MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2012-03-14 04:03 PM

Mists of Pandaria Screenshots of the Day #2
The Screenshots of the Day section of the official site has been updated with two Mists of Pandaria screenshots. The second screenshot is of the Shado-Pan Monastery. You can find today's screenshots below!

by Published on 2012-03-14 08:10 AM

Diablo 3 - Beyond the Gate - Beta Hidden Zone Round-Up, Blue Posts

Update: You may enter the contest once per day, not just once ever.

MMO-Champion Giveaway - Pandaren Monk - Day 2
While we are waiting on the Press Tour NDA to expire, we are giving away 3 x Pandaren Monk every day this week! You can enter the contest only by commenting on this news post. Please only enter once per day, multiple entries will disqualify you. Good luck!

  • To enter the contest, just post a reply in this news post, you have until Wednesday March 14th @ Midnight EST to enter the contest, this thread will be closed and winners will be selected randomly.
  • Entering more than once per day 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)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
War Banner
I know a lot of you are concerned about the 30% crit increase from the Skull Banner.

It’s a number we're iterating on, and the ability isn't even finalized yet. Our hope is that the duration is short enough that it doesn’t have the impact of say Bloodlust and the radius is small enough that it might be used to hit melee only. Another variation we're trying is a 10% crit group buff, but and a 20 or 30% buff to the warrior, so that it doesn’t feel anemic to the warrior but doesn’t feel mandatory for the group.

The banner can be targeted and killed, but it has about 33% of the warrior’s health, so it can’t be easily "stomped" as a totem would be, and may not be worth attacking at all, given how long banner durations are.

Anyway, we don’t want banners to feel like totems. Perhaps categorizing “anything I place in the world” as a totem is a slightly narrow perspective? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Protection Specs and PvP
We've always wanted players to PvP as tank specs, and that can be a lot of fun, but tank spec PvP should be effective via an array of defensive and control abilities, not because of damage-dealing potential. It is our design intent that, overall, tanks have to sacrifice some DPS in order to make use of all their other strengths.

For comparison, many players would cry foul if healing specs did as much or more damage than DPS specs in PvP, and we want the same situation for tanks. In Battlegrounds, tanks often carve out a very interesting role, such as running the flag, or teaming up with a healer and capturing a node, or tanking an NPC. In Arenas, it is much harder to provide tanks with a compelling role, since the typical arena match often boils down to which team better executes a strategy of focusing fire on enemies. A tank is ultimately a target that nobody wants to focus down, who also can’t contribute as much to focusing down others. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Press Event
The press event occurs over several days. This allows us to schedule developer interviews (with press and fansites) as well as give everyone we invite the time to get on our demo stations, talk with the developers, and (more importantly) process the information they learn so they can post it in a way that they are happy with. While we could just tell people they’re free to start posting as soon as they get in and see things, it puts pressure on them to do just that, and many media outlets appreciate having some time to craft their stories. It also makes it unfair to other media outlets and fansites that aren’t scheduled to attend the event until the second or third day.

In short, it's not as easy as opening the doors and saying, "Here you go everyone!" These events take a lot of planning not only for us, but for those we invite to attend, and we want to make sure that we give everyone the best opportunity possible to get everything they can out of the event. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria and a Return to Community
This isn't the first nor the last time we will see a discussion about community and the sense of community, I'm sure, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's important though that we keep these discussions constructive however.I'm going to channel some Ghostcrawler for you this morning and see if we can open up the discussion a bit.

Keeping a sense of community while still meeting the needs of the community as a whole is a huge challenge for us. We fundamentally believe that having a sense of community is an important thing for the long-term health of the game. However, we don’t think the way to foster that community is to force players to spam global channels trying to find groups. Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder have enabled a lot more players to run dungeons and raids regularly and we’d be very reluctant to ever go back to a world without them.

The trick for us is trying to grow a stronger sense of community despite having global queuing features that will likely pair you with strangers you may never play with again. We believe players generally have more fun and stick with the game longer when they play with friends. The queue systems are a substitute for when you don’t have enough friends (or even enough friends online at the moment) to participate in that content. We aren’t trying to, and wouldn’t want to, turn WoW into a solo game. These systems are merely to facilitate a need to connect more easily with players interested in tackling this content. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Guild Wars 2 Pre-Order
Guild Wars 2 pre-order information has been released. Everyone that pre-orders the game will receive access to all upcoming beta events and will be given a three day head start prior to release. There are three editions of the game that can be purchased, the Digital Edition, Digital Deluxe edition, and Collector's Edition ($149.99). Those who pre-order through one the the retail partners will receive a one day head start.

SWTOR Free Weekend
SWTOR is offering a free trial weekend from March 15th to March 19th. The trial has similar limitations to the World of Warcraft trial, with a level cap of 15, no mailing, no trading, and play is limited to certain zones.

Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico gives us news on WoW, Minecraft, Battlefield 3, Athene's YouTube Announcement and Partnership with CurseNetwork, Mass Effect 3, LoL, and Caveman Craig 2.

by Published on 2012-03-13 05:23 PM

Mists of Pandaria Screenshots of the Day
It seems that Blizzard started updating the Screenshots of the Day section of the official site with Mists of Pandaria content. You can find today's screenshot below!

by Published on 2012-03-13 05:58 AM

Diablo 3 - New Skill Videos, Beyond the Gate, Hardcore and Blue Posts, Curse Gaming Bracket Challenge

MMO-Champion Giveaway - Pandaren Monk
While we are waiting on the Press Tour NDA to expire, we are giving away 3 x Pandaren Monk every day this week! You can enter the contest only by commenting on this news post. Please only enter once, multiple entries will disqualify you. Good luck!

  • To enter the contest, just post a reply in this news post, you have until Tuesday March 13th @ Midnight 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)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
War Banner
We made it a banner for a couple of reasons. We thought the demoralizing and mocking mechanics were more useful if the warrior could place them somewhere else. For example, imagine a warrior (and not just a tank) using the Mocking Banner to direct incoming adds over to where the tank is currently standing. Now Skull Banner doesn’t strictly have to be a banner, since the warrior will probably want to benefit from it most of the time, but we left it as a banner for one pretty cool reason: since the banner is an ally, you can Intervene to it (!). That opens up some cool gameplay options.

Ultimately, we wanted to try and expand the design potential for warriors a bit. Increasingly, it seemed that any new ability had to be another type of movement, a weapon strike, or shout, or it wouldn’t feel like a warrior ability. We wanted to try something new, and we're hoping that warriors will give them a shot once we’re in beta and let us know how it feels. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Protection Spec and PvP
We don't have a problem with players choosing to PvP as tank specs, but if they do, then we want them to be effective because of their defensive and control abilities, not because of their damage-dealing potential. It's intentional that, overall, tanks have to sacrifice some DPS in order to make up for their other strengths.

For comparison's sake, we don't think it would be cool if healing specs did as much or more damage than DPS specs in PvP, and the same is true for tanks. In Battlegrounds, tanks often do have a role, whether it’s running flags, defending a node or tanking NPCs. It is much harder to provide tanks a role in Arenas since the strategy ultimately revolves around focusing down enemy players. Nobody wants to try to focus down a tank, and tanks typically can’t contribute as much to focusing down enemy targets.

I'm not so much for debates, because design isn't about rhetorical prowess, it's about making the game the best it can be for all players, not simply those who can make a compelling case on the forums. Because of how personal (even emotional) the experience of playing a character is, sometimes it's hard to see over the fence into someone else's yard. We have to keep an eye on the whole neighborhood. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Still waiting....
There will be plenty of information coming out of the press tour. This week, is all about getting that information to the media and fansites so they can show you what they've learned next week. I am not going to get into specifics of what is going to be covered, but you can be assured, it's what some would call a plethora of information. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Curse March Gaming Bracket Challenge - Round 3!
The March Gaming Bracket Challenge presented by Curse and Alienware is a tournament that pits video game characters against one another for multiple rounds of voting!

Each week in March we will be matching up characters from all ends of the gaming universe; from Skyrim to Starcraft, WoW to Minecraft. Selection of the characters that make it through to the next round is up to you since your votes decide who rises up and who falls in this arena! You can see the full bracket here.

Each week we are giving away one Alienware X51 (US residents only), so don't forget to enter to win and vote for your favorite characters.

The MMO Report has another special episode about RIFT this week.

by Published on 2012-03-12 08:13 AM

Pandaren Female is on Her Way - March 19
She’s on her way -- March 19 (Source)

by Published on 2012-03-12 12:55 AM

Diablo 3 - Beyond the Gate, GDC Art Slides, Blue Posts

Mists of Pandaria Press Tour This Week, Suggest Questions!
This week is the Mists of Pandaria Press Tour! We're sending a team of fearless people to Blizzard to bring you back tons of shiny new Mists of Pandaria information! The information gathered during the press tour will be released in exactly one week, on Monday March 19th.

Question Suggestions
Since we'll be interviewing developers during the tour, if you have something you really really want to ask about Mists of Pandaria, now might be a good time to bring it up in the comments. We'll pick the best questions and add them to our existing list. I'd love to see if you guys can suggest of something we haven't thought of!

Before posting a question, check and make sure it hasn't been answered by reviewing what we already know about the expansion.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Missing out on Scroll of Resurrection
I'm going to respond to this simply because I've seen this sort of sentiment before, and while I have no doubt that not everyone will accept the answer I will give here, I'm going to give it anyway.

There is an assumption that we don't care about our long term customers. This couldn't be further from the truth. We absolutely care, and part of that is the ongoing efforts we make every day to communicate, to share what we're doing, to listen to what you are saying here and elsewhere about what more you want to see in the game and more. We also heard you say that you wanted to get your friends back that have previously left the game, so we revisited the Scroll of Resurrection so you could see about enticing them to return and play. This is our way of empowering you with a way to convince your friends that there is a benefit to coming back and that it will be as painless as possible to get caught up with you (thus the boost and transfer.) The level differences and even realm differences are often something people have said serve as a barrier to convincing their friends to return. So, we're doing what we can to move those obstacles away, at least for a little while.

I'm sorry to hear that your own friend wasn't able to benefit from the promotion, but there has to be a start and end to these things. Anytime we've run promotions in the past, there has always been someone somewhere who didn't get a chance to take part. We do what we can though to spread the word and make it as available as possible, but we have to be careful about limitations as well. We'll make sure to let people know if new such opportunities come up. It sounds as if (though) that you're having a good time leveling up together and that seems like a big win for you overall. We hope that you continue to do so since having fun is what the game is all about.It's for a limited period of time, but we don't have a specific date to give you. We'll do our best to give people some warning before it ends. I'd tell your friends that it's better to do it sooner rather than later to be safe, but it's completely up to them on what works for them. Since the promotion just started, we still have some time yet though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Is There Anything Positive Going On?
There's plenty of positive, but we go through these periods between content sometimes where people start looking for the "next big thing" if they feel they've done it all in game. People who are generally happy, tend to just play the game for what it is and we rarely see them on the forums. (That's not to say that we don't get people who are also happy on the forums too.) People who feel that there needs to be change to the game or have run into things they aren't happy with, tend to come to the forums to talk about it. They come to discuss it with other people here and see if they're the only one feeling a certain way, or they hope that one of us will see it and pass word along to the developers.

Frankly, we love getting to see constructive feedback whether it's positive (I love this thing because of xyz!) or more negative (I don't like this because xyz.) I sound like a broken record when I say this but, it's a truth that any community manager knows passionate people post passionately. If apathy wins, all you hear is silence. I'd much rather see that people still care than deal with no one talking about anything.

That said though, it's important not to let other's negative perceptions color your own (as difficult as that may sometimes be.) If you're having fun and enjoying the game for what it is, there is no reason at all you can't continue to do so. Your fun is purely your own.

It won't be long though and we'll have more to share on the ongoing development for the game and Mists of Pandaria, so hopefully that will lighten the mood a little. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

War College - The Battle for Gilneas
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The battlefields of World of Warcraft are littered with the bones of those who have become casualties in the ongoing conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. You do not need to become one of them. One of the keys to victory is knowledge, and that is where the World of Warcraft War College enters the picture. In these discussions between players, you can learn and share strategies with other players to improve your tactics and improve your odds of emerging victorious from the field of battle.

Are you a veteran Gladiator with countless victories tallied? Are you new to World of Warcraft and striving to improve your PvP skills? In this weekly feature, we invite players of all skill levels to ask questions, share tips and tactics, and join a conversation dedicated to surviving and thriving in World of Warcraft PvP.

This week, the topic of discussion is:

The Battle for Gilneas - Which strategies are most effective in this battleground for both rated and un-rated play? What tips, tricks and tactics have you discovered? What common mistakes have you witnessed?

Join the War College forum thread here.

SWTOR Patch 1.2
Patch 1.2 is approaching and the new trailer from the Guild Summit last week shows off some of the new features. If you are interested in giving it a try, see the thread in the SWTOR forum where people are giving away a 7 day free trial.

Originally Posted by SWTOR
There are a number of new features coming to Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ with Game Update 1.2, “Legacy”. This includes new playable content, like Operations and Warzones, as well as new game systems like Guild Banks, Player-vs-Player Warzone ranking, and the next evolution of Legacy. Check out all of the exciting new content coming up in this video!

Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico is back to give us news on Minecraft, Wow, Diablo 3, Assassins Creed 3, Infinite, and Waking Mars.

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