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by Published on 2011-12-20 03:16 PM

Madness of Deathwing Heroic World First Kill by KIN Raiders
The Korean guild KIN Raiders (즐거운공격대) from KR-Kargath was the first guild in the world to defeat the second part of the Deathwing encounter in the Heroic version of the Dragon Soul raid instance, congratulations to them!

by Published on 2011-12-20 06:38 AM

Diablo 3 - New Diablofans Site Theme, Blue Posts, Blizzard Artworks

MMO-Champion Holiday Giveaway - Signed Artwork and 10 x Winged Guardian Mount
It wouldn't be the holidays without gifts, so Pico is here to tell you about what we are bringing you this year. You can enter the contest only by commenting on this news post. Please only enter once, multiple entries will disqualify you. We have two types of prizes for you this year:


  • A Sindragosa artwork signed by its author, Glowei / Wei Wang from Blizzard - Open to US residents only
  • We're also offering Winged Guardian flying mounts x 10 - Open to everyone
  • To enter the contest, just post a reply in this news post, you have until Wednesday December 21st @ 2:00PM EST to enter the contest, this thread will be closed and winners will be selected randomly.
  • Entering more than once is useless and will get you disqualified. There will be no 2nd chance for people posting more than one comment in this thread, you have been warned. (We will also of course check for double accounts, etc)

Good luck to everyone, and you should probably expect more contests during the holidays season!



MMO-Champion Forums Moderator Recruitment
Good news everyone! We're recruiting moderators for the forums again! The amount of users and posts keeps increasing at a very fast pace and we reached the point where we need some help before the trolls take over and play Whack-a-Mod in the new Darkmoon Faire. I know it sounds fun, but I'm going to assume we don't want that.

This time around we especially need people to mods for our forums for other games such as the SWTOR forums. We are always up for adding nice new mods though, so feel free to apply for the other forums as well.



A Day in the Life of a Web Content Manager
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
His bicycle tires don't run flat; they explode. When news breaks, he fixes it. His collection of vintage Blizzard memorabilia could fill a garage... and it does. They made a Diablo creature in his honor, but it was deemed too frightening to include in the game. The people of Orgrimmar love him, even though he plays Alliance. He is the most interesting web content manager in the world. He doesn't always like to be in the spotlight, but when he does, Geoff prefers to be featured in a Day in the Life article.

Read the article about a day in the life of Web Content Manager Geoff Fraizer now!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Deathwing should not have been in LFR
I don't agree at all with a couple months. I think maybe it could have maybe been delayed to the week after Heroic and still been pretty awesome though.

There's a lot of prestige and reward that goes with the Heroic kills that simply just aren't matched by any kills in the Raid Finder version. If someone is comparing the two or getting confused by the kills between them then I think their opinion is already flawed.

Kills happened in Normal before Raid Finder. You could argue those were "real" kills.

Our goal with Raid Finder is not to hold people back for months just to make sure the Heroic kills feel even more elite and special than they already do. Those players were probably already responsible for world or server first Normal kills, and then the rewards from Heroic speak for themselves as being fairly substantial.

In any case, as a first go with the Raid Finder I think we learned a lot and we'll be taking feedback to future raids. Overall though we've found Raid Finder to be very successful, the amount of people able to experience the content is huge, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we hope to only continue forward with that momentum. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Druid Gear in Shapshifted Forms
Just coming back to this briefly; There are some big technical limitations preventing us from allowing gear to show on Feral/Moonkin druid forms, and currently we have no immediate plans of working to overcome them. However, we could potentially start with something like the shoulders. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Four Specs for Other Classes?
I just wanted to pop in and say that the reason that we gave a fourth spec to druids was simply because it always felt as though they had four specs, but two of them were built into the one tree. This change was made to make the tank spec into a tree of its own instead of in a tree with their DPS build.

At this current point, we do not plan to implement a fourth spec for other classes because no other class feels like it has four specializations already. You can always be hopeful that this could change, but for now we appreciate the awesome feedback that you have given [...] (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
by Published on 2011-12-19 03:36 AM

Chromatic Dragon Pet Video
The Chromatic Dragon pet was updated since the last time we featured it, so here is a new video with the current model and animations. (The dragon's breath at 0:45 may be slightly bugged)



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

This month
Even though hard drive prices have come down slightly, now is still a good time to buy a SSD, as the next generation is a good while away and the current prices are fairly flat.

AMD's Bulldozer arrived last month to negative reviews, citing excessive power usage and heat output and very poor single threaded performance. They are working on another stepping which may help the problem slightly, but don't expect any significant improvements on the design until the middle of 2012 with the arrival of Piledriver. There is a glimmer of hope for those of you who purchased one and play games however, a software patch that increases gaming performance by fixing some of the scheduling issues is coming in January.

New mid range AMD GPUs are rumored to be coming in Q1 2012 if you are thinking about upgrading. The new higher end 7900 parts will be here in January, with a press event and NDA lift possibly later this week.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.

Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions! If you are interested in Folding@home, take a look in our team's thread.

Peripherals/Monitors
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorASUS VW224U 22-Inch Widescreen - $149ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $217
KeyboardMicrosoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000 - $20Cyborg V.5 - $47
MouseLogitech G400 - $35Logitech G500 - $61
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $25Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $44
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE276Q 27-Inch - $303HP ZR24w 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $400
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $70Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $70 ($112)
MouseRazer Deathadder - $45Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $70
SpeakersCreative Inspire T3130 2.1 Speaker System - $45Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $71



Puppy and Dolphin
Overclocked Puppy will outperform Dolphin when multiple threads are in use (Not WoW) and come close in most other cases.
Mix and match anything but the CPU/Motherboard combo between Puppy and Dolphin. Mix and match anything between Dolphin and Narwhal.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT M59 Classic - $50NZXT GAMMA Classic - $40
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 V2 - $41Corsair CX600 V2 - $50
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 960T Black Edition- $125Intel i3-2100 - $124
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $21Corsair Air Series A70 - $26
MotherboardASUS M5A97 AM3+ 970 - $95Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 - $115
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $274GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $42
Graphics CardXFX 6770 - $90MSI 6850 or EVGA GTX 560 - $168 / $165
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Black 500GB - $118Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $170
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $20Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $20
Total$587$755


Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn. SSDs are always optional.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $50Cooler Master HAF932 - $152
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $75Corsair 750HX (7 Year Warranty) - $118
CPUIntel i5-2500k - $240Intel i7-2600k - $315
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $60Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $83
MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 - $160ASUS Z68 P8Z68-V PRO - $210
Memory4GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $428GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $54
Graphics CardXFX 6950 1GB OR EVGA GTX 560 Ti- $210 / $220XFX 6970 2GB OR EVGA GTX 570 - $310 / $360
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $172Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $172
SSDCrucial 128 GB m4 (Review) - $213
OR
Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB - $200
Intel 510 Series 120 GB (Review) - $275
OR
OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 (Review) - $170
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $20Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $20
Total$1029 - $1242$1604 - $1759



Blizzard Art Gallery Update
The World of Warcraft Cataclysm Art gallery has been updated with six pieces representing the Warcraft universe.





The Daily Blink - Zero Sum Games
The Daily Blink reports on a discovery that no one thought was possible.

by Published on 2011-12-17 07:22 PM

Spine of Deathwing Heroic World First Kill by KIN Raiders
The korean guild KIN Raiders (즐거운공격대) from KR-Kargath was the first guild in the world to defeat the first part of the Deathwing encounter in the Heroic version of the Dragon Soul raid instance, congratulations to them!

by Published on 2011-12-17 04:38 AM

Diablo 3 - Beta Patch 8 - Quest Selection Screens and Unofficial class changes

Post 4.3 Interview with Greg Street (Ghostcrawler)
Blizzard was nice enough to let us talk to Ghostcrawler about his thoughts on Patch 4.3 now that it has been released and what the future has in store. We were even able to sneak in a few Mists of Pandaria questions for you!



Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
In general, how well do you think Patch 4.3 went?
We are pretty happy with it, as it was a huge patch for us. Large patches like this always come with a risk that we will screw something up, but it was a pretty smooth launch for as much content as we had in there.

Are you happy with the difficulty of the Dragon Soul heroic encounters, or do you think the bosses are dying too fast?
We are pretty happy with the current difficulty, the first boss is designed to be pretty easy, and the next tier of hardcore raiders are at the second or third boss, which is pretty much where we want them to be. The top tier guilds are going through it quickly, as they always do, but they make hundreds of attempts on each boss. Everyone is about where they should be right now.

Recently you made it so that casters with shields can no longer roll on offhand items, but in previous tiers those items have been very competitive for those specs. Why was this changed?
That's only in Raid Finder, and we made the change to restrict certain items to certain classes to prevent things like hunters needing on strength swords. We debated the offhand change a lot and we knew that some of the shaman might be unhappy with the fact that we are making them use the shield when they might want to use an offhand, but we also thought the mages, priests, and druids would be upset that the shaman got to roll on the offhand and the shield when they could only roll on the offhand. It could have gone either way and we understand that some players are upset at the way it went. Once players progress to normal mode, they can still use the offhands, so it is only a Raid Finder issue.

You can easily max out Justice and Valor points right now, so do you plan on adding anything like pets, mounts, or vanity gear to provide some use for the points?
We talked about it in the past, but we like the way it works now where players hit the cap quickly by doing whatever content they want. We don't want players to feel like they have to log in every night to earn as many Valor points as possible.

Some guilds are doing up to 20 LFR runs in a week to maximize the amount of gear they can get...
Yeah, fortunately that isn't very widespread. It is hard to discourage, and if they are enjoying it and it doesn't hurt game balance, we are okay with that.

Is LFR going to remain a current raid only tool, or will we be able to use it from Dragon Soul onwards?
Nope, we want to use it from Dragon Soul onwards. We would have loved to turn on LFR for all of the old content in the game, but Raid Finder was actually going to be a Patch 5.0+ feature. Fairly late we thought that it would be great to get into Patch 4.3, but up until the very end it wasn't clear if it would be ready for Patch 4.3. However, we were able to finish it in time with Dragon Soul functionality. If there is time in the future, we would like to go back and get at least some of the older content into it.

Will there be another patch before Mists of Pandaria?
We said that we are not going to do another tier of raiding content and PvP season, but we will do the normal pre expansion launch patch. This would include things like the new talents and the other big mechanics changes coming in the expansion, along with the launch event that deals with the Horde vs Alliance story and the introduction of the new continent. The launch event will be similar in magnitude to what we did for Wrath of the Lich King and Burning Crusade.

Cataclysm brought us guild perks to make raiding easier like Mass Resurrection, Mass Summoning, and lower durability reduction on death. How high do you think the guild level is going to increase to in Mists of Pandaria and what kind of new guild perks do you think we will see?
We aren't going to double the number of guild levels or anything like that. We had to make up for the lack of it in previous expansions this time around. Players can expect a few more levels, nothing like thirty or forty more. We haven't talked much about the perks guilds will receive yet, but they will be similar to the existing perks. One idea was cheaper transmogrification, which could be fun for players.

Has there been any progress made on making items account bound and not server bound since you last commented on it?
We would still love to do it, it isn't a design problem as much as a technical one. We are doing a lot of work to get achievements to be account wide, and it is possible that some of the work we do there will let us do the same thing for items. We can't promise anything though, because it could be the case that the first 90% of the work is really easy, and the last 10% is more difficult. Catching all of the exploits and bugs are part of what makes this something that is hard to do.

Will the under construction parts of the Darkmoon Faire get filled out before Mists of Pandaria, or is this something that won't be done until later?
We have vague plans, along the lines of "Hey, we could add a haunted house here", but nothing solid. I would be surprised if it was expanded upon anytime soon, we might add something for the launch event. This depends on the players' reactions to the current one, if they feel like they are running out of things to do, or if there is a lot of love for certain minigames or parts of the Faire, we might be able to add something else. It is hard to provide enough content so that people never run out of things to do, so we are pacing ourselves with the Faire, expanding on it over time.

Items from Archaeology have low item levels compared to the new and easy to access gear added in Patch 4.3, Are there any plans to scale or add new Archaeology items that will be relevant to the current content?
We will likely add new items, we didn't want to compete with heirlooms and give alt characters more gear than they could possibly use, allowing them to level without caring at all about loot gained while leveling. We like the idea of artifacts remaining something that you can trade between characters on your account. If you get a healer trinket that you can't use right now because you don't have a healer, it could be something you use one day, rather than solving your healer trinket problems forever.

With the advent of LFR, casual players can see all of the content, while Heroic raids seem to be harder now. Is this type of difficulty something you want to move forward doing?
The advantage of having three difficulty levels is that we can tailor each one to the audience. Before LFR we could target Normal difficulty raids at organized guilds, which left nothing for PuGs to do, or we could target them at PuGs, making them too easy for organized guilds. This would leave normal guilds only Heroic difficulty for a challenging encounter, leaving nothing for the more hardcore guilds to do. The three difficulty levels let us tailor each difficulty so that everyone has something to do.

Are there any plans to promote Voice Chat use?
The Voice Chat we included is not a good feature. We tried, we made some mistakes, and we accept that it isn't something used by a lot of players. It is on the wishlist of things we would eventually like to improve. A big thing it is missing now that we would like to fix is the ability to communicate with people before you get into the game, having to be logged in to use it makes it less useful than something like Ventrilo or Mumble.

Are you planning on adding chat channels for healing, DPS, and tanking in LFR?
We haven't thought about it, but it wouldn't be hard to do. We would just add people to the channel based on their role.

Okay, great. Thank you so much for your time!

Winter Veil Changes
Blizzard has made a few changes to Winter Veil this year, including making You're a Mean One... into a group quest.

He would be difficult to defeat on your own, but anyone in the area is allowed to loot the Stolen Treats after he is dead and free Metzen. Doing so will reward you with a Stolen Present, which can contain a number of things, including previous year's gifts, Lump of Coal, and a Miniature Winter Veil Tree.





EU Celestial Steed and Pandaren Monk 50% Off
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Need to complete your pet collection? Want to travel Azeroth in style? Now is the perfect time, because during this holiday season you can trade up to an epic Celestial Steed mount or get the noble Pandaren Monk companion at half price! Click here to take advantage of this great offer.

But don´t wait too long, because this promotion ends on January 2!

MMO-Champion T-Shirts from J!NX
For a limited time at J!NX, get $10 off when you spend $35 or more on Curse merchandise! Simply use code MILKANDCOOKIES at checkout. There’s still time left to order for the Holidays, but the deal ends on December 18th at midnight, so don’t wait! Please note that this offer can’t be combined with any other offers or discounts.





New Warcraft Fan Art
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with fourteen new pieces of fan artwork.



by Published on 2011-12-15 10:05 PM

Diablo 3 - Diablo 3 Beta Patch 8 - Official Patch Notes

Battle.net BattleTag FAQ
Blizzard added a FAQ for the upcoming BattleTag feature to their new support site this afternoon.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
What is a Battle.net BattleTag?
A BattleTag is a unified, player-chosen nickname that will identify you across all of Battle.net – in Blizzard Entertainment games, on our websites, and in our community forums. Similar to Real ID, BattleTags will give players on Battle.net a new way to find and chat with friends they've met in-game, form friendships, form groups, and stay connected across multiple Blizzard Entertainment games. BattleTags will also provide a new option for displaying public profiles.

When will BattleTags go live?
We will soon begin limited testing of some features and functionality of BattleTags in the Diablo III beta test, and the feature will be available to Diablo III players at launch. BattleTags will be integrated into other Blizzard games and services such as World of Warcraft and StarCraft II at some point in the future, but we don't have exact rollout plans to share just yet.

Will my BattleTag be unique?
A player's BattleTag is not unique, so you won't need to worry about whether your preferred name is available. You can use any name you wish, as long as it adheres to the BattleTag Naming Policy. Only one BattleTag can be associated with each Battle.net account.

If my BattleTag isn't unique, what makes me uniquely identifiable? How will I know I'm adding the right friend to my friends list?
Each BattleTag is automatically assigned a 4-digit BattleTag code, which combines with your chosen name to create a unique identifier (e.g. AwesomeGnome#3592). Your BattleTag and code are viewable when you log in to the Battle.net website and within the Diablo III beta client, and can be shared with other players who want to send you a friend request manually. You will also be able to send BattleTag friend requests list within the context of a game (by clicking a person's BattleTag when he or she sends you a message, for example) without knowing their BattleTag code. In either case, each player must mutually agree to become BattleTag friends.

I'm not in the Diablo III beta – can I choose a BattleTag now anyway?
Sure! You can pick your BattleTag now through Battle.net Account Management, regardless of whether you're participating in the Diablo III beta test. Simply visit the BattleTag creation page (http://www.battle.net/account/manage...ag-create.html) to get started. Make sure to choose a handle you will be happy with in the long term and that abides by our BattleTag Naming Policy, as you will be unable to change your BattleTag once you've selected it. We plan to provide a way for players to change their BattleTags in the future, but we don't have any further details to share just yet.

Where will my BattleTag be seen?
During the Diablo III beta test, your BattleTag will be seen in the Diablo III client (on friends lists and in chat), on the Diablo III forums, and in Battle.net Account Management. In the future, expect it to be displayed in other Blizzard games like StarCraft II and World of Warcraft on friends lists, in chat, or when making posts on their associated forums. We'll have further details on how and where your BattleTag will be displayed in the future.

When will World of Warcraft and StarCraft II support BattleTags?
Our plan is for all current and future Blizzard games to support BattleTags eventually. However, we don't have any announcements to make regarding when BattleTags will be integrated into World of Warcraft or StarCraft II at this time.

Do I need to choose my BattleTag now?
You will only be required to create a BattleTag now if you'd like to log in to the Diablo III beta client (beginning with an upcoming patch) or to use a Diablo III-related identity on the Diablo III forums. You will still be able to post on these forums using a World of Warcraft or StarCraft II character name if you wish.

Will I still be able to display my character on my profile or Armory page?
Armory profiles will be unaffected by the introduction of BattleTags. We'll have more information on how BattleTags will be integrated into existing games in the future.

How will this affect World of Warcraft?
BattleTags will add a new way for you to make friendships and communicate in World of Warcraft. For example, you'll be able to create cross-game, cross-realm friendships with your BattleTag, similar to the way Real ID works now. We'll have more details to share closer to the feature's launch.

Will this affect my existing Real ID friendships?
No. Your Real ID friendships will continue to exist, and all of the features and benefits of Real ID will remain available to you. BattleTags will simply give players another way to connect and communicate across Blizzard games. For example, if two players aren't Real ID friends but want to stay in touch across Battle.net, they'll be able to establish a BattleTag-based friendship; in the future, BattleTag friends will have access to many of the communication benefits (such as cross-game chat) currently available to Real ID friends.

Do BattleTags replace Real ID? Can I create new Real ID friendships?
BattleTags are a new feature separate from Real ID. Real ID will continue to work as it always has, and you can continue to create Real ID friendships with people you know in real life.

Will this affect my World of Warcraft or StarCraft II character names in any way?
Your World of Warcraft character names will continue to exist and work as they currently do. We're still in the process of determining how we will handle StarCraft II character names once BattleTags are integrated into the game.

How does my BattleTag work in the Diablo III beta?
Only some BattleTag features will be available during the Diablo III beta test. At first, players will be able to add friends to their friends list using their BattleTags, though new or different features may be available at different times during the testing process. We'll have more information on all of the features of BattleTags in Diablo III with the launch of the game next year.

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