Vol'dun Preview, Heart of Azeroth Preview, Spring AWC, Student Art Contest Winners

New Paladin Card Reveal - Bellringer Sentry

Overwatch Retribution Trailer, Overwatch Digital Comic - Retribution

Patch 7.3.5 Hotfixes - April 3rd
Originally Posted by Blizzard(Blue Tracker)
Dungeons and Raids
  • Court of Stars
    • Patrol Captain Gerdo's Streetsweeper ability should now always properly line up with its visual.

Player Vs Player
  • Characters who have earned Fierce Elite, Dominant Elite, or Demonic Elite achievements can now purchase Elite Fierce Gladiator ensembles at the Legion Elite Gladiator vendors in Dalaran.

Battle for Azeroth Alpha - Vol'dun Now Open for Testing
The latest build for the Battle for Azeroth Alpha has opened the Horde zone of Vol'dun for testing. This is the desert zone that largely involves the conflict between the Vulpera and the Sethrak.
Originally Posted by Blizzard(Blue Tracker)
Things are still in an early state and likely to go through a fair amount of iteration. Please feel free to post any feedback on the content or bugs you encounter.

Battle for Azeroth Heart of Azeroth Preview
In Battle for Azeroth, our Artifact Weapons will be retired and a new Artifact system will come in the form of the Heart of Azeroth, an artifact quality neck piece that builds on and evolves Legion's Artifact Power and Netherlight Crucible systems. The line in the sand has been drawn, and the Horde and Alliance are at each other's throats. Because of this, they fail to notice the world around them is dying. Magni Bronzebeard, speaker for Azeroth's slumbering titan, gives player characters a gift from Azeroth herself in the form of this artifact neck piece.

The Basics

In Depth Look
Let's break this system down a bit further. In the Blizzcon In Depth panel for the system, a UI was shown that has changed a bit on Alpha. The Alpha UI does say that it is temporary, however, and so we currently are not sure what the final UI will look like. The Heart of Azeroth is directly connected to your head, shoulders, and chest item slots. Each of these items have four tiers that you can progressively unlock when your Heart of Azeroth receives enough Azerite.

The team wants to make sure that this system improves upon our current artifact progression system and lessens the amount of RNG involved. Here are some ways that this new system address these concerns:

Gaining Azerite
Azerite is the lifeblood of the planet. Because of this, both factions are very interested in acquiring as much of it as possible. Much like Artifact Power, Azerite is gained by doing a multitude of different activities within the game.

Azerite to Item Level
The Heart of Azeroth starts at Azerite Power level 1, and this power level increases as you earn Azerite. As your power level goes up, so does the item level. For reference, item level 265 is equivalent to item level 985 today.

The Spring AWC Finals Champions are Crowned
The winners of the AWC Finals were announced recently.
Originally Posted by Blizzard(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Fifty-thousand dollars. The pride of a continent. A spot at Blizzcon.

That is what the top teams in the world had in mind while competing at the AWC Spring Finals. With everything on the line, teams showed that tournament seeding meant little and the regular season was in the past.

Day 1 was full of surprises with Method Orange and XRB both losing in the first round even though both came in as tournament favorites. As the day progressed, the upsets kept on rolling in with the upper bracket final featuring Reformed (European #4) vs The Rejects (North America #2). Reformed enjoyed a Cinderella run as the destroyer of North American hopes, taking down both Method Orange and Super Frogs. In the lower bracket, the shock of the tournament happened with Method Orange being eliminated without a match win in the tournament, losing to XRB 3-1. With Sneakier Snakes following behind Method Orange, the European dominance continued, leaving only two North American teams in the Spring Finals after the first day.

The shocking results continued on Day 2 with Skill Capped Black(without Shaun Andreas ‘Raiku’ Meaney) eliminating tournament favorites XRB. In the semifinals, things evened out for the regions with one team from each region on either side of the bracket. In the most unexpected winner’s bracket final Reformed and The Rejects fought a very interesting stylistic matchup with the Jungle Cleave’s burst*fighting going against the dynamic compositions of The Rejects. In the end, Reformed took the series, booking their spot in the finals and sending another North American team to the lower bracket. Europe’s domination continued in the other semifinal of the upper bracket as a surging SCB came out and swept Super Frogs before falling in a tight series to The Rejects 3-2.

The pride of a region was on the line in the grand finals with a tidy European vs North American championship match. It was over quickly as the pressure from Reformed’s Jungle Cleave was just too much leading to a convincing 4-0 sweep of The Rejects. Reformed secured the $50,000 top prize as well as a spot in the Arena World Championship Global Finals on the back of an incredible run as the 4th seed from Europe.

The European dominance from the Spring Finals was complete with the region besting North America in eight of 13 matches played between the regions. With Reformed as the Spring Finals champions, the first team going to the World Championship is locked in. Now it’s time to turn toward the Summer cups which begin on May 12th with European Cup #1.

Announcing the Blizzard Entertainment Student Art Contest Winners!
Blizzard recently announced the winners of the Seventh Annual Blizzard Student Art Contest!
Originally Posted by Blizzard(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Presented by Blizzard Entertainment’s University Relations and World of Warcraft development teams, the seventh annual Blizzard Student Art Contest has drawn to a close. After some fervent debate and impassioned deliberation, our judges sifted through the many remarkable entries and identified the winning entries.

Check out the winners and runner-ups below for each of the four categories.

Environment Art Contest


“Yang’s Moving Bar” by Zhuoyang Liu
Academy of Art University


“Corrupt Chicken Coop” by Julian Elwood
Gnomon School of Visual Effects

“Highmountain Shaman’s Longhouse Retreat” by Kevin Young
Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University

“The Sporelight Marsh” by Qinglin “Cherlin” Mao
University of Utah

“Garden of Deep” by Yang Li
University of Utah

Character Art Contest


“Frostwhisker Otter Mount” by Natacha Nielsen
Laguna College of Art & Design


“Naga Royal Mage” by Yang Li
University of Utah

FX Contest


“Shadow Priest Void Dome” by Jason Chisolm
Ringling College of Art and Design


“Void Corruption” by Trevor McTavish
Ringling College of Art and Design

Animation Contest


“Skeleton Rises” by Marlowe Lexvold
Savannah College of Art and Design


“Spear Attack Combo” by Henry Villarta Cardoso
Full Sail

As a part of their prize package, winners from each category were invited to Blizzard Entertainment’s campus for a tour, 1-on-1 mentorship with senior artists and more. Here are just a few of the photos from their visit.

Winners also received One (1) Wacom Cintiq 22HD. Visit our contest announcement to see a complete list of prizes.

Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to seeing what you have in store next time!
This article was originally published in forum thread:Vol'dun Preview, Heart of Azeroth Preview, Spring AWC, Student Art Contest Winnersstarted bychaudView original post