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by Published on 2011-10-25 08:04 PM

Update - The feature is now available on more realms
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As an update, guild services are now available to players on the following realms:

Agamaggan, Alexstrasza, Alleria, Azshara, Baelgun, Balnazzar, Blackhand, Cho'gall, Dark Iron, Destromath, Dethecus, Emerald Dream, Garona, Goldrinn, Gorgonnash, Greymane, Gul'dan, Hellscream, Illidan, Kael'thas, Kalecgos, Kirin Tor, Lightninghoof, Maelstrom, Malfurion, Moonrunner, Nazjatar, Nemesis, Ravencrest, Spinebreaker, Sargeras, StaghelmStormreaver, Twisting Nether, Ursin, Whisperwind, Wildhammer

New Guild Services Now Available
In a nutshell:
  • Guild Master Faction Change costs $40 US.
  • The Guild Master Realm Transfer costs $35 US.
  • The Guild Name Change costs $20 US.
  • You will receive a $10 discount when purchasing Guild Transfer and Faction Change in the same transaction, for a new total of $65 US.
Originally Posted by Blizzard
We are in the process of adding new guild services that will make relocating to a new realm, switching factions, or changing your guild name easier than ever before. Relocating your guild to a new realm or faction with this new service will keep your guild structure intact, including the guild leader, guild bank, ranks, and guild name (depending on availability). You won't even need to pack.

Guild members who decide to relocate with their guild may initiate their own paid character transfer. Upon a successful transfer they will automatically be part of the guild when they first log into the new realm. Their guild rank and guild reputation will be intact.

Guild leaders who do not want a change of scenery may also choose to pick a new guild name using another new service.

As a part of the process for adding these new services, we are launching on a single realm (Illidan-US) to perform additional testing for stability and functionality. We expect to be able to add additional realm availability to the service, including EU realms, in the coming days and weeks.

To learn more, read the FAQ below or visit the paid services page.

World of Warcraft Guild Services FAQ

Q. What are the guild services for World of Warcraft?
A. Three guild services are available: Guild Master Realm Transfer, Guild Master Faction Change, and Guild Name Change. These services can only be initiated by a character who is a Guild Master.

Q. How much do these services cost?
A. When purchased individually, the Guild Master Faction Change costs $40 US, the Guild Master Realm Transfer costs $35 US, and the Guild Name Change costs $20 US. You will receive a $10 discount when purchasing Guild Transfer and Faction Change in the same transaction, for a new total of $65 US. In addition, one Guild Name Change is free with the purchase of either a Guild Master Faction Change or Guild Master Realm Transfer. All sales of guild services are final -- no refunds will be given once a purchase is made.

Q. Do taxes apply to these services?
A. Players in select states in the U.S. may be subject to taxation when using a guild service. This includes but is not limited to:
  • New Mexico
  • Texas

Q. Aside from being a Guild Master, are there any other requirements for the character that initiates a guild service?
A. The Guild Master must meet the same requirements governing the equivalent character-level service (such as Character Transfer), including being at least level 10 (except for Guild Name Change) on an account in good standing. View the Character Transfer FAQ or Faction Change FAQ for more details.

In addition, the Guild Master's account must be protected by a Authenticator or a Authenticator that has been active for at least three days (starting at the time of the first Authenticator-protected login to the game) before a guild service can be initiated. If additional security-related requirements apply to your character, they will be brought to your attention when you initiate a guild service.

Q. Are there any requirements for the guild to be able to undergo a guild service?
A. A guild must be at least level 2 to undergo a Guild Master Realm Transfer or Faction Change. There is no level requirement for a Guild Name Change.

Q. How do the two "Guild Master" services work?
A. When performing a Guild Master Realm Transfer or Guild Master Faction Change, only the Guild Master character transfers realms or switches factions. The Guild Master takes the framework of the guild as well, including the guild vault, level, perks, and achievements.

Q. What happens to my guild members?
A. Your guild members remain in the original guild. The original guild will be reset to level 1 and will not retain its guild bank or any of its achievements, reputation, or progression. You will also select a new Guild Master from the guild roster to replace you after your character leaves. Your guild members will be eligible to follow you to the guild’s new location by performing their own character service (such as a Character Transfer). If they do so, they will automatically rejoin the guild and retain their guild reputation.

Guild members who plan to transfer to the guild’s new location should not quit the original guild – otherwise, they will not regain their guild reputation after transferring to guild’s new location.

Q. What happens to my guild bank, level, and so on?
A. The guild bank, level, perks, and achievements transfer with the Guild Master character to the new realm and/or faction.

Q. Will individual members’ guild reputation be retained when they rejoin the guild?
A. The Guild Master character will retain his or her reputation after transferring, and guild members who decide to transfer will regain their guild reputation when they rejoin the guild at its new location. However, there are two notable exceptions where this does not occur: if the guild member transfers realms before the Guild Master, or if the guild member quits the guild on the original realm before transferring realms.

Q. Is there anything that doesn’t transfer with the Guild Master?
A. Besides your guild members, the only thing that doesn’t transfer is your guild rank structure. You will have to reassign ranks at the new location.

Q. How will my guild members know when this happens and how to follow me?
A. After a Guild Master service is complete, your guild members will receive an in-game mail with instructions on how to follow you. They will be directed to account management to initiate their own character service(s), which will need to be purchased separately. This process will be streamlined, so options such as the destination realm and/or faction will be preconfigured.

Q. Will there be an out-of-game notification of a guild realm transfer or faction change?
A. No, the only notification will be the in-game mail delivered to your guild members.

Q. How long will a player be eligible to follow a Guild Master after a realm transfer or faction change?
A. There is no time limit on following a Guild Master to a new location, as long as the guild member does not leave the current guild before Guild Master Realm Transfer or Faction Change is complete. If a guild member leaves a guild that has moved to a new location, or joins a new guild, the member’s reputation with that guild will be wiped after 30 days.

Q. Are there any requirements for a guild member who wants to follow a Guild Master Realm Transfer or Faction Change?/
A. The guild member must meet the requirements of the character service they are undergoing (Character Transfer or Faction Change), including being at least level 10 and on an account in good standing. For the complete list of requirements, refer to the Character Transfer FAQ or the Faction Change FAQ.

Q. How long does a guild service take?
A. Under normal conditions, a guild service takes one to two hours to complete, but please allow up to several days.

Q. Is there a cooldown period for guild Realm Transfers, Faction Changes, or Name Changes?
A. The cooldown periods for guild services are the same as their related character-level services. For more information on these services, please refer to the Character Transfer FAQ or the Faction Change FAQ.

Q. What happens if I transfer my guild to a realm where my guild name is taken?
A. If your guild name is taken on the destination realm, you'll be prompted to pick a new name for your guild during the realm transfer process on the website.

Q. Can I customize my character and name when doing a faction change?
A. Yes, the same character customization options offered in the Appearance Change service are included in a Guild Master Faction Change.

Q. I'm ready to move my guild! How do I initiate a Guild Master Realm Transfer or Guild Master Faction Change?
A. Before initializing a guild service, make sure you've created a Billing Profile. (Learn how to create one.) Step-by-step instructions on performing a guild service can be found here:

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Player Housing
Player housing, like the dance studio, are nowhere near the ballpark of pet battles in terms of development time. This goes back to the final point I made in my original post. You can't just put a huge list of features on an equal timeline and decide which to throw out. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Faction Balance in the WoW Storyline
I know I did talk about this subject when Cataclysm was the fresh, hot topic. I don't remember what my exact words were, though, and would love to read them again after seeing several people bring them up in this thread.

I'm pretty sure I never made any specific point that an equal amount of story and retribution would be dedicated to the Alliance in Cataclysm, because I was well aware of how most of the story would play out. The Horde made many more grabs for power and dominance when Thrall left. Then Thrall became the protagonist with the evolving story of each patch focusing on the efforts to defeat Deathwing.

The stories of the villains in the expansions so far have had pretty direct closure, but that's never been the case for the two player factions. And one shouldn't expect it to be with the conclusion of any expansion. Things will continue to change and there will be an ongoing tit-for-tat between the Horde and Alliance. If you start the story at Warcraft I and move forward, that's evident. Leaders have changed. Cities have been destroyed. New cities have been created. Land has been gained and lost. The races who have allied with either side have changed.

It's going to keep going and we have no ambitions to decisively make one faction less interesting or cool than the other. That's not a good design philosophy for two playable factions and it doesn't make for a flourishing story.

But you will win some and you will lose some. And the wins and losses won't be at equal intervals for both sides, aligning with the release of each patch or expansion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pet battles? Why?
We do add features to the game often based on concepts players have expressed interest in. But in order to dedicate ourselves to making epic games, we also need to spend a lot of time and resources anticipating what gamers of all walks of life will find fun. That's how all of our games thus far have been created. While our design decisions for any game will always be met with mixed reactions, we couldn't be respected in our industry if our approach to game design is always reactive.

You made it clear you don't like the idea of pet battles. It seems there's a decent chance you won't enjoy them when the system's released either, though there's no sense in conceding that absolutely before you try it -- no matter how convinced you are you'll hate it. But, as was said multiple times by Game Director Tom Chilton at BlizzCon, we want more content systems and forms of progression in the game so our extremely diverse playerbase has a lot of choices over what to spend time doing for fun, accomplishment, socializing, a challenge, etc.

I guarantee you a lot of players are really going to love this feature. It's going to be an engaging mini-game that actually has quite a bit of depth and progression, just not in the traditional sense of increasing your character's power. That shouldn't always have to be a driving factor in our content. As the OG players have said countless time before, Southshore and Tarren Mill world PvP battles didn't become popular because there was a tangible reward incentive. The majority of World of Warcraft systems and content, particularly at level 85, are currently directed at enhancing a character's power. While that won't fully change, we want to continue creating new avenues to make that happen as well, such as is the case with adding a third, more accessible raid tier with the Raid Finder, or adding PvE Scenarios to facilitate the quick formation of smaller groups to take on a series of event-driven quests.

But Pet Battles and Dungeon Challenges are very different. With one, you're actually getting a use out of the pets you've collected over the years, in order to progress them in a fun mini-game, unlock countless more pets, and just generally give your character a new depth of style and flavor. Similarly, Dungeon Challenges are difficult 5-player dungeons which really allow you to push your skills and PvE small group coordination to the limits. They'll scale, so the better you do, the better you're rewarded and ranked. That gives your character a new measurement of PvE progression prowess and bragging rights. Plus, you can earn exclusive set designs which are purely aesthetic -- to be used with Transmogrification -- which, again, give your character a new depth of style and flavor.

It's about giving people options in the game to play it how they want to. We have a lot of people playing, so with almost seven years of World of Warcraft on the market, we want to continue innovating features we believe people will enjoy experiencing in this game. And a hell of a lot of thought, discussion, debate, and iteration at Blizzard goes into this stuff, mind you. :)

To address your overarching point a little bit, the way various development resources are expended on creating features for the game is extremely complicated and very unique to each project. That can't be explained in a way that will be fully understood by the community at all times, in all situations. While I understand your point is that no resources should be spent on pet battles, you're really not in a place to make a well-referenced argument about what features in development are taking time away from others you feel are more pertinent. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
by Published on 2011-10-25 06:15 AM

The Mists of Pandaria General Discussions Forum is now Open
Blizzcon 2011 and the announcement of the new expansion increased the forum activity considerably and it's now time to open forums dedicated to the upcoming expansion: Mists of Pandaria - General Discussions!

Also, for those of you who couldn't watch the stream and/or the Raids & Dungeons panel, Blizzard uploaded 3 dungeon preview videos on Youtube.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Details on Stats Inflation / Item Level / Character Power in 5.0 Soon
Yea... about that inflation... more info to come soon on item levels & character power in 5.0. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Level 100 Cap in future expansions?
This is a pretty valid question. Do we have a solidified plan for future expansions I can share? Not yet, but consider that 100 is just a number. :) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Female Pandaren Model
It's true the female models are not yet ready for show, which made me a little sad too. But we haven't forgotten the release timeline and public reaction to the female worgen model. I'll definitely check in with the developers. :) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Talent System
The difference is that right now there's a way you spec your character, and then there's maybe a handful of "Ok now you can do whatever you want with these 4 leftover points." Those points are leftover because they ultimately don't matter. You don't really even need to spend them to do well. It's not a good system, and the few leftover 'choices' don't feel awesome because... well they aren't, they aren't awesome, which is why they're unimportant points.

With the new system we give you everything you really need automatically, and talents are going to be more interesting 'style' and utility choices than a bunch of stat and damage increases. The choice comes, hopefully, from choosing talents that appeal to how you like to play or what you think would be particularly useful for a specific boss, fight, or encounter, and the ability to swap around points freely while out in the world help reinforce that.

I still fully expect for people to devise optimum builds for specific situations, but there's a difference between optimum and no choice at all.

I think once you see the majority of talent choices you'll understand a bit more why these choices aren't really going to be bombarded by optimum build mentality. The choices just don't have a clear optimal because most of the choices don't lead to direct output increases.

If that doesn't seem to be the case then we need to work on it more. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pandarens not able to communicate with Pandarens of the other faction
We do understand that, by not allowing pandaren of the opposite faction to communicate with one another, there's a breakdown in the story there. But we feel strongly at this point that changing the precedent on cross-faction communication for one race only will ultimately not lead to a good gameplay experience. We're very excited to introduce a race that can be chosen by either faction, though we don't see our philosophy on cross-faction communication changing as a result of this.

This isn't very related, nor is it a way of properly compensating for that communication limitation, but one thing we'd like to do (we think is cool and warranted) is make a unique place in the world exclusive to monks -- think Moonglade for druids. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Theramore Destroyed in 5.0?
So, at BlizzCon we provided a few details about a new expansion and how it's going to have an ever-growing focus on the fight between the Horde and the Alliance in the wake of dispelling many very powerful threats to all of Azeroth. Then we find out a vague detail that some sort of unrelenting attack by the Horde on Theramore is to come. The Horde, to remind you, is currently a faction with an overzealous ruler and significant turmoil among their faction leaders; while the Alliance has almost never been quite so unified and far removed from the days of imprisoning orcs.

The first pawn on the chess board of what is to be the story for Mists of Pandaria is being moved, and you're angry at whose turn is first? I only offer that maybe there's a little more to the Horde and Alliance story lines in Mists than an Alliance town being leveled... like the entire expansion story you don't know about yet. ;)

If you wanna make an omelette... (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

[...] In Cataclysm, desperate times call for desperate measures. And that impact was not equal and 1:1 as far as Alliance and Horde went. The Warcraft universe, at its core, is based on the rivalry between two vastly different factions. To make sure they have shared hardships -- equal ups and downs at each interval -- is pretty boring and severely limits the character development of the leaders on both sides. And it leaves the story with a lack of momentum for building good content.

The Cataclysm only ignited a new flame between the Horde and the Alliance, as each side approached recovering from the crisis in very different ways. But they have something much more pressing to focus on in this expansion: helping Thrall and the Dragon Aspects kill Deathwing and his followers. They provide the overarching and primary conflict in Cataclysm that needs to be dealt with, not the fighting between the Horde and Alliance.

But once Deathwing goes and a new land of opportunity is discovered, who rebuilds, who explores, who defends and protects their people, and who seeks the pride of a conqueror? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

[...] What I'm hearing from people is, that Garrosh's Horde is attacking even more Alliance territory and it's not fair. As a player of both factions at level 85 and employee at Blizzard, I just don't fully agree with that assessment. From our perspective, one faction will assault a cherished town of the other faction -- which is also home to a very powerful and honorable figure in Jaina. There's now a conflict presented in the story there to further unfold in the next expansion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Why the Pandarens?
As Chris Metzen said in his interview on DirecTV just after opening ceremony, the pandaren race was originally planned to be added as the Alliance race in The Burning Crusade.

There are a number of reasons why that didn't happen, but none of them are because we thought they wouldn't make for compelling characters with interesting stories and living environments. We've wanted to add the pandaren people into the game for a long time. And, when recording feedback over the years from events like BlizzCon and many other avenues, the number one request (by a large margin) has been for us to add pandaren to the game. A lot of people want it and we feel the timing's just right post-Cataclysm.

We want the next expansion to be less focused on a primary antagonist, and more on the conflict between the Horde and the Alliance after the fall of Deathwing, particularly as a new land with diverse and foreign cultures is discovered.

The original World of Warcraft didn't have a primary antagonist and that wasn't strange to most players. Granted, we've set a precedent in the last few expansions of having the one major bad boy. But now, we want to focus much more on creating a bunch of varied content which lets you choose what you want to do in the game on any given day. We want to focus more on what's fun than what you have to do to excel -- and, by that, I mean we want more progression paths in the game to better cater to the extremely diverse player population.

We wouldn't have gone forward with this idea if we weren't confident about whether or not we're breathing some new life into the game and changing up the formula.

I understand the debate over this isn't going to be settled today -- or over the weekend -- but give it a bit to sink in, check out the remaining panels (including the Q&A panel tomorrow), and be on the lookout for more information about our design intent for Mists of Pandaria.

As a side note, even with some of the inappropriate comments and spam going on today, we do still really appreciate how passionate everyone is about the direction of the game. We share that passion and look forward to continuing to divulge our evolving philosophy on making this the funnest game possible. And we'll make sure there are plenty of opportunities for open conversations between community managers, developers, and players as time advances (it's difficult for me to follow any thread for too long while working BlizzCon). For instance, we'll be doing a CoverItLive developer Q&A next week with Lead Content Designer, Cory "Mumper" Stockton, and Lead Systems Designer, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, next week. Stay tuned for more info on that!
by Published on 2011-10-24 12:16 AM

Pandaren Blizzcon 2011 Gameplay Video
For those of you who couldn't attend Blizzcon, here is a short gameplay video of the Pandaren starting zone available at Blizzcon 2011. The quality isn't perfect but a few people risked their lives recording it.

Theramore to be destroyed by the Horde in 5.0?
It seems that Theramore will be destroyed by the Horde in the pre-Mists of Pandaria world events, the info was revealed to a couple of taiwanese websites attending a press event with Tom Chilton. Translation from Curll on ScrollsOfLore.
整個戰爭會從潘達利亞的迷霧資料片上市前會啟動世界事件,來強化 聯盟根部落的戰鬥,塞拉摩這城市摧毀讓聯盟 高層非常暴怒,也會以此為契機強化這兩方的戰鬥,未來整個戰鬥會 蔓延在潘達利亞大陸上,部落與聯盟也會在上 面發動許多的戰鬥以及與熊貓人的互動。

Here's the original quote. Let me translate:
The whole war will be ignited during the world event which leading the game into Mist of Pandaria. Theramore will be destroyed and the leaders of Alliance were outrageous at this matter and completely devote themselves into the war, which reach its peak on the continent of Pandaria. The Horde and the Alliance literally fought on the homeland of Pandaria, which pissed the pandarens off.

在潘達利亞大陸上的 npc 多是中立角色,一部分的熊貓人覺得部落跟聯盟帶來厄運,並對它們 帶有敵意,玩家玩的熊貓人是早已脫離潘達利 亞的熊貓人,在等級達到之後選擇加入陣營,所以是沒有首領可以去 扁的。
Most of the pandarens are neutral characters. And some of them thought the Horde and the Alliance only brought doom to their beloved homeland, and have enmity against both factions. The players pandarens are in a different group. They departed Pandaria long ago and choose their own path. They choose their own faction when level 10, so they don't have a faction leader.

Free Diablo 3 and 12-Months WoW Subscription Plan
We covered that a little during the opening ceremony but didn't really have time to clarify because of all the new MoP info raining down on us. A few important points:

  • The Tyrael's Charger mount will be added in Patch 4.3 and is basically going to be available in a few weeks.
  • This is a 12-months commitment, but you can keep paying on a monthly basis.
  • If you decide to purchase the Diablo III Collector's Edition when it's available, and then choose to add your Collector's Edition license key to the account associated with your existing World of Warcraft Annual Pass promotion, you will receive all of the benefits associated with the Collector's Edition, plus receive four months of World of Warcraft game time which is eligible towards your 12-month subscription commitment.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With Deathwing’s shadow looming over Azeroth and the mortal realms of Sanctuary steeling for war against the forces of Diablo, the World of Warcraft Annual Pass has arrived to offer WoW subscribers a chance to participate in both apocalyptic conflicts… without breaking the bank.

For a limited time only, players who make a 12-month subscription commitment to World of Warcraft through the WoW Annual Pass will receive the following epic rewards:

  • Diablo III FREE – Download the digital version via for free when the game launches early next year. This is the full game, not a trial edition.
  • Tyrael’s Charger WoW Flying Mount – Ride for the Archangel of Justice on all current and future characters on a single World of Warcraft account. Tyrael’s Charger will arrive via in-game mail with the upcoming launch of patch 4.3.
  • Access to the Next WoW Expansion Beta Test – Get a guaranteed spot in the beta test for the next World of Warcraft expansion (at a time to be announced in the future).
    If you buy the Collector's Edition, you will also get the Fetish Shaman's Spear.

You can pay for the WoW Annual Pass on a monthly basis at $14.99 per month or according to the billing plan of your choice. To participate, you must be 18 or older, have a valid credit card, and have registered a full version of World of Warcraft on or before October 18, 2011.

Sign up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass here, and then keep an eye on the World of Warcraft community site or the Diablo III community site for future announcements regarding the launch dates of these bonuses.

For more information on this offer, including eligibility requirements and details on how the World of Warcraft Annual Pass applies to players who plan to purchase the Diablo III: Collector’s Edition, please read the full FAQ.
This is a pretty good deal for anyone playing WoW, especially since the time between the last patch of Cataclysm and the beginning of Mists of Pandaria will probably much shorter than it was for WotLK/Cataclysm.

Probably not in the final version of the game
You have to admit, those are pretty good cupcakes. (Source Mike Schramm)

by Published on 2011-10-23 04:17 AM

Mists of Pandaria - Blizzcon 2011 Recap
Blizzcon has been really exciting this year and Blizzard definitely had a lot of things to show us! It's time for a giant recap of all the panels, we will probably have a lot more content over the next few days but this should keep you busy for the moment!

We also added details from the interview appearing on the web, we'll probably see a lot more of those soon.

Official Website

Blizzcon 2011 - Day 1 Panels

Blizzcon 2011 - Day 2 Panels

Blizzcon 2011 - Day 1 Panels (Official Blue Posts)


Blizzcon Interview Details
A few interviews of Blizzard staff have popped up so far, the interesting parts are below. We are likely to see more early next week. (via venturebeat, gaming-insight)

  • You might be able to use Valor Points to increase the item level of your items slightly.
  • Blizzard might move your Resource bars closer to the center of the screen, similar to how many custom UIs are set up. It will start with Monks, then maybe Paladins and Death Knights.
  • The game will almost always be sold with Burning Crusade in the future to cut down on the number of games you have to buy.
  • If WoW was ever on the decline to where subscriptions were not high enough to support the game, they would consider the freemium model.

Monk Abilities Preview
I completely forgot to post those yesterday, but here is a small preview of the Monk abilities from the playable demo at Blizzcon.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Level 1 Abilities
40 Chi - Melee Range, Instant
Requires Stance of the Drunken Ox, Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
You jab the target, dealing 5 damage and generating 1 light force and 1 dark force.

Tiger Palm
1 Light Force - Melee range, instant
Requires Stance of the Drunken Ox, Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
Deals 10 Physical damage, deals 5 additional damage if the target is above 50% health.

Level 2 Abilities
50 Chi - Instant
Roll a short distance.

Level 3 Abilities
Blackout Kick
2 Dark Force - Melee range, Instant
Kick with a blast of energy, causing 28 physical damage to an enemy target. If the target is killed by blackout kick, you are returned 1 Dark Force.

Level 5 Abilities
Flying Serpent Kick
8-40 Yards range, 25 Seconds Cooldown, Instant.
Soar through the air towards a targeted enemy, knocking them down and stunning them for 2 seconds.

Spinning Crane Kick
Instant, 2 Lights and Dark Forces
Requires Stance of the Drunken Ox, Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
You spin while kicking in the air, dealing 23 damage every 1 second to all nearby enemies within 8 yards. Movement speed is reduced by 30%, last 6 seconds.

Level ?? Abilities
Statue of the Jade Serpent
5 Sec Cast
Summon a statue at the target location. Anytime you deal damage, a nearby friendly target within 20 yards of the statue will be healed. You can have up to 3 Jade Dragon Statues active at a time.
by Published on 2011-10-22 11:17 PM

Update - That's all for WoW panels folks! Another huge recap is on its way and tons of previews based on the info we got there will follow, there was also an interesting post by Zarhym on new character models.
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Art Director Chris Robinson spoke on this just moments ago at the BlizzCon Open Q&A panel. It was in reply to an attendee who brought up that, in the art panel, it was explained that the pandaren model has 10 times the bone structures of the classic races, allowing for many more facial animations.

To paraphrase his statement -- which isn't too different from what I've said here on the forums before -- we absolutely plan on updating the existing models. As Chris mentioned, we want to make sure we preserve the look and feel of the original models players have come to know and love, while vastly improving their model and animation quality to be more in-line with the newer races.

We're not going to hide behind the statement that too many players will get mad if we tamper with their models, but it's a concern -- not a concern that's going to stop us from doing it, however. I want to stress as well that it's a massive undertaking to go back and do this. And to a lot of people it's something that won't be considered shiny new content. But not only do we hear the masses of players calling for this update, we really feel it's time to bring them up to par with newer models as well.

The game continues to age, but as we have no plans of slowing down on development any time in the near future, we want to keep updating and polishing it to stand the test of time (again, without sacrificing the look and feel which has brought players in over the years).
Update - Annnnd we're done.

World of Warcraft: Lore and Story Q&A
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
(Red Shirt Guy) Thanks for putting a representation of me in the game! In Gilneas, the questlines end with the strong feeling of to be continued and that we are going back, the only zone that had that feel was Hyjal and we went back there too. Are we going back to Gilneas too?
It would be fun to go back to Gilneas, its not on the cards right away but we just love the way the area feels. The zone has its very own story and it's a little hard to integrate to the rest of the world.

You did not mention a world PvP zone for MoP, maybe that could be the World PvP area for MoP?
The war between the Horde and Alliance will really heat up in Pandaria every patch, so we are looking forward to integrating that.

What happened to Arthas's body? What happened to Illidan's body? What about Kael'thas?
It is likely we will bring Illidan back, not so much for Kael'thas, he already had his come back. Arthas's body is somewhere but we don't really know where.

What is the motivation that the Pandaren have for fighting each other?
Something that is hard to get across in the demos is that the pandaren that live on the turtle have been seperated from the pandaren on the mainland for ages. Its almost like a splinter culture. They are the ones that you as players you are going to play. They are going out to the world. You can see these events in the 1-10 experience. By the time your Pandaren gets to 85/90 you have traveled the world fighting for the Aliance and Horde.

When the Pandaren meet eachother on the field they are more of WHATS UP instead of being pissed at eachother. They would probably be drinking beer right after. All the sort of anger, hatred and other negative energies become the Sha. It literally can come and bite you in the butt. They dont want to bring all that bad bagage into a fight. When a Pandaren fights he fights to reach a conclusion. When things are settled you take a beer.

You wrote the book Blood and Honor, are you planning on writing something else in the future?
Writing made me nervous and was exciting, it is different than the writing we have to do for the game but maybe one day I will do another.

This question is regarding Lordaeron, I want to know what happened to Arthas s sister, what happened to her?
We are thinking about it. We dont really have a plan but we have been talking about her forever. There were some hooks in the RPG line but no current plans. While thats on my mind, how many RPers are there in the audience?

We said the RPG line was non canonical but there are some really good bits in those books so all I would say that they are broadly non-canonical but there are lots of bits in there that we want to use. At some point we might put some project together to some ideas that we want to say yes or no on. Admiral Proudmore has some elf baby so that wont actually go through for example.

Why have characters like Krasus, Khadgar, and especially Rhonin that have been directly tied to the Black Dragonflight not been in Cataclysm?
A lot of time we'll have stories in the novel that feel like they should continue in the game but we decide to not include them in the game because it would be really hard to make everybody catch up on the whole story.

Whatever happened to the crown of menethil, or is that something we are going to find out about?
Terenas Crown? Legendary loot drop.

Tyrande was a strong character, but hasn't done anything much recently, why?
Thrall took an entire expansion to add in, we haden't gotten to him before that. Tyrande is the same way, we haven't gotten around to it yet. We don't intend on leaving her being a weak character, she will get her turn when we can get to it.

Jaina proudmoore will also get some love pretty soon. Thrall isn't done yet either, he isn't weak. Champion level Thrall is on the way.

This panel has said that Pandarians have no sense of hatred. How does it make sense for a Pandaren to be a Warlock, but not a druid?
If that is true, I do not like it. I usually get overruled when it comes to game design. These classes, Warlock, Deathknight are not choosing this life. If they can indeed roll Warlock, it is not impossible for them to not hate.

Why cant they roll Druid then? The bear as a bear argument is crap.
Monday morning we will yell at the design dudes. Pandaria was not there during the Sundering so I guess Cenarion was not there teaching them. I still think druids are out, that might change though.

Dragon Soul is inconsistent with a lot of lore or changes a lot of lore, how does that work?
Wait and see.

Arthas's mother was mentioned in the WotLK novel, there was never any mention to what happened to her. Was he a Mamas boy that he did not kill her?
We have not officially -made that up- yet, we have not crafted her fate. My impression from WC3 is that it works better if she would have died somewhere before the fall of Lordaeron. Killing Terenas is pretty striking, I just think it diminishes the moment if he goes on a Charlie Manson spree.

..or you kill her and you get a legendary crown. (Reference to earlier question) ... but probably not!

Is it safe to assume his mum was killed previously by Arthas' corruption?
It is something we need to talk about.

I just read the Sylvanas Windrunner short story, what happened to the Shards of Frostmourne?
It wasn't specifically adressed in the story, I don't think we've adressed it in the lore. Some very smart people in the lore picked these things up and took them somewhere safe and I imagine there might be some shenanigans one day, with some people trying to reforge it one day, and that's all I know about it ...

My question is about Algalon, he kind of goes into a mid-life crisis he seems to wonder how you can differ from the Titan plan, then he decides more than one hour a week to see what makes us tick. What is he up to? Are there more of his kind to see what he is up to?
We don't know, it wasn't addressed in the story or lore. We might see someone reforging it in the future. Good question.. hmm.. the whole titan storyline.. who those folks are, what they are doing in the universe. Are they still alive? Do they have a plan if the world goes south? The titan storyline throughout WoW is something that needs to play out during a long time. Its not like we will have titans in two expansions. They are from somewhere really exotic. Not sure how to leveraget them into the timeline again, I loved what we did with in WotLK and Cataclysm. Ill riff a little bit and tell you that there are things about TBC that I really really loved. Shattered planets in the sky and etherals running around.. but as we talked to the community people wanted to kill kobolds and stuff thats what fantasy means to them...

There is a part of me that just wants to launch into the universe. Are the titans still moving out there? Is the Burning Legion still out there? I want to go to Argus. How badass would it be if there was a shiny fleet of Draenei out there... oh technically thats Protoss. Its just a matter of feeling it out. We have a lot of time with this game. Let me just ask you all.. Is anyone here into the cosmic stuff?

*crowd goes YUUUUS* There is something about Azeroth that is unique within the cosmology and thats why its in the focus of this.

Do you have plans to resolve the Forsaken's strained place in the Horde?
We realize that it is unresolved, we are going to explore the fissures in the Horde more in the future

I love trolls. They are awesome. They are the best race ever created in WoW in my opinion. You gave us the new heroics and they were great and fun to play. But will we ever see a return of the troll empires?
*Chris looks like he got the best idea ever just now* If the troll tribes could ever unite, look out world! We are going to continue the troll storyline in MoP. We will probably actuallize the Zandalari. They are not done yet and they are crazy. They are being driven by something just now.

I like the serious parts of WoW, some comic elements are fun, but will MoP be all lighthearted or will we get some war and darker parts?
You haven't even seen them or the expansion yet, we went back 15,000 years when creating them. We created a rich history and they aren't a joke race. There is a lot of story behind them, we think they are awesome fighers. They love life, play hard, work hard, fight hard, sleep hard. We aren't building an expansion based on an April Fool's joke. The Pandaren had some nice artwork for a long time, we have been thinking about them forever. They aren't a joke, they aren't silly, just a little bit lighter. They are relaxed, but this is part of the growing war between Horde and Alliance. The Pandaren are going to be part of this story.

I read the shattering and the short story and Cairne Bloodhoof seems like he's walking the Sunwalker path.
It can go a lot of ways. The sunwalker thing, everybody had a fit when it came out. It just did not feel all that right. Sunwalker was an attempt to atleast try and realise the lore and make sure it would fit as well as it could fit and the quest designers did a good job figuring that out. I dont think its appropriate for a tauren leader, I like the idea that Baine and Cairne are not supernatural people, they are just Tauren. Im not a huge fan of making them a sunwalker. I dont think we have solid plans yet of where Baine was going to go.

Are we going to see more of the book's events in game ever?
Some big things are coming in Patch 4.3, really big. It completes a very large story. It has been hard to develop the story for the books in real time with WoW, that is why we talked a lot about the past. Moving forward we want to try and do some story in the books that is current with the game. Not everyone wants to go and read books and comics, they want the content in the game. Players feel cheated when it is in a book and not in the game, which is why big current events happen in game rather than in books.

The books provide more details, but we are going to try to get more of the books in game beyond just the big events.

Ive played Alliance for 7 years *crowd woos* you have done a wonderful job with the Horde story, and its really great but when it comes to Varian he is a boring and 1 dimensional characters. Does Alliance ever get to kick ass in WoW?
Heres the deal, part of the Thrall thing I have been pushing, I particularly love that character. I dont see that as a Horde issue but as a Thrall issue. Im biased. Heres what we are going to do: I dont know exactly where its going to drop, we are tyrying to get this for 5.0. Varian has the possibility to be a very awesome char. There will be a really awesome questline where Varian really shines out as a character. You will be his squire and will help Varian be an awesome character. And all the Alliance races WILL worship Varian as a true king.

The Alliance is going to need a king that has his shit together. We are going to need this for MoP. We owe the alliance big time! We are also going to explore the various relationships with Andruin (his son), before Christie Golden wrote the shattering we had no plans for Anduin. Its all thanks to Christie that Anduin has been such an important character.

We got some plans for that boy one day, so there you have it.

Are there any rules to the Val'kyr Resurrection of Sylvanas?
She had nine, used five so far, so there are only four left.

I brought my archive to sign for you. I have 10 Horde 85s on 1 server. One of each class. I have always had a soft spot for Tirion to kind of justify why I loved him so much. Now for my question, Neptulon in the Throne of Tides. What happened to him? Are we going to find out about his relationship to Ozumat?
Maybe we ill just leave that buried under the ocean. I have no good answer for that. What happens in the Throne of Tides stays in the Throne of Tides.

The new Lich King was awesome before, but once he became Lich King he hasn't done anything about the Scourge. Why not?
The Scourge and cult of the damned are independent of one another. The timeline is messy, if we could do it like a book the Scourge would have toned it down and things aren't as bad as they used to be. Clearly the quests are still in the game, it isn't something we can go back and fix right now. Someone picked up those Frostmourne fragments.

In the Gundrak dungeon there is an area with the stone sentinel guys, and if you look over the rig you see a huge snake tail. There is nothing that massive and snakey in .. its a Chris Metzen answer to just go well look into it so I brought a screenshot of it for Chris.
*Chris looks at snake tail*
Dude just showed you his snake, man. -Dave

That is not the thing that is driving the trolls. Its a super secret WoW storyline. Thrall is going to leave Aggra and start dating Jaina.. in all seriousness I have no idea what it is but its really awesome! Sometimes really awesome stuff shows up ingame and we scramble to explain what it is. Welcome to developing video games. We put the WHAT in WHAT.

How will the panda leadership work since they belong to both factions? Can the leader be voiced by Jack Black?
They don't really have leaders like the other factions. There are important pandas, representatives to each faction sure, but no single leader. No Jack Black voices, it isn't a panda movie. We were going to give Alliance pandas in Burning Crusade, but it didn't really fit. We have been serious about doing it for a long time, and it is a good thing we didn't do it then. We can do it much cooler and in a more interesting way now.

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