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Posts with tag World of Warcraft

Breakfast Topic: What will the next WoW expansion be?

Mists of Pandaria is our Emerald Dream expansion
What will the next WoW expansion be? With only one major content patch left in Mists of Pandaria, and BlizzCon 2013 around the corner, it won't be long before we know what's next. But what do you think is coming? Will we be venturing into the Emerald Dream alongside Malfurion, or was Anne Stickney onto something when she speculated that the Mists of Pandaria might be our Emerald Dream expansion?

What about the ongoing legendary questline with Wrathion? Wrathion has been referencing the return of the Burning Legion in much of his quest text. Does that mean demons will be descending upon Azeroth in the next expansion? Will we finally get to see Sargeras?

Also, you wouldn't want to forget Queen Azshara. You would think we'd have seen her and the city Nazjatar in the Cataclysm expansion, but so far she's only made minor or indirect appearances. Azshara is the perfect accompaniment to some recent fan speculation about the naga being the next possible playable race. Unfortunately, Ghostcrawler pretty much shot that down by pointing out the naga's lack of legs would make it difficult to design armor for them.

And, of course, there's always ... Trolls? Wait, really? More trolls? You wouldn't think it, but in the same interview where Ghostcrawler killed our naga dreams, he said that trolls were an option the game lore could still explore in future content. Huh ... Go figure.

So, what do you think the next WoW expansion will be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Bringing the SW:TOR legacy system to WoW

Last names in WoW
I had a lot of fun during my brief stint as a Sith Inquisitor in Star Wars: The Old Republic. The leveling was great, the storylines were compelling, the instances were interesting, but I eventually went back to World of Warcraft in the end. SW:TOR didn't feel very unique, it didn't have enough to grab me and hold me, to suffocate me with its content and keep me away from Blizzard.

Even so, there were a few differences between Bioware's entry into the MMO space and our site's namesake, one of them being the concept of a server-wide legacy. SW:TOR's legacy system, if incorporated into WoW, could be a great way of introducing leveling bonuses and the like, something WoW has historically done via heirlooms and guild perks. Personally, heirlooms have always left me feeling a bit too overpowered and take some of the fun out of the leveling process -- I've even leveled characters without heirlooms, just because it's more challenging and, thus, rewarding.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

My first week as Horde

My first week as Horde
I've been playing World of Warcraft for a very long time. Since it was closed beta, in fact. Back when the game was still brand new, I mean right when the servers first opened up, I played for team red. I was a Horde shaman, and proud to be so. My first shaman was not named Lodur, in fact it was what I thought at the time was the ever clever name of Rum. I played with one of my buddies who named his warrior Coke. We played with a bunch of coworkers and friends from college until partway through Classic WoW when they either got promoted at work, graduated or stopped playing. Some of our group though decided to move to another server and see how things were going on the Alliance side of things.

Off to Zul'jin we went, and with moving servers and factions in a time before server transfers or faction swaps were around, came a new toon. Abigail, the night elf hunter was born. She's traveled servers, and been race changed multiple times since she was born. I finished Classic WoW on her raiding with friends all the way through the original Naxxramas. I still gave a lot of love to Rum though, and even found time to run him through Ahn'Qiraj 40. When Burning Crusade released, though, Rum fell to the wayside as Lodur was born over with my Alliance family. I hadn't returned to horde except for a brief tour with the Choose My Adventure here on the site, that was until this past week when I server and faction changed my long time hunter over to play Horde side again with friends.

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The Queue: Is Fox leaving forever?

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Fox Van Allen (@foxvanallen) will be your host today.

Hey everyone! Gather the kids, because it's one of those "special event" things. Fox Van Allen is doing The Queue today and that's pretty darn exciting. OK, sure, it's not "hit the jackpot" exciting. It's a more gentle kind of exciting. Like the kind where if for a day Pat Sajak hosted Jeopardy! and Alex Trebek hosted Wheel of Fortune.

Anyway. Because I'm an egotistical jerk who has only been made even more insufferable by the blazing Los Angeles sun, I'm going to start this Queue off by answering a question about myself.

@thebmatt asked:

I just saw on @WoWInsider you [Fox] won't be writing the Shadow priest column anymore. True?

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Filed under: The Queue

WoW Archivist: 5 years of daily quests

the Isle of Quel'Danas daily quest hub
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Just like Officers' Quarters, another WoW staple has recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Daily quests were added to the game a little over five years ago, on May 22, 2007, in patch 2.1.

One of Blizzard's big selling points for Mists seems to be its huge amount of daily quest content. Dailies are undoubtedly going to be a big deal at level 90. Blizzard has even lifted the daily quest cap that has stood at 25 for several years, so players will be free to do whatever dailies they like across the entire history of the game.

Dailies seem like such an obvious and critical element of WoW, but they weren't part of the vanilla game. In this week's Archivist, we'll explore how daily quests began, how they have changed over the years, and how Blizzard is trying to recreate the glory days of daily quests in Mists.

WTH is this blue exclamation point?

Has a single piece of designed punctuation ever been as famous as WoW's chubby yellow exclamation point? It even has its own merchandise.

Believe it or not, the exclamation point was one of Blizzard's biggest innovations when they created the game. No longer did you have to chat with every single NPC in town to figure out which one of them needed a favor -- a staple of RPG games for decades. Now you could tell at a glance which NPCs were willing to pay for a bit of random mercenary work.

I remember how odd that first blue exclamation point looked. They had been yellow, after all, for two and a half years. Changing its color seemed like sacrilege. After accepting the quest, it had the word "(Daily)" next to it in my log -- it felt like both a promise and a warning. Daily quests were an exciting new element, but they were not without their critics.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Beta Testing 101: How to write a good bug report on the forums

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If you're in the Mists of Pandaria beta, chances are good that you've encountered a few bugs by now. As a beta tester, it's not just your job to sit there and play through the game. You're also expected to report the bugs you happen upon in your travels through Pandaria. Blizzard has provided beta forums for feedback and bug reporting, so you've got a place to jot those bugs down. Once you've found and identified a bug, you should write up a brief report so Blizzard knows that there's a problem and can fix the problem before release.

Before you scamper off to the beta forums, however, there's a proper way to write these bug reports so that Blizzard knows what you're talking about and can take appropriate action. If you write a bug report incorrectly, you're not helping matters any -- and in some cases, you can even confuse the situation and make it worse. So how do you write a good bug report on the beta forums?

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Filed under: Bugs, Mists of Pandaria

Beta Testing 101: 5 things you should always report

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Have you made it into the Mists of Pandaria beta yet? Being a beta tester isn't about simply playing through a free sample of the game. If you're expecting a completed product when you log in, you're in for a surprise. What you are playing is a not-quite-finished version of the game, and it's highly likely you'll run into your fair share of bugs as you're wandering Pandaria's gorgeous hills and valleys. As a beta tester, it's your job to report those bugs you find in game, so that they can be fixed before the game goes live.

However, not every error out there deserves a report. Things like NPCs that are marked with a PC or NYI tag are things the developers already know about -- they're just placeholder models. Music isn't yet implemented into Pandaria yet either, but the developers know about that, too. So what makes a bug a bug, and what kinds of bugs should you report?

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Filed under: Bugs, Mists of Pandaria

Beta Testing 101: What to, and what not to, expect from the MoP beta

Blizzcon cinematic announces pandaren
In the most exciting World of Warcraft news of 2012, the beta for Mists of Pandaria opened up this week. Like millions of other players, I was not one of the lucky few chosen for the first round of beta invites. However, there are a number of diligent players currently hard at work testing some of the changes coming in MoP, as well as datamining glyphs and leveling monks.

If you're one of the lucky players who got in this week or if you manage to get in in the next few weeks, there are some important facts you should know before you play the beta. For seasoned veterans of beta testing, these will be self evident. For the others for whom this will be the first beta ever, these are things you should read and consider. If you don't, you could turn into one of the disappointing trade chat trolls who rages about their warrior suddenly having a mana bar (and other fun beta mishaps).

Oh yes, there will be bugs

Above all else, the thing you can most expect from the beta of any video game ever is that there will be bugs. Bugs are one of the main reasons games go into beta; they're a way of allowing scores of players to scour every inch of the game world for bugs by doing everything possible that could possibly cause an issue. By doing this, Blizzard can isolate and treat bugs before they ever make it to live servers, allowing players on live a smooth playing experience.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Mists of Pandaria

If WoW is social media, what function do guilds serve?

Wil Wheaton and the rest of the Axis of Anarchy from The Guild
In my time playing WoW, I've been in a lot of guilds. I've played in guilds that were fighting for the realm-first heroic progression spot and others that were content at realm 15th. I've been a part of the Reddit guild families, which are so large that they need a chat mod to link the multiple guilds for all their members. I've also been in guilds like my current one that have a grand total of 15 people as members.

The World of Warcraft guild experience is as wide and varied as the players who play this game. I'm an unabashed guild-hopper who wants very specific things from a guild and is willing to leave if they don't happen. Other players are loyalists, who find one guild and form lasting bonds that keep them playing with the same group of friends for their entire WoW experience.

Is WoW social media?

Cynwise at Cynwise's Battlefield Manual wrote a post last month about the fact that World of Warcraft is a form of social media. There's no denying that fact: The entire MMORPG genre is based on the idea that you are playing a game with other human beings, not just facing off against the computer as in the genre's predecessors. In fact, I'd go even further and suggest that in many ways, WoW has potential to be an ideal form of social media.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds

Raid Rx: Healing the Spine and Madness of Deathwing

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

This is it. This is the final encounter of the expansion. Everything you've ever worked for and fought through has led to this point. This is the moment you get to help rid the world of Deathwing. First, we need to ground this oversized lizard. Immediately after the conclusion of the gunship (part two), you'll be parachuting onto Deathwing's back. We'll go over the different obstacles and what you and your healers need to do to get over the proverbial raid hump. (To the raiders who do 10-mans, you'll have to adjust the numbers a bit. I'm not as well versed on 10s, so you'll have to bear with me as I draw up assistance for the 25-man version.)

To attack the Spine of Deathwing, we need to peel off those metal plates on Deathwing's back so that we can really weaken him further. Our healing goal here is to ensure that our tanks live. Apparently, Deathwing has all sorts of little defenses that he'll use to try to shake us off; there are several threats on this fight that healers need to be aware of. You're on an extremely narrow field of battle here, so movement's going to be really limited.

What did you expect, though? You're fighting on the back of a former dragon aspect.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Blood Sport: How will patch 4.3 impact PvP?

WoW Insider covers the world of player vs. player action in Blood Sport for fans of battleground, world PvP and Arena play. Steering you to victory is Olivia Grace, who spends most of her time in Azeroth as a restoration shaman turning people into frogs.

With patch 4.3 imminent and Arena season 10 due to end Nov. 29, it seems reasonable to assume the patch will appear in early December. While you're racing to get your team into title range, get that last piece of gear, or just running laps of your capital city, you might be thinking forward to the arrival of the patch and wondering what your fate will be in PvP as the nerf bat winds up for another swing. Firstly, let's deal with some housekeeping.

Conquest points, the PvP equivalent of valor points, will now be far, far easier to earn from ordinary Battlegrounds. The first daily Battleground win will now award 100 conquest points, up from 25, and wins after that will award 50 conquest point, up from, well, none! The conquest cap will remain, so while it will still be far quicker to reach it through Arena, it will also be attainable via Battlegrounds of the non-rated variety. This makes it far easier for solo players to build up the resilience numbers people often demand (fairly or otherwise) for access to Arena and Rated Battleground teams or just to gear for Battlegrounds.

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

What's happening in the Whispering Forest?

Every now and then, an Easter Egg is found in game. Blizzard loves its pop culture references, secret nooks and crannies, and everything in between. Recently, this popped up: a secret grove, hidden in the Whispering Forest of Western Tirisfal.

While it's unknown when they spawn (I've heard every six hours or so, but I'm not sure), a troupe of faerie dragons slowly flies to this mushroom ring and begins to sing.

Tendrils of golden light flow and meet in the center of the circle, while ethereal music notes float all around. A beautiful little piece of music accompanies all of this, lasting about two and a half minutes. The infected animals of the Whispering Forest even come around to witness the performance. After they're done, the dragons leave and despawn.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Rob Pardo speaks about Blizzard game design

The tenth annual Game Developers Conference is in full swing in San Francisco, CA -- and yesterday included a panel by Rob Pardo, Executive Vice President of Game Design at Blizzard Entertainment. Pardo spoke about design philosophy and how Blizzard approaches it, sharing not only Blizzard's success stories, but where they failed along the way, and what they did to fix it. Blizzard's design philosophy follows some key elements:

Gameplay First: Before anything else, you want to concentrate the game on the fun. All aspects of the game -- the design, the mechanics of encounters, the quests and story are focused on making the game fun to play. Not only fun to play -- but fun to play for players, not developers. The challenge is to keep players jumping through the correct hoops, while making those hoops fun. Sometimes this involves making some changes -- for example, only night elf males could be druids in Warcraft III, but for the sake of making the druid class, something that sounded like all kinds of fun, they had to be made accessible to both genders, and both sides. So the lore was adjusted so that females and tauren could both be druids -- otherwise they couldn't have introduced the class at all. And that wouldn't be any fun.

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Filed under: News items

Around Azeroth: A thousand and one dailies


Jacob has used his flying carpet and the spires of Dalaran to do the obvious - imitate the Disney version of Aladdin. I've got to say that I can barely remember that movie or the songs, but the SNES game left an indelible impression on me. Or, more accurately, my flying carpet made an indelible impression on the walls of every cavern in that little sixteen-bit nightmare. When we look back fondly at the old-school video games, we tend to forget the dire lack of save points. Or were we just young enough to be considered noobs?

An update on yesterday's post: Today I received zero dead-gold-seller e-mails! Hooray! I did get one picture showing that some players have adopted the gold seller tactics, however - a group of trolls on Jubei'thos had died to spell out "SAVE WG".

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads with dead gnomes, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth, Galleries

Around Azeroth: I love a parade

The unofficial rainbow realm of Proudmoore held a Pride celebration on Saturday, and according to Riege of <The Tainted Ones>, the event went off without a hitch. "The after party at Booty Bay was the perfect end to a day of just enjoying the game," Riege wrote. "Alliance and Horde, gay and straight, ogre or human or gnome...it didn't matter. We were just a bunch of people who were having fun. How often does that happen?" But Riege, where are the feral druids? Everyone knows you can't have a good pride parade without bears. *rimshot*

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth, Galleries

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