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.
What has me wondering, however, is what those massive gaps in the Blizzcon schedule mean. These are the times and places that are usually reserved for THE BIG THING™ that Blizzard is most keenly focused on in any given year. A cursory look shows that the Keynote will take place on Friday morning, ending at 11:45 a.m. Then nothing, not a single thing sits on the schedule until after 2:00 p.m. This is not the Blizzcon of the past and it is prime gaming real estate.
Read more of Suzie Ford's Blizzcon 2014: Mysterious Schedule Gaps Breed Speculation.
With Warlords of Draenor almost upon us, World of Warcraft is riding a bit higher these days. Player numbers are up, and the hype is kicking in for the release in just a couple of weeks. Yet, Warlords of Draenor is being released in a different MMORPG mood and market this time around, even for Blizzard. Warlords promises a mix of advancement and nostalgia, and it really couldn’t come at a better time. With WoW’s 10th anniversary, the game is indeed an aging one, but one with loyalty like none other. Blizzard looks to go into this one with a new refocused view on WoW and its community.
Read more of Christina Gonzalez's The Social Hub: The Spotlight Falls on Draenor.
Blizzard has started a four-part "Artcraft" series that will give World of Warcraft fans an inside look at how the art team creates the exterior environments in and around the Nagrand zone in the upcoming expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Lead Level Designer Julian Morris kicks off today's article with a general look at how the design process is approached.
The level design team is a hybrid of both art and design. We work hand in hand with the quest design team to build the environmental stories that support the content that defines Azeroth’s lands, cultures, and conflicts.
We also work every step of the way with all of the art groups on the Warcraft team. Working with the environment art team, we sculpt and paint the landscapes to create the rich, vibrant settings that form the foundation of the world. Within those spaces we work with the dungeon team, designing and constructing the thousands of camps, towns, settlements, and cities that provide the unique architectural beauty that anchors all of our cultures and creatures to the world. These locations in turn provide the scenes and staging for the finely crafted set dressing—the tables, chairs, books, and more—that our prop art team creates.
Read the rest on the World of Warcraft community site.
I don’t normally do lists. In the spirit of full disclosure I think I’ve only written one list on this site before. I’m not really sure what sparked me to create a list for this week’s column. It probably had to do with all the David Letterman I watched last week, which is something I also never really do, but they had the Foo Fighters on all week as their house musical guests and had some tremendous performances. I’ve also been on a bit of a World of Warcraft kick since I logged back in last week to check out patch 6.0.2. For those that have missed it 6.0.2 is the patch prepping the game for the launch of the fifth expansion Warlords of Draenor. So in the spirit of Letterman and with an eye to next month’s WoD release here is my list of the Top Ten Reasons to look forward to Warlords of Draenor.
Read more of Rob Lashley's World of Warcraft: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to WoD.
Fans of classic heavy metal will be happy to hear that Metallica will be performing at this year's Blizzcon to be held in early November in Anaheim, California. The iconic band will be performing on November 8th to a sold-out show.
Metallica is coming to BlizzCon® 2014! On November 8, Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration will culminate with Metallica performing to a sold-out convention crowd, broadcast worldwide through the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket.
“We’re thrilled to have Metallica blowing out our speakers at BlizzCon this year,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “After two full days of epic gaming and intense eSports action, an earth-shaking concert is the perfect sendoff for everyone at the show and watching from home.”
Source: Blizzard press site
This week in All Things Warcraft we talk numbers, the pre-expansion patch and anticipate a look at the Warcraft film at BlizzCon.
REd more of Reza Lackey's All Things Warcraft: Numbers Up, Blizzcon & the Iron Horde.
The first round of balance changes have been patched into World of Warcraft. Hunters saw the most significant change as many felt the class had been nerfed into the ground. The overall damage for many Hunter skills has been increased ~15%. Several other classes saw significant increases in damage, while others, most notably Fury Warriors and Arcane Mages, took a hit in the damage department due in large part to one-shot kill abilities in PvP.
Check to see how your favorite class fare in round one of class balancing on the World of Warcraft community site.
The last time Blizzard introduced a content update to World of Warcraft was September 10th, 2013. That was the Siege of Orgrimmar patch. It has been a long time since Blizzard has updated their game, especially when you consider they charge a subscription. Finally relief is in sight, however. With the release of the fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor (WoD), imminent Blizzard has released patch 6.0.2 The Iron Tide, or what I like to refer to as the Squish patch.
Read more of Rob Lashley's World of Warcraft: The Iron Horde is Coming.
In anticipation of the forthcoming World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor expansion, subscriptions are up over 600,000 and places WoW subscriber population at 7.5M. This significant jump nearly erases the 800,000 subscriber loss experienced by WoW in the quarter ending at the end of June 2014.
IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A wave of destruction washes over the land as an army of orcs pours through the Dark Portal. With today's launch of World of Warcraft Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide, the Iron Horde's invasion of Azeroth has begun! More than 7.4 million of Azeroth's champions have taken up their positions on the front line, ready to face the full might of the Iron Horde with the upcoming release of the Warlords of Draenor expansion on November 13.
Features introduced with today's Iron Tide content update include:
- "Iron Horde Incursion" World Event: players looking to upset the Iron Horde invasion can journey to the Blasted Lands to face down the onslaught and venture into the revamped five-player version of the Upper Blackrock Spire dungeon
- New Character Models: several of the game's original races are new and improved, with increased resolution as well as updated animations and facial expressions
- Interface Improvements: questing is now easier than ever with an updated quest log and inventory changes, including a Toy Box for the fun items players acquire through their adventures
- Character and Class Changes: myriad character- and class-specific updates are now live, making this a great time for players to refamiliarize themselves with their characters ahead of the expansion's November 13 launch
Full details on the changes and new features added to the gametoday can be found in the patch notes.
After nearly twelve hours of downtime, World of Warcraft North American players can log into the game to check out the massive changes that have arrived with the Iron Tide update, the precursor to next month's Warlords of Draenor expansion.
Updated Character Models: The Dwarf, Draenei, Gnome, Human, Night Elf, Orc, Tauren, Troll, and Undead models have all been updated! Blood Elves, Goblins, and Worgen are planned to be updated at a future point in time. If you want to customize your face to tweak your new look, you’ll be able to visit your local Barber Shop and pay a small fee. You can also view all of the updated models within our character viewer.
Class Ability, Spell, and Talent Changes: We’ve made lots of changes to how each class plays in preparation for Warlords of Draenor. Check out the full patch notes here to read up on what’s new with your favorite class.
Character Undelete: Regret wiping that Death Knight from existence? You’ll now be able to use the new Undelete Character feature if you’ve accidentally deleted a character—or just changed your mind about its fate. Read the post to find out more about this feature, including some important restrictions.
Character Name Reclamation: As of this patch, we’ve released the names of any characters that have not logged into the game since November 13, 2008. Read more about it here.
Read more on the World of Warcraft community site.
Blizzard has announced that a new comic by Robert Brooks that is based on the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor expansion is now available. Called "Blackhand", the comic centers around one of the faction leaders that players will encounter when returning to the past in Draenor.
Blizzard has a new post that indicates that the 'bridge' patch preceding the Warlords of Draenor expansion to World of Warcraft will drop on Tuesday, October 14th. The patch will bring in the new class skills and updates, as well as quality of life improvements such as the Toy Box, dedicated bags, the ability to make a 'favorite mounts' list and more.
Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide is scheduled to crash into Azeroth on Tuesday, October 14. Featuring new content heralding the Iron Horde incursion, updates to the skills and abilities for every class, and a host of gameplay adjustments, this overture to Warlords of Draenor is coming at you armed to the teeth.
The Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands has turned blood red. Hundreds of strange-looking orcs are violently pouring into Azeroth, killing everything that stands in their path. Nethergarde and Okril’lon have already fallen, and while the Horde and the Alliance moved as quickly as they could to get reinforcements to their people, they are too late. The Iron Horde invasion has begun.
In this desperate hour, King Wrynn and Warchief Vol’jin have called upon their greatest champions to join the front lines in the Blasted Lands and do whatever they can to stop the Iron Horde . . . before the rest of Azeroth falls before them.
Word of this surprise attack sends players rushing to the Blasted Lands to reckon with the barbarous infiltration. After the fall of a high ranking Iron Horde general named Gar’mak Bladetwist, you’ll report what you’ve witnessed in the Blasted Lands to King Wrynn or Warchief Vol’jin. It’s apparent to both the Horde and the Alliance that this is only the first salvo in a much larger conflict, and the only way to win is to take the fight directly to the Iron Horde . . . by journeying through the Dark Portal into Draenor.
The Infiltration of Blackrock Spire
An advance party of Iron Horde forces has barged right out of the Blasted Lands and pushed all the way to Blackrock Mountain, where they found refuge and supplies in Upper Blackrock Spire. There can be only one response: the Alliance and the Horde of Azeroth must face this iron incursion head on.
Available to level-90 characters for a limited time, this specially revamped five-player version of Upper Blackrock Spire sets the stage for the coming counterstrike against the Iron Horde. Here, you will face Orebender Gor'ashan, Kyrak, and Commander Tharbek as you begin to take the fight to the enemy and sharpen the skills—and swords—you’ll need to succeed on an unwelcoming alien world.
Prepare yourself. Draenor is waiting.
Source: World of Warcraft community site
The third in a series of articles to provide information about garrisons has appeared on the World of Warcraft site. Garrisons will arrive with the Warlords of Draenor expansion due out next month and followers will play a major role in the game.
Once your Garrison starts to come together, with a Barracks up and running, you’ll encounter your first Follower and send him on his first mission. You’ll use the command table in the Garrison to activate the Followers window, which allows you to manage your Followers. Therein, you’ll have a searchable list of all Followers available to you in the game and all of the information you need to work with them: their class, spec, quality, abilities, traits, level, xp needed to reach next level, and what they’re currently up to. Followers can level up to 100 just like you can, and you’ll want to level them up, as each Follower becomes more powerful as she gains levels.
While you aren’t restricted from collecting as many Followers as you like, your Garrison can only operate properly with a maximum of 20 active Followers (this number is increased to 25 if your Garrison features a level 3 Barracks). Followers can be inactivated to maintain the total population you’re going for, and inactive Followers don’t forfeit any of their experience while waiting for you to activate them again later.
Read the rest on the World of Warcraft community site.
The World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, will feature a level cap increase from 90 to 100. To help players gear up and get to 100 in a smooth arc, four dungeons will open with the expansion. Bloodmaul Slay Mines (90-92), Iron Docks (92-94), Auchindoun (94-97) and Skyreach (97-99) give players a smooth progression to near the level cap.
Bloodmaul Slag Mines
Some like it hot and others are simply slaves within it. This level 90-92 dungeon takes you into the sweltering heat of active volcanic caverns wherein Bloodmaul ogres run a brutal mining operation powered by the blood and sweat of slaves acquisitioned from all across Draenor. The Slag Mines produce a bounty of gemstones and ore, but it’s rumored that the true purpose of these mines is to dig for an ancient relic of immense power.
You’ll encounter four new bosses and a lot of fire power as you try to disrupt their machinations. We’re sure you’ve learned that ancient relics in the hands of – well anyone– are probably not going to lead to very good things. You know what to do, heroes.
Read more about each dungeon on the World of Warcraft site.