Early last year Blizzard stamped out an unofficial vanilla World of Warcraft server project called Nostalrius. But it didn't go quietly.
Late to the Party goes to Azeroth.
"You bring the evil."
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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.
Blizzard has emerged victorious in a long-running lawsuit against Bossland, a German company that creates cheats for online games.
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?
To commemorate its 25th anniversary Blizzard Entertainment has erected a statue of World of Warcraft villain Lich King Arthas Menethil in Taiwan.
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.
When it comes to video games, World of Warcraft is probably my biggest cultural blind spot. I'm aware of how significant Blizzard's MMO is and how much it's impacted lives across the world (who isn't) but beyond that, I'm a babe lost in the woods.
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:
Yesterday's media briefing by Blizzard brought us details of new Heroes and a new battleground coming to Heroes of the Storm, as well as even more mischievous mechanics for Hearthstone, but the publisher's not done with Gamescom quite yet.
At 5pm this evening there'll be a special stream to lift the lid on the sixth expansion for World of Warcraft. It's a timely announcement too, given the notable wobble in WOW's subscription numbers that was revealed in this week's financial update.
Can Blizzard find a way to convince lapsed subscribers from the past to come back home, and maintain the enthusiasm of those still playing the game in the present? How long will we have to wait until the new expansion arrives, and what exactly can we expect from the game between now and then?
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.
I'd tried saving the hard way, and it wasn't working. That glowing skeletal horse seemed permanently out of reach, so I kept dipping in.
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.
World of Warcraft turned ten on Sunday, and through the week we've been marking the anniversary with a series of features from across Eurogamer's editorial team. John's already taken us through the game's finest dungeon - not to mention its toughest achievement - now Bertie sets out to discover if you can ever really go back.
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.
Every week we bring you an article from our archive, either for you to discover for the first time or enjoy again. Today, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of World of Warcraft and to kickstart a week of celebration on the site, we bring you Oli Welsh's take on Blizzard's defining MMO, originally published as part of our series on games of the generation..
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.
"NOW FOR YOU, INSECTS! BOLDLY, YOU SOUGHT THE POWER OF RAGNAROS. NOW YOU SHALL SEE IT FIRSTHAND!"
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.
Traditional MMOs have gone out of fashion lately. It used to be that every gaming brand had exciting untapped MMO potential and every publisher wanted an MMO in its stable, but the gold rush inspired by World of Warcraft yielded little precious metal, and a lot of publishers got burned in the process - especially Electronic Arts with Star Wars: The Old Republic - while the term "MMO" has become taboo when discussing a new breed of games that includes The Division and Destiny, even though in many respects they are both massively multiplayer and online.
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.
For as long as most folk remember, games have launched on Fridays in the UK and on Tuesday in the US. That's the way of things. Sometimes they converge for a glitzy worldwide launch but mostly they don't - they stick to the norm, and Europeans wait.
Blizzard wants the Heroes of Warcraft domain but someone else owns it.
Blizzard has hit out at a law suit that calls into question the way the company protects player information.
Activision Blizzard announced in its most recent earnings report that Diablo 3 had sold over 10 million copies as of 30th September. It was the top-selling PC game in both dollars and units in the U.S. and Europe.
Underground fighting rings where you alone can face some of the toughest monsters in World of Warcraft will soon be added to the game.
Borderlands 2 took America by storm. Gearbox's celebrated co-op shooter RPG sold a whopping 1.82 million copies during September.
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.
World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria has failed to match the sales records set by previous add-on Cataclysm.
Pandaria sold 2.7 million copies during its first week on sale. That's nothing to be scoffed at - but certainly nowhere near the 3.3 million Cataclysm sold during its first day.
The launch of Pandaria has - for now - boosted player numbers back above the magic 10 million user mark, Blizzard announced.
At first, it seemed juvenile - almost a joke. Prior to the release of Mists of Pandaria, the fourth expansion for World of Warcraft, many players shared the concern that the inclusion of the Pandaren race of anthropomorphic kung-fu pandas represented one dumbing-down too far for this beloved world. It seemed to show a cartoonish disregard for the warmongering history of the eternal feuds between the Alliance, the Horde and whatever imposing faction each expansion introduced.
Quite the reverse. Instead of blunting the established world, the inclusion of this quieter race has allowed Blizzard to tell a story with a maturity and depth any long-term player would have believed Warcraft was incapable of. Until now the game has been defined by adolescent drama, yet this is a remarkably human tale that manages to combine apparently mundane scene-setting with emotional turmoil. Blizzard's ability to take a seemingly inconsequential side-quest and inject genuine heartache further on down the line represents new and welcome ground.
While the storyline overall may be more self-assured, where this new expansion catches a heel on the catwalk is in the laborious nature of that storytelling. Frustratingly, the way your objectives unfold in the continent Pandaria as you progress towards the new level cap of 90 is an evolutionary regression for a game that has learned in recent years to shower its audience in a delicious river of experience opportunities.
Annual football fiesta FIFA 13 has sold a million copies during its first week on sale in the UK.
It becomes the fourth game in history to do this, following Call of Duty titles Black Ops, Modern Warfare 2 and 3.
Video game sales jumped by 196 per cent in the past seven days. FIFA 13 accounted for 71 per cent of all games sold and 80 per cent of all revenue from game sales - both of these figures are higher than last year.
Blizzard launches Mists of Pandaria, the fourth expansion for World of Warcraft, at midnight tonight at perhaps the most crucial time in the gargantuan fantasy MMO's seven year history.
With around a fortnight to go until this year's Eurogamer Expo, our headline sponsor Virgin Media has announced what it's going to be doing on the show floor, and it's not just a bunch of variations on the Usain lightning Bolt gesture. (Although...)
Iran has been blocked from accessing World of Warcraft, Blizzard has confirmed. United States trade restrictions and economic sanctions prohibit it.
Up to Blizzard's colossal standards.
Blizzard has unleashed the cinematic introduction video for fourth World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria.
Renowned for lavish visual productions, Blizzard pulls no punches here. The Pandaren race and land are introduced in gorgeous fashion.
First, there's a Horde versus Alliance battle at sea. Both boats are wrecked, and a lone survivor from each clambers to shore. They're in unknown territory - a strange, jungle-dense land.
Battle.net - Blizzard's online service that stores personal and financial data for players of games such as Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft - was recently hacked, the developer confirmed.
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.
The fourth World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, will be released on Tuesday, 25th September, Blizzard has just announced.
The expansion will be available for both PC (Windows 7, Vista, XP) and Mac. The suggested RRP is £29.99. You'll be able to buy the expansion both in shops and from Blizzard's online store.
A Collector's Edition will sell for £59.99.
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.
Blizzard has sent out the first wave of invites for the World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria beta.
So far, these invites are limited to WOW Annual Pass holders, press, fansites, and friends and family.
Blizzard plans to invite Annual Pass holders in waves over the course of the beta test. It will decide who goes first based on a number of factors, including how long your WOW account has been active and when you signed up for the Annual Pass.
Hello! Welcome to the one hundred and fifth Eurogamer Dot Net Podcast, in which we successfully wrestle John Bedford in front of a camera (not without complaint) to talk about his recent trip to Blizzard's HQ in Irvine, California, to see next World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria.
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.
To Blizzard's credit, it hasn't shied away from addressing the quizzical looks that many players assumed following the announcement at BlizzCon 2011 that the Pandaren - a panda-like race that debuted in an April Fool's joke - would be the focus of World of Warcraft's fourth expansion. That a peaceful, innocent race quietly munching away on bamboo in the isolated mists of the Isle of Pandaria should be a necessary component in the promised grand vision of a return to war between the Alliance and Horde faction is a theme that jarred for many.
At last week's preview event for the upcoming fourth expansion, we got more than a little extra of the message that somehow struggled to make it from those attending BlizzCon to those receiving the information at home.
It starts with the world itself, and the art of Pandaria is predictably drawn from Eastern architectural influences - pagodas and paddy fields, decorated with deep reds and delicate ornaments. While the rugged and Nordic Northrend was a high point for Blizzard's artistic vision, it's arguably been trumped by the efforts in this new expansion - a Great Wall of Pandaria strides across a zone, factional hubs are occupied by cutlass-wielding stone giants, and hanging bells and blossom trees adorn the pagodas and outcrops of the land. Bejewelled and beguiling, it's a pristine and intricate look, with a far greater focus on the finer details than the broad texture swathes that have typically dominated WOW's art style in the past.
Blizzard has announced an new World of Warcraft Scroll of Resurrection initiative to entice back old players.
Annual fan convention BlizzCon will not happen in 2012, Blizzard has announced.
Every Sunday we bring you an article from our archive, either for you to enjoy for the first time or for you to discover again. This week, with Blizzard's latest World of Warcraft expansion going strong and as we await the launch of Elite Dangerous, we return to John Bedford's opinion piece from 2012 on how to build better worlds.
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.
The lead systems designer of World of Warcraft has mounted a frank and detailed defence of the revamp to talents coming in next expansion Mists of Pandaria in a lengthy blog post.
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.
This interview appears simultaneously on Eurogamer and on our sister trade site, GamesIndustry.biz.
A free-to-play business model isn't right for gargantuan MMO World of Warcraft right now, Blizzard has said.
You can hardly say that World of Warcraft is fighting for survival. Blizzard's online world approaches its seventh birthday in the same position of total dominance over subscription gaming that it's held since the servers were turned on.
But with every year that passes, the pressures on it increase - from big-ticket rivals like Star Wars: The Old Republic, the busy gaggle of free-to-play games, and from untamed community hits like League of Legends and Minecraft which seem to be able to summon tens of millions of players out of nowhere.
Nevertheless, WOW's greatest enemy by far is itself. Or, perhaps, it's its age. It's been a long time, now - for all of us.
Blizzard has revealed that it's scrapping the talent system that's been a cornerstone of World of Warcraft's character class design, in some form or other, since the game launched in 2004.
Blizzard has unveiled a broad ranged of new battleground game styles planned for next World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria.
Blizzard has unveiled a new pet battling system for World of Warcraft's next expansion, Mists of Pandaria, which bears a striking resemblance to Nintendo's Pokemon games.
Meet the Pandarens.
The next, and fourth, World of Warcraft expansion has been announced at BlizzCon: Mists of Pandaria.
It introduces the "joke" race of kung-fu pandas of Warcraft lore, the Pandarens, as a playable race. Apparently, Pandarens will be playable as either Alliance or Horde.
There'll also be a new character class, the Monk, a martial artist. Monks will be able to specialise as damage dealers, healers or tanks.