With the commencement of the limited "limited alpha" that includes VIPs, streaming notables, members of the games press, and some rank-and-file players, the information about the World of Warcraft: Legion expansion has flooded out the gate. Blizzard places no limits on its alpha players and, in fact, encourages them to stream game play, write about it, post impressions and screenshots and much more. But is it too much of a good thing? What does it leave players when the expansion really launches in 2016? Not. Very. Much.
Read more of Suzie Ford's and Catherine Daro's World of Waracraft: Legion Information Overload - Too Much of a Good Thing?
Several World of Warcraft community members, including a few of the admins at WoWhead, are reporting that their invites to the Legion beta have arrived. With friends and family, the internal beta begins and, over time, select community members, streamers, ViPs and more will be added before the more extensive beta begins. All in all, it's a good sign.
We'll keep you posted on what comes out of the beta. In the meantime, go check your mailboxes!
Activision Blizzard is once again holding the news headlines hostage, between Black Ops 3, WoW subscriber news, the latest expansion, Hearthstone, Overwatch, the film studio, the Warcraft film, Blizzcon, and of course the quarterly finance releases you all love to pour over, but what is really turning heads and inspiring groans from the Blizzard base is the news that the developer publisher is acquiring King, a company whose titles (including Candy Crush) are sure to be in every hardcore gamer's library.
Read more of Connor Wack's Activision-Blizzard Once Again Holding News Headlines Hostage.
Just in time for today's eleventh anniversary, World of Warcraft players can now legitimately spam trade chat with the arrival of a new limited-use toy that transforms any weapon into (an inflatable) THUNDERFURY, BLESSED BLADE OF THE WINDSEEKER! Not only that, but everyone donning the transformation will get a Feat of Strength achievement called "Did Someone Say...?"
Other goodies include an Edwin VanCleef Exquisite Costume with 50 charges, a pair of celebration wands to transform friends into Gnolls or Murlocs and a celebration package with an 11% experience/reputation boost.
Thanks, WoWHead, for the report!
During Blizzcon 2015 earlier this month, World of Warcraft: Legion took front and center during the festivities. For the first time since the expansion was announced in August, fans and players alike finally got to hear more details about Legion and what it means to the game millions around the world still adore.
Read more of Suzie Ford's The List: 5 Great Things & One 'Oh Really' Moment Straight From Blizzcon 2015.
World of Warcraft will be updating to the v6.2.3 patch on Tuesday, November 17th in North America and on Wednesday, November 18th in the EU. This patch brings Cataclysm timewalking dungeons online as well as an addition Wrath of the Lich King dungeon and an additional dungeon from The Burning Crusade.
Players will also mark the return of Valor as an upgrade currency and the Grove Warden mount will arrive in Hellfire Citadel.
Lastly, Warlords PvP season two will end on the patch's deployment, with season three beginning at the same time. New PvP gear will include the Warmongering Combatant (iLevel 730) and Warmongering Gladiator (iLevel 740).
Read more on the World of Warcraft community site.
Alex Afrasiabi has sent out a Twitter image and post that seems to indicate that years of advocating for Gnome Hunters may have finally paid off. Check this out...and either celebrate or weep.
Do you think Afrasiabi is trolling? Only time will tell!
Blizzard has filed a new lawsuit in California that alleges that James "Apoc" Enright, creator of HonorBuddy, StormBuddy and DemonBuddy, has cost the gaming giant millions of dollars in lost revenue as a result of bot sales and use in World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm and Diablo III. The suit seeks an order to stop all sales and distribution of the bot programs and financial compensation that could total tens of millions of dollars if successful.
According to the documents filed on November 9, 2015:
The Bots created by Enright and his team have caused, and are continuing to cause, massive harm to Bl izzard. Blizzard’s business depends upon its games being enjoyable and balanced for players of all skill levels, and Blizzard expends a massive amount of time and money to ensure that this is the case. The Bots that Enright has programmed and helps distribute destroy the integrity of the Blizzard Games, alienating and frustrati ng legitimate players, and diverting revenue from Blizzard to Defendants. As a result of Enright’s conduct, Blizzard has lost millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue and in consumer goodwill. Meanwhile, Enright and his team have been massively and unjustly enriched at Blizzard’s expense, having received hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in profits from the sale of the Bots.
In creating and distributing the Bots, Enright has engaged in numerous acts of copyright infringement. He also has knowingly and intentionally violated the limited license he entered into with Blizzard pursuant to which he obtained access to the Blizzard Games, and he has encouraged and induced others to do the same. Enright knows that his conduct is unlawful and is causing ongoing harm to Blizzard. For that reason, he ha s carefully sought to conceal his identity, operating only through his alias “Apoc.” He also has cautioned users of the Bots that Blizzard is “scanning” for his software and thus he will continually modify the Bots to avoid detection by Blizzard.
In reaction to the lawsuit, Zwetan Letschew, CEO of Bossland GmbH has rebutted Blizzard's claim that Enright owns the rights to any of the bot programs and that Bossland shareholders are the rightful owners and distributors.
Interestingly, the lawsuit is filed just days before the 100,000 bot users banned from World of Warcraft will be coming back online. Coincidence?
We sat down with Ion Hazzikostas, World of Warcraft's Lead Game Designer, to talk about their highly anticipated expansion Legion at BlizzCon. Most of the questions we had for him came out of the panel he gave immediately following opening ceremonies, clarifying some of the remarks he'd made.
Read more of Jean Prior's World of Warcraft: Blizzcon 2015 Ion Hazzikostas Interview Wrap Report.
Blizzard is publishing a series of class-specific articles on the World of Warcraft site to give players a look at changes coming to each class when Legion launches. So far, Hunter, Priest, Mage and Paladin have been published.
Tuesday will see Warlock, Death Knight and Shamans will be spotlighted. Wednesday the Warrior, Monk and Druid will shine. Rogues will bring the series to a close on Thursday.
Going into Legion, our guiding purpose is to strengthen the distinctive identity of each of our 12 classes and their specializations. The scope of these efforts includes making cosmetic improvements, enhancing existing abilities, adding new abilities, replacing too-generic abilities with more iconic ones, adjusting rotations to better reflect spec identity, and even completely redesigning some specs to carve out a strong identity where previously there was none.
There are big changes in store, so keep an eye on the World of Warcraft community site to find out more.
During the last hours of BlizzCon, the World of Warcraft: Legion team took part in a round of Q&A's from the community and attendees. Several interesting nuggets of information were revealed during the session, including flight in Legion, guild housing, character slots and more.
Here are a few examples of some of the more interesting answers:
Is there any hope of sub races, such as Taunka or Dark Iron Dwarves being playable in the future?
There were tens of thousands of votes for this one, I'll take it. So our mission is to sell the class and the race--the fantasy. So the easy answer is yes, we'd love to do it. But the more difficult answer is how will we do it? We'll be working on it.
What about multiple specs and artifacts?
We don't want the stumbling block to playing multiple specs to make you feel like you have to grind multiple weapons and spend more time. In fact, it should be a reward--we'll have a lot of catch up mechanisms to let your second and third weapon catch up to your main quickly. The one area there will be a differentiation will be in relics.
Can we please have three specs?
Um, sure. We'll do it. If you're a druid, we'll let you have four.
Will artifacts lock you into using that weapon type?
Yes. Sort of. We wanted to define unique fleshed out weapons and in many cases, that means committing to that type of weapon--like two swords vs one sword. We know some people won't like their artifact, but we focused on making them as cool and defined. You can transmog your artifact though.
You can read the full slate of questions and answers at WoWHead.
As the final day of Blizzcon 2015 gets underway, we're here to provide the most up-to-the-minute details from the World of Warcraft panels. Today's include a look at Legion's game systems and an open developer Q&A to round out the annual convention. Read it all here as it happens!
And here we go!
At an example, the team is showing the Deadwind Harvester, an artifact for Affliction Warlocks. Players are sent on a quest beneath Karazhan.
In Broken Isles, to gain Artifact Powers to unlock abilities
Druids' home - The Dreamgrove - where the veil between the Emerald Dream & Azeroth is at its thinnest.
Class Hall features
Every item that drops in the game can scale up to the best items in the game.
We want to give you more stuff to do, more content. Recipe acquisition is content-specific. It's important that players get out into the world, meeting epic characters, learning the backstory of the characters you meet.
Mining and herbalism nodes will be shared.
Recipes can 'level up' - rank them up from one star, two stars, three stars.
Trade skill UI has been expanded and overhauled. Reorder the recipes based on the ones you want to see. Learned & unlearned tabs.
Crafted gear should be special. Crafted jewelry comes with a guaranteed socket that can be class-specific. It should not be a carbon copy of raid gear.
Major glyphs have been removed from the game for Inscription. Minor glyphs will be applied to spells directly in the spellbook rather than an overall. Other runes are time-limited, say one week.
BACON is coming to LEGION!
Class fantasy is central to Legion. Take a hard look at classes and make them deliver on the fantasy.
How we made the more empowering: No more staring at the UI to use the skills you want to use when you want to use them.
Major Talent Revisions - fewer theme rows; more choices that matter; more spec-specific talents; hundreds of new talents.
The Demon Hunter is World of Warcraft’s new Hero Class coming with the Legion expansion sometime in the summer of 2016 (here’s hoping sooner rather than later). At BlizzCon 2015, we got our hands on the new class and played through its introductory zone, Mardum – The Shattered Abyss. Read on for full details and impressions!
Read more of Bill Murphy's World of Warcraft: Blizzcon 2015 - Hands On with Legion's Demon Hunter.
The World of Warcraft team took center stage at this year's Blizzcon to announce that Legion, the game's next expansion, will launch in the summer of 2016. It had been rumored that Legion would release "on or before September 21, 2016", the official calendar end of summer.
World of Warcraft: Legion will be available in a Standard Edition (physical and digital versions available; SRP $49.99), which players can pre-purchase digitally now at www.wowlegion.com. Players also have the option to upgrade their pre-purchase to the Digital Deluxe Edition (SRP $69.99), which contains the following in-game bonuses for World of Warcraft and other Blizzard games (available upon or before the expansion’s launch):
- World of Warcraft – Illidari Felstalker Mount and Nibbles Pet—Stalk the invading demonic forces atop one of the Burning Legion’s own twisted hounds of war, and summon a delightfully demented companion to keep you warm by the fel fire—both available immediately upon pre-purchase.
- Heroes of the Storm™ – Felstalker Mount—Charge down the lanes of the Nexus and wreak havoc on the opposing team astride this fierce fanged terror.
- StarCraft® II – Fel Protoss Portraits—Take back Aiur in infernal style with psionic-infused StarCraft II portraits of Illidan and Gul’dan.
- Diablo® III – Wings of the Betrayer—Equip your hero with Illidan’s wings and strike terror into the hearts of Sanctuary’s demons.
Preorders of Legion include a free level 100 boost, access to the new Demon Hunter class up to a week before the expansion launch
In addition, the team let it be known that "within weeks" of the end of Blizzcon tomorrow the Legion beta will begin.
Find out more about what Legion has in store on the World of Warcraft site.
During Gamescom in August, Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft would be expanding with Legion. With the announcement came the basic framework of the expansion but today during Blizzcon 2015, we finally find out more about the world and the content we can expect when Legion launches. Keep an eye on this space as we give you the up-to-the-minute announcements and points of interest from this panel!
The Legion dev team taks the stage
Moonkin Druid form is updated as is sea lion form.
Game Play & Systems
Order of the zones: None
We scale the world, not the player. Seamless UI & combat integration. Itemization follows suit. Artifact keeps you ahead of the curve.
Endgame - Keep player agency. Free-form gameplay but a sense of purpose. A vehicle for storytelling. Structure, but not a sense of compulsion. Make sense of the entire world.
World quests that add to artifact power. They are available for a few minutes, a week, or a few hours.
Variety: Garrison for players! Reputation specific missions. PvP objectives. World raid bosses. Profession missions. Minigames.
Raids & Dungeons
Ten dungeons, 5-level up dungeons (Eye of Azshara, Neltharion's Lair, Halls of Valor, Darkheart Thicket, Violet Hold). All come with storyline integration and can be completed in any order.
5-max level dungeons (Vault of the Wardens, Black Rook Hold, Helheim, Suramar Noble District, Suramar Catacombs).
Closed beta will start "within weeks" of the end of Blizzcon.
MMO-Champion is reporting that the World of Warcraft Legion expansion is due out on or before September 21, 2016. In addition, the standard edition of Legion will run $50 with the digital collector's edition coming in at $70 with a level 100 boost included and a week's early access to the new Demon Hunter class.
It appears that the image released came via an error on the Battle.net site that has since been taken down but not fast enough. While the date appears to be much further out than many have hoped, it is a placeholder and gives Blizzard room to release Legion earlier than the date mentioned.
There is a lively discussion at both MMO-Champion linked above and on the EU Battle.Net forum.
Be sure to tune in for our live coverage of Blizzcon beginning today at 11:00 am Pacific / 2:00 pm Eastern.
The Warcraft movie's first trailer will be shown on Friday, November 6th during the opening ceremonies at Blizzcon. To get everyone ramped up, a new teaser to tease Friday's teaser has been released...16 seconds of Warcraft movie action. Check it out!
During today's Activision-Blizzard investors' meeting, the company revealed that World of Warcraft has lost another 100,000 subscribers since Q2 2015, with active numbers hovering around the 5.5M mark representing a nine-year low. Of interest, however, is the further revelation that this is the last quarter that Activision-Blizzard will be revealing subscription numbers, preferring instead to project the game's health via the overall success of Blizzard as a whole.
"Note that this is the last quarter that we plan to provide subscriber numbers," the company said. "There are other metrics that are better indicators of the overall Blizzard business performance." (source)
This, of course, leads to speculation that Blizzard understands the truth about WoW: Despite 5M subscriptions, it is in clear decline further leading to the idea that the venerable title will go F2P in the somewhat near future followed by work beginning on (we hope!) World of Warcraft 2.
This is not to diminish the power of 5.5M subscriptions, though the numbers may not be quite that given the differences in the way subscriber metrics are counted in some Asian nations, but it is clear that WoW is in what appears to be an irrevocable decline.
Of course, all of this is our opinion only, though this announcement coupled with the drastic decline in subscriptions over the past year, the introduction of the WoW token and the backlash against the Warlords of Draenor expansion leads us to believe that all of these things will come into play much sooner than later.
Ahead of today's Activision-Blizzard investors' meeting, it has been revealed in already-published documents that World of Warcraft subscriptions have dropped only 100,000 to 5.5M since the end of Q2 where subscriptions were at 5.6M. By announcing the Legion expansion during August's Gamescom, it appears that players are retaining subscriptions pending Blizzcon's WoW panels and a release date.
World of Warcraft® subscriptions remained relatively stable, ending the quarter at 5.5 million subscribersC. Players are excited about the upcoming expansion, Legion™, which will feature a new class, customizable Artifact weapons, class order halls, and much more. World of Warcraft remains the No. 1 subscription?based MMORPG in the world.
Read the initial documentation on the Activision-Blizzard investors' site.
The Warcraft movie Twitter has posted notice that the first official trailer for the film set for release in June 2016 will be shown globally on Friday, November 6th. To celebrate the announcement a new movie poster was also released.