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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Light of the naaru

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

First featured in the Burning Crusade expansion, the enigmatic naaru have been a constant, benevolent life-force in World of Warcraft -- strange creatures with some sort of eternal crusade against the darkness of the Legion. It was the naaru that saved Prophet Velen and his people when they were on the cusp of being claimed by the dark promises of Sargeras, the naaru that helped them flee, the naaru that taught them the Light. And it was the naaru who seemed to be playing a much, much longer game than anyone else, when Burning Crusade reached its end and the full scope of M'uru's plan was revealed.

Burning Crusade marked the second known occasion that the naaru willingly stepped into the lives of mortal races to pull them away from darkness and reach salvation -- although it's entirely possible they have done this before with other races, on other worlds we've never seen. This has always been presented as the noblest of causes. Yet despite all these altruistic actions, we really know very little about the naaru, where they came from, or ultimately why it is that they feel they must fulfill this task. Yet while Warlords of Draenor largely concerns the orcs and the Iron Horde, there are still a few clues -- just enough to expand that perception of the naaru a little more and raise a few more questions in the process.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation based on known material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: The following Know Your Lore contains several spoilers for Warlords of Draenor.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.0.2 hotfixes for October 17

A fresh and lengthy round of hotfixes for patch 6.0.2 have been released and posted to the official blog. Included in this round of updates are a massive amount of class adjustments and tweaks, as well as adjustments to a variety of raids both old and new, bug fixes, quest fixes, and much, much more.
  • Many, many classes have had the damage of various spells and abilities increased.
  • The Undelete Character feature is now in place, and players are now able to undelete their characters.
  • A bug causing Raid Finder, Heroic, and Mythic items from the Siege of Orgrimmar to become Normal mode versions has been corrected.
  • An issue affecting boosted players and their ability to learn talents has been resolved.
Read on for the full list of hotfixes.

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Filed under: Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor

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.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.0.2 adds new pets for collecting

A few new pets have been added with patch 6.0.2 -- some far, far easier to come across than others. Completing all quests in the Blasted Lands will reward players with a title as well as the Iron Starlette, a miniature Iron Star of your very own. In addition, orc mobs in the Blasted Lands have a chance to drop the Time-Locked Box, which contains the often coveted but never before seen bronze whelpling. A couple of other pets are available, but whether or not they are obtainable is a good question. Those with a passion for collecting can now begin work on the achievement So. Many. Pets. -- it requires players to collect a whopping 600 unique pets, and rewards the beautiful blue Stormwing upon completion. And according to Warcraft Pets, the Sky-bo pet seems to have made its way into the Blingtron 4000 gift package -- whether or not this was intended isn't certain.

Speaking of Warcraft Pets, Breanni's got some other useful information for pet collectors and Battle Pet enthusiasts. Patch 6.0.2 brought about some changes to hit and critical strike in regards to pet battles, and Breanni's got all the details on what's been changed, and how it affects pet brawling. For more about pets in 6.0.2, Warlords of Draenor, and beyond, be sure to check out Warcraft Pets, which also has a database detailing all new pets coming to the game with the expansion's release in November.

Filed under: Achievements, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.0.2 hotfixes for October 14


The hotfixes are in for patch 6.0.2's first night on the live servers. It didn't take long for Blizzard to respond to several issues -- this is a good sign for things to come. Major points this evening include:
  • All quest boss NPCs in the Blasted Lands now have scaling health pools based on the number of players engaging them.
  • Resolved an issue where the toy collection count was incorrectly increasing each time the character logs in.
  • The title, "of the Iron Vanguard" received from completing The Iron Invasion achievement is now account-wide.
  • Reduced the health and damage of high level creatures and NPCs in Pandaria to more closely match their relative difficulty before the stat squish.
  • Auction house NPCs in Siege of Orgrimmar's should no longer be level 100.
  • Garrosh Hellscream's Iron Star explosion damage has been reduced to a more reasonable level in a post stat squish environment.
  • Mage: Supernova now deals 30% less damage against player targets.

The full hotfixes after the break.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.0.2: How to queue for UBRS at 90

Players are of course salivating at the idea of exploring the first new content we've seen in World of Warcraft since Patch 5.4 dropped well over a year ago. That being said, it's worth remembering that there are always issues on patch day of a big new patch like 6.0.2, and also that this particular dungeon is a special case - it's a dungeon that will ultimately be for level 100 players, and we're getting a taste of it now at level 90. So it's worth keeping the following in mind.
So remember, when you're trying to run UBRS when the servers come back up, please keep these two facts in mind, as it will make your experience more pleasant. And also remember, this is new content tuned for ilevel 510 and up - if you've been steamrolling Mists of Pandaria dungeons for a while, those were tuned for much lower gear requirements. Maybe slow your roll a tiny bit until you get the feel of the place.

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

How professions are changing in Warlords of Draenor

Like with every expansion before it, Warlords of Draenor will be shaking things up. Professions will get their skill caps increased to 700 and you'll find new recipes (and new epic gear) waiting for you in Draenor. But it's not all business as usual: some major changes in Warlords will be shaking up how professions work and how they fit in with the rest of the game. Blizzard's goal here seems targeted to opening up player choice: you shouldn't be forced into a profession or be penalized for not having or leveling one. This doesn't mean that the advantages of having a profession are going away, but come Warlords some unique bonuses will be gone, people without a profession will have additional access to it, and leveling professions will be more straightforward for players who might not have focused on professions in the past.

Here are the biggest changes:
  • Profession-based bonuses are gone. And, though we may be losing some perks, with the stat squish and resultant rebalancing in Warlords, this is the ideal time for Blizzard to make this switch. The end result is that you won't have to pick a profession for a specific combat bonus... but can have whichever professions you most want.
  • You can gather anything in Draenor, regardless of skill level. We saw this happen with mining and herbalism in Pandaria in patch 5.3, and now it's expanded to cover all gathering professions, making it easier to level up a gathering profession from zero. Players with higher skill levels will gather more materials than players with lower skill levels.
  • In addition to gathering professions being easier to level, crafting professions all have catch-up recipes that will let you level from zero onward using Draenor materials. This will probably make it more expensive if you plan on buying materials (since everyone will be looking for the same new-world materials), but less of a nuisance if you're gathering your own.
  • Garrison buildings will allow you limited access to professions you don't have... or improve your abilities in professions you do have.
Want to know all the details? Read on to see just what's happening for professions in Warlords of Draenor.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Warlords of Draenor

Returning to a paladin's vault

Back in January of 2013 -- nearly two years ago now -- my rogue alt became my main. Part of the transition process involved sifting through the dusty depths of that character's bank, discovering treasures (and trash) long forgotten. I documented the process back then and, while my main isn't changing, I've decided to document the process once more while I go through banks in preparation for Warlords of Draenor. Today, my paladin is up to bat.

My history with my paladin is complicated. Though my priest was my main for most of my raiding career, the paladin was my favored alt -- if not my favored character altogether. There simply wasn't a need for more paladins in my raid, so I avoided pulling the trigger and changing mains until mid-Wrath of the Lich King, where the raid was willing and able to accommodate a paladin. I continued investing significant time into my paladin throughout those years, however, and accrued a whole bunch of stuff. Back in the day, I loved the lore and flavor of the paladin and its numerous class quests -- while playing that class, it felt like I was playing someone truly special in the world of Azeroth. As such, I attached a great deal of sentimental value to the many class quest rewards. Verigan's Fist still holds a place in my collection, now moved into void storage. I also discovered I still possess a Holy Mightstone, a secondary reward for the old level 50 class quest, which I meant to use on the Lich King when I first met him in battle. Given my paladin has Shadowmourne, it's safe to say I forgot to use it. At this point, I never will, but I'm keeping that Mightstone anyway.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Garrisons and the story of Warlords

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

We are about to kick off the beginning of Warlords of Draenor's story when patch 6.0 releases in a couple of days here. It's an explosive beginning, and there's plenty of story to be had, but we won't see things really pick up and get going until the expansion releases in November. Everyone has their own way of leveling through an expansion, whether it's a race to the finish, or a more leisurely stroll through content, taking one's time and experiencing all the story the expansion has to offer -- and Warlords has a lot of story to tell in its opening chapters.

However, there seems to be some apprehension about garrisons and how they're going to work with the game, how they are set up, whether or not they require a massive time sink, whether they can be ignored entirely, or if the story hinges on completing garrison content, and whether or not garrisons are actually going to pull people out of the story and expansion experience. Today, we're going to step back from the usual lore presentation and instead look at garrisons, how they work with the story being told, and why this feature is actually one of the better storytelling devices Blizzard has put together.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Choosing the right Garrison buildings for you

Once you head through the Dark Portal in Warlords of Draenor, you're going to be faced with a variety of choices, particularly when it comes to building your garrison for the first time. While the process may seem like a complicated jumble of various bonuses and purposes, it's actually relatively easy to get your garrison up and running -- and your first few buildings will be handed to you right off the bat. As you continue to level, however, you're going to face more and more choices in regards to what to place in your Draenor stronghold.

Garrison buildings are also tied into professions in Warlords, although not quite as rigidly as you might think. Instead, what the buildings do is offer you a way to craft items that involve professions you might not already have trained. It's about flexibility and choice. It's also not something that's going to take up the majority of your time while you're in Draenor. Your garrison is fully capable of functioning on its own, once you've handed out the orders. So how do you pick what's right for you? It's a personal decision, but here are some things you want to keep in mind when you're getting started.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Characters of Warcraft updates with Blackhand

Yesterday's comic reveal also brought about a new addition to the Characters of Warcraft section of the official website. Blackhand, Warlord of the Blackrock clan has gotten his own entry on the mini-encyclopedia, along with a full size wallpaper with art by Alex Horley. In our version of history, Blackhand's story is fairly different than what we'll be seeing on Draenor. He was appointed the first Warchief of the Old Horde, and later killed and replaced by his second-in-command, Orgrim Doomhammer. Powerful, yes, but also very much the pawn of Gul'dan.

On Draenor, Blackhand is not the leader of the Iron Horde -- but he was the first to join with Grommash Hellscream, and immediately set to work creating armor and powerful weaponry for the Iron Horde's armies. He might not be the appointed leader we remember, but he's certainly a force to be reckoned with in his own right. You can take a look at the full entry for more information on Blackhand, and while you're there, pick up the wallpaper and download the new comic as well.


Filed under: News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Guide to hunter pets in Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor is introducing five new hunter pet families -- hydras, riverbeasts, stags, clefthooves (exotic), and rylaks (exotic). That brings the grand total to 48 pet families. Many pet abilities have also been changed to fit the buff and debuff changes in Warlords. Exotic pets are more differentiated from standard pets in that they all have a total of three special abilities or buffs instead of just one or two. You'll be able to start taming pets from the new families with patch 6.0.2 (except for riverbeasts and rylaks which only exist in Draenor).

Perhaps the most exciting hunter pet addition is the new spirit beast, Gara (pictured above). In order to tame Gara, hunters must embark on an epic quest that takes them all over Draenor to reunite Gara with her former master and ultimately save her from the Void. I've written a detailed guide on how to do it, but you'll want to avoid that post if you want to figure it out for yourself.

Let's begin with a breakdown of the new families.

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Filed under: Hunter, Warlords of Draenor

New Blackhand comic at the official site

So, have you ever wondered how he got the name Blackhand? Wonder no more. The latest Warlords of Draenor comic, Blackhand, gives you a glimpse into the history of the Blackrock orcs on Draenor, shows us a tantalizing glimpse of a character we haven't seen much of yet, and answers questions like What happened to Blackhand in this timeline with more questions, really. Still, if watching orcs battle ogres, negotiate with the spirits, and risk death for their people sounds good to you, this is the comic you want to read. Written by Robert Brooks and with art by Alex Horley, it's up now, so go get it.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

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