MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2012-02-26 08:51 PM

Diablo 3 - Calculator Build Contest Starting Soon, Blue Posts, Beta Screenshots

Patch 4.3.3 on Live Realms (probably) this Week
The final version of Patch 4.3.3 (Build 15354) hit the Blizzard download servers and it means the patch will most likely go live this week. This build seems to be the right one (unless something terrible happens, as usual, but it almost never does).


This patch doesn't really have anything interesting for players, it's mostly a bug fix patch with a way to consolidate most of the Patch 4.3 hotfixes into the game files to display them properly.

If you are testing the 64-bit client, make sure to remove it before the patch, as it blocks the update from working correctly. You can find the full list of files to remove in the support article. There is no new 64-bit client uploaded yet, so you will have to make do with the old 32-bit client until an update is released.


The only significant change is the refinement of the Scroll of Resurrection interface. The new strings hint at the 5 unused invite limit being changed into a daily limit, along with the newly listed 100 limit in Account Management.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • SOR_DEFAULT_MESSAGE - "Remember the good times in WoW? I do, so it's time to come back!"
  • SOR_DISABLE_CHOOSE_A_TARGET - "Select someone to send the invite to."
  • SOR_DISABLE_NO_INVITES_LEFT - "You cannot send any more invites today."
  • SOR_INSTRUCTION_EMAIL - "Enter an E-mail address:"
  • SOR_INSTRUCTION_SELECT - "Select a friend or guild member:"
  • SOR_NUM_REMAINING - "Invites left today: %d"
  • SOR_SUCCESSFULLY_SENT - "Your Scroll of Resurrection has been sent!"



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
Hard drives remain expensive, so now is still a good time to buy a SSD, as the next generation is a while away and the current prices are fairly flat, with sales bringing the cost very close to $1 per gigabyte.

New Ivy Bridge CPUs from Intel are rumored to be released in April still, so if you are not in a hurry they will be a nice upgrade from Sandy Bridge. The current motherboards should support the new CPUs.

The new 7970 GPU from AMD has been released and can be had for ~$580 if you can find it in stock. The 7950 is ~$450 and the 7770 is ~$160 and overpriced for the performance. The more interesting GPUs, 7850 and 7870, should be here soon as well. New GPUs from Nvidia likely won't be here before April or May.

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 - $134ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $216
KeyboardMicrosoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000 - $23Cyborg V.5 - $50
MouseLogitech G400 - $37Razer Deathadder - $51
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $23Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $43
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE276Q 27-Inch - $260HP ZR24w 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $368
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $80Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $70 ($112)
MouseLogitech G500 - $59Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $68
SpeakersCreative Inspire T3130 2.1 Speaker System - $45Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $81


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 GAMMA Classic - $50NZXT GAMMA Classic - $50
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 V2 - $57Corsair CX600 V2 - $69
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 960T Black Edition- $132Intel i3-2100 - $120
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $24Corsair Air Series A70 - $42
MotherboardASUS M5A97 AM3+ 970 - $95Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 - $118
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $214GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 12800 DDR3 - $41
Graphics CardXFX 6770 - $95XFX 6870 or EVGA GTX 560 - $160 / $170
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $86Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $145
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $21Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $21
Total$581$766 / 776


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 - $60Cooler Master HAF932 - $130
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $90Corsair 750HX - $144
CPUIntel i5-2500k - $225Intel i7-2600k - $330
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $55Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $85
MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 - $154ASUS Z68 P8Z68-V/GEN3 - $180
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $588GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $58
Graphics CardXFX 6950 1GB OR EVGA GTX 560 Ti- $225/ $230XFX 6970 2GB OR EVGA GTX 570 - $330
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $146Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $146
SSDCrucial 128 GB m4 (Review) - $150
OR
Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB - $171
Intel 510 Series 120 GB (Review) - $244
OR
OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 (Review) - $150
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $21Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $21
Total$1034 - $1210$1574 - $1668



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





MMO-Report
The MMO Report has The Secret World, Guild Wars 2, and Uncle Casey's Mail Bag this week!

by Published on 2012-02-25 05:54 AM

Diablo 3 - Skill Calculator and Diablo III In-Development -- Class Skills

Italian Version of World of Warcraft is Coming to Europe
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We have exciting news for our many Italian players: you will soon be able to play WoW in your native language!

Existing players will be able to download a free language pack to experience the game in Italian when it launches later this year.

Gamers in Europe will also be able to purchase fully localized versions of World of Warcraft (which now includes its first expansion, The Burning Crusade) and its three following expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, and the upcoming Mists of Pandaria.

The games will be available for purchase at retail and digitally through your Battle.net account.

Of course, the official World of Warcraft website and forums will be offered in Italian, and we’ll also be opening up Italian realms!

Stay tuned for more information on a release date in the coming months.

A few years ago we noted that Blizzard was hiring for Italian and Polish positions. There was finally an announcement today regarding the upcoming Italian localization of the game!

This time around Blizzard has added more Polish speaking positions on their employment page. They were also hiring for Turkish speaking positions in the past, though all of those appear to have been filled now. There is a possibility that we will see a Turkish localization in the future, but keep in mind that it took years from the first Italian postings for us to see the localization.

The Battle.net Mobile Authenticator was updated was updated recently to add Italian and Polish support. This points to a strong possibility for a Polish localization in the future. However, it is possible they are localizing things other than World of Warcraft, so don't get your hopes up yet!

Keep in mind that has been no official announcement about any other localizations and the job postings don't mean that other localizations will happen anytime soon, if at all.


Statistics: Insane in the Membrane
Today we take a look at the rate at which people are completing Insane in the Membrane! The sample size was ~5.6 million level 85 characters with a total of ~11,000 that have the achievement.

Departing from the way we normally graph the numbers, this graph shows the number of new achievements earned each week, not the total. You can see the big spikes recently caused by the new Darkmoon Faire have boosted the number of people with the achievement. Previously the faire coming to town would cause much smaller spikes.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Resilience In Mists of Pandaria
Just as a heads up for you all, Ghostcrawler is currently in the process of writing up a blog that will include some information pertaining to the changes that are on their way in Mists of Pandaria for stats, Resilience included. I would recommend keeping your eyes on our blog over the coming weeks to catch a glimpse of what is to come. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blizzard Art
Blizzard has added five more pieces to the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Art galleries.




Free to Play MMO Survey
What do you think of free-to-play MMOs? Curse is interested in your opinion! Spend a moment taking our survey and let us know what you think!

by Published on 2012-02-24 03:58 AM

Diablo 3 - Message from Jay, Skill Runes and Choices, Changes, Login Issues, EU PayPal, Item Customization

Patch 4.3.2 Hotfixes - February 23
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
General
  • A completed character race change should no longer clear your active quests.
  • Multiple hunters attacking the same target should now see the proper benefit from Noxious Stings.

Dungeons and Raids
  • All players identified as tanks in Raid Finder are now automatically labeled as assistant leaders.
  • Firelands
    • Lava Wielder's Lava attack should now hurt players in the area of the visual effect.

Items

Quests and Creatures

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Ressing in Arena
Resurrections in arena is something that has been around since it was implemented. You have 10 seconds, excluding haste, to reach your target and interrupt or bring them into combat. If they are able to gain those precious few moments out of combat then I can only congratulate them on some very solid play. I recommend that you do your utmost to stay in range of your enemy and prevent them from casting their resurrection spell. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PayPal Now Available on European Battle.net
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re pleased to announce that PayPal is now available to use as a Battle.net payment option here in Europe.

This means that you can now sync up your existing PayPal account with your Battle.net account, in order to purchase Blizzard Entertainment products and services directly through Battle.net.

You can currently use the PayPal payment option to purchase World of Warcraft paid services and digital versions of select Blizzard Entertainment games, including Diablo II, StarCraft II and World of Warcraft expansions.

For more information on Europe’s new PayPal payment option, please check out our PayPal FAQ.

Nightsong
The Video Game Music Choir adapted the song Nightsong from the Cataclysm soundtrack to make a nice video.

by Published on 2012-02-22 05:02 PM

Diablo 3 - Beta Contests, Portrait of a Champion Art Contest, Blue Posts, Wiki Tooltips, Curse Weekly Update

Update: Added tonight's Blue Posts, which address some questions about the difficulty change.

Dragon Soul Difficulty Change - Power of the Aspects to 10%
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
During the scheduled server maintenance on the week of February 28, the “Power of the Aspects” spell will grow more powerful, reducing the health and damage dealt of all enemies in the Dragon Soul raid by 10%. This spell will grow progressively stronger over time to reduce the difficulty and make the encounters more accessible. The spell will affect both normal and Heroic difficulties, but it will not affect the Raid Finder difficulty.

Don’t need the help of the Dragon Aspects? The spell can be disabled by talking to Lord Afrasastrasz at the beginning of Dragon Soul.

We hope you continue to enjoy Dragon Soul, and that these changes encourage you to attempt a higher difficulty, or just keep pushing to down that next boss.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Dragon Soul Difficulty Reduction
MMO Champ JUST published a blog about how effective the 5% nerf was. As the graph indicates, progress is continuing at a healthy, linear rate. It hasn't leveled off. Why are you nerfing heroic mode, again? You explicitly told us that you would not continue with blind nerfs on auto pilot.
We're not "nerfing blindly." Keep in mind that, the debuff can be disabled. So if you and your Raid choose to do so, you can take on the encounter without it. We also explained our thought processes in the original announcement blog about the debuff here.

Despite arguments to the contrary, there is a choice involved here. You can choose to leave the debuff on or turn it off. If you're looking for the challenge that doing the raid gives you without the debuff and your raid group isn't interested in turning off the debuff, that is still a choice that is being made. No one is forcing that on anyone. If you personally feel forced, then it may be an option to find another group that is interested in the challenge of doing it without the debuff.

Meanwhile, the debuff affords those that want to progress a bit, who have experienced difficulty, more of a leg-up.

It's fine to disagree with us on this, but please make sure that you continue to do so in a constructive manner and refrain from starting flame wars or posting harassing/defamatory language toward posters in the thread. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dragon Soul Difficulty Reduction
And yes, maybe I'm a special snowflake who likes recognition. But I argue that the game is now somewhat built around recognition since achievements were added to the game.
We understand that there are players out there who do what they do for recognition and--dare I say it?--glory. Since we'll likely continue to use a model where we introduce a raid, then slowly remove roadblocks over time, there's a possibility that we could do something akin to adding a feat of strength for players who defeat an encounter in a non-debuffed incarnation, or possibly time-stamps on the armory raid progression section. At the very least, there are options on the table for the future. These aren't things we'll be able to do for Dragon Soul though.

Nobody is getting held up by 5% or 10% damage and health on bosses, they're getting held up by mechanics.
When a group is really close to taking down a boss, but just can't seem to manage it, a bump like this is sometimes enough to see them on to the next challenge. (Official Forums)

PTR Scheduled Maintenance 2/23/12
In addition to the maintenance going on today (2/22/12) the PTR realms will also be down tomorrow morning (2/23/12) from 5:00am-7:00am PST. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

War College - Strand of the Ancients
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.

Don’t forget to up-vote forum posts that are on-topic and helpful!

This week, the topic of discussion is: Strand of the Ancients - Which strategies are most effective in Strand of the Ancients on offense and defense? What tips, tricks and tactics have you discovered? What common mistakes have you witnessed?

Join the War College forum thread here.
by Published on 2012-02-22 04:30 AM

Statistics: Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest
Today we take a look at which classes ended up with Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest and how quickly they got it. The sample size is ~5.6 million level 85 characters, with ~15,000 Dragonwrath owners.

You can see that mages are obtaining the staff at an even faster rate now that Firelands is less difficult, while the other classes are maintaining roughly the same rate of acquisition.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Warlock Ember System
How does Destruction’s Ember system work?
Basically, you build embers with some spells, and then spend those embers with Soul Fire, Ember Tap, or Fire and Brimstone.

Internally, this is how it works:

Immolate – DD + DoT on the target
Incinerate – generates 1/10th ember, or 2/10ths if it crits an immolated target.
Fel Flame – generates 1/10th ember, or 2/10ths if it crits an immolated target.
Conflagrate – triggers Backdraft and has a 12 second cooldown.

Soul Fire – consumes one ember instead of mana.
Fire and Brimstone – costs 1 ember and has no cooldown.
Ember Tap – costs 1 embers.

Each full ember costs 0.33% of your maximum health per second. If you stay below 1 ember, you take no damage.

How does chaotic energy work?
We are experimenting with a resource-driven, rather than time-limited, caster model on the Destruction warlock.

In a nutshell, Destruction warlocks are not GCD locked. In fact, chain-casting spells as a Destruction warlock is less important than spending all of your resources.

Keep in mind this is all subject to change, but here is how Destruction flows at the moment:

Start of Fight: Full mana bar, Empty Ember bar

1. Immolate the target
2. Conflagrate to trigger emberstorm
3. Incinerate to generate embers
4. Continue until you are low on mana

Middle of Fight: Empty mana bar, ~2 Embers

1. Soul Fire
2. Soul Fire
3. Mana bar is mostly full (Soul Fire costs embers, so your mana refills during the Soul Fires)

In addition to increasing your base mana regen, Chaotic Energy increases mana regen even more with Haste. This means the ability to cast spells scales smoothly with gear.

As long as the warlock never lets her mana bar fill up and burn her embers, she's maximizing damage. This is very different from the standard caster model where priority is placed on casting at all times and ordering spells based on cooldown.

Our hope is that the Destruction Warlock will attract players who are interested in a playstyle that rewards spending resources at the right time, rather than constantly casting.

How does Destruction’s Mastery work?
Emberstorm increases the effectiveness of all Ember consuming spells. Soul Fire deals more damage. Fire & Brimstone deals a higher % of the base spell’s damage. Ember Tap heals for more. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Development Time Cutbacks
Blizzard severaly reduced the number of people on WoW development teams in last few months, which explains the simplifying of various aspects of the game. They don´t want to spend too much time tuning bosses, so they simplify the player, for example.
I have no idea where you got this information from, but it's wrong. We're not simplifying various aspects of the game, we're constantly reviewing them to ensure they're fun, which can actually sometimes mean making them more involved. Also, we spend however long is necessary to tune bosses to make them engaging and challenging, we're not cutting back on that at all. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Play Diablo III and Win Beta Keys with Blizzard at CeBIT 2012!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
CeBIT is a unique exhibition of digital technology, games and much more which takes place every year in Hannover, Germany. At the 2012 show, which starts on March 6, Blizzard Entertainment will be showcasing the Diablo III beta in the free gaming area, in partnership with ESL.

Members of our Community and eSports teams are looking forward to meeting you there! So if you’re going to CeBIT make sure you drop by to see us, especially as you’ll have the chance to win some nice prizes — including Diablo III beta keys — in the various contests and activities we’ll be organizing.

CeBIT is also hosting the final of the Intel Extreme Masters Season VI, where 24 of the best StarCraft II players will fight for the title of IEM World Champion and an impressive prize pool of $75,000! The roster so far contains famous names like Greg “IdrA” Fields, Giacomo “Socke” Thüs, Moon “MMA” Sung Won and Kim “viOLet” Dong Hwan – so make sure to follow the matches live or tune in on ESL TV.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Event: CeBIT 2012 / Intel Extreme Masters Season VI World Championship
Location: Messe Hannover / Exhibition Grounds 30521 Hannover Germany
When: March 6 to 10, 2012
Stream: ESL TV
More details: ESL news / CeBIT website

Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico is back to tell us about the things you might have missed in Diablo 3, Guild Wars 2, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, Rift and Nitronic Rush news recently.

by Published on 2012-02-21 05:21 AM

Diablo 3 - Beta Key Contest Continues, Updated Calculator, Where's Release?, Blue Posts, Diabolesques, and Guild Wars 2 Preview

Statistics: Dragon Soul Difficulty Changes Impact
Today we take a look at the impact of the 5% difficulty decrease of Dragon Soul that went live the week of January 31. Spine of Deathwing also saw a 15% reduction in health of the tendons at this time. This time around the sample size was ~5.6 million characters. As always, keep in mind that this sample contains many alts and should not be looked at for the percentage of the overall population that completed an achievement.

We first look at Heroic Spine of Deathwing and Madness of Deathwing achievements added each week, seeing roughly 4x the number of new kills the week that the buff went live, then a lower amount of kills during the following week. The decrease in new kills is sharper on Spine of Deathwing at ~27% and only ~5% on Madness of Deathwing.

We don't see the same effect for the number of new Heroic and Normal Deathwing kills. Using Destroyer's End as our method of measurement, we see only a small spike, not even passing the number of new kills that were earned during the week of December 6.

The 5% decrease in difficulty made a much bigger impact to players that were stuck on a Heroic boss than it did for those who were stuck on a normal boss.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!
Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!
Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!


Blue Tweets
Today was a holiday in the US and Bashiok and Zarhym are in France, leaving us with some tweets from Chris Metzen!

Originally Posted by Metzen (Blue Tracker)
So how many of you WoW players have played Warcraft 3?

If a Warcraft character could come back from death, which would y'all like to see (provided the story was good)?

None. Please PLEASE don't bring any more back. Make NEW stories.
Working on it! Takes years to get you to care about new ones!

Hey man, any chance we can see some more strong female villains in WoW apart from Naga? A female big bad would be cool sometime
I'll see what I can do.

Comics
Dark Legacy Comics #327 and Teh Gladiators #316 + #317 are available!



MMO-Report
The MMO Report has World of Warcraft, The Secret World, and Uncle Casey's Mail Bag this week!


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