We Didn’t Start the Fire

Tyrande Whisperwind

! All BiS All the Time

With WoD’s revamped loot system, it’s clear that Blizzard is trying to move us away from the BiS mentality. They’re gently encouraging us to go in a different direction with stats that are “good-to-haves” and not necessarily requirements. After playing this way for so long, it’ll be tough to break the habit. There was a huge response from the community – and input from the devs – after the Dev Watercooler was posted. I just had to Storify it.

& The Best Laid Plans

Last week, I’m not sure I would have remembered that I’m only one achievement away from Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider (what the??). But now I do. Not sure what to do next on your alt or which achievement to finish off? There’s an app for that. Wowhead just released their character planner. And it’s awesome.

# It’s Not the Destination

“Let’s say you’ve just hit Level 70 on a new Crusader. Bright eyed and bushy flailed, you’ve got your sights set on Torment VI. You know the build you want and the Legendary items that will help support it. That’s an awesome destination, but what about the journey? What kind of build should you focus on in the meantime, and what sort of gear will help you transition into those higher Torment levels?” Deadset Gaming’s video guide, “Beginning Crusader Gearing (1 Day to Torment IV)”, will set you on the right path.

' Rift it Forward

If you have a level 70 in Diablo 3, you may be interested in farming rifts. Or you may be all over it already! Rift it Forward is a community in which players pool resources to easily farm rifts. One player opens a rift, another clears it to the Guardian, and the group files in to kill the Guardian and collect loot. In exchange, someone opens the next rift for the soloer. That’s the gist of it, at least. There are definitely pros and cons to the system, and Dannie Ray of BlizzPro offers up a choice rundown of the Rift it Forward system.

& We Didn’t Start the Fire

Xfire is launching free web-based software to allow any player to create, host, and promote high quality tournaments. Custom branding management, player wrangling, and streaming are all planned features to be included in the release – which is pretty sweet. “The heart of competition is a burning passion to be the best. Complications and delays stomp out that fire. Xfire is making competing easier for players and organizers, and we feel that will grow the market substantially.” [a]listdaily interviews Xfire’s VP of Marketing, Matt Marcou, on their big plans for eSports.

% Elune Be With You

Camillepetrai’s fantastic cosplay of Tyrande Whisperwind is featured in this week’s header.

+ And if you create things, be sure to check out the Blizzcon art and movie contest – submissions are now open!

& Nerf Locks!

HearthStats released its May report on all things Hearthstone. Find out which class was the most played in constructed decks (Warlocks), which classes had the highest global win rates (Rogues and Warlocks), ranked win rate distribution, and more. You know, pretty graphs and numbers.

! New News

The WoD Alpha went into Friends & Family testing this week and the community has gone bonkers over it. Rightfully so, as we’ve been starved of any substantial new information. Since the invites have started to roll out, participants in the early F&F testing have been streaming, sharing, and gathering a ton of useful info. Check out the (work-in-progress) Storified collection of community-driven WoD updates.

' More Bones to Gnaw On

It’ll be… ten years already? Woah. It kind of blows my mind that later this year I’ll have played this game for ten years. There are kids that have never known a world without Warcraft. In honor of its ten-year anniversary, Blizzard is gifting players a mini Hogger companion pet. Ah, memories.

& Get to the choppa!

Azeroth Choppers has come to an end and the winner has been chosen. Spoilers: The Horde bike won. Although I’m not surprised – the Horde bike was just… better. And I play Alliance right now. I think a sweet Dwarven front fender would have suited the Alliance bike nicely. So yeah, here’s the winner reveal.

+ Did you know that Orange County Choppers created Horde and Alliance bikes long before Azeroth Choppers was a thing? Me neither. Although the Alliance handlebars are cooler, I think Horde would have won here, too. Does it bother anyone else that they refer to the factions as “Good Guys” and “Bad Guys?”

Nom Nom Nom

Blackrock by ChrisHogman

" The One That Got Away

“I’ve salvaged countless legendaries without knowing their true potential and then kicked myself for it after. Because of this, I wanted to create a list of items that you should not salvage.” Reddit Diablo puts together a helpful list of legendaries you shouldn’t salvage. The list seems long at first glance, but it’s broken down by class. Good thing, too. I thought I had to keep everything around.

' That’s Value

If you’re a frequent Hearthstone player or stream viewer, you may have run into the concept of “value.” But what is it and what’s the value of any given card? Turns out it’s not an exact science. Antigen talks about value in HS and general tips you can use in your play.

& Nom Nom Nom

Kierpanda from Eat Game Live has chosen the winner of the Reaper of Recipes Challenge. Get ready for SHARKNADO!

' You’re In or You’re Out

Confession: I transmog my gear, even at low levels. I don’t know about you, but I like to look good while dragonslaying! Or, ya know, while digging cherries out of poop. Wowhead crafts a transmog guide for every class so you can make it work.

% Blackrock

ChrisHogman’s stunning “Blackrock” is this week’s featured header image.

" It’s Not Easy Being Green

I seem to see more set recipes than set pieces in Diablo 3. Seriously. I have yet to loot a set piece on any character. I get overly excited when I see that green beam shine through a pile of loot, only to get my hopes dashed when I realize it’s another crafting recipe. But now I can stop complaining – Reddit Diablo community member tracknuberseven put together an amazing guide for farming any set or legendary crafting material in the game.

' The State We’re In

“Kids, teens, even young adults who are currently playing World of Warcraft will be socialized by these ideas. World of Warcraft is a game that millions and millions of people have played, do play and will play. With such a large audience, it is my opinion that Blizzard has a social responsibility to demonstrate an openness to diversity, to show women actually being strong, to show dark-skinned humans doing something of note, to show any kind of positive LGBTQ presence at all.” Kurn discusses video games, society, and socialization.

! Hoarders

Hi, I’m Kristin and I’m a WoW hoarder. My bank and void storage are tearing at the seams and my alts have long served as overflow storage. And I know I’m not alone. There are many fun vanity items in-game and until last Blizzcon, there was no end to the madness. I admit, the Toybox releasing with WoD may be my favorite feature. Perculia collects recent tweets about the Toybox and items we’ll be able to put into it.

" I Heart Gnomes

I really like Sylvanas. She’s one of my favorite lore characters in WoW. And I’m sure there are folks who’d feel differently. Participants in a fun Reddit WoW thread are sharing their unpopular opinions about the game. “MoP was a better expansion than BC,” “I love Gnomes,” and “flying should have never been implemented” are just a few of the interesting posts.

' Home Is Where the Heart Is

Garrisons stand out as one of the biggest features coming to Warlords. I’m still not quite sure how they’ll interact with my gameplay or how much of a time-sink they’ll turn into, but I’m keeping an open mind. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place to call our own? The feature doesn’t seem to be quite like player housing though. “World of Warcraft isn’t really introducing housing, in the traditional sense. Instead, they are introducing military bases that allow you to have some form of customization. The garrison system is going to probably be a fun system; but if you want to build a house, you may have to look elsewhere.” Restokin compares WoW Garrisons to Wildstar player housing.


Ragnaros Hearthstone

% All Stuffed with Fluff

Apple McKee of LiLy’s Revenge crafted an adorable and intricate plushie based on the Pandaren Water Spirit, Shu.

& Rumor Has It

“Sources familiar with the pact,” or probably some guy’s brother’s cousin’s BFF, says that YouTube has reached a deal to acquire Twitch for more than $1 billion. “The deal, in an all-cash offer, is expected to be announced imminently, sources said. If completed the acquisition would be the most significant in the history of YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006 for $1.65 billion.” So far, PR for both YouTube and Twitch have declined to comment on rumors. Until then, you may continue to prep for the sky to fall.

" Gear Changes are Coming

WoW CM Crithto reveals upcoming gear changes in patch 5.4.8. “All upgradable epic items introduced to the game in Patch 5.4 will be given the option to upgrade 2 more times for a grand total of 16 item levels,” he says. What about our Garrosh heirlooms? Soon after the initial announcement, Bashiok confirmed that they’ll be auto-upgraded when the patch drops.

+ Unfortunately, legendary cloaks will not be auto-upgraded, but will receive the ability to be upgraded twice.

! Tank and Spank

“We just want to skew toward tanks needing more external healing than they do today.” Celestalon tweets about active mitigation in WoD.

' Superneutral

“The stakes are high — especially for new and thriving industries like professional gaming, usually referred to as esports, that have been built and maintained by startups and grassroots groups that rely on an equal Internet. Without a past of net neutrality, esports would probably not exist. Without a future of net neutrality, experts say, pro gaming’s next era looks stagnant and bleak.” Patrick Howell O’Neill discusses what the future of eSports and gaming would look like without net neutrality. Spoilers: It sucks.

% Huntress of Teldrassil

“The female Night Elf was actually one of the first models we started, but as we began to develop our other character models, we also wound up refining the overall look we were going for with the models and our processes for creating them. Ultimately, we felt that in order to do the female Night Elf justice, we needed to revisit her model with fresh eyes and continue iterating based on what we’d learned from working on the other models. The Night Elves have such a distinct but subtle character, and we spent a lot of effort in trying to help that come through.” Blizzard reveals the new female Night Elf model for WoD. And – like it or not – she still has fangs.

" Please, Sir, I Want Some More

The Diablo III anniversary buff will end on May 22, and our 100% bonus chance at legendary drops goes with it. But what if we could keep the buff somehow? The Reddit Diablo community brainstorms different ways to keep the buff around. Although I didn’t see too many legendary drops this weekend, the rate felt a bit more in line with what it should be. Should Blizzard keep the buffed drop rate or would a buff rotating every weekend (100% to bounty rewards, 100% bonus xp, etc.) work? Beats me, I just want more loots.

' Squishy

The Great Stat Squish is coming in WoD. With the removal of a few stats and a transition to newly squished stats, it can all seem a bit overwhelming at times. Perculia summarizes the squish, item enhancement changes, and other gear changes coming to the next expansion in this helpful guide.


“I found out about the contest 2 days before its deadline, so I frantically resorted to taking a ‘selfie’ with my cell phone camera, and using that as reference to paint from. I am now a gnome. In real life, my eyebrows are NOT this magnificent, nor do I have a legendary Ragnaros card in my deck (yet).” KrisCooper created this week’s whimsical featured header.

' Days Go By

Did you pre-order WoD? Whether you boosted a toon to level 90 or you’re just getting into the game, Alt:ernative Chat chats about what to do with the time we have until the next expansion. Her guide on Blizzard’s Raid Finder tool and how to get decent gear without stepping foot into LFR is quite handy.

We Had It All Along

Artwork by @KageSatsuki

' I Wanna Be the Very Best

Whether you’ve already boosted a character or have yet to use the shiny boost token waiting on your character creation screen, it may not be clear what to do next. Even for experienced players, it can be overwhelming to log into a completely unfamiliar character. The Warcraft team put together a guide of tips and resources for new and veteran players with boosted level 90s.

+ Wowhead asked a number of raiders and bloggers in the community to write class guides aimed at beginners and players with boosted 90s.

! All Engineers, All the Time

Any tidbit of news on Engineering causes me to become unreasonably excited. So, when Senior Game Designer Jonathan LeCraft confirmed the next iteration of Blingtron for WoD, I rejoiced. And I know I’m not the only one. The new Blingtron 5000 will feature fresh loot and a unique ability: Battling other Blingtrons to the death. Sounds like a choice reality show pitch to me.

+ And while he was at it, LeCraft revealed a new teleporter for the expansion. The Wormhole Centrifuge will allow Engineers pick two locations from a list, but be sent to one. Red pill, blue pill?

# The Rift Between Us

YouTube user Holy Hermit released a Diablo III video guide covering two new features in the expansion: Rifts and gambling (of sorts). I’m crossing my fingers for a rift full of treasure goblins.

' Follow the Leader

“The world needs jerks. But it needs the right kind of jerk. The kind of jerk who’s willing to put their boot down and stop other jerks in their tracks. It’s a dirty job, but it has to be done.” Matticus and friends discuss running a successful guild. And the tough lessons they’ve learned along the way.

! Let Me In

Although the cap on entering instances was created to thwart exploiting, the average player can easily hit the limit while farming for transmog items or trying to figure out which portal leads to The Underbog. Luckily, Watcher is looking into including some sort of timer to assist players in tracking the lockout.

& No “I” in Team

“Team leveling solved a lot of problems for our game. Characters like Abathur just worked. All of our Battlegrounds were suddenly alive with possibility. Players had the freedom to go where they wanted to go, when they wanted to go there, with the knowledge that their allies were helping them by collecting the experience that minions created.” Heroes Game Director Dustin Browder provided insight into how the team’s design decisions evolved over the course of the game’s development.

" We Are Family

“There is nothing quite like a mammoth parade – the rumble of heavy feet stamping the ground in stolid purpose, shaggy dust stained coats swaying to and fro with every movement, shining tusks jutting out in defiance of any who would dare cross their path.” Violent Apathy of Bleeding Hollow marches across the Vale of Eternal Blossoms in a hairy parade of mammoths to visit their Alliance neighbors. Who said World PvP doesn’t exist anymore?

For those planning on hosting a community event, head over to the Community Events and Creations forum to rally the troops.

' We Had It All Along

“It’s taken two years, multiple patches, and a major expansion, but Diablo III has finally rediscovered the moment-to-moment gameplay that made the series great, and fixed—or removed—almost everything that got in the way of that greatness. Reaper Of Souls is the redemption of Diablo III.” Rowan Kaiser at Ars Technica talks about the success of the series’ recaptured greatness.

! It’s (Almost) Here

As guilds begin to reevaluate their raid rosters for Warlords, Watcher drops a whopper of a tweet revealing that Mythic SoO, along with flexible Normal and Heroic difficulties, will release before the expansion. What about raid comp? For those planning the shift, Mythic will require 2-3 tanks, 4-6 healers, and around 13 DPS.

+ Bonus Storified version of the info.

% Reaper of Chibi

Kageyama Satsuki adorably melds the worlds of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo in this wallpaper. Also featured in this issue’s header!

+ Vidyala beautifully sketches Draenei.



! Stay Classy

“The fantasy of Warcraft battlegrounds is that there are two relatively equal sides to the conflict.” But it’s just not the case. Cynwise analyzes battleground imbalances and how to address them.

+ And if that isn’t enough analysis for you, Cynwise tweeted about tasty datas on class popularity over the course of MoP. Here it is in nifty Storify form.

& Garry’s Trial

“Outrage and offense chased away Anduin’s discomfort. Blood suffused his face and he snapped, ‘I am not Arthas!’” If you can’t wait for Christie Golden’s War Crimes release in May, sate your hunger with Blizzard’s sneak peek of the book.

" SoO You Think You Can Raid?

SoO is now cross-realm on all difficulties. Bring in your friends from all around and take the fight to Garrosh to earn your titles and loot. But it makes me wonder – how much do realms really matter anymore?

' Let Me Grab My Pitchfork

“So we wait, somewhat impatiently, for new information on the next expansion, or excerpts from novels, something to think about, something to look forward to.” Anne Stickney touches on WoD news and preemptive criticism from the community. Is it pointless to grumble? I don’t know, but I didn’t light this torch for nothing.

+ Alt:ernative Chat chimed in on the topic of WoD news (or lack thereof) and criticism – it’s inevitable.

% Flawless

Chris G. Robinson, Senior Art Director at Blizzard, revealed new and improved dwarf female models. The renders are now on the WoD website with different hairstyles and without facial distortion.

All reports of her “dark undereye circles” to be henceforth ignored by me and filed under “I woke up like dis.”

+ Featured header image via the Warlords site.

! Speed Kills

Additive? Multiplicative? Speed boosts haven’t always been straightforward, especially on the mechanical side of things. Community Manager Lore tweeted a bit about plans to make speed increases easier to understand.

& Crusader Skillz

Blizzard published a Crusader skill design Q & A just in time for the RoS release. The team poured through tweets and worked with senior game designer Andrew Chambers to provide answers to some of our most burning inquiries.

+ And to make sure you’re ready to jump into the action, the Diablo team put together an official launch day prep guide.

' The Endless Journey

“This post is going to be a bit of a meander through my experiences, more emotional than informational: PGs were not just an in-game diversion for me, but a deeply personal challenge.” Dayani at Heliocentric dives into Proving Grounds on every healing class.

+ Perculia and Hamlet posted thorough Proving Grounds guides for rogues and healers, respectively.

% Hearthsweeper

Forget Flappy Bird. The new Hearthstone-inspired tile game HS 2048 provides enough distraction to throw your evening off track. Seriously though, I almost didn’t finish this week’s issue because I was too busy playing.


Blizzard is heading to PAX East 2014. Attendees will be able to try Hearthstone on iPad, a hands-on WoD intro experience, a Heroes of the Storm demo, and much more. Take this time to ask the devs really obscure questions and complain about loot coining RNG face-to-face.

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