Today we podcast LIVE at 4pm Central

Join us today at 4PM Central / 2PM Pacific for a live recording of the Blizzard Watch podcast! We’ll be discussing news and more from around all of Blizzard’s games, as well as answering reader questions and emails. Can’t make the live show? No worries! Check back later this week and the podcast will be up on iTunes and other distributors for you to enjoy. Listen to the live show right here or head over to our Twitch channel.


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Emerald Nightmare launches September 20, Mythic and LFR a week later

We knew the Emerald Nightmare raid would be arriving a short three weeks after Legion’s launch, but now Blizzard has given us a schedule for raid and dungeon releases. All of Legion’s dungeons will be open in Normal and Heroic modes on launch day, letting you start getting ready for harder dungeons and the expansion’s first raid. (And don’t forget: there’s plenty of gearing up to do via World Quests and Legendary drops.) Mythic dungeons will arrive shortly thereafter, available after the weekly dungeon reset about eight hours after launch. (And if you’re high enough level and well-geared enough to run them by then, we salute you.)

As promised, the Emerald Nightmare in Normal and Heroic mode arrives three weeks later, on September 20. Mythic keystones, which allow you to run Mythic+ dungeons (similar in spirit to today’s Challenge Modes), will start dropping in Mythic dungeons the 20th as well. Mythic and LFR Emerald Nightmare follow a week later, on September 27. As usual, LFR will open a wing at a time, each spaced two weeks apart.

Check out the full schedule below.


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Legion invasions now spawning six at a time

With just a week left until the launch of Legion, the invasion is ramping up. Today, all six invasion zones — Westfall, Dun Morogh, Hillsbrad, Azshara, Northern Barrens, and Tanaris — are active at once. Each invasion still lasts two hours, so if you’re leveling alts or trying to get weapon drops, you should be able to hit them all while they’re up.

What we haven’t seen, however, is a new leg to the quest line. We expected the story to advance again this week, though it’s possible the quest simply hasn’t gone live or that we simply haven’t found it yet. But while we wait for the quest, we have more invasions to fend off… at least if you haven’t grown tired of the invasion grind just yet.


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The Queue: 40 levels in a day

So, I knew the whole Invasions as leveling tool experience had been radically improved by a recent hotfix — I’d leveled two characters in their 90’s with it, including my long abandoned Paladin. But upon getting him to 100 I decided to see how useful it was for a low level toon, my level 23 Warrior. So, this Monday, I took her to the Westfall one since she could get to it pretty easily.

Long story short, she’s now level 64. And I didn’t log on every two hours to hit all the Invasions, nor did I log out at an inn to reset a zone to stage 1 (although I was advised to do so on Twitter and I find that fascinating). This is just from hitting as many invasions as I could reasonably reach, with a last minute assist from my wife on her Sandstone Drake to get to some of the elites in Azshara. That one popped me up six levels by itself.

This is the Queue. Let’s chat about stuff.


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BlizzCaps: What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light

“Oh look! It’s a circle!” exclaims submitter Gimmlette of Spectacular Death on Llane (US-A). “Some bosses like to put you where it’s reasonably easy to find your bones. ‘Giiiimmmmm….he died on top of me!’ ‘Giiiiimmmm…her hoof is next to my hand!’ Don’t make me turn this raid around. Would someone please cast … nice. Mass resurrection, for the win. What a lovely light show.”

Want to see your picture here on BlizzCaps? Well, why not? Email your screenshots to blizzcaps@blizzardwatch.com, or tweet it with the hashtag #blizzcaps, and we’ll check it out. We prefer pictures with names turned off, and if you don’t want your screenshot to get caught in our spam folder, please use the word “BlizzCaps” somewhere in the email.


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Raynor returns to this week’s hero rotation

Whether you’re excited about the upcoming Machines of War event or the arrival of Zarya and Alarak in Heroes of the Storm, you have some time to wait. Machines of War (with two new maps), Alarak, a free hero for everyone, and (we’re guessing) a rework of Valla will go live on September 13 which leaves us with three weeks to wait for new content. That’s five weeks after the release of Auriel, the game’s latest hero, and a bit longer than the three to four weeks the Heroes team usually sticks to.

In the meanwhile, Auriel will be dropping to 10,000 gold this week, making it a good time to pick up the new support hero if you’d been on the fence… though she is getting a nerf in this week’s balance patch due to what the devs considered a strong initial release. Still, this unique support hero is a worthwhile addition to your roster

And, as always, there’s a new free rotation to check out… though, admittedly, none of us are that excited by it.


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Breakfast Topic: What did you get from the Overwatch Summer Games loot boxes?

Now that Overwatch’s Summer Games seasonal event is coming to a close at 4pm PT today and the loot boxes are going back into the vault, it’s time to see what prizes you snagged. Kind of like when you got home from Halloween and dumped all your candy in a pile. Except instead of digging through lollipops and dental floss for the good stuff, you get to sift through sprays and voice lines.


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Auriel, Gul’dan see changes in latest Heroes of the Storm patch

Though we knew we would be getting a rework of Valla in a future patch, today’s patch notes include changes to eight heroes, none of which are Valla. (Since her changes aren’t here, we expect them to come with the Machines of War patch, due to hit the PTR on August 29.)

Among the heroes getting tweaks in this balance patch are Nexus newcomers Auriel and Gul’dan. It’s typical for the devs to decide some tweaks are in order after they’ve seen heroes on live (often right after their price has been dropped) — and in this case that means some nerfs for Auriel and more minor adjustments to improve Gul’dan’s talent diversity.


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Know Your Lore: The value of defeat

One of the complaints I and others aimed at Warlords of Draenor was that there was little of a narrative sense of anything being at stake on Draenor. Objectively, there was — there was a hostile army of militarized Orcs using advanced weapons of war who were eventually co-opted by a nefarious Orc Warlock for his own sinister purposes, which included summoning the Burning Legion itself. Obviously there were stakes.

But it didn’t feel like it because from the moment we stepped through the Dark Portal we started kicking Warlord butt, and we didn’t stop kicking it until the final raid of the expansion. We shut down their invasion plan in Tanaan. We took out Ner’zhul in a five man dungeon, took out Kargath in the opening of a raid that felt completely tangential, destroyed the Iron Horde’s weapon manufacturing base before the end of the first raid content patch, and pushed Grommash back into Tanaan with his tail between his legs before patch 6.2 even dropped. It was hard to be scared of the Iron Horde when we went from success to success, and even our lowest points against them (losing Maraad and the alternate Orgrim in Talador) were still victories.

Nothing but victory creates a sense of there being no risk, no reason to even worry, no cause for alarm. There are no stakes because we never lose or even seem to be in danger of losing. This was the major problem of Warlords of Draenor, in my opinion. It was hard for people to care about why we were there when they saw no sign of any threat to Azeroth. We kicked the Iron Horde around in the Blasted Lands, in Tanaan, all over Draenor. Who cares who’s in charge?

This post will discuss the Legion pre-expansion events The Broken Shore and World Invasions.


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