Countdown to Warlords

Countdown to Warlords

With the expansion due to release on November 13 and the 10 year anniversary running between November 21 – January 6, I’m glad we have over a month to participate in these special events. More importantly, we won’t feel the need to rush to 100. The advantage of playing through the beta several times allows me to know exactly which questlines to focus on. Levelling up was surprisingly fast the first time around so I’m glad Blizz made it a little bit harder in a subsequent build. With all the bonus objectives and rares around the place, it really won’t be hard to reach max level.

moltencorg-banner

Players who log in during the anniversary period will receive this cute yet fiery Molten Corgi pet as well as the opportunity to participate in the following special events.

Molten Core (revamped)

This classic 40-player raid will be revisited and available for level 100 players who queue up via Raid Finder. Defeating Ragnaros will award players with a Core Hound Chain mount and a special ilvl 640 fiery Warlords of Draenor helm guaranteed. Pet lovers will also want to run the place more than once for a chance at Hatespark the Tiny and a Ragnaros inspired enchant.

Southshore vs. Tarren Mill – The Battle Continues

There will be two different brackets for this old-style deathmatch with one for levels 90-99 and another for max level players. PVP Designer Holinka stated the battleground will consist of 100 vs 100 matches with the ability to level up through the original honour system. Winning will give you the title of Tarren Mill Terror (Alliance) or Southshore Slayer (Horde).

tarren-southshore

Prepare for Battle

With the pre-expansion event now live on test servers, I’m really excited about the quality of life changes coming very soon like the extra void tab and Toy Box changes. For those excited about the updated models, you’ll be happy to know these will be included as part of the pre-patch, as well as the face changer in the barber shop.

You’ll also be able to try out all the new changes to classes, feel the item squish and run Mythic difficulty for SoO.

There’s also the revamped 90 version of UBRS where we’ll face-off against the bosses of the Iron Horde – Orebender Gor’ashan, Kyrak, and Commander Tharbek.

Iron-Starlette

I’ll be saving these pre-events for later so I don’t spoil the surprise of experiencing it before release but I look forward to receiving the Iron Starlette as a quest reward at the new Dark Portal. Also, if you complete the quest series before Warlords launches on November 13, you’ll receive The Iron Invasion achievement and Iron Vanguard title.

So with the Dark Portal turning blood red and all these activities to do, what are you most looking forward to?

Battle Pets of Draenor

Here are the pets which are currently listed in the pet journal of the beta as well as the ones we know about. As always, you can expect this list to change as more info comes in and I can flood the post with accompanying images.

Profession

Ancient Nest Guardian – Arch
Frostwolf Ghostpup – Arch

Lil’ Leftovers – Cooking

Lifelike Mechanical Frostboar – Eng
Mechanical Axebeak – Eng
Mechanical Scorpid – Eng
Sky-Bo – Eng

Nightshade Sproutling – Herbalism
Ore Eater – Mining

Soul of the Forge - Blacksmithing

Soul of the Forge – Blacksmithing

Elekk

Elekk Plushie – Tailoring

Reward

Ghastly Kid – Quest: Mastering the Menagerie
Albino Chimaeraling – Quest: Mastering the Menagerie
Firewing – Quest: Mastering the Menagerie
Nightfeather Hatchling – Quest: Mastering the Menagerie
Puddle Terror – Quest: Mastering the Menagerie
Shadeback Hatchling – Quest: Mastering the Menagerie
Sun Sproutling – Quest: Mastering the Menagerie
Sunfire Kaliri – Quest: Mastering the Menagerie
Weebomination – Quest: Mastering the Menagerie

Everbloom Peachick – Quest: For the Birds
Iron Starlette – Faction specific quest in Blasted Lands
Sentinel’s Companion – Quest: Little Sister Lost

Ikky

Ikky – starts from Ikky’s Egg in Shadowglade, Spires of Arak

Digrem Orebar
Meadowstomper Calf – starts from Digrem Orebar, Ring of Trials.

Wild Pets

Gnawtooth Rat – Garrison
Pygmy Cow – requires Level 3 Barn, Garrison
Bloodsting Wasp
Bloodthorn Hatchling
Bone Serpent

Moonshell Crab

Shadowmoon Valley

River Calf
Flat-Tooth Calf
Axebeak Hatchling, Bloodbeak, Junglebeak
Sapphire Firefly, Swamplighter Firefly, Violet Firefly, Waterfly
Cerulean Moth, Crimsonwing Moth, Royal Moth
Brilliant Bloodfeather
Golden Dawnfeather
Icespine Hatchling, Mossbite Skitterer, Thicket Skitterer
Fen Crab
Frostshell Pincher
Ironclaw Scuttler
Kelp Scuttler
Zangar Crawler
Sky Fry
Dusty Sporewing
Glowing Sporebat
Shadow Spoebat

Achievement

Stormwing - So. Many. Pets

Stormwing – So. Many. Pets

Trunks – An Awfully Big Adventure
Royal Peacock – Draenor Pet Master
Molten Corgi – Feat of Strength: WoW’s 10th Anniversary
Hatespark the Tiny – Feat of Strength: WoW’s 10th Anniversary

Drop

Amberbarb Wasp, Twilight Wasp, Wood Wasp
Bronze Whelping – Iron Horde, Blasted Lands
Eye of Observation – Omoro the Observer, Taladar
Servant of Demidos
Lanticore Spawnling – rare in UBRS
Dwarf Gronnling
Runtish Gronnling

Doom Bloom

Doom Bloom – inside a cave in Steamscar Rise, Gorgrond

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Fruit Hunter – Wiggling Egg, Grom’gar

Hydraling - Varasha's Egg, Spires of Arak

Hydraling – Varasha’s Egg, Spires of Arak

Grovestrider Hatchling

Teroclaw Hatchling – Teroclaw Nest

Sproutlings

Autumnal Sproutling, Forest Sproutling, Kelp SproutlingSassy Sproutling

Brilliant Spore, Crimson SporeUmbrafen Spore

Stonegrinder

Stonegrinder – Chest inside a motion sensor cave (Orunai Coast)

Zomstrok - Darktide Husk and Boneshell, Shadowmoon Valley

Zomstrok – Darktide Husk and Boneshell, Shadowmoon Valley

World Event

Bush Chicken
Mystical Spring Bouquet
Lovebird Hatchling

Stout Alemental
Cursed Birman
Widget the Departed
Blazing Cindercrawler

Vendor

Kaliri Hatchling

Kaliri Hatchling – sold by Vesharr

Rubyfeather

Rubyfeather – sold by Vesharr

Bone Wasp – Revered with Laughing Skull
Draenei Micro Defender – Revered with Council of Exarchs
Frostwolf Pup – Revered with Frostwolf Orcs
Albino River Calf – Revered with Steamwheedle Preservation Society
Forest Sproutling – Revered with Steamwheedle Preservation Society
Son of Sethe – Revered with Outcast Arakkoa

Crazy Carrot – requires Herb Garden (1000 Seeds)
Sea Calf – requires Fishing Shack, rep with Nat Pagle (follower) and 50 Lucky Coins
Land Shark – requires Fishing Shack, Good friends with Nat Pagle (follower) and 50 Lucky Coins

In-Game Shop

Karabor Kid

Unknown

Temporal Shard
Echo of Murmur
Limbflayer

This list is subject to change
Garrison – First Impressions

Garrison – First Impressions

Over the last couple of days, I’ve spent some time setting up my Garrison. As you’d expect there’s a real Orcish feel which looks pretty bland but I’m hoping some sort of customisation (albeit minor) will come later on. Personally, I’d love to have some sort of racial or class feel but that may just be wishful thinking.

Garrison overview

So far I’ve set up the initial stage of my barracks and gained one follower but it appears further blueprints may be purchased after the relevant level is achieved. The only exception is the Alchemy Lab at level 90.

It’s important to note the garrison doesn’t just end at the barricade wall so you’ll have to travel a fair way past the gate before you unphase.

Garrison Quartermasters

At the moment you have your own personal mailbox, innkeeper, training dummies and two primary quartermasters located inside the main garrison. The fishing trainer, farmer and several other npcs may be found out back.

Libby Wrench

Yesterday I came across a friendly ogre while questing in the Burning Glacier (just west of the Garrison). He offers you three chat options to trade, visit your garrison, or fight. The second option will cost you 10c before he appears as a regular npc during subsequent visits, located to the left of your Town Hall.

I expected him to sell some sort of random blueprint but was disappointed to see an ordinary looking hat. Curious to see if there was anything unusual, I tried it on:

This is better an any congo line I’ve seen in Org and by the end, I felt like I was playing Snake.

After two days, I’ve sent my only follower on several short missions and will be getting a second one very soon.

Meanwhile, it’s been a very expensive and life-threatening task collecting all the rares and artifacts around the place, particularly this one that burrows.

bone worm death

My Frostfire Ridge collection of rares promises to be the most ambitious one yet and that’s due to the sheer number of them. All I can say is happy shooting, the killing will come later.

Toy Box – My Wish List

Toy Box – My Wish List

A couple of days ago, I logged in to try one of the features I’m most looking forward to – the Toy Box. You can easily find it under the new ‘Collections’ interface along with your pets and mounts. To add a toy, just right-click on any eligible item. It will no doubt be one of the first things I do on live so between that and filling up my second void storage tab, I should have a lot of room back.

So after copying a few of my toons over, there are several items I’d like to see included:

X-52 Rocket Helmet – even though it’s a cloth item
Orb of Sin’dorei – just click and go
Whole-Body Shrinka’
Foam Sword Rack
Leyara’s Locket
Frenzyheart Brew
Vrykul Drinking Horn
Gokk’lok’s Shell
Gnomish Army Knife – saves making one for many of my toons
Monster Slayer Kit – and any other novelty item collected during those world events.

Steins
Blue Brewfest Stein
Yellow Brewfest Stein
Green Brewfest Stein
Overflowing Purple Brewfest Stein

Fishing Rewards
Jeweled Fishing Pole
Bone Fishing Pole
Weather-Beaten Fishing Hat

Costumes
Some sort of shared virtual stash for all those world events.

Not to mention all those tabards and shirts we’ve collected through the years.

Oh and there was something quite surprising when Cool and I played through the starting zone earlier.

Alpha News

Alpha News

All the interesting Blizzard news seems to happen while I’m sleeping so this is what I woke up to this morning – news from the Alpha for the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion.

WoDbanner

Here’s what I found most interesting:

A New File Format

A new proprietary file format called CASC (Content Addressable Storage Container) will be used in the Warlords of Draenor alpha and beta tests, with the intent to convert everyone to the new format in a pre-expansion patch.

It provides a ton of benefits not only for us and our ability to support and patch the game, but also for players. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • File Corruption – File repair tools are a thing of the past. The file structure maintains itself, helping to prevent errors during installation.
  • Speed – Real-world game performance should increase for many players thanks to a non-redundant file structure—in layman’s terms, the game can find the assets it’s looking for more quickly.
  • Patching – Updating your game files should be faster and more reliable. Patch data is integrated seamlessly, and no longer requires double the installation size on-disk when patching.
  • Client Hotfixing - CASC allows us to be able to hotfix client game data, similar to server hotfixes, giving us the ability to address client-side issues that would normally require a patch.
  • Streaming – The new format provides better support for streaming data and gives us greater flexibility to define how content updates are delivered and released.
  • Expandable – The file structure is built to allow easy integration of new technologies in the future that we haven’t even thought up yet.

. . . and more!

This new format is currently being used for the Heroes of the Storm alpha.

Blood Elf Spell

Blood Elf Racials

  • Arcane Acuity is a new racial passive ability that increases Critical Strike chance by 1%.
  • Arcane Torrent now restores 20 Runic Power for Death Knights (up from 15 Runic Power), 1 Holy Power for Paladins, or 3% of mana for Mages, Priests, and Warlocks (up from 2% of Mana). Other parts of the ability remain unchanged.

Instant cast heals

Priest (mainly Discipline) Changes

We’ve made a few significant changes to Priests as well, focused mostly on reining in Discipline absorbs, improving quality of life for both healing Priest specializations, and solving single-target damage issues for Shadow.

Atonement was the original damage-to-healing conversion ability, but grew out of control during Mists of Pandaria. We decided to reduce its effectiveness, to bring it more in line with our goal of it being an option to trade significant healing for significant damage (ending up somewhere between a full healer and a full damage dealer). Another place where Discipline’s absorbs were too strong was in their interaction with the level-90 Talents, especially in large Raids. Near the end of Mists of Pandaria, we uncapped the AoE healing of that Talent row; that has proven to be a mistake in Discipline’s case, not because it caused the level-90 Talents themselves to heal for too much, but rather because the gigantic overhealing that that produced translated into gigantic Divine Aegis absorbs. To get back to a balanced place, we’ve reapplied the AoE caps to the level-90 Talents, making them consistent with all other AoE heals.

  • Atonement now heals for 25% less than before.
  • Halo and Divine Star now follow standard AoE capping rules.

Professions

Some of our goals with Professions in Warlords of Draenor are to make them more of a personal choice, and less of a mandatory “min/max” selection. To that end, we’re removing the direct combat benefits of Professions. Additionally, we’ve made it easier to level Mining and Herbalism. Healing Potions have gone mostly unused lately, compared to combat stat potions. We chose to solve that problem, along with a problem with Warlock utility, by having Healing Potions and Healthstones share cooldowns.

  • Herbalists can now harvest herbs throughout the game world without hard skill requirements. The yield an Herbalist will be able to harvest from each node is now determined by skill level.
  • Miners can now harvest mineral nodes in outdoor areas of the game world without hard skill requirements. The yield a Miner will be able to harvest from each node is now determined by skill level.
  • Healing Potions no longer share a cooldown with other potions, but instead share a 60-second cooldown with Healthstones. The cooldown will not reset until the player leaves combat.

Garrisons

The Iron Horde army is massive and reinforcements from Azeroth are few. In order to stand a chance, you will need to build an army of your own.

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  • Undertake an epic quest to build a permanent base of operations on Draenor.
  • Find blueprints and materials to expand and customize your Garrison.
  • Recruit followers with unique skills and abilities to your cause.
  • Send followers on missions to level them up and acquire bonus loot.
  • Begin the quest for your Garrison in Shadowmoon Valley or Frostfire Ridge.

To read more, check out the complete list of Alpha Patch Notes for Warlords of Draenor™

As a reminder,

I can’t tell you how excited I am about Garrisons and the chat feature on the Battle.net launcher was a nice touch. What do you think of the notes so far?

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