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by Published on 2014-02-21 08:15 PM

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Warlords of Draenor Press Events - Gameplay Footage
Blizzard organized a couple of press tours in Europe and Korea and interesting info about the new expansion is starting to appear on the web. Some more videos and screenshots from ruliweb were posted today.








Warlords of Draenor Press Events - Press Kit
The latest press kit included 10 new screenshots!


by Published on 2014-02-21 08:04 AM

Warlords of Draenor Press Events - Gameplay Footage and Spoilers
Blizzard organized a couple of press tours in Europe and Korea and interesting info about the new expansion is starting to appear on the web.

Mamytwink.com got to play the expansion for 5 hours and gave his impressions along with a couple interesting spoilers. Below is a rough translation of original article:

Leveling and Other Numbers
  • I played a gnome warrior in the Shadowmoon Valley, the Alliance starting zone. After about 5 hours of /played and 80 quests I reached the end of the zone and Level 92.
  • At level 91, I had 63k health as a Tank.
  • Monsters had around 100k health.
  • I was dealing around 1k to 5k damage on normal hits. Up to 10k critical damage for some abilities (Shield Slam).
  • It takes 597k XP to go from level 90 to level 91 and 640k xp to go from level 91 to 92.
  • Quests rewards were between 10k and 15k xp. Up to 20k for the difficult ones.
  • A new quest type is available: the "Bonus Objectives". When you walk around a zone, new objectives might appear randomly in your quest list. Completing the objectives will reward you with extra experience, leaving the area will drop the quest.

Shadowmoon Valley
  • Shadowmoon Valley is composed of lush green plains lit by the moonlight. It has a very peaceful feeling. The glades and forests are amazing and very colorful. You will find Naarus, Draeneis cities, and Iron Horde strongholds in the zone.
  • The Alliance starting zone seems pretty much finished. Lots of details, impressive vegetation, and a lot of different monsters.
  • I found a lot of monsters from The Burning Crusade that have been updated: Talbuks, Nether rays, Turtles, Larvas, Boars, Sporebats, Wolves, Bees. The new Talbuks and Sporebats models are EPIC.
  • Ner'zhul is the principal antagonist of the zone.
  • The zone ends with a scenario that I couldn't test because it wasn't available. It was called "Grommar's Purge" (Note: roughly translated)
  • I found the zone really well made. The vast plains and colorful glades immerse you entirely in the game. The scenery is new and doesn't give you a feeling of deja vu (except for some monsters, but it's not really shocking).

Misc
  • The new race models are great (I could also create a female dwarf). The facial expressions are awesome!
  • The new soundtrack is also very good.
  • When asked about the beta, Ion Hazzikostas answered : SoonTM.

SPOILER The zone ends with a pretty huge storyline twist, only click the line below if you do not care about spoilers. You should probably stay away from the comments of this news as well.

Ner'zhul uses an evil force, the Void Terror. At the end of the zone, you fight Ner'zhul and he manages to corrupt a Naaru into a "Dark Naaru". To purify the Naaru, Velen sacrifices himself and dies. This is a pretty huge plot twist and his death will be part of a cinematic at the end of the quest. It is followed by a giant battle. You join Maraad (freed from Ner'zhul earlier) to fight the Iron Horde.


Warlords of Draenor Gameplay Footage
Inven (Korean website) posted 3 videos of actual Warlords of Draenor footage on their Youtube channel. You can see a couple new things in these videos, including:










Warlords of Draenor Update Coming Soon
Last but not least, Celestalon teased us tonight with the promise of some more Warlords of Draenor information coming soon!

by Published on 2014-02-21 12:58 AM

2.0 Might be Live in 2 Weeks

Deck Spotlight: Tobi's No Rush Hunter, MG Tournament Interview with Zaun

Character Viewer Updated: Female Dwarf!
You can see the previously released models here. The character viewer update also added icons for the Blood Elf and Draenei models.


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve updated the model viewer on our website with a look at one of the revised characters you’ll see in Azeroth and beyond with Warlords of Draenor. Meet the new and improved female Dwarf.

It was a challenge for our character artists to find a balance between the classic female dwarf model and the expressiveness of her fluid new animations, but we think the updated model says “descended from unyielding stone” as much as “griffon-riding, ale-swilling, loud-living hero.”

We’ll continue to unearth more of Draenor and the shiny visuals coming to World of Warcraft around the release of Warlords. Keep your magnifiers and spectacles ready!

New Orc Model Skin Colors
A few people were excited by the wording of the new Orc Female model post yesterday, so Bashiok made it clear that players won't have access to brown skins at this time.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
oh wait, green and brown-skinned, long-tusked heroine.
This is in reference to the brown skinned Orcs of Draenor, who will be using the new updated models as well of course.

We know there are a lot of requests for additional features and options, but as stated in this article "we made the decision early on to stay focused on improving what already exists in-game, and making sure we really nail it.

That said, we’ve also read your great ideas and feedback about features that you’d like to see as character customization options. Your collective voice matters to us, and we’d love to bring some of the coolest ideas to life someday if we can."

New Orc Female Model Feedback
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Can we please get rid of the corn row buzz cut thing? I would think my orc would know how to keep parts of her head clean shaven she has been keeping it clean shaven for years.
They're actually shaved lines, not braids. In some of the shots you can see they're not exact and not symmetrical, and that's intentional. Chris tweeted some backstory, and the intent is to give a bit more of a savage-warrior type vibe.

https://twitter.com/artofcgrobinson/...22244587466752

I painted in some shaved lines, like she shaves that area of her head with her axe as a sign of her kills. as an example of where we're making small adj. to give characters more depth without (hopefully) deviating too much (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Looks good, only quibble is the tusks, seem too thin. In the kiss pose they look like little mustachios
We're actually animating those for more range of motion with the face, so they're scaled down in that pose, not all the time. (Source)

Patch 5.4.7 Hotfixes - February 20
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Missing Battle Pets and Mounts
  • Battle Pets and mounts that went missing since the patch should be restored on login.

Classes
  • Death Knight
    • Resolved an issue where Death Knights that had not completed the starter quests Where Kings Walk or Warchief's Blessing were able to attack NPCs belonging to their own faction.

Creatures
  • Resolved an issue where tracking for Honor Point awards on the first kill of rare spawns in Krasarang Wilds were not resetting correctly at the end of each day.

UI
  • User Interface Add-Ons are now able to send and receive friend invites with a note over Battle.net®.
    • Send event: BNSendFriendInvite(,)
    • Receive event to see the note text: BNGetFriendInviteInfoByAddon()

Isle of Thunder
  • Key to the Palace of Lei Shen should now have a chance to drop from rare spawns and golden treasure chests once more.

Bug Fixes
  • Resolved a crash that could occur if network connection is lost while loading into an area or instance.
  • Resolved an issue where the client was crashing while using certain User Interface Add-Ons.
  • Resolved an issue where the loading bar does not go away if the user cancels a cinematic while it's being streamed.

Connected Realms Update 2/20
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, February 27th during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PST through approximately 1:00 p.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Alexstrasza and Terokkar
  • Exodar and Medivh
  • Frostwolf and Vashj
  • Gorefiend and Spinebreaker/Wildhammer
  • Gundrak and Jubei'Thos
  • Mug'thol and Dragonmaw/Akama

We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, March 6 during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PST through approximately 1:00 p.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Alterac Mountains and Balnazzar/Gorgonnash/The Forgotten Coast/ Warsong
  • Drak'thul and Skywall
  • Elune and Gilneas
  • Eredar and Wildhammer/Spinebreaker
  • Ghostlands and Kael'thas
  • Thunderlord and Azgalor/Azshara/Destromath

We do not have a date for the following realm connections, but will update this post when we do.

  • Borean Tundra and Shadowsong
  • Ghostlands and Kael'thas
  • Scarlet Crusade and Feathermoon

The connection for Sisters of Elune and Cenarion Circle has been delayed. We'll provide an update at a later point in time.

* Plans for these connections may change at any time, but we’ll provide additional updates on specific dates for future connections here as we can. Please note that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

Battle.Net Shop Updates
The Battle.Net Shop was updated recently to list 3 Games and 8 Services, while only 2 Games and 7 Services are listed. This is likely another step towards Warlords of Draenor pre-orders and Level 90 Boosts!

by Published on 2014-02-19 06:11 PM

Artcraft - Daughter of Draenor
The new Orc Female character model is here!



Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Welcome to the third edition of Artcraft! I’m Chris Robinson, senior art director for World of Warcraft, and today we’ll be discussing the revamp of the female Orc model. As part of that, we'll touch on our overall character redesign philosophy, show before and after images, talk about our art process with this particular model, and give you a glimpse at some of her awesome facial expressions courtesy of our animation team.

Before we start talking specifically about the female Orc update, I’d like to address some questions we’ve received regarding our goals for these revamps. Boiling it down to essentials, our primary focus is to upgrade the aspects of player character models that currently exist in-game.

We’re all creative people with tons of great ideas, and we could certainly keep designing and redesigning and never actually release anything—and while we’d no doubt have a lot of fun doing that, obviously we need to set specific goals so we can actually create finished artwork for you to see and play. That’s not always easy to do—we’re a passionate bunch, and we get incredibly excited about new features and want to do everything. Nonetheless, staying focused and keeping the scope reasonable (while still ambitious) helps us stay on track and avoid having to make painful cuts later on down the line. We really wanted to prevent that with the player-character revamp, so we made the decision early on to stay focused on improving what already exists in-game, and making sure we really nail it.

That said, we’ve also read your great ideas and feedback about features that you’d like to see as character customization options. Your collective voice matters to us, and we’d love to bring some of the coolest ideas to life someday if we can. We’ll continue to share behind-the-scenes information with you in these Artcraft pieces, and I look forward to giving you more insight into our plans for character models beyond the initial release of Warlords of Draenor.

Enough about philosophy—now on to the female Orc!

We’ve actually been working on this particular model for quite some time now. You may have caught some brief glimpses of her new model in the Warlords of Draenor announcement cinematic at BlizzCon. Since then, we’ve been balancing our effort among all of the models currently in progress, and she’s received some additional polish along the way.

When we first discussed the direction for this character, I think we all agreed right off the bat that we wanted to focus on her “warrior” side a little more. That means moving away from the more doe-eyed version we know now toward a character you would expect to see fighting on the front lines alongside any of her Horde brothers and sisters. We’re still ironing out the fine details, so the art you see here is subject to change, but I’ll let Senior 3D Artist Dusty Nolting and Lead Animator Steve Aguilar expand a bit on where we currently are with our green-skinned . . . oh wait, green and brown-skinned, long-tusked heroine.

Lead Animator Steve Aguilar:

The original female Orc’s facial expression is pretty much a blank stare, which sadly doesn’t convey much life or personality. We wanted to give her more of an edge so she would project a confident ‘Don’t mess with me!’ attitude. Now that these new high-definition models have a facial rig attached, the animators can bring to life the personality that has been so sorely missing. She now looks and feels more like you’d expect an Orc to. When you get your hands on the expansion, be sure to take a look at her talking animations, dancing animations, and emotes to see all the various expressions the team has created for her.

Character Artist Dusty Nolting adds:

Orcs are one of the most iconic parts of the Warcraft universe. Because she’s so identifiable, it was important for us to use the original female Orc as a starting point and stay true to the silhouette and proportions that existed. The goal was a new model with much higher fidelity, while still retaining that classic look. We want a strong female counterpart to the male, equally battle-ready in appearance, yet still feminine.

That’s all we have for the female Orc right now. We hope you’re continuing to enjoy this series as we invite you to meet the team, get some insight into our development process, and get an early look at some of the art we’re creating for Warlords of Draenor.

Thanks, and see you next time!

Previously Previewed Models

by Published on 2014-02-18 06:35 PM

Character Level Boost to 90 priced at $60
The US servers went back online after the maintenance and for a few minutes people could access the interface to upgrade their character. Unless announced otherwise by Blizzard, upgrading your character to level 90 will cost you $60 on live servers.

Thanks to Zheo for the screenshot!

by Published on 2014-02-18 06:30 PM

Character Level Boost to 90 priced at $60

Warlords of Draenor - PvP Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Warlords of Draenor will introduce tons of new features and updates to improve and expand upon many aspects of World of Warcraft, including the PvP experience. We gave you a first look at some of our PvP plans BlizzCon, and as with any development process, plans can sometimes change as they—well—develop. We’d like to share a few of those changes with you today.

The Tale of Trial of the Gladiator
At BlizzCon, we unveiled plans for a new form of ranked Arena competition called the Trial of the Gladiator, a mode of play that would available during certain hours and which would require players to use a special Trial-only set of gear. The goal was to concentrate high-level competition to specific times, to better match players against competitive opponents, and to make exploitation more difficult.

While there were a lot of potential benefits to that system, ultimately we agree with some of the concerns community has raised about the way it worked. Ultimately, players who couldn’t play during the pre-set times for Trial of the Gladiator might feel like they’re missing out, and it was possible that normal Arena games would lose a lot of their replay value without rating to push for. Because of these issues, we’ve decided not to continue development of Trial of the Gladiator and to focus our efforts on giving players more ways to find PvP that suits them—so here’s what we’re doing instead:

Arena for Everyone: Skirmishes
You might recall the Skirmish feature that went alongside ranked Arena play when that feature was first introduced. It was virtually identical to ranked play, with the exception that there was no ladder or rating involved. However, Skirmishes felt very redundant at the time, and few players took advantage of them, so they were removed with the release of Cataclysm. However, as more and more players get involved in PvP, a higher demand for a form of “lower-pressure” Arena gameplay made us think it was time to revisit the Skirmish idea . . . and make a few important improvements along the way.

In Warlords of Draenor, Skirmishes will return as a form of unranked Arena play that will allow you to queue for 2v2 or 3v3 battles with friends or by yourself. Winning a Skirmish will reward you with Honor and a random bonus, which could be gold, more Honor, a small amount of Conquest Points, or possibly something entirely different. We think this will be a great way for players who haven’t tried Arenas before to get their feet wet, and will allow experienced players to experiment with alternate specs or builds without worrying about tanking their rating.

But Wait, There’s More: Spectator Invite System
While Skirmishes should provide a great opportunity for some more laid-back PvP gameplay, we also wanted to address top-end competition as well. Tournament organizers, often with the use of various third-party add-ons, have been able to piece together a “spectator mode” of sorts and run online tournaments, but they’ve been required to jump through several hoops to actually make that work. We’d like to simplify that process and put more power in the hands of add-on developers so that community-run tournaments will be easier to organize, manage, and broadcast.

Our new Spectator Invite system will allow a match organizer to invite two teams to play against each other in a PvP spectacle called a War Game. Then, when the match begins, everyone in the match organizer’s party will be able to watch those two teams duke it out. We’ll also be opening this feature up to add-on developers so they can come up with tools for tournament organizers to customize how the match is presented on the screen. Finally, we’ll be providing Tournament Mode gear—a special set of gear that can only be used in War Games—to help tournament runners ensure that all players are on equal footing.

We’re excited for these new features, and we feel they’ll allow a much broader spectrum of players to be able to find a type of PvP gameplay they enjoy. Whether you’re looking to compete against the best of the best in a tournament or just want to hang out and relax with a little bloodshed, we hope these updates provide something for the PvPer in you.

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