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wow Warcraft Recap: Beta Patch Notes Update, New Models, Arena Tournament Details

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New models, patch notes and more in this week's recap!

Even though all of the attention as of late has been on Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas adventure release, there's still some things to talk about in the World of Warcraft! We've updated our Warlords of Draenor Battle Pet Guide and Toy Box Guide with the latest Beta additions, so be sure to check them out!

This week brings another Warlords of Draenor Beta patch notes update, including a rather hefty batch of class changes (along with tons of newly datamined items and models). Speaking of models, Blizzard has revealed the updated female Tauren model this week, which is definitely looking to be a step in the right direction. Another Horde character, the male Undead, recently saw a model rework and the model is now available on the Warlords of Draenor website's model viewer. Blizzard has revealed new details about this year's Arena World Championship Tournament, which will take place at BlizzCon, including qualifier tournament information and the reveal of an epic $250,000 prize pool! Blizzard has also given us our first peek at the Azeroth Choppers Horde mount model and noted that every player who logs in between now and September 30th will automatically receive the mount after Warlords of Draenor's release. The mount will only be usable on Horde characters (sorry Alliance). Be sure to read more for all the details in this week's Warcraft recap!


Warlords of Draenor Beta Patch Notes Updated

The Warlords of Draenor Beta patch notes have ben updated with quite a few changes for nearly every class (including Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Warlock and Warrior). This patch brings a new Hunter aspect, Aspect of the Fox, which grants all affected players the ability to move while casting for 6 seconds and is on a 3 minute cooldown. Blizzard has also made additional adjustments to Balance Druids and the Eclipse mechanic, along with addition ability changes for Feral Druids. Despite all of the controversy, Heroic Strike has been removed from Fury Warriors and they will now be using Wild Strike as an excess rage dump. Additional notable changes include:
  • Thick Hide has been removed from Feral Druids, and Bear Form now increases armor by 600% but no longer increases Haste and Critical Strike from items by 50%. Instead, Haste will now reduce the global cooldown.
  • Mage's Ice Ward now causes the next three attackers to trigger a Frost Nova (up from 1).
  • Paladin's Eternal Flame has been tweaked to no longer provide such massive self-healing.
  • Warlock's Grimiore of Sacrifice has been replaced with Grimoire of Synergy. When the Warlock or their demon deals damage, there is a chance to trigger Demonic Synergy, granting the other one 15% increased damage for 15 seconds.
These aren't all the changes in this latest patch, so be sure to check out MMO-Champion for a patch notes excerpt including only the changed/updated notes. As always, the full updated patch notes are available on the World of Warcraft website.


Latest Patch 5.4.8 Hotfixes

It's been an incredibly long time since the last live server hotfixes were posted (on June 24th, to be exact), but just a few days ago Blizzard has taken the time to put a stop to the tyranny of Kurtok the Slayer, bane of low level Alliance players. Kurtok, a level 5 quest mob, has had his health has been reduced to 245 from 408. Not what I would have expected after a month of no other changes, but it is likely a welcome change for new players who aren't all decked out on Heirlooms (they do exist)!

Blizzard Icon 5.4.8 Hotfixes - July 22

July 22

  • Kurtok the Slayer's health has been reduced to be slightly less menacing to the denizens of Northshire.


New Artcraft Spotlights Updated Female Tauren Model

Blizzard has published their latest Artcraft article, this time showing off their progress with the new female Tauren model! I've been a female Tauren for over 9 years now, so this is an update that hits quite close to home and I'm fairly content with the changes. You can't really complain too much when you compare it to the current state of things. The female Tauren sees an update similar to the male Tauren (naturally), with improved body structure, fur texturing, and smaller hands. She may not be as feminine as I'd like, but we'll have to see what things look like when the expansion is ready! There have been some great community modifications proposed by a few players on Tumblr, let's hope Blizzard is taking suggestions! Be sure to check out this beautiful bovine babe in Blizzard's latest Artcraft blog!


Blizzard's Character Model Viewer Updated With Male Undead Model

Blizzard has updated their Warlords of Draenor site's model viewer with the new male Undead model. Of course, you can also check it out (and try on armor) on WoWDB. The high definition textures and model work breath new life (er... death?) into the model, but many players seeme focused on expressing their hatred for the oddly protruding shoulder bones, citing that they are horribly anatomically incorrect. How important is that to Blizzard? I guess we'll have to wait and see!


Azeroth Horde Chopper Added, But Not Really (Yet)

Blizzard has strangely published a blog announcing that the Azeroth Choppers winning Horde chopper is on its way. Apparently, the mount will not actually be available until the release of Warlords of Draenor, but Blizzard advised that players should log in now to have their "account flagged" to receive the chopper upon WoD's release. Please be aware that there's no achievement or indication that your account has actually been flagged for anything. However, as long as you play WoW some time between now and September 30th, you should be fine. The mount will be available to (and able to be ridden by) Horde characters only. Like everything Blizzard has done in the past few months, the faction-specific reward has been greatly criticized, so we'll see if Blizzard decides to stand their ground on this decision. Maybe they'll have time before the expansion hits to work on making an in-game version of the Alliance mount.


2014 World of Warcraft Arena Tournament Details

Blizzard has announced a $250,000 prize pool for the World of Warcraft Arena Invitational Global World Championship taking place November 7 and 8 at BlizzCon 2014. The top eight 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe will battle for the first place prize of $120,000 and the title of World Champion. They have also revealed details of the North American Arena Tournament which will decide the three teams that will go on to participate in the 2014 BlizzCon Arena World Championship! Blizzard has announced few changes to the arena system in Warlords of Draenor, described in this blog, including some major changes that will help make WoW Arenas more of a spectator sport. It will be interesting to see what direction they take towards increasing the popularity of World of Warcraft as a professional esport. There's no doubt that there is an absolutely massive community of PVPers out there, so here's hoping they get more love!
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