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Posts with tag world-of-warcraft

Dragon Soul LFR changes possible in 6.0

Transmog addicts may have some good news for patch 6.0. When LFR was introduced with Dragon Soul, the last raid in Cataclysm, players flocked to the content and gathered armor and items that had their own unique color schemes. After Mists of Pandaria was introduced, players leveled to 90 -- and the ability to run Dragon Soul on LFR difficulty disappeared. While players can still farm the raid on Normal and Heroic difficulties, the unique color sets released specifically for LFR were no longer available to those max level characters.

This was in part due to the nature of LFR. The only way to raid LFR level content is to queue for it through the raid finder interface -- you can't simply change the dropdown difficulty on a per-character basis, as you can with Normal and Heroic difficulties. Once you've passed the level threshold for Cataclysm content, the option to raid Dragon Soul LFR simply disappears from the raid finder interface. Ordinarily this wouldn't be a problem -- but transmogrification addicts everywhere have been looking for a solution to obtaining those older, uniquely colored items, and Lead Game Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas just tweeted that a solution may be on the way in patch 6.0.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm, Transmogrification, Warlords of Draenor

Connected Realms update for March 28

The list of US realms slated for the Realm Connection service has now been updated with new information regarding upcoming dates for the service. Players on Borean Tundra, Shadowsong, Dreden, and Arathor may want to note that the scheduled dates for connection of these realms have changed.

The following realms have been scheduled for connection on Thursday, April 3.
  • Borean Tundra and Shadowsong
  • Dath'Remar and Khaz'goroth
Read on for the rest of the connections and dates.

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Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Tameable hydras for hunters officially on the way?

Hunters may remember with some sadness the brief moment in time back in 2011 when hydra pets were datamined from the patch 4.1 PTR. Unfortunately, the pet never made it to live servers, leaving those with hopes of taming a three-headed beastie for their very own to wait until a later time. Apparently, that time is coming soon. Game Designer Jeremy Feasel tweeted the tantalizing image shown above yesterday, along with the following tweet.

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Filed under: Hunter, News items

New faction short story: The Untamed Valley

I have a soft spot for the Tillers. I think they're one of my favorite factions from Pandaria. It wasn't just the fact that I got my own farm, it was the fact that each character involved in the Tillers' quests was so fleshed out, so well written, and so engaging that you really couldn't help but be enchanted by Halfhill and the surrounding farms. Of all the pandaren we've met in Mists, I think I'm going to miss the gang in Halfhill the most.

That said, the absolute last person I ever expected to show up in a short story surrounding the Tillers was Vindicator Maraad. Yet there he is, accompanied by Sentinel Commander Lyalia, another Alliance face we haven't seen for quite some time. The thought of a towering blue-skinned alien from another world interacting with the jovial and decidedly down-to-earth farmers of Halfhill seems like a really strange idea for a story. And yet in Blizzard's latest short story offering, The Untamed Valley, it works. It really, really works, in the most unexpected way.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

How much transparency do you want?

It's come up time and again, and it's always an issue that's fascinated me -- how much information on how World of Warcraft is designed do we actually want? Some of us would be bored to tears by a technical discussion of the whys and wherefores of a design decision, while others would be absolutely fascinated by it. I'm sure no one's forgotten about the era of the 'Ghostcrawler experiment' and the sharp rise of communication from the game's developers. Today we have quite a bit of communication from people like Brian Holinka, Chadd Nervig, Ion Hazzikostas, Owen Landgren and others. I've always felt that it was a very good thing overall for the game to have that channel, with the devs taking time to explain design changes and what they mean. The question becomes, how useful is it to you, and how effective is it in getting players to understand the why behind changes?

Frankly, I think we all know that for every player who reads and absorbs dev interaction in the spirit in which it is meant, there's another who uses it simply as an excuse to blame said person for ruining the game. This goes back to before the time when devs were the ones delivering the news, mind you. I remember the days of Tseric, and the way the forums made him the villain in their self-generated narrative.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

New costume galleries highlight Blizzard cosplay

Three new galleries have been added to the official website, this time to feature Blizzard costumes. The galleries highlight recently-featured cosplayers in addition to contest winners and honorable mentions for costume contests from the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo franchises. Although the galleries are a little small for now, more costume photos will apparently be added over time.

Each of the galleries show winners all the way back to the first BlizzCon in 2005, so they're well worth the look. It's kind of cool to see how costumes and cosplay in general have progressed over time in terms of materials, construction, and detail. Hopefully we'll see other contestants past added soon as well -- costumes are always one of the coolest parts of BlizzCon, so it's nice to see them finally recognized with galleries of their own.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Arts and Crafts

Recommended reading for Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor, the next WoW expansion, will feature a trip to a world we've only seen one version of. Although we've visited Draenor in game, it was the shattered version of a world post-Horde, taken over by Illidan Stormrage, his allies, and the Burning Legion. Now called Outland, there's very little to see of the old Draenor in the wake of Ner'zhul's disastrous attempt to open portals to other worlds in the hopes of continued Horde domination.

In Warlords, we'll be visiting an alternate version of Draenor -- a version in which the corruption of the orcish race was halted. This alternate version will highlight and showcase former faces of old in a new light, through the meddling of Garrosh Hellscream. Now united as the Iron Horde, the orc clans of Draenor past have turned away from the Legion, instead embracing their strength on their own. But just because this is an alternate version of Draenor doesn't mean there isn't material out there to be found about these characters. The situation may be different in Warlords, but there's a pile of relevant material that will help players understand exactly why the cast of Warlords are a force to be reckoned with.

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Filed under: Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The most obscure Alliance Achievement in WoW

While most achievements in game are available to both factions, there are a few here and there that are limited to one faction only. Of these few, one is so obscure, so out of the way that most Alliance players don't even know of its existence, unless of course they've spent a lot of time carefully looking through their Achievements tab. But even then, there's no real direction or quest to discover this particular achievement. It's just there, hidden out of sight in the northern reaches of Darkshore.

It's not often I tell people to go jump in a lake. But you're going to want to go jump in a lake for this one. Specifically, the Maw of the Void -- a swirling vortex of water unearthed with the Cataclysm. Upon discarding all sense of self-preservation and leaping forthwith into the water, you'll be treated to a short cutscene as your character is abruptly sucked under the water, the screen doing dark.

And that's when things get really weird.

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Filed under: Achievements

Cross-realm raiding now enabled on all servers

Raiders, rejoice -- a new cross-realm raiding feature has now been implemented. In a blue post by Rygarius, it was announced that cross-realm raiding via BattleTag and RealID has been enabled not just for Flex mode, but for Normal and Heroic mode raiding on all servers. These cross-realm raids will be allowed to get the Reins of the Kor'kron War Wolf and all titles associated with the Siege of Orgrimmar, none of which were previously allowed on Flex or LFR difficulty.

Rygarius
We've recently implemented an often requested feature to enable cross-realm raiding for Siege of Orgrimmar. Cross-realm BattleTag™ and Real ID friends can now raid together and take the fight to Garrosh on Normal or Heroic difficulty. Players will be able to earn greater rewards such as Reins of the Kor'kron War Wolf or the title of Conqueror/Liberator of Orgrimmar; both of which aren't available to be earned within Flexible or Raid Finder difficulty.

This change is currently live.


If your cross-realm Flex group has been doing well and defeating Garrosh, now might just be the time to step into Normal mode, test the waters against the forces of Hellscream on a higher difficulty, and reap all the rewards for doing so. Good luck!

Edit: Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has stepped into the thread in question to clarify a few points. Read on after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

BlizzCon 2014 on the way?

Sharp eyes over at MMO-Champion discovered a small change to a page on the official BlizzCon site yesterday. The Terms and Conditions section of the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket page has been updated to read BlizzCon 2014 on the header title. At this time, there doesn't appear to be any other adjustments made to any page on the site -- not even in the Terms and Conditions itself, which still lists the year as 2013.

While this is by no means any kind of a definite confirmation that we'll be seeing another BlizzCon this year, it's the first sign we've seen of another event happening. Statements made at a panel at BlizzCon 2013 indicated that Blizzard very clearly didn't want to take another year off from the event. This year marks not only the tenth anniversary of World of Warcraft, but the twentieth of the Warcraft franchise -- which is more than enough reason to throw another convention, even beyond the multiple games being released this year.

Although we don't have any real confirmation, information about BlizzCon is usually released in the spring -- so we might just be hearing more about the event soon.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Should you be playing Hearthstone, if you're playing WoW?

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft officially launched last week -- but players have been enjoying the game in open beta for months. A highly interactive digital version of collectible card games, Hearthstone pits you against the computer and later, other players in battles of wits that test your ability to build cunning combos and clever gambits that have your hero ultimately come out on top. Players can build custom decks of 30 cards, and earn gold by completing quests, using the gold to purchase more cards to construct even more devastating decks. Or, if you're so inclined, you can drop cash at the shop and purchase your deck that way.

That said, it's an addictive and pretty fun game, all things considered. But if you're playing World of Warcraft, is Hearthstone something you should also be playing? From a story and lore standpoint, absolutely not -- you're not missing anything at all. There's no story built around Hearthstone, just cards and careful moves. The Warcraft tie-in refers only to the heroes chosen to represent the different class decks, nothing more. Yet at the same time, it might be worth taking a peek at the game, if you're a WoW player.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone heroes ranked not by power, but by lore

Hearthstone news site Liquidhearth posted a pretty interesting rank list yesterday. The site primarily focuses on the game-related side of Hearthstone -- arenas, deck builds, card abilities and the like -- however, this particular article looks at not the individual cards, but the heroes featured on Hearthstone's nine available decks. The list is laid out and ranked not by the relative power of the class deck, but by the place they stand in Warcraft lore.

Each hero is given a brief descriptive summary detailing their place in Warcraft's history, and each rank is justified by one of three panelists quizzed for the column. What makes it interesting is that from a Hearthstone standpoint, the order isn't really quite where I think it should be. Mage decks, for example, are absolutely devastating if they get the right cards -- and I've had my cards thrown right back at me by more than one incredibly clever set of combos from a priest deck. The rogue deck is particularly devastating when used correctly as well.

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Filed under: Lore, Hearthstone Insider

Connected Realms update for March 13

The list of US realms slated for the Realm Connection service has now been updated with new information regarding upcoming dates for the service. Four new realms have been added to the pending list for realm connections, but as of yet, there's still no update to the realms that have been postponed.

The following realms are scheduled to be connected on Thursday, March 27.
  • Borean Tundra and Shadowsong
  • Thorium Brotherhood and Farstriders/Silver Hand
  • Sentinels and Kirin Tor/Steamwheedle Cartel
Read on for the rest of the connections and dates.

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Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Warlords of Draenor: Gameplanet interviews Alex Afrasiabi

Gaming news website Gameplanet has posted an interview with Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi featuring a detailed discussion about the next expansion for World of Warcraft. Along with discussing the development of Garrosh Hellscream, Afrasiabi dropped some interesting new tidbits we hadn't heard before. Ner'zhul will be allied with the Iron Horde, but only for, as stated in the interview, a short time. In addition, garrisons are shaping up to be a massive, interactive experience -- and sound much more expansive and interesting than the farms introduced in Mists of Pandaria.

And if that weren't enough, there's some new details on the introduction to the expansion itself. The Iron Horde is trying to push through the Dark Portal into Azeroth, and players are immediately thrown into a frenetic 45-minute gameplay experience in which they are immediately confronted by thousands of Iron Horde. Afrasiabi states that players will, in that moment, realize where the orcs that have been streaming through the Dark Portal in the weeks leading up to the expansion's release have been coming from. It looks like we'll have our return of pre-expansion events -- something that was sorely missed leading into Mists of Pandaria.

But the most interesting part of the interview involves the discussion of flight on Draenor.

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Filed under: News items, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

The puzzling problem of professions in endgame

I have a confession to make: There are five jewelcrafting mounts and one engineering mount that were introduced with Mists of Pandaria, and I have yet to make any of them. I have a tailor at max level tailoring, but she hasn't made a single Royal Satchel. I have a leatherworker who hasn't even touched any of the patterns introduced this expansion. In fact, the only things I seem to be making with any kind of regularity are cut gems, and glyphs for my alts.

Why? Because the return on investment for any one of the mounts introduced is too low. I don't have the gold to randomly fling at things like mounts that will be used once or twice and then forgotten about. As for the tailor, the pattern for the Royal Satchel is locked behind the absolute, hands down, worst reputation grind in the new expansion -- and there's no way to get around that. I either have to log on every single day to grind out dailies that give an absolute pittance of reputation, or try to solo Warbringers, which is next-to-impossible for several classes.

In short, none of these things are worth my time or gold. As a result, the majority of my professions have been completely unused for the majority of the expansion. And I have a sneaking suspicion I am far from the only one, here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

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