MMO-Champion - Computer Setup of the Month, Blue Posts, MMO Report
Computers - Setup of the Month (by chaud)
Each month or every 2 months, depending on the hardware evolutions, the lovely chaud will work on a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!

This month
New SSDs are here and are finally priced reasonably. If you are thinking about purchasing a SSD, avoid the Intel 320 series as there is a fairly serious flaw. Now is a good time to buy, as the next generation is a good while away and the current prices are reasonable. New AMD CPUs will be here in September or October at the earliest, only unconfirmed benchmarks have been seen so far. The AMD Llano CPUs that came out recently are nothing impressive for gaming and the socket will not allow an upgrade to Bulldozer.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date. If you experience problems after updating, roll back to the recommended Nvidia Drivers.

Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions!

Peripherals/Monitors

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorASUS VW224U 22-Inch Widescreen - $150ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $200
KeyboardMicrosoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000 - $25Cyborg V.5 - $42
MouseLogitech MX518 - $30Logitech G500 - $54
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $23Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $40
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE276Q 27-Inch - $283Dell UltraSharp U2410 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $510
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $60Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $75 ($112)
MouseRazer Deathadder - $48Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $69
SpeakersCreative Inspire T3130 2.1 Speaker System - $50Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $83



Puppy and Dolphin

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $36NZXT GAMMA Classic - $36
Power SupplyCorsair Builder Series CX V2 500 - $40Corsair 650TX V2 - $75
CPUAMD Athlon II X4 640 AM3 - $100AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition - $112
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $35Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $35
MotherboardASUS M4A88TD-V EVO AM3 - AMD 880G - $105Asus AM3+ 880G M5A88-V EVO - $130
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $334GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $56
Graphics CardXFX 6770 - $137XFX 6850 or EVGA GTX 460 - $163/ $180
Hard DriveSAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $61SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $61
DVDLite-On 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $24Lite-On 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $24
Total$571$692 / $709


Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn. SSDs are always optional.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $60Cooler Master HAF932 - $153
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $75Corsair 750HX (7 Year Warranty) - $135
CPUIntel i5-2500k - $220Intel i7-2600k - $315
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $58Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $80
MotherboardASUS P8P67-M PRO - $147ASUS Z68 P8Z68-V PRO - $210
Memory4GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $568GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $85
Graphics CardXFX 6950 1GB OR EVGA GTX 560 Ti- $245 / $225XFX 6970 OR EVGA GTX 570 - $320 / $330
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $90Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $90
SSDCrucial 128 GB m4 (Review) - $250
OR
OCZ 120 GB Agility 3 (Review) - $210
Intel 510 Series 120 GB (Review) - $285
OR
OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 (Review) - $270
DVDLite-On 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $24Lite-On 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $24
Total$955 - $1225$1682 - $1707



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Difficulty to get Valor Points
Valor Points aren't awarded in a vacuum though, nor are ZA and ZG necessarily the 'best and only' route. Overall, running a raid, even the previous tier's raid, is going to be more rewarding for most players overall than just hitting up ZA/ZG. You can acquire gear of a high ilevel that provides set bonuses to help prepare for the next tier of content, as well as get a chance at potentially lucrative (or useful) BoEs; opportunities you won't find in the troll dungeons.

That's not to say that there aren't advantages to hitting up ZA/ZG to cap your VP if that's all you're after; but to believe that it's necessarily the most rewarding path if that isn't your sole goal, is, I think, a mistake. They still offer viable alternative for those players who have already spent a good deal of time in the tier 11 raid content too.

On a related note, we're looking at ways to make raiding accessible and easier to get organized, without at the same time compromising the experience for those who are looking for a challenge. We adjusted tier 11 specifically so that players who haven't seen the content yet will have a chance to get in there and mix it up. In fact, we think that things work best overall when we have heroic raids, normal raids, and then previous tiers all available at the same time - which was an arrangement we didn't quite have in place when Cataclysm launched (unless you count Argaloth, but we don't think a single boss counts as a tier). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

People skipping queues by grouping with a tank through RealID
Not sure if this is the place to post or not, but you can use the old skipping queue method as a dps by queuing with a tank and the tank leaving instantly. It doesn't remove the dps person like it does on normal queuing. Something to look in to!

Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. It’s not a bug, though, and Real ID Party doesn’t change the way this system is intended to function.

We certainly don’t want players skipping queues and getting an unfair advantage over players that are waiting patiently. Ultimately, the Dungeon Finder rule system is much more “intelligent” than you might think: players who abuse the system may find that they are removed when their tank compatriot leaves, regardless of how long they were already in the dungeon. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Incentives to players to participate in world PvP
The problem with these "incentives" is that they could potentially cause additional problems or not feel "good" to those that get caught in it when they don't want to be involved. Also keep in mind that though we have PvP and PvE realms, it's all the same game, so if we introduce something, it would go on all realms.

As you've seen we did some outdoor PvP incentives in Burning Crusade (after it was introduced in Silithus and Eastern Plaguelands), but the difficulty then is keeping people involved and interested in going back to it.

We're always open to constructive feedback on these things, but introducing specific things into the world to inject PvP isn't a simple undertaking and has some potential pitfalls. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Why is Ghostcrawler no longer on the forums?
Where did he go? I am not aware of what exactly happened. Did he get a lot of trolls attacking him than decide to lay low after that?
No, it didn't really have anything to do with that. We (community managers) had several discussions with Ghostcrawler and the other lead developers about how we'd be approaching communication on the new community site when it launched. Ultimately, we all agreed it'd be better for the company and the community to have the community managers be the primary source of forum communication. He still reads the forums every day for feedback. Likewise, we stay in touch with him every day, often relaying information he provides us to you all. So his thoughts on any given subject are still very often shared on the forums. The only difference is we, as community managers, take the time to relay his thoughts to you so he can focus more on considering the feedback we collect and provide from the forums, affording him more time to focus on development.

That said, he's always looking for new subjects to tackle for our blogs, so you still get a direct link to his (and the rest of the development team's) thought process. As we've stated before, we also plan on completely revamping the concept of Ask the Devs. The goal is to make sure the new Ask the Devs format allows for more interaction between devs and players, and has a quicker turnaround time on answers provided.

He may not be in the trenches interacting with players on the forums daily anymore, but he's still watching. Reading. Contemplating. Waiting to strike. And when he does, we'll be there to share his words of wisdom. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

[...] Just know that we're very close to Ghostcrawler (and the rest of the dev leads), so we can have very frank discussions about game design. Sometimes we'll sit in GC's office and argue points we've seen on the forums, either because we personally agree with those points, or we're playing devil's advocate. He sits with the rest of the class design team too, so it's really awesome to get a philosophic design discussion going with the lot of them. They're very receptive to unfiltered feedback.

I guess my point is, the perception that something is missing in terms of player feedback from the forums reaching people like GC, is stronger than the reality. But I do agree that the communication about that feedback isn't as strong as it used to be. Our department is relatively new to the structure we have now -- it began shortly before the launch of StarCraft II when the new community site format was introduced about a year ago. We're still learning how to optimize our team and figure out the tools/staffing we need to better support our forum goers. To be honest, the roles and responsibilities of Blizzard community managers have greatly increased over the years, but we know that employee interaction on the forums is still as important as ever.

For now you'll still probably see developers on the PTR forums from time to time when they need direct testing feedback, or need to inquire further about any issues/concerns. Having said that, it is the role of the community team to get information from the company to the players, and vice versa. When we're doing our job right the developers can focus more of their time on developing the game, while still feeling like they're attuned to what players are saying. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Priest (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Divine Aegis Visual Effect
I spoke with the developers about this yesterday. You're likely to see a slightly toned down version of the original effect when it's updated. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Discipline Mastery
The root of the issue is this -- our Mastery affects our spells in very different ways.
The intent is exactly that. If mastery affected all of your spells the same way, then it would really just be a “+healing” stat, which we already offer (Intellect). Crit and haste don’t affect all your spells the same way, and we think it’s a more interesting design if mastery behaves the same way. It is possible to go too far of course. If mastery doesn’t affect enough of your entire healing package (either in terms of number of spells or raw output), then it just becomes a weak stat. Alternatively, it can lead classes, and healers in particular, to neglect spells that are weak because mastery doesn’t boost them. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The MMO Report
You know how it works, first news of the week (or last depending on your timezone), MMO Report!

This article was originally published in forum thread: Computer Setup of the Month, Blue Posts, MMO Report started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 50 Comments
  1. F-Minus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sentri View Post
    A million+ ? I thought they just stated they have 11.5 M players. Source? They talked about this on GameBreaker.TV:s Legendary and I trust them, sorry for not having anything more. Nevertheless, even the 11.4 M stated earlier is still not a "million +" less than the 12 M number before. Also why does everyone blame GC for everything?

    Active subscribtions is same as saying we have 30million players.

    As for GC, before he was in charge the game was better, simply put. I had way more fun in The Burning Crusade as I have now in Cataclysm and Wrath put together. Especially Cataclysm is a cataclysmic failure in my book. I wouldn't blame him, but I guess he has some sort of influence on the direction of the game, thus I'd say he lead it into a wrong direction.
  1. Zoneseek's Avatar
    > players who abuse the system may find that they are removed when their tank compatriot leaves, regardless of how long they were already in the dungeonOuch! This doesn't sound good. What if I queue up with a buddy with the full intention to run the entire dungeon, and something irl comes up 90% of the way through and he has to leave? Will I be dropped from the group too? Doesn't sound too fair to me. This should only happen leading up to the first boss, or something like that.
  1. Eroginous's Avatar
    I just want to talk for a minute about WD hard drives, specifically the models you posted in your 'build a PC' section. Most of the new WD hard drives are built with a feature called Intellipark which parks the heads of the hard drive after 8 seconds of inactivity (no reading/writing) and are especially questionable for performance users who game/multimedia a lot. It would be a good idea not to feature them in your PC builds simply because the head parking feature can't be completely disabled, and it causes excessive wear on the internal parts, shortening the life of the hard drive. It also causes many games to freeze momentarily during play, as well as show symptoms of a failing hard drive even if the drive is perfectly fine. WD is fully aware of this feature being a plague for owners of these hard drives, and there is no fix in sight. The pros of these drives are the larger sector size, but for anyone taking their gaming/multimedia seriously, just beware that these drives are build to self destruct. The only really good thing about them is that WD has an excellent RMA policy. Otherwise, if you are not so well versed in computers and would like things go so smoothy with your next purchase, buy a Segate or a Samsung.
  1. good diu bro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by daburton View Post
    exactly why they've already said they don't want to impletment guild/player housing. Cities are already dead as it is, can you imagine the scrubbrush blowing through places like SW if people had guild housing.
    I have played quite a lot of mmos titles and I dont think that has or would happen.
    People tend to stay in populated area, so they can trade stuff, trolling in chat and finding groups.

    EDIT: On second thoughts, I would say the culprit is archaeology.
  1. crsh1976's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eroginous View Post
    I just want to talk for a minute about WD hard drives, specifically the models you posted in your 'build a PC' section. Most of the new WD hard drives are built with a feature called Intellipark which parks the heads of the hard drive after 8 seconds of inactivity (no reading/writing) and are especially questionable for performance users who game/multimedia a lot. It would be a good idea not to feature them in your PC builds simply because the head parking feature can't be completely disabled, and it causes excessive wear on the internal parts, shortening the life of the hard drive. It also causes many games to freeze momentarily during play, as well as show symptoms of a failing hard drive even if the drive is perfectly fine. WD is fully aware of this feature being a plague for owners of these hard drives, and there is no fix in sight. The pros of these drives are the larger sector size, but for anyone taking their gaming/multimedia seriously, just beware that these drives are build to self destruct. The only really good thing about them is that WD has an excellent RMA policy. Otherwise, if you are not so well versed in computers and would like things go so smoothy with your next purchase, buy a Segate or a Samsung.
    Isn't that a feature found only on "Green" drives? Sounds like the type of thing to go along the variable rotary speed (which WD calls IntelliSpeed) that the Green series uses to allegedly save energy. I use an older WD Black (640 GB, SATA 2) and certainly never had spinning-down/parked-head issues - tho you mention this is a new feature, so perhaps older models just didn't have that.
  1. bundok's Avatar
    Unicorns being Unicorns, why not recommend the Dell U2711 (27" IPS). It's gotten much better reviews than the U2410 you recommended and doesn't have the grey static noise issues previously reported. And who doesn't love 2560 x 1440 resolution?
  1. JokerFMJ's Avatar
    Chaud,

    I meant the stock side fan, not the top fan.
  1. Annesh's Avatar
    Sorry if this is the stupidest question ever asked by a human being, but how necessary is the heatsink going to be for the "puppy" build, or for any build?
  1. Xtreme's Avatar
    im trying a combo between unicorn and narwal
  1. Sippycup's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by JokerFMJ View Post
    Chaud,

    I meant the stock side fan, not the top fan.
    It all fits my friend. Just built the full on unicorn set-up tonight with a friend. This case and heat sink are just beastly. There is a about .25" clearance between the heat sink and side case fan. Now if I could only get these damn wires cleaned up.

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