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Filed under: News items

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 programming schedule released

San Diego Comic-Con International has begun to release its program of events for this year's convention. Blizzard Entertainment will once again have a presence at the convention as well as a panel with Chris Metzen himself. The panel, titled Blizzard Entertainment Showcase, takes place Thursday, July 24 from 2:15-3:15pm in Room 6BCF. Attendees looking for expansion information should take note that this is a panel about Blizzard merchandise and licensed products. While it may include some new information on upcoming projects, there likely won't be a lot of talking about game development -- but the panel does include a Q&A.

However, attendees looking for other Blizzard information would do well to hit up Hall H on Saturday, July 26. Legendary Pictures will be presenting a panel featuring their upcoming slate of films in Hall H from 12:25-1:10pm. Last year, Director Duncan Jones made a brief appearance at the convention to show off what he called a "mood piece" for the upcoming Warcraft film. Filming for Warcraft officially wrapped in May of this year, which means that attendees at the panel may very well see more than just a brief glimpse of Warcraft.

Fans looking for Blizzard on the main convention floor can head to booth 115 for Blizzard Entertainment. At the moment, there still isn't an official schedule for any signings that might take place at Comic-Con. Given last year's list of notable names, we should see an official announcement regarding potential signings and other pertinent Comic-Con info soon.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warcraft Movie

Warlords of Draenor: Forget looting the hounds, we can ride them

The latest beta build of Warlords brought with it several new Battle Pets as well as the mount pictured above. Yes, that is a Core Hound, and yes, you will be able to ride it by obtaining the Core Hound Chain. Although it's not directly stated where this mount will be obtained on the mount tab, it's safe to say we'll likely see it dropping in the newly-revamped Upper Blackrock Spire. After all, what's Blackrock Spire without The Beast?

In addition to the Core Hound mount, several Ravager Wasp battle pets were added, along with a Runtish Gronnling, and a pet named Sky-bo that appears to be a miniature version of the Sky Golem mount. At the moment, there's no indication whether Sky-bo is an engineer crafted pet. To check out 3D models of the new Core Hound mount, as well as other new items added to the beta, head over to Wowhead.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New battle pet models

New battle pets from Wowhead
Over the last few days we've all become intimately familiar with the new Molten Corgi pet and its model. Two more datamined battle pet models have joined it: the Grovestrider Hatchling and the Draenei Micro Defender. In addition, there's another new pet currently sans model: the Dwarf Gronnling. I am going to make an educated guess and say that this last pet probably looks like a teeny tiny gronn. If so, that'll be fantastic. I've always wanted one of those.

The Grovestrider Hatchling is a fun, if pretty typical-looking small bird model with blue, green, and sliver feathers and red eyes. Of the two new models, the Draenei Micro Defender definitely steals the show. As one of the Wowhead commenters points out it looks like a little Protoss. It's got two shiny shields and some chic crystalline armor. I'm definitely going to try and get my grubby little paws on that thing as soon as I can.

Images courtesy of Wowhead

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Heart of the Valorous active this weekend

Heart of the Valorous returns yet again. The buff will be active starting Friday, July 11 at 9:00 a.m. PDT, through Monday, July 14 at 9:00 a.m. PDT. Heart of the Valorous increases all Valor Point gains by 100%.

We're curious if these buffs will become a weekly occurrence until the release of Warlords of Draenor. While a Valor buff is certainly nice to have, it loses its luster with each repetition. If the intent of the buff is to keep people playing until Warlords, something more compelling will need to come along sooner or later.

Filed under: News items

Mike Morhaime apologizes for lack of diversity in Blizzard games

It's been a bad year or so for women in Blizzard games, for a lot of reasons. At BlizzCon, Warlords of Draenor was described as a "boy's trip" that Aggra wasn't invited to -- which fits with the Warlords marketing material that shows almost exclusively male characters (a few women appear in the trailer and one in the art, but they're unnamed). But Warlords isn't the only concern: the company's April Fool's joke came off as tone-deaf to many, Heroes of the Storm uses female characters as eye candy (which game director Dustin Browder argued didn't send a message), and, recently, Rob Pardo stated in a talk at MIT that diversity wasn't really a value for the company.

Though Warlords has come a long way since BlizzCon and both Browder and Pardo apologized, the fact that any of these things were an issue in the first place is off-putting -- at best -- to female gamers. Even long-term Blizzard fans have started to wonder why they're continuing to play in a gaming world that didn't accept women amongst the cast of heroes. It's from this place of disappointment that Starcunning wrote to Mike Morhaime, explaining why she's walked away from Blizzard's games. The surprise, however, is that Mike Morhaime responded stressing Blizzard's commitment to listening to the playerbase and building games that are fun for everyone.
Mike Morhaime
We are very conscious of the issues you raise and are discussing them more than ever, at every level of the company, in an effort to make sure our games and stories are as epic and inclusive as possible. Blizzard's employees form a broad and diverse group that cares deeply about the experiences we are creating for our players. And we know that actions speak louder than words, so we are challenging ourselves to draw from more diverse voices within and outside of the company and create more diverse heroes and content. We are also actively looking at our story development and other processes to ensure that our values are fully represented. We've always believed that positive, lasting change comes from examination, discussion, and iteration, and this applies as much to story as to gameplay. There is no reason why inclusivity should come at the expense of an amazing game experience.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

The Undermine Journal to close

Sad priest
There is sad news in the WoW community today. The longtime, invaluable auction house resource The Undermine Journal will be closing its doors at the end of July. The Journal cites ballooning server hosting costs as the culprit, and they just can't keep up. Since 2010, The Undermine Journal has been the place to go if you wanted to stay on top of auction house pricing--particularly for comparisons across different servers. The loss of this site is huge blow WoW players as a whole, but particularly for those who make a dedicated hobby out of playing the auction house.

There does remain some hope for The Journal's future, however. If they can find a new server host, it's possible that a revamped Undermine Journal will make an appearance in time for Warlords of Draenor. However, in their news announcement, they caution that if the expansion's launch comes and goes without The Undermine Journal's reappearance, it will likely be gone for good. They will do their best to keep a webpage in place in order to deliver updates on the situation.

From those of us at WoW Insider, we'd like to thank Erorus, the creator behind The Undermine Journal, for all his hard work and dedication to maintaining such a wonderful resource. We hope The Undermine Journal's absence is just a hiatus, but either way, we'll see you at Realm Pop.

Filed under: News items

US Connected Realms update for July 7

The list of US realms slated for the Realm Connection service has now been updated with new information regarding upcoming dates for the service. Players on realms that have been scheduled for connection should be aware that connections take place on Thursdays, and the scheduled realms will be down for the service from 5am PDT until approximately 1pm PDT. There are two sets of scheduled dates, as well as a few realms that have been added for an upcoming realm connection, with no date scheduled just yet.

The following US realms are scheduled for connection on Thursday, July 10.
  • Ysera and Durotan
  • Zuluhed and Andorhal, Scilla and Ursin

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Kotaku launches "An idiot in Azeroth"

Northshire quest giver
Yesterday a new series of articles began on Kotaku: "An idiot in Azeroth," written by Mark Serrels as he chronicles is very first time playing through World of Warcraft. Poor Mark may be in over his head--he is only vaguely aware of what WoW is or how it works. It took him 15 minutes to figure out how to turn the tutorials on so he would know how to play. He got eaten by a wolf and squished by a murloc. Sound familiar?

The most delightful part of reading about Mark's first exploits into Azeroth is the knowing grin it brings to my face. Ah, yes -- those days! I remember that. I remember wandering aimlessly through the starting zone, trying to figure out where to find that quest item I needed, getting turned around in the woods, and getting eaten by wolves. Each of us only gets to discover Azeroth once, and reading about Mark's first forays into that world are the closest any of us will ever be to reliving the experience. I can't wait to see where it takes him. if we're lucky, perhaps it will make him one of us.

Filed under: News items, Humor

The Dark Below is real

The Dark Below
Remember The Dark Below? The speculation and the agony? The short-lived controversy? Even after it was revealed to be a hoax, there were still a few who insisted that The Dark Below really was a thing. In a nutshell, they were right. The Dark Below really truly is an expansion.

Just not for WoW.

You may have heard of Destiny, the much-anticipated upcoming MMO from Bungie -- the studio famous for its creation of the Halo franchise. It's to Bungie that The Dark Below belongs, and it's the title of Destiny's first expansion. You see, those interested players who purchase one of the two Destiny collector's edition releases: Destiny: Ghost Edition or Destiny: Limited Edition will get special access to the Destiny Expansion Pass, which includes Expansion 1: The Dark Below, and Expansion 2: House of Wolves.

So there you have it, everyone. The Dark Below is alive and well, albeit in an altogether different virtual universe, owned and developed by a different studio in a different state. Thus ends forever the mystery of The Dark Below. May it rest in peace, and live up to its, uh, Destiny.

Filed under: News items

Warlords of Draenor: New model adjustments in the works

There have been quite a few rumblings online about the new character models, pointing out that the models themselves all appear to have the same facial expressions with little of the variation we're seeing on live servers. Senior Art Director Chris G. Robinson hopped on Twitter yesterday to address the concerns, pointing out that the new models on the beta are by no means final, and of course still subject to change. In the case of the human female model, base animations are still undergoing adjustments to bring them closer to matching the original base structure and expressed emotion.



The base animation is the default expression on a model's face when they are not in any kind of active motion. It's the expression your character has when they are simply standing around in town, or on the character creation screen. Currently, the human female models in the beta are all wearing the same expression while they're standing around. With updates to the base animation, and the tweaks to eyebrows and other facial features as tweeted by Robinson, the models should once again appear just as diverse as they do on live servers.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

EU Connected Realm updates for July 4

The list of EU realms slated for the Realm Connection service has been updated with new information and new realms in regards to upcoming dates for the service. Please note that the realms scheduled for connection next week are only tentatively scheduled -- that information might change. Players on the realms listed as scheduled may want to keep an eye on the official forum thread just in case there are any changes made. At the present time, there are no additional updates for US realms, this list is for European servers only.

The following EU realms are tentatively scheduled for connection on Wednesday, July 9.

English Realms
  • (PvE) Khadgar and Bloodhoof
  • (PvE) Bronze Dragonflight and Nordrassil
German Realms
  • (PvE) Tichondrius and Lordaeron
  • (PvE) Arygos and Khaz'goroth
Russian Realms
  • (PvP) Король-лич and Седогрив

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Heart of the Valorous active this weekend

Players logged in today to discover Heart of the Valorous, a buff increasing Valor gains by 100%, is active once again. According to a tweet by @Warcraft_ES, the buff is active for the rest of the weekend. Today is the primary national holiday for the United States, so this might be Blizzard's small way of letting us take advantage of a three day weekend.

Filed under: News items

Warlords of Draenor: Nights may get darker

Night time comparison
Once upon a time, nightfall in Azeroth meant that things got truly dark--sometimes spookily so. For whatever reason, at some point Blizzard scaled back on the in-game lack of night lights, and brightened our nocturnal adventuring. Plenty of players have been clamoring for a good long while for a return to the dark and eerie Azerothian nights, and it seems as though their wishes may soon be coming true. In the following tweet, Lead Game Designer Cory Stockton indicates that some kind of darker night-time atmosphere is on its way potentially as soon as patch 6.0.
My personal hope is for some sort of toggle or slider in the graphics options, so individual players can choose how dark and foreboding they want their in-game landscapes to be. This has been a solution proposed by many, and I truly hope that's what's coming our way. Nonetheless, I'm eager to see whatever solution Blizzard has come up with.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Mount Tab description updates

The latest Warlords of Draenor beta build expanded the descriptions listed in the re-designed mount tab. Nearly every mount in the game now has an entry with a little piece of trivia. There are actually some interesting little flavor bits of lore contained in the new entries, including slightly more in-depth information as to the mount's origins, interesting quotes or beliefs about the creatures, and of course where it can be built or obtained. At the moment, not every mount has a listing for where you can find it -- but given that there are already entries that do mention things in detail, it seems like we'll see that added in a later beta build.

Of course, it's the humorous entries that really stick out in the new listing. How can you seriously describe a giant rooster? You can't. Check out the gallery below for some of the best selections from the newly added flavor text.




Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Molten Corgi pet officially on the way

Players have been asking for a corgi pet in game for years, and they are finally getting their wish, according to a tweet made by Senior Game Designer Jonathan LeCraft earlier today. Screenshots were posted of a Molten Corgi -- a fiery pup that is every bit as adorable as you'd expect. Of course, the first question on everyone's mind was whether or not the pooch was, in fact, really going to be available. LeCraft tweeted again to reassure everyone that yes, this is in fact a real pet.

As yet, we still don't know where players will obtain the pet, or if it will be an in-game or Blizzard Store item. For now, the announcement itself is good enough for me -- we'll likely get more details soon enough.


Filed under: News items, Achievements

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