Tagged: Shadowmoon Valley

Blizzard has just released all the ingame cinematics for WoD! Keep in mind that they are heavy with spoilers so think before you click! For that reason as well we will not post them directly here but here’s the link.

Quote from: Blizzard
*SPOILER ALERT!* Warlords of Draenor In-Game Cinematics

Warning: Here be spoilers!* Go no further! Turn back now before it’s too late! You have been warned!

The distant echoes of the Iron Horde’s war machine have already begun to reach the ears of Azeroth’s heroes. Soon, the journey into Draenor will begin in earnest—a journey filled with drama, tension, and momentous events that will shape the fate of this world.

To tell this tale, we’ve created more high-quality in-game cinematic footage for Warlords of Draenor than ever before—and as your story unfolds, these cinematics will illustrate some of the key moments of your adventure.

While we generally like to keep story beats like these a surprise, we know some players enjoy seeking out spoilers, and there are always plenty of people who find these files in the beta or on the PTR and share them. To help mitigate the potential for unsuspecting players to accidentally come across these and spoil their own adventure ahead of time, we’ve decided to go ahead and upload them ourselves—and provide plenty of caution and safeguards against watching them accidentally.

Of course, it goes without saying that we recommend you wait and watch these videos in-game as they were meant to be encountered—but if you choose to watch them here below, we hope you enjoy them, and only ask that you allow others to experience the story as they choose. Thank you for your continued excitement and passion for World of Warcraft, and we’ll see you in Draenor!

*What follows are the in-game cinematics that will play at various points during the Warlords of Draenor campaign. We encourage you to play the game and experience them in-context as you progress through Draenor—but if you decide to watch them now, don’t say you haven’t been warned!


Warlords of Draenor: The Burning Crusade 2.0 – Part 1

Warlords of Draenor is coming out in 3 months time and at the time of release we’ll have had 14 months of Siege of Orgrimmar, 2 pvp seasons, the timeless isle and countless heroic scenario runs. While usually I look at something game design/philosophy-wise with the Mezzy Talks series, instead I’ll review Warlords of Draenor as an expansion. Keep in mind that it’s still in Beta, so anything that might be a concern could very well change before release.

Anyone who has been lucky enough to get a beta invite will probably agree that it’s a breath of fresh air: Back to leveling, building a base for the first time in WoW, building up your own personal army and a lot of story integrated in the leveling experience.

Before we get into a zone by zone analysis, the general feeling: While questing in Draenor it really does feel like you’re back in Outland, playing The Burning Crusade expansion, except even better. The difference is that the story is much more cohesive and the graphics blow it out of the water.

It’s hard to get everything across so let’s go zone by zone what makes it good or bad. After that, in part 2, we’ll take a look at the features/changes to game mechanics that come along in WoD.

Shadowmoon Valley


Shadowmoon Valley2

When questing in Shadowmoon Valley as an alliance player you really feel like you are on a strange outlandish planet. The draenei have their own problems they have to deal with and you have to prove yourself to them as an ally. The flaura and fauna are beautiful and are not quite what you would find on azeroth. You’re just as foreign to the locals as they are to you. There is one thing you might get annoyed by though, and that’s the amount of hills you have to get around while questing. Although in most zones I did not miss my flying mount, at some points I did on SMV. If you read quests or pay attention to what happens during the RP this zone certainly brings some shocking story progression, which you would not expect from just questing. As an alliance player this is a good zone to start Draenor with and you’ll certainly enjoy it.

Frostfire Ridge


Whereas Shadowmoon is the re-envisioning of a zone in outland, Frostfire Ridge is a brand new zone. You get the same type of feeling in Frostfire Ridge, except you’re helping Thrall’s ancestor’s clan. FRR (Frostfire Ridge) is a cold desolate vast plain, a similar feeling to Hellfire Peninsula, except much much grander. The Bladespire Fortress alone is a testament to how the environment team has continued to grow after Mists of Pandaria. Most of the zone is quite fluid when it comes to questing here. There is one particular quest that comes to mind though that you can’t pick up until level 92, which rewards a follower, but you’ll come across it at level 91. Meaning that if you forget to come back after leveling up again you’ll miss out on a follower. Between the two starting zones it’s hard to pick a favorite, both are quite enjoyable to play through and I certainly won’t regret using my lvl 90 character boost to get a lvl 90 horde character.




Gorgrond is a mixed bag of feelings for me, the start of the zone is hard to get in to, the story did not really feel engaging. On the other hand you build your first outpost which is your garrison away from your garrison. You’ll get to choose between the lumber mill and sparring arena for your outpost. Each gives a different garrison ability for you to use in the zone. The LM gives you the ability to use a shredder which has 2 dps abilities and can fly for a short while. The SA gives you the ability to summon a gladiator. It’ll be a different one each time on rotation. When the gladiator leaves you’ll have a buff for a short while. By far the worst was the chance on hit reduced damage taken and the best was the chance to stun your target. So the usefulness of this ability will vary each time you use it. This is also the first zone where you’ll get different followers depending on which outpost building you choose.

Once you get past the initial quests it will start to feel more fluid. There is a lot of traveling here so prepare yourself for it. It’s not a bad thing however, as while exploring (or using this guide) you can come across 2 events which give you unique looking followers to add to your personal army. Another perk is that there are bonus objectives everywhere. These are quests on location that give A LOT of experience compared to regular quests (3 to 5 times as much), which make them very much worth doing. You’ll have already come across bonus objectives in your starter zone, but this is where you’ll want to do as many as possible if you haven’t yet, and that’s because of the next zone.



Oh Talador, how you remind me of Terrokkar forest. While the nature of the zone is for the most part nice, the quests are scattered. It doesn’t feel coherent and it’s just a lot of traveling that makes you long for your flying mount. I’m painting a bleak picture here, but it is compared to the other dreanor zones because they are just that good. Once you get to the main questline for Talador things turn around and things actually get quite epic as you get your first big series of encounters with the burning legion. The story is engaging, the quest flow is good and you get a good follower out of it at the end.

When it comes to your outpost building choice, I feel that the artillery tower/ armory is by far the best choice. It gives a cooldown with 3 charges that bombards an area for roughly 300k damage and each bombardment stuns those hit.

The mage tower gives you a 5 minute cooldown that summons an arcane orb for 30 seconds. Although it looks cool as it reminds you of Algalon and titan technology, it has a pretty weak AoE for the duration as it follows you around.

Overall this zone will feel rather slow for a while but once you get to Auchindoun you’ll enjoy yourself when kicking some demon butt.

Spires of Arak



The spires of arak is another completely new zone where you’ll encounter the Arrakoa, both with the old and new models. If you’re into lore then you’ll want to pay attention here as you get into Terokk’s past.

A fun addition to this zone are the archeaology treasures that you can loot through the completion of jumping puzzles that you’ll encounter here. As of right now the treasures show up on your mini map, so you’ll come across these naturally if you just quest. They’re particularly good because of the amount of fragments they give. Allowing for a quick headstart on solves while questing, and if you’re lucky enough (like I was on the beta, meaning I won’t on live) you might even already get a rare solve.

Your outpost choices consist of the inn and the trading post. The inn gives you a extra hearthstome which brings you back to your Spires outpost and a passive 20% experience bonus. Which is nice if you want to level quickly. There’s a price you pay for this choice though, as you can not currently switch outpost buildings. The trading post allows you to summon a trader who sells rare goods, including a follower with a sun guardian model. Choosing the inn currently means sacrificing the chance to get him.

Due to the arrakoa pressence this zone continues your feeling of being in another world and the meaningful outpost choice and archeaology jumping puzzles make this a meaningful zone.




Nagrand is the last of the leveling zones and it feels just like the original one, except that it’s so much bigger. It has not only expanded on the ground level, it has also expanded towards the sky giving you a lot to explore. The latest beta build added new flightmasters, making it easier to get from one side of the zone to the other.

You continue the Iron Horde story and encounter Highmaul, the ogre raid. You also get to tie up some loose ends in a questline. For the outpost you get to choose between the siegeworks and the stables. The siegeworks gives you a siegetank which does plenty of damage and is definitely the way to go if you’re a hunter. The stables gives you a talbuk mount that you can ride in battle. You’ll be able to cast while moving at a 100% movement increase.

The pacing of the zone feels good, there’s a lot to see and you’ll feel good being back in Nagrand. Again with exploring (or with our guide) you’ll be able to find some interesting followers to add to your garrison. Exploring is highly recommended for Nagrand just because of it’s grand scale and it feels like a good last leveling zone.


The leveling in Warlords is a lot more fun compared to previous expansions, the zones and quests are more interesting and the many rares and garrison interactions give it a breath of fresh air. In part 2 we’ll take a look at the features/changes to game mechanics that come along in WoD.

In Warlords of Draenor you can recruit followers for your garrison each zone. You’ll come across a lot during questing, but the zones are so big you might miss them. As we discover the rarer followers we’ll add them to the list as well. To help you keep track of them all we’ve compiled a list of all the rares we’ve been able to find. Remember WoD is still in beta, anything can change. If we missed any feel free to leave a comment with the location and name of the rare mob or event. Click on the map for a full size version.

Number Follower Name Image Comments
1 Roona  photo SMVFollower1_zpsa514df82.jpg
2 Shelly Hamby  photo SMVFollower2_zps2f10dac5.jpg An eventual quest chain that starts in your garrison will lead to this follower.
3 Rangari Chel, Apprentice Artificer Andren, Vindicator Onaala  photo SMVfollower3_zpsaf1bc301.jpg Main SMV Quest Line, you get to choose one of the three.
4 Abatha  photo SMVfollower4_zps9860e5cc.jpg Alchemy Follower
5 Fiona  photo SMVFollower5_zps0c9d7a09.jpg
6 Artificer Romuul  photo SMVFollower6_zpseda44f3a.jpg

In Warlords of Draenor there are many rares in each zone, a lot of them are to kill while leveling to diversify the leveling experience. It’s a combined and improved version of leveling and the timeless isle. To help you keep track of them all we’ve compiled a list of all the rares we’ve been able to find. Remember WoD is still in beta, anything can change. If we missed any feel free to leave a comment with the location and name of the rare mob or event. Click on the map for a full size version.

Number Rare Name Image Comments
1 Gorum  photo SMVRare1_zpscafba041.jpg
2 Amaukwa  photo SMVRare2_zps78a7953b.jpg He flies around in the sky so you might not find him right away.
3 Ku’targ the Voidseer  photo SMVRare3_zps1ec3cbd5.jpg
4 Killmaw  photo SMVRare4_zps98820e61.jpg
5 Podling Leafmender  photo SMVRare5_zpsc5a45ba0.jpg
6 Mad “King” Sporeon  photo SMVRare6_zps3c12da39.jpg
7 Rai’vosh  photo SMVRare7_zps51720ed2.jpg
8 Ba’ruun  photo SMVRare8_zps4138462c.jpg
9 Crystal Event  photo SMVRare9_zps265a6549.jpg Should result in acquiring follower Artificer Romuul
10 Dark Emanation  photo SMVRare10_zps719bd2c9.jpg
11 Rockhoof  photo SMVRare11_zpsffb15863.jpg
12 Darktalon  photo SMVRare12_zps2a20fd1f.jpg
13 Behameye  photo SMVRare13_zpsc84425bc.jpg
14 Motherom’ra  photo SMVRare14_zps56a90b1f.jpg Unknown how to activate the fight
15 Yggdrel  photo SMVRare15_zpsa5a0f81e.jpg
16 Venomshade  photo SMVRare16_zpsab666086.jpg
17 Insha’tar  photo SMVRare17_zps78007113.jpg
18 Silverleaf Ancients Event  photo SMVRare18_zpsca7ef126.jpg
19 Faebright  photo SMVRare19_zpsef314943.jpg
20 Velos  photo SMVRare20_zps22e87c4d.jpg
21 Brambleking Fili  photo SMVRare21_zpseeb20739.jpg Level 100
22 Master Sergeant Milgra  photo SMVRare22_zpsd3a2a451.jpg Level 100
23 Shinri  photo SMVRare23_zpsd2f6d0f2.jpg
24 Hypnocroak  photo SMVRare24_zpsb6af9d81.jpg All praise the hynocroak!

Blizzard released a new beasts of the savage lands preview and an announcement about changes to the heroes of the storm reward system! Check them both out below.

Quote from: Blizzard
Beasts of the Savage Lands – Shadowmoon Valley

The lush Shadowmoon Valley appears peaceful and idyllic, lulling many would-be adventurers into a false sense of security as they explore its rolling hills and violet forests. But countless hidden perils lie waiting behind the tranquil façade, and only those well-armed with knowledge can hope to survive. What dangers lurk in the shadows?




Adventurers are often misled by the seemingly docile riverbeasts. Though slow to anger, once disturbed, a charging riverbeast is a ferocious sight: 4,000 pounds of fat and muscle storming toward its target like a runaway tram. Roaming draenei rangari have long been astounded by how much damage a rampaging riverbeast can take before it’s brought down, and draenei children are taught to keep a wide berth of shallow waters. Riverbeasts are characterized by their rock-like skin, likely developed during the early days of Draenor’s prehistory, when creatures of stone dueled for supremacy against the chaotic flora. Those looking to take a riverbeast as a trophy should take note of their durable armored flesh and tendency to charge unexpectedly.




A number of Draenor’s indigenous species blur the line between plant and animal, and the so-called podlings are the most vicious and chaotic of their ilk. Small and seemingly harmless, they work together to capture their prey, attacking only when they have numerical superiority. Explorers who pay attention to the color of podlings’ flowering buds can ascertain whether they favor poison, ensnaring, or physical attacks to incapacitate their victims. Once podlings have overwhelmed their quarry, they will drag the unlucky creature down into the weeds to fertilize a new generation. The clear lesson for adventurers: looks can be deceiving!




The majestic elekk graze contentedly across the grassy plains of Draenor, relying on their huge size and the support of the herd to keep predators at bay. Draenei explorers have determined that the animals pose no threat, as long as their young aren’t endangered or their water supply jeopardized. With the endurance to cover great distances and the ability to defend themselves by ramming or stomping attackers, these beasts have emerged as the draenei transport of choice. Explorers should take note of persistent draenei rumors that the Thunderlord Clan orcs torment and twist terrified elekk into vicious weapons of war, covering them in armor plating and inciting them to rampage when turned loose on their foes. Beware!


Draenor Ancients

Draenor Ancients

It was only very recently that draenei rangari managed to communicate with these enormous sentient trees, but wildly different ways of life—not to mention a completely different perception of time—have made further interaction difficult. The ancients get their name from their analogues on Azeroth; they are tied closely to a prehistoric plant lineage that unites much of Draenor’s flora and places them in opposition to the creatures of stone. These enigmatic ancients remain in the same area for hundreds of years and are reluctant to move unless their home is threatened. Adventurers should be cautious when harvesting the valley’s lumber, as they may find the forest fighting back.


Shadowmoon Valley is a dangerous place, but there are many deadly threats still to be discovered across the savage world of Draenor. Until next time, stay alive . . . if you can.

Quote from: Blizzard
Our next Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha patch will bring a number of changes to the out-of-game Leveling System, Hero Quests, Player Profiles, and much more. Many of the changes that we’ve decided to include in this patch were made entirely because of the feedback that the Heroes community has shared with us on the official forums. Thank you very much for your help during Tech Alpha testing thus far; we’re looking forward to hearing much more from all of you in the future so that we can continue to make Heroes the best game it can possibly be. For now, we’d like to make sure you’re completely prepared to level up and earn rewards come patch day. Let’s take a look at some of the major features that have been reworked in the next Tech Alpha patch, starting with the new Player Profile layout.

Player ProfileHeroes_Heroes.05_PlayerProfile_322x300.jpg

Upon logging in to Heroes of the Storm once our next Tech Alpha patch is released, you’ll immediately notice that the Leveling System progress bar and reward icons have been removed from the home screen. Never fear, they haven’t gone far! They’ve just found a new home in the freshly revamped Player Profile screen.    Access your Player Profile by clicking the Hero portrait found in the top right corner of the home screen. Once you do, you’ll see your current player level and Hero portrait are now located at the top of the profile screen, and several tabs have been added to the left-hand side which can be used to navigate the your profile. Hero Progress Use this tab to track of the Experience Points and Rewards you’ve earned by playing games with each Hero. Rewards  Here, you’ll be able to see which Leveling System Rewards you’ve earned, as well as those you have yet to unlock. Daily Quests  Select this tab to keep an eye on which Daily Quests are currently available to you. Profile Summary and Match History Have been disabled during Tech Alpha testing.

Hero Progress and Rewards


In our next patch, the Hero Quests tab has been renamed Hero Progress, and Hero Quests have been replaced by Hero Levels. The Hero Progress tab is where you’ll be able to keep track of each Hero as you earn XP, level them up, and unlock new rewards. In previous versions of the game, Hero Quests could only be completed by playing in Versus games. Thanks to your feedback, however, that restriction will soon be a thing of the past. Once the patch is released, the experience points you’ll receive after playing games in Cooperative and Versus modes will not only count toward your overall player level, but carry over toward progress and rewards for the Heroes you use during those matches, as well.  Better still, you’ll no longer need to reach player level 10 with the Leveling System in order to start leveling up your favorite Heroes. Instead, you’ll begin earning XP toward Hero progress with your very first game — Even if you’re starting from scratch with a brand new account!   Hero Rewards Each Hero begins at level 1, and the more you play with a particular Hero, the closer you’ll get toward his or her next level. Progress caps at level 10 for each Hero, and every level after the first will unlock rewards that are specific to that hero. The table below details which rewards you’ll earn at each Hero Level: <center>

Hero Level Reward
1 Heroes Start Here
2 Second Heroic Ability
3 Six Additional Talents
4 All Remaining Talents
5 500 Gold
6 Hero Portrait / Mount Variation 1
7 Skin Variation 1
8 Skin Variation 2
9 Hero Master Portrait / Mount Variation 2
10 Master Skin Unlocked

</center> There’s quite a bit of information there, so let’s break down a few rewards that you may not be familiar with yet:   Heroic Ability Following the patch, each Hero will begin with one Heroic Ability, and the second can be unlocked by reaching Level 2. Talents Talents are no longer completely unlocked for all Heroes at once by achieving player level 8. Instead, each Hero begins with two Talent choices available at each tier of in-game Talent selection. Six additional Talents, one for each tier, can be unlocked by reaching Hero Level 3. All of a Hero’s remaining Talents will become available at Hero level 4. Hero Portraits Hero Portraits are now unlocked on an individual basis by reaching level 6 with each Hero. Upon reaching Level 9, you’ll unlock that Hero’s Master Portrait, which features a shiny golden border. Skin Variations At levels 7 and 8, you’ll unlock Skin variations. With these, each Skin you own (including a Hero’s base model) offers three different options for customizing the look of your Hero in-game, for free! Mount Variations Mount variations will unlock at Hero levels 6 and 9. Much like Skin variations, Mount variations allow you to customize the steeds you ride into combat. Master Skin At level 10, you’ll unlock the ability to purchase a Hero’s Master Skin with Gold, which you can use to show off your prowess with that Hero in-game. Just like other Skins, a Master Skin features two variations, which you’ll have already unlocked by reaching level 10. This means that once you’ve purchased a Hero’s Master Skin, you’ll immediately be able to use its variations in-game.   It is also important to note that any Hero Quests which are completed prior to our next patch will count toward Hero Levels, but partial Hero Quest progress will be lost.

  • For example, if a Hero’s first Quest is already complete prior to the patch, that Hero will begin at level 2. If all six of a Hero’s Quests are completed, that Hero will begin at level 7.
  • Additionally, if a Hero’s second Quest was only halfway complete prior to the patch, progress will be reset, and that Hero will begin at level 2.

Leveling System and Rewards


Taking a look at the Rewards tab above, you can see that our next patch will bring a host of changes to Leveling System Rewards in Heroes of the Storm. As before, you can still earn Gold by leveling up, and you’ll receive 1,000 Gold for reaching levels 2 and 4. We’ve also made a few changes to the rewards unlocked at levels 8, and 10. Not only have we moved the free Hero rotation slot reward from level 7 to level 8, but we’ve also added a second slot that you can unlock by reaching level 10. This means that you’ll be able to choose from among seven free rotation Heroes for any given game, at any time! Additionally, we read feedback from a number of players who mentioned that they’d like to see rewards added above level 10, so we’ve added a 2,000 Gold reward to level 12, and levels 20, 25, 30, and 35 now offer 3,000 Gold each! You may have also noticed an “Artifacts” reward pictured at level 15 above, but we’ll have much more information to share on that in the coming days.   Kindly note that all partial progress made toward the next player level prior to patch day will be lost.

  • For example, if you were halfway toward reaching player level 21, you will be reset back to the start of level 20 following the release of our next patch.

Let’s take a look an exciting new way to earn Gold in the next Tech Alpha patch.

Daily Quests and Gold


Many of you who frequent our forums have mentioned that opportunities to earn Gold in Heroes felt rather infrequent at times. We definitely heard your feedback, and after the patch, you’ll receive Gold for completing matches in Cooperative and Versus game modes! Every Cooperative game you win will award you with 10 Gold; while Versus games will net you 10 Gold for losses, and 40 Gold for wins. What’s more, quite a few of you have also let us know that you’d like the ability to complete Daily Quests outside of Versus matchmaking. We’re happy to share that, thanks to your comments, you’ll be able to progress toward and complete Daily Quests in both the Cooperative and Versus game modes alike after the patch. In order to help account for this change, we’ve decided to slightly rebalance the amount of Gold awarded by Daily Quests. Rather than offering 250 or 500 Gold on completion, all Daily Quests after the patch will instead award 200 Gold.

End of Game Screen


Along with the myriad of changes mentioned above, we’ve also reworked how you’ll experience Leveling System progression, and made a lot more information available to you on the end-of-game Score Screen. We’ve added a navigation bar to the top of the screen, which features four new tabs: Summary, Stats, Quests, and Rewards. Let’s take a look at what each of these tabs has to offer: Summary After completing a game in any mode, you’ll land directly on the Summary page, which is where you’ll be able to see the fruits of your labor from your most recent game.

  • All of the experience points and Gold you earned from your most recent match, as well as any rewards you’ve unlocked, will be counted up and detailed for you in the center of the screen.
  • The large blue progress bar keeps track of your Hero’s current level, the XP you earned toward the next Hero level, and displays your next Hero level reward to the right.
  • Similarly, the purple progress bar tracks your current player level, the XP you’ve earned toward your next level, and displays your next player level reward to the right.
  • If you’re ever curious about which reward is coming up next, hover the mouse over the reward icons to the right of each progress bar to get a brief description.

Stats The Stats page is essentially the end-of-game Score Screen you’ve become familiar with in previous Heroes of the Storm builds. Much like before, you’ll still be able to see Takedowns, Deaths, Battleground Mechanic scores for each player, as well as elapsed game time, and XP earned during the previous match. Quests The Quests page offers another a look at all of the Daily Quests that are currently available to you in case you’d like to quickly check out which Quest to complete next before hitting the Play Again button in the lower left corner of the screen. Rewards The Rewards page displays all of the rewards you earned during the previous match.

That just about does it for our Progression System and reward changes in the next patch. Thank you once more for helping us test during this phase of the Tech Alpha. Your constructive input over the past few weeks has gone a long way toward helping us shape the changes we made for the impending patch. If you’d like to share more of your thoughts with us, be sure to drop by the Heroes forums and contribute there. Stay tuned right here at HeroesoftheStorm.com over the next few days to catch more exciting information about what’s coming to the Technical Alpha.   Finally, don’t forget to drop by our live Developer Insights broadcast, starting at 11:00 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, July 22. If you’d like to submit a question for the Q&A portion of the show, kindly submit your queries to @BlizzHeroes using #HeroesQA on Twitter.