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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

New Hellscream Short Story available now

If you're curious about exactly what is going on with Garrosh, Kairoz, and the Draenor we're all about to find ourselves on, then you'll want to read Hellscream, the new short story by Robert Brooks that's up on the official site right now. It goes into detail, bridging the gap between the end of War Crimes and the beginning of the expansion. How does Garrosh motivate the orcs of Draenor to become the Iron Horde? Well, that's exactly what this story covers.

Without spoilers, it's definitely an interesting read, and it gives us a sense of what the major actors are up to, especially Garrosh and Kairoz. Head on over to the official site and check it out.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Beta: New Login Screen

With the newest patch to the Beta servers we're one step closer to what Warlords of Draenor will look like at release with this new login screen. As you can see, it hearkens back to the days of classic with the return of the Dark Portal, but changes it up with the signature red portal used by the Iron Horde to invade Azeroth and threaten both the Alliance and Horde with destruction.

I like it. It's retro, but it also changes it up enough with the images of what's going on behind it and that red glow seething, it's very interesting. I really enjoy that, when I first come back to the login screen after clicking the cinematics button, the portal is dormant, and then bursts into red light again. It's a very neat effect. What are your thoughts?

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

Warlords of Draenor Beta: New character models incoming

One of the things about the beta is, it can still surprise you. CM Zorbrix just posted to the forums about something we've all been wondering about - several of the new character models will be making their appearance in the beta. Both male and female trolls, human males, tauren females and night elf males will all be playable.

Zorbrix - Beta Realm Maintenance - 8/21/14
I just wanted to confirm that this build will have 5 new Player Character Models. Troll Male and Female, Human Male, Tauren Female, and Night Elf Male.

We've mentioned this before when models are first shown to you folks in beta, but I wanted to stress this point again: These models are a Work-In Progress. Things will not be perfect, and our QA testing of these models (and the subsequent bug fixes) are not yet complete.

I do hope you enjoy the models and give constructive feedback as appropriate, but please keep this is mind when looking at the models today.


It's important to note that the night elf male hasn't even had an Artcraft yet. This is definitely a work in progress, as was the case when the draenei male appeared on servers before it was previewed. But I find this amazingly exciting - finally we'll get to see how these models look in action.

We've added a slideshow of the new night elf male model below for players to look at.




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

Warlords of Draenor: The Drake Collector achievement (updated)

Onyxian Drake
If you want dragon mounts, WoW is choc full of them. There are all kinds of dragon mounts, including one from four of the five main Dragonflights, the conspicuous gap in the collection, of course, being and Emerald drake. Now, if you're like me, you've been dreaming of a green dragon mount since you knew dragon mounts were a thing. Thus far, us green drake mount enthusiasts have been left out in the cold. Until Warlords of Draenor, at least, it seems.
On Tuesday, Senior Game Designer Jonathan LeCraft tweeted the above image--a meta-achievement called "The Drake Collector," the reward for which is a coveted Emerald Drake. The meta itself is surprisingly comprehensive. In addition having to collect all of the drakes from the other dragonflights, it also requires the rare and difficult-to-obtain Onyxian Drake, Blazing Drake, and Sandstone Drake. Honestly, I'm surprised at how tough the requirements are for this achievement, particularly the inclusion of the Blazing Drake. The Onyxian Drake might have a lower drop rate, but getting to Onyxia is a lot easier than getting to Deathwing. Though, you could always amass a horde of gold and haunt the Black Market Auction House instead. Both drakes are known to appear there from time to time for a whopping 100,000+ gold. Oh, and I suppose it's time to go level my alchemist.

If you've got a particularly strong opinion on this meta-achievement one way or another, be sure to let Jonathan know via twitter or the official forums. His tweet did ask for feedback, after all!

Update: I somehow missed the tweet yesterday that clarified that the Sandstone Drake part of this meta will be replaced with the Purple Netherwing Drake for quality of life purposes. In my opinion, this is a nice change and will make the collection aspect significantly more straightforward!

Filed under: Achievements, Warlords of Draenor

Robin Williams NPC appears in Warlords of Draenor

Robin Williams was a known gamer and his daughter's namesake is no secret -- Zelda Williams is named for none other than Princess Zelda. He was also a World of Warcraft player. Shortly after his death, Blizzard developers Chadd "Celestalon" Nervigg and Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas responded to a player petition to honor the actor and comedian in-game. The latest Warlords of Draenor beta build includes Blizzard's tribute in the form of Robin the Entertainer.

Currently, Wowhead has datamined three versions of Robin the Entertainer including a djinn, a human female, and a human male -- nods to Genie of Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, and possibly Mork. The NPCs have yet to be seen in-game, so the nature of these NPCs is currently unknown; they might be found in three different locations, or it could be a single representation of Robin Williams rotating through some of his most beloved roles. It's been theorized that he'll be a replacement for The Burning Crusade's Perry Gatner, a character that performed standup comedy in Shattrath's World's End Tavern.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Which Horde is Which?

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.

There will be spoilers for Warlords of Draenor in this post

So you may be confused right now. With the soon to come introduction of the Iron Horde, we've entered a situation where we've got several different Hordes. There's the Old Horde, the original Horde that invaded Azeroth from Draenor. There's the New Horde, or Horde 2 if you prefer, the Horde put together by Thrall after he liberated the orc survivors from the Second War, leading them out of the internment camps and to the shores of Kalimdor. Along the way they picked up the tauren and Darkspear trolls as allies, and eventually the Forsaken, blood elves and Bilgewater goblins joined their ranks. This Horde is the Horde most players are still a part of. Meanwhile, at the same time, there was the Dark Horde, consisting of Blackrock orcs under the command of Rend Blackhand and his ultimate master, Nefarian.

During his reign as Warchief of the Horde (the New Horde, to be specific) Garrosh Hellscream recruited both the Blackrock and Dragonmaw orcs to join the Horde. But at the same time, he grew disenchanted with the other races of the Horde - goblins were too greedy, blood elves too mercurial, undead too loyal to Sylvanas and distasteful to his sensibilities, the Darkspear too loyal to their Vol'jin, and the tauren ultimately too bound to their own code of honor. It didn't help that he'd killed Cairne Bloodhoof and further alienated the tauren clan leader Baine, Cairne's son, with his actions. Soon, Garrosh found himself leading a Horde he didn't much trust or care for.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: More fun with timelines

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Here we go again!

rjjagoda asked:

I continue to question what good blueprints would be to a society that simply does not have the technology, but that's a personal pet peeve. I mean, if I took iPhone schematics back to 1984, would Motorola be able to reproduce the thing? Or even understand some of the stuff they're looking at?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor beta: Play with the blues August 21

Holinka
For those in the Warlords of Draenor beta, this coming Thursday you'll have the opportunity to potentially test directly with some Blizzard Blues. From 3:00 to 5:00 pm PDT on Thursday, August 21, members of Blizzard's Development team, Community team, Quality Assurance, and Customer Service will be available on both the PvP and PvE level 100 premade realms to test 3v3 Arena matches and 5-person dungeon groups. Depending on faction, you'll be able to identify Blizzard representatives by their guild tag: <Blizzard Horde> or <Blizzard Alliance>. The event will be a great way to test out some dungeons and arenas while mingling with both your fellow WoW players and creators. If you can make it, I'm sure the event will be worth your while!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: In Name Only

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

Questions will be answered! Misconceptions shall be splintered! A Queue day, a red day, ere the sun rises!

JodySchaeffer asks:
Since this is a different timeline with no impact on our own history, I'm wondering why our characters should even care, story-wise, about these people who are historical characters in name only. That isn't Grom, that isn't Gul'dan, it isn't even really Draenor.

The only redeeming thing I can think of is a Legion invasion at the end of WoD that destroys the fragmented timeline and sets up the next expansion. Have it so we can visit our Garrisons through the Timewalkers so they weren't for nothing.

But yeah. Since they're so big on stressing these AREN'T famous characters from lore, why does it matter who they are at all?

Well, there's several reasons. The first is pragmatic. The Iron Horde is coming through into our world, blowing up our settlements, and making war on us. So we should care about these people because these people are literally trying to murder us. I don't know about you, but I tend to be concerned when people want to kill me.

From another perspective, it's like this - yes, that Grom isn't the Grom who died fighting Mannoroth to lift the blood curse. But he is Grom. He shares many life experiences in common with the Grom we know - he has as much right to be called Grom Hellscream as the other one did. Saying that's not really Gul'dan is foolishness. It is Gul'dan. It's not the Gul'dan whose skull ended up in Felwood, allowing Illidan to consume its power and become a demon. But it is Gul'dan. And the reason we shouldn't just ignore that fact is simple - even though his life has taken a different path than our Gul'dan did, he's still the same evil power hungry maniac, just as the Grom we'll meet in Draenor is still the bloodthirst orc whose howl drove fear into the hearts of others. They're not identical to the people we know, but they are similar, and that's a source of knowledge about them. We'd be fools to not use that knowledge to our own advantage.

Up to you if your character is a fool, of course.

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords Collector's Edition Hearthstone card back revealed

Among the oodles of goodies included in the Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition is a new Hearthstone card back. The artwork has been revealed, which can be seen above or over on the @PlayHearthstone Twitter account. The art has an Iron Horde theme, exemplified in random spikes and furnaces. The Warcraft Twitter account confirms that this card back is also included in the Digital Deluxe version of the expansion.

Filed under: News items, Hearthstone Insider, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Timeline confusion

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today we attempt to tackle timelines and alternate dimensions. Attempt being the operative word.

Breadsammich asked:

Something's bothering me about the Warlords cinematic. We see a pitlord, presumably Mannoroth, angered over the orcs' refusal to drink the blood. However, if the legion exists outside time and dimensional boundaries, how could that be Mannoroth? A "new" one wouldn't have been created by the new timeline if he's separate from it to begin with, right? Is this just Blizzard waving it off a little for the sake of the cinematic?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Warlord Grommash Hellscream

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.

Strength personified. That might be the best way to describe Grommash Hellscream, leader of the Warsong clan, trusted friend of Thrall, father of Garrosh Hellscream, and the orc who killed Mannoroth and released the orcish race from their servitude to the Burning Legion. Certainly all of those accomplishments under his belt might make Grommash sound like a shining example of exemplary heroism to some ... but in truth, that's only part of the story.

Still, the tales of his father's heroic death were more than enough to spur Garrosh Hellscream from listless would-be leader of Garadar to Azeroth. They were enough to light a fire that fueled his leadership of the campaign against the Lich King in Northrend. They were more than enough to fill Garrosh's heart with pride at the thought of a Horde war machine, one that he led with steadfast dedication as Warchief. But Garrosh's heart is the heart of a Hellscream, and another look at Grommash Hellscream's past shows that Hellscream's son is very much cut from the same cloth as his father.

Read more →

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

Warlords of Draenor: An evening as a treessassin

I really wasn't planning on doing anything in particular when I logged on the beta the other night -- just some exploring and some garrison work as well as hunting down fishing gear for a needy troll death knight. But while wandering around Nagrand, I happened upon an unfortunate scene -- a Petrified Ancient standing on top of what appeared to be a handful of orc peon and human lumberjack corpses. Upon further investigation, this wasn't a mob I could just attack and kill. It was, however, a mob I could ask my Lumber Mill crew to cut down.

Maybe this was a bad decision. But hey, I'm the commander of this Alliance force on Draenor and they have to do what I say, so why not? I found out why immediately after the poor sap I asked to chop the tree tried to complete my order and was promptly confronted by a very angry and not-quite-as-petrified-as-you'd-think Ancient. It wasn't until I'd killed the incredibly angry tree that I discovered not only was this Ancient more than he appeared to be, but I was about to embark on what just might be the weirdest quest I've ever done in WoW.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Zone music highlights for Nagrand, Spires of Arak

The Warcraft Twitter account tweeted not one but two pretty cool items of interest yesterday, for those that are fans of Warcraft's music. Zone preview selections for both Nagrand and the Spires of Arak have been made available for listening. While Nagrand's theme is suitably idyllic for the green rollings hills and waterfalls in the zone, it's Arak's preview that is really a standout. I'm not even sure how to describe it, because I haven't heard anything quite like it in Warcraft before. Of course, we've never really seen anything quite like arakkoa civilization before, either.

Both previews are snippets of what players will find on the Warlords of Draenor soundtrack, which is part of the physical Collector's Edition package along with a host of other goodies. Give both tracks a listen, and while you're at it, make sure you're following Warcraft's official Twitter account -- they're apt to post plenty more cool surprises as we wait patiently for the next expansion's arrival.


Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Kargath Bladefist character page added

Blizzard has added a new page to their Characters of Warcraft lore section on the official site, just in time for the launch of Lords of War. This time, the focus is on Kargath Bladefist, Warlord of the Shattered Hand and the first orc to be featured in the new web series. Along with a little summary of just who Kargath is, there's a little background on the Shattered Hand as well -- not just their origins, but how they operate on Draenor today.

In addition, there's a cool new wallpaper featuring Kargath doing what he does best and slaughtering an ogre in an arena. It's entirely likely we'll see new warlords added with each new episode of Lords of War -- although I'm still holding out for a page featuring Maraad, or Kargath, or even Yrel. Check out the page for more information on Bladefist and his clan -- and keep your eyes peeled for more from the lore team as preparation for the expansion's release continues.


Filed under: Lore, Warlords of Draenor

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