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Filed under: Rumors

Angry Birds: Warcraft?


Tweeted from Dave Kosak, one of WoW's Game Designers, last night was an eye-raising possibility:


Now I have no idea if this is Dave just joking around our not -- he very well could be. But the idea of an Angry Birds WoW edition? Yes, please and thank you. I can only imagine how much fun it would be to shoot little birds at Thrall and knock him down a bit (literally).

Joke or no joke, the idea has a lot of merit and isn't far fetched, in my opinion. A few reasons why this would work:
  • WoW has a deep story that would make a large number of levels and interesting progression possible. You could start your birds out in Elwynn Forest and finish off the final level in Orgrimmar. Maybe stop and say hello to Deathwing along the way.
  • Both WoW and Angry Birds have a gigantic fan-base that tend to instantly buy anything with such names on it. This edition could make both companies a lot of money.
  • Rovio is clearly open to cross-overs. Just look at their Star Wars edition of Angry Birds. Furthermore, Rovio has proven they know how to work with multinational giants like Blizzard.
I really hope Dave is serious about this tweet. I admit I'll be a tad disappointed if he was just joking. But if he was -- maybe we can all encourage him to really pursue this.

Filed under: Rumors

Patch 5.4.7 PTR: Is this the level 90 boost gear?

Level 90 boost gear
Our friends over at Wowhead have datamined some gear from the patch 5.4.7 PTR. Included are full sets of ilvl483 armor, cloaks, jewelry, and weapons. The source of this gear hasn't been confirmed yet, but it seems like the perfect starter gear for a brand new level 90. It's sufficient to get you started in the first few LFRs or random PvP battlegrounds at least. You can view all of these new items at the links below:
Remember that this is datamined information and nothing has been confirmed. However, it does seem likely once you consider similar quality greens are given to boosted level 80 characters from the Scroll of Resurrection promotion. We'll be sure to keep you updated as the PTR progresses.

Filed under: News items, Rumors

Rumor: Are we getting a new character model preview this Thursday/Friday?


Chris Robinson, Senior Art Director at Blizzard, tweeted a pretty obvious hint of what's to come later this week in a blog post reveal on the official Warcraft site. As pictured above, it really looks like some new hair ... and where would Blizzard showcase new hair? On a new character model.

I don't think it's a very big stretch to say that another model preview is on its way. It could just be new hairstyles, however that'd seem pretty anti-climatic, especially given that we haven't seen any of the other models yet.

In fact, I'll go as far to say that this hairstyle looks like it belongs on a Human or Blood Elf (which we know are now in-progress for WoD). Stay tuned to your Warcraft news sites (especially on Twitter). Should be interesting!


Filed under: Rumors

Possible Blizzard trademark: "Heroes of the Storm"

Possible Blizzard trademark Heroes of the Storm
A potential new trademark for Blizzard Entertainment has been filed in New Zealand, according to posters over at MMO-Champion. The trademark, Heroes of the Storm, is currently listed as being under examination on the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand's official website. This means that the trademark has not been officially filed as of yet -- and given the back and forth about the legitimacy of the supposed trademark filed for "The Dark Below" that turned out to be a hoax, one should probably keep that in mind when discussing the possible legitimacy of this trademark.

However, the trademark is filed for computer game software, and we still haven't heard a peep as to just what the next expansion is going to be. Does Heroes of the Storm sound like the next Warcraft project? Or perhaps an upcoming expansion card set for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft? It certainly doesn't sound like a title for anything Diablo or StarCraft related, and Wrathion's made his fair share of references to fire raining from the sky, which sounds pretty stormy to me. While we don't have a definitive on whether or not this trademark will be approved and filed, it definitely gives us some more food for thought.

Filed under: News items, Rumors

Rumor: Colin Farrell and Paula Patton cast as leads in Warcraft movie


It's a rumor, but an interesting one ... apparently Colin Farrell has already been offered a role in the new Warcraft movie, and Paula Patton is in the contracting stage. Legendary Pictures and Atlas Entertainment are doing the casting, and things certainly seem to be moving forward.

Which, despite whatever you might think of these two choices, is good news for the film. It's been plagued for years with various ups and downs. Finally getting to the point of actually casting the movie should be cause for celebration around the halls of Blizzard Entertainment.

Of course now the question turns to what Farrell and Patton would be best at in the Warcraft universe. I'm thinking Medivh for Farrell (I mean, he's got mad wizard written all over him). And Patton as Jaina, although she'd have to dye her hair. Or maybe she's evil Jaina... #NotAnAnnouncement

The Warcraft movie is set to begin filming in 2014.

Filed under: News items, Rumors

Warcraft Movie Rumors: Khadgar and Medivh?

Warcraft movie rumors Khadgar and Medivh
According to website Bleeding Cool, there are some new rumors about the upcoming Warcraft film -- specifically, what the story of the film will be about. Many people have been speculating as to the content of the movie, which is titled Warcraft -- not World of Warcraft -- and therefore could involve ... well, just about anything in the Warcraft canon, or an entirely new story we'd never before seen. Once thing was certain -- the story, whatever it is, is going to be something suitably epic.

But according to Bleeding Cool, that story may be far more familiar than we'd previously thought. Rumor has it that the main character will be none other than Khadgar, and the story itself will revolve around his experiences with Medivh. Also supposedly set to appear in the film are Anduin Lothar, along with mention of "the King and his Lady." I'm assuming, judging from the other characters, that we're speaking of King Llane here.

Keep in mind that this is all firmly rumor, and none of this has been confirmed by anyone actually working on the film. However, I don't know about you guys but I'd be perfectly happy with a film that went back to the high-fantasy days of Medivh and the First War -- seeing Lothar on the big screen sounds like a wonderful time to me. Check out Bleeding Cool for the full synopsis, as well as rumored actors for the film -- Johnny Depp, anyone?

Filed under: Blizzard, Rumors

Ghostcrawler, potentially, details the future of WoW at Chinajoy [UPDATED]

Ghostcrab
There are some eyebrow-raising bits in a foreign Ghostcrawler interview, and we caution everyone that none of this has been confirmed with Blizzard (we reached out earlier today), and we have a feeling that a good deal of nuance may have been lost in translation. That being said, if the interview is correct, it gives us some fascinating hints as to the directions that Blizzard may be exploring for future WoW content.

Apparently Blizzard either was or has been considering the Naga as an addition to the playable races, though their lack of legs is a big hurdle to overcome for things like armor design. In terms of future plot, the interview seems to imply that following Mists of Pandaria we will be headed back into mainland Azeroth, and that further story lines involving the trolls, the Burning Legion, and the Emerald Dream are slated to "gradually develop". Now, we know that an Emerald Dream expansion is something that many fans have been hankering after for a good long time, so this kind of news would be very much welcome to hear. Here I feel compelled to state that again, there is no official confirmation for any of this. However, there is one bit about the lore that I feel relatively confident is accurate, and that's Ghostcrawler's assertion that the relationship and conflict between the mogu, the Old Gods, and the Titans will be revealed in patch 5.4.

Happy speculations, everyone!

Update 10:42 p.m. EDT: 2P, the Chinese gaming site, has updated their English translation of the article noting that Naga will not be the next playable race. They also modified the way in which the next areas of WoW's content were talked about; however the three big areas (Trolls, Burning Legion, and Emerald Dream) are still areas in which Ghostcrawler noted content can expand into.

Filed under: Interviews, Rumors, Mists of Pandaria

Warcraft movie will not be directed by Sam Raimi

Warcraft Movie will not be directed by Sam Raimi
Crave Online has managed to speak with the proposed World of Warcraft Movie director Sam Raimi at Comic-Con 2012, and they have confirmed that the proposed director, Sam Raimi, will not be taking the reins of the Warcraft movie.

Raimi said to Crave that when he took the role directing his current film, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Blizzard had to move on and find another person to fill the director's shoes. Sam Raimi is quoted as saying:

Actually, they don't have me directing World of Warcraft anymore because when I took the Oz job, they had to move on to another director. They had to start making it.

This, it seems, moves us from a position of knowing only one thing for sure about the Warcraft movie to knowing nothing at all. We thought we knew who was directing it, and we don't. We might, however, like to glean from Raimi's comments that the Warcraft movie's creation is under way, but that would be speculative at best.

Crave wasn't able to find any reports that Blizzard has been in contact with other directors, nor could we here at WoW Insider. We can certainly be encouraged by the idea that the movie's creation is in process, but we really are being kept very much in the dark. However, with much of Blizzard's WoW energy currently being channeled into the ever more imminent release of Mists of Pandaria, it doesn't seem unreasonable or surprising that the movie might have been put on something of a back burner for now.

Filed under: Rumors

Rumor: Vivendi plans to sell Activision Blizzard

Rumor Vivendi plans to sell Activision Blizzard
Bloomberg reports that Vivendi is looking to sell its 61 percent holding in Activision Blizzard, according to "a person with knowledge of the situation." If they are unable to find a purchaser for the entire $8.1 billion stake, they will attempt to sell part of it on the open market.

Again, this is just a rumor, but the CEO of the French Company just quit this week during a board meeting, reportedly due to a disagreement about selling off the huge telecommunication and media company's assets. The Wall Street Journal reports that "people familiar with the matter" claim that the board is considering splitting up Vivendi outright.

Until the rumor is confirmed and the success of the sale or spinoff is resolved, we will not know the fate of Blizzard or World of Warcraft. Those who say the sale of Blizzard to the merger of Blizzard and Activision brought down the quality of the game may laud the situation, while others will add this to the many reasons they claim that WoW is doomed. But speculation is just that, and we'll keep an eye out for actual facts as they happen.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Rumors

Official Monopoly: World of Warcraft game to be unveiled next week

Anyone familiar with board games could tell you that there are about 100,000 different versions of Monopoly out there. There's an officially licensed The Wizard of Oz Monopoly. There's a Powerpuff Girls Monopoly. And a Looney Tunes Monopoly. Even the lousy IP-cash-in movie effort Cars 2 has its own version of Monopoly. So it would only stand to reason that World of Warcraft would get its own version of Monopoly eventually, right?

Right.

According to BlizzPlanet, an officially licensed World of Warcraft Monopoly will be unveiled at next week's Toy Fair 2012 in New York City. There really aren't any details as of yet, just that the board game will be showcased. Presumably, though, there will be a lot of customization involved, right down to the playing tokens.

Perhaps even more exciting than Monopoly (a game I am incapable of losing, FYI) is the companion Blizzard tie-in, Risk: StarCraft. Supposedly, the playing pieces for that game will include StarCraft II units. That's all sorts of awesome.

Update: BlizzPlanet has removed its references to these games in its Toy fair 2012 posting, so it's possible USAopoly was not prepared to announce these products yet.

Filed under: News items, Rumors

Rumored "mass layoffs" at Blizzard never happened

Yesterday, a handful of gaming news sites reported that a senior designer working on the new Titan MMO had gotten laid off by Blizzard Entertainment. In the hours that followed, the internet began conducting an "investigation" via Facebook that revealed tens, if not hundreds of Blizzard employees were just laid off.

There's only one problem with the information said investigation dredged up: It's not true. There are no massive layoffs at Blizzard. So says Blizzard itself, via Community Manager Bashiok:

mass layoffs at blizz
Hey guys, out of respect for their privacy, we don't discuss individual employees, but the speculation circulating about 'massive layoffs at Blizzard' is just a rumor.


Fellow Community Manager Zarhym confirmed the lack of layoffs on his own personal Twitter account, saying that there's "tons of speculation based on false evidence." He went on to explain that the vast majority of people rumored to have been laid off showed up to work today.

So rest assured: The sky is not falling. Blizzard employees still have their jobs. Project Titan has not been cancelled. Ghostcrawler is still in the building. And despite what you may have heard from Mr. Feeney's grocer, Cory and Topanga are not adopting a 14-year-old Chinese boy.
Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Rumors

Tom Chilton suggests Mists of Pandaria "wildly overhyped"

Maybe Mists of Pandaria isn't quite as likely as we all thought. IGN PC had a chat with Game Director Tom Chilton about the rumors of the upcoming expansion, as well as the upcoming patch 4.3 and the possibility of WoW moving to a free-to-play model.

Chiming in on the subject of transmogrification was Art Director Chris Robinson, who explained a little about the details behind the feature and its restrictions. Robinson clarified that protecting class integrity was an important factor in both armor design and the upcoming transmogrification feature: "When you see those demon wings you know 'Okay that's a warlock,' you know you can apply that to his tier twenty-one armor but it's still a warlock."

So what about free-to-play? Chilton confirms that it's "definitely a possibility," but for those of you looking for an immediate free-to-play version of WoW, you're going to have to wait. Chilton clarified that the change would be a dramatic departure from Blizzard's current business model, and it would take quite a bit of convincing to switch models.

As to the subject of Pandaren ...

Speculation swirled recently regarding Blizzard's decision to trademark "Mists of Pandaria," as many thought it may indicate the name of the next World of Warcraft expansion. Pandaria, in Warcraft lore, refers to the home of the Pandaren, basically humanoid war pandas you may remember making an appearance as neutral heroes in Warcraft III. Chilton said the speculation was, "wildly overhyped." He added, "if you look at traditionally how we've handled that race it's been in those secondary products because we haven't realized it in the world. Most of the time when we do anything panda-related it's going to be a comic book or a figurine or something like that."

Comic books, figurines, or a new expansion? Time and undoubtedly BlizzCon will tell. Check out the full article over at IGN PC.

Filed under: News items, Rumors

PAX East 2011: Will World of Warcraft ever go free-to-play?

It seems that every new MMORPG wants to bill itself as a "WoW killer." From Lord of the Rings Online to Age of Conan to (most recently) RIFT, everyone wants a piece of the most popular subscription-based MMORPG of all time.

To date, World of Warcraft has weathered the competition. Its subscriber numbers have reached an all-time high (now over 12 million), with its latest Cataclysm expansion selling nearly 5 million copies in the first month alone. The game should remain popular and successful for years to come. Still, even Blizzard admits: It can't stay on top forever.

So what happens when the game starts losing a significant amount of its subscriber base? If what happened to Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online is any clue, World of Warcraft might move to a free-to-play model. Since switching to free-to-play, both of Turbine's games added subscribers and increased revenues.

This past weekend, I sat in on the free-to-play MMO panel held at the PAX East 2011 conference in Boston. Afterward, I caught up with Robert Ferrari, VP of Publishing and Business Development for Sanrio Digital (Hello Kitty Online), to discuss WoW. We discussed the free-to-play industry and whether or not World of Warcraft could eventually find a place in it.

"WoW has to be looking at a free-to-play model currently," Ferrari theorized.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Rumors

The truth about datamined WoW data

Right now I'm playing World of Warcraft as more of a pinch hitter than I am used to, in part because I also do things like make the calls for our raids and help plan out raid times. In essence, I find myself a guild officer in a guild just getting off the ground, so I don't have the luxury of gearing for only one role. I have to be ready to tank or DPS based on what's needed. This isn't a problem, exactly. But it means I find myself having to really pay attention to what either role demands at a moment's notice, and so the patch 4.0.6 changes are constantly on my mind.

As such, I found this forum thread interesting not for what it contains but in what it reveals about how people use datamined information. The original post is based on information that is datamined, and as such, is not always fully in line with what is intended. In this particular case, as Zarhym points out, the Heroic Strike changes aren't new but are the same HS changes we've seen in every version of 4.0.6 that have been discussed to date.

Datamining can be an awesome tool, to be sure. I've salivated over weapon models and reacted with consternation to class changes over and over again in the past, just like everyone else. I still remember sitting at my computer trying to will Ulduar into existence; got a heck of a nosebleed.

But please, when dealing with datamined information, you have to keep in mind that it often (purely due to the limitations of the process) comes up short or deals with information that may have no bearing on what ends up in the live game. So when you see a tooltip change or hear about an ability going up or down in power based on it, it's best to wait and see a confirmation of the change from Blizzard before you panic. Datamined changes can be a good heads up, but they're not to be considered the same as officially released information.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Rumors, Cataclysm

Patch 4.0.3a, The Shattering, likely hitting live servers tomorrow

With the announcement of extended downtime for tomorrow already out, the buzz has begun in earnest. We know that The Shattering, the patch that will change Azeroth forever, is coming either this week or the next, and an extended downtime would be the perfect time to patch it in.

The Shattering patch will include all the old-world changes coming with Cataclysm, including changes to the Loremaster and Explorer achievements to match, the removal of Zul'Gurub, a reduction in the amount of experience required to level from 70 to 80, and the addition of all of the new race/class combinations. Worgen and goblins will still have to wait for Cataclysm itself, of course. If you don't plan to do any raiding or dailies in Northrend in the next couple weeks on any of your characters, you may also want to move your character to Stormwind or Orgrimmar before the servers go down, as rumor has it that the portals in Dalaran are going away with this patch.

If all this change is getting you confused and dismayed, never fear! We here at WoW Insider will be with you every step of the way. Just stay with us for all the latest news and handy guides you need to survive in the brave new world of Cataclysm.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items, Rumors, Cataclysm

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