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?
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.
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.
Diablo 3 director Jay Wilson is leaving Blizzard Entertainment after a decade with the company.
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.
A new game feature designed to reduce the queue times in World of Warcraft's player-versus-player battlegrounds is currently in development, according to a post on Blizzard's official site yesterday.
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.
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.
Flying mounts will be added to World of Warcraft's Dreanor region after all, Blizzard has confirmed in a blog post over at the game's official website.
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 number of people who subscribe to massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft fell to 7.1 million, Blizzard said - but the success of Hearthstone and Diablo is helping make up for it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's been half-a-day and already there are plenty of level-100 players running around World of Warcraft.
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.
World of Warcraft subscription figures are climbing again, up to 7.4m at the end of September, compared to 6.8m at the end of June.
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.
Historically video games have allowed us to raise the virtual dead. We even have a common term for this: respawning. But soon Blizzard will be going the extra mile with its eff you to the laws of nature by allowing players to resurrect deleted characters.
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.
It looks like Blizzard has made good on its promise to memorialise comedian and actor Robin Williams, who died last week, in fantasy MMO World of Warcraft.
The subscription price to play World of Warcraft is going to increase upon the release of the Warlords of Draenor expansion on 13th November.
Blizzard's upcoming expansion for World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor, will launch on 13th November.
Blizzard made the release date reveal during a Gamescom live-stream event wherein it debuted a cavalcade of new videos.
First there's the new cinematic trailer for Warlords of Draenor.
Blizzard has downplayed World of Warcraft's latest subscriber count fall.
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?
UPDATE 4TH MARCH 2015: And now he, the World of Warcraft anomaly, who belongs to neither Horde nor Alliance, has reached level 100.
The World of Warcraft level 90 character boost is available now, Blizzard has announced.
Blizzard has explained its decision to sell World of Warcraft level 90 character boosts for $60.
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.
As soon as you pre-purchase (buy in advance) upcoming World of Warcraft expansion pack Warlords of Draenor, you'll immediately be able to boost one your characters to level 90.
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.
The first tentative details on the Warcraft movie have seeped out of BlizzCon.
Blizzard has ruled out making massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft free-to-play.
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.