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Posts with tag warlords-of-draenor

Wowhead launches Warlords of Draenor database

Dark Portal
With the Warlords of Draenor alpha now underway, the datamining efforts are in full swing. Our friends over at Wowhead have compiled their information into a specific Warlords of Draenor database, ready to fulfill all your spoiler-iffic, data-licious desires. You can find tabs for spells, talents, glyphs, factions, zones, items, and even a few item sets, for the transmogrification-conscious. Some of the details, such as icons, are still missing, but this is only the first round of datamining, and only the alpha after all! The database will certainly be updated as needed and as more information becomes available.

As if to further emphasize the ephemerality of some of this information, there are some entertaining little alpha tidbits in there--items such as the "Test Chest" (it rhymes!), "Chris' New CR Test Gloves," and the fantastic "Novel Mind-Blowing Chest Guard." For some unfathomable reason I have a sneaking suspicion that these aren't the items' final names. It's just a hunch, though!

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Artcraft reveals new male tauren model

We had a bit of a sneak peek of the tauren model this weekend thanks to Adriacraft, and now we get the official preview with an Artcraft at the official site. Now, I play tauren quite a bit - they're my favorite Horde race, in fact - so I'm happy to see them get an update. The current model looks good enough in plate, but the years haven't been kind to it as new races with upgraded polygon counts and more points of articulation were introduced. Going from a pandaren warrior to a tauren was an exercise in time travel - the older model looked every bit its age.

As for this model, I think it's already an established improvement just by virtue of not having the mane look like straw heaped onto the back. Clearly, great effort has been made to keep the model true to itself while still looking updated, and although I'm a little iffy on the eyes, I'm hopeful that we'll see some variation in that regard. The video is particularly helpful for getting to see it in action. It's a far, far more effective model for conveying emotions via expression - it's hard to imagine seeing a tauren look this expressive, frankly. Seeing the open mouthed belly laugh alone convinces me that this is a far, far improved model in all regards.

In general, I find it much improved - now I just want to see how they do with the female model.

Head on over to the official site and see the process detailed.


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

Know Your Lore: Warlords lore, spoilers and you

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.

It's about that time again. The time in which an expansion is waning towards its inevitable end, and a new one sits on the horizon. The time when that expansion isn't quite available for play, but is now the subject of copious amounts of clever datamining to pluck out all those interesting details before they've even had a chance to fully see the light of day.

For most players, it's incredibly fun to see the details as they are released, particularly since Blizzard has been so careful this time around to clarify any changes that may appear a little weird. For fans of the lore, it means one of two things -- a ton of delicious tidbits in regards to story information, or the inevitable launch of a minefield of spoilers that will have to be dodged for the next several months until the expansion is in hand. But is it really worth it to give them a look? Is it worth it to discuss them?

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Adriacraft hunts down new male tauren model

Our friends over at Adriacraft have been busy mining away at data from the Warlords of Draenor alpha, and discovered something interesting -- the new tauren male model. While we saw a brief glimpse of the model at BlizzCon, it was just a flat model, lacking expression or animation. The images from Adriacraft look to be from the character selection screen, and the model has its familiar stance and expression.

Adriacraft has other shots from the character selection screen as well, including both male and female dwarves, male and female gnomes, and the male orc model. A tweet from Senior Art Director Chris Robinson indicated that the tauren male and his animations will be featured in an upcoming edition of Artcraft -- so players wondering what the model looks like with some emotion on its face may not have to wait too long to see it. For more screenshots and images of the new models, take a look at our gallery.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Possible character undelete option?

We've all been there -- we needed another character slot. Or maybe we were just bored with the class. Deleting a character is one of those final decisions that occasionally leads to regret. While characters can sometimes be restored, it usually takes a ticket or a phone call to Blizzard to get the job done. Wowhead has been busy datamining the Alpha client, and discovered an interesting set of strings that suggest that particular service, much like the item restore service before it, may be put in player's hands come Warlords. The following strings were found:
  • UNDELETE_TOOLTIP_DISABLED:: Restore Deleted Character is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.
  • UNDELETE_SERVICE_TOOLTIP:: Restore this character
  • UNDELETE_FAILED_ERROR:: There was a problem restoring your deleted character. Please try again later.
  • UNDELETE_TOOLTIP:: Restore Deleted Character
  • UNDELETE_TOOLTIP_COOLDOWN:: You must wait before restoring another deleted character.
From the looks of the strings, the service will work similarly to the item restoration service -- in other words, it will likely have a cooldown period to prevent abuse. Keep in mind however that this is datamined information, and is in no way official -- we may never actually see it implemented when the expansion goes live. But hey, for now I'm going to look forward to the possibility that the paladin I viciously decided to cut might just make another appearance on my character list, some day.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Talented

Warrior talents
With the release of the first set of patch 6.0 patch notes--I'm certain there will be many variants to come--talk is buzzing about all the major changes and adjustments we'll be seeing come Warlords of Draenor. In addition to reading about all this, I've been doing some perusal of the level 100 talents (as they currently stand).

In particular, I think all three of the new feral druid talents sound great, though Lunar Inspiration is my favorite just for concept alone. The restoration druid options aren't quite as exciting, in my opinion, though they certainly aren't anything to sneer at. The other classes I play regularly are my frost mage and my retribution paladin, and a few of their talents strike my fancy as well--Comet Storm for the mage and Empowered Seals for the paladin in particular sound fun and useful, respectively.

Have you looked over the talents in detail? Some haven't changed much since BlizzCon, but some haven't been documented publicly until now. What do you like? What don't you like? What do you wish were there?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Warlords of Draenor: Combo points no longer on target for rogues, druids

Rogues and feral druids have had one very important change that wasn't announced in the recent patch notes for the 6.0 alpha build. Combo points, the bread and butter of every rogue and feral druid attack since the game began, are now on the rogue or druid, instead of on the target being attacked. This was confirmed in a tweet by Celestalon -- who was quick to point out that the change might not see live, but is being tested for now.

This is honestly a really big change for both classes. One of the unique frustrations of playing the class was spending the time and energy to build up enough points for a big finisher, only to see the target die before that finisher could land. Don't get me wrong, having a target die is always the name of the game, whether you're stabbing with daggers or skulking around as a cat. But once that target was dead, all combo points you carefully built up would simply vanish when the next target was acquired.

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Filed under: Druid, Rogue, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Interview: Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig talks Warlords of Draenor

I was lucky enough to head over to Blizzard Campus this week to talk to Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig. Chadd is a huge part of the class design team, key to a lot of the changes we saw in the recent Warlords of Draenor patch notes, which is just what we discussed. We were also joined by Senior Community Representatives Zarhym and Lore. You can also find a much-abbreviated summary on Wowhead.

Olivia: First up, is there anything you really wanted to clarify and get out there?

Celestalon: I've tweeted about pretty much everything. This was the first version of the patch notes, there have been more changes since then, those patch notes are about a week old or so?

Zarhym: Yeah it's like, tons of changes. [Rygarius] said he had a huge list of changes.

Celestalon: There's another five thousand words that aren't up there yet, which [Rygarius] is working on now.

There have been different amounts of patch notes released for different classes. Paladins have been complaining that they haven't got enough, rogues have been really happy that not much has changed. Is it safe to assume there's more to come? This is just step one?

There's definitely more coming. Like, for example, paladins had relatively few patch notes, and a lot of that is we were relatively happy with how things played out, at least for ret and prot, with the exception of a few things we can solve with tuning – changing numbers. So a lot of what you see in the patch notes now is what we call design changes, so the mechanics that we want to change so we can get to some design that we like.

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Filed under: Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Attack and Spell power changes

One of the changes the Warlords of Draenor alpha patch notes mentions is a pretty large change to how our primary stats work and interact with critical strike and attack or spell power (depending on which you care about). It can be broken down as follows - first, agility and intellect no longer increase physical and spell critical strike chances respectively. In addition, there no longer is any such thing as spell critical strike chance, ranged chance, or melee chance, merely critical strike chance that applies to all three. Since this is no longer affected by primary stats, it's set at a base 5% chance before gear. (Among other things this removes the last tiny vestiges of any use for agility for strength classes.)

Next, agility based class gain a new passive ability called Critical Strikes which increases base critical strike chance by 10%, likely to compensate for all the crit they lose from agility. Those of us who never got crit from our primary stat (strength DPS) are left wondering where our free 10% crit is.

Next, how primary stats react with attack or spell power has also been changed. Attack power from Agility or Strength has been halved - each point of Agi or Str only gives 1 AP, down from the 2 it gains currently. In addition, weapon damage has been reduced by 20% across the board. This is because Attack Power now contributes more significantly to weapon damage - 1 DPS per 3.5 AP, which is a pretty significant increase from the current 1 DPS per 14 AP. Finally, weapon damage and attack and/or spell power now contributes to the entire throughput of player spells - if you're a healer, your weapon damage and spell power will much more directly contribute to the strength of your heals, and casters will see a similar benefit from their weapons. Weapons have just become far more important for many players, if not all.

To read this section of the patch notes in their entirety, just click on through to the other side.

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

Warlords of Draenor: Dodge, Parry, Hit and Expertise and their loss

Well, we finally have a concrete sense of how we're going to function in a world without hit, expertise, dodge or parry on our gear, thanks to the Warlords of Draenor alpha notes. So far, it looks rather interestingly painless.

First up, dodge and parry as stats on gear are gone and the amount of dodge and parry we get for agility and strength, respectively, will be reduced by 25%. Active mitigation is in, avoidance is out. You can still get some small amounts of dodge or parry from class-specific effects (Riposte, for instance, has been reworked to give 100% parry after a critical strike until you parry an attack, and it can stack up to 2 times, meaning you can have two parries in a row before you lose the 100% parry from Riposte) but in general, you won't be able or willing to gear for those stats anymore.

As for hit and expertise, their removal leads to the change in design to balance out how we hit things. Against monsters and such up to three levels higher (including bosses, who as skull level are always three levels higher) you'll have 100% chance to hit, 3% chance to be parried, and 0% chance to be dodged. This means that you'll still want to be standing behind them if at all possible. Tank classes, however, will have an extra 3% parry reduction baked into their tanking specializations, meaning that they will have 100% chance to hit and 0% chance to be parried or dodged. They can stand up front.

Dual-wield classes (rogues, enhancement shamans, frost DK's, fury warriors, potentially windwalker monks) will have an additional 17% chance to miss with no way to improve it in order to balance their DPS out against 2h users.

For the complete list of the removed/changed abilities that once granted hit or expertise or which now reduce chance to be parried, the full list is behind the jump.

Read more →

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

Warlords of Draenor: Garrison to have its own fishing hole


Cory Stockton has teased us yet again with news on the upcoming Garrisons for Warlords of Draenor. This time, he's working on fishing.

What is becoming ever more clear with each successive tweet (many of which we've covered) is that the Garrison is more expansive and a lot more content than anything like the Farm we've gotten before. Cory confirmed this in a followup tweet, promising some new blogs on the feature and what to expect from it in the near future.

Honestly, I'm starting to get the sense that I need to pay a lot more attention to the Garrison and that it's going to be a big new part of how we play WoW in this expansion. We've seen that they'll have portals to major cities, be a place where you can display achievements, work on professions, there's a follower style minigame planned, pets and mounts displayed via stables, and I find myself wondering just how big the Garrison is intended to be. Very interested in those promised blogs.

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

Professions divorced from combat in 6.0

Armored draenei
The Warlords of Draenor 6.0 patch notes brought many surprises, but one of the biggest is that professions will no longer provide bonuses that affect combat.

Amidst the endless sea of notes, it's easy to miss these two sentences that will forever change the role of professions in WoW:
Warlords of Draenor: Alpha Patch Notes
Some of our goals with Professions in Warlords of Draenor are to make them more of a personal choice, and less of a mandatory "min/max" selection. To that end, we're removing the direct combat benefits of Professions.

For many years, theorycrafters and min/max'ers have baked profession bonuses into their calculations. The crit from skinning, the Synapse Springs of engineers, the eye gems of jewelcrafters, the warmer wrists of leatherworkers, etc. -- all of them have affected which professions are "best" for certain specs.

In recent expansions we've seen Blizzard try to make the bonuses more or less even across specs, with mixed success. Now, all of these bonuses are headed to the chopping block in patch 6.0, at least in their current incarnations.

Maxed-out professions will no longer be essential for high-end PvE or PvP activities. We will no longer need to weigh our personal preference against possible combat advantages. In fact, players will be able to skip leveling professions at all, if they choose, without penalty to their character's performance. This strikes me as a good change.

Will professions only provide an economic advantage from 6.0 on? Or will they give us other bonuses, such as extra lesser charms, bonus pet battle XP, or faster garrison construction? Will Blizzard tweak the existing combat-related recipes to provide different bonuses? Or will the developers remove them entirely? Many questions remain to be answered as the alpha progresses!

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Draenor Perks added to 91-99 leveling

Leveling has always been a major focus for any expansion and Warlords of Draenor is no exception. But this time it's a bit different, thanks to the introduction of Draenor Perks. What are those?

Draenor Perks is a new feature that adds rewards for leveling. Over levels 91 to 99, you will earn these 9 new Draenor Perk in a random order. Each class and specialization has a different set of 9 Draenor Perks.

Draenor Perks have been added for all classes, earned from levels 91 to 99.

These perks will serve to help distinguish various specs from each other within a class as well as making them more distinct from other classes. How this will work in actual practice has yet to be seen, but it's definitely an interesting new wrinkle on leveling that we haven't seen before in WoW.

Read more →

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

Warlords of Draenor: Patch 6.0 patch notes

The patch notes for patch 6.0 have been released! Patch 6.0 is the pre-patch for Warlords of Draenor, featuring many of the changes and adjustments we'll be seeing in preparation for the next expansion's launch. Please note that patch notes can and often will change over time -- these should by no means be considered a finalized version. Highlights from the patch notes include:
  • A new row of talents has been added for level 100, and Draenor Perks from levels 91-99.
  • Racial traits have been rebalanced.
  • All characters now learn a few important Major Glyphs as they level up.
  • Garrisons, garrisons, garrisons!
Read on for the full list of patch notes after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha testing begins

Warlords of Draenor Alpha has officially begun! While at this stage testing is limited, players may feel free to opt-in to future beta testing by going to the Beta Profile Settings on your Battle.net account. Interestingly enough, along with this announcement comes the announcement of a new file format to compress and store game files. The new file format, CASC, replaces the MPQ file formatting Blizzard has been using for the past 20 years.

Keep in mind that this is an alpha announcement -- beta has not officially begun. No beta keys have been emailed out. If you receive an email offering a beta key, ignore it for now -- as more information about the new expansion releases, phishing attempts are like to rise as well. Check out Blizzard's full announcement regarding the Alpha, and keep your eyes peeled -- with a client available, datamining will likely begin soon.

Update: Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas had the following to say about the Alpha:



Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

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