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Filed under: News items

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.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Chat now enabled in Battle.net launcher window

That's right, in addition to all sorts of exciting Alpha release news (like, the fact that there is an Alpha release) for Warlords of Draenor we also have this little tidbit - namely, you can now chat with your friends who are logged into World of Warcraft, Diablo III, Hearthstone or any other Blizzard game directly from the Battle.net launcher without even entering a game.

This functionality was apparently turned on today just before the announcement, and works by popping up a window for you to chat in, just like any one of many messenger services you might be familiar with. So there you have it, one step closer to never being out of touch with your in-game friends ever again.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha testing begins

Warlords of Draenor Alpha has officially begun! While at this stage testing is limited, players may feel free to opt-in to future beta testing by going to the Beta Profile Settings on your Battle.net account. Interestingly enough, along with this announcement comes the announcement of a new file format to compress and store game files. The new file format, CASC, replaces the MPQ file formatting Blizzard has been using for the past 20 years.

Keep in mind that this is an alpha announcement -- beta has not officially begun. No beta keys have been emailed out. If you receive an email offering a beta key, ignore it for now -- as more information about the new expansion releases, phishing attempts are like to rise as well. Check out Blizzard's full announcement regarding the Alpha, and keep your eyes peeled -- with a client available, datamining will likely begin soon.

Update: Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas had the following to say about the Alpha:



Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard clarifies Challenge Mode Realm Best titles [Updated]

Challenge Mode Entrance
Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has taken to the official forums to provide more clarity on the removal of Realm Best Challenge mode titles. As ever, you can read the full post after the break, but in summary, if you're really unhappy about the removal of the titles, it's not good news.

Watcher explains the various options they considered, giving a title to everyone who'd ever been realm first, which was dismissed as too problematic for the next season. He also explains how leaving the titles with those who held them at the end of the season would not work because if those players changed servers they'd lose the server-tied titles. Response has been largely dissatisfied.

It seems to me, and I may be wrong, I am not a WoW dev after all, that it would not be so huge a feat to create a new title for those players at the top of the ranks at the season end. Challenge Modes have been compared to arenas before, and this could work exactly the same. A title like "Mystical Challenger [Name]" could be applied in the week following the end of the season, attached to the character not the server, just like they do for arena Rank One. And just like arena, players would have to vy for those realm-best top spots right up to the last weeks. The Arena comparison makes a lot of sense to me, so let's keep it going.

Hit the break for the full post, and an update posted after time of writing!

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Filed under: News items

Ask a CDev Round IV answers revealed

It's been quite some time since we've had a new round of Ask a CDev, addressing and answering lore questions from players. But the answers for round IV of the popular feature have been released, including quite a few questions with interesting implications. This time around, the questions were drawn directly from Twitter, and they address a variety of topics. Some highlights include:
  • Oshu'gun? That's what the orcs call the mountain in Nagrand. But the draenei that remember the mountain for the vessel it was still use its original name -- the Genedar.
  • Tyrande and Malfurion officially co-lead the night elves. Tyrande is no longer the sole leader.
  • Sadly, the Shatterspear tribe is no more, although some may have escaped and found shelter within the Horde or other organizations.
  • Just who the heck is Trade Prince Donais? Well ... he isn't Horde, exactly...
  • There is a distinct difference between the vrykul and Kvaldir, and it involves the Curse of Flesh.
Take a look at the thread in its entirety for all of the lore questions and answers. And if you have a lore question that has you stumped, head over to Twitter and shoot it to Senior Historian Sean Copeland at his Twitter account, @Loreology.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

World Bosses no longer tap to faction

Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has posted on Twitter confirming what some players thought was a bug. Several players have noticed that, when an opposing faction group is attacking a world boss, like the Celestials, they are able to hit it and still get loot and credit. Watcher confirmed via Twitter that this was not a bug, and actually a hotfix that went in recently. That hotfix, he also notes, caused the boss health scaling with larger groups to break. This, in turn, has been fixed.

He also later added that this was not just applicable to Timeless Isle bosses, but to all of them. So presumably, that's every boss from Galleon and the Sha of Anger, through Nalak and Oondasta, right to the Celestials, and Ordos.

What this means is just as explained above -- if the opposite faction pulls a boss, you can punch it and still get credit and loot. You'd have to be a little brave or foolhardy to do so alone on a PvP server, unless you're a stealth class, but the opportunity remains. It'll be interesting to see whether this change has an impact on the use of the Raid Finder and oQueue for Celestials groups, or not. Given the convenience of those methods for finding a composed group, I suspect they'll prevail.

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Challenge mode rewards clarified for "end of season"

Challenge Mode Entrance
Blizzard has posted a blog detailing changes to the proposed "end-of-season" challenge mode rewards. They had previously posted a rather firm policy, detailing how this season's rewards would remain limited to those who'd previously earned them, and not be account wide. However, it seems they've changed their mind. Hit the break for the full post, as ever, but let's summarise the key points here:
  • The "Undaunted" title for all bronze medals will be account wide, so useable on any character.
  • The Pandaren Phoenix mounts earned with a full set of Silver medals will become account-wide.
  • If any character on your account has a full set of Silver medals, all four of the Pandaren Phoenixes (Crimson, Ashen, Violet, and Emerald) will become available to all characters.
  • Cosmetic sets will not be account wide. If you have all nine Gold medals, you can still buy the sets after the season ends on the character that earned the medals.
  • The "Challenger's Path" spells will be retained.
  • Realm Best titles will be permanently removed.
Hit the break for the full post.

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Filed under: News items

Connection problems for both North American and European players

Website down
Blizzard Customer Service is in the process of dealing with connection issues facing players on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. For the North American players, login errors have been plaguing both the Account Management website, and several games--World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Hearthstone.
For players in Europe, Blizzard noted yesterday on their EU support blog that the high latency and connection issues are, in fact, the result of a series of DDoS attacks that have been levied at Blizzard servers for the past few days. Blizzard is monitoring the situation and asks that players follow their European customer service Twitter account for updates and further information.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

This Warcraft-themed wedding will warm even the most undead heart

If there were in-game weddings in World of Warcraft, we bet they'd look a lot like Jen & Nick's wedding -- with everyone dressed up in their best finery, but not leaving their weaponry at home. For this real life wedding, the weapons were hand-made by the happy couple based on their favorite in-game weaponry, all of which were used to great effect in their wedding photos (like the one above).

Of course this gamer wedding had plenty of other geeky touches, like table decorations themed after WoW raid bosses, horde and alliance seating (instead of bride and groom seating), and a dance to Do You Wanna Date My Avatar. After all, you're (probably) only getting married once, so why not make it memorable?

Filed under: News items

Last Week in WoW: No April Fooling to be found here

Briefly, I considered using today's Last Week in WoW as the delivery mechanism for an April Fools' Joke. Rather than recapping the last week on the site, I was going to recap WoW Insider's entire existence, presenting links to everything we've ever posted in our history. This idea lasted no more than a few minutes, when the reality of the task settled in. Instead, I'll give you a few stats, which aren't jokes whatsoever. They're just interesting.

WoW Insider launched in November of 2005. Since then, we've published nearly 40,000 articles. Let's assume the average word count per article is 500 words -- it's likely more than that, given how many features we've run over the years and how much we like to talk, but let's say 500 anyway. That's 20,000,000 words. Twenty million. The average length of an adult fiction novel (not an erotic novel, but adult as opposed to young adult) is 100,000 words. Since November 2005, we've written 200 novels about World of Warcraft and Blizzard games in general.

So scrap the gag of linking you everything, because that's a Herculean task and I am no Hercules. Instead, let's stick with what happened this past week.

Most popular posts of the week
Follow along for Warlords news, WoW Insider features, editorials, and news from all other Blizzard titles.

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Filed under: News items, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone Insider

Spirits of Harmony may become BoE after all

Spirits of Harmony, the Mists of Pandaria currency used by many professions both for supplies and for crafting, have been BoP since the expansions launch. The last we'd heard, there were no plans to make the items BoE by the end of expansion, as with Cataclym's Chaos Orbs and Wrath's Frozen Orbs. However, a tweet exchange last week between Professions Designer @hwoome and a player suggests that the resource might not stay BoP after all ... and might even make the switch to a BoE item sooner than we'd thought.


While it's not a confirmation by any means, the tweet came from a game designer, which suggests at the very least that the issue is not off the table for discussion as previously thought. Whether or not we'll see Spirits lose their BoP status is still up in the air, though -- so I wouldn't worry about stockpiling the items for now.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

We're not antisocial! Yay!


This might be an obvious statement for those of us around here, but as it turns out, we're not antisocial. A new study has proven that gamers are not just basement-dwelling loners. In other words, everyone you see at BlizzCon did not just come out of their mother's house to talk about WoW -- they really are socially well-adapted people who enjoy the company of others.

This combats the stereotypes typically associated with gamers. More studies like these are an important step in eliminating the stigma associated with the online gaming community, and can go a long way in places of business and with health care in making "serious" online gaming like WoW more of an acceptable hobby. Now of course we consider it acceptable, however the CEO of Super Mega International World Corp might not agree.

The only problem with this study is that it viewed gamers already acting in social situations. Now given that they picked these gamers from that group, there would be a natural tendency for them to be more inclined to normalized social behavior. However at the same time, the study would have easily been able to pick up on outliers in the social interaction (meaning that their only social interaction was say, BlizzCon). The study found that this social interaction was deep and not just limited to one thing -- so while the population might not be ideal, the data still holds up (for the most part).

Filed under: News items

Review of World of Warcraft: Paragons

With all the chatter surrounding Christie Golden's next novel, I have to admit I'd almost forgotten that World of Warcraft: Paragons was set to release today. It's definitely not your usual sort of novel, instead holding a collection of short stories lore fans are likely already familiar with, all tucked into one book for easy referencing -- but it also includes the long-awaited novella Blood of the Highborne, by Micky Neilson. That said, fans looking for new, current lore aren't going to find any in this particular collection.

However, the book contains all of the leader short stories that were released over the course of Cataclysm's run, as well as a few other shorts -- Unbroken, the story of Farseer Nobundo, The War of the Shifting Sands, a piece that was released just before the launch of AQ40, and Road to Damnation, the story of Kel'thuzad, released just before the launch of the original iteration of Naxxramas all the way back in vanilla. It's Blood of the Highborne that really stands out among the collection, not necessarily because it's better than the rest, but because it's brand-new content that fills in a gap that's been missing in lore -- the conception and introduction of the Blood Knights of Silvermoon.

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Filed under: News items, Lore

80% don't use the battleground blacklist


The discussion last week about blacklisting PvE dungeons brought the PvP blacklist back into the spotlight. People were talking about it, and it worked its way into a discussion with Brian Holinka over Twitter. When someone stated that battlegrounds queues are long because of the blacklist feature, Holinka responded:

That number is really surprising to me -- the vast majority of those in the queue for battlegrounds are not using the blacklist feature. Maybe it's just me, but when I queue for battlegrounds I commonly queue up with a blacklist or two (especially Arathi Basin). I wonder though if this is just a situation where people don't see it or realize it even exists. Minor changes to the UI promoting people to pick exclusions could help increase its use.

Nonetheless, this is an interesting insight into how players are engaging the game.

Filed under: News items, PvP

War Crimes audiobook version confirmed

Some people like the feel of paper in their hands, some like e-readers for ease of storage, and some people really like to listen to the books they love. One of the most frequently asked questions surrounding any Warcraft novel's release is whether or not an audiobook version of the novel will be available to those that like to listen to their reading material. In most cases, that information isn't readily available before the book is published in print and e-reader formats.

However, it appears that War Crimes, the newest novel from Christie Golden, already has an audiobook version of the novel planned -- an entry for the audiobook edition has been found on Amazon. Scott Brick, the voice behind the audiobook renditions of Wolfheart, Dawn of the Aspects, and Shadows of the Horde will be lending his voice to War Crimes as well. Although there is no release date nor price currently listed for the audiobook, those interested can sign up to be notified when the audiobook release is available for purchase.

For more on War Crimes, the tale of Garrosh Hellscream's trial, check out our exclusive interview with author Christie Golden from last year's BlizzCon -- and while you're at it, there are not one but two excerpts from the novel now available for reading.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

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