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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Dreadnoughtus fears nothing

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.

Haven't done a dinosaur queue in a while. And well, they named it Dreadnoughtus schrani. I mean, come on. It's a dinosaur that weighed 65 tons, it's one of the most complete Titanosaur skeletons ever found, and it has a name that immediately made me think of one of the cooler of all warrior sets. So yeah, the video above explains how amazing this find was, how it's changing what we know about these truly massive dinosaurs, and most importantly it weighed more than a 737. Just think about that for a second. A full grown Dreadnoughtus could squash an elephant under one foot and barely notice it. The heaviest estimate for Giganotosaurus is 13.8 tons, which means it would be like a moose getting attacked by a house cat.

Anyway, let's get on with the questions.

SintraEdrien asks:
Why do people think that they deserve (or you owe them) your Battle-tag just because you've been polite and friendly in guild or chat or where-ever? I try to be that all the time, but I'm not comfortable giving out my Blizzard identity (what Battle-tags essentially are) to others whom I don't really know.

With the rise of addons like oQueue, people have gotten used to just handing their Battletags out. It's an essential part of cross-server random group forming in order to PuG content like Siege of Orgrimmar or the August Celestials/Ordos. As a result, for many people, the Battletag has become essentially just the same as being friended in game, and they don't really consider how it extends to other Blizzard games - such as Starcraft 2 or Diablo III or Hearthstone. There are all sorts of privacy concerns that not every player is comfortable with when dealing with the Battletag system.

I only accept Battletag exchange requests from people I know I like playing with enough to be grouped with them multiple times, so I relate to your discomfort. Not all players understand how personal this can feel to us, however. For people who've grown comfortable with random cross-realm grouping, it may not even seem like an issue.

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Robin Williams tribute arrives in Warlords of Draenor

We knew that Blizzard was planning to add a Robin Williams tribute to the game and had even see datamined files suggesting we might meet Genie, Mork, or Mrs. Doubtfire inside World of Warcraft. However, we've gotten our first in-game look at what Robin will look like. On an island in the seas south of Talador (nearly to the boarder of Nagrand), you'll find an ever-burning lamp sitting on a ledge overlooking the sea. If you click on it, a genie-like NPC named Robin will emerge, yelling "INFINITE COSMIC POWER!" Robin only remains for a moment before shrinking back into his lamp, saying "Itty bitty living space."

Also on the island is a large broken egg with a chair and some machinery inside -- no doubt a reference to Williams' role as Mork, an alien who arrived on earth in a similarly egg-like ship. There may yet be more to this tribute, since datamining has found additional NPCs, but whether they'll show up on this island, somewhere else entirely, or never arrive in the game itself we don't yet know.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Currency Changes coming for Patch 6.0

We mentioned already that item upgrades would become purchasable with Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. Now, Blizzard has clarified a host of changes to how currency will work in Patch 6.0 and beyond. In addition to being used to upgrade items, Lesser Charms will now be directly tradeable for Warforged Seals, and there's no longer a restriction on how many you can get in a week - You can dump literally all of your Lesser Charms to Seals if you so desire.

Other changes include the utter removal of Valor and Justice points (not Honor/Conquest, those remain), the removal of the Test of Valor component of the legendary cloak quest (you can still get the cloak, you just don't need to get the Valor points first), and the switching of all honor/justice items over to costing gold to purchase, including heirloom items.

You can read the post here.

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

Siege of Orgrimmar gear will not become multi-spec in 6.0

If you're waiting for the big multi-spec gear shift when patch 6.0 drops, you'll have to wait a little longer. Rygarius took to the forums today to clarify that the gear that drops in SoO will not be changed to the system announced for Warlords of Draenor.

Rygarius - 5.4 SoO Gear Conversion
Hey Danthedruid,

Gear obtained from Siege of Orgrimmar won't be multi-spec. That's for the new items that will be obtained in Warlords of Draenor. There's no change to existing item levels and they'll will retain their upgrade ranks. If they were reforged they'll be returned into an unreforged state.

Some of the details are still being worked out. We'll be posting more information once there's more info for the remaining stuff.


Basically, this means that you'll still need multiple sets to do things like tank or heal or DPS as long as your wearing gear from Mists of Pandaria - it's not until Warlords itself comes out that you'll get the gear which switches when you do.


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

New players get World of Warcraft free until September 26th

You read that right. It's apparently as easy as downloading the Battle.net app, using it to download World of Warcraft and launching the game. If you're on the fence about returning or have someone you want to show the game off to, now is possibly the best time imaginable, since you won't have to pay for the majority of the month. There's also a helpful link to Blizzard's beginner's guide, which can help you dive in and get started in WoW.

Probably a pretty good time for a promotion like this, with a lot of people having let their subs lapse during the long content drought, it's an easy way to try and ease some of them back into the game while also giving new players a painless way to explore whether or not WoW is the game for them.

Edit: Turns out it's not all new players. It's part of a specific email promotion.


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

Breakfast Topic: What else?

One of the things I'm realizing going into Warlords of Draenor is that I'm going to be a much more casual player this expansion. For one thing, I've lost a good deal of health - one of my eyes barely works and I'm generally a lot sicker than I've been, I'm just not able to be in front of my computer playing WoW for hours at a stretch. Raiding outside of LFR isn't very likely for me. Since I raided up to heroic this expansion, that's going to be a huge adjustment, especially since raiding is my favorite thing to do in WoW. So, therefore. what am I going to be doing? Leveling alts? (That seems the most likely right now, because I enjoy leveling alts.) Mog farming? Lots of dungeons? Challenge Modes? PvP? I need stuff I can do in smaller bursts than raiding, ultimately.

So I come to you, dear readers. Besides raiding, what do you like to do in World of Warcraft? What do you suggest I try out?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Live developer Q&A Friday, September 5

Blizzard has just announced a live developer Q&A taking place Friday, September 5, at 10:00 a.m. PDT on Twitch.tv. Community Manager Lore will be moderated the Q&A with Lead Narrative Designer Dave Kosak and Lead Game Designer Cory Stockton as panelists. The focus of the Q&A is, of course, Warlords of Draenor. You can expect information about garrisons, questing, new features, and general world design. Given the absence of Celestalon, it's doubtful questions about class design will see much traction.

Though the Q&A isn't until Friday, you can begin submitting your questions on Twitter with the hashtag #WarlordsQA.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

You'll still be able to buy item upgrades and heirlooms in 6.0

There are lots of changes headed to WoW in patch 6.0, but perhaps the scariest change is the removal of valor and justice points, which have served as a primary form of in-game currency for quite a while. However, Blizzard staff have been working to reassure people that the loss of these currencies isn't the end of the world (or even the end of World of Warcraft).

Almost everything you'd currently buy with valor or justice you'll be able to buy with gold moving forward, so heirlooms will have a gold cost. The one exception is with item upgrades, which you'll be able to purchase with Lesser Charms of Good Fortune (for Mists gear only; Warlords gear won't be upgradable) after patch 6.0 lands. Though the number may change before release, currently the cost is 50 charms per upgrade, with no cap on the amount of charms or how many upgrades you can do a week. Additionally, with valor being gone, the Test of Valor phase of the legendary quest chain is being removed. For those of you trying to level and gear alts before Warlords of Draenor arrives, this will be a big help -- provided patch 6.0's arrival date leaves enough time to make use of them.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: No more Tier vendors

Vaelastrasz
One of the more irritating and frustrating aspects of winning Tier loot from bosses is having to take the token to a vendor in order to actually get the piece of armor you won. Nowadays it's rare for me to equip a piece as soon as I get it, unless it's a truly huge upgrade, but I still find it annoying to have to take a token to a vendor in order to get the actual piece of gear. In addition, as a druid, there are four versions of everything available for each token, and scrolling through page after page of nearly-identically named armor pieces makes my eyes cross. Minor complaints, really, but nonetheless the following announcement by Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas, aka Watcher, on Twitter really made my day:
This is a fantastic quality of life change for raiders. No more running to vendors and no more waiting to get your new piece of Tier gear. I'd say "no more accidentally buying the wrong piece" with your token too, but in Warlords, your primary stats will auto-change when you shift specs anyway, so that's no big deal. In any case, this new system will be more convenient for players, and I'm certainly thankful for that!

Filed under: Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Warspear and Stormshield

In Warlords of Draenor, the island of Ashran isn't just home to a potential paradise for world PvP -- it's also the location of both Alliance and Horde faction hub cities. City may be too strong of a word, however -- the two areas are more like souped up bases of operation than proper capital cities like Shattrath or Dalaran. Less giant city, more stronghold -- and slightly more spread out than the garishly charming Shrines in Mists of Pandaria -- both Warspear and Stormshield are meant to be not necessarily a home away from home, but a centrally located area for commerce and trade.

Each stronghold contains portals to every capital city for your respective faction, as well as profession outposts, an auction house, an inn, and a hub of activity for the nearby PvP action in Ashran. In a way, it's kind of nice that the action is nearby. Shattrath was a fun hub city, but it was nowhere near Halaa. Dalaran was great, but having to hop a portal to get to Wintergrasp was never the most elegant solution for players that wanted to duke it out with other players. Still, one of the major concerns for players is simply the strongholds themselves, and their proximity to areas that some people might not want to partake in. So what are these strongholds really like?

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Call to Arms removed

Way back in 2005, patch 1.7.0 brought with it Battleground Holidays, intended to offer additional rewards to players who participated in particular battlegrounds over a designated weekend -- later renamed the Call to Arms in Wrath of the Lich King. Since then, the familiar sight of representatives from various battlegrounds has been a staple of the Warcraft experience. As new expansions were introduced, new battlegrounds came with them, and were subsequently added to the Call to Arms rotation.

While the thought of getting bonus honor might have been pretty good incentive when the feature was first introduced, as the years have gone on, the Call to Arms weekends have been doing exactly the opposite of what they'd been introduced to accomplish. Unfortunately, some battlegrounds are still perceived as favoring one faction over another -- which means that on Call to Arms weekends, queue times can skyrocket as one side piles on to queue for the additional bonuses, and the other simply avoids the battleground altogether. So what's the solution? Removing the Call to Arms weekends altogether.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: PvP now requires active flagging on PvE realms

Have you ever been quietly minding your own business on the Timeless Isle, or attacking a world raid boss like Ordos, only to find yourself accidentally flagged for PvP due to a misclick or tab target gone horribly wrong? Earlier this year, Bashiok mentioned that one of the goals for PvE realms was to keep players from accidentally flagging themselves -- and in a tweet by Ion Hazzikostas, it's been confirmed that this has now been implemented on the beta.



This means no more accidental flagging for players that are simply trying to DPS or quest out in the open world on PvE realms. And this also applies to healers as well -- healers will simply not be able to heal flagged players unless they choose to actively flag for PvP. Naturally this issue isn't a problem on PvP realms, but for players on PvE realms, the change in Warlords should be a welcome relief. When players make the choice to roll on a PvE realm, that choice is usually a deliberate one that's made to avoid the hassle of unwanted world PvP situations. It's nice to see that steps are finally being taken to keep PvP on PvE realms what it was meant to be -- an optional experience that you can choose to participate in, rather than be tricked into whether you're willing or not.


Filed under: PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Tank changes

Tank
Technical Game Designer Chadd Nervig, aka Celestalon, has been answering some inquiries on Twitter lately, and hinted at a few of the changes we can look forward to with tanking. It seems all tanks are up for tweaks, in some fairly overarching ways.

If you're not familiar with Resolve, it's essentially what Vengeance has become in Warlords of Draenor, albeit with some changes. Currently, Resolve improves self-healing and absorbs done by the tank to the tank and partially converts mastery to attack power. How it will be further tweaked in Warlords remains to be seen, but the overall change itself should help tanks be tanks without overshadowing the DPS.

The rest of the tweet is much more intriguing, but does fit with the overall theme of scaling down we're seeing in Warlords. Lowering tank health and mitigation seems risky, but if boss damage is also reduced, then it shouldn't be a problem. For a long time, Blizzard has made noises about how they wanted to slow down the pace of boss fights, especially in the final tiers of an expansion. Damage that's less devastating, healing that is slower pace and choices that are more meaningful. To me, these changes read as being in line with that philosophy. I will be interested to see them implemented, and how they affect gameplay in the beta.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Suicide Mission

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.

I have to admit, I think about the suicide mission from Mass Effect 2 a lot when I go through the Dark Portal for Khadgar. I kind of wish there was a way to have an iconic in-game rendered cinematic, like the one for the Wrathgate, when you step through except instead of featuring some NPC (even an awesome pair like Bolvar and Saurfang Jr.) it featured your character giving a rousing Shepard speech, gathering up all of Azeroth's defenders (under your banner, no less) and charging through with that awesome Jack Wall music playing in the background. Sadly, since I don't think that's possible, you'll have to settle for listening to the music above and daydreaming about it.

In my version, I go paragon, just in case that matters.

alkalineheat asks:
Q4tQ: blizzard has expressed they have no plans to make 2hand maces viable agian for enhancement shamans in Wod. Exactly who are they still viable for? It seems like I havent seen many equipped or even droped in ages.

Arms and fury warriors, all DK's, retribution paladins and to a lesser extent feral and guardian druids. I used Gar'tok, Strength of the Faithful for a while even though it wasn't optimal for warriors.

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Filed under: Warrior, The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

The incredible aging demographic

Let me put it on the line - LFR and Flexible raid sizes are the most important raiding experiences currently available in World of Warcraft, and the upcoming Mythic 20 person raid difficulty is an atavism, barely even an appendix, that only a vanishing few players will experience when it is current. It exists for a sense of achievement and prestige that only a few players really have the time for anymore, and every year, that group of players gets smaller.

The reason for this is simple - as Tom Chilton put it, the demographic is getting older over time. People like me who played for the raid game back in classic are older. They have jobs, kids, schedules that don't permit the kind of time investment hard modes currently demand, the kind Mythic will demand. And it's not that you can't do cutting edge raiding in, say, six hours a week. I'm not arguing that you will have to put in 20 hours a week to do Mythic. I'm arguing that even scheduling one or two nights a week and being there reliably is actually really hard when you have other commitments that can often demand your time on a moment's notice - in essence. being able to go when you want/need to raid instead of when the group is scheduled to go is a huge boon to that aging demographic. For all the elitism, all the sneering, and all the slurs directed at the LFR player base, the feature allows people who love raiding but who can no longer commit to scheduled WoW play a place to do it.

You can ask if this is healthy for the game as a whole - whether or not your answer is yes or no, though, there is no escaping this simple fact. WoW is a decade old. Many of us playing it have been here for years now. Even players who started in Wrath or Cataclysm have now been playing for years. This is an aging game with aging players, this is the reality of the situation. And this means that more adaptive raiding solutions are going to keep presenting themselves.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

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