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Posts with tag world-of-warcraft

Warlords of Draenor: New mount tab and favorites function

The Warlords of Draenor alpha has plenty of content, but it's the little things that are standing out at the moment -- subtle UI tweaks and additions that are marked improvements to existing features. One of these in-progress changes is the mounts tab, a feature that has been pretty bare-bones since it was introduced. Although it isn't complete just yet, there are some nice changes -- mounts that you cannot use are clearly outlined in red, and mousing over their icons will tell you what riding skill you need in order to ride them.

Mounts from both factions are now shown on the tab. However, Horde and Alliance icons clearly note which mounts are faction-specific, and which faction you need to be in order to ride them. In addition, some mounts now have flavor text in the mount window that includes a little information about the mount, and where it is obtained -- whether it be via quest or vendor.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

US and EU Connected Realm updates for June 6

The Connected Realm service is making a return, and a whole new host of realms are scheduled for connection over the next several weeks for both the US and European servers. Although US realms have specific dates listed for connections, EU realms are simply listed as beginning next week.

The following US realms have been scheduled for connection on Thursday, June 12.
  • Azuremyst and Staghelm
  • Drenden and Arathor
  • Duskwood and Bloodhoof
  • Nagrand and Caelestrasz

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Azeroth Choppers: Series recap, voting closes tonight

In case you somehow missed the series run of Azeroth Choppers, Blizzard has put together a brief recap of the show in its entirety. I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect with this particular foray into web entertainment, but the prospect of getting a new mount is always good news -- and we've never had a mount introduced in quite this fashion before, nor have we seen Azeroth's various pieces of engineering construction built in real life. Although personally, I think the show missed the mark on highlighting all the details of the construction process, it was still a pretty fun, lighthearted series.

However, voting for the winning chopper ends tonight at 12pm PDT -- and episode 8, coming later this week, will supposedly announce the winning vehicle. We know we're getting a free mount either way, so why not have a hand in the decision making process? Cast your vote for the chopper you'd like to see added to your mount collection on the official site -- and stay tuned for the announcement of the winning team.

Ed. correction: Voting for the chopper has closed.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Azeroth Choppers: Horde behind the scenes footage

As expected, Blizzard has released more behind the scenes footage from Azeroth Choppers -- this time, it's the Horde's turn. While I really liked the Alliance footage we were shown yesterday, I have to confess I'm not nearly as impressed with what the Horde team has to show -- I was hoping for a look at how they created material we hadn't already seen. But it's still cool seeing how they took one image of an orc with some massive plate shoulders and re-created that in bike form. It's big, bulky, and has just the right touch of unbridled menace. I do wish we'd seen footage of all that emblem-cutting, though -- I can't imagine carving the Horde symbol into metal is a particularly easy task.

There's still time left to cast your vote for either Team Alliance or Team Horde at the official site. But you better hurry -- voting ends at 12pm PDT tomorrow night. Make sure you get your vote counted, and may the best chopper win!


Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Azeroth Choppers: Alliance behind the scenes footage

Now this is my kind of footage. Azeroth Choppers has released a behind the scenes look at the construction of the Alliance chopper, including construction and positioning of the "swords" that make up the handlebars of the bike. I was hoping we'd see more of this in the actual show, but I'll settle for behind the scenes, too! While I like the above footage, I have to admit that after seeing the final chopper and that gorgeous leather saddle, I was hoping we'd see the designs for that, and maybe a mention of who did all that leatherworking -- there were plenty of tiny details on both choppers that were complete surprises.

Hopefully we'll see some more behind the scenes glimpses over the next couple of days -- I'd like to see more on the Horde chopper construction as well. Voting is still open to pick your favorite bike to be re-created in game, so make sure you cast your vote for Team Alliance or Team Horde while you still can.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Armored Bloodwing, Blossoming Ancient now 35% off

If you've been wanting to add to your mount or battle pet collections, now might be the perfect time to do so. The Armored Bloodwing and the Blossoming Ancient are on sale for 35% off this week in both US and EU Battle.net shops. The Armored Bloodwing on its own is pretty cool -- it's the only bat mount players have access to. As for the Blossoming Ancient, it's not only a nice addition to any pet battle team, it also changes its appearance according to the seasons.

Players looking to purchase the pet or mount should check out either the US Battle.net Shop, or the EU version. For US buyers, the pet is now $6.50 and the mount is $16.25, and for EU buyers, the pet is EUR 6.50, and the mount is EUR 13.00. But if you want to take advantage of the sale, you might want to hurry -- the prices are only good through June 3.

Filed under: News items

Vanilla alpha models vs. Warlords

Hayven Games over on Youtube posted a pretty interesting video the other day, in light of all of the new character models we're beginning to see. Players may be familiar enough with the models we use in WoW today, but very few players know what the original alpha models from World of Warcraft looked like. In some cases, there were very little changes from alpha WoW to release, and in others, the change was pretty dramatic. In the above video, those incredibly old models from alpha are highlighted -- not just the static models, but how they walk and run. Characters that have already been featured in ArtCraft segments also have their Warlords model improvements on display for a side-by-side comparison.

It's interesting to see how not just the artwork, but even the walk and run cycles for characters evolved from the original days of alpha to WoW's release back in 2004. Human characters look a little leaner with longer legs, gnomes in particular have some pretty terrifying faces, but the most striking difference has to be with the trolls. While the male trolls looked fairly close to release version, the run animation was something else entirely. As for female trolls ... well, let's just say despite the current blank, unblinking stare, today's models are a vast, vast improvement.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Warlords of Draenor: Challenge mode weapon models datamined

Adriacraft is at it again, datamining new models and more from the alpha client. This time around, it's a look at Challenge Mode weapons -- presumably the rewards for completing Warlords challenge mode dungeons. Like some of the armor sets that have been datamined so far, the weapons feature some really unique animations and moving parts that are far more complex than any weapon we've seen to date. There's a wide variety to look at, here -- and while I'm ambivalent on some of the models, I have to say the sword that assembles itself is pretty interesting.

But before you get too caught up in liking or hating the weapons, keep in mind that looking at these datamined models may be pretty cool, but these are in fact alpha models. Community Manager Rygarius hopped on Twitter yesterday to remind people of just that.



Regardless of whether you love or hate these datamined models, remember that they might not actually live to see the light of day. If nothing else, they're definitely worth a look just to see the leaps Blizzard has made in weapon design -- these aren't your run of the mill vanilla weapons anymore. Be sure to check out Adriacraft for more models and sets.


Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

How to include diversity without making it your focus

Yesterday, Polygon published this editorial, which reacted to Rob Pardo (Chief Creative Officer at Blizzard) and his speech at MIT's media lab. The talk was about gameplay and fun in design vs. narrative, and in it Mr. Pardo mentioned that Blizzard is not a narrative focused company, and that they focused first and foremost on epic entertainment rather than diversity.

First up, let me say this - I agree with Rob Pardo that Blizzard should be focusing on epic entertainment experiences, and I have no difficulty with their desire to position themselves as a developer who focuses on gameplay and fun over narrative. And I think it's laudable that Rob himself seems to understand that this can sometimes backfire, as he said in the speech.

No, my objection is a purely pragmatic one -- I believe it's actually easier to be diverse in how you populate your game world than to not be, and that the lack of diversity ultimately damages that fun gameplay for a sizable chunk of your player base. To use just one example, we know that women make up almost half of people playing these games. Including characters that are women in positions of prominence (as just one example) invests women more fully in your game experience. It benefits you, because it enlists them as allies towards the ultimate goal of creating those fun, epic experiences - and the respect the article mentions? It cements that respect. If you want to have a reputation, it helps to enlist the players, to make them do the work.

Especially if your focus is on fun, rather than narrative, this is a decision that costs you nothing and reaps you rewards. The same fervor that can turn to ire and negative media attention can be made your ally - the inclusion of prominent characters that say that women (for example) are welcome and valued enlists women as participants. You can't have fun gameplay without players, and those players will do the work of promoting and proselytizing your work.

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

Warlords of Draenor: Tier 17 models datamined

The fine folks over at Adriacraft have been busy digging up models from the alpha client for Warlords of Draenor. Today they released a selection of preview videos for tier 17 armor sets. Shaman, monk, mage, rogue and warrior tier 17 are featured in their own videos, as well as a look at the paladin tier 17 mythic set, shown above.

As previously mentioned by Ion Hazzikostas in an interview with Wowhead, the appearance of gear in Warlords will be defined by raid difficulty, rather than just a recolor for each level of difficulty. As with a prior video that highlighted mythic tier 17 for warriors, the paladin set has a lot more flash and moving parts. I really love the draenei flavor to the set -- the naaru-like crystalline emblems on the spaulders are pretty cool. To see all the datamined tier models, head over to Adriacraft's Youtube channel and take a look.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 5.4.8 Patch notes

The official patch notes for patch 5.4.8 have now been released and posted to the official blog. While the latest patch is a small one, it contains some pretty important updates to the gear upgrade system, and valor point acquisition. In addition, a few changes have been made to the Siege of Orgrimmar on Raid Finder difficulty.
  • Mistweaver Ai on the Timeless Isle now sells the Deeds of Valor token for 3000 Timeless Coins. Using the token will grant the player 100 valor points, up to the 1000 valor weekly limit.
  • Heirloom weapons awarded by Garrosh Hellscream have been increased by 8 item levels.
  • All upgradeable epic quality items from patch 5.4 are now eligible to be upgraded an additional two times with valor.
It appears that two of the datamined items, Heart of the Valorous and Gaze of the Black Prince, will not actually be introduced with this patch, according to a tweet by Rygarius.


Read on for the full patch notes.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Legendary quest boosts on the way?

Wowhead dug up some interesting new information this past week, largely in regards to the legendary quest chain offered by Wrathion. These changes are not for patch 6.0 -- they are for patch 5.4.8, which should be coming to the PTR soon. Two new spells of note have been added to the PTR -- one, called Gaze of the Black Prince, increases your reputation earned with the Black Prince by 100%, which might sound a little like the Grand Commendations for other Pandaria reputations that unlock bonus reputation for all characters on your account.

But that doesn't seem to be the case with this particular spell. In fact, Gaze of the Black Prince also increases the chances of getting a Secrets of the Empire, Sigil of Power, Sigil of Wisdom, or Titan Runestone from enemies. How much of a chance isn't directly stated, but frankly, gathering the needed drops is far more time-consuming than simply earning the required reputation with Wrathion, so that's fantastic, right? Well ... there's more.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Enter to win a signed copy of War Crimes by Christie Golden

Are you dying to learn the fate of Garrosh Hellscream, former Warchief of the Horde? War Crimes, the newest Warcraft novel by Christie Golden, sets the stage with Hellscream's trial and elegantly weaves together the stories and testimonies of Azeroth's major faces in a tale that is much, much more than a courtroom drama.

Thanks to Blizzard Entertainment, we've got not one, but two copies of War Crimes to give away, and each has been signed by Christie Golden! If you'd like a little more information on the book before entering the giveaway, feel free to take a look at our spoiler-free review.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. You must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). You can only enter once. Two winners will be chosen at random and we will contact you via whatever method you've used to comment. Official rules here.

Filed under: Blizzard, Contests

WoW Archivist: Talisman of Binding Shard, the lost legendary

This edition of WoW Archivist was originally published May 24, 2011. Given Blizzard's recent retrospective on Molten Core, we felt the piece of Warcraft history was worth another look. All references to time, space, and current content should be viewed through the lens of this piece's initial date of publication.

Last week, we finally escaped the morass of World of Warcraft's beta to discuss patch 1.2, the first major content patch of the post-release game. We're going to take a break from patches for a while to examine some other myths and legends that arose in vanilla WoW. Today, we're going to look back to one of the legends of Molten Core.

Molten Core is rather unique in that it's the home of more than one legendary item. Both Thunderfury and Sulfuras have their roots in Molten Core, though one does require items from Blackwing Lair to complete; Blackwing Lair hadn't even been implemented yet when players started receiving the first pieces of these legendary items.

Everybody knows about Thunderfury and Sulfuras, though. Not as many people know Molten Core once had a third legendary.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Warlords of Draenor: Periodic effects changes

Warlords of Draenor is about to make some sweeping changes to the way we play World of Warcraft -- in a way that is elegantly reducing those tiny little annoyances that we've dealt with for so long, we've nearly forgotten they were there. One of those items on the streamlining checklist has always been the matter of Damage over Time and Healing over Time spells. Unlike flat casts or attacks, DoTs and HoTs distribute both damage and healing evenly over a brief period of time, through periodic ticks of either damage or healing. These can be layered over direct damage and healing spells to deal more damage and boost those direct cast damage and heal spells to greater effect.

Sounds good, right? Yes and no. There are a few weird quirks with periodic damage spells -- casting a DoT while under the effect of a buff like a trinket proc currently means that every tick of that DoT will be boosted by that trinket proc -- even if the actual buff for the trinket has worn off, an effect called "snapshotting." In addition to this, haste modifies DoT and Hot uptime. The more haste you have, the faster your DoTs will tick. In some cases, stacking enough haste meant that your spell would actually get an additional tick of damage or healing -- which led many players to look for that mysterious magic number of haste that would allow this effect to occur.

A lot of this is changing in Warlords.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

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