Blizzard promised to give World of Warcraft players a look at the forthcoming character model updates for the game's most popular race, the Blood Elves. Delivering on that promise, here is what players can expect when the updated models go live.
Hello and welcome to the Blood Elf edition of Artcraft! We know that many of you have been waiting for this update, so I’ll just provide some quick background and then get straight into the imagery.
We’re aware that it’s not ideal to see a mix of older player character models next to newer player character models, especially when you happen to be a player of the Blood Elf variety—and we’re working as diligently to remedy that situation as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality. We don’t have an exact ETA for when you’ll see these in-game, but we’re happy with the direction of this update with regards to the model and textures; we’re now focusing on model and texture variations, as well as rigging and animating. We’ve streamlined the process quite a bit, so hopefully (knock on wood) those things will go smoothly and we’ll be able to roll these out quickly.
Senior Artist Dusty Nolting is focusing on the female model—here are his thoughts:
The Horde has classically been about brutes, blood, and thunder. The Blood Elves bring a bit of subtlety to the Horde, and I think that was one of the most important aspects of the Blood Elves to maintain. For the female specifically, something we did often was move things around in small but deliberate increments, to make sure everything was just right. It’s the delicate details like her nose shape or fingertips that represent the most challenging parts of upgrading the female.
Read more on the World of Warcraft community site.
A new Twitter post has been blasted onto the 'Net that lets World of Warcraft players know that the game's 'beautiful people', the Blood Elves, will have the new character models shown on Tuesday, November 25th.
The wait is over, we'll be giving you a sneak peek at the new blood elf models tomorrow!— WarcraftDevs (@WarcraftDevs) November 24, 2014
We'll be sure to post the preview as soon as it's available.
World of Warcraft celebrates its 10th anniversary this week, and designer/veteran WoW player, Stu McMillan (AKA Mhortuk of Magtheridon)has created a fun little graphic for it. Behold Stu's handiwork - The Periodic Table of WoW.
To embed this nifty little gem on your website or save it as a wallpaper, go here.
As I made meandered through Warlords of Draenor in order to level from 94 to 100 this week, I was astonished at the way that all systems seem to feed into one another. Each quest seems to stack upon the next in this at times overwhelming chain of adventure designed to gradually see characters grow to max level and see them geared at least moderately well by the time they hit 100. That's not to say, of course, that the journey is over at 100, but it is the focus of this week's article.
Read more of Suzie Ford's World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor RIP #2 - Symbiosis.
It’s been roughly two years since I last played World of Warcraft. A run of disappointing expansions and ageing gameplay mechanics drove me away from Blizzard’s MMO, and into a nomadic search for something new, exciting and satisfyingly deep. But then, like a siren’s call, Warlords of Draenor tugged at me. Although I was deeply skeptical about returning, could WoW’s latest expansion turn me around?
Read more of Gareth Harmer's World of Warcraft: Returning to Draenor.
Thanks to over 3.3M in sales on launch day, World of Warcraft subscriber numbers have soared over the 10M mark, probably a large factor in the server issues for the first several days of the Warlords of Dreanor expansion. These are the highest subscriber numbers since 2012.
On November 13, millions of Azeroth’s champions enlisted for the war against the Iron Horde with the launch of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, the fifth expansion to the world’s #1 subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game.* Blizzard Entertainment today announced that as of the first 24 hours of the expansion’s availability, more than 3.3 million copies had sold-through† and the game’s global subscriber base had passed 10 million, with growth across all major regions.
The release last week in North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia brought some technical and demand-related issues that made the first few days especially challenging for many players. To address the issues, Blizzard worked around the clock to roll out a series of updates and increase realm capacity across the board, and performance has remained solid since then. The expansion launched today (November 20 local time) in South Korea, mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
“We’re thrilled that so many players jumped in to play Warlords of Draenor on day one and are having a great time with the new content,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We poured a lot of hard work and passion into this expansion, and we appreciate all the kind words from players and the overwhelming support they continue to show for World of Warcraft.”
Players have been largely supportive of Blizzard's efforts to ease server queues and many herald Warlords as the best expansion since The Burning Crusade.
Source: Blizzard press release
We’ve all seen the signs before: ‘limited time only’ the words say, usually with a McDonald’s McRib sandwich plastered on it. We all scoff, the sandwich comes back like a zombie next year, and we continue to dismiss the idea of it truly being a ‘limited time only’ experience. This is not so different with MMORPGs and their holiday events. Holiday events come along like the seasons they represent with mini-games, encounters and goodies, but we don’t truly find it devastating if we missed out—it will all come back next year. However, what if a feature, a paid one, was truly here for a limited time only… should players be punished for the lack of participation?
Read more of Edwin Lee's World of Warcraft: Limited Time Only.
Blizzard has issued a public apology for the World of Warcraft technical issues after the launch of Warlords of Draenor. In addition to admitting to a poor launch experience, Blizzard is also giving a good faith gesture to its community by giving all subscribers in all regions five days of game time in compensation for the frustration.
I know how much everyone was looking forward to this expansion, and once you were able to get in and start having fun, all the comments I've seen indicate that this is one of our best yet. But the quality of the content does not excuse the subpar launch experience we delivered, and I apologize for that.
The first two days of the expansion were not a great experience, with many of you facing high queues or significant gameplay problems. We worked around the clock to tackle the demand issues and technical challenges, and fortunately things started looking better on Saturday. While millions of you were able to get in and play over the weekend, with many already reaching level 100, others still ran into very lengthy queues, particularly on the highest-population realms.
To help address this, we’ve expanded the new instancing tech we used to improve queues on Saturday and we’re continuing the process of applying that to raise the capacity of all realms again. This will result in approximately double the prelaunch capacity on each realm, which should greatly reduce queue times for most realms if not eliminate queues altogether.
In recognition of the difficulties so many of you ran into when trying to play over the first few days, we're adding five days’ worth of extra time to every subscription in the Americas, Oceania, and Europe that was active as of Friday, November 14. Things are already in a much better place than they were going into the weekend, so I hope you’ll now be able to focus on having a ton of fun with this expansion.
I also hope you'll accept my apology and keep your faith in us. The support voiced by many of you as we worked through the challenges was immensely appreciated. We're extremely grateful to be part of such a passionate community. We love World of Warcraft, and we're very proud of this expansion, so stumbling out of the gates like this was very disappointing for all of us.
On behalf of the World of Warcraft development team, as well as everyone at Blizzard, thank you all again for your patience and understanding.
See you in Draenor.
Participate in the discussion on the World of Warcraft site.
Over the weekend, the largest World of Warcraft subReddit was shut down temporarily by one of its moderators. The shutdown was seen as a way to protest the recent server woes that World of Warcraft has been undergoing since the launch of the Warlords of Draenor expansion last week. Once this particular editor was able to log into WoW, the subReddit was reopened but the backlash against his decision has been a phenomenon all its own.
According to an interesting investigative piece at TheNoseMilk.com, angry /r/WoW are having posts deleted from the hugely popular Reddit stream and several are working to create a new space for all things World of Warcraft related.
Of particular note is that the anger is directed at this one individual and whether or not any single person should have the ability to summarily shut down a popular subReddit on his or her own.
Moderator Nitesmoke claimed that his actions were a protest against WoW developers and issues with their new expansion. Over the past few days from release, there have been many issues including server wide lag, queue times, and DDOS attacks that have increased the pressure on the WoW development team. Regardless, what gives him the right to shut down a community? This only draws attention to the design of Reddit, in which some individuals are given complete power over thousands. Nitesmoke is the original creator of the subreddit and has total control over the entire community- and at this point, he still rests on his throne.
Read more at the link above and be sure to leave us your thoughts in the comments.
There's nothing that kills procrastination on writing an article more than the fact that the game you're supposed to be writing about is, well let's just say "non-functioning". Yes, I'm talking about the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor and, yes, it's been one of those days.
Read more of Suzie Ford's World of Warcraft - Warlords of Draenor Review in Progress #1.
In what is becoming sadly normal on a game's launch day, Blizzard has confirmed that World of Warcraft servers are under DDOS attack from an outside source that is resulting in server disconnects and lag rendering the Warlords of Draenor expansion unplayable by many. Blizzard is undertaking a series of fixes in order to return server stability and will be keeping the community informed.
We’re excited to finally launch Warlords of Draenor and explore this new world with you, but we know that the experience has been less than ideal as we approach our first full day of launch.
Europe was our first region to launch, and we encountered a few issues due to the sheer number of players attempting to enter Draenor from a single location. We worked to add multiple new ways to access Draenor, and this helped ease some of the initial rush into the new expansion as players were able to access it from their capital cities, as well as from the shrines in Pandaria.
While that solution helped a ton for our North American launch, we ran into a few other issues, including a distributed denial of service attack, that resulted in increased latency.
To help correct for this and other issues, we’ve temporarily lowered maximum realm populations. This means there will be high queue times experienced on high-population realms.
Here are some of the other important issues we’re currently working to address:
- Instance servers timing out, which may impact dungeon access
- Continent server issues, which are resulting in Player Not Found and disconnection issues
- Garrison server issues, which are resulting in phasing and performance issues
We’ll post updates here as we make progress against these issues. Thank you for your zeal to face down the tyranny of the Iron Horde—and for your continued patience as we work to improve the current experience.
Check out the forum thread on the World of Warcraft forum.
On Wednesday November 12th, hours before the launch of World of Warcraft’s fifth expansion Warlords of Draenor in Europe and the rest of the world, Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut from Blizzard took part in a live Q&A hosted on Twitch by WoW Community Manager Josh Allen.
Read more of Rob Lashley's World of Warcraft: Live Q&A Recap.
World of Warcraft will be welcoming the Iron Horde on November 13th with the Warlords of Draenor expansion. To celebrate the imminent release of Warlords, Blizzard has sent out a brand new trailer to set the stage for one of the most anticipated expansions in its history. Check it out!
The term “WoW Clone” gets thrown around a lot these days. While it may not really be fair to claim that any game should be labeled a clone of another game, it is the reality that we live in. World of Warcraft is, by far, the biggest and most popular MMORPG in the world and as the old saying goes, “If you can’t beat ‘em, copy ‘em,” or something like that.
Read more of David Jagneaux's The List: The Top 5 Free-to-Play WoW Clones.
During BlizzCon 2014, we caught up with WoW's Cory Stockton, Lead Game Designer, to chat about the game's 10th anniversary and the future of Azeroth as it prepares for its 5th expansion.
I’ve been playing MMORPGs for most of my gaming life. As someone in their mid-twenties, I can’t claim to have been around for years and years losing myself in these virtual worlds, but I feel like I have a pretty good pulse on the industry as a whole. My MMO experiences first started with the original EverQuest, a game I would watch one of my brothers play when I would go to visit him. Eventually, he let me make my own character on his account, and then even paid for an account of my own so that I could enjoy the game for myself.
Read more of David Jagneaux's Exploring Azeroth: A New Player's Impressions of World of Warcraft.
Blizzcon is set to officially kick off in just over half hour with the Opening Ceremonies, usually a spot where the first major announcements for Blizzard titles is made. We'll be updating this post throughout the 45-minute presentation so keep refreshing the page and let us know what you think.
Want to watch on your own? The Blizzcon 2014 Opening Ceremonies are free to watch, along with several eSports broadcasts, on the Blizzcon Free Streams page.
And we're off! The first video is a chat with developers talking about the astounding success that Blizzard has experienced since its first games launched twenty plus years ago.
"We might have somethin' kinda special here..." speaking of WoW.
"It's the community that has made this the most amazing experience."
Mike Morheim takes the stage.
Morheim speaks obliquely about Gamergate and how Blizzard will not allow players to be tarnished by the bad behavior of others.
"The best is yet to come for World of Warcraft. We're excited about it. We're taking you to places and settings that brought us to where we are."
"Looking for Group" documentary about WoW to debut at 5:00 pm PST on Saturday.
In December a new charity pet with 100% of profits going to the Red Cross for Ebola relief efforts.
Heroes of the Storm: It's coming along great and will continue to evolve through the years. We have fun new stuff to show you during Blizzcon. (trailer shown) New heroes (Jaina and Thrall), new maps, new battlegrounds, ranked play, new skins, Lost Vikings.
Closed beta for Heroes of the Storm to kick off on January 13, 2015.
Hearthstone portion begins: Jason Chayes takes to the stage and talks about the incredible juggernaut that HS has been since release earlier this year.
Android Hearthstone coming in December!
Hearthstone: Going back nobility and the fellowship of the Alliance. The other, the honor and resilience of the Horde. For the first expansion, we've brought these two together. The results are explosive. (trailer begins)
GOBLINS vs GNOMES is the new Hearthstone expansion and will launch in December. 120 of the most dangerous cards you can imagine.
Starcraft 2 portion begins - Dustin Browder takes the stage.
Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void (trailer begins). All of your questions will be answered. All the stories and characters will be completed in this, the final story in our trilogy.
Archon mode: Control a single base together.
Chris Metzen takes the stage
We are celebrating 20 years of Warcraft and 20 years of World of Warcraft. It's so much more than a game in a box. It's amazing to feel part of this thing, this tradition, that is uniquely ours.
It's been 17 years since we opened a new world, new villains, heroes. If you've ever wondered what kind of world Blizzard would create, the wait ends right now!
Seems to be a super-hero type game.
It is nearer than you think.
Jeff Kaplan takes the stage as the Overwatch Game Director.
Team-based multiplayer shooter. We're going to make the game very approachable and experience what can be very fun.
(Overwatch demo trailer begins)
Heroes: Tracer, Symmetra, Pharah, Hanzo, Reaper, Winston, Torbjorn, Bastion, Mercy, Widowmaker, Zenyatta, Reinhardt
A new documentary centered primarily around World of Warcraft will be making its debut soon. Called "WoW Mom", the documentary originally started as a project to bring attention to Terry Bolts' rare form of cancer. It later evolved into a journey of discovery at how gaming communities, many within World of Warcraft most notably, have been created to bring sufferers from a wide range of ailments together in a therapeutic manner.
The documentary project quickly expanded as Bolt discovered others using MMO games to provide a way of coping with hardship, illness or injury. She interviews a father who plays World of Warcraft with his diagnosed son. She covers a tournament thrown in support of a stomach-cancer patient in Denmark.
“Once I started looking into gaming as a way to heal there was too much story there to tell,” says director Andie Bolt. “It’s not just a bunch of dudes in their parent’s basements; it’s grandmas on their ranches, terminal children in their hospital beds, or wives who just lost their husbands.”
Read the full Wow Mom press release.
Blizzard has released a trailer for an upcoming World of Warcraft documentary entitled "Looking for Group" that chronicles the game's ten years of existence and takes a look behind the curtain. It further interviews players and fans around the world about their experiences with WoW and much more. Enjoy!
Join us Saturday, November 8th at 5 p.m. PST for the premiere of World of Warcraft: Looking for Group. This decade-spanning archive explores the history of WoW with the people who create it, collects stories from players around the world, and takes you into corners of Blizzard and the WoW community you’ve never seen before. We’ll be streaming it live from BlizzCon, so check out the details on www.worldofwarcraft.com.