LiquidSky Beta – PC Client Optimized for CUDA

LiquidSky has released optimized CUDA decoders for the cloud gaming PC client. The company is also actively working on optimizing AMD and Intel decoders to launch it at a later time for beta testers. However, AMD and Intel will work in the current PC client, but will be a better experience once optimized.

You can download the PC client here.

If you haven’t followed my previous articles about what LiquidSky is, and my hands-on experience previews, LiquidSky is a new company of a very few programmers building a cloud server service from the ground up. It is been in available to beta testers for the past few months. By 2016, when the service launches, the plan is to allow users to subscribe for a monthly fee to a drive space (i.e. 1TB), with the ability to download video games into your cloud server at 70-300MBps speeds, and to play the games from within the cloud. The game is streamed to your tablet or PC and all the CPU and GPU computing is performed in the cloud servers.

Basically, no need to keep upgrading your computer, you can free up your PC’s hard drive for anything from photos and videos, and just keep your hundreds of Gigabytes worth of video games in the cloud. That can certainly speed up your PC, and free up space in your Tablet.

Now how about playing World of Warcraft, Diablo III and Heroes of the Storm in your Tablet? That’s no myth. I played World of Warcraft and Diablo III in my NVIDIA SHIELD Android tablet.

To get a grasp on what all this means, if your computer currently can’t play Crysis 3 or any of the high-end CPU/GPU intensive video games out there, your computer can now play them in the cloud. You don’t need to meet that video game system requirements. Happy news for you.

I recommend everyone to go download the beta client. The service is sometimes down for prolonged periods of time when the developers need to work and fix something, but just check out their Reddit page for any updates.

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[SPOILERS] Gul’dan’s Fate: Post-6.2 and what’s to come

6.2 is now upon us as of today, and with it, the new, lore-centric raid Hellfire Citadel.

A multitude of story focused threads have been leading towards World of Warcraft’s latest major patch’s raid. Questions wrack the brains of any lore enthusiast as of the latest patch’s release: what will happen to Gul’dan? What is the fate of Archimonde? Is the Legion defeated after 6.2? Does Warlords of Draenor end with Hellfire Citadel’s fall?

Discover the Legendary Ring Questline

With the Fury of Hellfire patch coming next week, Blizzard is giving a sneak preview of what is incoming with the legendary ring questline. Be careful though, the following article contains huge spoilers for the content of the patch 6.2. We can maybe also expect a new ingame cinematic when the quest will be complete or at the end of the Hellfire Citadel.

The road ahead is fraught with embers and blood, as it was before—so it goes and ever goes. . . .

You’ve survived a long and dangerous journey thus far on Draenor. One portal has been destroyed within Tanaan Jungle . . . but Gul’dan and the twisted remains of the Iron Horde still strive to open another portal into Azeroth. You’ve allied with powerful forces to counter these nefarious plans, including the Archmage Khadgar. His efforts to fight the rising power of Gul’dan have presented countless new challenges and powerful rewards—but only for those stalwart enough to take on his formidable tasks.

Follow along with us, won’t you, as we walk you through the next—and final—chapter in Warlords of Draenor’s Legendary Ring quest line, culminating in Patch 6.2. And if you’re just getting started—or want to pick up where you left off—we’ve put together a guide of the journey so far.

6.2 SPOILERS BELOW!

The patch 6.2 : Fury of Hellfire arrives on June 23

It’s finally official, after numerous glimpse of the 6.2 features, Blizzard released the official trailer for the Fury of Hellfire patch! It will be live on June 23th for the United States and on June 24th for the rest of the world!

Get ready to face the troops of Gul’dan and the Burning Legion!

Patch 6.2- Fury of Hellfire Arrives June 23

Patch 6.2: Fury of Hellfire is almost here! On Tuesday, June 23 players will be able to build their Garrison Shipyard and venture into Tanaan Jungle to face Gul’dan and the twisted remnants of the Iron Horde. Hellfire Citadel Normal and Heroic modes will also be available for those who are brave enough to confront the dangers within.

Check out the official trailer below:

 

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The Art of World of Warcraft Shipping Now

Insight Editions shipped today a new Blizzard Licensed Product for those who love The Art of World of Warcraft.


The Art of World of Warcraft Shipping Now

the-art-of-world-of-warcraft-2015-p1In the ten years since its inception, World of Warcraft has revolutionized the role-playing genre, creating the immense world of Azeroth and filling it with iconic characters and legendary weapons and environments. Featuring interviews with key developers and telling the complete story of the game’s evolution, this fully illustrated book vibrantly displays the renowned artwork at the heart of the franchise. Including never-before-seen art from the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, The Art of World of Warcraft contains hundreds of drawings and pieces of concept art, forming the ultimate tribute to the epic gaming franchise.

Reviews

“Simply put if you played World of Warcraft for any great length of time or are an aficionado of fantasy art The Art of World of Warcraft is for you. It is 224 pages of pure beauty celebrating one of the longer lived and certainly one of the most popular games of all time.”
—Northwest Cable News Online

“It’s an absolutely stunning piece of work that demonstrates and showcases the incredible imaginations and skills of its creators and developers.”
—Boyce McClain Collectors’ Corner

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Insight Editions (June 16, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608874494
ISBN-13: 978-1608874491
Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 10 x 13.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds

 

 

The Con before the Storm 2015 – An unique event just before BlizzCon

Goals

The different goals reached with the help of the Community

What is the Con?

The Con before the Storm is a free special event organized by the team behind World of Podcasts that takes place this year at Anaheim on November 5th,  the night before Blizzcon start and it featured :

  • Expert Panelists from the fan community
  • Fan art exhibit where every piece of art is given away at the end of the night (last year, they had 200 unique art prints).
  • Green screen photo booth
  • A place to play video games (A Hearthstone tournament was organized last year)
  • Prizes!

The Con Before the Storm event will be held at the Hilton hotel, near the Anaheim Convention center.

 

Special Guests

With more than 3000 people attending last year edition of the Con, you can be sure to meet a lot of people passionate as you (or even more!) who knows who will attend this year but with the strong community sense behind this I’m pretty sure that if you are looking for someone attending BlizzCon, you might seem him/her there!

If you want to check who from the community is attending to the event, you can check on the official website.

 

 

 

 

How can I help them?

For an event that is free to anyone attending its difficult to manage thousands of fans, but you can still help them on Kickstarter! The original goal was $5000, but with the devotion of the fans, it increased until to reach $16,500 at the time I’m writing those lines. New goals were added to let backers get some sweet loot!

The project fundraising will stop on .

BackerConBefore

Support the Con before the Storm on Kickstarter!

 

You can be sure that if you can’t attend to this community event we will be there to cover it and maybe it will bring enough your geeky attention so you will come next year!

Revisit the Arcatraz with the Timewalking feature in 6.2

As you might remember, one of the features of the Patch 6.2 is the Timewalking event. A feature that will allows you discover (or rediscover for the oldest) dungeons from previous extensions scaled to the lvl 100. The article is today is dealing the kind of dangers you are going to face inside the Arcatraz, one of the hardest dungeons back in The Burning Crusade.
Furthermore, before an update of the article it was mentioned “your first crack at The Arcatraz, is June 26-30″, so prepared yourself to face Gul’dan plans for the Patch 6.2 : Fury of Hellfire

Timewalking Highlight: The Arcatraz

Timewalking

In World of Warcraft Patch 6.2, we’re introducing a new series of seven different weekend events, and two of the seven weekends will make Timewalking Dungeons available to characters at level 71 and higher for Outland dungeons or 81 and higher for Northrend dungeons. When you Timewalk these dungeons, you’ll find that your character’s power and gear has been scaled down to a fraction of what they normally are, and you may have never ventured into some (or all) of them, so it’s a good idea to prepare yourself now.


Outland: The Arcatraz

The mighty Tempest Keep was created by the enigmatic naaru: sentient beings of pure energy and the sworn enemies of the Burning Legion. In addition to serving as a base of operations for the naaru, the structure itself possesses the technology to teleport through alternate dimensions, traveling from one location to another in the blink of an eye.

With Outland serving as the strategic battlefront in the ongoing Burning Crusade, the naaru recently used Tempest Keep to reach the shattered land. However, when the naaru set out from their stronghold, Prince Kael’thas and his blood elves quickly raided the dimensional fortress and assumed control over its satellite structures. Now, guided by some unknown purpose, Kael’thas manipulates the keep’s otherworldly technologies, using them to harness the chaotic energies of the Netherstorm itself.

Dungeon Maps


Click to enlarge

Bosses

Zereketh the Unbound

Most creatures from the Twisting Nether require constant directions from their masters, but a select few voidwraiths need no such orders. Zereketh stands at the entrance to Arcatraz, ready to slay all who would dare challenge him.

 

 

 

 

Dalliah The Doomsayer

Before she was imprisoned by the naaru, Dalliah was one of the most vicious and aggressive warriors within the Burning Legion. Spending so much time as a cellmate to Wrath-Scryer Soccothrates did not improve her disposition either.

 

 

 

 

Wrath-Scryer Soccothrates

Millennia ago, Soccothrates held a position of honor among the Wrathguards, standing at the side of the Burning Legion’s top commanders. Confinement did not suit his considerable ego. Neither did his cellmate.

 

 

 

 

Harbinger Skyriss

The naaru believed the persuasive voice of Harbinger Skyriss was silenced when they contained him and forced him into a long, dreamless sleep. The unfortunate warden of Arcatraz learned the naaru were wrong.

 

 

 

 

Tips

  • Zereketh is known for summoning void zones. Run out of them immediately!
  • Zereketh’s Seed of Corruption causes his victim to explode with damage. It’s best to stand apart when you’re the seedy one.
  • Dalliah’s Whirlwind should be avoided by all but the stoutest of tanks.
  • Her Gift of the Doomsayer channels healing to you if you have it. Healers beware!
  • Stay out of Soccothrates’ fel fire.
  • The one and only Millhouse Manastorm assists you in your battle with Harbinger Skyriss and his many “friends”. Keep Millhouse alive.

Achievements and Reputation

If you’ve not gotten them before, completing this dungeon will award The Arcatraz and Heroic: The Arcatraz , the latter of which is required for Outland Dungeon Hero.

Killing enemies in this dungeon increases your standing with The Sha’tar. For a full breakdown of what you can do with Sha’tar reputation, check out Wowhead and Wowpedia.

Get in there and Fight!

Timewalking dungeons are coming to WoW with Patch 6.2: Fury of Hellfire. Keep an eye out for the weekend-only quest “A Burning Path Through Time”, which rewards a Seal of Inevitable Fate when you complete five Burning Crusade Timewalking dungeons.

 

(Source)

Preview of the Alliance and Horde Shipyards

This week is particularly rich in news from Blizzard with yesterday announcement that Flying will be back shortly after 6.2, the preview of the new Tavern Brawl mode for Hearthstone and today the presentation of the Shipyards for your Garrison.

This new building will allow you to gain control of the shores of Tanaan Jungle, but also unlocking new missions and new ships that you can add to your fleet.

Patch 6.2 Preview – To the Shipyard!

In World of Warcraft Patch 6.2, you’ll oversee your Garrison’s first new major construction project—and take command of your forces in a whole new theater of war. In order to push back against the twisted remnants of the Iron Horde, you’ll need to expand your operations to the shore and set your sights on the seas between you and the mysterious Tanaan Jungle. To do that, you’ll need a Shipyard.


Alliance Shipyard

The Shipyard is a new building available to all Garrison commanders who have reached level 100 and improved their Garrison to level 3—and after you travel to the Iron Docks and discover just how dire the naval situation is, you’ll want to make your Shipyard a top priority. As soon as you return to your Garrison, you’ll be able to raise a level 1 Shipyard and begin construction on your first ocean vessel immediately.


Horde Shipyard

Your Fledgling Fleet

In war, you need soldiers to fight on the front lines—with that in mind, your first ship will be the mighty Troop Transport, a vessel designed to help you tackle a variety of seafaring threats. This stalwart ship will help you initiate combat, and will serve as the backbone of your fleet as you’re getting your feet wet.

Ships are managed much like Garrison Followers. You’ll send your ships on naval missions, and each naval mission will present a new set of challenges for you to counter with your ships’ abilities. Some of the new abilities include Salty Crew (improves success chance by 10%), Unsinkable (shields the ship from a fatal shot), and Trained Shark Tank—because navigating through mine-studded waters is no problem when you have trained sharks on your side.

And guns. The sharks have guns.

Setting a Course

Just as your Followers need Garrison Resources to operate, your ships will require Oil. Collect enough Oil to send your ships on many naval missions, and you’ll unlock the level 2 and level 3 Shipyard, allowing you to maintain more ships and take on more naval missions.

There’s oil on Draenor! And as fate would have it, it’s mainly to be found in Tanaan, where the enemy has been collecting the precious substance for a while now. They’ll have to be relieved of it in some way or another . . . and that’s where you come in. Your ships need oil. Your entire war effort now depends on it.


Naval warfare to take place precisely right there!

Your ships also come with equipment, and how you use it will play a key role in your success on the high seas. For example, a ship with a Gyroscopic Internal Stabilizer can deal with Chaotic Whirlpools by staying upright and stable. A ship with a Food Storage Bay has additional space for stashing extra supplies, and is therefore better at taking on longer naval missions.

Your ships can be manned by a specific crew, and the composition of the crew helps determine your results and rewards. For example, a goblin crew increases the gold gained from the mission; a night elf crew reduces mission time; and a human crew increases your success chance.


A tauren crew is sturdy—and rewards a 50% experience bonus.

The high seas are filled with threats, and they won’t be easy to deal with. Take too much of a risk on a naval mission, and you could lose your vessels and all of the time and resources they represent. You’ll want to pay close attention to which ships counter which threats. For example:

  • Submarines move silently underwater, sneaking up on unsuspecting ships.
  • Destroyers counter Submarines with Depth Charges.
  • Battleships fire long-range artillery to sink enemies such as Destroyers.
  • Carriers deploy bombers to attack Battleships from the air.

First Look: Ships


Alliance and Horde Destroyers


Alliance and Horde Submarines


Alliance and Horde Carriers


Alliance and Horde Battleships


Alliance and Horde Transports

Want to get a better look at the next patch for yourself? Join us on the Patch 6.2 Public Test Realm, and share your thoughts and opinions on everything coming to World of Warcraft in our PTR General Discussion forum. If you find a bug while testing, let us know about it in our PTR Bug Report forum.

See you at sea!

 

(Source)

Dev Watercooler – Flying in Draenor Shortly after Patch 6.2

Personally, I have gotten used to no-flying in Warlords of Draenor, and I have enjoyed my activities in Draenor and all over the place in Azeroth, Northrend, and Outland. I have completed all treasures around Draenor, and hunted some mounts and achievements too.

The community has been very verbal about the no-flying in Draenor topic, and Blizzard Entertainment has heard and considered the concern. Flying in Draenor will be introduced shortly after Patch 6.2 goes live, not immediately. However, there are a few requirements in order to obtain the Flying in Draenor ability known as “Draenor Pathfinder.” You will have to complete some Draenor achievements, and run a few errands before you can unlock the ability.

This is what Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas had to say about this matter in this DevCooler Article:

We appreciate the spirited discussion on the topic of flying. The subject has brought out passionate viewpoints and sparked insightful conversations on our official forums and blogs, on community sites, and in chat channels. Your feedback has been a valuable part of the ongoing conversations within Blizzard as well, and today, we’d like to share some updated plans for how we’ll handle flight going forward.
The Thrill of Discovery

At the heart of the initial plan to restrict flight in Draenor (even after players reach level 100) lies the design goal of providing the best moment-to-moment gameplay possible in the outdoor world. From navigating the lava flows of the Molten Front in Patch 4.2, to breaching the Thunder King’s stronghold in Patch 5.2, to reaching the heights of the Ordon Sanctuary on Timeless Isle in Patch 5.4, to uncovering secrets deep within Gorgrond’s jungles on Draenor, World of Warcraft is full of memorable moments that are only possible when players explore the world by ground. And as we’ve continued to develop content over the years, we’ve focused more and more on providing players with these kinds of experiences.

However, while we firmly believe that keeping your feet on the ground is a key part of discovery in WoW, we also recognize that breaking free from those restrictions can be fun and rewarding as well, especially for those who’ve already fully experienced the game’s world content. With that in mind, we’re planning some changes in the near future that will allow players to enjoy their hard-earned flying mounts in Draenor—in a way that doesn’t compromise the excitement of ground-based exploration.
Mastering the Outdoor World

In an upcoming Public Test Realm build, we will be introducing a new meta-achievement called Draenor Pathfinder. You’ll earn this achievement in Patch 6.2 by mastering the outdoor environment of Draenor—exploring Draenor’s zones, collecting 100 treasures in Draenor, completing the Draenor Loremaster and Securing Draenor achievements, and raising the three new Tanaan Jungle reputations to Revered. Initially, this achievement will award a rylak mount: the Soaring Skyterror, one of the native beasts that roam Draenor’s skies. Players will remain ground-bound on Draenor until a small follow-up patch (6.2.x), when all players who have earned Draenor Pathfinder on at least one character will unlock the ability to fly in Draenor on all their level 90+ characters.

We believe this strikes the right balance between ensuring ground-based content lives up to its full potential, while providing players who’ve already fully experienced Draenor’s outdoor world extra freedom to “break the rules.” This also provides a general blueprint going forward for content to come. Players will explore new and undiscovered lands from the ground, and then once they’ve fully mastered those environments—a notion that continues to evolve with each new expansion—they can take to the skies and experience the world from a new vantage point.

Thank you for your heartfelt feedback. We’ll see you in (and soon, above) Tanaan Jungle.

 

Patch 6.2 Raid Preview: Hellfire Citadel

If you missed it last week, Blizzard posted the preview of what is in store for us in Patch 6.2’s Hellfire Citadel raid encounter. It’s about time to get some well deserved content update to get the hunger-mill going.

When Garrosh encouraged Grommash to begin construction of this massive stronghold at the heart of Tanaan Jungle, to serve as a staging ground for the assault of Azeroth, he even suggested the name Hellfire, pulled from a different time and a different land. He dreamed of seeing mighty orcish iron towering over an unblighted landscape, so very different from the wasteland he had known in Outland. But even as times change, so too do they stay the same.

Located within the dark heart of Tanaan Jungle, Hellfire Citadel looms over the landscape and can be seen from nearly anywhere within the area. Having braved the dangers of Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry, the heroes of Azeroth and Draenor now must assault this fel-twisted bastion—the horrors within pose an unrelenting threat to everyone on Azeroth.

In Hellfire Citadel, players will be able to earn items ranging in power from item level 675–685 in Raid Finder up to item level 735 in Mythic difficulty. You’ll also have a chance to add a new Rare quality companion, the Corrupted Nest Guardian, to your pet collection. You’ll need an item level of at least 650 to enter Raid Finder.

The Iron Bulwark (exterior area)

Patch 6.2 Raid Preview: Hellfire Citadel

Hellfire Assault

With the aid of the mercenary Blackfuse company, the Iron Horde constructed devastating siege machinery in the shadow of Hellfire Citadel, to be used in the eventual assault upon Azeroth’s capitals. With the tanks now retrofitted to use fel energy, Siegemaster Mar’tak awaits Gul’dan’s command to begin the assault.

Designer notes: Like Spoils of Pandaria in Siege of Orgrimmar, this is a raid “boss” without a single named boss that must be defeated. Players must withstand waves of attackers, salvaging ammunition from their fallen vehicles, and using that ammunition to power the massive Hellfire Cannons that stand in the courtyard. Victory is achieved by breaching the gates of the Citadel.

Iron Reaver

The schematics for the Iron Reaver were found in the workshop of Blackfuse himself after the fall of Orgrimmar, drawing inspiration from the mighty constructs of the Legion and designed to be the nefarious goblin’s masterwork. The project was completed after his death, and represents the pinnacle of the Iron Horde’s military might.

Designer notes: We started out thinking of the traditional Outland Fel Reaver here, but the more mechanized side of the Legion is only present in an all-out invasion, and that didn’t really feel appropriate given the nature of their involvement here. So instead we went with an interpretation of the Fel Reaver that reflects the apex of the goblin-influenced siege vehicle that Garrosh brought to the Iron Horde: an evolved version of the Iron Juggernaut that once defended Orgrimmar, retrofitted to use fel power.

Pits of Mannoroth

Kormrok

As ancient as Draenor itself, Kormrok once ruled Gorgrond, the creatures of the land slinking away from the giant magnaron’s destructive fury. But then the Iron Horde came, trapping the behemoth and attempting to break his will. They were entirely unsuccessful . . . that is, until the rise of Gul’dan, and the fel power that Kormrok could not resist.

Designer notes: In general, the lower floor of Hellfire Citadel reflects the Iron Horde as it was before the influence of Gul’dan, whereas the upper reaches reflect the Shadow Council and the Legion more directly. Alongside siege machinery, the massive beasts of Gorgrond were the other lynchpin of the Iron Horde’s invasion force, so it should come as little surprise that Gul’dan would seek to corrupt and empower them with fel energies.

Court of Blood

Hellfire High Council

Thousands of Iron Horde orcs accepted the blood of Mannoroth, but none grew as powerful as the three that stand before you. Dia Darkwhisper, master of void magic and an outcast of the Shadowmoon, rose quickly to power—the left hand of Gul’dan. Gurtogg, with his insatiable hunger for blood, emerged the victor in hundreds of trials by combat. He has met his match only once, fighting Blademaster Jubei’thos to a draw. Tainted with fel sickness, they serve Gul’dan as both Highguard and Council of War.

Designer notes: We couldn’t in good conscience make a fel orc raid set in Draenor without a throwback to Gurtogg Bloodboil, the brutish Black Temple boss whose signature Bloodboil ability makes a return in this encounter. Accompanying Gurtogg are champions of other allied orc clans, expressing the core of each clan’s power with a fel twist.

Kilrogg Deadeye

Kilrogg Deadeye, Warlord of the Bleeding Hollow, seized control of his clan after performing a ritual to learn of his death. With this knowledge, he led his clan fearlessly on countless campaigns, marching toward the glorious end he desires. Now, with demon blood coursing through his veins, Kilrogg awaits you in Hellfire Citadel, awaiting the moment of his death—or yours.

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Designer notes: Ever since the Lords of War shorts highlighted the gory ritual that lies at the heart of the Bleeding Hollow clan’s traditions, we knew that visions of death would have to feature prominently in the encounter. It’s unclear whether these visions are immutable, or whether knowing one’s destiny gives one the power to alter it. . . .

Hellfire Antechamber

Gorefiend

Falling into the heart of the mausoleum Auchindoun, the Shadow Council lieutenant Teron’gor gorged upon hundreds of draenei souls, becoming a bloated abomination in the process. More than just an orc now, Teron’gor gave up his old name and has taken a new one: Gorefiend.

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Designer notes: We laid the groundwork for this encounter in Auchindoun, further reinforcing the rule that if you don’t actually see a boss die, it’s quite possible that you haven’t seen the last of them. Of course, the inverse of that rule isn’t necessarily true—Kael’thas says “hello.” In any case, Gorefiend hearkens back to encounters like C’Thun and Yogg-Saron, where players are devoured and must overcome spirits inside the stomach of the bloated monstrosity to prevent them from escaping to attack the raid.

Grommash’s Torment

Shadow-Lord Iskar

After Iskar’s efforts to resurrect Terokk and return to power ended in frustration, he was approached by Gul’dan with an offer and a promise to break the ancient curse of Sethe. No longer flightless, elevated from the shadows yet still a master of illusion and deception, Iskar’s hour of vengeance is at hand.

Designer notes: If something seemed suspicious about Shadow-Seer Iskar as you quested through the Spires of Arak, you weren’t mistaken. This was a fun encounter for the group to brainstorm, beginning with the premise of illusions and an artifact that let a single player see through those illusions, and weaving that concept through multiple abilities and interactions.

Fel Lord Zakuun

Speculated by some scholars of the Legion to be an evolved version of the common felguard, Fel Lords serve as enforcers in the direct service of Archimonde. Their cruelty is matched only by their brute force. Zakuun was set to a task that called upon both of these traits in equal measure: breaking the iron will of a stubborn and defiant orc chieftain of the Warsong Clan. . . .

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Designer notes: This Fel Lord represents a type of demon never before seen by players. We approached this encounter with the intent that it be the “Patchwerk” of the zone—that is to say, a heavy melee bruiser without companions—but of course he has a few tricks up his sleeve that will keep players on their toes.

The Felborne Breach

Xhul’horac

Summoned by Gul’dan from the depths of the Twisting Nether, Xhul’horac is one of the most powerful of the Void Revenants—a race of parasitic void-beings that tear holes through the planes of reality, consuming and absorbing the energies and beings within. Gul’dan has twisted Xhul’horac by feeding him overwhelming fel energy, and using his powers to tear open the portals through which he plans to rally the forces of the Burning Legion.

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Designer notes: A lot of our boss concepts for Hellfire Citadel began by imagining what would happen if we added fel energy to different parts of the Draenor ecology. What would a fel variant of one of the void revenants we saw a glimpse of in Shadowmoon Burial Grounds look like? Xhul’horac answers that question, and the mechanics of the encounter play off the different polarities of fiery fel energy and the shadowy void, which players must manage as they fight a creature with one foot (or tendril, as the case may be) in each realm.

Halls of the Sargerei

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Socrethar the Eternal

The greatest warriors of the draenei have their souls imbued into gleaming constructs serving as eternal Vigilants in defense of their people. Originally a member of the Council of Exarchs before his descent into darkness, Socrethar has perverted this holiest of rituals, and used a warped fel construct to preserve his soul after his defeat in Talador.

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Designer note: Another familiar name, Socrethar represents one of the leaders of the Sargerei with whom players contended in Talador. His soul is ensconced in a construct, a twisted version of the first boss of Auchindoun, giving us a chance to play with a boss design idea that we haven’t really seen since Razorgore all the way back in Blackwing Lair: What if you let the player control a raid boss and use all its abilities for a period of time?

Tyrant Velhari

When Gul’dan brought his gift to the Sargerei, Velhari had already made her ambitions clear and risen through the ranks with brutal ferocity. Known to her enemies as the Tyrant, Velhari was one of the first to accept the fel touch, further enhancing her combat prowess. Velhari now bears a mockery of the holy symbol of the Naaru, signifying her conviction to the new order.

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Designer note: The concept for this boss began with a simple idea: anti-paladin, or “dark vindicator.” What would a corrupted version of a draenei vindicator fight like? Many of Velhari’s abilities are a play on core Paladin mechanics such as (Un)holy Power builders and spenders, auras, and Guardians of Ancient Kings, with each of the three phases having a theme that parallels one of the Paladin class specializations.

Destructor’s Rise

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Mannoroth

Bloodthirsty and brutal, Mannoroth was Archimonde’s most feared enforcer, until he was felled by a mighty blow from Grommash’s blade. Even in death, his blood was used by Gul’dan to fuel a dark bargain with the Iron Horde and their allies. Gul’dan and his minions now seek to reanimate the shattered remains of Mannoroth so that he may continue to serve the Legion.

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Designer note: Taking place atop the Citadel, looking out over the corrupted expanse of Tanaan Jungle below, this encounter features a parallel and opposing ebb and flow: initially, fel spires act as conduits for minions of the Legion, but as they are destroyed, Mannoroth gains more and more power as he is more fully reconstituted. The battle begins against a set of channelers and their minions as Mannoroth is nothing more than a heap of bones on the ground, and concludes with a final battle against the fully empowered Mannoroth.

The Black Gate

Archimonde

One of the original eredar who betrayed the draenei of Argus to take his place as the sinister hand of the dark titan Sargeras, Archimonde the Defiler commands the military might of the Burning Legion. He arrives in Draenor, reaching across space and time, to ensure that the invasion of Azeroth proceeds as planned, and that Gul’dan does not fail his Legion masters.

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Designer note: We planted some seeds that this confrontation might be coming in the level-up quest experience. In the original timeline, Kil’jaeden was the broker behind Gul’dan’s dark deal with the Horde, but here—thanks to Garrosh’s interference—he failed, and so Archimonde was entrusted with the task of finishing the job. There are a couple of nods to the old Battle of Mount Hyjal encounter (Doomfire was mandatory), but Archimonde has learned a number of nasty new tricks since then. Although you have the greatest heroes of Azeroth and Draenor standing beside you in this battle, even they cannot aid you within the Twisting Nether itself. . . .

Now that you’ve seen the faces of the enemy, we hope you’ll be ready when it’s time to crash the gates of this fel fortress. The fate of Azeroth depends on it.