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Filed under: News items

New Warlords of Draenor TV spots

It's time for some serious orcface, as the Warlords of Draenor hype machine kicks into overdrive with these new TV spots. There's one where Grommash just glares out from the screen, I admit that one makes me kind of uncomfortable. This one, with Garrosh getting a couple of beats, is my personal favorite (I've grown to like Garrosh in that love to hate sort of way - he made a pretty compelling bad guy, at least I thought so).

The weeks have flown by and we're in the home stretch now, with November 13 a few short weeks away. Are you ready for the Iron Horde? These TV spots want to know.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor cinematics, machinima, and more with Terran Gregory

If you've played World of Warcraft since the beginning, you've doubtless witnessed a slow evolution of story development take place in the form of in game cinematics and increasingly complex and beautiful patch trailers. The majority of these trailers can be chalked up to In-game Cinematic Project Director Terran Gregory, who has been toiling away on bringing us the very best of in game machinima since Burning Crusade. In Warlords of Draenor, those in game cinematics take a giant leap forward, featured in nearly every zone of the new expansion -- and with new models galore, they've never looked better.

As the launch of Warlords marches ever closer, we had the opportunity to finally sit down and have a spoiler-free chat with Terran about the cinematics of Warlords -- as well as his beginnings with Blizzard, and the progress of cinematics from mere machinima trailers to in game marvels of technical prowess.

Read more →

Filed under: Machinima, News items, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard offering 7 days of game time to select accounts

If you haven't upgraded your account to Warlords of Draenor, you may want to check your email. In fact, even if you have upgraded your account, you may want to check your email. Blizzard has quietly released a promotion giving players 7 free days of game time for select accounts, randomly offered to both current and returning players. As with any promotion, scams are an inevitability, so if you do see one of these emails pop up in your inbox, don't click any links in the email itself, just to be on the safe side.

Please note that this is a limited availability offer -- the promotion isn't being offered to all players. Community Manager Bashiok clarified the nature of the promotion on the official forums yesterday.

Bashiok
From time to time we run different promotional offers for a subset of players, but they're generally not something offered to everyone. Which is why this may work on the accounts that were offered the promotion, and not others.

However, players are reporting that they have received the promotion without the accompanying email, so you might just have a present waiting for you on your account. To check, log into your Battle.net account, click on your World of Warcraft license, and head to the Referrals & Rewards tab at the bottom of the page. If you have been offered free game time, a link will allow you to activate the game time and apply it to your account. According to the email, the offer expires on November 5 -- so make sure you redeem your game time now, before the offer disappears.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

A Behind the Scenes look at Lords of War with Senior Illustrator Laurel Austin

Earlier this month, Blizzard released a behind the scenes look at Lords of War, the latest short series from the team that brought us The Burdens of Shaohao. Although that behind the scenes glimpse was pretty good, it focused mainly on the story of the short films, the ideas behind the process. Yesterday, another Behind the Scenes featurette was added -- this time, featuring Senior Illustrator Laurel Austin, the artist behind all of those gorgeous moving frames. Austin goes through the process of character design for the shorts and the challenges of bringing the various warlords to life.

This is frankly the kind of behind the scenes stuff I really like to see -- don't get me wrong, I love a story as much as the next person, but I like seeing how it's all put together from a technical standpoint. While the exact process of animating the still paintings is only brushed on, it's still incredibly cool to watch Austin work and explain why particular stylistic choices were put into play. I didn't expect a second installment to this series, so I'm almost hoping we might yet see a third installment that goes into the animation process itself and how all those stunning paintings are brought to life. Either way, the video is a fascinating watch for anyone who wants to see how Blizzard puts their art together.

If you somehow missed Lords of War when it originally aired, you can catch the entire series on World of Warcraft's Youtube channel -- they've even put together a helpful playlist of all the episodes in order.

Filed under: Machinima, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard announces locally hosted Australian realms

Blizzard Entertainment held a Warlords of Draenor pre-launch celebration in Sydney, Australia last night. To much rejoicing among the Aussies, Blizzard announced Australia will soon have locally-hosted servers. Until now, Oceanic realms were hosted in the US, resulting in consistently subpar latency. Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has released an FAQ for the transition for those unsure of its ramifications. A few highlights:
  • Oceanic players on North American realms will, for a limited time, have optional character and guild realm transfers available free of charge
  • Players on the new Oceanic realms will still be able to play with friends on North American realms
  • The new realms will ideally be live before the release of Warlords of Draenor
  • Oceanic players on North American realms may remain there if they so choose
Let's hear it, Aussies: are you excited?

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard puts some character services on sale


Blizzard has discounted faction changes and character transfers by 25% for the next week. This means that you'll be able to get the services for the following prices:
  • Character Transfer -- $18.75
  • Faction Change -- $22.50
This is a great opportunity to transfer characters and get a new faction started before Warlords releases on November 13th. Interestingly, this makes the faction change cheaper than the race change, which is still going for $25. I gather moving from a human to an orc is easier than moving from a human to a night elf, at least for the next week.

A discount of similar stature is running on the EU servers. The sale ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard's Gorgrond preview

Blizzard has posted their Gorgrond creature preview over on the official WoW blog. Gorgrond is, in part, where Blade's Edge Mountains stands in the Outland version of Draenor. The zone itself is meant for level 92 - 94 players and is home to the Blackrock clan of Orcs.

Highlighted in this preview of particular note is the tree creatures called Botani. Personally every time I look at these I just think of our favorite vomiting tree, Bashiok, and wonder why Blizzard didn't just name an entire series of monsters after him.

I should clarify I'm not saying he's a monster -- he's actually a pretty cool guy.

Check out Blizzard's full preview right over yonder.

Filed under: News items

Patch 6.0.2 hotfixes for October 21


Blizzard continues to roll out hotfixes for patch 6.0.2 dealing with class issues and creature spells that didn't make the transition to the post-item squish world well enough. Nothing terribly special this time, but certainly some nice bugs taken care of that Druids will appreciate.

The full list is as follows:
Blizzard Entertainment
Classes

Druid
  • Dash should now correctly remove root effects when used.
  • Stampeding Roar should now correctly remove root effects when used.
  • Rake should no longer incorrectly stun the target if the attack misses while the Druid is stealthed.
  • Resolved an issue where Boosted Characters may sometimes be unable to learn Faerie Swarm.
Raids

Siege of Orgrimmar
  • The Fallen Protectors: Sun Tenderheart's Calamity ability should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
Throne of Thunder
  • Resolved an issue where the Feat of Strength achievement "I Thought He Was Supposed to Be Hard?" was being incorrectly awarded to characters that have died during the fight.
Firelands
  • Beth'tilac: Smoldering Devastation should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
Throne of the Four Winds
  • Conclave of Wind: Rohash's Deafening Wind ability should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
Icecrown Citadel
  • The Lich King: Necrotic Plague should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
The Eye of Eternity
  • Malygos (Phase 3): Damage dealt while riding a Red Drake now scales with the player's item level.
Sunwell Plateau
  • Grand Warlock Alythess: Flame Touched should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
Scenarios
  • Blood in the Snow: Freezing Circle should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Characters that are in-transit on a flight path should now be able to accept a Battleground or Arena queue.



Filed under: News items

Free Character Migrations for select EU realms

Players on EU realms looking for a change of pace or simply a new place to call home should take note -- Blizzard has opened up free Character Migrations for select EU realms. These Character Migrations are a one-time move from a predetermined list of source realms to a choice of a few destination realms. It's a one-time, one-way move, but it's absolutely free of charge for those that want to take advantage of the process while it's available. At the moment, these Character Migrations will be available until October 23. However, they can be closed down at any time, if enough people have taken advantage of the offer.

Players may also want to note that this is on an individual character basis only. Any guild leaders looking to move their guilds may do so through the Guild Master Realm Transfer service, which they'll still need to pay for. However, guild members that want to follow to the new realm can do so for free with the Character Migration offer. Please note -- this service is only available to EU realms, and at this time, there are no free Character Migrations available for US players. Read on for the official announcement, as well as the full list of available realms for the Free Character Migration offer.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

BlizzCon 2014 Online Merchandise sale begins

BlizzCon's online merchandise sale is now open for business and selling a variety of cool new products. If you have purchased tickets for this year's BlizzCon, or a Virtual Ticket for the show, you may now check out and purchase several of the items that will be available at the convention this year through Blizzard's Gear Shop. The sale has a ton of new items from all of Blizzard's titles -- it's not everything we'll be seeing at BlizzCon, but there's still a wide selection of items to choose from, both brand-new items, and familiar favorites from BlizzCons past as well.

This year's items include several new t-shirts from Blizzard's titles, some new hats, and a special World of Warcraft 10 year anniversary messenger bag, which you can see in the image above. The new faerie dragon plush has also been made available, as well as two new posters -- one featuring art from Heroes of the Storm, the other a stunning image of Grommash Hellscream from the recently released animated series Lords of War.

To check out the items and order, you must have either purchased a Virtual Ticket for BlizzCon 2014, or tickets for the event in Anaheim. If you have purchased a Virtual Ticket, your account should already be flagged for the sale. If you have purchased physical tickets, you'll need to use the redemption code included in your ticket email in order to flag your account. Supplies are limited, so take a look at what's available and place your orders quickly.


Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Clarification on honor and upcoming PvP changes



Community Manager Lore has posted an update on honor changes that are coming to WoW, and more clarification on what's happening on what's happening at level 100 in PvP.

One thing to note is that Blizzard is clearly making strategic decisions regarding PvP, and there's a renewed interest in making it a more active part of the game. Their designers are quite active on social media and other outlets in making sure that the community's feedback is heard loud and clear.

Lore's full post is as follows:
Blizzard Entertainment
Okay, few updates and some more info:

At level 100, Skirmishes and Battlegrounds will award Strongboxes as the primary reward mechanic. You'll get some Honor from a win, but the contents of the Strongbox will be what you're really interested in. Those are obviously not available at level 90, which is why PvP gearing feels slow right now.

That said, we agree that 18 Honor is too low as a base value for a Skirmish win. We're going to bump that up to 36. That amount will still increase based on how long a match goes, starting at 45 honor past 1 minute and increasing from there. Again, keep in mind that we want shorter matches to give more Honor per time spent, so that players don't feel obligated to drag out Skirmishes for better rewards.

As to why it's not a higher number ("this gear won't matter in a few weeks"), there's a few key points to keep in mind. First off, there's the relationship between Skirmishes and Battlegrounds. Battlegrounds take longer and often have longer queues, which makes them a much larger personal investment to participate in. We want to make sure that extra personal investment feels worthwhile, so we're tuning Skirmish and Battleground rewards so that you earn slightly more Honor per time spent in a Battleground than you would in a Skirmish. If an average Battleground takes 15 minutes, and an average Skirmish only takes 2 or 3, the Battleground should reward significantly more Honor.

Also, keep in mind that there's no weekly cap on Honor gains. It's okay for a rated Arena match to reward 180 Conquest points, because after you get your 10 wins (or reach your catch-up cap), that's it for the week. You might earn Honor a little slower, but you could earn your entire Honor set in just a few days if you really wanted to.

Finally, we don't want to set unrealistic expectations for Warlords and level 100 PvP. We're okay with letting players gear a little bit faster right now in preparation for Warlords, but we don't want you to feel like you've had the rug pulled out from under you once the expansion launches and you start gearing at level 100. We want Skirmishes and Battlegrounds to feel rewarding in the interim period, but we don't want them to be some kind of loot piñata either.

Filed under: News items, PvP

Patch 6.0.2 hot fixes for October 16


Blizzard has released another round of hotfixes for patch 6.0.2. These fixes corrected a few of the more fun bugs, like procs on Shadowmourne and amazingly powerful old enchants. Highlights of this round include:
  • Shadowmourne's Chaos Bane effect was granting too much Strength. The amount of Strength granted has been reduced to a more appropriate amount.
  • Reduced the Bonus Armor on a number of items that had too much Armor.
  • Resolved an issue where item enchants from expansions prior to Mists of Pandaria were scaling incorrectly and wound up being stronger than intended.
  • Blackfuse Shredders now have 40% less health.
  • Desecrated Weapon and Empowered Desecrated Weapon now deal less damage on Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulty.

The full list of hotfixes after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: News items

Class guides updated for Warlords of Draenor and patch 6.0.2


Wondering what's up with your class in Warlords of Draenor and patch 6.0.2? Class guides on both Wowhead and Icy Veins have been updated with all of the class changes you'll find on live servers right now.

First up, Icy Veins has updated their popular class guides, including 6.0 transition guides. These are currently aimed at level 90 players, but you should look for them to be updated with level 100 talents and gear in the near future.

Next, Wowhead has updated their class guides for Warlords of Draenor at level 100. These guides are aimed at beginners or recently returned players, so if you've just leveled or boosted a new character you should definitely check them out. Each guide also has a section dealing specifically with patch 6.0.2 and any gearing changes you may want to consider at level 90.

You might recognize some of the Wowhead guide authors as former WoW Insider class columnists, including yours truly (hunter guide). You can find all of the updated guides right here.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.0.2 hotfixes for October 15


The second round of hotfixes for patch 6.0.2 are in, but some of these will require realm restarts to take effect. Some of the highlights include:
  • Resolved an issue where some Iron Horde Incursion quests were awarding items that had a level 100 requirement to equip or not awarding an item correctly.
  • To better account for the changes to player health and ability scaling, we've reduced the health and damage of nearly all non-player creatures and NPCs on a level-by-level basis (larger reductions for lower-level creatures, in general).
  • The damage dealt by several of Ordos's abilities has been reduced.
  • Heart of the Thunder King: Resolved an issue where players were not receiving Lei Shen's heart if they've already defeated them earlier in the week.
  • Garrosh Hellscream now has 15% less health on Mythic difficulty.
  • Resolved an issue where characters that have completed the achievement: Proving Yourself: Endless Damage (Wave 30) (Level 90) were not retaining their titles.
  • Resolved an issue where Battleground queues were not working correctly.
The full list of hotfixes is after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Lost on what's happening in WoW? Catch up here!


The lore of World of Warcraft can be a bit hard to keep up with, being as it's spread not only throughout the large (and growing) game world, but also in books, comics, and the original Warcraft games. And with Warlords of Draenor -- and yesterdays's patch 6.0.2 -- poised to shake up the story even more, you may want to take the time to figure out what's going on so you'll better understand the events to come.

So just how did we go from crash-landing on Pandaria to repelling a Blasted Lands invasion? To help answer that question, Blizzard has put together a nice walkthrough of the story of Mists of Pandaria with a glimpse of what we'll start to see with today's patch: Iron Tide Rising. And if you're still looking for more lore, there are also suggested novels to dive in to -- or you can check out our novels guide.

Filed under: News items, Lore

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