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Blizzard free up unused World of Warcraft names ahead of Warlords of Draenor

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Blizzard free up unused World of Warcraft names ahead of Warlords of Draenor

When Warlords of Draenor launches in November, new players will become indistinguishable from old. Not only will fresh subscribers sport level 90 characters, but some of them will take the names of old, lapsed accounts too.

Perhaps you’ll become RaiderOfTheLostOrc? Maybe claim the identity of a FrodoSam1066? Hell, it might even be worth checking the availability of LeeeeroyJenkins, give or take a couple of vowels.

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Diablo 3's pets are getting buffed; to scale with players toughness

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Diablo 3's pets are getting buffed; to scale with players toughness

Diablo 3’s pet classes - mainly that of Witch Doctors - have been lamenting at their super squishy pets: especially so with Rift Guardians from Greater Rifts where it’s quite competitive. Thankfully however, game designer John Yang has previewed upcoming changes that will help pets survive, but only be as tough as the player themselves.

“Pets should be roughly as survivable as the player" said Yang. “Pets should take reduced damage on how avoidable the monster attack normally is for the player."

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Hearthstone’s Leeroy Jenkins nerf should put an end to the game-ending card

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Hearthstone’s Leeroy Jenkins nerf should put an end to the game-ending card

Hearthstone battles have been ringing to the sound “Leeroy Jenkins!" for months now. The cheap charge card has become something of a game ender because, with the right buff cards, it can cause as much as 32 points of damage in a single hit.

Blizzard have been watching Jenkin’s rise to dominance and have finally found a fair way to nerf him.

He’s not the only card to have seen a quick kick in the shin.

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World of Warcraft tenth anniversary detailed. You get a free corgi

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World of Warcraft tenth anniversary detailed. You get a free corgi

It’s a bumper year for Blizzard. World of Warcraft’s fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor is set to release on 13 November and this year also marks ten years since the MMO originally launched.

Blizzard have announced how they plan to celebrate the game’s first decade, it includes gifts, fighting, and corgis. As all good parties do.

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The Heroes of the Storm alpha client is getting a 64-bit upgrade

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The Heroes of the Storm alpha client is getting a 64-bit upgrade

Blizzard’s been running its Heroes of the Storm technical alpha for a while now, and both Tim and Nick took it for a spin a while back, enjoying it quite a bit. The reckoned it was "a triumph". Now a new version is in the works, planned for the next patch. 

A 64-bit version of the technical alpha will be available to all players with appropriate systems as soon as maintenance finishes on patch day. 

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Watch StarCraft II pros name the game's most overrated players

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Watch StarCraft II pros name the game's most overrated players

Before last year’s WCS, our Rob called on StarCraft II devs Blizzard to move beyond the “bloodless intellectual exercise" they’d created and foster some big pro personalities. 

Changes made ahead of this year’s competitive season have already made the 2014 WCS more enjoyable to watch - and now Blizzard’s video squad are working to bring out some of the sport’s large characters. By, er, causing beef. Yup.

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Warlords of Draenor trailer tells the ugly origin story of Grommash Hellscream

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Warlords of Draenor trailer tells the ugly origin story of Grommash Hellscream

Perhaps Blizzard will make us a Warcraft IV yet - but for now they’ve resolved to fill WoW’s Warlords of Draenor expansion with fan service.

You’ll remember Papa Hellscream from Warcraft II’s Beyond the Dark Portal campaign. Thanks to the intervention of his son Garrosh, he’ll now be one of Draenor’s titular warlords and, it is rumoured, one of its final raid bosses. Here’s his story.

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Blizzard has "six or seven" World of Warcraft expansions planned; "easily 10 years worth of stuff"

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Blizzard has "six or seven" World of Warcraft expansions planned; "easily 10 years worth of stuff"

World of Warcraft director Tom Chilton has revealed that Blizzard have “six or seven" expansions planned for their iconic MMORPG. While the expansion that will arrive after Warlords of Draenor is already in active development, a number of others clocking up “10 years worth of stuff" are being discussed.

“I think it’ll be quite a while before the financials indicate that it’s just not worth doing anymore."

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Hearthstone pro joins Blizzard as associate game designer

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Hearthstone pro joins Blizzard as associate game designer

As eSports have become more prominent, the question of what the hell one does after they stop pro-gaming has been getting raised more. Riot’s even got a rookie camp that aims to not only teach League of Legends players how to market themselves and conduct themselves during interviews, but also prepare them for a career after eSports. 

In the case of Hearthstone player Ryan "Realz" Masterson, a job at Blizzard was where his career has taken him. The ex-Mana Grind leader took an associate game designer position with the Hearthstone and World of Warcraft developer after enjoying several tournament victories and becoming a notable streamer. 

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Warlords of Draenor's beta patch notes reveal big changes for Hunters

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Warlords of Draenor's beta patch notes reveal big changes for Hunters

As Blizzard watched testers playing through Warlords of Draenor content, they’ve been doing a lot fiddling and tweaking. So the patch notes for the expansion - which were made available a while back - have been appropriately updated. 

Racial traits and crowd control have seen some very small number of changes, but most of the update is concerned with World of Warcraft’s classes, all of which have changed in varying degrees. 

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Watch Blizzard explain the Diablo III ladder system new in Reaper of Souls 2.1

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Watch Blizzard explain the Diablo III ladder system new in Reaper of Souls 2.1

Diablo III is unprecedented, which is an odd thing to say about a sequel to anything. But it is: an action RPG with the post-release support of an MMO. That means it’s warped into a substantially better game since it was first, briefly finished two summers ago - and even now, after its wildly successful Reaper of Souls expansion, the game grows.

Over the course of a seven-minute video, Blizzard rummage through the new junk in Diablo III’s trunk.

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Diablo III gains ladder-like Seasons system in Reaper of Souls 2.1

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Diablo III gains ladder-like Seasons system in Reaper of Souls 2.1

On the face of it, Diablo III is a cooperative game - but it’s always been played competitively, with one eye on the wider Blizzard community. This first major patch for Reaper of Souls will finally acknowledge that tendency in-game, with a Seasons system that starts players at the bottom, brigand-bothering rung of demon-hunting and compares their performance on leaderboards.

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Future Hearthstone expansion includes around 100 cards; "It'll be booster pack format"

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Future Hearthstone expansion includes around 100 cards; "It'll be booster pack format"

If you thought the new cards within the Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas expansion were overwhelming, think again. Speaking on Value Town, a podcast about everything Hearthstone, senior designer Mike Donais revealed some interesting information about the next expansion. Most notably was that it will include “around 100 cards", and they’ll be gathered mainly via booster packs.

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Warlords of Draenor will herald the end of Justice and Valour point currency

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Warlords of Draenor will herald the end of Justice and Valour point currency

The next expansion for World of Warcraft is bringing with it slew of improvements and fixes across all aspects of the game. One of Warlord of Draenor’s features is the streamlining of end-game progression - most notably raids.

In a blue post today regarding currencies, Blizzard have announce their plan to retire the Justice and Valour tokens in favour of a more universal one. Gold.

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Why World of Warcraft subscriptions are still dropping, according to its lead designer

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Why World of Warcraft subscriptions are still dropping, according to its lead designer

The rush of new sign-ups for Mists of Pandaria was a blip; World of Warcraft player numbers are now at their lowest point since 2006. Even with the release of Warlords of Draenor on the horizon, Blizzard don’t expect subscriptions of the world’s biggest subscription MMO to grow again, ever. 

WoW lead designer Tom Chilton told us why.

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Is World of Warcraft's Robin Williams tribute a genie NPC?

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Is World of Warcraft's Robin Williams tribute a genie NPC?

World of Warcraft players petitioned Blizzard last week in an effort to memorialise Robin Williams as an NPC. Williams had talked about his fondness for the MMO in interviews, and nearly 11,000 fans signed the request for an in-game character who would tell some of the actor's best-known jokes, “so that he may continue making us smile long after his passing".

The WoW dev team said they were “taking care of it" - and now a genie character has appeared in the game’s files. Could it be?

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