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Posts with tag world-of-warcraft

Siege of Orgrimmar updating to Warlords-mode raiding in 6.0

Mythic mode raiding will be coming into play a little sooner than previously thought. A tweet by Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas yesterday confirmed that we will be seeing Warlords-style raiding implemented into the Siege of Orgrimmar raid with patch 6.0. The raid structure in Warlords includes Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulty all available in Flex-scaling formats. Raid Finder mode as it stands today will still be called Raid Finder mode, however Flexible difficulty will now be called Normal, our version of Normal raiding will be Heroic, and Mythic raiding, a 20-man only format, replaces our Heroic mode as it stands today.


While we knew these changes would be coming in 6.0 via screens shown at BlizzCon 2013, what we didn't know is that this format will be applied to Siege of Orgrimmar, as well as all raids going forward into the new expansion. A later tweet by Hazzikostas pointed out that there will be plenty of advance notice before the change goes live, and there will also be more information on the topic at a later date. Considering we're just now seeing patch 5.4.7 on the PTR, we shouldn't expect Mythic modes to be dropped on us immediately.

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 5.4.7 PTR Patch Notes update for February 3

Blizzard Community Manager Rygarius has cooked up the latest batch of Patch 5.4.7 PTR notes. There's a few changes in there, including the reversion of the change to Charge and the cooldown changes for Pummel and Disrupting Shout that replace it. We covered this in more detail with a post from Lore, so let's take a look at the other alterations:
  • PvP gear has been updated to the relevant season, so the season 14 Grievous gear is now purchaseable for honor, while the season 15 Prideful gear is live
  • The Flaskataurs return! Both shrines now feature a Flaskataur for all your needs.
    • Flaskataurs sell PvP gear in the shrine
    • Tier 15 Normal gear at Niuzao
    • Glyphs in the Shrine
  • Charge's stun is now a stun again rather than a root
  • Warbringer's root is, again, a root
  • Disrupting Shout and Pummel now both share a 15-second cooldown when either ability is used. Disrupting Shout's 40-second cooldown remains unchanged but the ability will be unavailable for 15 seconds after using Pummel.
Hit the break for the full patch notes!

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Warlord Zaela and the Dragonmaw Clan

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.

They are Dragonmaw -- a clan that seems a little out of place in the name department, having existed long before dragons ever arrived on Draenor. However out of place that name may have been at the time, the clan lived up to it with brutal efficiency upon traveling through the Dark Portal and arriving on Azeroth. Yet for all its bravado, all its strength, and all its extremely powerful artifacts of questionable origin on its side, the Dragonmaw didn't really flourish. In fact, it found itself ironically subject to the manipulations of those it tried to subjugate, over and over again.

One orc woman saw the path her clan was destined to travel, the seed of corruption that was quickly threatening to tear the Dragonmaw apart, and feared for the fate of her clan. But when given a chance to make a difference, she seized the opportunity, killed her own Warchief and was rewarded with the chance to lead the Dragonmaw at the side of the Horde. Zaela may not have a lot of story behind her just yet, but make no mistake -- she will do whatever it takes to guarantee the safety and survival of her clan.

It's a pity that her methods involve allying with the most hated orc on Azeroth.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WRUP: Infographic Edition

Blizzard put together a pretty neat infographic earlier this week that pointed out all kinds of cool and interesting tidbits of information about World of Warcraft. While I did enjoy the pile of intriguing facts and figures surrounding the game, I wondered if perhaps there might be something missing from the infographic that should have been included. So I put the question to our writers this week, as well as the usual inquiry: What are you playing?

As for me, I'll be bumming around on an alt. Except for Sunday. There's this big game on Sunday that I have a vested interest in and will be watching from my snow-blanketed home, somewhere in the mountains of Colorado.

Adam Koebel (@bendakwow) I'll be working on my alt, farming Warbringers, and perhaps I'll do some challenge modes. I would have liked to see some class specific stats on the infographic (e.g. the 5 most tamed hunter pets), or some silly stats like the total number of deaths from falling. As for the Superbowl... I guess that means less competition on the Warbringers for me!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

US Connected realms update for January 31

The list of US realms slated for the Realm Connection service has now been updated with new dates, and a fairly lengthy list of new realms that will be slated for connection at some point in the future. The following realms are slated for connection on Thursday, February 6:
  • Hydraxis and Terenas
  • Kirin Tor and Steamwheedle Cartel
  • Shattered Halls and Executus/ Kalecgos
  • Thunderlord and Azgalor/Azshara/Destromath
  • Uther and Runetotem
Last week's revelation that RP realms have now begun to be added to the Realm Connections list continues, as the new list of realms without a date includes some fairly well-known RP servers. Read on after the break for the rest of the slated connections.

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Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Cast your vote in the Blizzard Stream Awards

Blizzard Entertainment has paired up with popular streaming website Twitch for a new contest specifically designed for streamers. The Blizzard Stream Awards are to recognize and reward streamers of Blizzard's entire stable of games, from World of Warcraft to Hearthstone and more. In order to qualify for the contest, streamers must be a Twitch partner streamer who has showcased content from one of the four Blizzard franchises between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013.

The contest has fourteen different categories, split into two groups -- poll categories, and data-driven categories. While the data-driven categories are based purely on data gathered by Twitch, the poll categories are up to community voting to decide. The nominees for the categories have been announced, and voting is now open -- but if you want to get your vote in, you better do it soon. Voting closes next Wednesday, February 5. Winners will be announced on February 7 on Blizzard's official site, and also on the official Twitch blog.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

WoW Moviewatch: Burning Crusade The Movie

Let me tell you about this guy named Jack. Jack makes some of the absolute best movie compilations of kill videos that I have ever seen, and probably ever will see. The pinnacle for me was always the movie shown above, simply titled Burning Crusade The Movie. It's not just about the stunning visuals, it's also about the clever use of in-game sound files from various NPCs in order to tell the tale. It's a long video, but it's well worth watching -- not only for the nostalgia factor, but because it has gotten me even more ridiculously excited to see Warlords of Draenor and a return to an Outland that isn't really Outland at all.

Jack has done a crazy amount of WoW movies over the years. You can check out his Youtube channel for movies dating all the way back to the original vanilla 40-player version of Naxxramas. Sadly, we haven't seen any Mists-related content from Jack, and I don't know if we will at this point. But Burning Crusade The Movie remains one of my favorite kill-compilation videos to date, and it's always worth a re-watch.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

New addon Explore the World offers trivia, exploration fun

Sometimes, in the rush to get to level 90 and reach the ever-alluring temptations of endgame in WoW, players forgo all the really cool stuff there is to see while going about the process of getting there. It was with this in mind that Symphonym came up with a new addon called Explore the World -- an addon deliberately crafted to pique player's interest in the world around them. The addon is currently in the beta stages, but can be downloaded and tested via Curse for those interested in a lively bout of exploration and fun.

Explore the World is a game within a game -- a trivia game based around what you see and find while out and about in Azeroth. But there's a twist to the game: you have to actually travel and be in the relevant location in order to answer the questions. There are four categories to choose from -- Tracking, which requires you to track down and target an NPC based on clues and 3D models, Investigation, which requires you to locate an area and answer questions based on its surroundings, and Exploration, which involves locating a particular sub zone in the game. The fourth is called Group Questions, which appropriately enough simply requires 2-5 players to be in a party to answer the questions as a group.

This is a really cool idea, and something that sounds like a really engaging, fun way to get people out there and actively looking at the world around them while playing. An interactive virtual trivia game that involves actually running around and participating in a virtual world. At the moment there are only 50 or so questions to answer -- Symphonym is using this initial release to test the addon and its features, as well as judge the general demand for the addon itself. If this sounds like something that is right up your alley, I'd suggest downloading the addon and giving it a spin -- it's definitely a far more creative take on the usual trivia minigames, and sounds incredibly fun.

Filed under: News items, Add-Ons

Reminder: Blizzard Student Art Contest deadline is this Friday

The deadline for the Blizzard Student Art Contest is fast approaching! If you're working on a piece for the Blizzard Student Art Contest, which this year includes four categories for submissions -- Environment Art, Character Art, Weapon Art, or Animation -- note that the deadline for submissions is Friday, January 31. That's this Friday, so if you're still in the middle of working on submission pieces, you better start wrapping them up.

This year's contest includes a gigantic collection of prizes for winners. Grand Prize winners will receive a one year subscription to World of Warcraft, a Blizzard Entertainment notebook featuring an original sketch by a Blizzard artist, a Blizzard T-shirt, and a three-month mentorship by a member of the World of Warcraft art team in the form of email or phone critique of portfolio work. If you have yet to submit your entry, or just want another look at the official rules and information, head to the official contest page and get it in before it's too late. Good luck to all who enter!


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

Patch 5.4.7 PTR patch notes update for January 28

There have been just a few changes to the Patch 5.4.7 PTR Patch notes. You can see the full, updated version after the break, but let's spell out the changes for you here.
  • First, in all PvP, the increase in Battle Fatigue -- the debuff that affects healing done to players -- has been dropped from 10% to 5%. Instead of going from 55% to 65%, Battle Fatigue will now be at 60%.
  • Next up, in the Arena, there have been a couple of shifts from the previous version.
    • Dampening will start at 5 minutes for 2v2 arenas only.
    • For 3v3 and 5v5, Dampening will remain at 10 minutes.
  • Finally, in Alterac Valley, the increases in health have been applied to all Marshals, on the Alliance side, and to all Warmasters on the Horde side.
Hit the break for the full, unadulterated notes.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

NPC pathing and the living virtual world

In the early days of vanilla WoW, I played Alliance. It wasn't until after hitting 60 that I began playing Horde in earnest. Although I appreciated the bare, rough-and-tumble primitive nature of Orgrimmar, I always felt there was something missing -- namely, the NPCs that happily wandered Stormwind all day long. Orgrimmar didn't really have much of that sort of thing, back then. And of all the NPCs that wandered the human capital, none captured my attention so much as Ol' Emma.

Emma was at the time part of a quest chain that took place in the Western Plaguelands -- a ghost in the upper level of a house in Felstone Field asked players to deliver a package to her. But Emma's charms weren't just wrapped into that quest. Ol' Emma spent her days -- and still spends her days -- walking the streets of Stormwind. I first found her walking to the well near the flight path in Stormwind, griping about how nobody respects their elders. Laughing, I moved on, but months later on a whim I decided to follow Ol' Emma to see exactly where she takes all that water she's been supposedly hauling. To my surprise, Emma walking into a building near Cathedral Square, went up the stairs, and ... stopped, facing a wall, still talking to nobody in particular.

Unfortunately, this was kind of par for the course for NPCs back then.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Know Your Lore: The problem with story progression in WoW

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.

I've been working on an alt these past few weeks, leveling through content at my leisure and re-visiting storylines I haven't seen since the early days of Cataclysm. I started out in Azuremyst Isle, hopping over to Darkshore once I reached the appropriate level -- basically, once I'd gotten out of Ammen Vale -- and completed the entirety of Darkshore not because the XP was good, but because I wanted to see the entire thing again.

From there, I hopped to the Eastern Kingdoms, where I did part of Duskwood, most of Northern Stranglethorn Vale, and then up to the Plaguelands -- Western, then Eastern -- before hopping down to the Badlands. After the Badlands, I did a small portion of Searing Gorge, then hopped down to the Swamp of Sorrows and the Blasted Lands, where I hit level 60 and promptly went through the Dark Portal to Outland. Which is when I realized something -- if I were a new player, someone who had never picked up World of Warcraft, I would have absolutely no idea what the heck was going on. At all.

There's something really wrong with that.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

What ability would you rather not say goodbye to?

Game Designer Celestalon had an interesting question posed to Twitter earlier today -- what ability are you afraid Blizzard will get rid of, in its quest to defeat button bloat? Obviously each class is incredibly different and the answers are colored by personal opinion, but it's still a question worth asking. I think what struck me as odd was that I couldn't really come up with any kind of reasonable answer. As a rogue, there are very few abilities I can safely say I love -- Burst of Speed, Shadowstep, Fan of Knives -- but those are all situational abilities that I don't use with every raid encounter.

As for the rest of the rogue toolkit, I'm decidedly ambivalent about the whole thing. The rotation for an Assassination rogue isn't what I'd call particularly complex, it's simply a matter of watching timers to make sure you're performing the right moves at the right moment. Mutilate, Rupture, Envenom -- they're all abilities I use regularly. There's nothing really remarkable about them. I like that Envenom refreshes Slice and Dice, but that's not really liking an ability so much as liking a side effect of using that ability.

Which is really kind of weird, when you think about it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Orcish Army Knife on taking great screenshots in WoW

I love taking screenshots. Writing for WoW Insider is largely about the writing, but it's also about the layout, and having snazzy images to go along with whatever it is I'm writing about. That said, I have a truckload of screenshots from every expansion on my computer, because it's become some kind of collecting disease to me. If I'm going a really good quest, I'll screenshot the different parts of that quest. If an NPC is talking, I'll invariably take a screenshot of what they're saying. But just snapping away while playing the game doesn't guarantee you're going to have a good image to work with.

And if there's anyone that knows anything about taking great screenshots, it's Fabulor, a.k.a. Rades from the blog Orcish Army Knife. For quite some time now Rades has been entertaining his readers with tons of posts pointing out both the silly and the serious in Warcraft, always illustrated with plenty of gorgeous screenshots to help tell the story. Over the past week, Rades and guest author Hugh Hancock from MMO Melting Pot and more recently Death Knight Love Story have been sharing their tips and tricks to capturing the perfect image.

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Filed under: News items

Patch 5.4.7 PTR Patch notes

Patch notes have now been released for the patch 5.4.7 PTR and posted to the official blog. It's a small list so far, and this doesn't appear to be a major content patch in any way. However, most of the changes listed so far all involve various aspects of PvP. Keep in mind that there is no mention being made of the mount or pet that were datamined yesterday, nor the level 90 boost feature -- from what we know so far, those are all features being introduced with Warlords of Draenor pre-orders.
  • Many of the items being sold by Misterweaver Ai on the Timeless Isle have had their item level cap raised to 489, up from 476. This change is retroactive to any of these items that have already been purchased -- no worries!
  • In arenas, Dampening is now being applied at the 5-minute mark instead of the 10-minute mark.
  • In Alterac Valley, Stormpike, Balinda, Galvangar and Drek'thar are all now immune to disarm, daze, and Death Grip.
Read on for the full list of patch notes.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

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