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by Published on 2011-08-16 02:22 PM

New Real ID Party Feature Now Live, Remains Free
The Real ID Party feature is now officially live and remains free, hurray!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re happy to announce that the testing period for World of Warcraft's new Real ID Party system is now complete, and the feature is now officially live! We received a lot of great feedback from the community throughout the course of our testing, and we appreciate everyone taking the time to share their thoughts and experiences with us.

For those who haven't yet had a chance to try it out, the Real ID Party system allows players to invite Real ID friends of the same faction to a 5-player normal or Heroic dungeon, regardless of what realm their friends are on. This new feature makes it easier than ever for real-life friends to play together, and it's available to all World of Warcraft players at no additional charge -- all you need to do is have Real ID enabled.

To learn more about Real ID, visit the Real ID web page and read the FAQ.

For more information about how the Real ID Party system works, check out the FAQ below, updated with a couple new questions that came up during the testing period.

Q: How do I invite Real ID friends to a Real ID Party?
A: Inviting a Real ID friend to a Real ID Party is simple. Just open up your friends list to see which Real ID friends are online. Click on the “Plus” button to send an invitation to a Real ID friend to join your group. You can continue to add Real ID friends to your party until the group is complete. If you cannot complete the group with Real ID friends, you are free to join the Dungeon Finder to fill in the missing roles.

Q: Does a player need to have Real ID enabled to accept a Real ID group invite?
A: Yes, a player must have Real ID enabled, and both players must be Real ID friends to accept or initiate Real ID party invitations.

Q: Can a party leader invite a mix of Real ID friends, character-level friends, guildmates, or random players to the same party?
A: A party leader can invite any combination of Real ID friends from any realm, guildmates from the same realm, or other characters from the same realm to the same party. If the party leader isn’t able to fill up the entire party, the Dungeon Finder can fill in the missing roles.

Q: Can I invite someone who is not a Real ID friend?
A: You can only invite members to a party if they are on your Real ID friends list or if they are on the same realm as you are.

Q: Can I invite a friend of a Real ID friend?
A: No, you can only invite your own Real ID friends the party.

Q. Are you considering expanding the system to work with raids, Battlegrounds, Arenas, or to allow cross-faction play?
A: We're always looking into ways to improve features like this to make it more convenient for real-life friends to play together. However, we don't have any further announcements to share at this time.

Q: Will any future aspects of the Real ID Party system be premium-based?
A: It's always possible that we'll add features and functionality that could have a premium component, but we don't have any specific details to share at this time.
by Published on 2011-08-16 08:43 AM

Blue posters are still awfully calm and depending on what happens this week, you might see a few other-games related news on the front page during Gamescom this week.

I also had people contact me to ask why I "ignored" the US Battle.net Invitational WoW tournament, the answer is simple, Blizzard didn't release any information for it yet, only the Starcraft 2 tournament was streamed and there is no match results or VoDs on the official site for the WoW tournament. Hopefully it will be updated soon.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Legendary Questline Difficulty
To be fair, we've heard complaints that this is too hard for X, where X = just about every class/spec. It's supposed to be extremely challenging, harkening back to the feel of the Molten Core item quests, which were also not easy. On the other hand, you have unlimited attempts and time to try to figure it out.

Warlocks have a good dispel in Devour Magic (Felhunter), though it's understandable that sometimes more PvE-oriented locks don't have as much experience using their pet in this manner.

It may be really hard, but the feedback we've heard from those who have completed it (including warlocks), is that it ultimately brings a major sense of accomplishment. If you want a legendary item, this questline isn't for the faint of heart. But we do wish you luck. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

2011 Blizzard Global Writing Contest!
Blizzard Entertainment is proud to present the 2011 Blizzard® Global Writing Contest!

You sit at your typewriter, hands frozen in fear by the sound of crumpling paper from the darkness behind you. Shadows of broken quills encroach on your sight's periphery but slither out of view when you turn toward them. Summoning your courage, you lash out at the apparitions before they fade, only to awaken in a cold sweat with pencils and pens gripped tight in your clenched fists. You know what this dream foretells: the 2011 Global Writing Contest is upon us!

The Prophecy of the Unblinking Eye portends of a time when writing contest judges, mad with ocular fortitude from judging the 2009 and 2010 Global Writing Contests, would brazenly unleash the powers of the Ocunomicon. Seeking rituals to infuse themselves with the twisted souls of fel ocularians, they look to wield powers not meant for this or any other contest. But the sacrifices of semicolon keys and left-handed quills have only just begun, their Inkwells of Despair not yet depleted—there is time yet to save this contest!

Is your prose pulchritudinous enough to save this contest from eldritch powers that no eye should possess? If so, submit a 2,500- to 7,500-word short story written in English and set in the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, or Diablo® universe by September 28th, 2011, and earn your chance to visit the Blizzard headquarters and meet the writers and staff behind the lore of Blizzard's games and books. (And probably save the world, too!*)

Grand Prize - The grand prize winner will receive a trip to Blizzard's headquarters in Southern California, where you'll meet and eat with the Blizzard writing staff. In addition, you'll receive a Doomhammer™ hammer by Epic Weapons and copies of the StarCraft Archive, the Diablo Archive, the Warcraft Archive, the Warcraft: War of the Ancients Archive, and World of Warcraft: Chronicles of War. All books will be signed by Chris Metzen, their respective cover artists, and the Creative Development Publishing team.

Runners-up - Seven runners-up will each receive copies of the StarCraft Archive, the Diablo Archive, the Warcraft Archive, the Warcraft: War of the Ancients Archive, and World of Warcraft: Chronicles of War. All books will be signed by Chris Metzen, their respective cover artists, and the Creative Development Publishing team. (Blue Tracker / Official Blog)

Recent Quest Tracker Update
This is a known bug for which we have a fix lined up in patch 4.2.2. This bug also affects other UI elements, such as your saved role and collapsed headers for quests, reputations, etc. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Trading Card Game Art Gallery Update
The Trading Card game art gallery has been updated with ten new pieces.





The Daily Blink - At Least the Cardboard Box Went ‘Boink’
Another excellent comic from The Daily Blink!



DotA 2 Trailer
In unrelated news, a DotA 2 trailer for Gamescom was released today. More information will likely be released later this week. For more discussion, see the topics in our Video Games forum.

The game will be previewed through The International, a tournament held during the Gamescom this week with a $1M Cash prize! Shortly after, League of Legends announced a $5M Prize Pool for the Season 2 of their championship.



by Published on 2011-08-14 07:39 PM

Stats: Characters that reached LVL 85 in Cataclysm
More interesting stats for you this week! With all the talk about the death of WoW, we decided to take a look at the percentage of characters that made it from being level 80 during Wrath of the Lich King to level 85 today. These stats compare a sample of 1M+ characters from early 2010 and checks which players reached level 85. Keep in mind a few things before interpreting these stats:


  • Death Knight is the least leveled class because everyone leveled one to 80 during WotLK to be one of the cool kids. Including a fair amount of people who ended up not liking it.
  • People didn't hit the "Nothing left to do on my main character, better reroll!" wall that they encountered in WotLK, raids were properly balanced and people didn't spend their first months steamrolling Naxxramas.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Class Playing Cataclysm
Mage 37.82%
Druid 36.84%
Hunter 36.47%
Priest 36.30%
Warrior 35.83%
Shaman 34.77%
Warlock 34.17%
Paladin 33.45%
Rogue 29.56%
Death Knight 25.58%


Poll: Are you still playing WoW?
We've been working on the stats above for a few days and we're wondering, are you still playing WoW, or just reading MMO-Champion to know when to come back?



Curse Premium Members: Win a Trip to Blizzcon!
If you are a Curse Premium Member you can enter to win an all expenses paid trip for two to Blizzcon! While we can't send everyone to Blizzcon, we can give away some SSDs, Headsets, Mounts, and Pets as well! The contest is also open to non Premium Members as well; see the Rules for more information on how to enter. You must be a US Resident to enter.

Prizes
  • Grand Prize: All Expenses Paid Trip for Two to Blizzcon!
  • 4 x Samsung Solid State Hard Drive
  • 8 x Logitech Gaming Headset
  • 20 x Winged Guardian Mount
  • 40 x Lil Ragnaros In-Game Pet

Check out the contest page for more information, and good luck!



The MMO Report
What better way to start off your week than with another episode of The MMO Report!

by Published on 2011-08-13 02:53 AM

Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest by Siiz (US-Senjin / Premonition)
Siiz from Premonition recently acquired Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest and answered some more questions about it on the Official forums. The short version version being that the proc acts just like you are casting a copy of the spell again. You can see a quick World of Logs test here.


  • When a direct damage spell causes a proc, the same spell is cast again instantly with no travel time.
  • The direct damage proc can crit, hit, or miss, just like casting a normal spell.
  • When a DoT spell causes a proc, the Wrath of Tarecgosa spell is cast instantly, matching the DoT spell's damage.
  • The proc consumes buffs like Fingers of Frost, just like manually casting the same spell again would.
  • The proc also causes buffs, such as when a proc occurs from Arcane Blast.
  • Spells that are not direct damage or DoT will not cause a proc. (e.g. Frostfire Orb)
  • A proc from a proc hasn't occurred yet.

Siiz explained how he got the staff so quickly on his guild's forum.

From the Premonition Forums:
To anyone who said I exploited, I didn't and never would. Let me explain how it went down.

I finished my eternal embers part the week we got 6/7 HM (the reset of July 5th) so I started my branch quest the next week (the week of July 12). People didn't realize you could get the portal quest items from normal mode and not have to kill the bosses so in the end we got all the quest items from normal mode bosses and killed the legendary boss. After we killed the legendary boss we cleared 6/7 hardmodes on the week of July 12th (the same reset we did portal quest). Each 25M heroic boss drops 50?-64? cinders with normal rag at the time dropping~55ish?

I collected all my cinders and got the runestaff about halfway through the raid week of the 26th, leaving about 2-3? bosses up that week for me to collect souls from. Heroic 25M bosses give 17-19 souls per boss. So even if I got the worst luck in the world at 17 a boss I still would have made it in 2 1/2 weeks.

I collected souls from those 2-3 bosses + the next two full weeks to get it.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
T11 JP shoulders and helm - some clarity
We've offered players who don't raid a reasonable way to gear up, and achieve high levels of power. The JP/VP system makes a lot of sense to us, and gives everyone a pretty good personal progression track in addition to loot drops, and we feel pretty good about the system as it stands. That doesn't necessarily mean that we think that full sets are a necessary part of that picture, though.

We still want to preserve some of the most prestigious PvE loot for players who face down raid content (even if it's a tier behind), and we feel that completing a tier set means that a raid needs to fit in there somewhere. That design makes sense to us, and we want to preserve some of the reward for facing down those bad guys. We re-adjusted those instances specifically to encourage players to go experience them, and we want to leave some incentives in there for players who check those raids out.

[...] We want rewards to retain at least some meaning, because when they don't, all the aspects of play start to blend together. Greater challenges should offer greater rewards, but how do you accomplish that if you also allow lesser challenges to provide all the same rewards, across the board? That's been a long-standing challenge, I think, and the JP/VP system is the compromise answer to it. Please recall that at one time if you wanted purps then you went into a raid, period. We've come a long, long way since then. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

15 Man Raids!
I'd actually agree that 15 players make for a pretty optimal number of raiders, in terms of the logistics of forming a raid and class representation. The task of tuning raids for three separate sizes is one you probably won't see on our radar any time soon though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

45 Minute Dungeon Queue Times (MMO-Champion Note: Hinting to Scenarios?)
We'd like to keep the traditional setting of 5-player dungeons as 1 tank, 1 healer, and 3 DPS. The idea of just adding in NPCs to fill lacking roles is truly not a simple one, nor a route we'd want to take. Not only would this take a lot of design time for a less-than-desirable fix, it'd stand at odds with our philosophy on dungeons for small groups.

That said, you do raise some good points about offering challenging, rewarding content to players which doesn't rely solely on players waiting for a specific class role which is in high demand across the boards. In our minds, there's potentially something missing between daily quests and dungeons, from a content/progression perspective. To that end, we're exploring some options for the future. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Limited Number of Characters
It has always been a matter of efficiency in data service. Much like the fabrication of a commercial airplane, the design of the server side of a service like World of Warcraft affects what can be provided to the players for as long as that service is being used.

With an airplane, you can conceivably add more seats inside. You can squeeze more people in there, to a point. But you can't (easily) expand the hull to make room for more seats. Over the long run, if the airline wants to accommodate more people, they add more planes to the route, or replace an existing plane with a larger plane that has room for more seats.

This request - which is heard loud and clear, by the way - is like asking the airline to simultaneously increase the number of passengers that can be carried on every plane in their fleet. Can it be done? Absolutely. It may be something that we are able to do, and soon. It may not be, because providing reliable data service is extremely important to us. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Lower level PvP Concerns
We are not deaf to the concerns raised about low-level PvP. We feel it needs some attention too. We don't necessarily feel that it's all just "a heirloom issue," but more to do with time investments reaping rewards that give too great an advantage. While we do agree that low-level PvP isn't in an ideal state and has needed further consideration, our focus has remained where the players are: max-level PvP.

We don't intend to throw oil on the flame by such a comment and this doesn't mean we're completely ignorant of niche playstyles, just that we focus our efforts on where it'll have the greatest effect. What's the answer? We do hear the feedback. When we have looked at the issue, it has simply just seemed too difficult – too tricky – to resolve in a way that we're happy with.

We currently believe resolving it will require much time and effort. But we acknowledge things aren't as great for low-level PvP as they could be and we do have a desire to pay attention to it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Warcraft Fan Art
The Blizzard Fan Art Section has been updated with five new pieces of fan artwork set within the Warcraft universe.


by Published on 2011-08-11 05:56 PM

Void Storage and Transmogrifier - Patch 4.3 Teasing?
A teaser on the official Warcraft Facebook Page hints at two new types of NPCs coming in a future patch, most likely Patch 4.3: the Transmogrifier and Void Storage NPCs.

"Transmogrifier" seems to hint at a way to change the appearance of something, the first thing coming to my mind is either a way to change the look of your items (it was experimented in the past with things such as Darkspear Overcloak but dropped later). I guess it could also be a way to change facial/body features on characters.

The "Void Storage" is probably ... well, another kind of storage? Or a high-tech magic trash can.

by Published on 2011-08-11 03:56 AM

Important - Also today, Patch 4.2.2 now available on Test Realms + Patch 4.2.2 Patch Notes

World first Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest by Siiz (US-Senjin / Premonition)
Siiz from Premonition (US - Sen'jin) was the first player in the world to acquire Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest! Congratulations to him.

And to answer the top 2 questions about the mount portion of the staff:


  • The mount has a 1.5 sec cast time just like any other mount.
  • People can't ride on your back.
  • The giant dragon in the 2nd screenshot isn't the mount, it's Tarecgosa during the end event of the questline.






Patch 4.2 Hotfixes - August 10
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
August 10

Classes
Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Applicable death knight abilities are now using the correct amount of resources (and putting them on cooldown) when there are 4 Death Runes available and the Unholy Runes are depleted.

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Druids that shapeshift will now clear the Potion of Illusion buff.

Mage (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Combustion damage from Ignite is no longer penalized by Resilience more than once, nor can it gain double benefit from Flashburn (mastery).

Dungeons & Raids
Dungeon Finder
  • If a player is kicked by vote from a dungeon finder group, the leader of the group is no longer able to invite that player back.

Firelands
  • Rogue Smoke Bombs cannot prevent the spawning of Magma Traps during the fight against Ragnaros.
  • Several creatures in the Firelands are no longer susceptible to snares or other immobilizing effects.
  • Unbound Pyrelords, Unbound Smoldering Elementals, Unbound Blazing Elementals, and Patriarch Fire Turtles now drop silver instead of gold.

Guilds
  • The Recently Mass Resurrected debuff is correctly being applied to players who are in the process of logging out of the game.

Items
  • Brawler's Trophy and Core of Ripeness cannot be active at the same time as each other, or other burst trinkets.
  • Eternal Embers are now epic quality.
  • Heirloom items can once again be linked in chat.
  • Creating a macro to use the Runestaff of Nordrassil multiple times will only trigger the use once.

Quests & Creatures
Hyjal Regrowth & Molten Front
  • The Burning Treants summoned by the Druid of the Flame now disappear when the summoner is captured.
  • 3 different elementals spawn on any given day for the Death From Above achievement, up from 1.

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