For the Swarm by Obilex

' Resurrection of a Death Knight

“Picking up his drink and cigar once more, he gives the Major a long-toothed grin, and retires to his tent, letting the moments of the day slip away to blend into the long line of unchanging and forgotten fallen dawns behind him. Kind of sad, really. He’s a Death Knight, he shouldn’t be sitting around molding away by a campfire, he should have one last, bright charge against a valiant foe left in him! I decided to resurrect Chainblade, call him up out of his retirement and make him shake loose the cobwebs from the rut he was in, give him one last hellride through mystery and adventure.” Big Bear Butt takes his Death Knight on one last adventure before his account goes dark.

% I Like It

Entries are now closed for submitting entries into Blizzard’s Hearthstone poster contest, but they need our help. The team has shared their top poster picks on Facebook; help pick out the best posters by “Liking” your favorite poster (or posters!), and the three entries with the most “Likes” will win an iPad Air. Check out the albums for US/CA and EU entries to place your votes.

& Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

“When I play WoW, I see Hunters pulling arrows from thin air, firing shot after shot with no visible clue as to where that ammo is coming from. I’ve heard Druids speak fondly of mystical objects called Idols, and listened to Shamans talk of Totems. And my Paladin seems to have developed a strange hitch in his gait due to the lack of a Libram at his side.” WoW senior art director Chris Robinson reveals class accessories. I hope I won’t regret the fact that I vendored my favorite birdie Idol ages ago.

! Uh-huh. Cool. Totally.

The recent statements from Blizzard creative director Rob Pardo and HotS game director Dustin Browder aren’t the first missteps by the company on women and diversity. The community has a lot to say and I (attempted) to keep up with it all. Here’s a Storify of various reactions and responses.

' The Fall

“Weeks before Descendants of Draenor began to scratch the surface of the final encounter in Icecrown Citadel, it was common knowledge that The Lich King had already been defeated. The victor? Blood Legion…but the recognition they received was muted, for it was the 10-Man version they had scored a world-first of — something other hardcore raiding guilds paid little attention to.” Hanzo goes on a nostalgic journey through Azeroth and the fall of The Lich King.

# Crash Course

Every time a holiday boss comes around, I want to run the event on all of my alts. Well, at least the events with mounts that I have never seen in almost 10 years of this game. But as soon as I log in to a dusty old alt, I realize that I’ve completely forgotten how to do anything remotely useful. Enter Blizzard’s Crash Course guides. Get a refresher on your oft-neglected toon or jump right in with your new level 90.

' The Challenge

In WoW, we’re offered heirlooms and other enhancements with our alt leveling experience. “But is this really a good idea? If you go back to the Theory of Fun presented above, this is the exact opposite of how a good game should act. The game should acknowledge the player’s mastery, as evidenced by the first max-level character, and present a slightly harder challenge. Presenting an easier challenge will only lead to a player getting bored more easily.” Coriel talks about the challenge – or lack thereof – in leveling alts.

& Happy Birthday to Us

I wasn’t the only player hoping the Diablo III team would keep the legendary anniversary buff around. In fact, the community loved it so much that Blizzard decided to do just that. Now about some extra stash space…

% For the Swarm

Obilex’s Starcraft-themed “For the Swarm” is featured in this week’s header.

' Birds of a Feather

Flight in Draenor is – still – a hugely debated topic. The Grumpy Elf discusses how the lack of flight will affect gathering, exploration, travel, rare hunting, and PvP. Will it really get people out into the world? Grumpy doesn’t think so. But are we taking Garrisons and the new flight path revamps into consideration?