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by Published on 2014-08-18 01:10 AM

John Hight Interview at Gamescom, Blue Posts Round-Up, Seasons Preview, UEE Stream VOD

Naxxramas Heroic Deck Guides, Weekly News Recap: News, Popular Ladder Decks, Community Videos; Zombie Ciao!

Warlords of Draenor - Developer Interviews
Blizzplanet had the opportunity to interview Tom Chilton at Gamescom last week. The highlights of the interview are below.

New Races
  • "I am 100% sure we will do some new races at some point, in some other expansion that is coming up." (Source)

  • Originally the team wanted to have all of the buildings affect your garrison's missions, but as they playtested it became clear that the buildings should have more of an impact on your gameplay out in the world. The garrison also was tied into the storyline more than originally planned.
  • The team originally intended for you to learn how to use your garrison while leveling, and then offer more choices once you have reached maximum level. They realized that players wanted the flexibility earlier, so the experience has more choices early on now.
  • Garrisons are getting closer to being done now, with the next beta build increasing the functionality of some of the buildings.
  • The Gladiator's Sanctum is one building getting some new functionality.
    • Players can do quests to earn rewards, such as collecting broken bones by defeating enemy players.
    • Players will be able to target a specific race as their nemesis.
    • There is also a free for all event that grants access to special armor that you can't get any other way.

  • Players may not go to Farahlon during this expansion, it depends on if the content is relevant to the expansion.
  • Bladespire and Karabor were giant spaces and there weren't enough to put into them to make them cities. For example, players would have had to run long distances between the bank and the auction house, which isn't a great gameplay experience. They had cool looking art, but that doesn't translate into usable cities.

Warlords of Draenor - Stormwind and Orgrimmar Transmog Sets
The Dwarven Bunker / War Mill building in your garrison has a vendor that sells Cosmetic transmog sets, including a nice Stormwind / Orgrimmar set. The set is sold for different Iron Horde scraps that drop from Iron Horde mobs in the world and dungeons.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Why Would Horde Orcs Fight the Iron Horde?
I just don't understand the motive for Orcs to fight literally their own flesh and blood. If I was in WoW with my Orc lock I would not fight against the Iron Horde.
Some orcs have stood by Garrosh's side. You've seen and fought them in Siege of Orgrimmar; however, a majority of the orcs stood with the Horde and against Garrosh's vision of a "pure" Horde, one that is made entirely of, or at least entirely led by, orcs and orcs alone.

Why do humans fight against humans, or those within a nation against their neighbors? There are complexities that go beyond nation, or species, or race. I think it's a valid question: why would someone want to fight against their neighbor, or even their own family, and yet it happens every day.

In this case the Iron Horde threatens all of Azeroth. Anyone who stands with the Horde is the enemy. Wanting to break off from the Horde and side with the Iron Horde is... sure, a valid way to maybe RP your character (also certainly the desire of some of the characters in the game) and you can maybe even find some fun ways to explore that story line for your character, but it's not the story arc the game is intentionally telling for you or your character.

[i]Multiverse. The moment Garrosh went back an alternative timeline skewed off. Nothing in this alternate Draenor affects our timeline, except that Garrosh has opened a portal back to our universe to bring the Iron Horde through and murder us.

Is this still actually a confusion point? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Garrison Follower Quality
We're clearly not communicating this well, but if you continue to level an uncommon follower beyond 100 they eventually become rare, and a rare eventually becomes epic.

Also, legendary followers aren't supposed to exist yet, is a bug that they were showing up in the inn. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
how many people are involved before a change is made to a class/spec please?
Depends upon the change. I'd say the average is 3-5. Only one person being involved is limited to tiny things that we know... (Celestalon)
...each other well enough to know we'd agree with. We are very collaborative. (Celestalon)

Not meant to be a loaded question, but the number of people disgusted by downtime added to their specs surely rings alarm bells?
The related thing is that people have trouble distinguishing two stacked changes. PTR characters have less haste, thus slower. (Celestalon)
And then, when people test out any change that affects speed, mentally, feeling-wise, they compare it to what they're used to. (Celestalon)
So, 20% less haste, plus 10% slower rotation = feels 30% slower than they're used to = EXCRUCIATING. (Celestalon)

Interesting psychological phenomenon:Build 1: This feels great.OK, now I'll slow it down by... 10%.Build 2: OMG EXCRUCIATINGLY SLOW!!! (Celestalon)
this confuses me. If something feels great, why slow it down?
In order to prevent scaling and rotational problems down the line, when they have more haste. (Celestalon)
Making specs un-fun to play compared to live, just to solve future numerical issues feels completely wrong.
Resetting power levels with each expansion is definitely something that feels bad to a lot of people. Wish we... (Celestalon)
...had a way to provide the scaling fun gameplay, without having power resets. (Celestalon)

What's your plan for perks? Seems like you rolled the troughput ones into the spells baseline.
Yes. We're switching to perks every *other* level, instead of every level. Most of the unused perks were 'baked in'. (Celestalon)
90+ perks every other level now, versus every level? Any insight on reasoning?
.Many of the perks we had were not turning out to be as exciting as had been hoped, and some were problematic designs. Changing... (Celestalon)

hey uhh is Unholy Might just like gone now? it is no longer in the Unholy DK spellbook.
Just hidden. (Celestalon)
all for simplifying spell books but stat alterations are probably something that should be listed somewhere.
The argument for hiding it is that it never matters to any decision you make. (Celestalon)
Information is never a bad thing to have though. Even if things like that are put into a separate tab.
That's actually deceptively false. Information *absolutely* is a bad thing when it hides more useful information. (Celestalon)
Can you datamine this info? Might not be useful in a spellbook, but the dedicated would be interested.
Yes. (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Hey, not to be bothersome but I was wondering if there was any way that Healing Spheres the ability could return?
No, it was simply too awkward and yet overpowered. The Mastery-based orbs, combined with Detonate Chi, should work well. (Celestalon)
I play as a windwalker actually and I just won't find much use out of Afterlife orbs
Ah, for a Windwalker, Surging Mist will fulfill the same role, but better. (Celestalon)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
new anim for seal of insight. can we expect new ones for blessings and other seals also??? they all feel really outdated
No further plans currently. The new Seal of Insight visual was sort of a happy accident; made for something else that we scrapped. (Celestalon)

Priest (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Anything you can say about the removed Psychic Horror perk? Any compensation?
We felt it was an unnecessary change and we removed it. (holinka)
Agree it was too long but completly removing it? Priest CC is not very good. Talent options break too fast, MC is bad.
Shadow CC is quite good. Silence, Psychic Horror and a talent. (holinka)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Any thoughts on having Slam baseline for Arms, but have the stacking feature a talent?
Don't plan to do that; prefer to keep baseline more simple, and give you more power to add depth via the talents. (Celestalon)

Character / Items
With the Dwarven Bunker selling Stormwind guard transmog-gear, any chance for guard gear of other factions to be included?
Adding tons of cosmetic gear right now might overload your bags in a bad way, trying not to go overboard quite yet (Muffinus)
On one hand, understandable. On the other, we want more. I hope in time the other races get their guard-gear.
Oh for sure, it's high on our list of features to get to ASAP. (Muffinus)

Proving Grounds
I haven't seen anything about the new proving grounds? R u using the old ones or they just not in yet?
Proving Grounds plan: Will still be in the Tiger Temple for now, but with new achievements for level 100. (Celestalon)
this is a real shame, was really looking forward to new PG's for WoD with many improved features
We're still planning improvements to it in the future. Some improvements will make 6.0: Scaling by gear. (Celestalon)

Will the mobs in LFR Molten Core be immune to fire? It's just not the same if it's not pointlessly difficult <3
Elemental immunities/resistances are one of the only things we "nerfed" in the name of playability. (WatcherDev)

Do your internal testers take turns being "that guy" in LFR, pulling everything in sight?
Reducing Golemagg's aggro radius is one of the other concessions I had to make. (WatcherDev)

.so is it for sure that WoD raids can be run by up to 30 people?
Very little is "for sure" but server performance has seemed fine so far with 30, so it's looking good. (WatcherDev)

any chance pvp titles and elig to buy classic gear will be acc-wide? Really'd like to use my conqueror on other chars!
No plans to bring that account wide. (holinka)

Any plans to mildly incentivize city raids again? People just aren't interested in the old achieve/mount rewards any more.
We don't have any plans right now. We think Ashran will provide a lot of that experience you might have had with those raids. (holinka)

Can you add legendary pvp weapons with cool effects, that require a lot of time spent in ashran to get and only work in ashran?
We experimented with Ashran only gear or time limited gear, but there were a lot of usability issues. Buffs are just clearer to use (holinka)

Hate to be nay-sayer, but I found Ashran to be a confusing mess. There is nothing explaining what to do or what POI are.
Would love to know more for sure. Did you receive any quests when you entered the zone? Did you complete them? Want to improve. (holinka)
I got a few 'talk to some NPCs', 'collect stuff for potions' and 'explore map' quests. But none of them explain the 'big picture'
Really the big picture is explore the island, kill everything, get rewards. Definitely want to hear feedback about it. (holinka)
We are trying to emulate Timeless Isle where you arrive at the island, get shown around then left to your own devices. (holinka)
it's a risk to not give a lot of explanation so knowing where we lost you helps. (holinka)

any idea where the pvp vendors on live will be? I was thinking maybe ashran hubs.
Conquest vendor will be in Ashran, Honor will likely be in the staging areas. (holinka)

If there isn't already, add a rating requirement for PVP. 2v2, 3v3, 5v5, 10v10 separate of course. Optional of course.
We'll allow players to add that in their description but we don't want to institutionalize requirements like that. (holinka)
Oh alright. I was just wondering because there's the minimal ilvl option. Thought it'd be nice to have one for rating.
Gear that can qualify you for a group can often be obtained on your own. Things like raiding achievements or rating cannot. (holinka)
It's possible that as players use this we see something just keeps coming up. We can iterate on it. (holinka)

Is it possible we can get the old WoW High Warlords gear. If we reach High Warlord in TM Vs SS??
We looked into transmogging you into that gear if you reached max level in the BG but it was a tremendous undertaking.Didn't make it (holinka)

What if the TM vs. SS will be a success? Will that make keeping the BG even after the event is over? We can never have too many BGs
I actually think you can have too many bgs (holinka)

Might have been asked: If popular in TMvSS, is there a chance that old honor system might return for good? Why was it removed?
The old honor system is not coming back. The SSvTM deathmatch has some nostalgic nods to the old system. (holinka)
.In SSvTM players go up in rank as they earn kills. But higher ranked players are worth more points. (holinka)
.Kill a rank 1, your team gets 1 point. Kill a rank 15, your team gets 15 points. (holinka)
Rank 15 = City Protector?
yeah I think we will only go to 14 actually (holinka)
Are people running around with a buff or number over their heads for rank or just get lucky on your kills?
They have a buff and when the die there's float combat text indicated how many points they were worth (holinka)
So, no chance at getting old legacy pvp titles from this?
.There isn't a plan to have anything in this anniversary event unlock the old PvP transmog sets. (holinka)
Will you keep your rank though? As in, when people kill you they see KB: Grand Marshal etc?
You lose one rank when you die. (holinka)

so how much of Hillsbrad will players be able to explore? Between SS and TM, or entire zone?
It's confined to the area between the two towns. We want you fighting, not running away from the fight. (holinka)

is Defense of the Alehouse still a thing?
Not really (holinka)

Setting up VO for Ashran bosses Julianne Tremblade and Volrath as well as King Krong. They sound amazing! (holinka)
Is Ashran conceptually finished? Was hoping there would be some buff towers along the road/More incentive to kill generals.
We're still working on win conditions and rewards. (holinka)

Yeah. Feels like the lane stuff doesnt matter enough (I get that its not supposed to matter too much though)
We don't like that the battle outpaces the lane so often. Considering alternatives. We like the tug of war nature though. (holinka)
Yeah we like the big epci zerg that is happening. We just want all the events associated with tug of war to keep pace. (holinka)
Yeah the zerg is awesome, I think the other extras around the edges aren't getting much/enough/any attention. Not obvious enough?
Well the other thing about beta, is no one needs any gear. Most of the reward mechanisms are in the outside areas. (holinka)

the tug of war in the middle is great (agree sometimes it's too easy to take over, but I assumed this was due to # imbalance)
# imbalance is certainly a problem on beta. We're considering replacing the EotS control zones with AB style capture points. (holinka)
You cap, the fight then moves on to the next spot rather than it staying behind the actual battle. (holinka)
I think that's worth trying: if they can be capped if undefended with on-screen announcements that will draw players back as well
will they be progressive points where you can only cap the next if you cap the one prior?
yes (holinka)

Accurate. Also, can you elaborate on teh choice to not auto-place into a raid? People tend to not join raids and just go solo.
We want it to feel more like a zone than a battleground. (holinka)

So the veils in Outland, all absent in WoD, were they all a recent settlement in BC time?
Most of them would have been built after WoD, potentially after Draenor was shattered, by refugees from Arak. (_DonAdams)

Am I the only one who has thought about the lore behind Ashran? If Outland is a scarred Draenor, then why isn´t it in Outland?
We often shape lore to support gameplay. Perhaps Ashran was destroyed in the Shattering...or perhaps something else. (holinka)
I see your point. Though, I find it kind of strange how there is no lore what so ever behind it.
We're hoping to develop the story of the Ashran throughout the expansion. (holinka)

Were the Apexis winged just as the Adherents are in WoD?
Yes, they were not cursed and did not partake in the barbaric practice of throwing each other into the blood (_DonAdams)

Why do all of the Warlords of Draenor have red skin if they didn't end up drinking the blood of Mannoroth? Grom was green in WC3
The concept art may be a little misleading - in game, the warlords have natural orc skin tones of dark brown or grey. (_DonAdams)

What is the current status of the Klaxxi and mantid in Pandaria now that the paragons are dead? An RPer would like to know
A new queen will come to power when she hatches. It's kind of anarchy until then I imagine. (DaveKosak)

Reputation / Questing
Will Bonus objectives in the world have a description? Just having tracker and reward feels strange. Miss the quest text
The intent with Bonus Objectives is to present tasks that don't need explanation. There are still plenty of quests out there! (_DonAdams)
They're not supposed to be obligatory to get out of the zone, are they?
No - we are still tuning XP. Spires is coming up a bit short, it seems. Will adjust! (_DonAdams)

Why a follower limit? It's a blow to those of us who want more then a 20 person army
Exact amount is in discussion, keep sending feedback. We do want a limit to make choosing who to have in your army a thing. (Muffinus)
I don't like kicking followers I've earned through questing and adventures for random legendary ones from the tavern
No followers will be legendary at launch, every follower can eventually become epic through max level+ xp (Muffinus)

Free Copies of Mists of Pandaria
It looks like accounts that didn't have Mists of Pandaria recently had a chance to be awarded a free copy of the expansion, which is now $10.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Until this promotion, the people counseling you may have been compromised were absolutely correct. That would have been my first thought as well.

There is a recent promotion, certain licenses were upgraded - and you should have received an email at your registered address.

Really nothing I can add to this, if your license was selected - Gratz!

WoW Machinima: War of the Ancients - The Well of Eternity
Keytal finally released a machinima he has been working on for years! If it is blocked in your country, you can watch it here.

by Published on 2014-08-15 04:27 PM

Update (1:15 PM EST): Added some additional clarifications from Watcher and UK Subscription price changes.

Gamescom Interview - Raid Release Schedule
Our friends over at Vanion had the chance to talk to Tom Chilton again during Gamescom and came away with some interesting details. The highlights of the interview are below.

  • Raids will open roughly two and a half weeks after the expansion releases. This will give players time to level and enjoy some dungeons and other content before they move on to raiding.
  • Normal and Heroic will open first, with Mythic and LFR starting to open the following week.
  • Blackrock Foundry will open some number of weeks later. (4 weeks for MSV before HoF opened was too short - WatcherDev)
  • Grommash is really the final boss! When players get to the Grommash fight, they will see that it is a completely different fight from the Garrosh fight in Siege of Orgrimmar.
  • There will be more than just Orcs in the raids. For example, there will be a heavy Legion influence in the raid that has Grommash Hellscream.

  • The legendary items (other than the ring) will most likely come from defeating really difficult content.
  • Warlords will have more activated trinkets compared to Mists of Pandaria.
  • Challenge modes will reward players with transmog weapons for Gold, a mount for Silver, and a title for Bronze. (WatcherDev)
  • Challenge modes will have a daily quest that can reward Raid Finder quality loot. This will give players a reason to do Challenge modes while they wait for raids to open. (WatcherDev)

  • Depending on what buildings your Garrison has, there will be different relevant content out in the world.
  • If you build the Inn, you will have a dungeon daily quest in the Inn, similar to the Wrath of the Lich King dungeon daily quests.
  • There are four tiers of Garrison missions for your followers, giving followers increased item levels and access to better missions each tier. Eventually you will have access to a mission that rewards raid quality loot every couple of weeks.

  • Armistice Day is on the Tuesday of the release week, which is why they went with Thursday instead of Tuesday for release this time.
  • The team has talked about doing an updated version of Karazhan, but it was created as a 10 player raid. There isn't space for 30 players.

Gamescom Dev Interview
Gamona also had an opportunity to talk to Tom Chilton at Gamescom. The highlights of the interview are below.

  • Patch 6.0 is coming roughly a month before the November 13 release date.
  • Warlords of Draenor took longer than anticipated to create, by roughly 6 months. Getting the new members of the team up to speed took longer than anticipated and slowed things down. A group is already working on the next expansion though, so hopefully there won't be another long gap next time.
  • Moving your Garrison is still something that would be nice to do in a content patch. Players will most likely want the ability to move the garrison after they have had it in the same place for a few months.
  • Rather than armor dyes, the team has made multiple color variations of armor sets and provided different ways for players to earn them. A dye system might cause the team to lose a little bit too much control over the way the world looks. Players coming into the game shouldn't see everyone wearing crazy neon colors or something like that.

UK Subscription Price Increase - Secure Your Current Price for Two Years
It looks like UK subscribers have a price increase coming, but players can lock in their price for two years if they keep their subscription active.

  • 30 Days - Increased to £9.99 from £8.99.
  • 90 Days - Increased to £28.17 from £25.17.
  • 180 Days - Increased to £52.14 from £46.14.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We regularly look at our pricing around the world and from time to time we make changes in light of local and regional market conditions. As such, we want to give everyone a heads-up that we will shortly be adjusting the pound sterling subscription price of World of Warcraft.

The new price for recurring subscriptions will be £9.99 for 30 days, £28.17 for 90 days, and £52.14 for 180 days. The suggested retail price of the 60-day prepaid time card will be £20.99.

As a thank you for current World of Warcraft subscribers, we guarantee that players with recurring (auto-renewing) subscriptions at the time of the price change will retain their current price for two years, as long as they remain in the same recurring subscription without interruption. This applies to anyone who is already in, or signs up for, a recurring subscription prior to the price change, which is scheduled to take place at the Warlords of Draenor release. We will reach out to relevant players approximately two months prior to the price change with a reminder.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria – Now Only €9.99!
The new $9.99 price is not reflected in the US Shop just yet, but will likely appear soon.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Unlock the mysteries of the lost continent and discover the dark secrets of Pandaria’s past. Explore ancient kingdoms hidden since before the Sundering, plunder vast treasures from the depths of forgotten vaults, and rise to defend Pandaria from the shadow of a long-buried evil—now for only €9.99 or £7.99. What are you waiting for? Download now from the Shop.
by Published on 2014-08-14 05:19 PM

Update (8:00 PM EST): The Collector's Edition of Warlords of Draenor is now available for purchase. New Box Art has also been posted!

Update (6:00 PM EST): The final boss of Warlords, legendary items, a transmog revamp, and more were discussed in this Gamescom interview.

Update (5:15 PM EST): Players will have ample time to level from 90 to 100 and experience the anniversary content (Source).

Update (4:25 PM EST): Prepare for Battle: The Pre-Expansion Iron Horde Incursion

Warlords of Draenor Release - November 13, 2014
Warlords of Draenor will be released the Thursday after Blizzcon!

Warlords of Draenor Release - November 13, 2014
An updated features trailer for Warlords of Draenor was also released today.

Lords of War - Animated Miniseries
This is similar to The Burdens of Shaohao miniseries for Mists of Pandaria. You can find a teaser for upcoming episodes here.

by Published on 2014-08-14 05:17 PM

Update: The Digital Deluxe edition will also have Hearthstone card backs.

Explore the Warlords of Draenor Collector’s Edition
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Want to level up your Warlords of Draenor experience? Take a look inside the Collector’s Edition, which contains a host of rare and commemorative items to aid your epic struggle against the might of the Iron Horde.

Check with your local retailer for additional details and availability—and if you’re hoping to score a copy, be sure to lock in your preorder soon, because supplies are limited.

The Warlords of Draenor Collector’s Edition includes:

  • World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor — Get the full version of Warlords of Draenor on DVD-ROM.
  • Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-ray Two-Disc Set — Meet the development team behind the creation of Draenor and its savage warlords. This two-disc set includes over an hour of creators’ commentary, insider interviews, and developer roundtables.
  • Collector’s Edition Soundtrack — Immerse yourself in the sounds of war with the complete Warlords of Draenor orchestral soundtrack on CD.
  • The Art of Warlords of Draenor — Witness the visual evolution of the expansion in this beautifully bound tome of exclusive Warlord of Draenor art. Through 160 pages of concept pieces, finished illustrations, and CG images, you'll delve into the art team’s vision for a Draenor under siege by the apocalyptic threat of the Iron Horde.
  • Blackhand Mouse Pad — Arm yourself with a special-edition mouse pad emblazoned with the deadly warlord Blackhand.
  • Epic In-Game Content
    • World of Warcraft Dread Raven Mount and Dread Hatchling Pet — Descend from the skies on the back of a black-winged Dread Raven mount, a mortal progeny of Anzu. Then devour your prey in your next pet battle with the adorably ferocious Dread Hatchling.
    • StarCraft II Portraits — Summon the strength of two deadly Iron Horde war chiefs—Grommash Hellscream and Blackhand—as you take on the Dominion with these two StarCraft II portraits.
    • Diablo III Warsong Pennant — Don this battle-worn pennant and channel the rage of the Warsong Clan against the demonic forces of Sanctuary.
    • Hearthstone Card Back — Your adventures in Draenor will be the talk of the tavern after outfitting your champion’s deck with this custom card back forged in the fires of Blackrock.

Remember, one character boost to level 90 is included in the Collector’s Edition, retail and digital standard editions, and Digital Deluxe Edition of the Warlords of Draenor expansion. For more information on the content and features, check out our Warlords of Draenor web page.

Warlords of Draenor Collectors Edition on Sale Now
The US version of the Collector's Edition is now being sold for $90 on Amazon.

Warlords of Draenor Box Art
Amazon also has nice high res versions of the Warlords of Draenor Box Art.

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