When World of Warcraft: Classic launches next summer, the only raids available will be Onyxia and Molten Core. It will be, in other words, as World of Warcraft was circa March 2005.
It's notable because although World of Warcraft: Classic is built on the foundation of patch 1.12 from August 2006, it will actually take many months for WOW Classic to reach a similar point-in-time content-wise.
There will be "waves" of content, Blizzard said in a WOW Classic panel (available to watch if you're a Virtual Ticket owner) at BlizzCon 2018. Here's how it looks currently:
Mike Morhaime, the boss of Blizzard Entertainment, has stepped down.
Crikey! I remember spending whole days in Alterac Valley in World of Warcraft, and now the beloved old PvP battleground is being turned into a new map for Heroes of the Storm.
Early last year Blizzard stamped out an unofficial vanilla World of Warcraft server project called Nostalrius. But it didn't go quietly.
If you played World of Warcraft when it launched you'll remember world PvP. You'll remember the impromptu battles at Tarren Mill between Horde and Alliance, or Stranglethorn Vale or Booty Bay. Unorganised fun that echoed the Orcs vs. Humans essence of Warcraft as a real-time strategy game.
UPDATE 3/11/17, 11:50pm: Blizzard has shed a little more light on its forthcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth, following its whirlwind Blizzcon debut.
"The fall of the Burning Legion has set off a series of disastrous incidents that reignites the furious rivalry between the noble Alliance and the mighty Horde," explains Blizzard. "As a new age of warfare begins, Azeroth's heroes must set out on a harrowing journey in search of new allies, race to claim the world's mightiest resources to turn the tides of war, and fight on several fronts to determine which side will lead Azeroth into its uncertain future."
Battle for Azeroth will introduce two new fabled kingdoms: the Zandalar empire, and the kingdom of Kul Tiras. "As a champion of the Horde, says Blizzard, you can travel to the Zandalar empire to persuade the trolls to lend their naval might. As a defender of the Alliance, venture to the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore, and rally its inhabitants to fight for your cause.
Chris Bratt has now interviewed Blizzard about World of Warcraft Classic servers. He even asked J. Allen Brack about his infamous "you think you want it but you don't" statement, which he once made about legacy servers. Chortle, chortle.
The BlizzCon 2017 opening ceremony - the place for this year's major Blizzard announcements - will take place Friday, 3rd November at 6pm GMT. And as always we'll be both in the audience there and in our office here covering it live.
Due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma, flooding in South Asia, and "countless other crises" around the world, Blizzard has decided this year's World of Warcraft charity drive cannot wait. Instead of releasing the new charity pet alongside BlizzCon in November, Shadow the Fox is available for 'adoption' now.
For nearly a year Blizzard has been threatening to change the name of its proprietary online multiplayer service Battle.net to the more on-brand Blizzard.net. That is the name of the company, after all, which would theoretically make things less confusing. However, after a scant few months under the new monicker Blizzard rethought this approach because the Battle.net name has been around for over 20 years (since the studio launched Diablo in 1996). Changing it now has led to bewilderment.
World of Warcraft fans reckon they've worked out the location of the next expansion - using an image of a map on a leaked skirt.
Subtle clues unearthed by the WOW community suggest the next expansion is set in Kul Tiras, which indicates players will fight the Old Gods.
The World of Warcraft subreddit is currently in overdrive after World of Warcraft database website Wowhead posted information data-mined from patch 7.3, which is currently in the Public Test Realm (PTR). The new build adds new voice over files, but what is of real interest to players is a new armour set with an interesting name.
Overnight, World of Warcraft players noticed something odd. They noticed enemies' health amounts changing depending on who was fighting them. The higher a player's item level, the more health the enemy would have. In other words, enemies were scaling to a player's gear.
Blizzard has decided to do away with the name Battle.net and simply call the platform Blizzard. It was a bit old fashioned.
World of Warcraft WoW Tokens can now be redeemed for a brand new currency called Battle.net Balance, which can be spent in other Blizzard games. You can use your Battle.net Balance to buy a loot box in Overwatch, for example - it's already one of the drop-down payment options.
The famed Nostalrius vanilla World of Warcraft private servers will return, resurrected by Elysium, on Saturday 17th December.
The return follows successful stress tests that peaked this past weekend with more than 10,000 concurrent players - far in excess of anything official WoW servers offer.
Remember Tarren Mill battles in vanilla WoW? The following screenshot was taken from the recent Nostalrius stress test.
The Nostalrius team has thrown down the gauntlet and the Nostalrius vanilla World of Warcraft experience will return - with or without Blizzard's help or permission. But not in name; Nostalrius cannot be Nostalrius for legal reasons, so it will be resurrected as part of the unofficial WoW Elysium project. The Nostalrius database, with saved character data, may even be carried across. There's no timeline but the suggestion is that work will start straight away.
Chris Metzen is retiring. He's leaving Blizzard Entertainment after more than 20 years' service. He, the overseer of story at arguably the world's most successful game maker. He, the earring-wearing cool guy on the BlizzCon stage. He, the voice of Thrall. Retiring. And he's only 42.
World of Warcraft: Legion sales are in and the sixth expansion has done well - really well.
Day-one sales were 3.3m, announced Blizzard, which matches what expansions Warlords of Draenor and Cataclysm achieved on their debuts.
What's more, the amount of players playing WOW together during Legion launch week rose to its highest point since the launch of Cataclysm all those years ago. Life in the old dog yet, eh?
The Warcraft movie hasn't Thralled critics but it's doing the business globally - and director Duncan Jones is up for a sequel if it comes to it.
Globally the Warcraft movie has made $377.6m, reported Box Office Mojo, and more than $200m of that in China. That makes Warcraft the most commercially successful video-game film ever, beating previous champion Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time ($336m), which starred Jake Gyllenhaal's muscular torso.
The Angry Birds film, meanwhile - which I've watched and it isn't great - has made $327m.
This whole Nostalrius business has been remarkable. Who would have thought a team behind a private/pirate World of Warcraft server - depending on how you look at it - would one day be invited to Blizzard for a meeting that included Mike Morhaime (CEO), J. Allen Brack (WOW executive producer), Tom Chilton (game director), Ion Hazzikostas (assistant game director) and Marco Koegler (technical director)?
The Duncan Jones Warcraft movie may be on course to flop in America (where it opens 10th June) but in China it's bigger than Star Wars: The Force Awakens - it's massive! Perhaps we'll see sequels after all.
In discussing a World of Warcraft: Legion spider mount that costs a whopping 2m gold, assistant game director Ion Hazzikostas gave a glimpse behind the curtain at what it takes to keep millions of players happy.
The Warcraft movie recreates a number of locations from the game upon which it is based, including, wait for it, Goldshire Inn!
There was a to-do recently when Blizzard lawyers forced the World of Warcraft Nostalrius servers to close. They were pirate/private servers not allowed by Blizzard so they didn't have a wooden leg to stand on, yet they offered something Blizzard does not: a vanilla (pre-expansions) version of World of Warcraft for people to play. And they were popular - home to an active community of thousands of people.
Blizzard game servers were overloaded and brought down by a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack overnight that hacker group Lizard Squad appears to have claimed responsibility for.
Is World of Warcraft taking a leaf out of Call of Duty's book all these years after that multiplayer shooting craze began? Blizzard has just announced plans for a fundamental overhaul to player-versus-player combat for expansion World of Warcraft: Legion, which arrives on or before 21st September 2016. The plans include changing completely how PVP will reward you for playing, as well as the surprise intention - for a game based so heavily around the concept of 'better gear' - of making everyone's statistics the same for battles, regardless of equipment (although there a few exceptions - see below).
World of Warcraft subscriber numbers have been falling for years. The online game's real high-point was 12 million subscribers as third expansion Cataclysm launched in the autumn of 2010 - five years ago - and since then numbers have steadily fallen.
UPDATE 3/11/15 5.00pm Here's a quick glimpse at the trailer, due Friday. Behold, 15 seconds of Warcraft movie footage plus analysis from our Blizzard buff Chris Bratt:
World of Warcraft subscribers dropped down to 5.6 million at the end of June 2015, Activision Blizzard announced in its latest financial report.
Update, 4.40pm: In the video below, Oli Welsh and Chris Bratt get together for an additional round of the speculation that Blizzard obsessives so enjoy. Why has the announcement of this expansion been brought forward from its traditional, biennial BlizzCon slot? Are Blizzard looking to release smaller expansions more frequently? If it's not going to be WOW, what might Blizzard's big reveal at its November fan convention be? Oli and Bratterz don't know, but they have fun guessing!
Original story, 10am: Blizzard will announce a new World of Warcraft expansion next week.
A WOW event at Gamescom will be streamed on Thursday, 6th August at 5pm UK time.
Off-screen footage of the Warcraft movie by Legendary Pictures has leaked from San Diego Comic-Con.
George Lucas' famous special effects studio, Industrial Light & Magic, has whipped up a heck of an interactive trailer for the upcoming Warcraft movie.
Released on YouTube, this Skies of Azeroth trailer lets viewers look around the world in 360 degrees by dragging their cursor. Think Google Earth, only way more seamless (and, ya know, Azeroth).
Set atop a flying gryphon, you can only view the sprawling city of Stormwind from above, but what a view it is! Now if only the real World of Warcraft looked that good in game form.
Blizzard recruitment marketing manager Dave Wilson has provided a fascinating turn-of-the-millennia look back at original World of Warcraft development, including sharing the very first screenshot of the genre-conquering online game.
Feast your eyes on Orgrim, the orc warchief in the upcoming Warcraft movie.
The infamous Honorbuddy bot plaguing World of Warcraft appears to have been beaten.
10 years ago (10th May 2005) a video was posted to the World of Warcraft forum as evidence of a raid being too hard. No one could have imagined the effect it would have.
The Warcraft film, inspired by World of Warcraft, has suffered a delay. It was due out in March 2016 and now it's due out in June 2016 - 10th June specifically, reported Variety.
WoW Tokens will be going live in Europe as of 5pm CEST tomorrow, 21st April, Blizzard has announced.
They'll be available from the in-game shop for £15 / €20, and bids for them in the Auction House will start at 35K gold. Comparatively, they launched in the Americas earlier this month for $20 or 30,000 gold.
For those unfamiliar with WoW Tokens, they grant players 30 days of game access. Players can purchase them with real world currency from the in-game store, then auction them off for in-game currency. This gives dedicated players a way to buy more game-time without spending real money, while folks with less free time and more money can use these Tokens as a way of buying more gold without resorting to an unofficial third-party dealer, something that's against the game's rules.
If you buy a $20 World of Warcraft Token in North America right now you can sell it for 21,410 gold - in less than 30 minutes - using the game's Auction House.
World of Warcraft's new Token system, in which you can exchange said Tokens for game-time or in-game currency, will be live today at 10am PST in the Americas, Blizzard has announced.
World of Warcraft will soon sell WoW Tokens, a new in-game item that lets players exchange gold and game time between each other.
What if your eyes can't immediately see the difference between a Rare and Epic piece of loot in World of Warcraft because you're colourblind? What if you can't quickly see whether characters are hostile or friendly?
In World of Warcraft patch 6.1, due 24th February, Blizzard is addressing that, by adding special colourblind filters and optional text tips to the game.
There will be filters for protanopia, deuteranopia, and tritanopia. You'll find them in the new Accessibility interface configuration section, and you can customise them.
World of Warcraft maker Blizzard has raised more than $1.9m (£1.25m) for the Red Cross Ebola relief fund.
Have you played World of Warcraft from launch and ever since? Well stop it! Do something else! But really, if you have, you're in for a treat - a one-off special gift from Blizzard.
Fifth World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, has done the business. Monthly subscribers to the MMO once more number over 10 million, Blizzard has announced, and in 24 hours more than 3.3m copies of the expansion have been sold.
Those day-one sales match, exactly, what third WOW expansion Cataclysm managed in November 2010. Fourth expansion, Mists of Pandaria, took a week to reach 2.7m sales in 2012.
The last time Blizzard reported more than 10 million WOW subscribers was in September 2011 (10.3 million) - but even then, numbers were on their way down.
Ever find yourself flipping a card in Hearthstone, or whacking a giant leg in World of Warcraft, and wondering who that character is and why they're important?
Star Blizzard developer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has been hired by League of Legends maker Riot Games as joint lead game designer with Ryan Morello.
Blizzard has made a change to parental account controls that, by default, set kids' accounts to 'not allowed to buy stuff'.
UPDATE: The culprit has been found and it's apparently a false version of the Curse Client that's been sneaking the Trojan onto people's systems. Remove the client and run Malwarebytes and that should do the trick.
Behold, the cast of the Warcraft film, as revealed by movie makers Legendary and Universal (and Slashfilm).
The World of Warcraft movie, simply titled "Warcraft", has received the new release date of 11th March, 2016, Variety reports.
Blizzard has ruled out making massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft free-to-play.
Action role-playing game Diablo 3 has sold over 14 million copies, Blizzard Entertainment has announced.
Warlords of Draenor could be the name of the next World of Warcraft expansion, which will presumably be unveiled this Friday at the opening ceremony of BlizzCon.
The name, Warlords of Draenor, was successfully trademarked by Blizzard last Friday (spotted by MMO Champion). The website Warlords of Draenor.com was registered a month ago.
There's speculation from an unverified source that Warlords of Draenor will feature Grom Hellscream as the main villain and feature heavy use of time travel.
By selling 3 million copies in nine months, Guild Wars 2 has been crowned - by research company DFC Intelligence - the fastest-selling Western MMO of all time.
World of Warcraft patch 5.4 is "nearly here" and Blizzard has unleashed the trailer.
Dubbed Siege of Orgrimmar, it follows the story of Horde Warchief Garrosh Hellscream who's gone a bit batty and now wants to form a new Horde with the nightmarish powers he's unleashed.
The trailer shows a fight between Hellscream and a brave Pandaren blocking his way. It sets the scene nicely.
Blizzard will add Connected Realms to massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft some time after the release of Patch 5.4.
A Connected Realm is a set of two or more standard realms that have been permanently linked and behave as if they were one cohesive realm.
If you're playing on a Connected Realm you'll be able to join the same guilds, access a single Auction House, run the same raids and dungeons and join other players to complete quests.
A cyber psychologist has called on the developers of massively multiplayer online role-playing games to help prevent addiction by tweaking their design.
Blizzard's Project Titan probably won't be a subscription MMO, the company has said.
The number of World of Warcraft monthly subscribers has dropped to 7.7 million, Activision Blizzard has revealed.
Shoot those PDW-57s in the air because, in a huge financial move, Activision Blizzard has bought its independence from Vivendi.
Blizzard will add in-game micro-transactions to its massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft.
Community manager Bashiok confirmed the news on Battle.net last night following reports last week that the introduction of an in-game store was imminent.
Players were left concerned at the nature of the items Blizzard was testing, including "convenience-based items" such as buffs to aid levelling. The developer has now confirmed that such items will initially only be available in Asian regions.
Blizzard is considering adding in-game micro-transactions to massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft.
Blizzard has issued a security warning after MMO World of Warcraft suffered from an increase in unauthorised account logins.
World of Warcraft saw a decline of approximately 1.3 million subscribers in the quarter ending 31st March 2013, Activision revealed in its latest financial report.
BlizzCon 2013 tickets will go on sale in two batches later this month.
Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) replaced Sam Raimi (Tobey Maguire Spider-Man) as the director of the World of Warcraft film earlier this year. But we never really knew why - until now.
Blizzard has announced the dates for BlizzCon 2013. They are Friday, 9th November and Saturday, 10th November.
There was no BlizzCon last year, but in 2011 the event took place in October.
This year's event will likely be the time and place for Blizzard to show a Diablo 3 expansion, another World of Warcraft expansion and, hopefully, Blizzard All-Stars, the DOTA game.
Activision cast doubt on a 2013 launch for Bungie's hotly anticipated new game Destiny during its annual money meeting last night.
Joyland, the once rumoured unlicensed World of Warcraft theme park in Changzhou, China actually exists. Even better, someone went to it and lived to tell the tale.
Blizzard wants the Heroes of Warcraft domain but someone else owns it.
Underground fighting rings where you alone can face some of the toughest monsters in World of Warcraft will soon be added to the game.
There have been mass deaths in the cities of World of Warcraft. Piles and piles of skeletons littered the floors around the murderers - level 1 characters who killed everything, players and AI characters alike, without lifting a finger.
A group of Republican have started a smear campaign over Maine state Senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz because she (gasp) plays World of Warcraft.
Iran has been blocked from accessing World of Warcraft, Blizzard has confirmed. United States trade restrictions and economic sanctions prohibit it.
The fate of the World of Warcraft movie was in turnmoil following Sam Raimi leaving the director's chair to helm Oz: The Great and Powerful, but Legendary Entertainment is still pushing ahead by hiring screenwriter Charles Leavitt, Variety reports.
Does Steam selling games with DRM in the free and open source environment of GNU/Linux defeat the entire point?
Sam Raimi, director of the recent Spider-Man film trilogy, will no longer call the shots on the World of Warcraft movie.
A developer has turned World of Warcraft into a series of Google Maps.
The infamous Leeroy Jenkins moment, born in World of Warcraft but spread far beyond, has been re-imagined as a modern day short film.
The dip in World of Warcraft subscriber numbers "has to at least be attributable to [Star Wars] The Old Republic", Blizzard acknowledged, speaking to Eurogamer last week.
World of Warcraft, the actual game, may yet be adapted and made playable on iPhone, a determined Blizzard told Eurogamer.
Blizzard has announced an new World of Warcraft Scroll of Resurrection initiative to entice back old players.
Gamers from different World of Warcraft realms (servers) will be able to raid together when patch 4.3.2 is implemented, Blizzard has revealed.
You and your Battle.net Real ID friends can take on "older" normal or heroic raids as well as use Raid Finder.
You can form Battleground raids, too.
Blizzard has announced BattleTags - unified nicknames that identify players across all of Battle.net.
Your BattleTag is used in Blizzard games, on Blizzard websites and in Blizzard forums.
BattleTags are similar to the controversial Real ID system (but will not replace it), and gives players a new way to manage public profiles, find and chat with friends they've met while playing, form groups and stay connected across Blizzard games, the company said.
Update: The official World of Warcraft website is down, but the WOW Wiki has all of the 4.3 changes to peruse.
Original story: Blizzard has unleashed the full patch notes for World of Warcraft version 4.3, Hour of Twilight.
This is the climactic Cataclysm patch that includes a showdown with mega-dragon Deathwing. To beat him, you must travel back through time to the War of the Ancients, to when Deathwing - then Neltharion the Earth-Warder - and the other Dragon Aspects were created to protect the world of Azeroth.
With World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard will overhaul a character talent (extra ability) system that has existed for seven years.
World of Warcraft is seven years old on 23rd November.
Monthly subscribers to Blizzard's World of Warcraft MMO have fallen to 10.3 million as of 30th September 2011.
Diablo 3 will be given for free to all World of Warcraft players who opt for the new 12-month Annual Pass subscription.
Blizzard is auctioning a number of server blades used in the early days its hugely successful World of Warcraft MMO.
Around 2000 original Hewlett Packard ProLiant blades that once housed 500 hundred Warcraft different realms across North America and Europe are being sold off.
Net proceeds go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, one of the world's premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases.
The new World of Warcraft Guardian Cub can be bought at the Pet Store using real money, then sold in-game at the auction house to make WOW money.
An F2P-only future for the MMO genre is anything but a foregone conclusion, reckons Mythic founder and former CEO Mark Jacobs.
Alt rock veterans Foo Fighters close out this year's BlizzCon event, Blizzard has announced.
World of Warcraft Patch 4.3 will be added to the Public Test Realm (PTR) "within a couple of weeks", Blizzard has told Eurogamer.
The words spilled from lead game designer Tom Chilton during an interview with Eurogamer Germany (translated and posted on Eurogamer this morning).
"We should be on the Public Test Realm soon, within a couple of weeks," he said.
Money made by subscriptions to European and American MMOs has, for the very first time, fallen.
The next update for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm sees you take on Deathwing, Blizzard has revealed.
As reported by Kotaku, the new Deathwing raid is a massive boss fight set partly on the enormous dragon's back as it soars through the air.
Update 4.3, which is currently without a launch date, will also include three new dungeon instances and a couple of major new features.
SteelSeries has announced a new £70 Legendary Edition of its World of Warcraft MMO gaming mouse.
Sales of World of Warcraft Cenarion Hatchling pet have raised over a million pounds for the Japan tsunami and earthquake relief fund, Blizzard has announced.
In October 2010, World of Warcraft reached 12 million subscribers. By the end of March 2011, that number decreased to 11.4 million.
Are those pesky panderan panda-people finally coming to World of Warcraft?
A major Norwegian retailer has announced it is to remove 51 games from its shelves following the tragic killings in Oslo and Utøya last week.
Blizzard is testing a new Real ID Party feature in World of Warcraft.
World of Warcraft patch 4.2, Rage of the Firelands, goes live today.
The update brings outdoor raid Firelands and with it reinvigorated Molten Core boss Ragnaros. There are new Tier 12 epic class armour sets (warlock, warrior and hunter are very nice) and a chance for one lucky caster to slowly piece together and level up the legendary staff Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest.
PVP pursuers can enjoy new Season 10 armour (hunter, death knight and shaman variations are very nice) as well as new PVP mounts an armoured wolf and armoured horse.
MMO behemoth World of Warcraft is now free to play up to level 20.
Blizzard's Greg Street - aka Ghostcrawler on the World of Warcraft forums - has spoken to Eurogamer about the appeal of iOS devices within Blizzard and the potential for mobile MMO gaming.
In an interview with Eurogamer World of Warcraft lead systems designer Greg Street discussed the development process behind Blizzard's next-gen MMO, codenamed Project Titan.
A study conducted by Divorce Online, reported in the Daily Mail this morning, suggests that 15 per cent of divorce proceedings initiated with the company are a result of video game addiction.
World of Warcraft patch 4.2 has gone live on the public test realm. The patch notes have been released.
The headline attraction is Firelands, a huge outdoor raid "of the highest difficulty" for 10 or 25 people in either normal or Heroic modes. Firelands takes place in the Elemental plane and puts six bosses between you and a new, "reinvigorated" Ragnaros.
Patch 4.2 adds a new epic quest to complete the legendary staff Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest. Aside from super stats, the staff bestows its owner with the ability to transform into a member of the Blue Dragonflight - i.e. a dragon, in other words. All friends or guildmembers that help with the quest will receive a new pet.
The number of people subscribing to World of Warcraft has decreased, Blizzard has revealed.
Activision Blizzard amassed a (net revenue) fortune of $1.4 billion during January, February and March this year.
World of Warcraft's 4.2 update will include a new raid, a new encounter journal feature, a new quest line and a new legendary weapon, Blizzard has revealed.
Due out later this year, the focus of the patch will be the new Firelands raid, which sees you entering the domain of powerful Elemental Lord Ragnaros. The zone will feature seven different boss fights.
"Some players first encountered Ragnaros in Molten Core but that was inside a mountain on Azeroth," lead system designer Greg Street told Eurogamer.
Titan may be but a whisper on the lips of Blizzard - but the MMO to "eclipse" World of Warcraft is already playable.
The mighty World of Warcraft has everything - everything, that is, but player housing. And now game producer J Allen Brack has told Eurogamer that it might never happen - WOW could be without player housing forever.
Blizzard, perhaps the finest game maker on the planet, has turned 20 years old.
Blizzard has told Eurogamer that the Firelands raid – the next tier of endgame raiding progression for the MMO – will not appear in the next patch, 4.1, as it had previously planned.
In an interview at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, lead producer J. Allen Brack said that players were not sufficiently advanced through the raid content that shipped with third expansion Cataclysm in December to handle the challenge of Firelands. He also suggested that Blizzard was thinking of creating "smaller" content patches for World of Warcraft.
"We feel like the player base isn't really ready for the next raid yet," he said. "And that led to some changes where Firelands is now actually going to be in 4.2."
Old World of Warcraft raids Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman are being reincarnated as level 85 heroic five-man dungeons.
They'll return in new patch 4.1, according to leaked notes on a Taiwanese website (correlated by MMO Champion).
Epic items of level 353 can be found in the new-style dungeons, and you'll need a minimum item level of 346 to enter them.
EA has confidently proclaimed its in development massively multiplayer game Star Wars: The Old Republic will cause a sizeable number of World of Warcraft players to jump ship.
A Chinese theme park featuring lavish Warcraft and StarCraft themed areas may be in development.
Blizzard has announced dates for BlizzCon 2011.
The annual fan event will take place in Anaheim, California on Friday, 21st October to Saturday, 22nd October.
Ticket pricing and ticket availability haven't been announced. Tickets sold out in the blink of an eye last year, but Blizzard offered a paid-for internet TV service as consolation for its millions of fans worldwide.
Companies and individuals attempting to sell in-game gold to World of Warcraft users are being threatened with a PayPal ban in a new crackdown by developer Blizzard on real money trading in the MMO.
It's all smiles for Ryan Winzen, creator of head-turning StarCraft II mod World of StarCraft. After an ominous start to the week when Activision's legal team blocked videos of the mod on YouTube, Winzen now finds himself with a job offer from League of Legends developer Riot Games and an invite to Blizzard HQ by the StarCraft II and World of Warcraft maker itself.
Activision's suited and booted legal team has mobilised against the inventive StarCraft 2 MMO mod maker who provocatively called his creation World of StarCraft.
The Xbox 360 enjoyed its best ever US sales month in December, according to sales data released by The NPD Group.
Blizzard appears to be saying one thing and doing another - patch 4.06 will make many of the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm dungeon encounters considerably easier than they currently are.
Think World of Warcraft: Cataclysm's Heroic dungeons are too hard? You're not the only one. But Blizzard isn't changing them.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has sold more copies in one month than any other PC game - 4.7 million units, according to Blizzard's internal numbers.
This, the third WOW expansion, had previously broken day-one PC sales records by shifting 3.3 million copies.
Mike Morhaime, the man who co-founded Blizzard and probably pays himself a competitive salary, said: "We've been floored by the community's response so far, and we'd like to thank them for their continued passion and support for World of Warcraft, and for helping Cataclysm reach this incredible milestone."
One free time-rich gamer poured a staggering 149 hours into MMO expansion World of Warcraft: Cataclysm in its first week on release, according to numbers out today.
The third World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm, is the world's fastest-selling PC game.
In 24 hours Cataclysm sold 3.3 million copies worldwide, on Mac and PC.
Compare that to the world's fastest selling multi-platform game Call of Duty: Black Ops, which sold 5.7 million copies in 24 hours, and Blizzard's achievement speaks for itself.
Activision's money-maker has beaten its other money-maker: Call of Duty: Black Ops remains top of the UK charts while World of Warcraft: Cataclysm spends a first week in third.
Here's what we were picking from: Out This Week.
When World of Warcraft began, Molten Core, a fiery dungeon deep below the surface, was game's most challenging 40-man raid. Summoning and killing Ragnaros, the 10th and final boss - a giant, screen-filling flaming hulk - was something worth shouting about.
Say voice chat to a World of Warcraft player and they'll answer TeamSpeak or Ventrilo - what they won't say is, "I use the inbuilt WOW voice chat and it's brilliant!"
Blizzard would like to make World of Warcraft expansion packs more quickly, and is considering making smaller expansions in order to release them more often, designers Greg Street and Dave Kosak have revealed.
Blizzard has so far released an expansion pack every two years, but an 18-month schedule is "certainly a goal, we would like to get expansions out very quickly because we know players respond to them very well," lead systems designer Street told Eurogamer in an interview marking the launch of third expansion Cataclysm.
Earlier in the game's life, Blizzard said it aimed to publish an expansion every year, but "we're not anywhere close to that now," Street admitted.
Games industry trade association TIGA has responded to Panorama's investigation into video game addiction.
Sony's EverQuest II MMO could soon be following World of Warcraft: Cataclysm's lead and hitting the reset button.
Struggling to find Christmas presents? Why not "give the gift of Warcraft?" Blizzard has slashed prices specially.
Today [tomorrow in Europe -Ed], World of Warcraft will be torn asunder by a very angry dragon called Deathwing - weeks ahead of the 7th December Cataclysm expansion launch.
UK World of Warcraft fans will get their wizard on at an official launch event for expansion Cataclysm.
On the night of the 6th December Blizzard will join forces with shop GAME at Sound, No. 1 Leicester Square, London, for a big old party. Doors open at 10pm GMT. We advise getting there early.
An exciting evening of entertainment before the expansion goes on sale is promised, including a costume contest with prizes for the winners. There will also be an official licensed merchandise showcase, unique photo opportunities and giveaways.
One day Activision and Blizzard may share; one day Call of Duty may work inherently with Battle.net - but for now the companies remain, in the words of Battle.net overseer Greg Canessa, "two separate entities".
World of Warcraft has "sucked the oxygen" from the subscription market: that's why the tide is turning towards free-to-play. And the only game with enough clout to compete is BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Blizzard believes World of Warcraft can happily co-exist with the unannounced "next-generation MMO" that it is currently developing.
World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2 creator Blizzard has rebuffed the suggestion that PC gaming is dead.
Cataclysm isn't out till December, but gaming behemoth Blizzard is already excited about the idea it has for World of Warcraft's next expansion.
"It's pretty freakin' awesome," World of Warcraft senior producer John Lagrave told Game Informer at BlizzCon over the weekend.
"We've now got a central idea [for the next expansion] that makes me happy and gets me excited, and it makes everyone else happy and excited.
Blizzard has revealed that it's to revamp every "classic" dungeon in World of Warcraft, with most updating in the first patch for third expansion Cataclysm.
The aim is to make World of Warcraft's older dungeons less confusing, shorter and more fun, designer Corey Stockton told the audience for the Dungeons and Raids panel at BlizzCon today.
Infamously overlong and convoluted dungeons like Uldaman and Maraudon are being broken up into two or more bite-sized wings to make them easier to deal with.
Mike Morhaime has told a BlizzCon 2010 audience that, for the first time, new World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm can be pre-ordered directly from Blizzard.
The minimum system requirements to run World of Warcraft: Cataclysm have been posted for all to see.
Blizzard and SteelSeries' spent two years making the new World of Warcraft: Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse.
The bonus DVD included in the Collector's Edition of World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm features over an hour and a half of video.
Blizzard has hired Jack Black's band Tenacious D to end BlizzCon 2010 with a bang.
Plans for a World of Warcraft movie are on ice after director Sam Raimi announced he has decided to start work on a new Wizard of Oz movie instead.
More than 12 million people subscribe to fantasy role-playing MMO World of Warcraft, developer Blizzard has announced.
Blizzard has published the schedule and panel descriptions for this year's BlizzCon fan convention, which takes place on 22nd and 23rd October in its usual venue of the Anaheim Convention Center south of Los Angeles.
World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm will be released on 7th December, Activision Blizzard announced this afternoon.
EA has slammed bitter rival Activision after CEO Bobby Kotick accused the Medal of Honor publisher of "suffocating studios".
World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King - originally released in November 2008 – will finally see the light of day in China.
WotLK, which Eurogamer awarded a stonking 10/10 review, will release in Mainland China on 31st August.
Blizzard's endured a difficult time with the Chinese government over the last year, and even shut the game down for a time in 2009.
Poor sales of Bizarre's racer Blur and Raven Software's shooter Singularity between April and June were offset by the continued gargantuan success of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, publisher Activision Blizzard has said.
"Singularity fell short of meeting what is an exceptionally high bar within the shooter genre," said chief financial officer Thomas Tippl during an investor call last night.
"Fortunately, Call of Duty was the title that raised that bar and shortfall of Singularity was offset by Call of Duty's catalogue and DLC performance.
World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm will be out "later this year", Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has confirmed.
Jagex chief Mark Gerhard believes success has brought arrogance to Blizzard. He told Eurogamer that the World of Warcraft and StarCraft II maker now appears to be giving "two fingers up" to a democratised community.
Blizzard may have about-turned on the decision to require and use people's real names for the StarCraft II and World of Warcraft forums, but the social gaming platform goals of the Real ID feature remain.
After a week of angry online protests Blizzard Entertainment has scrapped its controversial plan to force gamers to use their real names when posting on its official forums.
Blizzard has unleashed a hurricane of internet rage by announcing that it will require users to post under their real names on its forums, in a move intended to create a more "positive", "constructive" community.
Blizzard Entertainment has begun closed beta testing World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm.
Invitations will be sent to "a wide range" of people signed up to Battle.net. And with six months of the year left, Blizzard appears to be well within the 2010 launch time-frame targeted for Cataclysm.
"Our focus with Cataclysm has been to build on the knowledge we've gained through the previous expansions to deliver the best, most compelling World of Warcraft content for our players to date," commented Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime.
Blizzard has shown third World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm to the press, revealing that it will ship with three times as many new quests as last effort Wrath of the Lich King. But much has been cut from the game too, including the planned new customisation system Paths of the Titans.
Blizzard co-founder and product development boss Frank Pearce has sent out a reminder that the widely-believed late 2010 release for third World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm isn't set in stone.
Blizzard is beta testing the Remote Auction House for World of Warcraft, which will allow players to bid on and sell items via an iPhone or iPod Touch or a web browser.
The service is free to use while in beta, but once live, will require a subscription to the new World of Warcraft Remote service, which will cost $2.99 for 30 days.
The beta is currently only available to players on a selection of North American servers - WoW.com has the full list.
Activision Blizzard has announced BlizzCon 2010 tickets will go on sale in two batches.
The first batch will sell on Wednesday, 2nd June at 7pm Pacific Time. The second batch will sell on Saturday, 5th June at 10am Pacific Time.
Tickets will be $150 each and available to buy from the BlizzCon website. To make things easier, Blizzard suggests registering a Battle.net account in the lead-up.
Blizzard has posted a note on the US World of Warcraft site reminding players that the beta test for the Cataclysm expansion will be starting soon, and informing them how to opt in to be considered for it.
There's nothing on the European WOW site as yet, so plans on this side of the Atlantic may be less far advanced, but the process for opting in is the same.
You'll need a Battle.net account with a World of Warcraft licence attached. Visit the Battle.net beta profile settings page, make sure you have your system specification uploaded using Blizzard's tool, and check the box to say you're interested in beta tests for the Warcraft universe.
Blizzard has had unprecedented success with virtual item sales on the release of the Celestial Steed - a special in-game mount for World of Warcraft that costs the princely sum of $25, €20 or £17.
Blizzard is significantly altering the 10 existing World of Warcraft classes in upcoming expansion Cataclysm, introducing new spells, abilities and talents as well as altering those already present.
Blizzard's closed beta for the new World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm may begin soon.
The developer mailed members of the press informing them it was "starting to gear up" for the testing phase, although 1UP reported that no dates were disclosed.
Blizzard has committed to a calendar 2010 launch for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, but said little more. A beta soon could mean a summer launch, or simply that there will be a long testing period before full release in the autumn - perhaps October, when Blizzard's annual BlizzCon event gets underway.
Blizzard's fifth annual fan convention BlizzCon 2010 will take place on 22nd and 23rd October.
Blizzard has said World of Warcraft heading to consoles is "unlikely" - a line we've heard almost annually since WOW-time began.
Activision has made a worrying risk assessment of World of Warcraft, claiming the MMO giant could be toppled - rendered "obsolete" - by the emerging social gaming scene.
Blizzard has revealed that only 30 per cent of new World of Warcraft players make it past level 10.
Blizzard is planning to integrate World of Warcraft's auction house with its Armory platform, giving players out-of-game access to Azeroth's economy from web browsers and iPhones.
The script for the Warcraft film is still "in the outline/story/script phase," and it won't necessarily be director Sam Raimi's next project now he is no longer directing Spider-Man 4.
Reuters reports that World of Warcraft's operator in China, NetEase, may be close to ending its dispute with regulators over the running of the game.
Indiana newspaper The Kokomo Perspective (thanks, RPS) reports that a local Sherriff's Department successfully tracked down a fugitive from justice through his World of Warcraft account, with Blizzard's co-operation.
The question of what Blizzard will do to tide over World of Warcraft content between now (patch 3.3, Fall of the Lich King) and next expansion Cataclysm appears to have been answered: stagger Icecrown Citadel's opening.
Early tomorrow morning patch 3.3, Fall of the Lich King, will be applied to the European World of Warcraft servers and prise open the gates to Icecrown Citadel, home of Wrath of the Lich King end boss, Arthas.
He'll await any 10 or 25-player raid group competent enough to battle through The Frozen Throne, and presumably hold the key pieces of the new Tier 10 armour sets. You'll need to take down Bronjahm, Devourer of Souls, Forgemaster Garfrost, Ick and Krick, Scourgelord Tyrannus and Falric and Marwyn before facing The Lich King ("a godlike being" claims the WOW website) in his private chambers.
There are three new five-man dungeons to be found in The Frozen Halls, too.
A Taiwanese player has has become the first to complete every single one of World of Warcraft's achievements - which is probably as close as anyone can come to "completing" the game.
Blizzard has launched a special site celebrating the fifth anniversary of World of Warcraft - which launched on 23rd Novmeber 2004 - as well as 15 years of the Warcraft series.
Kotaku has secured an actual photograph of the rarest beast in gaming - a Blizzard release schedule.
BlizzCon could be moving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas next year, if the Las Vegas Convention Centre is to be believed.
Via its official sites, Blizzard is reminding World of Warcraft players that from today, they will need to create a Battle.net account and merge it with their WOW account in order to play.
According to VG247, Blizzard chief Mike Morhaime told the Activision Blizzard investor conference that the company sees micro-transactions as an important part of World of Warcraft's future.
During yesterday's Activision Blizzard investor conference, Blizzard chief Mike Morhaime said the next World of Warcraft update would be released "in the coming weeks".
VG247 heard the words, and got so excited they thought Morhaime was actually referring to next expansion pack Cataclysm. Bless.
However, we're pretty sure he means the update known as Patch 3.3, which is currently on WOW test servers. This update introduces three five-man dungeons and one 10 or 25-player raid within Icecrown Citadel, and allows players to fight the Wrath of the Lich King end boss, Arthas.
Blizzard has put two in-game World of Warcraft pets up for sale at the Blizzard Store: a Pandaren Monk, and Lil' K.T., a baby version of the villainous Lich Kel'Thuzad.
World of Warcraft's rough ride in the crucial Chinese market continues, with reports that the country's General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP) has returned new operator NetEase's application to run the game and ordered it to stop taking money and account registrations.
Blizzard has detailed its ambitious new dungeon system for World of Warcraft and launched the Race Change service.
Blizzard has set a deadline by which all World of Warcraft players will need to merge their WOW accounts with a new Battle.net account: November 11th in North America, and November 12th in Europe.
Spider-Man helmsman Sam Raimi has spoken to MTV News about plans for the Warcraft film he's set to direct, and has revealed that he's got Saving Private Ryan writer Robert Rodat working on the script.
The UK edition of PC Gamer magazine got to stay behind after class, sorry BlizzCon, this year - and found out a bit more about the forthcoming Cataclysm expansion to World of Warcraft. Teacher's pets. We're still sulking about not being invited to that particular party, but not above bringing you the headlines.
Ageing World of Warcraft boss Onyxia has soared back to prominence, as patch 3.2.2 rolls out and celebrates the MMO's fifth birthday.
She used to be a challenging 40-person raid encounter, and takes a top role in the World of Warcraft lore as sibling to Nefarian and daughter of Deathwing - star of the Cataclysm expansion.
Onyxia, a dragon, will now be a 10- or 25-person raid encounter at level 80, and will drop much more powerful versions of her original treasures. There's even a chance to snag a flying mount modelled on Onyxia herself, granting a 310 per cent speed bonus.
In a typically detailed presentation to the Austin Game Developers Conference, World of Warcraft producers Frank Pearce and J. Allen Brack have laid bare the structure of the organisation which makes and maintains the MMO.
Blizzard has made it possible to move characters between the Horde and Alliance factions in World of Warcraft for the first time. The service is only available in North America at present, and there's no word on when it will be available in Europe yet.
Following World of Warcraft: Cataclysm's unveiling at the BlizzCon opening ceremony, Blizzard unveiled plans for the third expansion in detail at a packed developer panel.
The rumours were true! Blizzard's next World of Warcraft expansion is called Cataclysm, although there's no word yet on a release date.
Cataclysm will be "nothing less than earth-shattering", Blizzard's Chris Metzen told his disciples during the ongoing BlizzCon 2009 conference. It will "very literally change the face of Azeroth as you know it".
Cataclysm introduces two new races - the Worgen join the Alliance while the Goblins join the Horde. There are also new class/race combinations - the Troll Druid and Tauren Paladin are the ones we spotted in the trailer - and a new profession, Archeology. There will be more new class/race combinations on top of that, too, and the level cap's going up to 85.