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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1: Request an early stop on flight paths

I can remember players asking for this feature ever since connected flight paths were introduced back in patch 1.10. Sometimes you click the wrong flight path, sometimes you fly over something interesting and just want to get off early. Whatever the reason, in patch 6.1 you can now request a stop at the next available flight point on your route.

It's as simple as clicking the little vehicle eject button that you normally use to exit vehicles or multi-passenger mounts. Currently, once this is toggled on you cannot cancel your request to land early. Aside from that little quirk, it's a welcome feature. Now if only I could bail out of flight paths with a parachute.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1 PTR: Customize your garrison music

A new customization option is on the way for garrisons in patch 6.1 -- you'll now be able to change what tunes are playing while you collect your work orders, mine, gather herbs, or just hang out. How? It all begins with a quest to build a boombox big enough to hear no matter where you're at in your garrison. This quest sends you across Draenor to gather the required parts for the jukebox of your dreams, but unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be fully implemented as of yet -- while I could collect the first piece on the list, a relatively easy to find drop from shredders on the Talador coast, further items weren't fully interactive.

However, from what we've seen so far via datamining on the PTR, your quest doesn't end when you create the boombox. You'll need tunes to fill the thing -- and there are a wide variety to choose from. Most city themes are included, as well as old favorites like Lament of the Highborne and the Karazhan Opera House music. Keep in mind that because all of the sounds are datamined material, there's no guarantee that these options will make it to live servers.

Given the sheer amount of music Blizzard has produced in conjunction with its games over the years, this is honestly a really nice way to bring all those great themes from the past back into relevance, and allow a little more customization as well. Future builds should fix any quest bugs and further reveal what we have to do to obtain all the tunes our hearts desire -- until then, I'm going to try and wrestle with the decision of what I want to hear while I'm hanging out with my followers and friends.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1: Claws, Pincers, and Tusks nerfed

Deep down in the blackest parts of my heart, that place of darkness and hate, I have reserved a special place for the garrison mission Claws, Pincers, and Tusks. It's an irrational, unnecessary level of hatred for something so mundane, but come on. The mission requires a total of 5 ability counters for a mere ilevel 615 chestpiece! It's more difficult to 100% than missions that provide way better gear! That's just unreasonable.

In patch 6.1, Claws, Pincers, and Tusks requires only 3 ability counters: Group Damage, Massive Strike, and Deadly Minions. Beremus the Overseer has been removed from the mission altogether, leaving Tarina the Ancient as your followers' only foe.

Perhaps, when patch 6.1 goes live, I might be able to let go of this hate and feel joy once more.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1: Trade Iron Horde Scraps for follower equipment

If you have a stockpile of Iron Horde Scraps, whether that be due to disinterest in transmogrification or already possessing all of the items you want, you'll be able to put them to good use in patch 6.1. While the War Mill and Dwarven Bunker are already a steady source of follower equipment, patch 6.1 implements a daily quest wherein you can trade 25 Iron Horde Scraps for an additional piece of gear.

When you turn in the scraps, you have a choice between an Armor Enhancement Token or Weapon Enhancement Token -- the same items you can earn through select follower missions. That means there is a random element to the reward, your ultimate outcome being anything from a three ilevel improvement via Braced Armor Enhancement to an automatic ilevel 645 via the far more rare Goredrenched Armor Set.

If your garrison has been running a Salvage Yard and War Mill/Dwarven Bunker since launch, you most likely have a stockpile of follower enhancement items already. If you haven't had those running for months, this daily quest will be a solid catch-up mechanic.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1: Dummies will (hopefully) stop murdering you

On live realms, the training dummies found within the garrison often prove to be a problem for DPS players. With the tanking dummy standing right next to the damage dummy, any sort of splash or cleave damage -- a baseline part of many DPS rotations -- hits the tanking dummy which proceeds to kill the player. The issue renders the dummies effectively unusable for many players who might be interested in practicing their rotation.

On the patch 6.1 PTR, the damage and healing dummies have swapped places. The tanking dummy remains on the far left and the damage dummy is now on the far right. Even if you accidentally hit the tanking dummy with a bit of AOE damage, you're standing far enough away that you won't be brutally murdered by an ostensibly inanimate object.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1: Garrison follower mission UI updates

The patch 6.1 PTR introduces a number of updates to the garrison mission table UI, many of which will be well-appreciated. First, the mission table provides more at-a-glance information about mission rewards without need for a mouseover: ilevel of equipment, the exact number of experience points, and so on. If you do hover your mouse over a mission, a new array of information will be displayed: the ability counters required (and whether you have followers who can counter them) and the mission availability -- that is, how long the mission will stay in your list before it expires. If you have a follower who could counter something but is currently unavailable due to being on another mission, the tooltip will even tell you how long until that follower becomes available. If a mission will expire before that follower returns home, you can quickly and easily make the decision to try that mission with less than 100% chance of success.

The tab which displays your list of followers has also been updated. At the top of the menu, the UI now displays the total number of each ability in your active roster. If you have 7 followers who can counter Powerful Spell, for example, that is displayed at-a-glance. As someone who keeps a spreadsheet of his followers, it's a welcome addition. It's likely I'll still keep my spreadsheet, but having the ability to quickly reference that breakdown will make it easier when it comes to recruiting new followers from the inn each week. Using follower upgrade items has also changed: you no longer click on the item, then click on the character's portrait in the list. Instead, you click the item, click the portrait in the list, and then click on their full-size image to use the item. That change seems unusual -- it adds a redundant step to the process -- but the redundancy might be intended to prevent misclicks.

An image of the new follower tab can be found below; it's a big one.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1: The heirloom tab and how it works

As we've mentioned previously, the heirloom collection UI (or "heirloom tab") is now live on the PTR. The UI resembles the Toy Box and functions in much the same way: if you have an heirloom item on your account, it will be automatically added to your collection. Unlike toys, mounts, and pets, when you acquire a new heirloom, it will be added directly into your collection with no need to "learn" the item. When you want to equip one of your heirlooms, you click on the item in your collection and the game creates a duplicate of that item in your bags. If you want to get rid of it, you simply throw that item away like a piece of old paper. If you wanted to, you could fill your entire inventory with Bloodied Arcanite Reapers. I don't know why you'd want to do that, but with the new heirloom system, you could.

The system for upgrading those heirlooms doesn't seem to be fully implemented in the current PTR build. While we know heirlooms will be able to be upgraded all the way to level 100, the items for doing so are not currently available on the heirloom vendors. The vendors, Krom Stoutarm for the Alliance and Estelle Gendry for the Horde, sell a variety of heirlooms and the level 90 upgrade items: Ancient Heirloom Armor Casing and Ancient Heirloom Scabbard. The Scabbards don't seem to work at all right now and the Armor Casings don't bring an heirloom up to level 90 as described -- it brings them up to level 85.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Breakout Characters of 2014, Part Two

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.

When last I was writing about this, we covered some characters that got their chance at the spotlight in 2014. Real life then conspired to interrupt me, but I'm finally back, almost a month into 2015, to talk some more about 2014. Timely!

Anyway, I don't think my choices are going to be groundbreaking or shocking for anyone. We all know my biases, but you may be surprised by some choices anyway, because sometimes, I actually try and ignore my biases and be fair. Sometimes.


Straight up - I expected to hate Ga'nar. When you first meet him, he's your typical blustering orc, going on about murdering Iron Horde with his shovel (granted, they had him digging out latrines, I'd be pretty upset too) and posturing at Hellscream as you retreat from Tanaan. But something happened on the way through Frostfire Ridge. He started to grow on me. He was arrogant and hotheaded, yes, but also brave and well, such an orc about everything. And when he challenged Durotan, he showed a quality I hadn't expected in him - as Durotan refused to even fight him, declaring that he would stand and let Ga'nar kill him if necessary, Ga'nar backed down.

The final confrontation with Fenris Wolfbrother (and the revelation that Fenris was the eldest son of Garad and Geyah) ultimately revealed Ga'nar's true self to the player. I'm a sucker for heroic sacrifices. Always have been. And this was a heck of a heroic sacrifice, all told - after dispatching their wicked elder brother, Ga'nar refuses to allow Durotan to die, instead hurling himself, a lone orc (say it in Muradin Bronzebeard's voice) against the forces of the Iron Horde, and his death buys victory for his people. I'm sorry, but as much as I often bag on orcs, this was an excellent heroes' death for Ga'nar, and it won my affection.

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

Blackrock Foundry opens on February 3

Blizzard has just announced the unlock schedule for the Blackrock Foundry raid! Normal and heroic modes open on February 3, with Mythic opening the following week on February 10. Raid finder begins to unlock with wing 1 on February 17, and you'll have to wait all the way until March 24 to kill Blackhand in wing 4. LFR will require a minimum item level of 635.

Keep in mind this doesn't mean patch 6.1 will be released on the same date. The @WarcraftDevs Twitter account has already told us that the two are not dependent.

Check out the full unlock schedule after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.0.3 Hotfixes for January 12

Yes, more hotfixes. What do they entail, you ask? Well, I'm glad you did. Here's just a few highlights from this latest round of hotfixes. There are quite a few class changes, some of which I highly approve of (the ones that buff warriors) and other changes as well.
  • Death Knights see Blood Boil's damage reduced by 33.3%
  • Sacred Duty, formerly granting 5% additional haste from all sources, is heavily buffed and now grants 30% haste from all sources.
  • For you enhancement shaman, Stormstrike sees an 11.1% damage buff.
  • Gladiator Stance now only increases damage by 5%, down from 20%, but just about all damaging abilities for protection warriors see buffs - Thunder Clap, Deep Wounds and Revenge were buffed by 40%, while Devastate and Shield Slam both got 20% buffs.
There's a lot more, so head on over to the official site and take a look for yourself. Just about every class but monks saw some adjustment.

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1 PTR realms are up

The patch 6.1 PTR realms are now live, but without any level 100 characters there isn't much to test yet. All PTR realms are still locked to Mists of Pandaria and there is currently no ETA for when they'll be upgraded to Warlords of Draenor. Character copy is disabled, but you can make pre-made level 90 toons.

One of the few things available for testing is the new heirloom interface. Once you own a heirloom, it's a simple matter of clicking it in your heirloom tab to create a copy of the item in your bags. You can buy heirlooms and upgrade tokens from Estelle Gendry (Undercity) and Krom Stoutarm (Ironforge). Base level heirlooms scale from 1-60 and can be upgraded twice to level 85 and level 100. See here for a full list of the heirlooms available.

For more details on the status of the PTR realms, check the blue post after the break.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1 PTR: A Legendary follower for your garrison

The 6.1 PTR isn't even live yet, but datamining continues apace, and the folks at Wowhead have certainly dug up a doozy for us. Apparently as part of the legendary questline, we'll be getting the first ever legendary follower, namely Garona Halforcen, the infamous Shadow Council assassin. If you're curious about what a legendary follower gets, it's impressive.

It's very interesting to see the quest open up in this way, really . It broadens the idea of the kinds of rewards you can get from a legendary chain, and it also makes me hope that we might see other such followers. Perhaps my hope that Maraad can make a comeback isn't entirely unwarranted.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1 PTR: Blackrock Foundry garrison missions are 660 ilvl

Our friends at Wowhead have datamined a new set of follower raid missions for Blackrock Foundry. Like the Highmaul missions that exist today, these will reward random non-weapon loot from the Blackrock Foundry raid. It's unclear at this point if tier 17 armor will be potential rewards or not.

The important bit of information here is that these new missions require your followers to be 660 item level. The current cap on follower item level is 655, so you won't be able to upgrade them quite yet. In the meantime, you can continue to collect upgrades from the Dwarven Bunker/War Mill and Salvage Yard if you want to do these missions when the patch hits.

If you want to learn more about raid missions, you can check out our post from last week.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1 PTR: New Battle Pets and achievement

Battle Pet collectors have something to look forward to with Patch 6.1 -- new Battle Pets and a new achievement are being added, according to information Wowhead has datamined from the 6.1 PTR. New Battle Pets have been added to bosses in Sunwell Plateau, Black Temple, and Hyjal Summit, and another tier has been added to the raid-collecting achievement, Raiding With Leashes III: Drinkin' From the Sunwell. A dozen new pets have been added to the raids.
Completing the raid collection achievement awards the Battle Pet K'ute, a mini-naaru. Thankfully, at this point in the game, all three of the Burning Crusade raids are easily soloable -- no unusual tricks that would require a second or third person, unless you want to bring a friend along. For Pet Battle enthusiasts, Patch 6.1 is already shaping up to be pretty sweet.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.0.3 Hotfixes for January 9

The weekend brought another small release of hotfixes for Patch 6.0.3. The list may be short, but there are a few different notes in there that players should take note of. On the list are a few PvP battleground changes, an adjustment to Ashran, and a few fixes and changes to various creatures around the world as well. Also, while it's not specifically mentioned in this round of hotfixes, it appears as though a hotfix was applied to allow Big Crates of Salvage to stack.
  • Players camping Poundfist take note: Poundfist is now immune to crowd-control effects.
  • Trapping will now award a caged beast for each nearby party member with an appropriate level barn -- this hotfix requires a realm restart.
  • The northern track switch in Silvershard Mines should now work correctly.
Read on for the full list of hotfixes.

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Filed under: Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor

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