulness during the leveling process. They will also serve as a reminder that you even have the ability to use another glyph -- often, leveling characters aren't aware when they're able to use a glyph, or what a glyph is at all.

Currently, as mentioned in the patch notes, glyphs are usually acquired on the auction house. Since every player needs these glyphs, the glyph market is a cutthroat place where a player leveling fresh can run themselves broke even if they only buy the ones they need. This change isn't one that's friendly to scribes making a killing on the auction house, but it certainly is friendly to new characters. Keep in mind that not all glyphs will be learned automatically -- only the leveling essentials. You can refer to the patch notes to see which ones will be learned and when or follow along below.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Patch 6.0 patch notes

The patch notes for patch 6.0 have been released! Patch 6.0 is the pre-patch for Warlords of Draenor, featuring many of the changes and adjustments we'll be seeing in preparation for the next expansion's launch. Please note that patch notes can and often will change over time -- these should by no means be considered a finalized version. Highlights from the patch notes include:
  • A new row of talents has been added for level 100, and Draenor Perks from levels 91-99.
  • Racial traits have been rebalanced.
  • All characters now learn a few important Major Glyphs as they level up.
  • Garrisons, garrisons, garrisons!
Read on for the full list of patch notes after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

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