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Lords of War Part Two: Grommash Hellscream

The second installment of Blizzards animated short series Lords of War debuted today, shedding more background on the leader of the Iron Horde: Grommash Hellscream. There's not doubt that Grommash is a pivotal figure in the upcoming expansion, with his son, Garrosh, having been a central figure in the Mists of Pandaria. Like the previous installment of Lords of War, the new episode opens with Maraad urging Varian to take the offensive and march through the new Dark Portal to face the Iron Horde head on. He then goes on to tell the tale of the events that earned Grommash the undying loyalty of his Warsong clan and how he, against incredible odds, bested the ogre nations united against him. We also get a glimpse of Grommash's mate, Golka, and her fate at the hands of the retaliating ogres.

Check out Lords of War Part Two: Grommash, and learn more about the senior Hellscream, and what makes him who he is.

Filed under: Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Animated miniseries Lords of War makes its debut

In addition to the cinematic and a bunch of previews, the Community Event also handed us a sneak preview of Lords of War, the new animated series covering the history and backstory for each of the warlords we're going to meet when we step through the Dark Portal and confront them on Draenor. The first is the Shattered Hand.

The series has an interesting premise -- King Varian is faced with the same force that destroyed Stormwind under his father's rule and he's desperately trying to figure out how he can beat what his father couldn't. Vindicator Maraad faced them on his Draenor, so he has the dirt on each of the warlords. We get the story from him. I'm not sure how well that works when we're dealing with an alternate Draenor, but it makes for some well-animated storytelling, I'll tell you that much.

So head on over and watch episode one of Lords of War and get ready for the remaining episodes.

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

NowGamer does Draenor/Outland side by side

One of the things I like the most about doing Shadowmoon Valley on the beta is the way it evokes the memories of Outland's version of the zone while clearly being a whole new place, designed from the ground up. Now the folks at NowGamers have put together a video comparing the two zones side by side.

It's cool to have because it does a much better job showing you how it is than telling you can. The way the new zone feels very much like the place before it got ruined, to the point where there's even places that were lost in the Outland version. And man, the elekks and talbuks in Shadowmoon make you feel sad for how much was destroyed and how only a few basilisks can eke out survival in the Outland version of the zone. Very much an elegy for a place destroyed when you see them side by side. Head over and check it out.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Warlords of Draenor

WowCraft episode 3: Profession Obsession

Carbot Animations, the creator of the StarCrafts series of cartoons, as well as the Heroes of the Storm trailers, has released the latest episode of his World of Warcraft series, WowCraft. After the first episode dealing with character creation, and the second one handling the joke about toothless dogs that's almost as old as the game itself, this one is diving into professions, and the perils of gathering herbs around higher level characters.

While the episode doesn't detail the corpse camping and judicious use of the /sit command that would likely have taken place in reality, the juxtaposition of the angry orc and warlock and their delightful baskets of pretty flowers is entertaining, and the Imp really steals the show for me! I liked the episode, and am hoping the series will develop into something really fun, just like Starcrafts.

Filed under: Humor

Warlords of Draenor: Character boost and Shadowmoon Valley gameplay footage

What we have here is video from today's Korean press event, showing footage of an orc warrior playing both on the Timeless Isle in the starter gear you get when boosting to level 90, followed at the four minute mark by a dwarf warrior running around Shadowmoon Valley on Warlords of Draenor's Draenor. We get to see the maps for several zones (most appear to be unfinished) as well as Draenor's position on the map next to Outland and Azeroth. We get to see several mobs, including a nether ray style mob, and the local draenei at the Temple of Karabor. Even better, we get extremely brief glimpses of new level 100 warrior talents!

All in all it's pretty tantalizing, and perhaps they're further along than I would have thought - it seems more likely to me now that a beta is a month or two away than it did before I saw the video.

Edited to add - The folks at MMO-Champion posted two more videos from the same source, Korean webzine Inven. You can watch them here and here.

Thanks to Mintie for the tip.


Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Warlords of Draenor

TradeChat takes on the history of WoW

Taking on the entire history of a game like World of Warcraft, from its announcement back in 2001 all the way up to today is a huge task, but TradeChat is up to it. She has created an epic 16 minute video taking on all the famous landmarks on the way, starting with that Leeroy Jenkins incident, the MOAR DOTS video, WoW's appearance on South Park, and the Corrupted Blood incident that's been used as a model for disease spread in countless studies. There's even an appearance in a question on Jeopardy! featuring Jenkins himself!

Panser has done an amazing job here, hitting the pop culture references, the first parodies, the subscription rise and fall, the releases and trailers of all the expansions and major patches. Adverts, both by other companies such as Moutain Dew and Toyota and those for World of Warcraft itself. She has Mila Kunis' famous interview with Jimmy Kimmel, talking about raiding,and countless other tidbits you might not have known before! What I love is how she's taken the announcement videos from all the expansions, and actually shows us all the things she's talking about instead of just marking time.

Filed under: Humor, WoW Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: World of Warcraft lore lesson 84: Winter Veil

We don't feature all of the WoW lore lesson series because there's so many of them, but when notable subjects or particularly well-done videos come up, we want to make sure you see them. The lesson 84 about Winter Veil is especially nice. Whether because it's a nice way to wrap up the season, or the incredibly seasonal voice acting, I especially enjoyed this one. So while the lights are coming down and the dwarves are sobering up, drop by and see the reason (in WoW) for the season (in WoW). Thanks Doronsmovies!

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Patch 5.4.2: New chimaera mount video


Adriacraft is at it again, digging through the patch 5.4.2 files and bringing you video of a new mount, discovered in the most recent patch to the PTR. It's simply named the Chimaera 2, not the snappiest moniker, I grant you, but it's just a filename for now. And, of course, it could reflect the fact that it has two heads. Could it be the Iron Chimaera mount that had concept art previewed at BlizzCon? Wouldn't it be great if the idle animation was the heads fighting?

Of course, with any new mount the question is always where will it come from? If it's the Iron Chimaera it seems very likely that it's in-game at least, rather than a microtransaction item. Maybe it'll be a rep grind, but those mounts often come in two colors, or are faction-specific. Perhaps a boss drop, then, from a raid, or maybe it's something I wish Blizzard would do more, a mount that simply has a world drop chance off rares or mobs. Like they did with the dinosaurs and the Zandalari Warbringer rares, or similar.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Casting /helpme on an Alterac Brew Pup

Several different Blizzard Twitter accounts have lately been suggesting that players cast /helpme on their brand new Alterac Brew Pup to see what it does.

So, WoW Insider thought we'd put together a very short video to show you just exactly what the results were of doing just that! The Alterac Brew Pup is a very cute pet, and of course $5 from every purchase goes to the Make A Wish foundation, so he really is helping people all over the world.

But we were a little underwhelmed by the animation. I cast my /helpme from far away at first, expecting the Pup to run over to me, and thought I'd done it wrong, because I couldn't see any result. But from closer up we can see that he yelps a little and shakes his head. It definitely adds to the cute factor of this pet, but with the tweets we got a little over-excited and were hoping for more.


Filed under: News items

Take a nostalgia trip with a classic G4 Cheat

We all love to go on a nostalgia trip every now and then. And this G4 episode which is doing the rounds is a fine example of just that. Kristin Holt from now-defunct gaming channel G4 takes the would-be WoW player on a voyage of discovery through Classic WoW, talking about resistance auras, the factions, hidden quests, the amazing wealth that you can now get from handing in leveling quests.

Kristin then heads into the game's easter eggs, as well as mentioning hidden quests, pop culture references, and more. She explores book references, a quest relating to the original Zelda, Fight Club, Ghostbusters, and more. She also looks at the shrine left in Classic to a departed illustrator in the Blizzard team.

Next up is "a gamer who dared to dream"... she managed to get a noble steed instead of the mechanochicken, by running through a different questing route, and grinding out the Lost Supplies quest in Swamp of Sorrows to obtain Stormwind reputation. 1,000 deliveries later, the gnome has exalted reputation, and a horse to ride. It's great fun to reminisce, and if you want more old-time WoW to smile at, check out WoW Archivist.

Filed under: WoW Archivist

Potential new WoW feature caught on video

We're hedging pretty hard on this one, ladies and gentlemen, partly because I'm trying to rein in my excitement that this could actually be a real video of a new feature. Somehow, Aipok managed to leave what looks like an instance of Temple of the Jade Serpent and zone into Stratholme, taking the option to "Teleport to Instance" while still in an instance himself. Not that weird, right? Well this is when things start getting a bit odd.

Because this has been doing the rounds, I was ready for what was coming. Aipok's health suddenly drops to 11.1k. He wades into the skeletons, as you would, with the confidence of a level 90 in a level 40-ish dungeon, and he dies. Only then, looking through his combat log, does he realize that something is awry. On ressing, his health is even lower, at 5.9k. He opens up his character pane, and all his gear has been downscaled to ilvl 43. His character attributes appear to have been downscaled, too.

Now, this has Aipok in a strange position. Has he just happened upon a very specific and weird bug? Is this an accidental hop into an unrevealed new feature for 6.0? Could players entering old content be downscaled to match it? Or, could this all be an elaborate hoax? Personally, I want to believe, so I'm going to choose to. What's more, Blizzard devs have talked before about this tech being completed. As long as this was optional, and perhaps even if it wasn't, I'd love this. It'd refresh old content and make it a challenge again. And, if you could earn upscaled XP while downscaled, a fun way to reuse old content to level.

But again, remember, this is not an official announcement, or an endorsement, or anything from Blizzard. It's one video of one weird dungeon. It could be a hoax, it could be a bug, it could be nothing at all. I'm excited, though. Are you? And what could it reward?

Filed under: Bugs, News items, BlizzCon

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat

The lovely Panser returns once again with the WoW Insider Weekly Recap! This week, she's been very busy with a project and apologises profusely for the tardiness of the recap! But there's a few stories that have piqued Panser's interest, starting with Doubleagent, the pandaren shaman flower-picker, who leveled to the level cap just by herbing! Check out the links to the original stories here at WoW Insider: If you enjoyed the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave a comment, and come back next week for the next episode!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Video: 6 things you need to know about patch 5.4

In this Geek Week special, there's so much going on in World of Warcraft Patch 5.4 that we thought we would put together a brief summary of all the new features we know about so far. We've got the in-game store, virtual realms, the timeless isle, cross-realm arenas, flexible raiding and the proving grounds... and we haven't even talked about the new raid!

If you want more information on any of the content discussed in the video, WoW Insider has a ton of material for you to peruse, just check out the links below:
  1. In-Game Store
  2. Virtual Realms
  3. Timeless Isle
  4. Cross-realm Arenas
  5. Flexible Raiding
  6. Proving Grounds

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

WoW Insider Round Table: The Timeless Isle

In a special Geek Week edition, the WoW Insider Round Table is taking on the Timeless Isle. This new zone, located to the south-east of Pandaria, is a max-level content area, crawling with rares, chests, puzzles, gear and exciting items for all and sundry. The Round Table, this week comprising of Matt Low, Olivia Grace and Sarah Pine, had all been out on the new island, soaking up the scenery and enjoying the sights it had to show them.

They discussed, variously, the new rares, the breadcrumb and exploration quests on the new island, the lore quiz content, the many, many ways to get the Timeless Isle's new currency, what you could spend it on, the drops that you could get from mobs to gear alts, and much much more of all the content the Isle has to offer.

We hope you enjoyed the WoW Insider Round Table, and as ever if you have any suggestions for future topics or specific questions for the panelists, let us know!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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