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Filed under: 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

World of Warcraft patch 6.0.2 release date announced

You need wait no longer -- World of Warcraft patch 6.0.2, the pre-expansion patch for Warlords of Draenor, has been officially announced for next week. The upcoming patch features a host of systems changes - talent and abilities changes, the item squish, the removal of justice and valor points, the end of PvP Season 15, as well as a new world event involving the Iron Horde invasion and a new level 90 version of Blackrock Spire.

Head over to the official site and take a look at the announcement, and get ready for the Iron Tide to roll in.

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

Blizzard's third Garrison preview shines a spotlight on followers

So we've seen parts 1 and 2 of the Garrison Preview, and now it's time for part 3, which should feature ewoks if my memory serves me. This time, however, instead of ewoks we get followers - they fulfill many of the same functions as ewoks but they're mostly less cute. Mostly. I think Lantresor of the Blade is adorable, myself.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have Leeroy Jenkins, Milhouse Manastorm or Archmage Vargoth as your companions and friends? Well, wonder no more! It's like pet battles, only with NPC's! You can collect as many followers as you like for your garrison, but there's a limit on how many you can have active at a time - think of it as a 'too many cooks' situation. Each follower has specific abilities that make them better or worse for specific missions (some have crowd control, for example) and some followers will even be your bodyguard, accompanying you on missions and protecting you as you (and they) level up.

For more details, please check out this third preview of the Garrison feature coming in Warlords of Draenor.

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

Garrisons 101: What are Work Orders?


Most buildings in your garrison are capable of placing work orders. In simplest terms, a work order is exchanging one type of resource (such as ore or herbs) for a more valuable resource used for crafting (such as Gearspring Parts or Truesteel Ingots).

Work order basics
  • Work orders take basic materials such as herbs or ore and convert them into high quality crafting materials.
  • To start a work order, you interact with NPCs at your garrison buildings.
  • Work orders take 4 hours to complete each. You can queue up additional work orders so you don't have to babysit your garrison quite so often.
  • Level 1 buildings can queue up to 7 work orders.
  • Level 2 buildings can queue up to 14 work orders.
  • Level 3 buildings can queue up to 21 work orders.
  • The Storehouse building can increase your total queue of work orders by up to 15 more. With a level 3 Storehouse, you could queue up to 6 days of work orders without having to come back and start more.
  • Completed work orders must be picked up at the building they were placed (it will show up as a lootable crate, as seen in the image above).
  • Assigning a follower to a profession building (the follower must have a trait for that particular profession) has a chance to increase the yield of work orders. This follower is then unavailable for missions for the duration.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Guide to new mounts in Warlords of Draenor

As expected with the exclusion of flying in Draenor, the vast majority of new mounts being added in Warlords of Draenor are ground-only mounts. There are over 40 new mounts being added which should help you with tackling the new 250-mount achievement, Mountacular.

Rare Spawns

There are several rare spawns in Draenor which have a 100% chance to drop a mount. I know what you're thinking, but don't worry! Farming these mounts is much more forgiving than trying to farm something like Time-Lost Proto-Drake or Aeonaxx.


Everyone who participates in the kill receives a mount, even if they aren't partied or on the same faction. I have to say I'm looking forward to camping for some of these with other players. It's always nice to have company, especially when we don't have to fight over the tag. The one exception is the Garn Nightowl which drops from Nok-Karosh in Frostfire Ridge. That mount must be rolled for.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Garrisons 101: What are Strategic Assaults?

Strategic assaults are max level daily quests found within your garrison's Town Hall/Great Hall. You get to choose between one of two options every day -- a solo quest, group quest, or PvP quest. It appears that a solo quest will always be one of the two options. These quests are your primary means of obtaining Apexis Crystals -- 800 for the solo quests and 1000 for the group/PvP quests. Apexis Crystals are primarily used to purchase and upgrade armor but can also be used to purchase pets and mounts from certain reputation vendors.

Each zone in Draenor has level 100 areas to facilitate these quests. The quests involve going to the designated area and filling up a progress bar by killing mobs and interacting with objects. They are fairly time consuming, but the advantage is only having to do one large quest instead of many smaller quests. Don't worry, completing a single strategic assault is nowhere near the time commitment of patch 5.0 dailies. This will be a 20-30 minute venture for the average player.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

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.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Want the character creation armor? Build a Salvage Yard


The character creation screen class armor sets were originally added in Mists of Pandaria to preview what a class may look like once it was leveled up. The problem is that they were never actually made available in the game. This is finally changing in Warlords of Draenor. If you build a Salvage Yard in your garrison and upgrade it to level 3, the salvage crates you receive from missions have a chance to contain this armor. The crates can also contain some new weapon transmogs.


Simply load up WoW and create a new character to preview what the armor looks like, or check out the sets in the Wowhead model viewer. The monk and hunter shoulders are invisible, but it looks like those specific pieces will not be eligible for transmog. You can only loot armor for your own class.

The Salvage Yard takes up one of 3 small building plots in your garrison. Salvage crates can also contain upgraded gear for your followers, herbs, ore, and other items.

Filed under: Transmogrification, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: The Dark Portal

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.

The Dark Portal is the symbol of the Warcraft universe. It was the loading screen for the original game, for the Burning Crusade expansion, and it will be again for the new Warlords of Draenor expansion as well. When we think of the orcish Horde pouring into Azeroth to murder and plunder, it's the Dark Portal they used to get there - when the Alliance Expedition returned the favor and took the fight to Draenor, it was the Dark Portal that allowed them to do so. The Dark Portal nearly destroyed Azeroth when Ner'zhul ripped Draenor apart into Outland, and we used it to travel to that same Outland to do battle with Illidan Stormrage.

Yet for all we know about it, there's much we don't - was it Medivh or his dark corrupter Sargeras who actually instructed Gul'dan on how to build it? How does it function, what magics sustain it, and how does Warlords tease us with the possibility that there could be many methods to power such a doorway between worlds? Why did Ner'zhul's attempt to open more portals like it destroy his Draenor, and could the same fate befall the one we're traveling to - or worse, our own Azeroth? How dangerous is it to tamper with space and, now, time in this way?

Let us pursue the history of the Dark Portal for some answers. There will be spoilers for Warlords of Draenor in the post to follow.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

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

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

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

Know Your Lore: The vengeance of Vindicator Maraad

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 don't exactly know a lot about Vindicator Maraad, despite the fact that he is one of the first draenei we ever saw, one of the featured characters in the original trailer for Burning Crusade. What small pieces we've seen of the Vindicator have been largely isolated to comics and short stories, capped with a small appearance in game that was never really expanded upon. For a character with a background like Maraad, it's almost a pity that he hasn't been properly utilized until now.

Lords of War aired its final episode earlier this week, featuring Maraad and more of his story -- a tragic tale of an era we've only really read about, but never actually seen. The brutality of Shattrath's slaughter was hard to watch, but harder to watch was Maraad's struggle -- a struggle shared by the remainder of the draenei race on Azeroth. But if Maraad is seeking vengeance, retribution, or vindication on Draenor, he may be sorely disappointed.

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

Warlords of Draenor: Garrison Followers and you

One of the largest and most highly-discussed features of Warlords of Draenor is the garrison -- a stronghold on Draenor that you get to construct and customize to your heart's content. Hand in hand with the garrison are a multitude of other things to look forward to -- missions, quests, blueprints, profession buildings, building bonuses, followers, and more. You aren't going to necessarily be spending a lot of time sitting around in your garrison, but you'll be ducking back to it periodically in between everything else there is to do on Draenor.

You can kind of think of your garrison as your own, personalized capital city in a way -- you can customize it with whatever buildings you want, and you can switch those buildings out if you decide you're better off with a different kind of building. As for your followers, they are the citizens of your garrison, the NPCs that wander around doing various tasks and spitting out conversations with passers-by. But followers are far more than just eye-candy for your garrison -- they are useful tools to help you get the most out of what the expansion has to offer.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

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