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Blizzard on World of Warcraft PvP as an eSport: "it's kind of hard to watch"

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Blizzard on World of Warcraft PvP as an eSport: "it's kind of hard to watch"

Two simultaneous broadcasts at this weekend’s DreamHack Stockholm made for odd juxtaposition. The 16 pros in the European Hearthstone Qualifiers sat inches apart in silence, while 50,000 viewers at home screeched and wailed along with every great play.

Just metres away, by contrast, it was the professionals in the European WoW Arena Tournament who screeched and wailed - while punters walked on past in quiet bemusement.

“I can definitely say that WoW 3v3 Arena right now is kind of hard to watch, in the form that it is," Blizzard eSports head Kim Phan told PCGamesN. “And so there are things that we want to evaluate."

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Casting resurrection: World of Warcraft's getting an undelete character feature

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Casting resurrection: World of Warcraft's getting an undelete character feature

Have you ever, in a fit of rage after an unsuccessful PvP bout in World of Warcraft, deleted your character, only to regret it later? Perhaps an angry partner, sick to the back teeth of you raiding all night long, binned your hero? If so, Blizzard feels your pain.

A new feature is being brought in with the upcoming pre-Warlords of Draenor patch that will allow you to resurrect deleted characters. There are a few caveats though. 

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Don't worry: World of Warcraft's premium XP boosts won't be making the trip from East to West

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Don't worry: World of Warcraft's premium XP boosts won't be making the trip from East to West

World of Warcraft’s playerbase, despite shrinking over the last few years, remains gargantuan. But with the citizens of Azeroth being spread out all over the world, there’s not a typical player. Some are hooked on PvP, others are obsessed with the story and lore, and there are those who just enjoy the social experience of playing with a bunch of buds. And there are regional differences too. 

Blizzard has experimented with things like premium XP boosts for World of Warcraft’s Eastern audience; things that would be a lot less likely to be welcomed in the West. If the thought of Blizzard selling such stuff in Europe or North America makes you nauseous, then don’t worry - lead designer Tom Chilton says that it’s not likely we’ll see them any time soon.

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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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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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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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World of Warcraft's 10 year anniversary will be filled with corgis and violence

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World of Warcraft's 10 year anniversary will be filled with corgis and violence

Come November, World of Warcraft will be 10 years old. Crikey. I’m suddenly reminded of how fleeting time is, and of my own slow march towards death. Thankfully Blizzard is here to cheer me up, and you, if you’re feeling gloomy. 

They’re using throwing nostalgia around like currency, celebrating the game’s past as it moves towards the fifth expansion. 

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World of Warcraft's Alliance is getting a chopper after all

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World of Warcraft's Alliance is getting a chopper after all

If you cast your mind back a couple of months, you might recall the bizarre reality webshow, Azeroth Choppers. In it, two teams of Blizzard folk constructed choppers based on the Horde and Alliance factions, overseen by that professional shouty man and bike maker from American Choppers. 

Upon creation of the choppers, folk were asked to vote for the best one, which would make it into the game. Of course, that meant that one faction would miss out. It was the Horde bike that won - because tusks on a bike are pretty wonderful - leaving the Alliance with nothing. Blizzard have backpedaled, however, and now both bikes will be available for World of Warcraft players. 

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Get clued up on the history of Warcraft while you wait for Warlords of Draenor

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Get clued up on the history of Warcraft while you wait for Warlords of Draenor

For almost 20 years, Blizzard has been constructing the universe of Warcraft, from the birth of the Titans to the wars between the Horde and the Alliance. There’s a lot to take in, with each game, expansion, comic and novel expanding and fleshing out the gargantuan story. 

If you’re not sure who the gods are or why Ner’zhul had a portal fetish, then worry no more. YouTuber Nobbel87 has taken on the massive task of gathering the lore of Warcraft and turning it into a digestible 40 minute video. So you can get an overview of the entire history of Blizzard’s universe in the length of time it takes a lecturer to teach you about one Ancient Greek vase.

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To Twitch! World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor closed beta goes live today

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To Twitch! World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor closed beta goes live today

A select few will be setting foot on the long-dead planet of Draenor today for the beta of World of Warcraft’s bravest expansion yet.

From 2pm PDT this afternoon, they’ll be stepping through the Dark Portal, establishing a Garrison, and fighting back the Iron Horde - just as we’ll all be able to in a few months’ time. And within hours, we imagine, they’ll be flooding YouTube with the sights and sound of the orcish realm.

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World of Warcraft's human male MKII

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World of Warcraft's human male MKII

The big redesign of World of Warcraft’s old character models has finally hit the humans, or at least the male of the species. Now he looks, if not human, at least more expressive and detailed. Less like a sex doll and more like a shaved gorilla. 

He still looks a little silly, but I remain a fan of the comical proportions and general dopiness, and Blizzard has tried to keep that. The fidelity is vastly improved though. 

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AFK on a giant turtle: why WoW's only neutral level 90 player spent 4164 hours on a single island

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AFK on a giant turtle: why WoW's only neutral level 90 player spent 4164 hours on a single island

Three days ago, World of Warcraft’s decade-long Alliance-Horde war gained its first level 90 conscientious objector. 

A Pandaren shaman named Doubleagent the Insane hit the level cap surrounded by a gaggle of players eager to share in his celebration. He’d become the only WoW player to reach the top without picking a faction - instead preferring to keep to his starter island and the dual disciplines of mining and herbalism.

“Now, I can say that I have a 90 in all three factions," he told PCGamesN.

It took him 4164 hours. So who is the man behind the panda? If we were to prick him, would he not lose HP?

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Ding: World of Warcraft player hits level 90 on his neutral Pandaren

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Ding: World of Warcraft player hits level 90 on his neutral Pandaren

He’s done it: Doubleagent has hit level 90 on his Pandaren Shaman. This isn’t your normal player, as this Pandaren has still yet to choose a faction, resulting in him being neutral. Being stuck on his starter island, the only way he could level was via gathering: mining and herbalism.

After 4164 hours his goal is complete, but this isn’t the end as Doubleagent “intends to level to 100 come the next expansion".

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Horde or Alliance: Azeroth Choppers wants you to choose your ride

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Horde or Alliance: Azeroth Choppers wants you to choose your ride

The penultimate episode of Azeroth Choppers, the bizarre reality webshow that combined American Choppers with World of Warcraft, sees the Horde and Alliance teams finish their choppers. 

The bikes were made by two teams, one led by Blizzard scribe Chris Metzen and the other by art man Sam Didier. They also had help from that angry chopper-making fellow from American Choppers. 

With the show gearing up for the finale, it’s time to vote on which bike deserves to be added to World of Warcraft as an in-game mount. If wouldn’t be reality TV without disappointment and losers. 

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Warcraft the movie has wrapped - but won't be out until 2016

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Warcraft the movie has wrapped - but won't be out until 2016

Men and women in caps (crew) and helmets (cast) have finished filming the Warcraft movie. Hooray! Let’s give them a week to reel it all up and then we’ll all go and see it, yeah?

‘Fraid not. Warcraft will now be handed over to Industrial Light and Magic, who’ll subject it to enough special effects and post-processing work to keep it unseen till 2016.

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Level 90 crash course videos teach DPS specialisation basics for Warlords of Draenor

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Level 90 crash course videos teach DPS specialisation basics for Warlords of Draenor

With Warlords of Draenor dropping later this year, along with a free level 90 character for every player, Blizzard’s dropping a bit of knowledge. A video covering the DPS specialisation for each class has been thrown up, ostensibly teaching new players how to kick some arses with their new level 90. 

Obviously you’ll want to start with the Shadow Priest, objectively the best class. Though you really should already have one. Check out Priest 101 below. 

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Wildstar was built by World of Warcraft devs determined to "do it right this time"

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Wildstar was built by World of Warcraft devs determined to "do it right this time"

Wildstar is Carbine Studios’ first project - and it began just as work on World of Warcraft’s launch wrapped up, back in 2005.

“It was about 20 or so of the senior leads off of WoW basically saying, ‘Hey, we want to take that game but do it right this time’," said Carbine’s Jeremy Gaffney.

The game that’s emerged in the decade since has been built by two camps within Carbine - one which wanted to do WoW better, and another that wanted to do “anything but WoW".

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