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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

"A more elegant collection game" - Watcher on transmog

Today we posted a rundown on PAX East information. and one of the pieces of information was that Diablo III's transmog system is not coming to World of Warcraft. This made me sad, of course. Today, Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas tweeted the following update on that.
Now, this doesn't tell us how they plan to make transmog more elegant. It doesn't even tell us for sure that there won't be a Diablo III style approach to it - it just tells us that it won't be in Patch 6.0, whatever it ends up being. Still, it's nice to know that it's still being worked on. The extra void storage tab is a nice feature. Until we know what it is going to be I'll just be over here staring wistfully at my complete lack of bag space.

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

PAX Beta keys temporarily allowed Warlords of Draenor access

Matthew Rossi posted on Friday about Blizzard's handing out Beta keys to people who played Warlords of Draenor at PAX East. Those keys were supposed to be for a later phase of the beta, but, as Bashiok elucidates on the official forums, a few of them actually worked during the PAX weekend itself.

This meant that a few of the players who took their key home and applied it to their account were able to access and play the beta well in advance of when the keys should have allowed them to. Blizzard has taken steps to revoke those players' access, but it would explain some of the streams seen on Twitch over the weekend. Where players have legitimately accessed Warlords with PAX keys, no action appears to have been taken. However, it seems that the Twitch warning is still in place for anyone streaming the alpha outside the select few who had accessed it legitimately with keys.

Those players no longer have access to the beta, and will need to re-redeem the same keys again at a later stage. No comment has been made by Blizzard so far about keys appearing on Ebay, but based on previous betas, they will be taken down as soon as they can be. Hit the break for Bashiok's full post.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New info from PAX East

Elekks on Draenor
PAX East 2014 has come and gone, but we at WoW Insider have come away from the weekend with juicy new information to share with you about Warlords of Draenor. During the expo, I sat down for a chat with senior game designers Steve Burke and Brian Holinka, lead class designer Kris Zierhut, and other developers.

In our brief time together, they told me some exciting info about garrisons, raiding, transmog, and the expansion's starting experience. They also provided insight into what a boosted level 90 will experience after the expansion launches.

Please note that mild spoilers about the early story of Warlords of Draenor will follow. Join me after the break for all the new info!

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, Interviews, Transmogrification, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New garrison screenshots from PAX East

Hunter site Eyes of the Beast attended PAX East this weekend, and uploaded some images from the press kit. Included in the screenshots are an impressive shot of what appears to be the Spires of Arak, a shot of Frostfire Ridge, another shot of the gorgeous scenery in Shadowmoon Valley, and of course, garrisons. The garrison screenshots in particular are interesting because it looks like this is a garrison at or very near completion -- giving a much clearer look at just what these things will look like when we get to set them up ourselves.

Of course, the buildings displayed are all Alliance structures -- we haven't really seen any fully realized previews of Horde settlements just yet. The Alliance architecture seems to blend in with Draenor's lush landscape remarkably well. I'm hoping that the Horde buildings won't stick out like a sore thumb in comparison -- but we'll have to wait to see what the Horde structures look like, for now. Check out the full post on Eyes of the Beast for all the images.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Wowhead interviews Warlords developers at PAX East

Our friends over at Wowhead are attending PAX East this weekend, and Perculia had a chance to sit down and interview Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut and Game Designer Steve Burke about Warlords of Draenor. A variety of topics were discussed -- Garrisons were discussed in detail, as well as raid cooldowns, the strengths and weaknesses of the Timeless Isle, professions and the removal of damage bonuses, and much more.

One of the more exciting discussions addressed the issue of storage space. Mentioned in the interview was the new toy box tab that will rid your bags of all the interesting gadgets and toys you find while questing. But that's not all -- most profession materials will stack to 100 in the new expansion, and gathered quest items from kill and carry quests will be tracked, but not actually take up space in your bags. And perhaps the most exciting news from the interview (for me, anyway) is that at long last, transmogrification fanatics will be getting a second tab of Void Storage in which to squirrel away their favorite fashions. You can listen to the full audio from the interview above -- it's well worth checking out.


Filed under: Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Annual pass, or regular beta?

Players that attended PAX East had a pleasant surprise waiting for them -- anyone who played the Warlords of Draenor demo at the convention received a pass with a beta key. This wasn't expected at all, and it has since been clarified that there will be other opportunities as time goes on for those that missed PAX to get their hands on a key. It's a far cry, however, from the Annual Pass that offered access to the Mists of Pandaria beta, suggesting that beta access will be far more limited, at least in its first stages.

I'm not exactly surprised about this. Beta access for Mists was a point of contention for players that expected their Annual Pass to grant them immediate access, only to find out that the invitations were being sent out in random waves. Of course everyone eventually got in, but it took time for it to happen. Having played in every beta since release, I have to say that the Mists beta was far, far more congested, and I don't know whether that really helped much on the feedback front. To a certain extent, it seemed like more players were actively dissatisfied and angry about bugs and errors that are, frankly, part and parcel with the beta experience. Bugs happen. Beta is where all those bugs are discovered and worked out -- that's what beta is for.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Understanding Draenor Perks

What's the point of a Draenor Perk? It's a question that seems to be fairly common among players, ever since the bonuses were mentioned in the patch notes for patch 6.0. As players level from 90 to 100, each level will bring with it a perk. Each class and spec has nine perks, and by the time you hit level 100, you'll have them all. However, the order that you receive these perks is completely random. You can't choose the perk, the perk chooses you.

Wowhead dug up the full list of Draenor Perks for each spec and class, and the perks themselves seem to be pretty much the same -- bonus damage or a boost to specific player abilities. In many cases, it's just a flat percent damage boost. This seems all well and good, but players seem to be confused about the point of the perk system, since it looks a lot like something that was deliberately culled from the game a few years ago.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Garrisons much more than player housing

Garrisons seem to be shaping up to be the centerpiece of Warlords content -- not in the sometimes soul-crushing manner of the daily quest grind in Mists, but as an entertaining and engaging diversion for players to do at max level in between dungeons, raids, scenarios, and whatever else happens to pop up. We have yet to get a proper introduction to the feature, but we've been told and shown in glimpses here and there that it's going to be big. Much, much bigger than our farms.

Wowhead has been busily datamining everything under the sun from the Warlords alpha client, and some of that information directly involves the new feature. While there's not a clear picture of how exactly garrisons are going to work, the datamining does point out some fascinating details and perks. It's become incredibly clear that while garrisons have been referred to as WoW's version of player housing, in fact they're likely going to be much, much more than that.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: The changing face of buffs and debuffs

One of the changes that will have a pretty significant impact on how we play both in PvE and PvP is that many buff and debuff spells are being changed or removed. It can all seem a bit complicated at first viewing, what with all the class specific changes, but it's really fairly easily broken down and it won't directly affect how you play all that significantly. We're going to go over the changes and explain what they are and how they'll change how you play, if they do.

First up is the Weakened Armor debuff. Essentially, this is the old-school Sunder/Expose Armor affect. It's gone entirely. Rogues no longer have Expose Armor, warriors no longer have Sunder Armor and the Devastate prot warrior ability no longer applies Weakened Armor. In addition, the druid ability Faerie Fire now applies Physical Vulnerability instead, increasing all physical damage taken by its target by 4% for 30 seconds. This is because it was thought that having both Weakened Armor and Physical Vulnerability was excessive, since they did basically the same thing. What this means in terms of how we play? Almost nothing. If you're a rogue, you won't use Expose Armor anymore because it's gone. A warrior tank will hit Devastate the same as they always did. Druids are still going to use Faerie Fire to debuff things. Hunter pets that had similar abilities will no longer have them.

Next up is the Weakened Blows ability that almost all tanks had - it reduced incoming damage. The abilities that provided it still exist, they simply don't provide it anymore. Thunder Clap is an example of an ability that currently provides the debuff, but won't in Warlords. Since all tanks applied this debuff, it basically wasn't very meaningful, and instead monsters will simply be tuned to do less damage to compensate for its removal. What changes for players? Nothing. You won't apply the debuff, but you'll still use those abilities that did once apply it.

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

Play Warlords of Draenor at PAX East, get beta access

If you're at PAX East this weekend, you may want to find the Blizzard booth post haste. Why, you may ask? I'll tell you why.

Because that's why - if you play Warlords of Draenor while you're at PAX East, you get a beta key for use when Warlords of Draenor enters later testing. So if you're there or planning on attending, you should get on that.

It's interesting they have this for conventions like PAX East but they didn't for BlizzCon - I'm not sure why that is. But have it now they do. Community Manager Lore has tweeted that there will be other opportunities to gain beta access, so perhaps keep an eye out for other convention appearances by Blizzard.

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

The Queue: Torvosaurus, the offical dinosaur of Warlords of Draenor

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.

It's been a hideous month for me so far. So much bad crap happened, you don't know. Anyway, to take my mind off of all of that, I tanked heroic Siege of Orgrimmar last night up to Malkorok, and then sat down to find a perfect subject for today's Queue header. Something that would scream "Rossi wrote today's Queue". Something perfect. And I found it in Torvosaurus.

Why is Torvosaurus the perfect dinosaur to be in today's Queue? Why did I so boldly declare Torvosaurus to be the official dinosaur of Warlords of Draenor? Because, my friends, the name Torvosaurus means 'Savage Lizard' and that's all we need. Sure, he was an impressive ten meter long carnivore, a megalosaurid, among the largest predatory dinosaurs ever found in Europe, and that's all great. But really, he had me at savage lizard. I demand that Torvosaurus get brought into World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor and I demand that it happen as soon as possible, because a savage expansion without this savage lizard simply isn't savage enough.

I know that's not a particularly savage picture of Torvosaurus, above. Hey, it's still a ten meter long carnivore with teeth like steak knives. Even if it is snuggling with its babies.

Benjamin Seeburger asks:

What do you think is the chance Blizzard will release a fourth spec (like for druids) for every class in the game (eventually)? If you could have a fourth spec for your class, what would it be and why?

I'd pick a hunter melee spec, that had all of my basic ranged attacks replaced by melee attacks that do roughly the same damage with the same focus usage (except being melee), but with an upped percentage to my armor.

What about you?

I think the chances are very, very slim. Druids got the fourth spec because, essentially, they'd always had it - feral was a confusing hodgepodge talent tree before Cataclysm, and it just made sense in Mists to break it apart into Feral and Guardian. So no, I don't expect it to happen.

However, I do love speculating. So if warriors got a fourth spec and I was the one in charge of it, I would basically break Fury up into two specs, one a fast spec that uses two 1h weapons and another being a spec using two 2h weapons. They would get different mechanics, the 1h spec (I'd call them Berserkers) being all about weapon speed and fast, rapid attacks of attrition while the 2h spec (Destroyers) would be about crushing through enemy defenses and bringing raw power to bear.

Either that, or I'd finally make that warrior healing spec where you yell at people until they stop being dead.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Tanking and the future

One of the things I'm thinking about lately is how tanking is changing in Warlords of Draenor. In at least one major way, it's not changing - Active Mitigation established itself in Mists, based in part on DK tanking in Cataclysm, and it's going to be front and center in Warlords of Draenor. But right now, AM tanking heavily relies on four stats (depending on the tank class) and all four of those stats will be gone come Warlords, meaning that we're looking at a pretty significant change depending on the class. The remaining stat, mastery, is probably going up in value, and in addition, we'll have crit, haste, readiness and multistrike to consider. But stats aren't the whole of the game, and they're not the whole of the changes, either.

In addition to new stats, there are the abilities each tank will see affected by readiness to consider. There are also Draenor Perks for each tank spec, granted randomly as we level from 90 to 100. There are changes in what abilities exist, in what specs get them. Vengeance is gone, replaced with Resolve, buffing our self heals and absorbs. In short, while the basic idea remains the same - generate resources via attacks to spend on damage reduction in one fashion or another - how we go about it, how it interacts with us has so many changes that it's worth discussing in length. There's so much change coming in that I don't pretend I'll catch all of it, which is why we have comments, after all.

So what do I expect to see out of tanking coming 6.0? It should be noted, this discussion is based on the Warlords alpha patch notes and such datamining as I've looked over, and I freely admit I only tank on one class, so while these are general observations I may be missing key class specific factors.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New mount and NPC models discovered

AdriaCraft are at it again, digging through the data and powering up the Model Viewer to bring us images of some of the new NPC and mount models in Warlords of Draenor's Alpha. There's a couple of mounts like the Raven Lord that we've seen already, but a few that are new, like the Clefthoof, who also comes in various different colors. There's also a Giant Boar mount, also in red, and a Draenor Wolf, who also comes in three other color schemes.

Apart from the mounts, there are various NPC models apart from Thrall, some of which have surfaced already, some of which haven't. Velen, Grommash, Durotan and Blackhand are all there. There's several varieties of Iron Horde machinery that have been found, as well as some pale orcs, new Talbuks and Sporebats which we heard about following the recent press event, and Elekk, Goren and Hippos. All of these come in a variety of colors, so do check out the original post for more info.

But my favorite new model by far is the Draenor Ancient. Like all the models, he's in a variety of colors, but look at his grumpy face! What has you excited from this recent datamine?

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Eight level 100 dungeons at ship

Warlords of Dreanor will ship with eight level 100 dungeons. These dungeons will be put into place in patch 6.0, which is currently in alpha testing at Blizzard. The clients that have been datamined are currently only showing six dungeons, however as Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas points out, this is incorrect. Alpha clients are not final products, so there's a lot missing.

The dungeons we know about are:

  • Bloodmaul Slag Mines
  • Blackrock Depot
  • Auchindoun
  • Arakkoa Spires
  • Shadowmoon Burial Grounds
  • Iron Barracks
  • Upper Blackrock Spire (updated to a new layout and heroic difficulty)
A lot of people got upset over only having six dungeons at release. It was said at BlizzCon that at least six dungeons would be added, and then when there was only six in the alpha client, it caused angst. It appears, as is often the case with datamining, that no one needed to get upset at all.

Ion also noted that 7 out of the 8 dungeons are new.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Warriors of Azeroth and beyond, Part 2

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.

Second verse, same as the first - we're talking warriors of lore and story in the Warcraft universe. What does it take to get on either of these lists?
  1. Don't obviously be a member of another class. I skirted the edge of this one for last week's list, but not this week - these are the warriors. No Bolvars, no Turalyons, no Rexxars or the like. If you cast spells or skulk in the shadows or are a death knight, you're not on this list. Sorry, Highlord Alexandros Mograine, but you were a paladin, and you don't count. Maiev Shadowsong definitely uses stealth, she's out.
  2. You have to be somehow more iconic than the badasses on last week's list. That means, in my opinion, you're more important in terms of lore than Muradin Bronzebeard, Baine Bloodhoof, and Broxigar the Red. That's not an easy bar to jump over.
  3. Those are my criteria. I just think lists with less than three points on them look weird.
Let's get started on the list.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

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