Now that a week or two have passed since Blizzard’s Gamescom announcement of the World of Warcraft expansion, Legion, it’s time to turn the eye to the things that, at this early stage of information, cause the heart to flutter in both good and worrisome ways. Obviously, Legion is either going to breathe new life into what is perceived by some as a struggling WoW, or it will further exacerbate the decrease in revenue due to players abandoning the game as over 4M have since the launch of Warlords of Draenor.
Read more of Suzie Ford's and Catherine Daro's World of Warcraft: Kudos & Questions About Legion.
Blizzard has posted a very short notice at the top of the World of Warcraft public test realm patch notes that indicates that v6.2.2, the "flying patch", will be released on Tuesday, September 1st, September 2nd in Europe. Flying has not been part of Warlords of Draenor since it released in November 2014, the lack of which has been a source of controversy in the WoW community.
In order to fly in Draenor, players will have to complete a meta achievement called Draenor Pathfinder that includes a number of smaller achievements including reputation gains, exploration and collection.
Source: World of Warcraft community site
Up to thirty North American World of Warcraft servers were down earlier today during an apparent DDOS attack. At this time, all servers are back online after a Blizzard representative confirmed that Network Technicians were handling the issue. European servers were not affected as they were undergoing weekly maintenance at the time of the attacks.
Source: US Battle.net
The World of Warcraft team is getting players ready for flying to debut in the Warlords of Draenor expansion, something that has up to now been unavailable. While the ability is not yet patched into the game, it is on the PTR and will be coming soon. In an effort to make sure all players are adequately prepared, Blizzard has published a guide about how to attain the multi-part achievement necessary to fly. Check out the WoWhead video before heading to the World of Warcraft site.
You can also check out the MMORPG.com handy dandy guide to flying in Draenor!
The World of Warcraft community site has been updated with a quick look at several of the pets and mounts that will come with the Legion expansion. WoWHead managed to datamine the names of each, as well as new information about new additions to Hallow's End and Winter Veil.
Players choosing to purchase the Legion Collector's Edition can look forward to the Illidari Felstalker mount and Nibbles the pet. In addition, Legacy of the Void CE owners will receive Zeradar and those purchasing either an on-site or virtual Blizzcon ticket will receive Murkidan.
On the rumor front, a Reddit post made prior to the Gamescom reveal of Legion contained most of the relevant information developers announced during the convention, lending credence to the writer's speculation. Part of his post seems to indicate that a patch containing the events leading up to Legion will be released at the end of 2015 and that the expansion itself will be released sometime in Quarter 1 2016. Given his track record of accuracy (though the name of the expansion was incorrect), it could be insider information.
You can see all of the pets and mounts on the World of Warcraft site.
When do you think Legion will be released? Let us know!
11:35 Demon Hunter is very different from Death Knights and other tanks, being more similar to the Monk. DH is very aggressive doing a lot of damage, lots of mitigation. The team's expectations are that those who will play Demon Hunters are those who are currently playing other melee classes.
11:32 Demon Hunter - It has a lot of history in the franchise starting with Warcraft 3. They're high mobility oriented melee class.
Everyone will get a 12th character slot.
11:26 Professions are a focus. Garrisons replaced them too much. We have a bigger team working on professions (individual quest lines for each type) than ever before. We're looking into updates to improve the UI and new functionality with new recipes and things like that.
11:22 Artifacts - Artifacts are your most trusted ally in Legion. DPS will be derived from relics you find that you socket that are obtained in many ways. These will take the place of traditional weapon drops. You progress your Artifact.
What about dual specs? We want to make sure it's not a complicated process. You'll start with one, but have the opportunity to earn more. You'll have catch up mechanisms to make them more powerful to equal your primary. You'll still have to earn relics specific to your Artifact. As it currently is, players will be able to choose loot specialization which would affect the type of relic that would drop.
11:20 New Zones - Dalaran - Is the Northrend Dalaran moving? Conceptually, yes, but the Northrend Dalaran will remain.
Eventually, you will fly in the Broken Isles, not immediately. The way we did it in WoD is a good compromise to allow the ground-based gameplay to shine and then reward players who have experienced the content with the ability to fly.
The first steps of the flying achievement will be introduced from the start of Legion so that players can work on it.
11:14 How did the Legion get to the Broken Isles? Twelve thousands years ago on this exact spot has been a huge festering wound on the face of the world. Night elves have sealed it by using the five Pillars of Creation and build Temple of Elune. Now it has burst open again and the Legion is pouring out.
11:10 Lore - We are in "our current" Azeroth. We need to fight off the Legion in a world we actually care about.
The core question is "why is the Legion so focused on taking over our world?"
Gul'Dan is under orders, plans he has to fulfill. Illidan is important to those plans.
Is Illidan a bad guy or is he on our side and won't he resent us? Illidan's pretty pissed off. We put him down and now we need to find him to help us. We don't know how he'll react, hope you're prepared for it!
11:08 We've been working on this expansion for a year, year and a half. It's something we kept under wraps and knew it would be happening since before Warlords.
11:07 am Tom Chilton, Ion Hazzikostas and Alex Afrasiabi take the stage.
11:00 am And we're off.
10:38 am Eastern Blizzard developers are on hand on the final day of Gamescom to talk to the world about the World of Warcraft expansion, Legion. The presentation is to begin at the top of the hour and we'll be live blogging the event, or you can watch for yourself in the embedded stream below.
During Gamescom this week, our own Gareth Harmer had the opportunity to interview Executive Producer and World of Warcraft Vice President J. Allen Brack to talk more about the Legion expansion. We've got some terrific new information to share.
Read more of Gareth Harmer's exclusive interview World of Warcraft - More About Legion - Melee Hunters, Artifact Transmogs & More.
With today's World of Warcraft expansion announcement of Legion, we have a full report of what we know so far. Check out the synopsis of the big press announcement from earlier today and then leave us your thoughts and impressions in the comments.
Read more of Suzie Ford's and Catherine Daro's World of Warcraft - What We Know About Legion So Far.
1:18 Beta to begin later this year.
1:16 Prestige Ranks - You can reset your honor level and start over for cosmetic rewards like portrait badges, unique mounts, and unique PvP artifact variants
1: 08 New PvP Honor System - Version 3 - A PvP Talent System - You progress through honor ranks 1-50 and earn perks/bonuses. You unlock talents as you go. These abilities will only work in PvP and gives differentiation between PvP and PvE. We want distinction in all the PvP classes and specs.
12:59 Demon Hunters - character creation - different horns types, sizes or none at all; tattoos; skin variations; different eyewear. They have a unique starting experience similar to how DKs did in Lich King. Havoc and Vengeance specs - Havoc is DPS, Vengeance is tank. Only two specs for Demon Hunters.
12:53 - Raids - The Emerald Nightmare will feature 7 bosses, Emerald Dream, twisted and shadowed, pursue Cenarius, face Xavius; Suramar Palace - 10 bosses, home to the Nightwell, center of Suramar's power, face off against Gul'dan
12:52 Dungeons - Eye of Azshara, Darkheart Thicket, Neltharion's Lair, Helheim, Suramar City, Violet Hold
12:47 Dungeons & Raids - Dungeons are the heart of what the MMO experience is. There will be more dungeons, more replayability and more of a long-term reason to keep coming back. Halls of Valor - in the clouds above Stormheim.
12:46 Champions will have more customization, more import in the world. They will enable the player to do greater deeds in the world. You'll work alongside and with them. They won't compete for rewards.
12:42 Class Orders - Players become the leader of your character's Class Order. Focus is on identity. They are working together as a class to fight the evil. The central theme of Legion is a heavy focus on class. We want you to feel different from other classes. A base of operations for your class. It's not personal, but is a private space for members of your class and will be thematically appropriate. It's where you go to make upgrades to your Artifact. You will have champions, an evolution of the Draenor system. Fewer followers, more meaningful. Think Knights of the Round Table. More world integration/interaction.
12:34 Each weapon has a UI interface that gives players choices to travel the path along the tree they wish. For instance, Raise Ally for a Frost DK can raise and ally to full health/mana or resurrect themselves. Players can unlock different looks for weapons.
12:31 Artifacts and Class Orders - Artifacts will feature 26 artifacts, one for each specialization. For instance, Frost Death Knights will seek out the remains of Frostmourne to create a pair of rune blades. Weapon's power is an extension of your own. Earn Artifact Powers as you adventure to unlock traits that empower your weapon and your character. Visual customizations can be added. Choose your path to greatness.
12:30 p.m. What about Valeria and Turelyon - Their time is here!
12:24 p.m. Val'Sharah, a forgotten druid location and face off against those wishing to unleash the Emerald Dream. We will go into the Emerald Nightmare and dispense some justice. In Stormheim, we'll learn the origins of the Val'Kyr. In Azsuna, the bones of the Night Elf civilization. You'll instantly see that this was once somewhere very special. Introduced to the Nightfallen. We'll be racing Queen Azshara to find a pillar in the area. Highmountain is the highest point in the Broken Isles, home of the Mountain Tauren. While here, we may run into Nesingwary (LOL!). Suramar will lead to a new race of elves. These elves have lived here for 10,000 years. They are pawns of the Burning Legion and they have the last relic we need.
12:22 p.m. We will turn to the Titans and the Pillars of Creation. Dalaran and the Mages of the Kirin Tor, led by Khadgar, will return and it will become a major hub for players.
12:20 p.m. We will see, through Illidan's eyes, the plight of the Demon Hunters, the Illidari. We will go into their past and experience what the Demon Hunters went through and then forge their future.
12:18 p.m. When the prelude ends, we'll wake to a world on fire. We will wield the fabled artifacts of those we've lost and for those who have lost hope. We will attempt to restore peace. We'll form class orders. Become a Demon Hunter!
12:17 p.m. This is the biggest demonic invasion of Azeroth ever, bigger than the War of the Ancients. This all begins before the expansion launches.
12:15 p.m. Story & Setting - The Broken Isles - Highmountain, Val'sharah, Stormheim, Suramar, Azsuna, Dalaran, Broken Shores, Thal'Dranath are the featured locations. It is a graveyard of sorts. The Tomb of Sargeras lies here.
12:11 p.m. The Burning Legion has returned! World of Warcraft - LEGION
12:09 p.m. Burning Legion takes the stage - Broken Isle continent, Adventure to level 110, harpies, new dungeons & raids, new Honor System, Artifact Weapons, class order halls, NEW HERO CLASS - DEMON HUNTER
12:08 p.m. Another video - the actual announcement trailer with features & concepts
12:07 p.m. Guldan walking through a cave, places fel-green hand on a doorway, perhaps ice? ILLIDAN!
12:07 p.m. A video to connect WoD to the next expac
12:06 p.m. It's gratifying for us to finally share it now.
12:05 p.m. Tom Chilton takes the stage
12:05 p.m. Where do we go next?
12:02 p.m. Video: The Story so far, a recap of Warlords
12:00 p.m. It begins!
11:15 a.m. EDT - We'll be live blogging the Blizzard World of Warcraft expansion announcement right here in this very spot. Keep your eyes on the site to find out as it is announced at the top of the hour. You can also watch the live stream below.
World of Warcraft subscriptions have plummeted to 5.6 million in Quarter 2, down from 7.1 million in Quarter 1. This reflects a loss of nearly half the subscribers from the launch of Warlords of Draenor in November 2014 when numbers soared over the 10 million mark, and over 1.5 million subscriptions lost since the last financial report was released earlier this year. Even the WoW token could not stave off subscriber loss after being introduced in Spring 2015.
Blizzard Entertainment had the largest online player community in its history, with Q2 MAUsB up 50% year-over-year. Though World of Warcraft® ended the quarter at 5.6 million subscribersC, Blizzard revenues are up year-over-year based on strong performance across the expanding Blizzard portfolio. On June 23, 2015, Blizzard Entertainment released, Fury of Hellfire, one of the largest non-expansion content updates to date for World of Warcraft.Thisnew content helped stabilize the subscriber number towards the end of the quarter. World of Warcraft remains the No. 1 subscription?based MMORPG in the world.
Meanwhile, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Destiny have combined to generate over 1.25 billion in revenue "life-to-date".
In a surprise post on the Battle.Net forums, community manager Micah "Bashiok" Whipple has announced that he is leaving Blizzard after twelve years with the company. He does not indicate where he is going, but we will be sure to keep you posted as the story develops.
I could pretty easily write a few thousand words right now, but I did my best to keep this brief.
I began working at Blizzard way back in October of 2003, and every day of my experience here has been shared with you, the players, and content creators, artists, bloggers, AddOn authors, podcasters, streamers, forum trolls, and— man, anyone remember the old Off-Topic forum back in the day? That place was just absolutely cuckoo bananas.
Anyway, Blizzard—and the community that surrounds it—has defined almost my entire adult life, and I am just so absolutely grateful to all of my friends here for having such an incredible and positive impact on who I am, and who I am yet to become. I don’t think I’ve had to make any decisions as difficult as the one to leave Blizzard, but a new opportunity has come my way, and I’ve decided to take it.
While I think it’s all still sinking in, the other day I realized I actually get to be surprised by Blizzard announcements and releases again. Which, as a lifelong fan and rabid gamer it makes me giddy thinking about being able to sit in the audience at BlizzCon, watching a stream, or reading the newest blog posts, and seeing whatever’s in store next—for the first time.
I’m looking forward to what’s next, and wishing you a life of joy, insatiable curiosity, and happy gaming.
Many WoW players are pinning their hopes on the Eye of Azshara, a name that Blizzard trademarked late last year (and the subject of our WoW column earlier this week). Rather than focus on what we’d like to see lore-wise, let’s take a few minutes to look at the things we’d like to see (and NOT see) from a feature standpoint in this next as-yet-unnamed expansion.
Read more of Suzie Ford's & Catherine Daro's World of Warcraft - What We'd Like to See (and Not See) in the Next Expansion.
Blizzard has just announced that a World of Warcraft expansion will indeed be announced at this year's Gamescom, ending speculation about what the special press event was going to reveal.
Join us Thursday, August 6 at 9 a.m. PDT for a special World of Warcraft event streamed live from gamescom 2015 in Cologne, Germany—where we’ll be unveiling the next chapter of the World of Warcraft saga. . . .
Tune in again Sunday, August 9 at 8:00 a.m. PDT for a World of Warcraft developer chat before the show ends, and find out more about what’s in store.
Stay tuned to our dedicated gamescom page for further details on the live stream. Those who are able to join us in person at gamescom can visit us at the Blizzard booth in hall 7.1. We hope to see you there!
Read more on the World of Warcraft site.
See what we think will be coming next in our latest World of Warcraft column.
World of Warcraft has reached the end of the Warlords of Draenor expansion with the deployment of the v6.2 update, and now that players have voiced their concerns (to put it kindly) with what has been felt to be a rather lackluster expansion to date, it seems a good time to begin thinking about what could possibly come next for World of Warcraft.
Read more of Suzie Ford's and Catherine Daro's World of Warcraft: Speculating on the Next Expansion.
The World of Warcraft community site has been updated with the news that this weekend's bonus event takes place on battlegrounds with 200% bonus to your honor gains. The event runs through Monday, July 27th.
Players can get an additional 500 Conquest Points by accepting and completing event-only quest called "A Call to Battle", which would require winning 4 battlegrounds.
In other PvP-related news, Community Manager Lore has written on the WoW forum that another hotfix to Ashran is on the way. Most notably, players will no longer be required to participate in Ashran to get to their weekly Conquest cap. In addition, all Conquest gear that was previously available only through Champion's Strongboxes will now be sold at PvP vendors with the exception of Accolade trinkets due to technical hurdles.
Note that, as a result of this change taking place, we no longer plan to make the Champion’s Strongboxes purchasable with Conquest points for players who have earned the Wild Conquest achievement. Since nearly all of the items in the Strongboxes will be directly purchasable with Conquest points themselves, we feel that this would just add unnecessary frustration or confusion if players were to spend their Conquest on a Strongbox instead of just buying the item they wanted.
Read more at the links above.
Wily Kotaku readers have pointed out a new World of Warcraft fan video by a player named BigCliffy. BigCliffy has made a hyperlapse video showing the enormity of Azeroth by traveling from one end of Kalimdor to the other, Eastern Kingdoms from end to end, and Pandaria from side to side. Of course a couple disconnected areas are missing, but if there's any doubt about the amount of things to see and do in WoW, this should relieve that. Check it out!
World of Warcraft players have long pined for graphical updates to the game and some are putting those dreams on film. A new fan video has been released showing a reimagined Westfall using the Unreal 4 engine. If only...
YouTube WoW fan Daniel L has also reimagined the Elwynn Forest in the Unreal 4 Engine as well. Take a look at the possibilities in the second video.
Blizzard has put out a last call for entries to the Blizzcon 2015 Movie, Art, and Talent contests. Entries come in the form of a YouTube video from this year and sent in according to each game's submission form on the Blizzard site.
All entries must be received by 11:59 PM PDT on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Don’t delay! The deadline to submit your entry for each contest is quickly approaching.
Find out more and read all of the details at the links above!
Blizzard has posted a few hysterical "S.E.L.F.I.E." pictures from the recent World of Warcraft Scavenger Hunt contest. Some of them are pretty funny such as a Human in Orgrimmar being targeted by Orc guards and a Tauren leaping from Dalaran's lofty perch.
Check out each week's winners on the World of Warcraft community site.
Taken any "S.E.L.F.I.E." pictures yourself? Let's see 'em!
Thought it seems that all things in Azeroth are quiet as we wait for news on the next expansion, that doesn't mean the IP is resting on its laurels in other media. In this week's column, we finally get a good look at the upcoming Warcraft film and take a look at other Comic Con announcements.
Read more of Reza Lackey's All Things Warcraft: Warcraft Movie First Look.