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World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft kicks off Azeroth Choppers

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Culture, News Items, Subscription

I can't even internet any more.
Are you ready to ride through Azeroth and Draenor in style? Because that's the goal of the new web series fusing American Chopper and World of Warcraft. The first episode is out now, and you can guess the heart of it just from the premise. Two bikes will be designed -- one for the Horde, one for the Alliance -- and fans will vote on which bike winds up in the game as a mount.

The first episode, of course, is very much the proof of concept; it features a very early glance at the starting point for both bikes as well as a discussion of Horde and Alliance aesthetics. You can watch the whole episode just past the cut. It's going to be running at least through the end of May, so you'll get a front-row seat to see both choppers brought from concept into execution.

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WoW Archivist: WoW's talent system has come full circle

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Opinion, WoW Archivist

Circle of Healing
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on April 11th and is included here by permission.

The Warlords of Draenor patch 6.0 notes have revealed the latest changes to WoW's ever-evolving talent system. Talents have remained a core system in WoW since its earliest days; it's the primary method that allows players to make their characters distinct.

In the beta for WoW and throughout vanilla, talent trees were a bit of a mess, as Archivist covered. Today, we'll examine how those early trees came to be expanded, refined, and then scrapped for a very different system. We'll also look at how Warlords is bringing back the earliest version of talent trees in a brand-new way.

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PAX East 2014: First impressions of Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Opinion, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), Subscription

One thing I'll definitely give Blizzard, they do a great job of modeling slope-browed drooling ogres.  I don't know if that is exactly a compliment.
The biggest problem that Warlords of Draenor is facing right now is one of first impressions.

This isn't a mark against World of Warcraft so much as it's the nature of the beast. I wrote a while back about how World of Warcraft can't really be back, all things considered; it's too firmly a part of the establishment to ever shake the image that it's created over the past several years. You know what it is. You know how it plays. Odds are good that you've played it.

Warlords of Draenor also features no new races, no new classes, no overhaul of the talent system, and in the build I got to play, very few of the new models. That's where the first impression problem crops up. A lot of the things that are being baked into the expansion just don't show up at first glance. That isn't to say that the first glance is bad, just that it overwhelmingly sends the message of "this is still World of Warcraft; no need for elaboration."

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Let's all gape at Azeroth Choppers, a WoW motorcycle-themed reality show

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Previews, News Items, Humor, Miscellaneous

Full disclosure: I built my husband a Mekgineer's Chopper as a gag Christmas present.
We can't decide whether this is completely awesome or bizarrely terrifying, but because there really aren't adequate words for World of Warcraft's latest marketing stunt, I'll just let Blizzard explain it:
Grab a front-row seat for the ultimate road showdown! Legendary custom motorcycle designer Paul Jr. has assembled two handpicked teams of bike experts to bring to life a pair of asphalt-kicking chopper designs inspired by World of Warcraft®'s two warring factions. Joining each crew on their epic quest are members of the World of Warcraft development team, on board to help to infuse the essence of the Horde and the Alliance into each bike. In the end, only one chopper will reign supreme as the undisputed king of Azeroth's roads in a winner-takes-all showdown voted on by World of Warcraft players around the globe.
Get to da choppa already. And by the choppa I mean the trailer -- it's after the break.

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Blizz shows off WoW's actual female Draenei revamp

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, News Items, Subscription

WoD female draenei
Blizzard has followed up its April Fools' Day prank with a look at the actual female Draenei model. Senior art director Chris Robinson says the space goat girl is very much a work-in-progress and currently lacks body and facial animations.

Still, it's worth seeing where Blizz is going in Warlords of Draenor, and you can do so via World of Warcraft's official website.

Perfect Ten: My favorite MMO April Fools' pranks of all time

World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, RuneScape, Guild Wars 2, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter

There are two types of people on April 1st: those who are annoyed and indifferent to the tomfoolery going on all around them, and those who gleefully embrace the zany antics and baldfaced lies. For the record, I am of the latter crowd. I love April Fools' Day and the humor and creativity that it inspires. While this day is by no means contained to our neck of the woods, MMOs have a long-running streak of trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

I think a good goof has to have several qualities to make it truly memorable. It needs to be original. It needs to be actually amusing, whether or not you "fell for it." And it needs to tweak our expectations and understanding of how MMOs work. Sometimes there are even important ideas that emerge from these jokes that could, indeed, make these titles better.

So let's go through my favorite MMO April Fools pranks of all time, as catalogued by yours truly!

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WoW's Warlords of Draenor alpha patch notes are huge

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Subscription

Blizzard has released today a massive dev blog with preliminary annotated patch notes for the Warlords of Draenor alpha test, which itself was just officially announced yesterday.

The big additions relate to garrisons, stat squish and balancing, talents and Draenor perks, racial traits, crowd control, and yet another major healing revamp. Nearly every class in the game has a hefty entry outlining which skills are being changed and which are being deleted from the game entirely. Sounds as if returning players might be needing that newbie tutorial for Draenor after all. Have a look at your class changes and let us know whether you think you're getting buffed, nerfed, or just set up for another cataclysmic reset of the game's combat meta.

Blizzard kicks off WoW's Warlords of Draenor alpha

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, News Items, Subscription

In a blog post on the official site today, one interestingly timed to coincide with a big launch going on today and tomorrow (ahem), Blizzard officially announced the start of the World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor alpha test. The studio cautions players that not all of the promised content is in the alpha client, so don't panic when dataminers can't give you all the nitty-gritty on garrisons. They're not in yet.

Players interested in signing up for later phases of testing are instructed to create a beta profile on Battle.net. Applicants will be selected randomly.

World of Warcraft shows off the 'redesigned' female Draenei

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, News Items, Races, Humor, Subscription

For far too long, Draenei have existed as bastions of unassailable beauty and elegance in World of Warcraft. We're told the race has fallen to the depths of the Broken and the Lost Ones, but you don't really see that in the game. Fortunately for fans, the new redesign to the female Draenei shows a closer connection between the various subtypes of the races, while simultaneously emphasizing the roots of the game's resident space goats. (Those roots would be "space" and "goat," incidentally. Truly.)

Among the major changes Blizzard threatens to make to the model are the addition of fur, a slimming of the lower legs and hooves, and the removal of the ridiculously long tail from the model. The eye design also speaks to the ways in which this ancient and mystical race sees things in a way that most of Azeroth's residents can only imagine. It's a bit more of a departure from the existing model than the other redesigns, but take a look at the full diary for a closer look. And then remember what day it is. You don't need to reroll your Shaman as a Dwarf. We promise.

The Daily Grind: Should WoW's garrisons count as 'housing'?

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Housing, Subscription, MMORPG

Every time we cover World of Warcraft's upcoming garrison feature -- the one that will grant an upgradeable town to every WoW player -- someone scoffs that it's not housing and shouldn't be considered such. And to the extent that it isn't a house or a zone that you can customize tile by tile or object by object like some of the more epic housing systems in MMOland, I'd agree. Even WoW Insider's Matt Rossi wrote that the garrison system seemed more like "bringing the RTS [genre's] whole 'construct a base, generate resources, use them for battle' gameplay into the MMO" than like the game's farms, let alone like traditional houses where you can stash your loot.

Still, I have to wonder how that's so different from a housing system like WildStar's, which also attempts to create a private and mechanically useful space for players rather than offer a purely creative, mercantile, or social space. What do you think: Should WoW's garrisons count as MMO housing, or are they just upjumped farms?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

WoW Archivist: Warlords of Draenor hates The Burning Crusade

World of Warcraft, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Family, Dungeons, Subscription, MMORPG, WoW Archivist

Draining a naaru
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on March 28th and is included here by permission.

In many ways, The Burning Crusade was the birth of modern WoW. Most of TBC's innovations are still going strong in WoW today and have been ever since their introduction. Looking back, I find it's striking how many key features of WoW were absent in classic, unveiled only during the game's first expansion.

Even more striking, however, is how many of these innovations Warlords of Draenor seems poised to undo. Just as Garrosh will undo the transformation of Draenor into Outland, Warlords seeks to unravel most of what Blizzard innovated during TBC. The next expansion will take us through a portal into a very different WoW.

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World of Warcraft posts character-boosts-for-dummies guide

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, News Items, Guides, Subscription

If you've preordered World of Warcraft's upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion and are trying to figure out just how to use the free level 90 character booster you've just scored, then you are exactly the type of person who should not use a free level 90 character booster. Kidding. Truth is, the boost is different from previous boosts in several not-obvious ways and can be daunting even for returning veterans, and that's what Blizzard hopes to convey in a new Boosting 101 guide compilation on the official site. The post explains basic gearing, class strategies, proving grounds gameplay, addons, and how crafter boosting works. Apply wisely!

World of Warcraft garrisons won't cost you gold

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, News Items, Housing, Subscription

And it didn't cost me a single silver piece.
You know that World of Warcraft's next expansion is going to feature housing. Not just housing, in fact, since Garrisons are sprawling complexes under your direct control. So you know you need to figure out how you can afford it. You've been farming diligently, even resorting to shaking down repair vendors for gold, although that one hasn't worked out so well. But as it turns out, you don't need to worry. According to a tweet by Senior Game Designer Jeremy Feasel, Garrisons won't cost you gold.

Feasel specifies in the tweet that Garrisons will use their own resource, stating that more information about what that resource is and how it can be gathered will be available soon. So you can rest easy knowing that your hard-won gold won't be needed to build your fortress. Or you can rest despondent that all of your gold won't buy you a nicer place. Either one, really.

Blizzard wins court case over patent troll Worlds Inc.

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Legal, Miscellaneous

A Boston court ruled in Blizzard's favor last week against a lawsuit brought on by Worlds Inc. (aka Worlds.com) that claimed the studio infringed on four patents that Worlds Inc. made in the mid-1990s.

This ruling is the latest development in a case that spans back to 2012, when Worlds Inc. filed the suit. The company claimed that Blizzard violated patents that showed the invention of "a method for enabling a first user to interact with other users in a virtual space," among other items. A U.S. District Judge ruled that these patents are invalid because those inventions already existed prior to the filings.

This isn't Worlds' first attempt to sue an MMO studio over these allegations, as it went after (and lost to) NCsoft and Linden Lab several years ago.

Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #10-1

World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, EverQuest II, Lineage 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Ultima Online, LEGO Universe, Runes of Magic, Miscellaneous, Firefall, Jukebox Heroes, Music

We're finally here: my top 10 MMO theme tracks. I anticipate that out of all of the weeks, this will be the most controversial, since not only am I proclaiming the 10 best, but you'll realize which of your favorite games I've left out of the top 40 entirely.

A final reminder as to my self-imposed rules for this list: I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So there were no points added or subtracted based on my love of the game. I'm counting down the best music, period.

If you missed earlier parts of this series, check out themes #40-31, #30-21, and #20-11. Otherwise, hit that continue button and get listening already!

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