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World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft reclaiming abandoned names for Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, Subscription

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Your mothballed Gnomes and Tauren might be losing their names if you haven't logged into World of Warcraft recently (and by "recently," we mean "in the last six years."). Blizzard announced that it will be reclaiming old and abandoned names to free them up for the expansion.

Names in danger of reclamation are those belonging to any characters that haven't logged in since November 13th, 2008. The names will be reclaimed with the Warlords of Draenor pre-patch 6.0.2 this fall. Blizzard suggests that anyone in danger of losing a desired name should log on before the patch hits.

WoW Archivist: The classic Molten Core experience, part 3

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Classes, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, PvE, Hands-On, Dungeons, WoW Archivist

Ragnaros
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 September 12th and is included here by permission.

If you missed part 1 and part 2, that means you were late for the raid and we're docking you 50 DKP. Next time get here early to help the warlocks farm soul shards.

OK, fellow archivists! We've cleared trash, we've decursed, we've pulled Geddon to Garr's room, we've brefriended the Duke, and we've doused every fiery rune. It's time to delve into the core of the Core to take on the Majordomo and Ragnaros himself, 2005 edition.

The invincible majordomo

Undefeated in battle, Executus rose through the ranks of Ragnaros's lieutenants to become the Firelord's majordomo. He did not appear until you doused all the runes, so the earliest raids on Molten Core had to stop after Golemagg and Sulfuron due to an Aqual Quintessence shortage.

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World of Warcraft cleans up UI for Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, Previews, Dev Diaries, Subscription

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In a new dev diary, Blizzard vows to clean up the user interface in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. "We're making a number of changes to the WoW user interface -- changes that are designed to eliminate clutter, free up more of your inventory space, help you find your stuff more easily, and improve your quality of life in-game," say the devs.

The changes begin with a new UI that combines the map and quest log and promises to be more responsive to mouse control. The expansion will also feature a "toy box" that will collect all of a player's fun items in one place and make them available across the entire account. Players will also be able to use the improved UI to summon a random mount, designate loot to certain bags, enjoy reagent storage space in the bank, and more.

World of Warcraft features its next Lord of War: Durotan

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

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World of Warcraft's Lords of War lore series has so far regaled fans with the backstories of Kargath Bladefist and Grommash Hellscream in the lead up to Warlords of Draenor's launch. So who's up next?

If you guessed "an Orc," you're right: It's Durotan, Warchief of the Frostwolf clan, the kinder, gentler Orc. Enjoy the full clip below.

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World of Warcraft outlines anniversary plans, delays Draenor raid

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, Subscription

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Blizzard has released a new World of Warcraft dev blog clarifying its 10th anniversary plans in light of Warlords of Draenor's impending launch on November 13th. In short, the festivities will begin on November 21st and run until well after the holidays on January 6th. Those who pony up for a sub in that time period will be awarded the Molten Corgi minipet. If you rush to the new level cap in time, you'll also be able to play through the new level-capped Molten Core raid; if not, then you can still play the new Southshore vs. Tarren Mill battleground, which comes in both level 90-99 and level 100 brackets.

Blizzard further notes that the new PvP season and the normal and heroic versions of Draenor's first raid dungeon, Highmaul, will not open until December 2nd to "make sure that everyone [has] had time to level up." Highmaul's LFR and mythic modes will open another week after that.

Massively's sister site WoW Insider also has some good news for Draenor devotees this morning: It appears that facial recustomization is now part of the regular barber shop in beta, possibly alleviating the fears of those worried about being saddled with an ugly pixel face once the new race models are live.

World of Warcraft's Draenor Q&A, Grommash Hellscream lore

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, News Items, Community Q&A, Subscription

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World of Warcraft generated plenty of news this past weekend! First, our sister site WoW Insider published an overview of last Friday's developer Q&A. The studio confirmed earlier reports that Warlords of Draenor was being worked on before Mists of Pandaria launched, as well as clarified Draenor's timeline (35 years in the past), noted that some garrison buildings will be account-wide, and promised no rep or PvP grinds for legendaries.

Second, Blizzard posted up the another entry in its five-part series discussing the lore of major NPCs in Draenor. This video entry, included at the end of this post, covers Grommash Hellscream, chieftain of the Warsong clan.

Finally, a Venturebeat piece showed WoW's soft side: A WoW-playing Alabama woman, stricken with a terminal illness, was showered with funding and support from both Blizzard and the WoW community in her attempt to attend this year's BlizzCon.

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BlizzCon offers up virtual tickets

World of Warcraft, Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, Miscellaneous, Diablo III, Hearthstone

Hear in exciting details all of the way that our games will make you angry for another year!
If you really want to check out BlizzCon but can't quite manage a flight out to California, a solution is available. Virtual tickets are now available from Blizzard for $39.99, allowing you to watch the panels, the competitions, and the events live from the comfort of your own home. Sure, you won't get to actually be packed in the convention hall, but this way no one cares whether you're wearing pants or not, so you even come out ahead.

Purchasing a virtual ticket will give you access to bonus in-game goods for World of Warcraft, Diablo III, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone, although the details are not yet available. All of the streams are also available in high definition and can be re-watched, so you needn't worry about missing something. If you've already purchased a physical ticket, you still have access to a virtual ticket as well, so you can still take advantage of the streaming. Everyone who wants to attend can at least get something like that experience.

Warlords of Draenor's Robin Williams tribute confirmed

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

Robin WilliamsLast month rumors swirled about a possible tribute to the late Robin Williams in this winter's World of Warcraft expansion. WoWhead has now confirmed that a new zone in Warlords of Draenor features an ever-burning interactive lamp which summons a genie who subsequently recites a line that Williams made famous in Aladdin.

Data-miners have sussed out additional character models that might end up as Williams homages, as well as a new title -- "Comedian" -- and a large broken egg that could be a Mork & Mindy reference.

Williams, an avid gamer and World of Warcraft player, died on August 11th. Warlords of Draenor releases on November 13th.

World of Warcraft gears up for its Arena tournament with a $250,000 prize pool

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, PvP, News Items, Community Q&A, Subscription

This guy will be your constant companion.
Still hoping to prove you're the best World of Warcraft PvP player around? You're in luck; qualifying rounds have just begun for the 2014 North American Arena Tournament, which will be held at BlizzCon this year. Qualifiers are open to 3v3 teams who are ranked at or above 2500 on their home realm. The best of the best will face off against seven other teams for a chance at a $250,000 prize pool, so there's certainly motivation to smash some faces.

If that's not your thing, you've still got something to look forward to. A special live developer Q&A session will take place on Friday at 1:00 p.m. EDT with lead game designer Cory Stockton and lead narrative designer Dave Kosak, answering player questions on everything from world design to Garrisons. There's no prize involved there aside from information, but if that's what you're tuning in to get, you'll probably be happy with it.

Global Chat: Let it go

World of Warcraft, EverQuest II, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Star Citizen

frozen
Now that I've cursed your day by triggering that earworm song from Frozen, you're probably going to be in a grumpy mood. Don't fret; snow empowerment isn't the only way to set you free. Sometimes it's the well-penned prose of MMO bloggers who put to the page what only previously existed in your thoughts.

On today's edition of Global Chat, one blogger and developer has a gaming heresy to share, another has a few harsh words to say about crowdfunding, and a third thinks that the future of the genre is all in getting smaller, not bigger. Check out these great posts from the past couple of weeks!

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WoW Archivist: The classic Molten Core experience, part 2

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, PvE, Dungeons, Subscription, WoW Archivist

A rune in Molten Core
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 August 26th and is included here by permission.

In the last WoW Archivist, we covered the early parts of Molten Core: the "attunement," the grueling trash clear to Lucifron, and the weird hunter-focused mechanics of Magmadar. As we left off, the raid had just reached its first rune. To douse the rune and (eventually) summon Majordomo Executus, you had to make friends with an angry royal guy made of water.

The duke of douse

Duke Hydraxis, as a water elemental, wasn't very fond of other elemental types, particularly Ragnaros or his fiery kin. His Hydraxian Waterlords were the first raid-based reputation in WoW. You could rep up with them before setting foot in Molten Core by killing certain elementals out in the world, but only up to just shy of honored. After that, you had to run MC to get additional rep. Trash gave rep until revered, but only boss kills got you through the slow grind to exalted.

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PAX Prime 2014: Hands-on with Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), Subscription

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If you've played World of Warcraft once, have you played it for all time? I was wondering this as I slipped back into Azeroth for a look at the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion at PAX Prime. After all, it had been three years and two expansions since I've really played this MMO, but as I learned, even new shinies don't make this game feel any more or less like the good ol' WoW that I remember.

The floor demo allowed us to create instant level 90 characters and jump into the second zone, Shadowmoon Valley. I selected a character at random and naturally ended up with a Shadow Priest, a class that I've never played. Figures. I spent a minute selecting a specialization, random talents, and outfitting my hotbar with enough of a skill rotation that I wouldn't be laughed out of the next Priest conclave. Then it was off to check out this brand-new zone.

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Blizzard's Tom Chilton on World of Warcraft's slow content pace

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Patches, News Items, Subscription

Blizzard's Tom Chilton has been making the rounds this week in one candid interview after another. World of Warcraft website Icy Veins recently asked him directly why recent content releases haven't been meeting the originally planned six-month cadence, and Chilton didn't dodge, explaining that scaling the team up to make Warlords of Draenor resulted in a slower-than-desired pace for releases:
We did a good job earlier in Mists of Pandaria, having the content come at a more frequent intervals, and certainly we had hoped to have Warlords of Draenor out a couple of months ago. The reality is that scaling up the number of people that we have, to work on multiple projects at once has slowed us down. Honestly, it should have not come as a surprise to us. We increased the size of the team by 50% and the majority of those people had never worked on World of Warcraft before or any other MMO, so it is really difficult for them to create content right away, without getting up to speed. So we ended up redoing a lot of the content that we were doing for Warlords to make sure that we would get it at the quality level that we would expect. Also, the garrison feature turned into a bigger thing than we expected it to be. Quality is the most important thing, so if we have to make a choice between getting you something two months ago or getting you a great expansion in November, the choice is obvious. I think we are in a better position now for the future, we already have zones in production for our next expansion. So, if things go well, there will be less of a gap.
Chilton also discusses alternative subscription models for niche players (there are no plans for such), the possibility of making Outland and Northrend parallel level 60-80 content paths, and the potential for visual and aural upgrades beyond character models.

Jukebox Heroes: The music of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Opinion, Jukebox Heroes, Music

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Cataclysm was the first World of Warcraft expansion that I was not there to experience. While I initially applauded the idea of the devs changing the world and bringing the new tech to old spots, that fundamental change in the land that I used to know so well ended up causing me pain. Nobody likes to think of something beloved changed and lost forever. So I stayed away and missed what is probably the worst-reviewed expansion to date.

As such, it was the first WoW expansion score that I listened to outside of the game. To my ears, it was substantially darker than previous efforts, although there contained moments of beauty and excitement. Due to the nature of the expansion, the soundtrack is all over the place thematically, occasionally rewriting old zone music (alas).

The one thing that really pops out at me from this album is how the composers extensively used various background sound effects and noises to suppliment the tunes. I'm not sure if these were added for the album or if these exist in-game, but they certainly add more in terms of atmosphere. Interestingly enough, one of my all-time favorite World of Warcraft tracks came from this expansion, so it certainly wasn't a wasted effort.

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Blizzard is already working on World of Warcraft's sixth expansion

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Interviews, Subscription

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Warlords of Draenor? That's yesterday's news, my friend. The progressive World of Warcraft player should already be looking forward to expansion number six, which Blizzard says is in full production.

Game Director Tom Chilton confirmed that the team is already hard at work at the follow-up to Warlords of Draenor. "We already have zones in production for it," he said to Gameplanet, adding that the team will also be looking at the theme for the seventh expansion "over the next several months."

Chilton indicated that World of Warcraft has a long life yet to come: "Beyond that, there are about six or seven different ideas for expansions that we can take elements of and say, 'You know what? Let's take that and put it in this one for our next expansion after the next one.' [...] As long as there are enough players demanding that we make more content then we're likely to do so. I think it'll be quite a while before the financials indicate that it's just not worth doing anymore."

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