Reaper of Souls Livestream

Blue Posts: Feedback Survey, Pay to Win, Maintenance Tomorrow; Beta Key Giveaway

Alterac Brew Pup - 2013 Charity Pet
It looks like the Alterac Brew-Pup will be the 2013 Charity pet, with 50% of the purchase price going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The charity donation period only lasts until December 31, 2013, similar to the Moonkin Hatchling, which was released on November 29, 2010.

For an example of what the money goes towards, take a look at our own member Ashkir's story about meeting the President through Make-A-Wish!

Also keep in mind that the developers revealed there will be a combo purchase possible with the next charity pet, which includes the Enchanted Fey Dragon mount!







Patch 5.4.2 - Cross-Realm Account-Bound Mail
Patch 5.4 enabled mailing between Connected Realms. Patch 5.4.2 will allow you to mail Account Bound items to other realms!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In the latest 5.4.2 PTR build, we are testing the new ability to mail account-bound items to other characters on your account that may be on different servers. Notably, this should allow you to move heirlooms between servers, in advance of our planned Warlords changes that will make them fully account-wide.

Sending this sort of mail should work like any cross-server communication: You send the item to "Playername-Servername" and it should otherwise work like regular mail. Note that you can only send account-bound items, and not other items or gold.

Example: I have a character, Thrall, on the Benedictus server. I want to send my heirloom mace to my alt, Durotan, on the Lycanthoth server. I'd log in as Thrall, and attach the mace to a mail addressed to "Durotan-Lycanthoth" and hit send.

We'd appreciate any feedback or bug reports on this new feature so that we can address any issues prior to the release of 5.4.2. But even without direct feedback, just logging into PTR and mailing account-bound items across servers should give us useful data to help confirm that the feature is working as intended. Thanks!

Patch 5.4 Hotfixes - November 18 / 19
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
  • Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Nature's Vigil should now be correctly affected by effects that modify healing (Battle Fatigue, Mortal Strike, Dampening, etc.).


  • Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Stormlash Totem's Stormlash effect now has a 50% chance to activate and deals 40% of current damage (This is up from a 20% chance to activate and down from a 100% damage increase when activated compared to a hotfix from October 4).

    • Talents
      • Stone Bulwark Totem's damage absorption shield should now be properly affected by Battle Fatigue and Dampening.



Pet Battles
  • Battle Pets
    • Zao, Calfling of Niuzao's Niuzao's Charge ability should play the correct sound instead of a quote by the Headless Horseman.


Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Paragons of the Klaxxi
      • Xaril the Poisoned Mind should no longer be incorrectly receiving credit in the combat log for spells cast by players that were under the effects of Canned Heat.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
quality of life changes? whose life, ours, or the devs?

why take gems, and reforging away? is it for our benefit? it isn't for my benefit as a healer.
is the new "grind" going to be chasing the gear you really want/need in a timeless isle format? or, are the characters going to be even more simplistic, that it won't even matter. we already lost control of our mana pools, what's next. everyone will have the same mana regen?


It's a difficult conversation to come to any consensus on because different people always find different things fun. It's all rather subjective. I don't recommend anyone try to convince anyone else that they're wrong in what they understand to be fun for them. That's a waste of precious bodily fluids. However, our goal has always been and I believe always will be to create a fun and engaging game that is free from tediousness and complexities for the sake of tediousness and complexities. Easy to learn, difficult to master is our motto.

Depth and complexity of systems don't need to come from the number of buttons to click, innumerable steps to take to complete mundane tasks, or obscurity of how to go about them. Certainly decrypting game systems can be fun sometimes, but as a company we embrace a style of game that is very approachable with systems that are simple to understand on the surface but that hold a lot of genuine gameplay depth. That was true the day World of Warcraft was released, and we strive to ensure that remains true even with the addition of dozens of new systems over the years. As time marches on and we implement our latest and greatest ideas, they don't always keep pace with that design intent, and sometimes we have to make difficult decisions.

You will also find that one button that does it all......isn't so fun either.
Tooooootally agree, which is kind of what hit/expertise caps were. You either hit them or you didn't. Binary on/off buttons aren't so fun - depends how shiny the button is though I suppose.

You imply other systems in the game suffer from the same; to which are you referring?

So, you're gonna stack strength just to be different from other elemental next to you?
Kind of the interesting crux of a lot of these conversations is illusion of customization vs. actual customization vs. efficiency, and how all of those interplay.

If someone liked spending all of their talent points in the old system in strange ways and ended up being extremely sub-optimal, but felt better about their individuality and choices and therefore found that system more "fun", were they wrong? What should the efficiency gap be, and how should we as designers and game creators ensure looking up a guide vs. not looking up a guide isn't the difference between a playable game and an impossible one? If that player who enjoyed their custom build and choices saw they performed far below everyone else would they understand it was due to their choices, or would they feel like the game was being unfair to them?

All interesting topics.

why not? this game's revenues are in excess of over $1 billion dollars a year. it's not like Fred, and Ethel are busy in the backroom coding, and we can't work them too hard.
Software development is not an assembly line. Adding a another eyeball to a doll you manufacture (because ... you're insane, I guess?) and adding another person to an assembly line to install that eye isn't how a collaborative effort like software - and especially game creation which includes a lot of art and "feeling" - is created. Some of the reasons are encapsulated in Brooks's Law.

Anyway to address your "why not?" more directly, the difficulty in balance is really that we want classes and choices to feel meaningful and unique. When you play your warlock you want to feel like a warlock, and not like a slightly different mage. And so it's just a fact that uniqueness and equality are two opposing concepts (no, you're not a unique snowflake AND as good as anyone else at everything), and in that we have to find some middle ground we call balance. But you're asking why talents can't be truly balanced if there's choice, so let's draw on a piece of paper a grid 3x3 and in each we'll put a unique number 1-through-9. I'll pick 4 of those numbers, 6, 7, 8, 9, add those up, that's 30, and then you being the same class pick your own 4 numbers from the same grid and you choose 1, 2, 3, 4, that's 10. Those numbers aren't equal, and almost all combinations will not be equal. Obviously a very simple if not flawed analogy, but balanced and fun vs. unique and meaningful isn't a problem to be solved by adding more calculators to the pile because it isn't just about spreadsheet math.

But this is all waaaaaaay too off-topic. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World of Warcraft’s 9th Anniversary!
You can find a topic about the anniversary rewards from other games on our forums!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
World of Warcraft turns nine on November 23, 2013! Another epic year has flown by, and we’d like to thank you all for joining us on so many great adventures. To celebrate, players who log into the game between the dates of November, 18 through December, 1 will receive a feat of strength added to their Achievements and a “Celebration Package” item. Using your item will kick off the celebrations by shooting off fireworks*, applying a (visual only) tabard to your character, and granting an 9% bonus to experience and reputation gains from any enemies defeated while active.

We look forward to another year of adventures ahead and many more to come!

*Use fireworks responsibly. Harmful or fatal if swallowed. If fireworks get in eyes, rinse in muddy pond water for 20 minutes, /dance, and contact your nearest Mistweaver, Priest, Shaman, Druid, or Paladin.

Blizzard Entertainment Student Art Contest
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Students, get ready to show off your talents: the Student Art Contest is back!

Blizzard Entertainment’s university relations and World of Warcraft development teams are proud to present the third annual Blizzard Student Art Contest! We’re calling on college and university students to submit original artwork or animations that would be a great fit for World of Warcraft. This year’s contest is even better than ever as we’ve thrown in additional categories for you to wow us in (pun intended).

Show us something we’ve never seen before but that still fits within World of Warcraft. You can see previous winning submissions here and here.

Online submission forms will be available on our University Relations website in December. We recommend getting started now though!

Prizes
Grand prize winners will be chosen by the World of Warcraft art team, and will receive the following epic prizes*:

  • A three-month mentorship by a member of the World of Warcraft art team, in the form of email or phone critique of portfolio work (Contact frequency will be roughly every two weeks)
  • A one-year subscription to World of Warcraft
  • A Blizzard Entertainment notebook (featuring an original sketch by a Blizzard artist)
  • A Blizzard T-shirt


*Blizzard reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value for any prize

Please note that only current US and Canadian college and university students are eligible to win. Residents of North Dakota, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, and Quebec are not eligible to participate.

For more information about the contest as it becomes available, please join our Blizzard Careers group on LinkedIn (LinkedIn account required).

Good luck to all!


Environment Art
Using your creativity and ability to work within the World of Warcraft art style, create a small environment diorama that would fit well in the game world. Your quest: Concept, model, and texture an environment piece that you could imagine stumbling upon during your travels across Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms, Outland, Northrend, or Pandaria.

Required elements are trees, rocks, grass, and props, plus a small structure (such as a shrine).

Character Art
Using your creativity and ability to work within the World of Warcraft art style, concept, model, and texture a non-player character (NPC) or creature that you could imagine roaming the plains of Durotar, exploring the depths of Deepholm, or just sitting in the Pig and Whistle Tavern knocking back a mug o’ Thistle Tea.

Required elements are the character or creature, along with some sort of clothing or armor. Feel free to go further by adding weapons or other accessories.

Weapon Art
Using your creativity and ability to work within the World of Warcraft art style, concept, model, and texture a main hand weapon with a complimentary offhand weapon/shield/item. It could be the pairing of the “Deadly sword of Castle AHHHH” and a “Jabberwock Scale Shield,” the “Repentant Crusader Mace” and a “Tome of Righteousness,” or even the “Beguilers Ebonwood Staff” and an “Obfuscating Eye of Yogg-saron.” Let Azeroth be your guide and pull from the many established cultures, encounters, and legends that exist in World of Warcraft.

Required elements are the main hand weapon, along with its matching offhand item, but feel free to go further by adding a player or creature wielding your creations.

Animation
Keeping in mind and working within the World of Warcraft art style, select a class from the game and create either a battle scene or flavor animation. A battle scene could be any type of combat situation. Think of it as a pitch for a new player class. Your scene could be as epic as a final boss fight, or something more comical like warding off a group of feisty Murlocs. The flavor animation piece is all about personality. It could be a group of characters having a good time hoisting back pints of ale or coming home after winning a PVP match. Feel free to interpret these how you wish. Be as creative as possible, but don’t forget to watch your weight, timing, strong poses, and arcs!

Required elements include one cycled animation in a stand or combat ready pose. Make sure animations return to the same start position and feel free to add additional models or weapons.

The final piece should be animated in 30 frames per second and in meters. Please avoid camera shakes and blurs as they tend to hide fundamentals that we look for.

WoWProgress Speed Kill Rankings
WoWProgress added a nice new feature today that uses timestamps between boss kills to create a boss kill speed ranking.

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