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Filed under: 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

Ion Hazzikostas: "Without a question" WoW will last another ten years

PC Gamer has an interview up with Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, and it didn't hold back - and neither did he, really. Asked if he thought World of Warcraft could last another ten years, Ion's yes was unequivocal.

I can't tell you exactly what our 20th anniversary celebration event is going to bemaybe new content which hasn't been createdbut I can tell you there's going to be one.

So now that I'm sitting here desperately curious about what that 20th anniversary celebration is going to be, let's look over some other interesting points from the interview.
  • Baking all previous expansion into the Battle Chest is all about removing obstacles to play - they like the depth of having ten years worth of content, but not the feeling that in order to check out the newest content you have to run all the old stuff first.
  • Visual updates being discussed include various forms like moonkin and cosmetic additions to armor, things like quivers for hunters and updated geometry on the armor itself.
  • It's unlikely we'll get another Cataclysm style visual update anytime soon - resources are more likely to be allocated to new content.
So head on over to PC Gamer and read Ion's interview.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: LFR gear to have unique set bonuses

Traditional class tier sets will no longer be available in LFR difficulty in Warlords of Draenor. You'll need to run normal, heroic, or mythic to get your hands on tier 17 gear. That doesn't mean LFR-exclusive raiders will be entirely without set bonuses. In the latest beta build, Blizzard has added some new set bonuses which are exclusive to LFR gear. These bonuses are not class specific, but are instead armor class and role specific. For example, enhancement shamans and hunters share the same set bonuses.

Like traditional armor sets, there are 2-piece and 4-piece bonuses. The 2-piece bonuses are all simple stat increases, but the 4-piece bonuses are a little more interesting. All of the LFR set items are item level 655, which is slightly higher than non-set LFR loot. These armor sets also have different artwork from the class tier sets. You can view the artwork by using Wowhead's model viewer at the below links:
After the break we've also got the full list of set bonuses.

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Filed under: 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

How do you prepare for a new expansion?


My Warlords preparations started a couple of weeks before patch 6.0.2 with finishing the level 90 Brawler's Guild achievements. Then I began tidying up some other achievements that have been nagging at me for a while, such as World Explorer (yes, I didn't bother fully exploring the blood elf starting area for the past 7 years) and Mount Parade. When patch 6.0.2 hit I went into toy collecting overdrive. I'm trying to collect as many of the pre-Warlords toys as I can so I don't have to go back for them while working towards The Toymaster. I'm up to 88 so far, with number 88 being one suggested on WoW Insider the other day

My typical ritual in the days leading up to an expansion involves making my bags and bank as clean as possible. However, this time around the toy box and extra void storage took care of that for me. Then there's gold making, my weakness. I try to make as much of it as possible to help me get a head start, but that's easier said than done. Especially when you decide to drop 15k on something so it will increase your toy count by 1. With Warlords, I've even been swapping out some professions in preparation -- also not cheap! It seems I'm failing miserably on the gold making part of my plan. It's a good thing garrisons look like they'll be able to make me fairly self-sufficient, especially if I can get an alt or two into a fully leveled garrison quickly.

How do you prepare for a new expansion?

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.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Rookie, Warlords of Draenor

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