MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2012-12-18 07:53 AM

Heart of the Swarm Beta Key Giveaway, No Holiday Patch Planned, 12/18/2012 Game Maintenance, Blue Posts, Curse Weekly Roundup

World First Heroic Elite 25 Protectors of the Endless
黎明之翼 (Wings of Aurora) was able to kill Protector Kaolan last and defeat Elite difficulty Protectors of the Endless. It appears that it was a close fight, as not many of them were alive for looting. Their best attempt before the nerf was 6% and progress was being made towards a kill.

Killing the bosses in the encounter in this order gives them access to the item level 516 loot. Congratulations to them!

Because this was in China, the loot becomes item level 524 once it is looted, and is upgradeable two more times.



Heroic Difficulty Boss Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Two Heroic mode encounters in the Heart of Fear and the Terrace of Endless Spring are changing with the Raid reset this week:

  • Grand Empress Shek'zeer

  • Protectors of the Endless
    • The damage dealt by Touch of Sha no longer increases for each Protector that is defeated in the Heroic mode version of this encounter.

Patch 5.2 - Excess Valor Points to Justice Points
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
There are some changes planned for 5.2, for example, we would like to make Valor points convert to Justice as long as you’re Valor capped.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Battleground Gear Disparity
Simply tier the BGs by ilvl.
It's not simple, unfortunately. It would a) require a retooling of how Battlegrounds assemble teams and b) even under ideal conditions, it would likely slow down queue times dramatically. As Ovenmitz demonstrates, there are a lot of players who are very opposed to that.

It's not that we aren't interested in making Battlegrounds a better experience, it's that we need to make sure that whichever steps we take actually meet that goal. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World PvP Feedback
Would it not be possible to mark characters (say x levels under your own) in gray, and if a player over the limit of x tries to attack they are presented with the message "you cannot attack that target"? (Similarily, a player x lvs under gets the same message if trying to attack a target x lvs over).
It’s possible to do that, but it’s just something we decide not to. PvP realms have been here since day 1. Players know what the rules are before they join a PvP realm, the environment can be frustrating at times but it can also be a lot of fun and very challenging, that’s why players they go there.

I think the difference between PvP and PvE realms was felt much deeper in the old days of vanilla. That was when world PvP was probably at its peak, places like Tarren Mill, Southshore and Tanaris were truly a permanent battle zone. But one has to realize that the game evolves and while we enjoy world PvP, we also enjoy giving players more options.

So what happened? Well for starters, battlegrounds were introduced, so a big chunk of players that was constantly doing world PvP immediately switched to Battlegrounds, these were purposely made for PvP, it’s just natural that they become more appealing and take away some of the ganking going around in the world. Even if this wasn’t probably a complete switch, it certainly reduced the average amount of players out in the world looking for PvP. Is this a bad thing? That depends on whether you prefer world PvP or Battlegrounds.
Then we had some more game expansions and in addition to the classic Battlegrounds we got Arenas and even more Battlegrounds. We also introduced quality of life (controversial, we know!) queuing systems where we let people instantly teleport into dungeons/raids without risking their necks out there in the wilderness.

Without getting into much detail, the point is, as time went on, the amount of players out in the world got reduced, while the amount of players inside cities increased, this created 2 issues: one, it increased the likelihood of low level ganking to occur, since levelling players tend to quest and they have to be out there in the world to do so; and two, it decreased the chance of someone high level being around you to defend the members of his own faction.

So, yes, world PvP decreased significantly but we’re trying to turn that around with Mists of Pandaria.
My whole point is that, between vanilla and Mists, world PvP changed so much that making the choice between being on a PvE or PvP realm might have stopped being as hard to make as it used to be, but the fact remains that PvP realms were always meant to be about freedom, allowing factions to feel that they are truly at war, how can you feel that if you suddenly have restrictions on how/who/when you can attack?

Personally I welcome this change of direction with Mists but I look at it very carefully as this isn’t vanilla anymore and there a lot of variables that we need to pay close attention to if we want to make world PvP as entertaining as it once was. I’m talking about faction imbalance on certain realms (where possibly CRZ tech might be able to help out), flying mounts as easy ways to escape danger, and lack of the “I’ll get my revenge soon” feeling with CRZ possibly reducing the chance of the same players seeing each other again. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Icy Veins Christmas Contest
Icy Veins is holding a screenshot contest with some nice prizes, including a signed Collector's Edition of Mists of Pandaria, mounts, pets, AskMrRobot / Curse premium, and more!

All you have to do is take a nice screenshot of your character for the Feast of Winter Veil category, Best Scenery category, or Best Action Shot category. The contest runs until Dec 31st and submissions will be judged over the next few days.



Comics - Dark Legacy Comics #368
DLC #368 reflects on the many years of Warcraft.

by Published on 2012-12-16 08:18 PM

Cuckoo Gaming: Build of the Week - Freeze Doctor, Fan Creation of the Week: Lightning Cosplay, Goblin Sculpture

Mike Morhaime Interviews
PCGamesN, GamerHub, and TeamLiquid had the chance to talk to Mike Morhaime at BWC about Starcraft 2 and eSports. If you are interested in interviews with Rob Pardo, there is a nice interview from a few months ago that I didn't summarize.

General
  • The mainstream media publications don't accept or report on major gaming tournaments, but they talk about tennis and golf, even though everyone doesn't watch them. Having Starcraft reported in a similar way would help to legitimize the sport. People who watch eSports see the top players as being at a similar level as pro athletes.
  • After Heart of the Swarm is released, focus can shift to preparing Blizzard All-Stars for beta.
  • Blizzard reads many of the fansite forums, and sometimes the discussion is better on some of these other sites. The site that the feedback is on isn't important, only the feedback itself.
  • There are no plans to make Diablo 3 an eSport, as it wasn't designed for it and not every game has to be one. WoW wasn't designed as an eSport either, but some of the parts of the game work well in the eSports environment.
  • Warcraft 3 was pirated a lot in China, but it ended up raising awareness of the game and helped out later when World of Warcraft was launched.
  • Challenge modes may have some possibilities as far as improving or expanding upon WoW esports events. WoW as an eSport is not a main focus of the WoW team, as there are many more things that are higher priority.
  • There have been several other MMOs that went free to play, but none of that has had a big impact on WoW. Blizzard still thinks WoW provides a really good value for the price, better than most forms of entertainment, including the free to play games.

Heart of the Swarm
  • Testing Heart of the Swarm in such a public way is the only way to make sure that players have a chance to understand and adapt to changes being made.
  • Starcraft 2 can be intimidating to start for players that aren't interested in playing highly competitively. Heart of the Swarm tries to address part of this by adding a training mode that allows you to play against a progressively harder AI and get basic gameplay tips. Unranked matchmaking should also help in this regard.
  • The new Heart of the Swarm units are being added to fill gaps in the races, similar to what was done in the original Starcraft.
  • The new resume from replay feature will allow tournaments to pick up properly again after disruption and players to practice different scenarios using another player's replay or without having to play a full game.
  • Heart of the Swarm has a nice campaign that is important to furthering the story, but it also has great gameplay that will be the reason people are still playing it for a long time.

Starcraft 2
  • Mike Morhaime is currently Bronze and trying hard for Silver.
  • SC2 has a lot of value for the price, especially compared to some of the "free to play" games.
  • There is a lot of potential for SC2 growth in China as more and more people are able to afford broadband and gaming.
  • The feedback from players in China on the Mists of Pandaria expansion has been great.
  • One of the pleasant surprises at BWC is how well the non-Koreans did in competition.
  • Blizzard is going to take more of a leadership role in organizing and scheduling the tournaments. Right now there is so much going on that it is hard to follow and there is no clear story like you find in other sports.
  • It would be nice if everyone offered a reasonable quality stream of tournaments for free, as it would lower the barrier for people that are curious about SC2 but not willing to pay yet.
  • When asked about adding things like premium portraits, he said that the current model is viable and the current focus is on making a great expansion.


Rated Battlegrounds 10v10 Series
Kollektiv and Bailamost are leading 10v10 teams in a series of Rated Battleground matches over on ArenaJunkies. The second half takes place tonight at 6PM PST / 9PM EST / 3AM CET.



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
There's no "lead rogue designer." They've said this a few times. It's a collaborative effort.
This. We don't want a design environment with developers campaigning for buffs for "their" class. (Source)

Ghostcrawler if you could give a class a revamp what would it be?
Don't think any class needs a revamp ATM. If it weren't for risk, would be fun to make 2 DPS specs in 1 class very different. (Source)

People don't use sims as an argument. They use raidbots analysis, which shows equally skewed DPS balance as the sims.
Raidbots can provide good data if analyzed intelligently. Disagree that it often reflects the sims. (Source)

Why is it that Restodruids and Holypaladins "naturally" have no-cost spells(clearstate,wog),but Priests and Shamans haven't.
just a class distinction. We balance mana costs and returns around it. (Source)

Would it be possible to see a class balance Q&A soon, kind of like you guys did in Cataclysm?
You mean with user questions like the Cover it Live or Reddit we did? Would be fun. (Source)

classes weren't sat for spine due to 20% gaps. It was for 50-100%+ due to cooldowns, ramp up, etc
But these are usually in cases of best guilds trying to beat content while undergeared so they need to use more tricks that most. (Source)

Do you read class forums at all? You've made Russians start quitting, that's when you know you've broken something.
Stopped reading class forums personally. Too much echo chamber and chasing out dissenting opinions. I read the role forums. (Source)

Is it better to balance on what a class can possibly do, or what the player base currently is doing with a class?
We go with the former, but we don't expect players to play at robot levels. (Source)

They don't balance around top parses. GC continually mentions sampling bias as something they're wary of.
Top parses are super tricky because they display the most skillful players but also the most lucky. (Source)

Most of firelands also favored resto druids, yet garalon (most friendly for druids) still has us ~10% lagging behind in 25's.
Many raids heal Garalon clumped which benefits shaman and monk a lot (overall, HPS is not a great way to compare healers). (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
You never did answer my tweets: You've basically screwed up blood dks mitigation and made them useless for pvp now. Why?
Blood DKs were too hard to kill in PvP with DS. Tank mitigation is balanced around bosses, which can feel unfair in pvp. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
There has been alot of confusion regarding Spectral Guise. It's not useable while cc'ed anymore since 5.1, bug or intended?
Intended. Sorry that we failed to patch note it. We will update the notes. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
I can understand the silence.totem nerf for resto shammies. It hurts the other specs though. Is there another way?
If it comes to that, we'd rather give Ele and Enhance a survival cooldown to use when silenced. (Source)

That totem nerf was nothing but you being stubborn after an extremely poor decision. You still havent answered on it
To repeat: we thought dropping a totem was too hard to counter now that they have such great utility. Disagreement != stubborn. (Source)

PvE
Sympathetic to the argument that 16 bosses is already a big time commitment. Different world from small tiers like Firelands. (Source)

Any reason why Flask Cauldrons didn't make an appearance in MoP ?
We wanted to return some responsibility of raiding to individual members not just officers. (Source)

You dont believe the mass exodus to overcrowded realms as well as the decline in general raiding is hurting guilds?
Realm balance is a huge concern, but the solutions aren't simple or we would have done them. Not seeing a raiding decline though. (Source)

Can you tell us a bit more about how boss encounters are designed in general and specific for MoP?
Hmm. Not via Twitter. Ion is working on a water cooler or two. (Source)

would you rather people go through content too fast, or not at all? (people ignoring rep grinds)
With the latter, I suspect some players will do the content. With the former, there is too little content for everyone. (Source)
So you like 50% of people 100% happy vs 100% of people 50% happy? If you had to choose, not being snarky.
It seems harsh when you put it that way. I'd hope that the 50% of people not happy had other things that made them happy. (Source)

Feng is quite good, but T14 is excellent in general. Best tier of raiding in *years*. Ranks w/ Ulduar & Sunwell
Yay. Just wait until the next one. (Source)

why did you implement the upgrade system, now high end raiders get the advantage from PVE just like cata....
Not sure I understand. If you mean PvE, shouldn't they get best gear? If you mean PvP, upgraded Conq gear is better. (Source)

have you guys ever thought of giving LFR a 10 man option instead of forcing 25 man LFR?
We think 25 works better for LFR. Easier to carry less experienced folks. Easier to pull while backfilling. Feels epic. (Source)

PvP
Random chance at PvP rewards when winning arena matches/BGs (maybe scaled based on MMR) could be interesting.
Yeah, would just need to avoid making botting more attractive. (Source)

Burst in pvp was stupid, 5.1 added more pvp power but not extra resil. Please do us all a favor and quit your job, ty.
You guys would just beat on whoever replaced me until someone said: Things were better in the GC era. (Source)
No offense, but I'd take my chances. I think you do a bad job at PVP, because you personally don't enjoy it.
I actually do enjoy it, but I also understand that what I personally like isn't always the right call for the game (e.g. threat). (Source)

So melees can Hit for 70-150k with "instant" attacks, but casters should need to cast? Yeah thats balance!
I can turn that around: so casters can cast at range but melee need to close the gap? (Source)

Is it true your philosophy is "it's not okay for melee to shut down casters, but it's fine for casters to shut down melee"
I feel like players are complaining about casters (mage, lock) and melee (warrior, maybe Feral) right now. (Source)

What do you think about nerfing damage cds a bit and buffing consistent damage? Arena revolves too much around big cds.
There's a balance though. Burst windows are often the only thing allowing you to score a kill before they're healed back up. (Source)

What about making those 1 pvp specs the way you balance pvp and just make the other specs slightly weaker, but still playable?
There is a lot of wisdom in that approach, but I think a lot of players would be angry. Interesting discussion though. (Source)

Sorry Greg, I'm calling complete BS on this, Blizzard actively hired pro wow players to balance PVE do it for PvP
We hire great PvP players too. What I disagreed with was making every change that players ask for, even expert players. (Source)

Guild Wars 2 - Dec 14 Updates
ArenaNet posted patch notes with lots of changes and balance tweaks for the recent patch. One of the more interesting parts of the notes are the sections that explains why some of the changes were made and some class balance philosophies. You can find all of the new items and recipes on GW2DB.



Comic - If You Create It, They Will Farm
NerfNow takes on daily quests in one of their recent comics.

by Published on 2012-12-15 02:53 PM

Polls on the Official Forums, Blue Posts, Poll: What Infernal Machine boss encounter is your favourite?, Comic Contest Winner

Winter Veil 2012
The Feast of Winter Veil is here and brings new gifts this year! When you unwrap your present this year, you will find a Foot Ball or The Pigskin inside. You will need them for They're Both Footballs? Don't forget to grab the Battle Pets as well.

This year also adds an updated version of the old Miniature Winter Veil Tree! Not many people have opened this year's Stolen Present yet, but it likely has a similar droprate (~1%) to the old one.





Patch 5.1 Hotfixes - December 13
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes

Quests
  • Players that leave the area during the ending sequence of "Heart of the Alliance" will no longer be placed into the wrong phase.

Pet Battles

Items

Dungeons, Raids & Scenarios
  • Heart of Fear
    • Grand Empress Shek'zeer
      • The Empress now always drops three tier-set tokens and three non-set items in the 25 player Heroic mode version of this encounter.

Bug Fixes

Pet Battles Updates
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve been receiving a few inquiries over Twitter and through email regarding Farmer Nishi, so we thought we’d share our thoughts on Pet Battle experience gains with you.

We will soon be applying a hotfix that causes level-25 pets to no longer “steal” experience from your lower-level pets. Previously, if you had a level-3 and level-25 pet grouped together for a battle, the XP earned would be shared between the two at the end. This resulted in some players doing what they could to kill off their level-25 pet so the level-3 pet would get all of the experience. You no longer need to worry about this as the level-3 pet will now receive 100% of the XP that’s earned, so long as it has participated in at least one round of combat.

With max-level master trainer dailies available for Northrend, Cataclysm, Pandaria, and the new line of Spirit Trainers, you have quite a few endgame battles in Pandaria which you can use to level up new pets. Be sure to wear your Safari Hat to get the most out of your battles! The over-arching goal is to provide a variety of content with which you can level up your pets each day.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
LFR Feedback.
Reason 1: People can get an item twice, thrice, even 4-5-6-7 times. Why is this bad? If we had normal looting, they would simply pass on the item, and let someone without one get it. Basically, loot that someone COULD use is being vendored, because this faulty loot system keeps giving certain other people an item they already have.
If we were still using a looting system with finite loot drops, I think this would be more of an issue. Each fight, everyone has the same chance to get loot. It could be that many people are getting loot on a single fight, though that's very uncommon.

Because the loot pool isn't finite as it used to be, this kind of duplication isn't as much of an issue in terms of total loot awarded, though I acknowledge that it probably doesn't necessarily feel great. The psychology gets weird: "I got this item, but it could have been *that* item, so this is frustrating."

The loot is meant to be random though, which means the possibility of getting duplicates - but even that isn't necessarily all bad. Sometimes it's worthwhile to gem or enchant duplicate items in a different way for a different application. Enchanters can also benefit.

-Reason 2: The chances of getting loot are spread unevenly. Some people are lucky, others are not. This is a part of how the game has always worked, but I do not think the gap should be so large.
This has, alas, always been the case. On the up-side, this also eliminates Master Looter scams, and organized groups of players rolling on items for each other, wildly swinging the odds of getting loot in their own favor.

Reason 3: People are switching specs for fights so that the auto-loot-generator will give them spec-specific loot. I cannot remember exactly, but in DS LFR, didn't the rolls there base off what you queued as? I could be wrong.
This is a valid concern. We're looking into the possibilities of implementing an elegant method of letting players decide what spec they would like the Raid Finder loot system to use when providing rewards.

-Reason 4: No Off-spec gear. Bonus rolls were a great thing, but I feel as though the above has already covered this. Simply editing this section to reflect that.
The above solution could help with this. In the meantime, off-spec gearing has always been tricky, and has been the source of significant ire in the community. Nobody likes losing a main-spec roll to someone else's off-spec.

-Reason 5: The excitement factor. Seeing loot drop was always fun, but so is simply getting an item directly after the boss dies. Getting gold bags from ALL the raid bosses in a week severely diminishes a lot of the excitement.
We're actually looking at ways to make getting loot in the Raid Finder more exciting. Both in terms of visual feedback as well as making the Satchels of Exotic Mysteries more interesting.

Any chance we can get other people's loot visible to raid? Its fine if I have no shot at getting it, just feels nice to see the boss drop loot instead of just a bag.
We're not sure. Would that really feel good?

I don't believe we're too keen on allowing players in the Raid Finder to trade loot, so it could feel not so great if someone else gets an item that they don't want, that you've been after, and they can't trade it to you.

That's surely already happening, but currently there's not quite the same cat-and-a-window-pane effect. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Low Level Instance Difficulty
The problem with lower level dungeons is that they are used by many players as an alternative to questing for levelling up.
So they need to be somewhat similar in terms of xp/time, otherwise players would probably skip dungeons altogether and simply quest, only a very small minority would probably be joining dungeons for the sake of curiosity, and some loot.

There’s also the trick about making dungeons easy enough for the less experienced players (new players levelling up for the first time). This becomes particularly important and we need to pay more attention to it whenever we release a new expansion since we usually tend to reduce the amount of xp needed to level up on lower levels or we usually adapt it in a way so that levelling becomes faster on previous expansions’ content.
This has the inconvenient of making players less prepared since they have less time to get to know their characters and their new abilities that constantly unlock while levelling up.

Still, I agree, some do seem a bit too easy, but I don’t know if I would feel exactly the same way if I had just started playing WoW and ran dungeons while levelling up my very first character.

Maybe its a possibility to make heroic versions of those instances for lower lvl's who want a challenge, and get better gear from them. I understand that blizzard's mainly focus is at the lvl 90's but they could atleast do something to make it more challeging.
That’s one possible solution; it’s all a matter of priorities and the amount of resources that we have at our disposal.

Still, while we always strive to make the game appealing and have something for every kind of player to do and enjoy in-game, it seems to me that the amount of players that would actually be running such dungeons would be very small, I suspect most players, even those that would enjoy a more challenging version of the dungeons, would probably still take the easy route simply because it’s there, it’s available and it will make them level up faster. Also, the queues would probably be long and players would tend to cancel them and re-queue for the normal version.

Actually even right now, depending on the level of your character, you should be able to queue for the heroic versions of certain instances, for example, if you’re level 80 you should be able to queue for Cataclysm heroic and normal dungeons, it’s up to you if you want to queue for the heroic version, but I suspect the system only allows you to queue them at very specific levels. Some improvements have also been made regarding allowing more players into older heroics. BC heroics for example, used to require specific reputation levels to queue for the heroic versions, those restrictions have all been removed. (there are no more keys) This change actually happened during Cataclysm. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Alts in Mists of Pandaria
We recognize that MoP is probably not the most alt-friendly of all the expansions and since WoW has been running for so long with its persistent world where characters usually don’t get deleted very often, it’s normal to expect a higher average number of alts per player as time goes on.

Our development team is very aware of this and they are trying to find more solutions for alts in MoP. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

WoWDB Addon Data Collection
How do we know what is inside Stolen Present within hours of an event going live? People like you running the WoWDB addon!

To help out, just install the WoWDB Profiler addon from Curse and check the box in the Curse Client options as seen below. When you are playing the addon will gather data and save it. When you are done playing, Curse Client will see the game close and upload the collected data from the addon.



Curse Weekly Roundup
This week has Jeb taking over Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Metro: 2033 giveaway, The Secret World goes Free to Play, and your weekly Game Forecast.

by Published on 2012-12-14 01:42 PM

How Can the Community Managers Improve?, Blue Posts, Poll: Which Act III Environment is Your Favorite?, Add Me Maybe?

Patch 5.1 Golden Lotus Changes
One thing that changed in Patch 5.1 was the amount of Golden Lotus sold by the Spirit of Harmony vendors, being reduced from 3 to 2 per Spirit of Harmony.

The other change is the increased drop rate of Golden Lotus from Enigma Seeds. Before Patch 5.1, Golden Lotus had a fairly low drop rate, making it more efficient to farm through the Spirit of Harmony Vendors and Songbell Seeds.

After the reduction in the amount you get when trading in Spirit of Harmony and the increased drop rate of Golden Lotus from Enigma Seeds it is now more efficient to plant Enigma Seeds!

One other small change you may not have noticed in Patch 5.1 notes is the Growing buff that tells you how long your crops need to grow before they are ready for harvesting.



Blizzard Customer Support Q&A
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Q: Why when someone makes a personal agreement via in game chat with a player about an item can't blizzard honor that agreement?
A: We actually try to honor player agreements, but it depends on the transaction type. For example, there are a lot of transaction we don't support (such as cross realm trading, open loans, etc). In each of those, we will make sure scammers are brought to justice, but don't necessarily want folks to rely on Customer Service to aid these transaction. Others, such as crafting, the game doesn't really have the functionality to ensure you transact safely, so we get involved and go off the agreements we see.

Q: Unrelated to questions but i have to say the item restoration feature works beautifully. I lost my honorary brewmaster keg to careless vendoring and had it back in 10minutes. A+ would restore again
A: Glad to hear one of our automated systems took care of that lost item for you! For those not in the know, you can find more info on this feature right here: https://us.battle.net/support/en/art...em-restoration

Q: Are there any plans to update/change the in-game ticketing system for World of Warcraft so that the wait times for tickets can be reduced?
A: We're constantly evaluating how we receive CS requests from players. Right-Click-to-Report and self-service options (such as Item Restoration) are both examples of this building in this efficiency. Updating the in-game interface to prompt players for exactly the information we need to service their requests is definitely something we want to do.

Q: How do you repair bugs? how do you know the report of a bug is truthful or not?
A: As a rule, Customer Support doesn't really handle bug reports. The in-game feature to report a bug is actually sent to the development teams who have a chance to read, compile, and obviously fix any bugs you may run into. The truthfulness of a bug report? Our Quality Assurance team will test it extensively and try to see if they can figure out what's wrong.

Q: How large is the Support team for WoW? About how many new tickets do you receive on an average day?
A: Blizzard Customer support consists of hundreds of employees, and we take thousands of calls and tickets every day. Our support volume can fluctuate based on things like recent game launches and major patches, so we adjust our daily schedules and priorities (and our support channels) to account for that.

Q: I would like to know exactly how the Report feature works. When used, it seems to put the offending player on an ignore period of about 24 hours, yet nothing seems to happen to the individual offenders. Personally I have reported one individual on my server multiple times for multiple violations, only to see that person back at it within a day or two's time. It simply seems the feature is merely a placebo effect meant only to give players the feeling that they are actively particpating in policing their realms. So in short, please expand on this feature, how it works, and secondly, how do the GM staff feel about ToS violations and how seriously do they take the issue?
A: The Right-Click-Reporting features are *crucial* to us. There is a temporary "squelch" that it does to try and prevent in-game situations from escalating further, but it also does more than that. It provides us with all of the information we need to investigate these reports.

One of the reasons you might see someone continue to ...be less than great chat-wise... is that some of our initial suspension times are pretty short. This is something that we're in the process of changing, as we certainly want the focus to be on game-play, rather than dealing with another player's language.

We don't like ToS violations, and take them very seriously, which is why we're working on improving our penalty system. Please, if you see language that is ruining your fun, let us know. We don't want those folks to continue to ruin your experience.

Q: Hi CS people. When you respond to tickets via in-game chat are you chatting one-to-one, or handling multiple cases at once?
A: It depends largely on how complex the issue is, and how interactive the conversation needs to be. For example, if you're in the middle of a boss fight, a GM may elect to take on another conversation while waiting for you to return.

If the situation isn't a familiar one, they're probably going to be focused entirely on you for that conversation.

Q: Do you plan on bring any new features to us like the item restoration feature?
A: We're always looking for new opportunities to create self-service features. They're win-win for both of us. You get to take care of your issue, and we get to worry about other tickets that require more human-level-thought.

Q: How do you prioritize tickets? And do you try and catch people online? I find that to be the best method of contacting CS and getting the best service.
A: For the most part, we'll answer tickets in the order they're received. If we have a large pool of tickets about a single widespread issue (such as a bug), we'll send a response to all of the affected players at once. Contrary to rumor, putting certain words into a ticket isn't going to get it ahead in line.

Q: Is there a list of bugs they they are working on? So we don't spam the development team?
A: We keep a list of known bugs for each current patch on the bug forum for each game. It’s a good place to start for information regarding bugs that we are aware of.

Bug Forums for each game:

StarCraft II - http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/13440/
WoW - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/1012660/
Diablo III - http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/5386229/

Q: How is the current botting issues in WoW being addressed? As we all know they are more than rampant and annoying..
A: We address botting or exploitation in a number of ways. We actively investigate reports that are generated by the right click report feature used by players in game. That information helps us take action individually as well as improve our detection systems. These investigations take a great deal of time as our goal is to maximize the benefits with them.

Recently, the /afk report feature for the Battleground system has been revamped and should help address much of what has been seen in BG’s of late.

Q: How happy is Blizzard with the queue times right now? Are there plans to make getting support even faster?
A: I can't say I'm thrilled about them, but they're better than they've been recently. My job is largely centered around trying to ensure we're enacting support strategies that will bring those queue times down. I'm working on it!

Q: Whats the craziest things you have had to deal with in office?
A: Well, we HAVE had folks showing up outside the office protesting Hardcore Diablo character deaths.

Q: Why do users not have the option to delete their own account completely? It could be implemented with a built in safety feature, which puts a 32 days delay before it is finally deleted...
A: Hey Flow (can I call you Flow?)! We do have the ability to delete one's account by emailing [email protected]. We don't have a self-service method for this, largely to protect people from making rash decisions. Of the requests we receive to that address, you wouldn't believe how many people regret their decision days/months/years later.

Q: What is the policy about selling an account in WoW for cash IRL?
A: It's against the Terms of Use to sell accounts in this fashion; players who sell their accounts risk permanent closure. Buyers who purchase accounts through these illegitimate sales risk losing not only the accounts, but their payment as well (to unscrupulous sellers and scammers).

Q: Is there a pajama day at Blizz HQ? If there isn't, WHY HASN'T IT BEEN PUT IN PLACE?
A: In Customer Support, we have PJ days at the end of new hire training, usually accompanied by a Potluck for all the noms!

Q: Do you guys enjoy listening to your customers and do you share a laugh every now and then while reading the weird things people say and request on the forums?
A: Hey Trevor! Absolutely we do. Some of my best days are those when I get to laugh with a customer. Also...people do say some pretty weird things sometimes.

Q: There should be a way to appeal a name change when someone reports your name. most of the time they do it because there getting owned. Ive had to change names that weren't even offensive
A: You can absolutely appeal a name change. Go to the support site (http://battle.net/support), login, open a support ticket, and explain the situation and it will get a second look. That being said, if the name really IS bad, it will remain unavailable.

Q: Working in customer support for another gaming company, I know we have strict policies I wish we had more control of. What policies or procedures do you wish you had more control of?
A: I'm more in the position of helping to create policies, so I'm not sure I'm the best person to answer this question. However, we do allow for some leeway depending on the situation. If we creating policies that were too binary, then...why have humans do the customer service? It takes a human to really evaluate odd situations.

Q: How often do you guys get stumped and have to ask for help or look something up?
A: The game is fairly vast and while most of us are active players, we aren’t necessarily versed in all aspects of the game. Since we are all gamers ourselves, if one person doesn't know another might. We also have a lot of resources that our In-Game Support staff has access to.

Q: Sometimes, I receive a response for a ticket without ever speaking to someone. How do you decide which issues need to be handled personally, and which ones can be given a quick response?
A: We love talking to players online, and know that you guys generally prefer it that way. We've got a lot of tickets to reach, however, so we tend to reserve live chat for those cases when it's essential to resolving the issue, and when we catch the player online. Otherwise, we write back to the player with the answer/instructions that we believe will best help them.

Q: Do all of your GMs work at Blizzard HQ or do you let folks work from home or satellite CS centers?
A: All our support staff works in our various global locations, not just the HQ, but nobody works from home. Well, I do sometimes, but that's just because I can't keep myself from checking my email a hundred times a day when not in the office.

Q: Is the office decorated with alot of warcraft/Starcraft and diablo stuff? Like drinking from a wow mug?
A: Our office is decked out with the coolest swag, actually. There's plenty of Blizzard stuff like posters and figurines but in an office full of geeks, you can expect to find pretty much anything from My Little Pony over Nerf Guns to Star Wars and Lego... the list goes on.

Q: What is the purpose of GM responding in game tickest with RP personas? Do they make up their own RP introductions and farewells? Or are they pre-set?
A: I was flying overhead when I heard you had a question about RP personas! I hope you are finding yourself well this day!

This was actually something that happened kind of organically over time. When I first started in CS (back in the before times) this was something that was rare. We found that many players seemed to like it, and it let us have some fun. There is nothing mandating it, so when you see it, it's just something that GM decided they wanted to do, and they probably made it personally.

Q: Are GMs specifically assigned to a realm or do they respond to a mass list of tickets spread across all realms?
A: GMs aren't assigned to specific realms; they draw tickets from a single pool that includes all realms.

Q: There are some items that i accidentally deleted a while back but forgot about them (2 months ago) i cant restore these. What to do?
A: Two months is a long time, unfortunately. Unless they were tied to an achievement or something, it may be difficult for us to prove that you had it. I would caution folks to use caution whenever deleting an item.

Q: When dealing with a hacker complaint, how long does it take to analyze and process the complaint? I feel there is a lot of mystery surrounding this subject.
A: This really depends on a many factors. We want to make sure we investigate each case properly to make sure we are actually punishing those that deserve it and not just everyone that gets reported. It takes time to make that determination correctly and we try to work through those cases as quick as possible. We do appreciate the reports we receive from everyone, it definitely helps us try to keep our playing environment as clean of hackers as possible.

Q: I have a silly question. I've been helped by Game Masters a few times and i've always wondered, Do they get annoyed when asked for a GM joke after a solution for their problem has been found? Also, are they made up on the spot, or is there a secret binder or list that you keep for such occasions?
A: Straight off a colleague across the office: "Did you hear about the wedding of the two antennae? The wedding was lame but the reception was excellent!"

We're always happy to share a joke and laugh with you, of course! Some keep a list of great jokes at the ready, some are just really that witty.

Q: What's the most memorable (funny, weird, entertaining) ticket you've ever handled?
A: I once had to troubleshoot someone's jelly donuts for having too much jam in them. If you're out there, "Hi!".

Q: Do you choose ingame names or are they chosen for you?
A: Great question, paxbrat! You get to choose your own name during new hire training. We do make sure they don't mean anything or have some copyright on them, of course.

Q: Can you walk through the process for policy creation?
A: This is an epic question, but here's the short short version. There's a cross-team 'policy council' here that takes direction from Development leadership and input from a small group of veteran support managers. This group builds policy as content develops, and communicates those directions to the support teams as needed.

Q: What do you think makes WoW so popular?
A: Well, you, the players! It's the communities you build, the experiences you have together.

Q: What is the average response time on helping someone with lost/stolen authenticators?
A: It varies, but they are often handled fairly quick. We have a webform specifically for those who are having an issue with a lost/stolen'/broken authenticator. It allows you to attach an ID for proper verification. https://us.battle.net/account/suppor...enticator.html

Q: What experience requirements are required when applying for a Customer Support Job at Blizzard? (i.e. Computer sciences and other experiences). Do you guys hire customer support members often? Where can you apply and work as a customer support member?
A: Hey Tom! We actually have two Customer Service Representative positions posted right now, but at the moment they are specifically for people who speak Portuguese or Spanish. The requirements - apart from the specific language skills - are in line with what we look for in someone whose working language would be English though.

For more info on job postings, check our career opportunity pages at http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/careers/

A: To get this issue out of the way once and for all with a true 'blizz answer'; If a player forms a raid and sets masterloot, says nothing at all the whole raid about any loot rules. Is that player then entitled to do as he wishes with the loot that drops? Often you see the issue of being called a ninja for example.

A: People generally assume that when they join a PUG, they're going to have a fair shot at loot. Not stating any loot rules, and just planning on doing whatever you want with it doesn't exactly feel honest, and is largely against the expectations of the raid. I mean, you're basically tricking people into running that instance.

So, generally, we will evaluate those situations carefully, and take action accordingly. We typically will not re-distribute any removed loot though, since we do feel there are other looting options that could be used to avoid the situation.

It's a tough problem to meet everyone's expectations on, and another reason why we employ humans to make judgement calls.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Old Maps and Map Addons
http://web.archive.org/web/200802211...info/flashmap/
Yeah! That map was cool. I don't think it got much traffic though. Having an updated map is one of those wishlist items, but the info is already out there on fansites and such, and even a lot of that info is in-game now compared to back then, not to mention quest flow and getting around is far more intuitive, so it's not a particularly high priority.

Would it be possible to put thinks like a repair vendor icon or innkeeper icon in the in-game map?
I believe there are some addons that do that. If it were something a lot of people found useful I'm sure we'd considering adding it. We're fine with some options and additions being made available through addons and not as a core feature of the game. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World PvP and Level Differences
why not add a stacking "dishonorable Kill" debuff that is applied whenever you kill someone drastically below your level. It could increase the amount of honor gained for killing the ganker. Something like a bounty system to add an incentive to hunting down those who prey on the weak.
That's an interesting idea, and we don't mind the idea of providing incentives (beyond faction pride) for high level players to get into PvP to protect their lower level compatriots.

The issue I see with systems like this is that they could be relatively easily gamed or exploited. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR Feedback
I just dont have time for all the damn LFRs + new dailys + the actual raiding.
This may sound crazy, but maybe drop some of it? If you're raiding then you probably don't need dailies unless you want to chase the vanity items. And those aren't going away in the future.

Also, as it's been said on this thread, but I'll put it in blue once more: Kicking someone from a LFR raid has no effect on the chance of anyone else getting a drop from the boss. All loot is personal now on the Raid Finder, so by kicking someone you're not increasing the chance you'll get a drop. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Guild Wars 2 - Hotfixes and Bots
ArenaNet recently wrote short posts on how they deal with bots and what the team that works on Hotfixes does.



TCG Art
Some new holiday themed art from the WoW TCG Winter's Veil Collector's Tins.

by Published on 2012-12-13 01:49 PM

On Fixing Reflects Damage, Option to Disable Screen Shaking, Blue Posts

Ion Hazzikostas Interview
Today's interview is with Ion Hazzikostas (Lead Encounter Designer) by Method. A summary of the main points is below, but reading the full interview is worth it if you want to see the full answers!


  • Item upgrades will have an effect similar to the Dragon Soul nerfs, making raids easier over time.
  • The raid Feat of Strength achievements will be removed in Patch 5.2. It isn't clear yet if there will be progressive nerfs or not this time, as players are not stuck yet.
  • Upgrading your items is meant to be a progression, but the new raid gear in Patch 5.2 will be better than your upgraded items, so upgrading everything isn't mandatory.
  • In Asia, all 25 player bosses have 8% more health and do 8% more damage. They also drop gear that is 8 item levels higher.
  • Balancing all of the progression systems for alts is something that is being looked at.
  • Daily quests are being used to tell the story and get players involved with the conflict between factions.
  • For now, daily quests will remain the only source of Lesser Charms.
  • Ion is working on a post about some of Blizzard's philosophies in regards to tuning and raid hotfixes.
  • Patch 5.2 information is coming Soon™.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP on PvP Servers
I could try to reword a previous post by Daxx, but I'll just link it here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/to...2467?page=5#85

The only thing I'd add to that is something I said over and over during BC when the big complaint was about Halaa: world PvP is not fair. We're not limiting who can do it, or in what amounts, and inherently some people will want to gank lower level players. Of course we later added areas like Wintergrasp and Tol Barad which attempted to balance the sides, but outside of those, world PvP is inherently unfair. Whether factions are imbalanced, or it's just a coward looking to trounce lowbies and run at the sight of an even-leveled player, world PvP is not fair. We've got battlegrounds and arenas if you want matched fights, and you can level almost exclusively in battlegrounds all the way to 90 if you want to, or dungeons for that matter.

The big issue here as I see it is that, and again Daxxarri's post above says it well, PvP realms weren't really proper PvP realms for many years, and now that they are again it's catching people off-guard. That doesn't change that they're working again as PvP realms. In most cases there's a solution to being ganked, whether it's calling on guildies or people from your faction, or escaping and hitting a different zone, BG, or dungeon for a while. We do have policies for very extreme cases when it crosses into ongoing harassment, but even being camped for hours is something everyone should be prepared for.

As it's been a fact of how PvP servers have worked since launch, it's not too surprising that others will respond with recommendations against being on that type of server if you don't want to accept everything that comes with it.

I like me some BGs, but leveling on PvP servers is just too frustrating. I've tried it, I hate it, and that's ok. It's not going to be for everyone. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Transmogrification Rules Feedback
They should never do this. many grey items are 'fun' items and are in no way suitable for transmog. We would see way too many people outfitted with fishes as weapons, pots and pans, wearing nothing but a thong, or whatever funky 'fun' item that is out there.There is plenty transmog gear out there, choose from that.
This. It's true that transmog already opened some doors to some very silly outfits by allowing green items to be used, so one could argue that we could simply extend this to white and grey items and let the silliness go wild in Azeroth and Outland. But I don’t think that’s what devs had in mind when they added transmogrification though.

It was supposed to encourage players to hold onto items with sentimental or aesthetic value. Now, I’m not saying that silly outfits are bad, sometimes I can’t stop laughing at some of them, it’s great fun, but allowing grey and white items to be suitable for transmogrification would probably be a bit over-the-top.
Personally I feel that transmogrification brought some coolness and freedom to the game but at a certain cost, everything seems a bit chaotic now. I actually somewhat miss the possibility of recognizing someone’s progress and gear by just looking at them, but oh well, I’m getting nostalgic here.

Also remember that we have the following note in our transmogrification rules “a select few of these items will be prevented from being used to transmogrify if they are inappropriate“, so if we were to open this up to grey + white items, I’m sure that this blacklist would have to become much larger and I suspect that would create too many exceptions and become confusing to players.
As always, we’ll let you know if anything changes regarding this though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Season 11 Gear
Unfortunately the latest information I have is that the Season 11 Cataclysmic gear will probably only be added with patch 5.2, we wanted to add it sooner but we had some issues with it and had to postpone it.
Whenever they are added back to the game, you will be able to purchase them with Honor Points from the legacy armor and weapon vendors in Area 52.

Since Kris is saying that the gear is there, it's possible that the devs were actually able to add them already, I can't confirm this right now, but if they aren't there, you know when to possibly expect it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP
Is there a reason why we can't have PvP and PvE gear more similarly? In PvE you are hurt by RNG and in PvP you have to grind.
We think the PvE way is better, but there is no good way to recreate that with PvP vendors and drops in PvP would be weird. (Source)

you made it so rep is easier to get on ALTs, what about conquest gear cheaper on alts?
We think something like "Valor of the Ancients" for Conquest is totally reasonable. We're discussing the right solution. (Source)

Hello Greg, I have a 2 part Question. (1) are you happy with pvp now? (2) Have you visited the arena forums lately?
We're never satisfied with any part of the game. Visit Arena forums regularly. (Source)

I think you'd encourage it, but others are interpreting your reply as being against it...which is it? oQueue = broken
We have no problem with queuing mods. They should still work. We do not like using them to get around premade rules. (Source)

Why aren't Blood/Prot/Guard/Brew players allowed to do Arena? You try to accommodate others why leave those 4 out in the cold?
Really hard to make Arena tanks fun for others. Guy who can't die or be controlled = max frustration. They have a role in BGs. (Source)

World
Did Bliz take into account the extra players CRZ adds when planning the spawn timers for rare pets like the scourge whelp?
Spawn rates are designed around intended populations not empty zones. May need to adjust some but rare is supposed to be rare. (Source)

Phasing really is pants when you can't help guildies out. Really needs a solution. Group lead should determine phase, maybe?
Yeah, would love a solution like that. (Source)

The label MMO is meaningless and people by and large don't care what you call it. They just want to have fun.
Disagree. It's not about labels. It's about feeling like there are other players in the world. WoW isn't MP but MMP. (Source)

CRZ won't fill up your guild or your AH. We know that. But it is a step. (Source)

Any chance you guys will respond the issues regarding CRZ such as: http://t.co/TmgGt8D9 and http://t.co/EK36xrxS ? Thanks
Gathering and rare spawn numbers assume competition with other players. "I have a zone to myself" isn't our vision for WoW. (Source)

Why is this sudden aversion to instanced content Greg? Why is so bad that someon doesnt want to be in the world?
.We have a ton of instanced content. We just don't want it all to be, which is how Cataclysm felt. Instance != MMO IMO. (Source)
Waiting in line for your turn at the Brawler's Guild != MMO either, I'd say.
Disagree. It's the definition of other players existing being a thing. Instanced brawls would be != MMO in my book. (Source)
You are vanguard in the MMO genre. If most of your players in the MMO like instanced content over the alternatives
the feedback we heard from Cataclysm was NOT "I want to stand around in cities and queue more." (Source)
I don't imagine you recieved much feedback saying MAKE JUSTICE POINTS VIRTUALLY WORTHLESS and yet here we are
I think in your mind feedback = do what players say. We use feedback to make informed decisions, but we still make them. (Source)

Couple questions I'd answer first about Silvermoon flying. Will new tech make it easier? Is it just a slight inconvenience?
New tech won't help, just tons of art time to make the city hook up for real. It would take as much time as making a new city. (Source)

Reputation / Questing
What are the chances that reputation commendations will be implemented for past factions, such as those in old expansions?
Let's see how these work out, but possibly. (Source)

For 5.1 can we have a short term (20min?) LFR buff that simulates the rep tabards for the last rep we did dailies with today?
Talking about some ideas. So long as someone can't finish rep in one weekend by chain running, we're open to it. (Source)
What about "Rest XP" for gaining Reputation via Tabards? The less you use it, the more you can gather (to a point).
Yeah, that idea comes up a lot. We like it. (Source)

Wowhead has 57844 openings for the Blingtron package and no mounts yet. Is there an issue or droprate really that tiny?
But that would spoil the surprise... (Source)

Misc
I always wondered, can you be 'ordered' to go on twitter for work purposes, such as looking for bugs found by players?
Nobody tells me to go to the forums / twitter. I do it because I value the feedback and to help give something back to you. (Source)

Do you guys ever discuss class changes with popular theorycrafters?
Yes. (Source)

"consensus" is subjective and vague without numerical data. It's not just GC making/suggesting changes. "Dev TEAM".
Yes, and one of the reasons we have a dev team that works together closely is to guard against potential bias. (Source)

You only try to milk longer sub times for a minimal amount of work. Since most of the wow team works on titan
two incorrect / uninformed assumptions I'm afraid. (Source)

We are here again, where you claim to be right only falling back on authority. Why should we just accept without any evidence?
Having to convince players to let us make the changes we want to make isn't going to be an efficient way to design. (Source)

SWTOR Patch 1.6 Live
Patch 1.6 went live this week, with a new Warzone, heroic Space Combat missions, new Cartel Market items, and other new items. See the full notes or Darthhater's coverage guide for more info.





Fan Art
Some nice fan art has shown up recently.

by Published on 2012-12-12 08:35 AM

At Least Two Weeks for PvP Blog, Bug with Health Link Monsters, Error 3007 for Aus/NZ Area Users, Marriland 3DS Giveaway

Ghostcrawler Interview
Today's interview is with Ghostcrawler on Wowjuju. A summary of the main points is below, but reading the full interview is worth it if you want to see the full answers!


  • Future patches will keep the number of daily quests added more reasonable, similar to the amount added in Patch 5.1.
  • Having a queue and audience for the Brawler's Guild makes it more exciting; it isn't something that you are supposed to rush through. You get priority in the queue if you haven't done a battle yet for the day as well.
  • Unless you are one of the higher end raiders, you may not feel that upgrading all of your gear is worth the effort, and that is okay. Upgrading is another way to provide progression throughout the expansion.
  • The 10 / 25 man changes in Asia aren't a test for the US / EU realms, just a response to what players there want. No one wants to see 25 player raiding disappear though.
  • Main-hand and off-hand items will be allowed to be transmogrified with each other, as well as any weapons that use the same animation. Things like staves and polearms, the one handed axes, maces and swords, and the two handed axes, maces and swords.
  • Golden Lotus being required for other reputations was a way to reduce the amount of daily quests that were initially available to players.
  • Horde racials are likely better than Alliance racials for PvE right now. Only the top guilds have switched for the racials, but if more guilds do so then the racials will be adjusted.
  • Players can expect for Wrathion to call upon them during every patch in this expansion in return for increasingly more powerful rewards.


Patch 5.1 Hotfixes - December 11
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes

Quests
  • "Bad Blood", "Bloodlines", "The Korune", "Ancient Guardians", and "The Source of Korune Power" will no longer sometimes place players into the wrong phase.

PvP
  • The Battle Fatigue healing reduction debuff has been increased to 30% (was 15%).

Creatures
  • The Mogu enemies in the Ruins of Ogudei now drop correctly drop loot when slain

Dungeons, Raids & Scenarios
  • Creatures in the Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, and Ahn'Qiraj raid dungeons now deal damage according to their intended pre-Mists of Pandaria melee damage values.

Bug Fixes

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP CC Feedback
First things first, I want to make sure you’re aware that the information below reflects both short and long-term design considerations on our end. This isn’t all on the table for patch 5.2 for a number of reasons.

To make this clear right off the bat: This shift of instant casts back to cast times is not just targeted at crowd control. We also wish to start moving some heals back to having a cast time rather than being instant. That said, we’re not necessarily planning on overhauling many of the spells and abilities that have been instant for a long time now, such as Hand of Justice. We’re looking at some of the big outliers that we see brought up a lot, which are instant-cast, area-of-effect abilities like Blinding Light, or Presence of Mind in combination with Ring of Frost.

We think that there are too many of these AoE CC spells at this time, especially instant AoE CC, which can create some frustrating gameplay experiences. Some other particular crowd-control effects that are on our radar are abilities like Blood Fear, which we’re considering redesigning altogether, and Predatory Swiftness in combination with Cyclone, which feels virtually impossible to counter.

While we are talking about cc what about having some more spells share DR with each other. A pala can repentance/blinding light/ hammer. No Dr at all. Why is it that fear and blind share a DR and polly/fear and cycone dont? and many more examples like this.
We’re looking at diminishing returns for CC right now as a possible way to help with CC in PvP combat, but it’s the type of gameplay overhaul that can be risky to implement in the middle of an expansion cycle if the change is too drastic. We are, however, taking a look right now at the DRs within particular classes, as well as special snowflakes like Cyclone. Either way, the design discussion will undoubtedly continue! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pandaria Pet Battle Daily Quest Bug
If you’re encountering issues with obtaining the Pandaria Pet Battle dailies, the Grand Master Aki quest chain, or the Pandaren Spirit Tamer quest (started by Sara Finkleswith for the Alliance or Gentle San for the Horde), there is a workaround that we’ve had some success with.

Abandon all Pet Battle related quests and restart the Pet Tamer quest chain from the beginning (Audrey Burhep for the Alliance in Stormwind or Varzok for the Horde in Orgrimmar). This issue could be caused by making Pet Battle quest progress on multiple characters at the same time, and so we strongly recommend sticking with one character until the end to try to avoid encountering the issue again.

We realize the workaround isn’t ideal, and we’re continuing to investigate the cause. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvE
How can we expect ilvl upgrading to affect the tuning of future raid tiers?
Philosophically we want raids to be more about progression and less about instant catch up. (Source)
Going back to the old model where you have to progress linear through the raids from release of current expac?
That's the plan. We have older Raid Finder tiers now to provide the necessary gear. (Source)

Appreciate Lesser Charms move 2 currency but 5.1 has filled that bag slot w Commndtions. Any chance they move to currency too?
We wanted you to be able to loot them from players, which currency can't do yet. In the future we should be able to. (Source)

What about people that want to raid but don't want to deal with dailies? Add other ways to get charms pls.
You can raid without charms. You will gear up faster with charms, which seems fine: you can choose to play more or less. (Source)

Using multiple charms on the same boss per week in lfr (by repeated q'ing) intended or bug? Same chance every time?
we're fine with it. You'll eventually run out of charms. Same chance every time. (Source)
Will that also worlk on world bosses like Sha of Anger and Galleon?
Not on Sha. When we made him spawn regularly, we didn't think infinite Charms made sense any longer. (Source)

Haven't killed Galloen yet on my server. Horde camp, etc. GMs considered a month-long guild summoning quest or the like?
G is supposed to be the rare boss that not everyone gets. We learned a lot from him and have changes planned for future bosses. (Source)

What's the limit for players inviting other players in brawlers guild?
I believe we started with 1 invite once you reach high rank. (Source)

Does WoW really need obscure glancing blows and crit supression mechanic? It seems really outdated like resists.
Yeah I could see an argument to phase those out. (Source)

How come we dont have the random fight in the Jade Temple anymore? The scroll of strife and peril. I miss the alternative boss
It had bugs we couldn't solve. We hope to bring it back. (Source)

Dont forget to offer alternatives to charms too. Otherwise it would not make sense since dailies would still be required
It's called "bonus roll" for a reason. You don't need it. (Source)

PvP
Do you have a stance on people queuing several groups for a random BG and using timing to ensure they end up together?
You mean using a premade to stomp noobs? What do you think? (Source)

Does Blizzard have plans to clean up CC a little? Getting stunned, feared, again and again can get a bit frustrating.
Most people don't want their CC nerfed, just the other guy. DRs might be a place to look though. (Source)
How would you feel about a bar that fills up and once its full you cant CC that player until its empty?
That's kind of like having one DR (maybe with more variation than just 50%) but we've considered it. (Source)

in the future, any plans for total revamp of pvp? i.e. get rid of arena/RBG(in current form) and implement new pvp structure?
We rarely scrap features and start over. We usually iterate towards what are (we hope!) stronger designs. (Source)

The "PVE vs. PVP issue" is frequently misunderstood and over exaggerated. A balance scapegoat.
Agree. Players would still be mad if we didn't change X, but they wouldn't have a reason for why we didn't change X. (Source)

Idea was: skills remain the same in both contexts; only changes in metrics are isolated. + Less testing.
We do that though. Look at PvP Power, CC durations, the healing debuff, etc. (Source)

Very well said, this game should be about constant steady pressure and healing, not burst.
well, burst should be a strategy too, but not the only strategy. PvP is more interesting, we think, when matches vary. (Source)

Live Chat Thursday: World of Warcraft Customer Support
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This Thursday we’ll be holding our first-ever CoveritLive chat featuring a panel of some of our most veteran customer support representatives. This is your chance to seek clarification on support policies and procedures, understand the philosophies that shape how we assist players, as well as meet a few of the folks behind those tags!

While this chat will be focused on customer support for World of Warcraft, our panelists will be equipped to field some questions about Diablo III and StarCraft II support policies as well.

When: 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. PST Thursday, December 13

Panelists:
  • CS Forum Representative Vrakthris
  • WoW Game Support Manager Marcus Maczynski
  • SC2 Game Support Manager Angelo Concepcion
  • D3 Game Support Manager Andreas Unger
  • Senior CS Information Specialist Charles Areson
  • CS Social Media Manager Antonio Achucarro

Format: The CoveritLive event will be hosted right here as a moderated chat, meaning questions and comments from participants won’t be viewable to the public unless selected by us. Be sure to request an email reminder below so you’ll be alerted before it begins. You’ll be able to log in using Facebook or Twitter credentials, or you can create a temporary username within the CoveritLive client, once the event is live.

Give the Gift of Warcraft
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Looking for great stocking stuffers for your friends or guildmates? Blizzard’s got you covered. For a limited time only, you can snag the following holiday deals in the online Blizzard Store:


Be sure to get your Winter Veil shopping done soon, though -- these deals end January 1, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Comics - Dark Legacy Comics #367
DLC #364 has been released.


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