Current state of raiding, and raiding in Warlords of Draenor

The current state of raiding is excellent according to many raiders i’ve chatted with. During MoP we’ve received some nice raids, Art, and encounter wise, Such as Mogu’shan vaults, Heart of Fear, Throne of Thunder, and of course the beautiful Siege of Orgrimmar.

These raids are the perfect amount of hard, and easy.  I Think Warlords of Draenor will bring raiding to the next level with the new flex raiding, and mythic raiding that we’ll be able to do, and on seperate lockouts!

I look forward to seeing what blizzard will bring to the table during Warlords of Draenor. We’ll see you guys there.

BlizzCon 2014 on November 7-8 — Ticket Sales on May 7-10

Get ready for Blizzard Entertainment’s eighth BlizzCon® gaming convention and community celebration, taking place November 7-8

Tickets on sale May 7 and May 10

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IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– Alert your guilds, clans, houses, and fellowships—Blizzard Entertainment today announced plans for its eighth BlizzCon® gaming convention, taking place Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California . Terrans, nephalem, Alliance, and Horde from across the multiverse are invited to join Blizzard for a two-day celebration at the nexus of all things Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo®.

Tickets to BlizzCon will go on sale in two batches, one on May 7 and the other on May 10 . In addition, a limited number of tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children’s Hospital of Orange County will go on sale May 14 .

“BlizzCon is always the biggest highlight of the year for us,” said Mike Morhaime , CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment . “With Hearthstone™ and Reaper of Souls™ recently launched and Heroes of the Storm™ and Warlords of Draenor™ gearing up for beta, 2014 is already shaping up to be an epic year for Blizzard gamers. We can’t wait to celebrate and share what we’ve been working on with everyone this November.”

In addition to serving as the gravitational gathering point for Blizzard Entertainment’s gaming communities, BlizzCon will offer attendees a chance to enjoy:

  • Hands-on play time with the latest versions of Blizzard Entertainment games
  • Global finals for Blizzard eSports, including the StarCraft® II World Championship Series Global Finals
  • In-depth discussion panels with Blizzard game developers and artists
  • Competitive and casual tournaments for players to showcase their talents
  • Community contests with great prizes
  • Commemorative merchandise based on Blizzard Entertainment’s game universes
  • More activities and attractions to be announced

Tickets to attend the convention will be priced at $199 USD (plus applicable taxes and fees) each and will be available for purchase from the online event ticketing service Eventbrite via their website (www.blizzcon2014.eventbrite.com) in two separate batches. The first batch goes on sale at 7 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday, May 7 , and the second batch goes on sale at 10 a.m. Pacific time on Saturday, May 10 .

Tickets to the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner, which include admission to BlizzCon, will be priced at $750 USD (plus applicable taxes and fees) each, with proceeds going to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (http://www.choc.org) to support their Feeding Therapy Program. Taking place the evening of November 6 , this exclusive event offers guests an opportunity to /eat, /drink, and geek out with developers, artists, and other folks from Blizzard before the show—all for a great cause. Approximately 200 tickets to the benefit dinner will be available for purchase beginning 7 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday, May 14 through www.blizzcon2014.eventbrite.com.

Gamers from the far reaches of Azeroth, the Koprulu sector, and Sanctuary looking to enjoy BlizzCon from the comfort of their own home will once again have the option to order a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multichannel Internet stream. Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, and programming information, will be announced at a later date.

For further details about BlizzCon 2014, including ticket availability and pricing, visit the official BlizzCon website (www.blizzcon.com). Those interested in attending the show in person can make advance hotel reservations now and receive special BlizzCon rates by booking through the BlizzCon hotel website.

Blizzard Entertainment is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at www.blizzard.com/jobs.

[WoW Source ] Episode 3 : Warlords of Draenor PvP and Class Changes

Today, a new episode of WoW Source starring with  Ion Hazzikostas,  Kris Zierhut and  Brian Holinka has been uploaded, giving a lot of informations about the changes for Warlords of Draenor.

In the latest episode of WoW Source, Morgan Webb sits down with Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut, and Senior Game Designer Brian Holinka to discuss the PvP and class updates coming in Warlords of Draenor. Viewers will also get a sneak peek at the new PvP zone Ashran and learn more about the return of Skirmishes.

 

Activision Blizzard to Release First Quarter 2014 Financial Results on May 6, 2014

Activision Blizzard announced the next Financial Results conference call will take place on May 6th at 1:30pm PST / 4:30pm EST.

As usual, Blizzard Entertainment CEO Mike Morhaime is expected to present his report about Blizzard games’ progress and overall performance for the first quarter of 2014.

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Speculation Mode-On

Before starting, I wish to point out that most of the time these conference calls do not share any new details and sometimes no official announcements about upcoming games.

However, there have been precedents in past conference calls where Mike Morhaime has announced BlizzCon that year, at one point he offered an ETA range for the StarCraft II beta testing (which started 2 weeks after the conference call), and other interesting news bits might happen during his speech at the Activision Blizzard financial results conference call. Thus, nothing can be ruled out about upcoming Blizzard games/expansions, but don’t hold your breath.

Things I can think of at the tip of my mind that “might” be discussed:

Combat Resurrection in Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard has recently added to Warlords of Draenor Alpha Patch Notes some information about changes in the current Combat Resurrection system.

But before presenting them, let’s talk a little bit about Combat Resurrection?

Have you ever thought about how the combat resurrection is important for PvE Players? And how a change on it’s dynamics can change almost every raid boss fight we can find in World of Warcraft?

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Many non-hardcore raid groups – those that make a nice progression without rushing for it - get to the point of including in their strategies the use of combat resurrection at specific moments of the fight to succeed. That helps us understand how important that perk is for mechanics as a whole, and also explains why Blizzard keep changing it as new expansions come to light.

Back in Vanilla we had an almost infinite Combat Resurrection possibility, although it was not considered exactly legitimate it was a legal use of game mechanics. After many expansions the number of times a group could resurrect a member has changed and fixed to make the raiding experience the most strategic it could be.

For Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard is coming with a new set of restrictions which comes to make the “Battle Res” more transparent and understandable. Let’s take a look.

Combat resurrections are an extremely powerful tool that players have while in combat. Naturally, we apply some limitations. In Mists of Pandaria, that limit was 1 resurrection during a given raid boss encounter for 10-player modes and 3 for 25-player modes. With Flexible difficulty introduced in Patch 5.4, we erred on the forgiving side, and gave Flexible Raids 3 resurrections regardless of raid size.

In Warlords of Draenor, the Flex tech has expanded to more difficulty levels, and we needed a new system to handle combat resurrections more fairly. We knew that continuing with a constant 3 would encourage using the smallest possible raid sizes, while scaling with hard breakpoints would discourage specific group sizes just under those points. Additionally, the limit is not shown anywhere in-game, so it can be easy to lose track of how many resurrections the raid has available (or even know that the limit exists).

So we’ve built a new system to be more transparent, and improve usability.

  • During a boss encounter, all combat resurrection spells now share a single raid-wide pool of charges that’s visible on the action bar button.
  • Upon engaging a boss, all combat resurrection spells will have their cooldowns reset and begin with 1 charge. Charges will accumulate at a rate of 1 per (90/RaidSize) minutes.

Example 1: A 10-player raid will accumulate 1 charge every 9 minutes (90/10 = 9).

Example 2: A 20-player raid will accumulate 1 charge every 4.5 minutes (90/20 = 4.5).

  • A charge will only be deducted when a combat resurrection is successful (when the target accepts the resurrection).
  • Raid frames now show a debuff indicating that a dead player has a pending combat resurrection available.
  • Outside of raid boss encounters, combat resurrection spells retain their normal cooldown behavior.
 

I’d like to highlight two things about the new system. The first is how often the Combat Resurrection will be able for use. In Warlords, we’re going to have the maximum of 30 players in a Raid group (Flex). In a group of that size a Combat Res will be available every 3 minutes. Whether it’s good or not, now is not the time for us to judge. That will depend on many factors, such as the very difficulty of the fights on the upcoming expansion.

Other important point is the UI tracking all of that information. This will make the resurrection a lot more transparent and easy to control for every player. Not to mention it will make Raid Leader’s life a lot more confortable.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Collector’s Edition Still in Stock & Cheaper

After two years, the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Collector’s Edition is still in stock at a 19% reduced price tag.

The Collector’s Edition of Mists of Pandaria includes the full version of the game on DVD-ROM and contains the following exclusive bonus items as listed in product features:

  • Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-Ray: Learn about the creation of Pandaria with this two-disc set featuring over an hour of commentary, insider interviews, and developer roundtables.

  • Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CD: Experience 20 orchestral pieces from Mists of Pandaria.

  • The Art of Mists of Pandaria Book: Explore this 208-page hardcover tome featuring never-before-seen pieces from the expansion, from early concepts to final 3D renderings.

  • Chen Stormstout Mouse Pad: Equip your desk with this special-edition mouse pad featuring the legendary pandaren brewmaster.

  • World of Warcraft in-game Mystical Imperial Quilen flying mount

  • World of Warcraft Lucky Quilen Cub in-game pet

  • Exclusive Infested Orc and Night Elf Templar StarCraft II Battle.net portraits

  • Diablo III banner sigil and accent

New pictures from Warlords of Draenor on the Screenshot of the Day

Seems it’s time for another update for the World of Warcraft community website. From now on, the Screenshot of the Day will be updated with pictures from Warlords of Draenor, so keep an eye on it every days !

With development on World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor well underway, the Screenshot of the Day section on the World of Warcraft community site will now feature unique Warlords of Draenor images every day, showcasing a variety of new creatures, characters, and environments from the upcoming expansion. Be sure to stop by daily for the latest look at what’s waiting within Draenor.

 

PAX East 2014 – World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is officially slated to ship on Fall 2014. PAX East attendees had the opportunity to play the Alpha at the Boston Convention Center’s demo stations. Blizzplanet correspondent Anthony Vaughan has a short interview with the developers (to be posted early this week) where they provided details of the Mists of Pandaria world event leading to Warlords of Draenor. Whether there will be changes to the world of Azeroth with this incoming invasion of the Iron Horde into the present. Stay tuned.

There were a couple of other community interviews held at PAX East.


Product Overview

The heroes of Azeroth are on the verge of a war that will reforge the fate of two worlds. World of Warcraft®: Warlords of Draenor™, the fifth expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, sends players to the world of Draenor at a pivotal moment in history to fight against and alongside legends from Warcraft’s brutal past.

Across Draenor’s savage jungles and battle-scarred plains, Azeroth’s heroes will engage in a mythic conflict involving mystical draenei champions and mighty orc clans, and cross axes with the likes of Grommash Hellscream, Blackhand, and Ner’zhul at the height of their primal power. Players will need to scour this unwelcoming land in search of allies to help build a desperate defense against the Iron Horde’s formidable engine of conquest—or else watch their own world’s bloody, war-torn history repeat itself.

For more details about World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, visit the official website.

GAME FEATURES

  • Explore a Savage World: Explore the hostile world of Draenor, home of the orc and draenei races, as it once existed, and adventure in all-new zones alongside characters central to Warcraft history.
  • Build Your Garrison: Construct, command, and expand your own customizable stronghold on Draenor, and gather NPC followers to collect resources and embark on missions on your orders.
  • Jump to Level 90: Boost one character of your choosing to be ready to adventure on Draenor, making it easier than ever to enjoy the latest content alongside your friends— available now when you pre-purchase the expansion!
  • New Player Character Art: Character models and animations for many of World of Warcraft’s existing playable races are being fully revamped in keeping with the game’s iconically epic style.
  • Adventure to Level 100: Reach new heights of power and unlock bonuses to further enhance your abilities on your way to the new level cap of 100.
  • …And More: Take on a wide array of Dungeons, Raids, Scenarios, Battlegrounds, Challenge Modes, and more—no matter what kind of content you enjoy, new adventures await.

 


Gallery

 

PAX East 2014 – World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Recap

All PAX East attendees who play the Warlords of Draenor demo got a beta key to be used at a later time when closed beta begins.

There were a few websites who had the opportunity to interview the Warlords of Draenor developers. I’ll update this page often to collect some of them. Blizzplanet correspondent Anthony has an interview which will go up during the week.

This one is from MMORPG.com, and discusses Garrisons in general.

Perculia (WoWHead) interviewed Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut and Game Designer Steve Burke about Warlords of Draenor.

Gamespot talked with Steve Burke about Garrisons and low-end computer systems can still choose low-res models.

[Artcraft] The Daughter of Argus

Lugìa: A few moments ago, Blizzard published another Artcraft about the revamp of the character models, and this time it is about the female Draenei (not a April Fool this time!), enjoy that space-goat !

Medievaldragon: I wish to point out to our visitors that this ArtCraft is only a sneak peek. The developer assigned to the development of the female draenei model hasn’t finished. Once the model is finished, it will be sent to the animators where the model will be tweaked for some time to add facial and body animations. Blizzard might have something more juicy to show at a later time.

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Hello again! I’m Senior Art Director Chris Robinson, and today we wanted to give you a super quick look at our current progress with the new female Draenei.

After the April Fools’ joke we wanted to ensure you weren’t waiting too long to see where we’re at with her actual character model update. Keep in mind that she’s still in-progress, and doesn’t have any animation to pose her body or face.

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Animation is a big factor for the female Draenei specifically, so it’s important to keep it in mind when comparing the two. The original female Draenei has some fairly extreme posing that happens when she’s animated. If you were to see the static model of the original without any posing you’d see that it looks very similar to the new one. With her pose applied her shoulders stretch backward, her pelvis rotates forward, and her chin lowers—causing her head to angle downwards. The curvature in her lower back, and why the head shape looks slightly different, are also due to the new model not having the same posing applied yet. She also looks a lot taller! Ultimately all of those things will be addressed when we animate the new model, they just don’t take place until she’s rigged and sent on to the animation team.

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We hope you enjoyed this super quick look at where we’re at right now, and we’ll continuing sharing more in-progress art as we go forward. The next article in the Artcraft series we’re planning is a look at the creation of the Spires of Arak, a new zone coming in Warlords of Draenor. Thanks for stopping by!

Senior Character Artist Joe Keller did the majority of the work on this revamp, with direction from our Lead Character Artist Tyson Murphy (@tysmurph), and myself (@artofcgrobinson).