MMO-Champion - 2013 Charity Pet, Cross-Realm Account-Bound Mail, 5.4 Hotfixes, Speed Kill Rankings
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.

This article was originally published in forum thread: 2013 Charity Pet, Cross-Realm Account-Bound Mail, 5.4 Hotfixes, Speed Kill Rankings started by chaud View original post
Comments 96 Comments
  1. Peeb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    Really? That's what you come back with? Denying you were talking to me? You said the "people" who are saying 50% crap. I am one of those "people". But please, go ahead and deny it so you don't have to make an ass out of yourself trying to come up with a retort.
    You said you'd give that money straight to charity instead of Blizzard because they don't give 100% of the money to charity. Ta-da, you are not one of those people I were talking to.
  1. Derajal's Avatar
    Why would you want to meet Bill "He-Yuk-Yuk" Clinton or Obama-nation, If I was a dying kid, I'd like to meet someone with a soul, a true human. Not some PR stunt using liar N chief.

    Those two are truly evil beyond belief all Presidents are since the start of 1900, But not JFK that's why they blew his brains out.

    Do your homework.
  1. Ashkir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ysilla View Post
    This is exactly what Make-A-Wish is about. Hope/dreams is what lots of people need to survive, especially children, and sometimes that's even more important than an appropriate treatment. Some wishes may seem quite "crazy", but most of the time there really isn't a lot of money involved in it, while it gives a lot not only to one kid, but also to his family/friends/close people. And yes, it also saves lives, but in a way much harder to evaluate than most charity.

    Once again, you can't really compare Make-A-Wish with the Philippines current needs. These are two very different people in need of very different things, and with very different ways to obtain them.
    I completely agree with you. This is exactly what the Make-A-Wish Foundation is for. It gave me hope, it made a dream come true. I strongly feel happiness, dreams, and hope is what people need to go forward in life. When fighting with an illness with odds stacked up against you, they cannot hurt and they inspire us to fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinykong View Post
    I always love these threads in which Blizzard donates potentially millions of dollars to worthy charities, and people bitch and complain. They could just sell them and return some profits as a shareholder dividend instead. Would you all like that better?
    I find it admirable that any company donates a great deal. It could be for different reasons why they're doing it, at least they're doing some good with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by pizz View Post
    Askir, great story. Glad you're still breathing and living dude I have congestive heart failure, and heart disease, and many other heart related problems. I wasn't born with the problems, all were self-inflicted (party hard, you get to live with the crap!). Every year I donate as much as I can to Make a wish, and other charities. I think it's a great thing, and i wish others.

    again, thanks for the story, and I hope your condition(s) get better some how, and just follow your health plan(s). And don't forget to take your meds! And sometimes take a bit of salt here and there!

    take care buddy
    Thanks! I'm glad to still be kicking around. I tick now (since I had a valve replacement), so I'm still ticking. . Heart problems suck all around. Thank you for donating to Make-A-Wish! So very much. Am sticking to my medications! I dislike blood thinners so much, but, it's a necessary factor.

    Quote Originally Posted by eldritchforeshadow View Post
    The pet I will definitely make sure to buy before the charity end date.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Niku View Post
    Nice, some kid gets to meet with one of the most evil people in the world.
    I don't believe this myself. But, to each his/her own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derajal View Post
    Why would you want to meet Bill "He-Yuk-Yuk" Clinton or Obama-nation, If I was a dying kid, I'd like to meet someone with a soul, a true human. Not some PR stunt using liar N chief.

    Those two are truly evil beyond belief all Presidents are since the start of 1900, But not JFK that's why they blew his brains out.

    Do your homework.
    Nonetheless of your beliefs or mine, Clinton was the President. I was eight years old. This was the person I wanted to meet. I was a dying kid, I wanted to meet the President. I don't believe anyone is soulless. President Clinton was who I wanted to meet. They made it happen.
  1. Shennanigans's Avatar
    throws money at screen*

    - - - Updated - - -

    BTW does this mean you can now mail gold to other servers as well or only items?
  1. Ashkir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shennanigans View Post
    throws money at screen*

    - - - Updated - - -

    BTW does this mean you can now mail gold to other servers as well or only items?
    Only Bound to Battle.Net account items, it seems. Not gold, etc. It'd be the same as if transferring from Alliance to Horde and vice versa.
  1. Sekar's Avatar
    I can't resist remarking on this part:

    Why take gems, and reforging away?
    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.
    Vanilla WoW, TBC, and WoTLK corresponded to about pure addition, to being "expansion packs" and not "deletion packs" in almost every way.

    However, Cataclysm, MoP, and soon especially WoD correspond to a lot removed as well as added.

    Am I talking about fullness of the game world like character customization or about Blizzard's subscriber count?

    Both, for they followed the same pattern.

    Getting only heavily mixed feelings about new expansions, wondering what unannounced-yet prior spells or prior customization will be deleted next, is not a positive.

    Diablo 3 was simplified from the preceding title in the series, while having exceptionally widespread and officially non-bannable real-money purchase of character progression (items in its case instead of levels in WoW WoD's case), and the result was as critics of that philosophy predicted: less sustained long-term playtime after the initial weeks. (I'm into WoW, not Diablo, but it was illustrative how the same pattern got followed).

    WoW and Blizzard's history do quite teach lessons: But they aren't ones in favor of assuming deleting gem customization is going to add a multi-year player without low attention span for every one lost from it (and from where other applications of this post-TBC/WoTLK deletionist philosophy lead).

    People don't play for X hundred hours, then go "I'm quitting because I felt obligated to spend a minute deciding which gem I desired before continuing."

    They quit because "I'm bored, and, if I played many hours more, I'd still be bored" (which happens extra often when there is repetitiveness enforced by simplification).

    Provided the choice wasn't removed, unlike the deletion planned for WoD, I wouldn't mind if the game had text essentially equivalent to "if you only care about DPS maximization for PvE instances at all times, your spec should chose this gem, so we gifted one to you for free and auto-socketed it unless you chose otherwise."

    For example, if I want to have one gear set gemmed extra for haste, because I sometimes find it fun, that should be my right, my choice. If it lowers DPS and if I care, I'd know so in a moment from one of my mods or otherwise but don't need to have the option to ever do so removed for the sake of hyper-prioritizing retard-friendliness (the hypothetical individual unintentionally "crippled" rather than making a deliberate choice) over all else and everyone else.
  1. reload95's Avatar
    Oh very good
  1. Krommm's Avatar
    Cross Realm BOA, aka the way it should of been, before the expansion launch would be great. CBA to read all these posts, I bet most are whining about charity or some drivel.
  1. alabaster jones's Avatar
    "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)"

    Somebody on our staff will email/phone you every two weeks, for a period of twelve weeks.

    Considering you can get far more feedback, much faster, from places like Deviantart, this doesn't seem very grand prizey...
  1. Kaleredar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by alabaster jones View Post
    "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)"

    Somebody on our staff will email/phone you every two weeks, for a period of twelve weeks.

    Considering you can get far more feedback, much faster, from places like Deviantart, this doesn't seem very grand prizey...
    Basically it's something to stick on your resume.

    "Winner of the 2013 Blizzard art contest, mentored by Blizzard art designer _____ _____."

    Plus it'd probably be a good way to stick your foot in the door if you wanted a job at Blizzard.
  1. Kerdoz's Avatar
    I will easily get the combo for charity
  1. Mech's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zatheyll View Post
    Because Blizzard is a business and they're nice enough to have any of it go to charity in the first place?
    Of course it's less 'for the charity' even for Blizzard and more for the tax write off and good PR. No business or businessman would 'donate' nearly as much as they did if it weren't for that tax write off.
  1. juikejve's Avatar
    Ashkir,

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. That is really wonderful. I would be pming this to you but 10 post required for that. I wanted you to know that your story was not falling on deaf ears.
  1. Anaeska's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashkir View Post
    Hi there! Talked to Chaud and decided to share the rest of the story.

    People argue it's a waste to give a dying kid a wish. It's not a waste of money. I survived. This gave me hope. This inspired me. Living this dream in Washington, D.C. and meeting a person I called a hero and respected so much gave me life. So yes, the mission is true. A wish is a game changer. It changed my life. It inspired me, enriched my life. It showed me a world greater than I was, and showed me I have a spot in this vast and great world. I survived, where many of my Wish peers may have not, but, a lot of us do survive. Make-A-Wish helps us fight, gives us strength.

    So yes, when I have a spare $10 I will buy this pet. Why? Make-A-Wish gave me hope. This adds up, the donations add up and can cause great wishes. Look at what was recently done in San Francisco, they turned it into Gotham for Miles. Make-A-Wish Foundation is amazing, and I thank you Blizzard for doing it. So, thank you in advance.

    Here are some pictures:
    http://i.imgur.com/bwgz75Eh.jpg (I wasn't very good at smiling as a kid, one with glasses)
    http://i.imgur.com/SacUqqbh.jpg

    My condition is still having it's ups and downs, my chances and outlook is better today, much better. A ton of medication + pain + random strokes. But, it's all worth it. I like living.
    A feel good and moving story.
  1. Ashkir's Avatar
    Hello everyone. Thank you for the kind private messages and for reading my story. The Alterac Brew Pup is now released, check out this MMO-Champion post for more information. I'll be getting the Alterac Brew Pup when I can afford it myself. Just wanted to share the news that it is available. If you cannot afford it, please enter the giveaway, or even tell your friends or guild about the pet being released and how it supports a great cause! Thank you all for helping make dreams come true.

    Quote Originally Posted by juikejve View Post
    Ashkir,

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. That is really wonderful. I would be pming this to you but 10 post required for that. I wanted you to know that your story was not falling on deaf ears.
    Hi there juikejve! Thank you very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anaeska View Post
    A feel good and moving story.
    Hi there Aneska! Thank you for your PM. Glad you liked the story.
  1. axell3x's Avatar
    I wish they would expand the art contest to EU

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