Stormwind City destroyed after Horde stops saving it

The capital city of the Alliance has been destroyed by Warlord Zaela of the Iron Horde after a small group of Horde adventurers elected not to stop her.

"Have you come to get a first row seat for Stormwind's destruction?" taunted Zaela from atop her dragon after being confronted in her lair deep within Upper Blackrock Spire.

After conferring for a few seconds with his companions, Genshi, an orc rogue, stepped forward and shrugged.

"Actually, that sounds pretty good with us," he said. Behind him, the other four Horde adventurers nodded and gave Zaela big thumbs-up signs.

"Good, I have been waiting for -- sorry, what?" said Zaela, blinking in surprise. "Um, well, okay then. In that case....uh, off I go!"

"I'm really not sure what she was expecting," said Carianna, a blood elf paladin, as the Alliance capital city went up in flames far off in the distance.

"Granted, we did save their city once already from the Botani and that big genesaur," she added ruefully while sticking a handful of Conjured Mana Marshmallows on skewers. "But like, there was a real lot going on right then, and that mage lady was being really loud and wouldn't stop shouting, plus I think Saurfang was giving us like 50 gold to stop it.

"But this time? Hey, have at it, lady."

The extent of the destruction has not yet been fully determined, but survivors were able to confirm that when Zaela began the attack by dropping a massive Iron Star into the city, it landed directly on top of the newly-restored Park, utterly demolishing it.

Defias Brotherhood sends petition to Stormwind requesting return of original Westfall

After King Varian Wrynn announced his intention to finally collapse the subterranean caverns known as the Deadmines once and for all last week, the Defias Brotherhood was quick to react. However, Stormwind authorities were surprised to learn that the infamous band of brigands, murderers, and outlaws responded not with a violent attack or uprising, but rather, with a petition.

The change.orc petition, signed by all 89 members of the Defias Brotherhood who currently reside in the Deadmines, stated that since they would soon be without a home, Stormwind should turn Westfall back into how it used to be because they "liked it better that way."

"I was leader of the Stonemasons Guild back in the original Stormwind," said former Defias kingpin Edwin VanCleef. "After giving it a lot of thought, I feel Stormwind could have found a way to support us, rather than resorting to scary legal tactics. Almost 900,000 people want to see this. King Wrynn, these people are not your enemy, they are some of Stormwind's greatest supporters!"

When asked to explain exactly how a ruthless band of bandits, pirates, and lawbreakers qualified as supporters of anything besides theft, flagrant disrespect for the law, and a bizarre sense of entitlement in expecting one's victims to listen to their requests and not simply laugh in their faces, VanCleef frowned and began sweating, before saying such questions were "not germane" to the matter at hand.

Accompanying the petition -- which was scrawled on the back of a Wanted poster warning travelers to beware Defias bandits operating in the area -- came a firm declaration that should Stormwind not adhere to their requests, the Defias would immediately withdraw all support and financial backing to Stormwind and the Alliance. After reading the thinly-veiled threat, King Wrynn rolled his eyes and laughed. "Wow, how will Stormwind ever cope without the non-existent contributions of a bunch of literal thieves?"

Wrynn then grew more serious. "I hate to break it to them, but Westfall is Alliance land -- always has been, always will be. And frankly, we've had quite enough of the Defias thinking they can just do whatever they want simply because they feel like it, or because they don't like how we run things here in Stormwind these days. Oh, they've had fun running around breaking the law, and so I'm supposed to care now what they want? I've got two words for them: too bad."

Wrynn's response did not sit well with the Brotherhood. "I've lost a huge amount of respect for Stormwind," said Defias veteran "Captain" Cookie, one of the only original Brotherhood members to maintain his position following the Cataclysm. "Everyone knows the Deadmines is shit now. To show my displeasure, I'm no longer going to purchase that Champion's Treadblade that I was totally, definitely, for-reals going to buy next month. That'll show 'em! An eye for an eye! They'll never get my money (money that I stole in the first place) ever again!"

"FUCK YOU STORMWIND!" said a completely level-headed, reasonable Defias member. "You just want to pander to the mainstream population and won't even do something as simple as turn back time for your TRUE loyal people. You just continue to shit on your original citizens."

King Wrynn did acknowledge that the desire to see Westfall returned to its "glory days" was an interesting idea, even among Stormwind authorities, but not enough, he believed, to offset the costs such an undertaking would require.

"They do know that you can't just...rewind the world, right?" said Wrynn, shaking his head. "That was like ten years ago. We can't just change everything back simply because a bunch of thieving yahoos are nostalgic for the 'good old days'."

When informed that the Defias had offered their "regional expertise" to assist Stormwind in any rebuilding efforts, Wrynn scoffed. "What, we're supposed to reward their banditry by giving them jobs? Are they seriously suggesting we view their history of criminal activity and theft as a resume?"

Wrynn did have one additional message for members of the Brotherhood. "We may have shut down your illegal base of operations where you were squatting on Alliance-owned land, but any of you who regret your actions are welcome to return to Stormwind and become law-abiding, tax-paying citizens. You may be shocked to learn that Stormwind and the Alliance are much more willing to consider requests by people who are, you know, not pirates."

As Stormwind masons collapsed the cave leading into the Deadmines' underground tunnels, a single tear rolled down the snout of former Defias lieutenant Mr. Smite, standing on a hill nearby.

"I came back to have a good time, and I'm honestly feeling so under attack right now."

Accessing mailbox to cost gold in Legion

Players will have to pay gold to use their mailbox in Legion, Blizzard announced today.

Currently on the Legion Alpha servers, players must fork over 100 gold to open their mailbox, whether it's to send mails, receive items from the Auction House, or simply to send items to another character.

"The 100g is purely a placeholder at the moment. We are still working out what the cost will be!" said the Warcraft Devs twitter account, when asked to clarify if this access fee would continue when Legion goes live.

Response from the playerbase has been quite negative, but Blizzard remains firm that these service charges are a necessary evil, due to players having earned too much gold from the particularly lucrative treasure hunter garrison missions in Warlords of Draenor.

"We've thought long and hard about this, and we've decided that that best solution is to nickel-and-dime our playerbase for everyday conveniences that they've adored and been accustomed to for years!" explained new Lead Finance Manager Trade Prince Gallywix.

"It just made sense to start with the mailbox -- I mean, the Postmaster already works tirelessly to bring you those useless trash items you passed up, or by taking that excess Honor you earned that would have inconveniently put you over the Honor cap and throwing it in the garbage, then mailing you to tell you about it. It's only fair that they earn a working wage, in today's economy!"

Gallywix added that Blizzard was "listening carefully" to feedback, and that they would be considering alternate options for players.

"Oh, don't you worry! We only want what's best for you, which is why we're offering a special way for players to bypass these service charges! For the low, low cost of only $10, players can purchase the Elite Mailbox account option from the Blizzard Shop, and enjoy full, unrestricted use of their mailbox for an entire month! That's our gift to you, loyal subscribers!"

When asked if Blizzard had any plans to introduce similar gold charges for other existing in-game services, Gallywix shrugged.

"Hey, you never know. We're thinking about maybe toll booths at instance portals, with stamp cards so your 11th zone-in is free. Or maybe we'll make major cooldowns have a one-hour cooldown, which players can reduce for a small, teensy-tiny Shop fee. The possibilities are endless!"

Ashran groups now limited to one player per side

"Exploit that, fuckers," said Holinka.

Flying in Legion will be acquired through Pet Battles, announces Blizzard

Players will be able to fly in Legion, as long as they know how to Pet Battle.

"We appreciate the spirited discussion that is still taking place regarding flying in Warlords of Draenor," said Blizzard Senior Designer Jeremy "Muffinus" Feasel in a surprise press conference this morning. "We understand that many players were disappointed not knowing if and when they would be able to fly in Draenor, which is why we've decided to tell you now in advance that flying in Legion will be directly linked to your Pet Battling prowess!"

After pausing to fistbump fellow designer Jonathan "Crafticus" LeCraft, Feasel went on to say that at some point "early in Legion, probably 7.0.1," players will be able to earn the ability to fly by completing a new meta-achievement called Broken Isles Petfinder. This achievement will encompass a variety of pet battling accomplishments, such as catching all 563 new battle pets found in the Broken Isles (including the rare Born Val'kyr, who shares its Unborn cousin's always popular spawn patterns), and collecting 100 of Legion's new Pet Treasures, found by feeding your pets Magical Pet Biscuits and rummaging through the resulting droppings. Players will also need to complete the [An Awfully Big Broken Adventure] and [The Felestial Tournament] achievements, and reach Revered with two new reputations, Ashlei and Lil' Illy.

"We got the idea after seeing a post on the forums that suggested flying speed be gated by Mythic raid progression," explained Feasel. "Now obviously, that idea was just plain stupid, but it did make us realize that gating flying behind pet battles would be a totally awesome idea!"

Feasel added that this new process "took some convincing," but in the end, Legion's development team agreed that this would ensure flying remained a well-deserved reward, and not something to be taken for granted.

"Ultimately, we felt that only players dedicated enough to have a blue-quality level 25 P/S breed Tiny Snowman deserved to be able to fly this expansion," said Feasel, adding that the Snowman was "basically mandatory" to defeat at least five of Legion's elite tamers and Artifact pets.

"We believe this strikes the right balance between ensuring non-Pet Battle-based content lives up to its full potential, while providing players who’ve already fully experienced Legion's Pet Battle world extra freedom to 'break the rules,'" added Feasel. "This also provides a general blueprint going forward for content to come. Players will discover new and undiscovered Pets from the ground, and then once they’ve fully pummeled those pets into submission, they can take to the skies and experience the world from a new vantage point!"

When asked how players would gain reputation with Ashlei and Lil' Illy, Feasel stated that these would be classic reputation grinds, which are always huge hits among the playerbase.

"It's simple, really," said Feasel. "Every pet battle you win with an Elekk Plushie on your team earns you 10 reputation with Ashlei, who as we all recall, is a big fan of her own Plushie friend, Doodle! As for Lil' Illy, players will be able to challenge Maiev Shadowsong to a special pet battle every day, and defeating her will earn you a whopping 100 reputation with him! That's right Maiev fans, we told you she'd be back in a big, important role, and we weren't about to let you down!"

Lead game designer Tom Chilton then appeared onstage and added that to stay consistent with game lore, female Night Elf priests would automatically begin at Honored with Lil' Illy, while male Night Elf druids would start "At War" with him.

Immediately after Feasel's announcement, the WoW community exploded into activity. World-first guild Paragon quickly amended their guild requirements, which now state that potential applicants must speak Finnish, have extensive Mythic raiding experience, and must also own all four Celestial Tournament pets. Meanwhile, a forum thread created this morning titled "NERF EMERALD PROTO-WHELP!!!!!" has already received 1500+ replies, though at least half of these are simply telling the thread author to "just howl bomb it, lol."