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Posts with tag world-of-warcraft

Warlords of Draenor: Garrisons much more than player housing

Garrisons seem to be shaping up to be the centerpiece of Warlords content -- not in the sometimes soul-crushing manner of the daily quest grind in Mists, but as an entertaining and engaging diversion for players to do at max level in between dungeons, raids, scenarios, and whatever else happens to pop up. We have yet to get a proper introduction to the feature, but we've been told and shown in glimpses here and there that it's going to be big. Much, much bigger than our farms.

Wowhead has been busily datamining everything under the sun from the Warlords alpha client, and some of that information directly involves the new feature. While there's not a clear picture of how exactly garrisons are going to work, the datamining does point out some fascinating details and perks. It's become incredibly clear that while garrisons have been referred to as WoW's version of player housing, in fact they're likely going to be much, much more than that.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Connected Realms update for April 4

The list of US realms slated for the Realm Connection service has now been updated with new information regarding upcoming dates for the service. However, the schedule looks a little different now. Realm merges that were scheduled for Thursday, April 10 are no longer scheduled for connection -- in fact, there are no scheduled realm connections at this point in time.

The realms listed below are on the list of future realm connections, but do not have a date set.
  • Drenden and Arathor
  • Nagrand and Caelestrasz
  • Blackwater Raiders and Shadow Council

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Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

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.

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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

Ask a CDev Round IV answers revealed

It's been quite some time since we've had a new round of Ask a CDev, addressing and answering lore questions from players. But the answers for round IV of the popular feature have been released, including quite a few questions with interesting implications. This time around, the questions were drawn directly from Twitter, and they address a variety of topics. Some highlights include:
  • Oshu'gun? That's what the orcs call the mountain in Nagrand. But the draenei that remember the mountain for the vessel it was still use its original name -- the Genedar.
  • Tyrande and Malfurion officially co-lead the night elves. Tyrande is no longer the sole leader.
  • Sadly, the Shatterspear tribe is no more, although some may have escaped and found shelter within the Horde or other organizations.
  • Just who the heck is Trade Prince Donais? Well ... he isn't Horde, exactly...
  • There is a distinct difference between the vrykul and Kvaldir, and it involves the Curse of Flesh.
Take a look at the thread in its entirety for all of the lore questions and answers. And if you have a lore question that has you stumped, head over to Twitter and shoot it to Senior Historian Sean Copeland at his Twitter account, @Loreology.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

Spirits of Harmony may become BoE after all

Spirits of Harmony, the Mists of Pandaria currency used by many professions both for supplies and for crafting, have been BoP since the expansions launch. The last we'd heard, there were no plans to make the items BoE by the end of expansion, as with Cataclym's Chaos Orbs and Wrath's Frozen Orbs. However, a tweet exchange last week between Professions Designer @hwoome and a player suggests that the resource might not stay BoP after all ... and might even make the switch to a BoE item sooner than we'd thought.


While it's not a confirmation by any means, the tweet came from a game designer, which suggests at the very least that the issue is not off the table for discussion as previously thought. Whether or not we'll see Spirits lose their BoP status is still up in the air, though -- so I wouldn't worry about stockpiling the items for now.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Review of World of Warcraft: Paragons

With all the chatter surrounding Christie Golden's next novel, I have to admit I'd almost forgotten that World of Warcraft: Paragons was set to release today. It's definitely not your usual sort of novel, instead holding a collection of short stories lore fans are likely already familiar with, all tucked into one book for easy referencing -- but it also includes the long-awaited novella Blood of the Highborne, by Micky Neilson. That said, fans looking for new, current lore aren't going to find any in this particular collection.

However, the book contains all of the leader short stories that were released over the course of Cataclysm's run, as well as a few other shorts -- Unbroken, the story of Farseer Nobundo, The War of the Shifting Sands, a piece that was released just before the launch of AQ40, and Road to Damnation, the story of Kel'thuzad, released just before the launch of the original iteration of Naxxramas all the way back in vanilla. It's Blood of the Highborne that really stands out among the collection, not necessarily because it's better than the rest, but because it's brand-new content that fills in a gap that's been missing in lore -- the conception and introduction of the Blood Knights of Silvermoon.

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Filed under: News items, Lore

War Crimes audiobook version confirmed

Some people like the feel of paper in their hands, some like e-readers for ease of storage, and some people really like to listen to the books they love. One of the most frequently asked questions surrounding any Warcraft novel's release is whether or not an audiobook version of the novel will be available to those that like to listen to their reading material. In most cases, that information isn't readily available before the book is published in print and e-reader formats.

However, it appears that War Crimes, the newest novel from Christie Golden, already has an audiobook version of the novel planned -- an entry for the audiobook edition has been found on Amazon. Scott Brick, the voice behind the audiobook renditions of Wolfheart, Dawn of the Aspects, and Shadows of the Horde will be lending his voice to War Crimes as well. Although there is no release date nor price currently listed for the audiobook, those interested can sign up to be notified when the audiobook release is available for purchase.

For more on War Crimes, the tale of Garrosh Hellscream's trial, check out our exclusive interview with author Christie Golden from last year's BlizzCon -- and while you're at it, there are not one but two excerpts from the novel now available for reading.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

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

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