Tagnew models

But wait, there’s more!

Deathwing by Ookami-FAC

Welcome to a special double issue of Blizzlist featuring milestone podcasts, big Warlords of Draenor news, and in-depth blog posts from around the community.

# 100

The Realm Maintenance podcast hit its 100th episode milestone last week and Rho produced an epic episode to celebrate. Nearly 60 WoW community podcasters and podcast listeners chatted with Rho about how they got into podcasts and where they draw their inspiration from.

' The Black Stalker

Former Blizzard designer Alexander Brazie writes an awesome series of postmortems on WoW content he helped create. In one of his most recent posts in the series, he discusses The Black Stalker and how he learned that fun for designers doesn’t guarantee fun for players. To be honest, The Black Stalker was one of my least favorite dungeon bosses at the time. She was brutal! But reading about Brazie’s process makes me want to go back into The Underbog to battle her once again.

! Perky

“The guild leveling system was originally meant to be a reward for guilds. People who worked together got rewards. For the first ~6 months, this guild leveling system was awesome. After a year, or two, things went terribly wrong.” Lissana discusses the cash flow guild perk removal in WoD and the current state of predatory leveling guilds. Many players are upset at the removal of this perk, but it may not be so bad after all.

+ Players are upset about spell removal, too. The devs want to remove ability bloat in WoD, but many players are concerned that the flavor of classes will be nixed along with the cuts. Once it was discovered that Heroic Strike would be removed, the Warrior community rallied around this memorial site to keep the iconic spell in the game.

" Wait for It

Pricing info on Curse of Naxxramas, Hearthstone’s first expansion, has finally been released after some delay. Blizzard details heroic mode, the wing-per-week release schedule, and the cost of each. At 700 gold or $6.99 per wing, the pricing isn’t unreasonable. Now if I could discover a Ragnaros in my next pack, I’d be a really happy camper.

' If Looks Could Kill

What happens when you take a look at your “new” character in WoD and you don’t like what you see? Lately, folks previewing their future toons via Wowhead’s profiler aren’t always pleased. It’s not surprising – after years of play, we form a connection with our in-game avatar. “The most pressing issue, at least for me, is being able to find a way to reconcile the past ‘look’ and the present ‘change’ with a measure of satisfaction. I’m seeing increasing numbers of people who are looking at their models side by side and getting a shock at what they are provided with.” Alternative Chat chats about the new character models.

! Raaaaage

It all started when Lead Game Designer Mumper answered a simple question on Twitter about faction hubs in Warlords of Draenor. Turns out, players were pretty committed to Karabor and Bladespire.


+ Confusion was rampant among the pitchfork-wielding mobs who wanted faction hubs to stay where they were originally announced. It was so bad that Community Manager Lore had to clarify a few things. For the record, I think Karabor as a hub would have been rad.

' Coming Home

We’ve spent almost ten years in the World of Warcraft exploring virtual mountain ranges and basking in pixelated sunsets. I’ve always loved the landscape of Grizzly Hills – it reminds me of my home here in the northwest.

Grizzly Northwest

Syrco Owl shares the locations in WoW that remind them of home. Where in the game do you feel at home?

% The Worldbreaker

This week’s featured header is Ookami-FAC’s painting, “Deathwing.”

' Are we there yet?

“What you’re really trying to achieve is a bit of distance and a change in perspective. Take a step back from the game, from your guild, from your raids, from your guild members. Distance will help bring you out of your current headspace and make it easier to perhaps look at things in a different way.” At this point in the expansion, many players are feeling burned out. Or close to it. Kurn talks about how to change your perspective and what to do – especially as a guild master or raid leader – to avoid the dreaded burnout.

" Gettin’ Weird

Archybaldy on Reddit Diablo asks the community for their non-standard builds. Players offered up Zoosaders, Sword and Board Demon Hunters, Poison Pet Witch Doctors, Holy Monks and a bunch of other random things. With a rundown of each unique build, how to use it, and what could make it better, you can try a fiery tornado stompy pet Barbarian, too.

! But wait, there’s more!

Spazzo, a rogue in Blood Legion, pointed out that although Garrisons will not be required for end-game progression, players may earn a bonus roll per week from their Armory building. What’s up with that? Seems pretty “required” to me. Turns out, it’s just another way to earn one of our three bonus rolls per week in WoD. Put away your torch!


& The Rest of Us

The International eSports Federation (IeSF) decided that in order to legitimize eSports, they had to incorporate gender segregation into their tournaments, à la traditional sports. Then shit blew up, so I Storified the whole thing.

' My First Time

We all have our first. Exalted reputation, that is. Thinking back, a few early reputation grinds stick out for me, especially Brood of Nozdormu. The Grumpy Elf talks about first rep grinds and how things just aren’t the same these days. What rep was your first?

" Mrglmrglmrgl

How would one best gear up a character at this point in the expansion? What’s the best way to keybind an Elemental shaman? The Reddit WoW community hosts Murloc Mondays every Monday for players of all skill levels to get their questions answered. If you haven’t stopped by yet, check it out.

! It’s real!

Paging Gloriaboboria! Senior Game Designer Jonathan LeCraft revealed what we have all been waiting for: A Corgi companion! But with savage lava cuteness.


# Why so angry?

The Angry Chicken recorded their latest episode live at Nerdtacular 2014. They covered the (previous) lack of Curse of Naxxramas updates, sexism in eSports, and took many, many questions from the audience.

& Farewell

Rob Pardo, Chief Creative Officer at Blizzard Entertainment, announced his departure from the company last week. “After 17 years at Blizzard, with long and careful contemplation, I have made a difficult and bittersweet but ultimately exciting decision to pursue the next chapter in my life and career,” Pardo wrote in a farewell message. His next move? He’s not ready to reveal it yet, but he’ll have an answer for us “when it’s ready.”

" Think Different

D3 players have been testing new Greater Rifts in the PTR and have a lot to say. How can you buff a rift in a more meaningful way than simply scaling the health and damage of the mobs? Aeneas started a thread on the forums to solicit ideas from fellow community members.

! Get to tha console!

Newegg accidentally listed an item described as a Warlords of Draenor Xbox Live Credit and the whole internet went nuts for a few hours. Did Newegg accidentally leak major news? Will Blizzard really put WoW onto the console? THIS IS WHY THEY’RE PRUNING OUR ABILITIES, HUH? The conspiracy theorists had a field day with this one. Newegg removed the listing soon after they were alerted by Blizzard that they were causing a ruckus.

& Leeeeeeeroy!

Leeroy Jenkins is a meme that lives in the hearts of many a WoW player. There’s an in-game title and a (pretty awesome) Hearthstone legendary card named after the legend that is Leeroy. So, it seems fitting that the devs added him into the revamped UBRS dungeon in WoD.

BY FIRE BE PURGED!

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.

% BY FIRE BE PURGED!

“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.

Should I stay or should I go?

Dark Lady by Jill-Wan

" What a Nice Cache You Have

D3 Community Manager Nevalistis posts an amazingly helpful list of Torment-only and bounty-only legendaries.

' If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…

“Last week reminded me that not everyone is comfortable when someone is different. Being uncomfortable is ok. In fact, it’s often a healthy response to a new situation. Discomfort is your mind pausing when it encounters something unfamiliar in order to ascertain the appropriate response. The key is how you respond.” Varranis, like many of us in the gaming community, has experienced bullying first hand. And from within the same community that we all call home. It has to stop.

% Dark Lady

Jill-Wan on DeviantArt creates gorgeous, whimsical fan art. Her Lady Sylvanas portrait is featured in this week’s header.

+ Blizzard Art Director Samwise Didier just joined DeviantArt. Go for the Warcraft stuff, stay for the death metal art.

' A Diamond in the Rough

WoW expansions come and go and we move along with them to the newest content. But what about the old cities, the Shattraths and Silvermoons of the game? “Without other players to distract you by dancing naked or generally bustling around the screen, a visitor can admire details like self-sweeping brooms and golems on patrol. These are the sights that make the place beautiful and magical—and slightly ominous. It’s sad that so few people seem to appreciate its features, but the upshot is a welcome solitude.” Samantha Nelson finds the beauty in our abandoned cities.

" Love and Loss

“I write this today because yesterday was the first day that I logged in and managed to actually play for a bit. It was a big day for me.” Secrasanct posts an open letter to the WoW community. I’m not crying; it’s just been raining on my face.

' Playing Outside the Box

Games Radar asks Blizzard Entertainment writer Alex Ackerman for the wackiest Diablo 3 builds. If I had a Witch Doctor I’d give the Doom Chicken build a shot, but I’m too obsessed with shooting laser beams on my Wizard.

+ Grimiku announces several quality of life changes coming to D3, including scaling the number of blood shards dropped by Rift Guardians and reducing the cost of unsocketing top tier gems.

! Should I stay or should I go?

Cynwise asks the community why we should stay subscribed to the game. WoD is pretty far off at this point, but the community’s responses are all over the board.

' Lookin’ Good

With character model revamps coming in Warlords, Perculia picked the perfect time to put together a helpful Wowhead modelviewer tutorial. She goes over modelviewer basics, animations, how to view your character with the updated models and more.

" Grounded

“Our goal is not to make travel time consuming or painful, and with players on ground mounts we know we’ll have to do more to try to ensure people can get to where they want to go quickly… BUT being able to lift off and fly over content compromises many of our goals in how the game world is approached, how it’s played, how it’s consumed, and how the content is designed to account for those factors.” Bashiok weighs in on flying in Warlords.

+ The Godmother shares her view on flying in Warlords and why we should focus on what we’re gaining versus what we’re losing.

' I Call B.S.

“You’d think I’d love this show, because it’s got two things I really like; World of Warcraft and Orange County Choppers… oh wait, I mean Paul Jr’s custom bike builds. Thing is, I don’t like it. It’s not even okay, it’s annoying as hell.” I’ve read a lot about Azeroth Choppers lately and opinions vary wildly. Does the web series make sense for Blizzard? Why all the manufactured drama? Big Bear Butt gets real.

That’s for the Juggernaut

crusader_cosplay

' Are we there yet?

“While in recent years Blizzard’s been in the habit of announcing BlizzCon in the first quarter, we haven’t yet reached two of the dates on that list, and we’re not far past March 25th. So really, just under half of all BlizzCon announcements happened right around this point in the year.” Blizzard has yet to announce the dates for this year’s BlizzCon and people are getting antsy. And hey, there may not even be a BlizzCon this year. Elepheagle gives a rundown of BlizzCon yearly announcements so I can worry about other stuff, for now.

% Will the real daughter of Argus please stand up?

Senior Art Director Chris Robinson revealed the team’s current progress on the new Draenei model. Thank goodness, because I don’t know how much longer we could have waited after that whole April Fool’s thing.

+ “On a certain level, how you move in the game is one of the most important things you experience as a player. It’s your main interaction with the world around you. For Warlords of Draenor, we wanted to improve the locomotion of WoW’s player characters with brand new rigs.” Steve Aguilar, lead animator for the World of Warcraft team, introduced the new male Tauren model and delved into the animation process.

' Golden

Esoth is embarking on an impressive journey: To complete the gold wave in Proving Grounds for all 31 specs in the game. He discusses his goals, what he looks for in a spec-agnostic UI, and how he plans on tackling this monumental task.

! But what about me?

Along with news of new heroes and legendary cards, Blizzard released Warlords of Draenor beta keys into the wild at PAX East. Given to attendees who play WoD, HotS, and Hearthstone demos, the keys grant a guaranteed spot in a later phase of the expansion’s development. But what about the rest of us? No love for the folks who attended BlizzCon? According to CM Lore, there will be other ways to get into the beta.


' Mo’ Money

The devs revealed that Engineering items like Nitro Boosts and MOLL-E would have BoE versions in the expansion. I’ll spare you my feelings on that here, but what about the effects for players in general? Phat Lewts discusses the implications and viability of Engineering as a gold-making profession in WoD.

" Mo’ Loot

“Loot is an incredibly important aspect of Diablo games and we will continue to keep a very close eye on it. If more problems arise we will continue striving to address them. It isn’t our goal to take loot away from people, we just want to make sure they are having as much fun as possible while finding it and these changes all support that goal.” Game Designer Travis Day revealed a hotfix in which the bonus legendary drop rate for rifts was increased from 25% to 100% and unique monsters will drop fewer items.

+ Grimiku posted about future quality of life improvements based on community feedback.

% Mo’ Awesome

The folks at Blizzard know how to get down. To celebrate the release of Reaper of Souls in Korea, the team put together an epic release party including awesome Diablo cosplay from the Spiral Cats cosplay team. Tasha’s fantastic Crusader cosplay is featured in this issue’s header.

' Make It Last

“We are creating an experience where a team has a chance to do a few things before people start dying.” Dustin Browder talks hero lethality in Heroes of the Storm. What, still think every battle should be 10 seconds long?

# That’s for the Juggernaut

Heroic Siegecrafter Blackfuse is a clusterfu… complicated fight with a ton of moving parts. But when you learn where you fit in to the encounter as a player, everything falls into place. The belt assignment can be intimidating as it’s a key assignment in the encounter. Reesi demystifies the belt team with her 10-man Heroic SCBF belt guide:

' Mathematical!

“None of that discussion addressed what would eventually be a crucial (and in the case of our beta test results, deciding) factor: what makes a good metric?” Theck and Meloree created the TMI metric with the goal of calculating the threat of spike damage to a tank. Using Simulationcraft, it’s relatively easy to determine the effectiveness of a healer during a boss encounter, but not as easy when it comes to assessing a tank’s survivability. Theck recaps the process of (re)-building the TMI metric in two parts.

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