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WoW Moviewatch: Battle for Town Square: Winterveil Day 1

Khadgar seems to be everywhere. He's giving you quests and following you around Draenor, but he's also set up camp in the capitol cities of Azeroth to try to recruit fresh faces for the battle against the Iron Horde. (We'd ask how he does it, but the answer would probably involve complicated magical theory and we just don't have the patience.)

It's a practical plan: of course Khadgar would want to stake out the busiest areas to catch the attention of adventurers... but it seems to have set him at odds with Greatfather Winter, who's recently arrived to ring in Winter Veil. The latest machinima from Wowcrendor sets us up for a holiday-themed series that pits Khadgar against Greatfather Winter... but as to who will win and who will lose in this epic battle, we'll just have to keep watching.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Around Azeroth: Stray cat blues

"So if you were smart enough to have chosen the Smuggler's Inn for your outpost in Spires of Arak, one of the things that you can buy from Honest Jim is a little toy that turns you into a growling, hissing, supposedly-civilized kitty cat, WoD-style," writes submitter Arugadh of The Brotherhood of Iron on Wyrmrest Accord (US-A). "However, the toy doesn't exactly play nice in the litter box with the other toys, as I found out when I used it while having my Blazing Wings activated. So now I've got fire shooting out from my head and giving me a severe case of heartburn. Which is normal for a dwarf paladin, I admit, but not like this!"

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: What would you bring back?

As expansions come and go, some features come into play, exist for a while and then are retired, or never actually make it live - reforging comes to mind as a big one, a feature that was of critical importance for two expansions before it was removed. While flight itself wasn't removed, it's of no utility in Draenor's 90 to 100 zones, and mechanics like hit and expertise, weapon skill, and others have been removed over time. Raiding has fundamentally changed repeatedly. Talent trees are almost unrecognizable from the old days. Several old dungeons and raids were removed or revamped, with their original versions gone from the game.

So this morning I ask you this - if you had the power to bring back anything from any era of World of Warcraft or its beta periods, what would it be? Would it be Naxxramas 40 player? Reforging? Weapon Skill? Path of the Titans? Please share your vision.


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Archivist: A Glyphmas story

Scrolls of glyphs
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?

Professions in Warlords of Draenor feel completely different than at any other era in WoW. Creating powerful items is no longer a matter of farming, luck, or gold. Instead, we have to produce their key ingredients via garrison work orders. Leveling crafting professions is no longer about creating a bunch of useless items that we instantly vendor or disenchant, and reaching max level is now a slow burn instead of a quick grind. This is the first expansion where I haven't hit max level on all my professions within the first week or two.

The profession that has changed the most is the most recent: Wrath of the Lich King's inscription, added in 2008. Even the interface changed: the glyph window was originally part of the spellbook UI, not the talent pane. Because of those changes, for a few very special weeks, inscription transformed the financial futures of countless WoW players. I was one of them. We called it Glyphmas, and it was magical.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

Around Azeroth: A stellar performance

"The priest spell Ascension, which comes from a rare drop named Codex of Ascension in Ashran, is the most fun I've had with my priest in a while," writes submitter Chelley of Nurfed on Tichondrius (US-H). "It allows you to fly, which, makes for some pretty sweet escapes ... and views. Side note: I think I spotted a nice spot to hide these ten thousand broken bones filling up my bags."

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: What do you love, what do you hate?

I'll go first. Nobody loves everything about the things they enjoy, and everyone has things they prefer - things they wish weren't there and things they wish there was more of to experience. So I'm curious what these things are for you. What do you love about Warlords, and what don't you love? What makes you outraged, or makes it worthwhile to keep logging in, keep your sub active?

For me, I really hate Frostfire Ridge. I think this will be the expansion I finally stop saying I'm someone who plays both Horde and Alliance, because I cannot get through this zone. Seriously, I just can't. I like my tauren quite a bit, I really do, and I feel awful that there's no way in heck I'm going to get him to level 100 because I cannot stand this zone. Oh my word I hate it. Yes, the end cinematic is nice, but man, I just don't care otherwise. Can't get through it.

As for what I love... well, it's kind of self evident. So I won't waste your time there.

What about you?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: Breakout Characters of 2014, Part One

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.

Since 2014 saw the end of one expansion and the beginning of another, it's actually got quite a list of characters that got an expanded role in the lore. Some of these are fairly predictable, and others less so. Since I like to talk about lore (it's what the column is about) I decided to round up some of the ones I found the most interesting. I've set myself a few arbitrary rules for this. One, Mists of Pandaria characters are fair game. I know the last patch was in 2013, I don't care. Secondly, they had to do something in terms of story. Sorry, Varian, but you really didn't do much at all in Siege and you haven't done much in Warlords, either.

This isn't listed by priority - the last character we talk about isn't more or less important than the first. So let's get down to brass tacks - who do I think broke out in the past year? (If somehow you still haven't had any exposure to Warlords of Draenor's story, be warned, Here Are Spoilers.)

Vol'jin
This one is kind of borderline for me - while he certainly took a big role in the end of Mists of Pandaria, he hasn't done a whole lot yet in Warlords. But I think it's an indisputable fact that Vol'jin's mere presence as a non-orc (a troll, even) atop the Horde power structure is a very significant change in terms of what it means for the Horde going forward. Before Vol'jin's rise to power, there had only been four warchiefs, two from the old Horde and two for the new, and all were orcs - the institution of warchief itself was an orcish one, brought over from Draenor when the Horde invaded.

No other change in the history of the Horde has done more to draw a strong line of demarcation between past and present. The ascension of Vol'jin says to the world of Azeroth (and beyond it) that the Horde is no longer Orcs and their Amazing Friends, but instead a collective of races banded together for mutual survival, and one where no particular race predominates (at least in theory). We have yet to see how successful Vol'jin is in the role, but he definitely changes the status quo dramatically for the Horde.

Read more →

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

The Queue: Lockouts, level 3 mine, Nagrand, and NSFTQ


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

Kyra asked:

If I already cleared Highmaul on normal difficulty with my guild, can we still do it on Heroic and get loot? People don't really agree on this, some say yes and others no. Any idea?

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: One bloomin' blossom

"We realize you posted a photo of the core hound mounts already, but how about a circle of core hounds?" asks submitted Gimmlette. "Spectacular Death on Llane (US-A) took a bunch of guildies into Molten Core and got them mounts. They all went to my garrison afterward to pick them up and decided the fountain needed a steam bath. (Thanks for nothing, Blizzard, for moving the outhouses outside the walls. Grumble.) There's been a lot of complaining about how you can't fly in Draenor but, personally, I don't mind it, except when I want to stand on top of my fountain to get a circle of guild members on core hounds."

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: Your dream graphical update

We know that blood elves are being worked on and we'll see the soon(tm), so I started wondering - if there was no limit to the resources that could be applied, what would you want to see get a graphics update next? Old tier sets and gear from classic WoW? Redesigned dragons? Non-playable races like kobolds and gnolls? Old school mounts? Worgen females (I am never letting that go.)

Personally I'd really like to see them redesign the original Dungeon Sets. I think Tier gear, even old stuff like Might and Wrath, look fine for modern transmog but old dungeon gear like Valor or Heroism could definitely use a sprucing up. But that's just me, though.

What about you? What would you most like to see get the updated look?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Around Azeroth: Nice work if you can get it

"I was trying to decide what to demolish to make way for my new Dwarven Bunker," writes submitter Marconin of Convert to Raid Mobus on Aerie Peak (US-A). "Stables or the Barracks? I'd apparently been mulling it over for too long because Mr. Alexston looks to either be asleep or quite cross with me. I've only been discussing it aloud for a few hours. Decisions like this can't be rushed, after all!"

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: World firsts and you

With the world first race for Mythic Highmaul done with, it occurred to me that there was a time that I was on tenterhooks for this kind of news. Over the years I've gone from keeps careful track of every world first kill to is aware of it, but wasn't keeping score - I still know who wins, but I no longer watch the race. Some of my friends are still hugely into who will be world first, while others never cared at all.

That got me wondering where you, the reader at home, falls on this spectrum. Do you watch the race and pay close attention, watch all the videos, marvel at the down to thew wire raiding? Or do you simply only care about a boss kill when you're there for it?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: 2014 Lore in review

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.

I like to do year end reviews of lore we've seen in the past year, but this year's review is going to be a little odd. A little different. This is largely because we didn't actually see a lot of lore introduced until November of this year, when Warlords of Draenor was finally released. Patch 5.4, the last content patch for Mists of Pandaria, was released in 2013. So we had the majority of a year with little to speak of in terms of lore and story development, and then a massive avalanche of new lore and story delivered just last month.

That makes reviewing kind of difficult. But at the same time, we do have plenty to talk about, particularly since we're dealing with a brand new expansion and a brand new world -- a world full of new mechanics, storytelling and characters that are just as vibrant and vivid as anything we've seen in Pandaria. So what did 2014 offer for the Warcraft lore fan, exactly -- and where did it falter?

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Moviewatch: Rent-An-Orc

I didn't really think I needed an orc in my life, but I may have just changed my mind thanks to today's machinima offering. Rent-An-Orc is a pretty short little film, and I think this may be the first piece I've seen from Youtuber wthMerhaba. It's a simple premise -- Ragnar the Bloodthirsty has come under some financial strain, and is now offering his services via informative infomercial to assist would-be customers with their lives in a variety of colorful and suitably orcish ways.

Sounds simple enough, and the film itself is pretty simple too, but the subject material is funny, the voiceovers work really well, and the added bonus to the offer had me in stitches. Sometimes things don't have to be incredibly fancy to be perfect -- a good joke and a good delivery will get you everywhere. If you like what you see, check out wthMerhaba's Youtube channel for more. Here's hoping we'll see a lot more from him in the future.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

The Queue: You shall not pass

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

Today's Queue has absolutely nothing to do with Gandalf, I swear.

Whiteout asked:

Question for the Eminent Queue: Have you discovered anything odd in World of Warcraft, not a bug or error produced by lag, but something intentionally placed in the world, whether it be in Outland, Azeroth, or Draenor?

Once upon a time back in vanilla WoW, there used to be places you could get to through ... creative use of game mechanics. I may or may not have been pretty good at getting into said places due to my overwhelming affection for punching the space bar and making my character jump every where I went. Back then, Hyjal wasn't a zone. It wasn't even an instance, it was a completely blocked off section of the map.

There was very little in it save canyons, paths, a few houses, and a layout that looked kind of similar to what we got with the Hyjal zone in Cataclysm. That big crater that Goldrinn's shrine is in? It was there back then. There were also a few instance portals that looked like they could go to a raid or a dungeon at some point in the future. And if you happened to follow the trail all the way to the top, you were treated to an amazing view of Archimonde's skeleton impaled upon the World Tree. And at the very, very end of that trail were the construction signs shown above, marked "Blizzard Construction Company." It was weird.

Maybe not quite as weird as the crypts beneath Karazhan, but it was pretty weird.

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

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