WoD Alpha Delay Reasoning

Zarhym explained on twitter why the Alpha is taking so long to start.

So it seems that the Alpha related blog posts have been mostly to explain what’s going on, to not leave players in the dark when sites like MMO-Champion datamined the information from the Alpha servers.

At the same time the Alpha still hasn’t begun because there’s still work to be done in the zones as the developers weren’t have with how some quest chains were working out. So for now we will just have to continue being patient!

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Azeroth Choppers Episode 5

Azeroth Choppers Episode 5 is up!

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Gear changes in 5.4.8, New Mount Preview

To help players out in raid progress and not do any nerfs in orgrimmar we’ll be getting some gear changes in patch 5.4.8! Check out the post below:

Quote from: Blizzard
Gear changes are coming! First, in Patch 5.4.8 (which is currently in testing on the PTR), 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. This change will be applied to all items found on the Timeless Isle and in Siege of Orgrimmar. For instance, if you have an item level 553 Greatsword of Pride’s Fall and its Upgrade Level is 2/2 making it item level 561, once the new patch goes live it will display 2/4 and allow you the opportunity to bump it up to item level 569. Whether you’re working on a newly boosted character or progressing through Siege of Orgrimmar, we hope this change will provide you with the extra punch you need to take down your foes.

Second, we are also adding a new token called Deeds of Valor which will cost 3000 Timeless Coins, and can be used to grant your character 100 Valor Points. Players who wish to purchase the new token can do so by visiting Mistweaver Ai on the Timeless Isle next to the Celestial Court. Keep in mind, these tokens won’t allow you to go above the current weekly cap on Valor, but they do provide you an extra option to gain the points you may need so you can upgrade your gear.

We will be bumping up the ilvl of all Garrosh Heirlooms by +8 in 5.4.8, since they are not upgradeable with Valor. The intent of the 5.4.8 VP upgrade change is to let people continue to progress, and we don’t want those who are using one of the Garrosh BoA weapons as their primary weapon to feel like they need to go get a brand new weapon due to this change.

Blizzard also posted a new mount image on twitter last night. It looks like it will be a mount in draenor, and it looks a bit like a ravager!

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Artcraft – Female Nightelf Character Model Preview

It’s been a while since the last character model preview! Blizzard has just released the character model preview for the female nightelf.

Quote from: Blizzard

Artcraft—Huntress of Teldrassil

Hello, and welcome to Artcraft! I’m Chris Robinson, senior art director on World of Warcraft, and in today’s edition we’re going to give you a first look at the new female Night Elf model. As you probably know, we’re in the process of updating all of the original character models, along with the Draenei and Blood Elf, to improve their texture, polygon, and animation fidelity. Let’s get this going with some comments from Tyson Murphy, our lead character artist.


Hi all—I’m Tyson, and on behalf of everyone on the art team, we’re excited to be able to give you a first look at our in-progress female Night Elf model.

This is a good opportunity to talk about the iterative process we go through with all of the art we create, especially with the updated player models. We don’t call anything truly “complete” until it’s in the game and fulfilling all of our (and your!) expectations. This means that when it comes to concept art, modeling, texturing, rigging, and animation, everything is always up for debate and change, and we’re rethinking and revising continuously. Creating these updated models is a huge team effort, and we’re constantly considering feedback and suggestions on what we can do better. We’ve committed ourselves to this process, and the female Night Elf provided a unique opportunity to put it into practice.

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.

As with all of the updated character models, our goal is to keep everything the original model accomplished intact, while using the additional fidelity to realize characteristics that we weren’t able to fully represent with the lower polygon counts and texture resolutions. Overall, we’ve made her new model a little more defined, made some of her proportions a bit more realistic, and added a bit more muscle tone. We wanted to visually communicate that she is a fully capable warrior huntress, and small details like muscle definition help highlight that. We also put additional focus on her hands and fingernails, giving a very slight point to her nails to provide just a hint of a more feral nature.

Last but not least, the all-important Night Elf ears. In the original model, these were quite literally separate pieces of geometry effectively tacked onto the head of the Night Elf. In the new models, we’ve taken care to fully integrate the ears into the geometry, which leads to a far more natural and high-quality look.

I’ve asked Tamara Bakhlycheva, who also worked on the female Night Elf model, to add a few closing thoughts.


Hi all, I’m Tamara from the World of Warcraft art team. Being able to work on the female Night Elf has been a great experience, and the team has put a lot of effort into preserving the iconic Night Elf look—beautiful, wild, and dangerous. I hope you’ll enjoy playing your new Night Elf as much as we’ve enjoyed creating her.


Chris here again; thanks for reading, and we look forward to sharing more about the ongoing process of bringing the art of Warlords of Draenor—and beyond—to life. Thanks!

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WoW Subscriber Numbers, Patch 5.4.8, No Podcast Tonight

This week Blizzard had it´s quarterly earnings call in which they announced that WoW is back down to 7.6 million subscribers! That´s a loss of 200.000 subscribers, which is how much they had gained last quarter. Let´s not forget that 7.6 million subscribers is still an amazing number for an MMO and a game that´s nearing it´s 10 year anniversary. Other somewhat interesting tidbits from the call:

  • Content updates are in development for Diablo 3
  • WoD Alpha test is coming soon
  • More than 10 million players have registered to Hearthstone
  • It doesn’t look like Heroes of the Storm will go out of technical Alpha any time soon

In other news a small patch 5.4.8 was datamined this week with 2 buffs to help you out with the legendary chain quest grinding parts.

  • Heart of the Valorous – You earn 100% additional Valor Points.
  • Gaze of the Black Prince – Increases reputation gained with the Black Prince by 100%. Increases the chances his most hated foes will relinquish their Secrets of the Empire, Sigil of Wisdom, Sigil of Power, or Titan Runestones.

Hopefully they’ll make doing the legendary quest chain on an alt somewhat bearable!

And then lastly, there will be no WoW Weekly podcast tonight, but we should be back next week!

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