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Warlords of Draenor: Tanaan Jungle preview

One of the aspects of Draenor that's most interesting (to me, at least) is how it subverts what we think we know about the place. To use, the Dark Portal opens onto the blasted and sere Hellfire Peninsula. But it wasn't always so, and we're about to get a sense of what the place was like before the rise of the Old Horde. Welcome to the Tanaan Jungle, a lush yet treacherous land where the Iron Horde prepares its conquest of our Azeroth.

Head on over to the official site and read up on Tanaan - the place where boosted 90's will learn how to use their new abilities once Warlords of Draenor launches, as well as the staging ground for the Iron Horde's invasion. Can a band of heroes prevent it? Can they fight their way free of the Iron Horde war machine and find allies in this strange world they find themselves in? Find out.

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

Warlords of Draenor transmog preview on Wowhead

The folks at Wowhead have an extensive preview of weapon models, with multiple videos, showing off what they've datamined from Challenge Modes, Raids, and dungeons as well as PvP honor weapons. Some of the drops look like updated BC models, like this sword that has an unmistakably draenei feel to it, or this shield from challenge modes. It seems based on what's been mined so far that this time the weapons are the prestige draw from challenge modes instead of armor like in Pandaria.

There's a lot to look at, so head over to the official preview on Wowhead and take a look.

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

Warlords of Draenor gameplay impressions

Warlords of Draenor gameplay impressions
Of course, one of the best bits of attending BlizzCon in person, apart from getting to hang out with so many awesome people, is that you get to play the games on the floor. And, of course, I had to maximize that resource to bring you all some information on the new expansion, and how it was from a player perspective. As luck would have it, I was sitting with someone to my left who played a tank, so the first thing I did was to grab 3 DPS and forge ahead into Bloodmaul Slag Mines.

Squished

At first, setting up bars, gear and abilities in a hurry, I didn't actually notice the item squish. As we were pulling mobs, health bars were moving just as I'd expect them to, everything was taking damage and everyone was being healed in the manner to which I was accustomed. It was only when I glanced at my character sheet after noticing that my mana regen was good that I noticed: I'd been squished.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Patch 5.2 Gear Previews: Season 13, tier 15, and Throne of Thunder

Patch 52 Gear Previews Season 13, tier 15, and Throne of Thunder
If you've been waiting for some new WoW loot to drool over, today Blizzard posted previews of season 13's "Tyrannical" PvP armor sets. Season 12 will be coming to an end on March 5, making the Tyrannical sets your new PvP goal. Though we have to say, the paladin set looks kind of dangerous, like you might put someone's eye out accidentally with those giant blades attached to your shoulders. (It reminds us of warrior's tier 2 Wrath set, which also seemed like tempting fate. What if you tripped?) So, PvP paladins, please be careful and try not to run with scissors -- or those huge shoulders -- okay?

For PvEers, Blizzard also has previews of tier 15, which will be arriving with patch 5.2 -- that is to say, soon. Thankfully, Blizzard has finally taken the preventive measure of putting bells on the priests so they can no longer sneak up on you. (Apologies to stealth-loving priests everywhere.)

And if that's not enough preview action, our friends at Wowhead also have Throne of Thunder boss drops from the PTR (if you're not seeing them, click to sort "By Boss"). Happy looting, everyone!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, PvP, Raiding

World of Warcraft community site preview now live

A preview of the new World of Warcraft community site is now live. It has several tabs that lead you to a blog, the forums (complete with the latest blue posts), services, and a preview of what the armory will look like when fully implemented, among other things. This is the testing phase and also the prelude to a shutdown of the current forums in favor of the ones on the new community site. The full transfer of forum functionality is scheduled to occur sometime this month.

This seems to be a step in the right direction for Blizzard. I really like what I've seen so far. Try putting your character's name in the search field to bring up the armory preview. The search results are in a new format that is easier to search through, in my opinion, as well as a better way to critique yourself at a glance. And the community managers seem to be having a good time with it as well.

Note: The Off Topic forums have not been transferred to the community site and there are no plans to do so.

Update: Forum bans are also not being transferred to the updated forums.

The full text of Blizzard's announcement is after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

WoW Magazine issue 2 preview now online

The preview for issue 2 of the World of Warcraft Official Magazine is up for browsing. It is 46 pages and highlights four subjects covered in the 148-page publication:
  • Dragons All of the dragonflights are described in detail along with a glossary of all dragon terms.
  • 40-man raids Tackling 40-man raids with level 80s
  • Warsong Gulch Strategies for WSG
  • Community Columns Members of the community contribute columns
The WoW Magazine is quarterly, by subscription only and has no ads. It's subscription price starts at $39.95 for a year. I haven't ordered it yet, but dragons are cool. Really cool.

Filed under: News items

Battle.net preview: Real ID

There is a Battle.net preview up at the official StarCraft II site. While much of it talks of the integration of the StarCraft with the new Battle.net, including new mod functionality and better matchmaking, it also discusses something that affects WoW players: Real ID.

Blizzard mentioned this new cross-game social aspect of Bnet at last year's BlizzCon. Real ID is an optional system for chatting with and keeping track of "real life" friends in any Battle.net game. You invite friends with your Real ID. If they accept, you can find out what game they are playing and on what realm and character. You can also chat across realms or games. You won't have to remember the usernames of your Real ID friends and family, because you will see their real names on the interface. And you will also be able to broadcast messages to all on your Real ID friends list, rather than just chatting one at a time.

I cannot wait for this to be implemented for WoW accounts. I would love to be able to chat with my friends who are scattered across many realms and who defect to play StarCraft. I really think this is great for more hardcore players (I'll be on my Alliance alt until you Hordies can get your act together for the raid) or very casual, chatty altoholics.

Will you use the Real ID system?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Season 8 armor sets unveiled

Season 8 arena gear now available for you to drool over! Even though season 8 hasn't quite started yet due to delays, arena players will be rocking it in style. Although no clear date has been set in stone, the next arena season is expected to start soon (possibly coinciding with the 3.3.2 patch). The above shot is what the paladin gear looks like. Personally, I really like the way paladins, priests and warlocks look. I can't say that there is a specific armor set that I absolutely despise, but do take a look at our gallery and see all the sets for yourself.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP

Blizzard posts Quel'delar preview

Blizzard has posted a preview of the upcoming Quel'delar storyline that we'll be observing in Icecrown. Quel'delar, you'll remember, is the twin of the old Quel'serrar blade that we put together way back in the days of vanilla WoW.

For those of you who are spoiler-sensitive, details are behind the break.


Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Items, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Quests, Blood Elves, Raiding

BlizzCon 2009: Hands-on with Creative's World of Warcraft headset


When they stopped by the WoW.com meetup last Thursday before BlizzCon, Creative not only brought along a prototype of their upcoming World of Warcraft headset to show some readers in attendance, but they invited us by their booth at the show to hold it in our hands and see just what those lighted glyphs on the earcups were like. We happily obliged, and as a result, we're also happy to bring you the first look (along with some exclusive prototype photos) at what Creative's new headset will be.

Keep in mind that they're still in the prototype stage right now: Creative's Ryan Schlieper told me that the way it works is that they make a mold and a prototype first (which is what we held -- not a fully working version, but a 1:1 model with the exact weight and size of the final version), and then make 1000 of those in a fully working version to test. If those 1000 work and are right, then they go on to production, and if not, then they go back to the mold and start over again. Schlieper says they're in the prototype stage right now, and once testing is done (including Blizzard's approval), then they'll roll out the final headsets. So how did this prototype look and feel? Hit the galleries below to see pictures both on the floor and of Creative's 3D designs, and check after the break for our very first impressions.



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Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, BlizzCon, Hardware

World of Warcraft comic issue #20 preview

The World of Warcraft comic train keeps a-rollin' with the upcoming twentieth issue, with this one focusing on everyone's favorite pre-Wrath Scourge invasion. Here's what the official PR solicitation has to say:

The Scourge makes their move and attacks from all fronts intent on taking no prisoners! No longer united, can Varian and Thrall survive the onslaught? And will Valeera once again succumb to her addiction to magical energy?

Oh no, dear readers! Can they? Will she?

I guess you'll just have to pick up the comic. If you need a quick fix, though, you can check out BlizzPlanet's scans of the preview that they've so graciously provided. At a glance, the art seems to be a bit improved over the Onyxia arc (thankfully) and, possibly more importantly, we're finally getting into recent and familiar territory. Heck, the comic's only a few months behind us now! Maybe soon you'll read about yourself killing Yogg-Saron before you even do it.

Filed under: News items

WoW Moviewatch: Trev and Eroth Episode I Trailer


Tipster "Snark" sent me a note about the Trev and Eroth Episode I Trailer by Fudgewartz. The full movie is due out very soon, so we'll know pretty quick whether this trailer will turn into the promised series, or just fizzle out.

I couldn't quite make out the premise of the story, but it clearly involves at least one or two gnomes. Therefore, I hope it turns out to be awesome. The voice acting sounded fun, but the dialogue was definitely a little muddled. The author said that some of pre-production work wasn't quite finished, so hopefully that's one of the things that improves before the final release.

The series is expected to have six main installments, with a few scattered "shorts" after its conclusion. Here's hoping it turns out well! I can't guess what's up with the Terminator head, though.

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Moviewatch

Blizzard previews issue 19 of the WoW comic book


Blizzard has posted an online preview of the next edition of the World of Warcraft comic book, issue number 19, and it's full of something we love doing: Scourge killin'. Actually, not to spoil it for you (it's only a few pages long), but it looks like the book is revisiting the old attacks on Stormwind (well at least the planned attack on Stormwind) and Ogrimmar right before the last expansion.

I haven't been following the comic book super closely, but it looks like the comic's timeline has just now caught up to the Scourge invasion. It's still fun to see what was going on then, from the big throwdown (that we never actually got to see in-game) on the docks to the other big throwdown between Thrall and Garrosh. Give it a look and if you like it, keep an eye out for the new comic book issue, which should be in stores right now.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Comics

Tier 8 Ulduar weapon models previewed, Val'anyr included

3.1 and Ulduar are coming soon. No doubt a lot of you have been looking forward to seeing what your reward for hacking apart a variety of priceless Titan artifacts and servants of the Old Gods would be. MMO-Champion, as always, has your back! They've released a preview for the weapon and accessory models that'll be in Ulduar, and they look fantastic. The theme of the instance seems to carry through into all of its gear, and I'm going to love just how good my guild and I will look after a bit of time in there.

The image above is a paladin holding one of the Ulduar shields and the much-touted Val'anyr, Gavel of Ancient Kings, and that's just the tip of the iceberg from MMOC, who promises a video of it in action very soon.

Bear in mind these are still tentative models and the art may change, but even then, what are you waiting for? Santa won't get mad if you peek. Go go go!


Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

New TCG Loot cards announced for Blood of Gladiators expansion

Our friends over at WoWTCGLoot have posted what they believe are the next three loot cards coming out in the "Blood of Gladiators" expansion of the card game.
  • A Sandbox Tiger, we're told, will be a cooldown-based location toy like the D.I.S.C.O. ball, and will allow you to ride a spectral tiger in place, like a rocking horse.
  • An Epic Purple Shirt will not only look epic, but should allow you to do a special emote (probably /flex) that will make you "the center of attention."
  • And perhaps more exciting, a Foam Swords Rack will let players around you grab foam swords and swordfight to the finish, complete with a declared winner.
Very cool. The first time we'll see these in stores will likely be the upcoming preview of the new expansion, taking place on the weekend of March 7th. Since these likely came from information found in the PTR, they are, of course, subject to change. Upper Deck will likely share a few screenshots and some more information on these soon, and when they do, we'll let you know.

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Expansions, WoW TCG

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