Formerly Hardcore #9: Patch 6.2 is Here!

Hello and welcome to the 9th edition of Formerly Hardcore, ZAM’s column on Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft. For this week’s column we’ll be talking about patch 6.2, which is coming to live servers… today! Last Wednesday, Blizzard released the patch cinematic and gave a release date of Tuesday, June 23rd. Coincidentally that was about two hours after I’d already agreed to write the review for the Final Fantasy XIV expansion, Heavensward, which also comes out on the 23rd. It’s amazing how Blizzard just coincidentally keeps releases patches when other games are coming out, despite claiming not to… in all seriousness though, if I were them, I’d do the same thing.

For those of you who aren’t going to be bouncing back and forth between games, you’ll have your hands full with everything in this patch. If your guild has long since finished with Blackrock Foundry or your 5-man group is ready to have a new challenge, your wait is over. Well, unless you forgot to turn on the Background Downloader or to kick off the Battle.net launcher before you went to work.

World of Warcraft: Flying in Draenor

The topic of flight (or lack thereof) has been a hot issue latelyin the World of Warcraft community. In the latest Dev Watercooler blog post, Lead Designer Ion Hazzikostas has laid out what players can expect in the future of flight.

Formerly Hardcore #8: Hellfire Citadel Preview

Hello and welcome to the 8th edition of Formerly Hardcore, ZAMs column for Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft. For this column, we’re going to take a look at last week’s preview of Hellfire Citadel from the official WoW site. Patch 6.2 will be taking us back to Tanaan Jungle where we’ll be not only invading the stronghold of the Iron Horde, but we’ll be doing so against their newly fel-empowered legions of soldiers.

Formerly Hardcore #7: Itemization and Flight

Hello and welcome to the 7th edition of Formerly Hardcore, ZAMs column on Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft. For this column, we’re going to take a look at a couple of articles that came out last week. The first is a new Dev Watercooler on the main site, focusing on itemization in 6.2. The second is an interview Polygon ran on Friday with lead designer Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas about Tanaan Jungle, future Warlords of Draenor content and some major news about flying in 6.2 and beyond.

Formerly Hardcore #6: Weekend Events in 6.2

Hello and welcome to the 6th edition of Formerly Hardcore, ZAMs column on Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft. For this column, we’re going to take a look at some of the features from the patch 6.2 Public Test Realm. Last time we talked about the new 5-man options coming in 6.2: Mythic and Timewalker. When I was describing Timewalker dungeons, I mentioned that they would be limited to specific extended weekends (Friday through Monday) on a rotation schedule of bonus events where Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King Timewalker dungeons would make up two of the possible seven events.

In addition to all of the discussion about whether or not locking Timewalker behind weekend events was the best way to go about things, there was the question of what those other five weekend events would be. That question was answered last week with the Bonus Events and Adventure Guide on the official site. So what other events will patch 6.2 bring us to entice us into running different content?

Formerly Hardcore: 5-Man Dungeons in 6.2

Hello and welcome to the 5th edition of Formerly Hardcore, ZAMs column on Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft. For this column, we’re going to take a look at some of the features from the patch 6.2 Public Test Realm. Right after I posted my previous column on the remaining bosses of Blackrock Foundry, Blizzard announced the PTR was coming up for the next patch – and here I thought I’d be doing something on Garrisons or pet battles for this week’s column.

Along with the PTR announcement came the first set of patch notes, which were massive. Since then we’ve seen a few iterations on those patch notes, datamined information from Wowhead and other sites, boss videos from guilds trying out the new raid encounters and so much more. I won’t try to cover everything that’s shown up in patch notes and build update posts in a single post, despite what the length of some of my columns might imply. Instead we’ll focus on a couple of new features from the PTR notes that immediately caught my eye: Mythic and Timewalker Dungeons.

Formerly Hardcore #4: Adventures in BRF, Part 4

Hello and welcome to the 4th edition of Formerly Hardcore, ZAMs column on Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft. For our fourth column, we’re continuing our look at WoW’s latest raid, Blackrock Foundry. So far we’ve covered eight of the ten encounters in BRF, as well as some talk about my experience with using WoW’s Group Finder tool and Looking For Raid difficulty. That leaves us with two bosses to go.

ZAM Game of the Year Awards 2014: Recap

This week we awarded our top gaming picks of 2014. It wasn't easy; there were many stand-outs this year!

Our Expansion of the Year award went to World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. ZAM's VP of Technology, Michael "Argo" Ender, said that "World of Warcraft fell off my radar a bit after Wrath. With WoD they made the WoW game I've always wanted to play. Thank you Blizzard!" President Cody "Micajah" Bye added that the release of Draenor "revitalized an entire game." Check out contributing writer Michael "Ragar" Branham's story about how Warlords drew him back to Warcraft in our Expansion of the Year article.

Consoles saw a lot of new titles this year, but Destiny took the prize home for our Console Game of the Year award. Bungie reached for excellence and delivered on many levels with the title that has half of our staff hopelessly addicted. It may not be all roses, as ZAM Deputy Editor Colt "ShdwFlm" Casey mentions in our Console Game of the Year article, but at its core Destiny is a fun experience with room to improve.

PC gamers were treated to a plethora of excellent titles this year, with BioWare's Dragon Age: Inquisition landing our PC Game of the Year award. The in-depth story and replayability ultimately won many of us over as we took the Qunari by the horns and laid waste to all who stood to oppose Thedas. Managing Editor Ann "Cyliena" Hosler talked about how DAI excelled on every level in our PC Game of the Year article.

Finally, we looked forward to what next year will bring and agreed that Overwatch, which Blizzard unveiled during this year's BlizzCon, is our Most Anticipated Game of 2015. Project Manager Katie Welka teared up at the epic cinematic trailer, while Colt admitted that he gets the feels every time he watches it. ZAM's Brand Ambassador, Lindsay "Geektr0n" Ferguson, teamed up with Ann to explain why Overwatch is the game we all should be eagerly awaiting in our Most Anticipated Game of 2015 article.


Thanks for joining us for another fantastic year in gaming! We hope everyone is having a great holiday week and look forward to seeing what 2015 will bring!

ZAM Awards 2014: Expansion of the Year

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

When I originally heard about Warlords of Draenor, I was excited, but a bit worried about the premise. As much as I liked the idea of fighting these big name Orc Warlords and seeing how powerful they truly could be when free of the Burning Legions corruption, when you mix in time travel and alternate realities into any fiction, things always have the potential to go off the rails and end up a mess. World of Warcraft has dealt with time travel in the past with dungeons and even the Mount Hyjal raid, but this is an entire expansion built around having an alternate reality invade our own? Can something like this really hold up to scrutiny? In a word: absolutely. For a longer description, Ill use my own starting experience to give an example.

Wowhead Weekly Episode 18: More Warlords Q&A

Join Olivia and Perculia once again for Wowhead Weekly: Episode 18! This week's episode was a continuation of your Warlords of Draenor questions.