World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

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Key events

World PvP is making a long overdue comeback in World of Warcraft

"You might feel it hasn't been treated with the respect it deserves..."

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.

New World of Warcraft expansion Battle for Azeroth announced

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.”

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Battle.net renamed Blizzard Battle.net

Bigger name change rejected, new logo erected.

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.

A map on a leaked World of Warcraft skirt might have revealed the next expansion location

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.

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WOW: Nostalrius' return gets a release date

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.

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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.

Blizzard story overlord Chris Metzen retires aged 42

"I won't lie - it's going to be really hard stepping 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 day-one sales match series records

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?

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Warcraft most successful game-film, Duncan Jones up for a sequel

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.

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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)?

Blizzard responds to WOW Nostalrius pirate/private server closure

"We have been discussing classic servers for years..."

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 fundamentally overhauling World of Warcraft PVP for Legion

Equipment stats nullified for battles, Honor system completely reworked. And Prestige.

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).

Blizzard will no longer report World of Warcraft subscriber numbers

"There are other metrics that are better indicators of the overall business."

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.

Watch Blizzard's reveal of the next World of Warcraft expansion here

Watch Blizzard's reveal of the next World of Warcraft expansion here

As WOW's subscriber numbers tumble, can Blizzard stop the slide?

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?

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Gamescom is a beautiful, hot, noisy mess of a show and an utter delight to visit. Sadly, not everyone can go - and this year, that includes me. But thankfully, we packed Chris Bratt off to tour the show with a camera in hand to capture just what attending the world's biggest gaming show is like.

New World of Warcraft expansion to be revealed next week

New World of Warcraft expansion to be revealed next week

UPDATE: Now with additional video speculation. Whither BlizzCon?

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.

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When Blizzard announced that it was introducing a new special weekend event to World of Warcraft called Timewalking, there was a ripple of excitement in the Eurogamer office - one that, for once, reached beyond the corner where crusty old diehards John Bedford and yours truly sit with our fingers permanently hovering over (and sometimes accidentally slipping onto) the resubscribe button.

Soar over Azeroth in the Warcraft movie's interactive VR trailer

Soar over Azeroth in the Warcraft movie's interactive VR trailer

See all 360 degrees of Stormwind from aboard a gryphon.

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.

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World of Warcraft's Fury of Hellfire patch out 23rd June

World of Warcraft's Fury of Hellfire patch out 23rd June

New raids, features and progression tools out next week.

World of Warcraft's next major patch comes out 23rd June, according to a post on the game's official site yesterday evening.

Patch 6.2 adds plenty of new content to to the game, from the new questing zone of Tanaan Jungle, to the opening of the new Hellfire Citadel raid. Shipyards are also being added to player's privately-owned Garrisons, while the new Timewalking feature allows old veterans to return to old dungeons, and enjoy them at an appropriately retuned difficulty setting - and with appropriately retuned rewards as well. Yum.

Timewalking is just one part of a series of special, rotating events that will crop up in the game following the release of the patch. Other calendared events include increased Honour gains when competing in Battlegrounds or Arenas, more faction rep for completing Draenor dungeons, or more experience for your pets when you send them into battle.

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The very first screenshots of World of Warcraft

And of the 60-person team that built it.

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.

WOW: Leeroy Jenkins happened 10 years ago

A video that became a meme that became legend.

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.

WoW Tokens launch tomorrow in Europe

WoW Tokens launch tomorrow in Europe

30 days for £15 or auctioned off at 35K gold.

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.

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WoW: Warlords of Draenor's next patch adds ship-building

WoW: Warlords of Draenor's next patch adds ship-building

And an extra challenging Mythic difficulty for Draenor dungeons.

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor's upcoming 6.2 patch will add a brand new ship-building feature along with tons of other additions.

As detailed on the Battle.net update notes, this next patch will add shipyards, which can only be constructed by characters with a level three Garrison. Once a shipyard is erected you can build your own ships and dispatch them on naval missions.

There will also be a new Tanaan Jungle zone that can only be accessed via sea, so it requires a shipyard.

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World of Warcraft patch 6.1 brings colourblind support

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.

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World of Warcraft patch 6.1 adds S.E.L.F.I.E. camera

World of Warcraft patch 6.1 adds a S.E.L.F.I.E. Camera to the game.

It's a reward for a garrison follower quest and can be upgraded (through another follower quest) to epic to have three different filters: a Sketch filter, a Black and White filter and a, um, Death filter.

Patch 6.1 is on the Public Test Realm now. It also finally introduces the delayed blood elf character-model upgrade (Joystiq has a good gallery of how they look), adds Twitter integration for sharing your items with the outside world, and brings host of tweaks to Garrisons and elsewhere.

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World of Warcraft, nine years later: Can I get a res?

A guild leader and raid leader returns.

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.

Desperately seeking Salty: A WOW fishing tale

One man's decade-long quest to become the ultimate digital fisherman.

World of Warcraft turned ten on Sunday, and all throughout this week we'll be marking the anniversary with a series of features from across Eurogamer's editorial team. Having taken you through the game's finest dungeon, today John tells the tale of how he bagged WOW's most elusive achievement.

Warlords of Draenor sales take WOW subs back up over 10 million

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.

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WOW's executive producer apologises for Warlords of Draenor launch issues

WOW's executive producer apologises for Warlords of Draenor launch issues

Subscribers to be gifted five free days of playtime as compensation.

World of Warcraft's executive producer J. Allen Brack has apologised on the official forums for the launch issues that have blighted the game since the release of the Warlords of Draenor expansion last week. Subscribers will also be offered five free days of playtime as compensation.

Many players have experienced excessive queues when attempting to log in to the game, and the expansion's new Garrison feature has left many players unable to progress through the storyline, or make progress within the player-housing feature.

"I know how much everyone was looking forward to this expansion, and once you were able to get in and start having fun, all the comments I've seen indicate that this is one of our best yet. But the quality of the content does not excuse the subpar launch experience we delivered, and I apologize for that," the statement begins.

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Assassin's Creed: Unity launch beats Black Flag's in UK chart

Assassin's Creed: Unity launch beats Black Flag's in UK chart

Halo: The Master Chief Collection in at three.

Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Unity has entered the UK sales chart in second place.

Activision's first-person shooter Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare held on to the top spot despite a 77 per cent fall in sales, according to official figures from Chart-Track. Unity missed out by 16,000 sales.

However, it seems Unity has done well. The PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game outsold the launch of last year's game, Assassin's Creed: 4: Black Flag, which originally debuted on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to a significantly higher install base.

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Blizzard confirms World of Warcraft DDOS attacks

Blizzard confirms World of Warcraft DDOS attacks

Seems only North American servers were targeted.

As European World of Warcraft servers creak under the Warlords of Draenor strain, North American servers face an additional, more severe, problem: a DDOS attack.

It was significant enough for Blizzard to formally acknowledge it in the WOW forum. "We ran into a few other issues [in NA]," explained community manager Bashiok, "including a distributed denial of service attack, that resulted in increased latency."

The latest is that there will be server maintenance on all NA realms from 5am PST (1pm GMT) today, lasting approximately four hours.

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Metallica to play BlizzCon 2014

For Whom the Bell Trolls.

Corporate metal band Metallica will close the show at this year's BlizzCon, the annual celebration of all things Blizzard taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center in California next month.

Five talking points from World of Warcraft's 6.0.2 patch

Five talking points from World of Warcraft's 6.0.2 patch

What to expect as the game approaches its second decade.

Before every new WOW expansion there's a patch which lays the foundation for the next round of adventuring in Azeorth and beyond. This week's release of Patch 6.0.2 introduces extensive changes to the game's combat stats, plenty of interface tweaks across the board, and a new dungeon and quest-line to help players get accustomed to the Warlords of Draenor expansion before it arrives next month. Here's what jumped out at us as while we were poking around in the new content.

A rather uninspiring quest-line introduces WOW's next chapter

WOW's questing has come on leaps and bounds since 2004, but there's still an overwhelming dependence on point-to-point adventuring. While it serves a certain purpose nevertheless, there's nothing about the brief quest-line which introduces the next chapter of the game's grand story that suggests things will be radically different in Warlords of Draenor. The Iron Horde are storming through the Blasted Lands' Dark Portal to make their first tentative claims on Azeroth, and you're part of the vanguard monitoring the enemy's arrival.

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World of Warcraft Patch 6.0.2 release date revealed

World of Warcraft Patch 6.0.2 release date revealed

Warlords of Draenor world event and new dungeon hits servers this week.

The pre-release patch for Warlords of Draenor, the fifth World of Warcraft expansion, launches in the US tomorrow, with the EU version arriving on Wednesday.

The hefty update, which lays the groundwork for the next few years of adventuring in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, packs in plenty of changes as WOW approaches its second decade of service. (The last time we checked our background downloader there was still another 8GB of data left to go, so if you've switched off automatic downloading in the past, you might want to think about re-enabling it ahead of launch.)

This time around, the traditional pre-expansion world event sees the legions of the Iron Horde invading Azeroth through the Dark Portal, and you'll be able to pop along when the patch goes live and bop a few of them on the chin.

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Looking for the wow factor in Warlords of Draenor

We talk to the expansion's lead designer about simplifying complexity.

In a little over a month from now, World of Warcraft's fifth expansion will be released. Titled Warlords of Draenor, the new expansion raises the level cap to 100, introduces a new garrison system to give players a permanent sense of place in the world, and ushers in the usual feast of new dungeons, raids and player-versus-player content.

Robin Williams tribute spotted live in Warlords of Draenor beta

A couple of weeks back we reported on a series of Robin Williams references datamined in the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor. Now, some of these tributes have been spotted live in the add-on's beta.

As discovered by the folks at Wowhead, there's a genie named Robin on an island off of Talador's coast. You summon him by rubbing an "ever-burning lamp," at which point he'll appear and exclaim "Infinite cosmic power!" After that, he'll shrink, wave goodbye and murmur "itty bitty living space."

Near the genie is a large broken egg, referencing Mork, and Wowhead datamined an asset of a man in overalls believed to represent television's favourite alien (sorry, ALF). Other datamined assets include a third Robin dressed like Mrs. Doubtfire and some stuffed animals and tanks referencing the movie Toys.

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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor beta key giveaway

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor beta key giveaway

UPDATE: The keys have been sent! Hope you got lucky!

Update, 25th July, 4pm: The giveaway has now closed and they keys have been sent out. Check your email to see if you got one. Congratulations if you did! Apologies and better luck next time if not!

Original story: "You can never go back. Or can you?" I wrote when I saluted World of Warcraft, my personal game of the generation, last year. Blizzard is obviously betting that you can and hoping that you will with the fifth WOW expansion, Warlords of Draenor. With its included boost to level 90 and nostalgic theme, recalling the lore of the earliest Warcraft strategy games as you journey to the Orc homeworld in times past, it's clearly setting out to woo lapsed players.

Warlords of Draenor will be released at the end of this year - but if you'd like to dip your toe in in advance, Blizzard has kindly provided us with 1000 keys for its closed beta test to share with you. The beta's live now and its contents will be expanded and updated over time, but it currently includes several early questing zones, the Garrison player housing system, some of the updated character models (you've just got to see the Tauren male) - and for fans of numbers, the "stat squish" that attempts to rationalise almost a decade of escalating RPG progression. You can use a template to create a new level 90 character. There's no NDA, so you can stream and comment to your heart's content.

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Gaming's middle-aged crisis

Audiences are getting older - but what happens when the games do too?

When people started writing comic books I'm not sure they all believed that comic books were going to last very long. They certainly wrote them like they didn't believe that, anyway, as the youthful four-colour energy of a brand new art form was often chained to thrillingly short-termist thinking. Promising villains were killed off with ink-smudged abandon. Unlikely plot twists piled on unlikely plot twists. No care was spent on tomorrow or the day after. Kabam!

Diablo 3 sales hit 15m as WOW subs rise

Diablo 3 sales hit 15m as WOW subs rise

Activision reckons Destiny will be the "best-selling new video game IP in history".

Sales of action role-playing game Diablo 3 have now reached 15m, Activision Blizzard has announced.

The impressive figure, which came as part of the company's latest financial report, include sales of versions across all platforms. Activision Blizzard chief Bobby Kotick said it bodes well for the upcoming launch of expansion pack Reaper of Souls in March.

In other good news for Blizzard, World of Warcraft ended the year with 7.8m subscribers, a slight increase on the last reported figure. Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime put this down to excitement generated by BlizzCon (more than 4.5m people tuned in), Christmas and new promotions designed to get lapsed players back into the game.

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Blizzard warns WoW players to watch out for a Trojan

UPDATE: It came from a fake version of Curse Client.

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.

World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor confirmed

The next World of Warcraft expansion is Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard has confirmed.

The title was leaked earlier this week from trademark listings.

Blizzard's Chris Metzen took to the stage at BlizzCon this evening to unveil a new video, below, for the latest expansion to the massively multiplayer online game.

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