The Big Project: WoW Machinima film starring Anna Chancellor, Jack Davenport, Joanna Lumley, and BRIAN BLESSED

So yes – the big project that took me away from the Melting Pot is FINALLY OUT!

TRAILER – Death Knight Love Story Pt 1 – Jack Davenport, Anna Chancellor, Joanna Lumley, Brian Blessed from Strange Company on Vimeo.

Voiced by Hollywood stars (Jack Davenport, Anna Chancellor, Joanna Lumley and Brian Blessed), made using full Hollywood-grade motion capture and scored by BAFTA nominee Ross Campbell, Death Knight Love Story is a World of Warcraft-based Machinima fanfilm like no other.

It was written and directed by Hugh Hancock, director of “BloodSpell” and founder of Machinima.com.

Death Knight Love Story (DKLS) is a tale of passion forged in the darkest, most dreadful place possible. It’s a tale of two people born with a searing flame who find each other, lose each other, and end up facing each other in battle, still desperately in love.

Based in Azeroth, the setting of World of Warcraft, DKLS tells the tale of a Death Knight, Miria, the redeemed servant of the Lich King, and Sir Zelieck, first of the Horsemen of Naxxaramas.

It tells how Miria went from being at the Lich King’s right hand to battling to save the North from his armies, and how Sir Zelieck fought the Lich King to his last breath, defied him even in death – and yet still ended up his servant, ruling his floating city of the damned.

Death Knight Love Story was made on a completely non-profit basis as a labour of love. It is arguably the biggest single non-profit Machinima project ever.

You can watch it right now, absolutely free, at [www.deathknightlovestory.com](http://www.deathknightlovestory.com)

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WoW: Gambling With Coin, The State Of Nerfs, And When To Stop

With Patch 5.4 having just hit (you’ve seen our Quick-Start Guides, right?), there’s lots going on in World of Warcraft right now.

From new topics like the Timeless Coin random reward chests to old staples like nerfing of raid content, here are some of the discussion highlights from the last week:

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WoW Patch 5.4 Quick-Start Guides For All Classes And Specs

Yes, it’s that time again – the time that the Melting Pot team burn the midnight oil to produce quick-start guides for every class and spec in a new World of Warcraft patch. This time it’s Patch 5.4 and Garrosh going mental.

Apologies these took a little longer than usual – busy week!

As always, if you have questions, comments or suggestions to improve these guides, please do say! These are quick-start guides – we link to more detailed guides at the bottom of each quick-start!

And if you find one of our guides useful, please do link to these quick-starts on your blog, on Twitter or on Facebook. We’d very much appreciate it!

Here we go, then – Patch 5.4 in all its glory…

Tanks

Healers

Ranged DPS

Melee DPS

Hope they’re useful!

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WoW Patch 5.4: The Roundup and Class Survival Guides

Yep, WoW’s Big Final Raid for Mists of Pandaria has arrived, and everyone’s either beating on Garrosh’s minions or running around the Timeless Isle grabbing coins like WoW’s a ’90s platformer.

But what does everyone think of this huge final installment for MoP? Is it a win or a meh?

Let’s go to the blogs…

Note: if you’re struggling to get acclimatised, I’ve also collected a bunch of survival guides for classes in Patch 5.4 at the end of this post!

General Reactions

Class Survival Guides

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WoW Next: Probable Lies, Character Models and Dwarven Lore

And the excitement for the next WoW expansion seems to really be ramping up right now. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m splitting this week’s WoW posts into two because of that – and here’s today’s look to the future.

Whether we’re looking at character model revamps or dodgy probably-false info leaks, here’s what everyone’s talking about for the Next WoW:

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WoW Now: Mogging Tricks And Free Loot

I’m splitting WoW news into two parts this week, as it seems there’s at least as much discussion of what’s to come in the next expansion – whenever that arrives – as there is the current one.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t have some great posts about WoW as it is now.

Here are two great posts, from the practical to the theoretical:

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Friday Links: Flex Raiding, Guild Leading and more

Only two weeks until the final raid of Mists of Pandaria – where does the time go?

Here’s our usual round-up of great blog posts that haven’t been about the hot topics of the week!

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WoW: non-quest adventuring, Connected Realms and more

With all the furore about EQNext, you could be forgiven for thinking that everyone had forgotten about WoW.

But that’s definitely not the case: with patch 5.4 just around the corner, discussion’s as lively as ever.

Here’s the pick of what the community has been talking about this week:

  • The Godmother highlights what seems to be a huge change in Blizzard’s thinking – their discussion of a growing emphasis on “non-quest adventuring” content.

    Read “Time Changes Everything” »

  • Matthew Rossi sounds the alarm over what he considers an unprecedented exodus of warrior players from the warrior class.

    Read “The Exodus” »

  • The Grumpy Elf is thinking again – and as usual, he’s likely to make you think too. This week, he’s wondering whether gear should drop from anywhere – not just specific mobs – and what effects that would have on the game.

    Read “What if: Gear Dropped From Anywhere” »

  • And Variant Avatar looks at the proposed Connected Realms – aka server merges – in WoW, and whether they’ll actually solve the problem.

    Read “Are Connected Realms the Answer to Population Issues in Warcraft?” »

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The Tower Of Azora, In 2005 And Today

Milady at Hypercriticism writes a fascinating post on a single, tiny facet of World of Warcraft that many ex- and current players will remember: the Tower of Azora.

She’s looking at how WoW’s game design has changed, and how, in particular, Blizzard’s world-building has changed.

What would the Tower of Azora had Blizzard decided to fully incorporate it in their Cataclysm remake? Milady attempts to answer that question in a post that’s thought-provoking whether you agree with her or not:

“If Blizzard had cataclysmed Azora, they would have had it explained out to passers-by, they would have stripped it naked for the player to stare and yawn, commodified it into a quest hub. No enchanting trainer at the top of it: what for? Every profession is now found in the capital. No more inconvenient trailing back and forth.

They ironed out Azeroth. Every thing that stood out as unique was pressed down upon the flat surface of convenience. In so doing they turned a world with its peaks and valleys into a two-dimensional print. Following the creed of balance they made everything equal: nothing harder or more desirable, nothing different. Enchanting, with its inaccessible trainers and excessive material expenditure, and its grindy furbolg reputation that granted a much-coveted recipe only a few obtained, and with it fame and clients. Then they made each class equal in what they could do, so that nobody was discriminated in the basis of being a paladin without crowd control. The saddest of these equanimities was the shadow priest that now just did raw dps. Tanking and healing styles were fused into one big blob.

This did not only affect the enjoyment of the gameplay – it also changed how players viewed the world. The shadow priest was more effective now that he could put out more damage, but he was no longer fulfilling a unique role, different from all the rest. He might as well be firing darkened fireballs. They ‘balanced’ the gameplay to the detriment of the world.

Read the rest of “The Tower Of Azora And EQNext” »

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On WoW Loot

There’s been something of a mini-topic in the WoW community of late: loot, and how it has changed.

From the random, often badly-itemised, rare and inflexible items of Vanilla to today’s gear-normalised, class-tailored, individual, reforged loot drops, gear is one area where WoW has changed beyond recognition.

And these bloggers have been thinking about what that all means:

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