WoW Celebrates Its 10-Year Anniversary

WoW

Remarkably, considering its continued success, World of Warcraft will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this November, having originally launched on November 23, 2004. To celebrate, Blizzard will be hosting a special in-game event and giving away a new pet.

Whether you’re interested in PvP or PvE content, there will be at least one thing for you to do during the event. PvE players at the level cap will be able to take part in a special 40-player Raid Finder version of the Molten Core raid. Completing the raid will get you a Core Hound mount and an accompanying achievement.

PvP players can relive the old Horde-versus-Alliance battles that used to take place around Tarren Mill and Southshore, where I can fondly remember being killed countless times. Blizzard will offer a “team deathmatch-style” Battleground that is “based on that timeless struggle.” Being a proper Battleground, there will actually be a victor determined this time around, whereas those old battles never really ended.

Finally, by logging in during the anniversary event, you’ll be able to get yourself the adorable Molten Corgi pictured to the right.

A date for when the event will run has not been announced. Blizzard describes this all as a “quick preview,” so it’s possible we haven’t heard about everything it will offer. We do know it’s not the only new content coming to WoW this year, as the game’s next expansion pack, Warlords of Draenor, is scheduled for release this fall. Blizzard plans on unveiling the expansion’s cinematic video and release date at a special event next week.

As of June 30, WoW had 6.8 million subscribers, according to publisher Activision Blizzard. That’s a significant drop from where it was three months earlier, but it’s still a huge figure, and one likely to increase when Warlords of Draenor is released.

What are your fondest memories of the past decade of WoW?

WoW Patch 5.4: Prepared for Arena Changes?

Patch 5.4 is the last forthcoming content patch in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. It will be released mid September, if testing goes smooth. Blizzard announced several changes being deployed to the PvP System.

Participating has been made more convenient and competitive than before.
Competition is limited to realms within a Battlegroup, and the ability to participate in the Arena system requires players from the same realm.

You can now play with any player, regardless of their realm. You’ll just add their Real ID and that’s it! If you want to compete, you need to create an Arena Team.

No need to create Arena Teams. Queuing works similarly to Rated Battlegrounds. You will be able to queue for an Arena battle in a party of the appropriate size (2v2, 3v3, 5v5). Opponents are selected based on the average Match Making Rating of your party.

Mechanics in the Arena system remain as they were. You will lose personal rating based on your wins and losses, but the Conquest Point cap will be based on your Personal Rating. Rating requirements to purchase items will also be based on your Personal Rating.

The Arena Ladder wiis not sorted according to a certain Battlegroup. Just like RBGs and normal BGs, Arenas will be region-wide.

Flexible Raiding coming to World of Warcraft in Patch 5.4

World of Warcraft upcoming content update Patch 5.4 is bringing with it a new type of raid called Flexible Raiding. The new raiding type is catered towards smaller social groups of friends and family, smaller guilds that try to include as many members as possible, and casual WoW gamers.
“During the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the 10-player Normal difficulty served these groups of players pretty well, but the unification of 10-player and 25-player into a single difficulty effectively eliminated that niche. While Raid Finder mode is extremely accessible, it doesn’t provide smaller groups with a tight-knit social experience while progressing through the content. In Patch 5.4, we’re planning to introduce a new mode of raiding that allows us to deliver the sort of experience that we think these players are looking for.”
The Flexible Raid system includes a new difficulty that’s between the Raid Finder and Normal difficulty. It will be available for premade groups of 10 to 25 players. Any number of players in between will be able to participate. The difficulty/challenge of the raid will scale automatically to the amount of players you have in the raid. There’s also no Item Level requirement for the Flexible Raid system. Since it’s pre-made groups participating with no matchmaking system, you set your own requirements, if you want any at all.
There’s a new Item Level that’s being introduced for Flexible Raiding. Flexible mode will award loot with an Item Level that sits between Raid Finder and Normal quality. It will also “use the Raid Finder’s “per person” loot system, specialization choices, and bonus rolls, so you won’t need to worry about bringing the ‘wrong’ person and having them win that piece of gear you’ve long been waiting for.”

World of Warcraft: v5.3 ‘Escalation’

World of Warcraft players can update their game clients to the latest v5.3 version. Called ‘Escalation’, the new patch brings new scenarios, a new battleground and arena, pet accuracy updates and much more into WoW.

  • Four new scenarios including Heroic Mode – A heroic difficulty option is now available to players seeking a greater challenge.
  • New Battleground and Arena – Deepwind Gorge (Battleground) and Tiger’s Peak (arena) offer players new PvP experiences..
  • Battlefield: Barrens – a new world event expands on the growing tension between the Horde and Alliance.
  • Brawler’s Guild Updates – Two new tiers and eight new bossesare awaiting the mightiest adventurers.
  • Pet Battle Accuracy Updates – Broad accuracy changes were made to reduce the uncontrolled amount of randomness.
  • Item Upgrades Return – The Voidbinders have returned allowing players to upgrade their PvE and PvP gear.
  • Loot Specialization – Players have more control over loot drops and quest rewards they receive.
  • Major PvP Changes – We’ve narrowed the PvP gear gap and made it more accessible for all players.

The top 10 most beautiful spots in WoW

World of Warcraft sometimes gets panned for its graphics, which have never been on the bleeding edge of virtual reality. This, however, was a deliberate choice on Blizzard’s part, and I think it’s a good one. It allows for people who are behind the hardware curve (such as myself) to enjoy the game, and the graphics’ intentional cartoonishness holds up better over time than hyper-realistic renderings, which often seem horribly dated within months. More importantly, WoW‘s beauty hasn’t suffered for it. Azeroth is stunning.

1. The beach behind Ahn’Qiraj
2. The Bitter Reaches (Azshara)
3. Dalaran (Crystalsong Forest)
4. Oneiros/Jademir Lake (Feralas)
5. The river mouth in southern Howling Fjord
6. Sun’s Reach Harbor (Isle of Quel’Danas)
7. Shrine of Fellowship (Jade Forest)
8. Halaani Basin (Nagrand)
9. Whispering Forest (Tirisfal Glades)
10. Tenebrous Cavern (Vashj’ir)

World of Warcraft: Throne of Thunder LFR wing available now

Although easy to access, the looking for raid system (LFR) in “World of Warcraft” is gated by a number of factors. An item level is required to access each raid and even though the Throne of Thunder raid released with patch 5.2, all the wings were opened individually over the past several weeks. Today, the fourth and final wing of the Throne of Thunder opened up to LFR players.

This wing, the Pinnacle of Storms, includes Iron Qon, the Twin Consorts, and Lei Shen. Players need an item level of 480 to access the Throne of Thunder.

First, gamers will encounter Iron Qon. He is a mogu riding upon different quilen during four phases of the fight. Next, the Twin Consorts are up. These are two female mogu, the only two female mogu, carved out by the Thunder King as personal guard. Finally, players will battle Lei Shen, the Thunder King himself.

World of Warcraft: The Horde rebellion

Loyalty, and its limits, are pretty big underlying themes in WoW‘s current story arc. As of patch 5.1, the WoW poster child for complex loyalties and their consequences is Aethas Sunreaver. Aethas has a divided heart. He is a blood elf (and was, once upon a time, a high elf) and as such, he is loyal to Quel’Thalas. But he is also a citizen of Dalaran, it’s his adopted homeland, and he also wishes to be loyal to Dalaran. These are loyalties he has tried to juggle for three expansions now, and they finally, inevitably, came to a head. Aethas’ failure in patch 5.1 lies in either his own arrogance or naivete, that he couldn’t see the truth: in this day and age, in Azeroth, those loyalties were irreconcilable. Once Quel’Thalas had decided to ally with the Horde, a longtime enemy of Dalaran, it was only a matter of time before that political division bore consequences for individuals. Aethas’ own refusal to choose is ultimately what led to his choice being forced.

In this sense. Most people sympathize with his impulse toward reconciliation. Why shouldn’t he have tried? History was on his side. Quel’Thalas and Dalaran have, in fact, been traditional allies for quite a long time, much longer than they have been enemies. I don’t think his hope was unreasonable, but it did turn out to be impossible. There is just too much bad blood – on many sides – for any sort of truce to exist at this point, and it will likely be a very long time before those wounds are healed enough for bridges to be rebuilt. Sometimes compromise just isn’t an option.

Know Your Lore: Jaina Proudmoore and the Kirin Tor

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You’re playing the game, you’re fighting the bosses, you know the how — but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

For most players, the Kirin Tor are simply one of many factions available during Wrath of the Lich King. They ran the city of Dalaran, once located just north of the Hillsbrad Foothills, then later relocated to Northrend. In Wrath, players both Alliance and Horde could earn reputation with the Kirin Tor — the Kirin Tor didn’t have a faction bias. They were quite happily a neutral organization, far more interested in matters of magic and learning than any political matters.

But there is far more to the story of the Kirin Tor, and to the city-state of Dalaran. And now that the Kirin Tor has a new leader, it’s taking those first few steps away from neutrality and into alignment. Because of this, the Kirin Tor has stepped into a dangerous new light, one with some ethical questions that are far, far more political than one would expect from a collection of mages and intellectuals united under one banner.

Patch 5.2 PTR: Battle with the Blues tomorrow

Do you ever wish you could play WoW with the blues? If you’re on the PTR, tomorrow’s your opportunity to do so. Several Blizzard employees will be on the PTR tomorrow afternoon, queuing for random battlegrounds as part of stress testing for the 5.2 patch. If you’ve ever wanted to test your mettle against Blizzard employees, this is the perfect chance to do so. Simply log on the PTR between 4:30-6:30PM PST, and queue up for a random battleground.

SapperwixGreetings Champions!
Tomorrow on the PTR Blizzard employees are going to be storming the Battlegrounds. We’re going to be doing some stress testing in preparation of the upcoming 5.2 patch.

For your chance to match steel and spell with some of Blizzard’s finest sign on to the PTR realms tomorrow 3/1/13 from 4:30-6:30pm PST and queue up for Random Battlegrounds.

We’ll be queuing as teams, you’ll be able to distinguish us by our guilds “Blizzard Horde” and “Blizzard Alliance”.
See you on the fields of honor!

Blue poster Bashiok tweeted a very special message for all that are considering participation:

Hey, please jump on the PTR tomorrow and shame these guys. Tell them Bashiok sent you as you /hug their corpse. bit.ly/XdPLb7

- Bashiok (@Bashiok) February 28, 2013

Blizzard’s Build Big, Win Big Mega Bloks contest Winners announced

The winners for Blizzard’s Build Big, Win Big contest from Mega Bloks have now been announced on the official website. While there could only be one Grand Prize winner, the contest result showed off ten third prize winners, and five second prize winners as well. The Grand Prize winner, Bradley Tingstad, gets to celebrate with one year of WoW and a gigantic pile of prizes, including copies of all five World of Warcraft Collector’s Editions. That’s one heck of a prize!

The contest, announced late last year, asked enterprising builders to combine their World of Warcraft Mega Bloks sets into new combinations. The winning entries did just that, some with astonishing results, and all with a display of imagination and creativity.

Blizzard’s post on the official website has photos of the Grand Prize entry — a remarkably adept replica of a goblin shredder — as well as the second place winners. For photos of the third prize winners, as well as more images of the winning entries, you can head to the official Build, Big, Win Big! Facebook app.