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According to statistics from SuperData Research, World of Warcraft still dominates the MMO market with 36% market share. The game raked in just over a billion dollars in revenue in 2013, putting it well ahead of its nearest competition -- $253 million for NCSoft's 1998 title Lineage. The ranking of top subscription titles suggests that MMOs need staying power -- WoW is nearly 10 years old and Lineage is 16 -- and a strong Asian presence -- the top 3 are all big titles in Asia -- to sustain them over the long haul.
Lead Game Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has announced that the Warlords of Draenor beta will begin raid testing tomorrow with two Heroic encounters -- one from Highmaul, and one from Blackrock Foundry. As a Heroic level encounter, the raid will accommodate anywhere between 10 and 30 players. Players that wish to test the encounter can speak to Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade in either Stormwind, Orgrimmar, or their garrisons, once the encounters are open for testing.
Zone previews have become an expected and anticipated facet of the news surrounding Warlords of Draenor, and now mob previews are being added to that mix. The first of them highlights some fearsome new creatures--some familiar, some not--that are to be found in Shadowmoon Valley. The hulking, rocky-skinned Riverbeasts are reminiscent of hippopotamuses, with their square snouts, pillar-like feet, and bad attitude. Podlings are creepy-cute evil flowers that will forever haunt my nightmares, and of course, the elekk should be familiar to anyone who's ever played a draenei--though these new models are definitely a step up in intimidation. Draenor ancients are tree-based forest guardians, the draenic equivalents of the treants we all know and love.
The latest beta build for Warlords of Draenor brought with it an odd anomaly with no explanation as of yet. A mysterious portal has appeared behind the mage tower in Stormwind City, one that bears a striking resemblance to every Emerald Dream portal we've ever seen present in game. At this time, there are no NPCs or anything present to indicate exactly what's up with the portal, however there is no Orgrimmar counterpart -- this is unique to Stormwind.
Battle.net updates the Bata Patch Notes on July 17th, and make clear that the players should take a note that the Beta patch notes are preliminary and not final. Here are the summary of the changes:
The Warlords of Draenor zone previews continue with Talador, the heart of the draenei civilization on Draenor. Associate Quest Designer Johnny Cash provides an overview of what promises to be a stunning zone. Talador is the original, pre-Burning Crusade version of Terokkar Forest, a lush, forested zone home to both Shattrath City and the sacred Auchindoun.
Fresh on the heels of today's Talador preview, we get a look at Gorgrond, forbidding home of the Iron Horde's industrial machine. Gorgrond is the next step for fighting back Iron Horde aggression -- after you've fought them off in Shadowmoon Valley or Frostfire Ridge, it's time to take the battle to them, and Gorgrond is exactly where you're going to do just that. Smash them Iron Horde. Smash them good.