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Filed under: News items

EU Connected Realm Updates for October 3

It's been a while, but the list of EU realms slated for the Realm Connection service has been recently updated with new information and new realms in regards to upcoming dates for the service. Please note that these updates are for EU realms only. There have been no updates for US Realm Connections. Today's update is just a small one, with only one set of connections scheduled for next week -- at the moment, there are no other planned connections listed as either in the works or scheduled.

The following EU realms are scheduled for connection on Wednesday, October 8.

English Realms
  • Eonar and Vek'nilash/Blade's Edge
  • Steamwheedle Cartel and Moonglade/The Sha'tar
German Realms
  • Das Konsortium and Die Arguswacht/Die Todeskrallen/Das Syndikat/Der Abyssische Rat/Kult der Verdammten

If you're on a low-population realm, but not on the above list, keep in mind that realm connections are an ongoing process, and you may see your realm added to the list over the next several weeks. Also keep in mind that planned connections may change at any time, but Blizzard will keep us updated on changes -- realms may be added or removed from the list at any point in time. For the full list of all EU realms that have been connected so far, check the official forum thread.


Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Warlords of Draenor: Official Draenor dungeon previews

If you've been wondering about the various new dungeons we'll be seeing in Warlords of Draenor, prepare to have your questions clarified. Earlier this week, Blizzard posted an official preview of all the dungeons introduced in the next expansion, including the revamp of Upper Blackrock Spire. The previews do a great job of giving an idea of what we'll be seeing in the dungeon without actually giving away any potential storyline spoilers -- just a brief overview of why the dungeons are there. There isn't even a boss list that tells you who you'll be seeing, which is nice for those wanting a little information without giving everything away.

More importantly, each dungeon includes a short piece of commentary by one of the many artists and designers involved in bringing it to life. Each bit of commentary goes over one particular feature or design element of the dungeon and how it was brought to life. We don't usually see the behind-the-scenes for the dungeons we run, and it's cool to see some of the crew involved in dungeon design being given the opportunity to talk about their work. And even if you've already been playing through the dungeons in the beta, there's still information here that you can't get just from running it in game.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard on eSports: WoW is kind of hard to watch

I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that one of the reasons World of Warcraft hasn't made as big a splash in the world of eSports as games like League of Legends is because, simply put, you can't really watch it as well as other games. Blizzard itself isn't unaware of this. According to Kim Phan, Blizzard's Sr. Manager of eSports, one of the issues they're looking at is the fact that WoW simply wasn't designed to be something people watched the way bigger eSports games are.

"I can definitely say that WoW 3v3 Arena right now is kind of hard to watch, in the form that it is," he told PCGamesN. "And so there are things that we want to evaluate."

"World of Warcraft was obviously created well before eSports blew up to the way it is now. It is taking a game that was out before all of this happened, and then figuring out how to enhance it and support it . . . What makes something an eSport really depends on what people want to see."

It's a sticky problem, to be sure - how do you promote WoW as an eSport when it's kind of hard for anyone to really watch it? I think she's dead on the mark there. Spectator mode's a nice idea, but I think we need to consider how to make stuff like Rated Battlegrounds attractive as a competitive eSport as well - larger teams would make it something relatively few such games do.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP

World of Warcraft subscription fee goes up in China

Playing World of Warcraft in China is a little different than playing World of Warcraft just about anywhere else. In addition to content changes to suit the Chinese government -- like corpses being replaced with gravestones -- the payment method is different. Instead of paying for WoW on a monthly basis, Chinese gamers pay an hourly rate for access.

But starting on October 16th, that rate is getting an increase -- the game's first price change since it launched in the region -- and a pretty sizable one, at that. The new fees are 30¥ (about $5) for 2700 minutes and 15¥ (about $2.50) for 1350 minutes, an increase of 45%. Though those rates may seem low by our standards, it's a big increase for Chinese gamers, who have accounted for more of WoW's recent subscriber drop than gamers elsewhere. A big rate hike doesn't seem likely to help the game hold on to the game's Chinese subscribers, who don't even have this fall's launch of Warlords of Draenor to look forward to.

Filed under: News items

Blizzard presents Behind the Scenes on Lords of War

If you were wondering how they came up with the idea to do the Lords of War series, Blizzard has a pretty awesome video for you to watch, up on IGN now. This behind the scenes look into the development process of the Lords of War series is interesting for what you find out you didn't get as much as for what you did. I also loved finding out that Maraad is voiced by Crispin Freeman, aka Red Arrow from Young Justice. It's very cool to get to see him explaining what he's up to in the story, and in general I liked getting to see what went into the making of this video series.

You should definitely check it out. It's up on IGN right now.

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

Diablo III and Reaper of Souls 50% off this week

If you find there's a lack of demon-smashing in your life, never fear: Diablo III and its expansion Reaper of Souls are on sale for 50% off on the Blizzard store. Note: This sale only applies to the PC and Mac versions. Sorry, console players!

Considering jumping on this deal? Jump quickly. The sale ends Monday, October 6 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Filed under: News items, Diablo 3

Yes, Molten Core LFR will grant Hydraxian Waterlords reputation

I'm pretty excited about the upcoming 10th Anniversary Molten Core LFR, but I have to admit, of all the reasons I have to be excited about that, the idea that it would be a way to gather Hydraxian Waterlords reputation would have been absolutely on the bottom of the list. However, some of you apparently care about this, and now it's official - Crithto has confirmed that yes, Virginia, there is a Hydraxian Waterlords Reputation Santa Claus. So there you have it.

Now, when I ran Molten Core, back in the day, you needed that rep to get the Aqual Quintessence you needed to douse the runes. And you needed one Quintessence per rune, so several people in your raid had to be gathering rep with them in order to get enough to complete the raid! You kids today, you don't even need to march 40 people through Blackrock Depths to get them to the Raid entrance inside the very base of the dungeon! Now (well, soon) you just queue up in LFR and get all the sweet Hydraxian Waterlords reputation you want, and you don't even need it for anything!

I'll be over here in my rocking chair.

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

Patch 6.0: Treasure room keys removed

If you're trying to get the achievement In The Hall Of The Thunder King, get working on it not, because as soon as Patch 6.0 drops the achievement becomes a Feat of Strength, and the key will no longer drop. That's the word from Kaivax on the forums.

Kaivax - Treasure Room Achievement -> Feat of Strength
n WoW Patch 6.0.2, we will be retiring the Achievement In The Hall Of The Thunder King, as the treasure room will no longer be accessible. That achievement will become a Feat of Strength, and Elder Charm of Good Fortune will drop in place of the key to the room.


I admit I don't understand the reasoning behind this. First the legendary cloak, then the Brawler's Guild, and now the Treasure Room, all effectively removed in a few weeks. Seems strange to see so much content going inaccessible like this. But you've been warned, so if you're working on this, get a move on.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Warlords of Draenor: New Mythic Tiers will not be cross-realm

With the patch 6.0 pre-expansion period almost upon us (certainly within the month) we know that we'll get to see the debut of Mythic difficulty Siege of Orgrimmar. However, that difficulty will be cross-realm, just as heroic SoO has been up to now. Watcher answered a recent question on twitter about how Warlords of Draenor mythic raids will work in this regard.


What this means is that the newest Mythic raid will always be realm only, keeping the prestige of realm first chases alive, but as another tier is launched, that previous Mythic tier will hopefully become cross-realm, allowing you and your friends (or even just willing strangers, ala today's SoO pugs) to run the older content. Seems fairly reasonable to me.

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

PvP Season 15 to end "in a couple of weeks"

For those of us waiting with bated breath (look it up, that's how it's spelled) for any idea of when Patch 6.0 will be dropping, the answer is soon. Blizzard has done a warning post for the end of the season, and in their own words, it's not far off.

After many grueling bouts in the Arenas and Battlegrounds, the time has nearly come to see who will reign supreme in this action-packed PvP season. Prepare to fight your last battles, and remember-to the victors go the spoils!

Arena and Rated Battleground Season 15 will be coming to an end in a couple of weeks. Once the season wraps, we'll begin an approximately two week process to determine end-of-season reward eligibility.

So, since today was a rolling restart maintenance day, it's fair to speculate that it'll be two weeks into October, most likely October 14th, when Patch 6.0 drops. That falls into line with the usual month between the pre-expansion patch and the actual expansion that we saw in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria.

Please remember, if you're an Arena/Rated BG player waiting for your end of the season rewards, to not transfer your character to another realm until after the PvP season has ended if you want to remain eligible.

Filed under: News items, PvP, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Today's the last day to get your Horde chopper


If you're reading this before 11:59pm PDT on September 30, 2014 then you still have time to log in to your Horde character, thus enabling yourself to get the Horde version of the Azeroth Chopper when it's released. If you don't log in, then you won't get it for free.

So... go log in! It's that simple, and time is running out.

Filed under: News items

Brawler's Guild: Season Two


Blizzard has clarified more with what's happening with the Brawler's Guild going into Warlords of Draenor. In a blog post today, Blizzard detailed the following changes:

Blizzard Entertainment
  • All Brawler's Guild achievements earned prior to Patch 6.0.2-Season One-will become legacy achievements. New achievements for Season Two will take their place.
  • Rewards earned based on progression will remain available for purchase. The ring reward will be updated in Patch 6.0.2 so that it will have valuable stats for all specializations.
  • The next patch will introduce boss encounters that will be adjusted for level 100 members.
  • Progression has been reverted back to 8 tiers.
  • Bosses that are being removed from previous tiers will be added to the challenge card vendor and become available as you progress.
  • All tiers have had their boss line-ups remixed-for example, Bruce is now a rank 5 boss instead of rank 1.


We knew most of this already, however it's good to reiterate exactly what's on tap for the fight club. Keep in mind that while nothing is getting added immediately, we fully expect Blizzard to add in things as the expansion progresses.

Filed under: News items

Characters of Warcraft updates with Lords of War cast

The short animated series Lords of War reached its conclusion earlier this week, wrapping things up with a short tale featuring Vindicator Maraad. If you haven't had quite enough of the characters featured in the series, Blizzard has also updated the Characters of Warcraft section of the official site with pages featuring all of the players in Lords of War. Kargath, Grommash, Durotan, Kilroggm and Maraad all have new pages with character history expanded a little beyond what we've seen in Lords of War.

In addition to the background information and history, each page also includes a brand-new wallpaper with the featured character, and links to related content. Hopefully we'll see other entries added over time for the other orc warlords featured in the next expansion -- and more entries on the draenei residents of Draenor as well. I'd love to see pages for Akama, Nobundo, and Yrel, as well as this Draenor's version of Velen, and some of the other notable draenei we'll be adventuring alongside in the next expansion. If you liked Lords of War and you'd like to learn more, head to the official site and check out the new entries.


Filed under: News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Reminder: Get your content cleared before 6.0.2

Blizzard posted a reminder earlier this week regarding several features that will either be changed or removed from the game entirely in patch 6.0.2. While we don't at present time have a release date set for the introductory patch of Warlords of Draenor, it would still be in your best interests to complete the content now, rather than waiting and possibly missing out for good. And of course, removed content means those achievements you've gathered will be filed away as either Legacy achievements, or Feats of Strength in the upcoming expansion.

Challenge Modes should be top priority if you've got your eyes on those Mists of Pandaria sets, because they will no longer be available as of 6.0.2 -- the phoenix mounts will also be going away, although players that have earned one of the mounts will have access to all variations. Players looking for heirloom weapons from Garrosh Hellscream should hop to it, as those will also be removed once Warlords of Draenor is released in November. In addition, the Brawler's Guild will be taking a hiatus once patch 6.0.2 hits -- the bosses and encounters in the Brawler's Guild will be re-tuned for level 100. However, if you've already gained access to the Brawler's Guild, you'll still retain that access when the new expansion launches -- no need to dig up another invite.

Lastly, if you have not started the legendary cloak quest chain by patch 6.0.2, you'll no longer be able to obtain it. Players already on the chain will still retain the quests, although they will be slightly altered, as the section of the chain that requires players to collect Valor Points will be gone altogether with the removal of Valor Points in 6.0.2. For more information on changes and removals with the arrival of both patch 6.0.2 and Warlords of Draenor itself, take a look at Blizzard's full post on the official site.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Steamy Romance Novels: Now with illustrations

One of my favorite parts of any new expansion has just gotten an upgrade, of sorts. It's no secret that I love the Steamy Romance Novels that have been a staple in the game since Burning Crusade. Mists of Pandaria added not one, but two new selections -- although one of them, I'm In Love With A Robot, is too smudged to actually read. Needless to say, part of me has been wondering if the savage lands of Draenor will, in fact, contain one of these literary masterpieces for us to collect. I was both surprised and delighted to see that not only do we get a new book, but all the books in the collection have received visual upgrades.

That's right -- every readable Steamy Romance Novel now has illustrations along with the tantalizingly silly bits of story. That's some pretty loving attention to detail for what are essentially a bunch of vendor-trash books that most people won't favor with more than a glance. But more importantly, a new novel has been added to the collection: A Steamy Romance Novel: Savage Passions. And even more importantly than that, a new method has been added of obtaining all of the Steamy Romance Novels ... just in case you were missing one from your collection.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Humor, Warlords of Draenor

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