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World of Warcraft

WoW's new Blood Elves arrive in update 6.1

World of Warcraft, Patches, Previews, News Items, Races, Subscription

Our sister site WoW Insider reports this morning that World of Warcraft's Blood Elves, left off the roster of races that received model revamps with the Warlords of Draenor expansion last November, will finally meet their new faces. Actually, it's just the bodies: The male faces aren't entirely done yet and currently share the same facial geometry.

"While we're excited to share with you our progress on these new models, I do want to stress that the models, textures, and animations are not entirely finished. Bug fixing and iteration can and will occur, and that's where you come in!" writes Blizzard QA on the US and EU forums, soliciting costructive feedback.

MMO Champion has full-size, head-to-toe bikini shots of both the female and male models because of course it does.

Also arriving in update 6.1 are class tweaks, new heirloom gear, garrison expansions, follower mission fixes, and the chance to buy (with gold) those followers you missed while questing. The first iteration of the update landed on the PTR in early January; the patch's launch date on production servers has not been announced.

World of Warcraft player hits 100th level 100

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

And then comes the realization.
Do you like playing World of Warcraft? Would you like to play a thousand levels of World of Warcraft? Because the player known as Watola did just that. Watola has 100 characters at level 100, a project that started during the exceptionally long twilight of Mists of Pandaria. With 20 characters already at the level cap back then, another 80 apparently seemed like a doable project, which started a cycle of very efficient leveling and copious use of recruit-a-friend tricks.

The method outlined on the the forums involves essentially rotating through full rest state on various characters and having a set plan of attack, along with using tank characters via recruit-a-friend to ensure that queues for dungeons are more straightforward. If you'd like to do the same, it's still perfectly functional now, although you'll have to do so knowing full well that you can never have a world-first level 1,000. (That seems a fair nod for the achievement.)

Did you get a World of Warcraft anniversary statue?

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Anniversaries, Subscription

The World of Warcraft community is abuzz with the revelation that Blizzard is sending out a special thank-you to its most dedicated fans for its 10th anniversary: a physical 9" statue of an Orc.

Only fans who have been with the game for the entire ride are eligible to get the statue, however,. According to Blizzard's qualifications, "A player must have created a World of Warcraft account within 60 days of the game launching in the NA or EU regions and maintained their subscription or game time for all 10 years."

Our question today is, if you qualify for this, have you indeed received your spiffy statue? And do you have a picture to prove it?

WoW Archivist: 10 years, 10 amazing moments

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Opinion, Hands-On, Anniversaries, Subscription, WoW Archivist

Uldaman portal
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 January 1616, 2015, and is included here by permission.

In 2004, I bought a brown box with some discs inside it. On the cover was a close-up of a woman with crazy purple eyebrows and an angry bearded guy -- possibly Matt Rossi -- holding a gun. I didn't know anything about the Warcraft universe at the time. I'd watched someone play Warcraft III once (or was it II?). I remember chuckling at the peons' comments as they got to work. That was the extent of my experience.

I'd been playing Final Fantasy XI, and I loved the concept of an online world. I was hoping for a game that was more accessible than FFXI but with all the cool monsters, grouping, exploration, and loot. I never imagined the journey that I was about to take, the people I would meet, the opportunities that would become open to me as a result of that purchase. Many of us who played back then had no idea what was about to happen to the gaming world because of that brown box.

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World of Warcraft dispels free-to-play 'Veteran Edition' rumors

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Business Models, Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Subscription

Ironically, being a veteran of the game is part of why I no longer wish to go back.
Pretty much anything in the world will start the World of Warcraft free-to-play rumors these days, but this set of rumors had a bit of basis in reality, at least. Datamining uncovered references to a "Veteran Edition" for players, which prompted speculation that it would be a preferred account status for players who were on the free side but still had played in the past. It turns out that's not quite accurate, but it's also not entirely wrong: Veteran Edition will allow players to play for free, essentially, with Starter Edition restrictions.

Community Manager Bashiok addressed the rumors, explaining that while someone who never had played the game before could jump in with Starter Edition restrictions, veteran players could not. Veteran Edition, then, places almost all of the same restrictions on players, but it will allow you to roll up a new character and play through level 20 or at least log in to chat with friends. No word on exactly when this will be rolled out, but it should put the free-to-play rumors to bed until they start again in a month.

Blizz publishes WoW's Blackrock Foundry raiding schedule

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, Subscription

"It won't be long before you'll be able to take the assault against the Iron Horde to the next level in new raid content," Blizzard says in its latest World of Warcraft website update. The firm has released an unlock schedule for Blackrock Foundry with normal and heroic difficulties due for public consumption on February 3rd.

Mythic difficulty hits one week later while Raid Finder Wing 1: Slagworks (Gruul, Oregorger, and the Blast Furnace) debuts one week after that on February 17th.

Rumor: World of Warcraft may be prepping a free 'veteran' edition

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Business Models, Free-to-Play, Rumors, Subscription

World of Warcraft dataminers, while diving into the piles of information for the upcoming Patch 6.1, may have found game-changing evidence that the title is preparing a new free-to-play option.

The data files include several references to a "Veteran Edition," in a similar fashion to the already-existing Trial Edition, which allows players to level to 20 for free. The Veteran Edition has several limitations listed, including a level cap, money cap, and chat channel restrictions.

There's a lot of speculation going on right now as to whether or not the Veteran Edition will happen, and if it does what it will entail. MMO blogger Superior Realities theorizes that WoW will allow subscription-lapsed accounts to continue playing with the above restrictions.

[Thanks to Tyler for the tip!]

One Shots: Black sheep, black sheep

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, Mabinogi, Mortal Online, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

What in-game pet means the most to you? To reader Derrick, it's a special black sheep in Mabinogi that's snuggled its way into his heart.

"I'm an Aries in real life and always liked the symbolism of rams in culture, so my first pet after my mount was a black sheep named Tanngrisnir," Derrick submitted. "It's now no longer available in the store and is a bit of a rarity. Over the years playing, I managed to find a black sheep balloon, puppet, and a pair of ram horns to complete the look, along with a black sheep title (not shown). It's helped out not just by providing my wool for tailoring; in my early days, Tanngrisnir was always willing to take a hit or two to distract enemies."

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags of loot full. Sorry, couldn't help myself. I'll be better after the break!

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A new World of Warcraft comic book series is on the way

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Lore, Subscription

Lore doesn't just have to come at you via in-game text boxes; there are other mediums, such as comic books, that can help you understand a particular fantasy world. For example, Dark Horse Comics is preparing a new World of Warcraft series to explore the ancient history of Azeroth.

World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 will be the first of several issues that trace the backstory of the world in a time before the Horde and Alliance. Blizzard COO Paul Sams says that it's being done to sate fan curiosity: "We often get questions from players who want to know more about the origins of the Warcraft universe, and the rise and fall of their favorite characters. This new series digs deeply into all of that -- we can't wait for players to read it."

Unlike most comic books, Chronicle Volume 1 will be a hardbound edition. The series will go on sale this November in comic shops and book stores.

You'll soon be able to buy WoW garrison followers directly

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Economy, Patches, Previews, Subscription

If you missed out on snagging one of your World of Warcraft garrison followers or are willing to trade gold for time to complete your collection, then Blizzard is prepared to humbly accept your patronage. The studio announced on the forums that it will be adding a follower vendor in the next patch.

"One specific change I can share is in the next patch we're planning to add a new NPC to tier 3 garrisons who will sell followers you might not have access to based upon which buildings and outposts you've chosen," Community Manager Crithto wrote. "You'll be able to browse for followers you did not choose from quests and any you might have missed from failed missions."

Warcraft movie director open to sequels, hints at WoW cross-promotion

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Interviews, Subscription

In an interview with 2P.com, Director Duncan Jones said that there are no current plans for a Warcraft movie sequel, but he's open to the possibility if 2016's film does well: "Hopefully, if I have done my job right, people will want to know and see more! There is certainly plenty more to tell!"

Jones discussed how the movie will focus on the tragic first contact between Orcs and Humans, with heroes on both sides. "I think that for a world with so much newness to explain, this was a wise choice, especially when so many people in our audience may not know anything about Warcraft," he said. "It was important that some of our characters would be seeing the world fresh as well, and that the audience could see the situation through their eyes."

When asked about the possibility of a cross-promotional effort between World of Warcraft and the movie, Jones said that there are "many ideas" on the table right now but offered up no specifics.

Learn to beat World of Warcraft's newest raid... in 60 seconds

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Endgame, News Items, Dungeons, Subscription

So it's don't stand in the bad, volume twenty?  Great.
We realize that there are a couple of different ways to treat that title, so let's be clear: This video guide will teach you how to beat all of the bosses in Highmaul in 60 seconds. It will not teach you how to take 60 seconds to defeat all of them. Yes, it could go either way, but did you really think you could drop World of Warcraft's raid in a minute of playtime? Nope, it's all about length of tutelage, not length of execution.

The even shorter version is the universal raid guide for the game, of course: Move out of the thing, stack up if you see everyone else stacking up, and kill the little things. But it's the fine details where everything is really decided. click on past the break and get a minute-long dose of how to not be the one responsible for wiping the group.

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World of Warcraft brings back its anniversary event

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Events (In-Game), News Items, Subscription

Bring it back for a week, then discard it again forever.  Totally keen.
Did you get everything done that you wanted during World of Warcraft's 10-year anniversary event? If you did, great, but if you didn't... well, still great because you're getting another shot at it. Community manager Bashiok posted on the forums that the team is bringing back the anniversary event for one more week, starting today at 1:00 p.m. EST and ending on January 13th at the same time.

The reactivation is confined to the North American servers, so players elsewhere in the world hoping for more time with anniversary antics will be sadly disappointed. There's also nothing new in the event, so if you have everything, you can sit this round out. Otherwise, log in today and start celebrating a decade of the game's operation... like, again.

One Shots: Shadow play

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, The Elder Scrolls Online

Welcome to a new year -- and the best year of One Shots you'll ever see. I know this because I've been to the future (December 31st, 2015) and spent those precious time-bending moments flipping through all of the One Shots column this year. Amazing stuff, people. Really well done.

Well, we might as well get started with your glorious photo journeys! Our very first pic of the year is from reader Becca, who sends us this groovy bit of shadow play in Elder Scrolls Online: "While waiting for a boss to spawn in a public dungeon, my friend Arkslan and my character Rozyn had some fun with lighting."

Great. Now I know what will be lurking under my bed tonight: a sing-songy bard. Terror knows no name, but it does sing harmony.

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WoW Archivist: 3.0.8, the 'disaster' patch

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Bugs, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, Subscription, WoW Archivist

A Wintergrasp battle
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 January 2nd, 2015, and is included here by permission.

Any game that survives for 10 years and counting will have its growing pains. There will be moments when the urge to deliver the best possible content gets the better of the developers, when they reach too far but only figure that out after it's too late.

Wrath of the Lich King was so ambitious in scope as originally conceived that Blizzard simply couldn't deliver what it announced. Blizzard cut major features before the expansion even went into beta testing. Wrath's systems went live with patch 3.0.2 in October 2008, and the expansion hit live realms two months later. As with most expansions, there were early problems.

In patch 3.0.8, Blizzard tried to fix those problems. Instead, it made them worse. Far worse. WoW Insider itself called the patch a "disaster."

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