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by Published on 2011-07-22 02:46 AM

Blizzard Leaked Product Slate (Mostly) Confirmed
Blizzard finally announced the release of World of Warcraft in Brazil (see the press release below) 5 months after I first mentioned it in a news post, proving once again that if I throw enough random stuff on the front page I will eventually be right every now and then!

For more information, you can check the previous news posts about that leak:



Also, some dates probably shifted a little since the release of that slate and realistically, the WoW movie probably got kicked out of the schedule for the moment.



World of Warcraft coming to Brazil in 2011
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
SAO PAULO, Brazil. -- July 21, 2011 -- At an exclusive press event at the Museu da Casa Brasileira in São Paulotoday, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced that a fully localized Brazilian Portuguese version of its critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft®, will be released in Brazil later this year. Brazilian Portuguese will be the ninth officially supported language for World of Warcraft worldwide, and the third supported language in Latin America, complementing the existing English and Spanish versions.

An official Brazilian Portuguese World of Warcraft community website will also be available at launch.

In addition, players in Brazil will have access to customer service for the game in Brazilian Portuguese.

"One of our top priorities is ensuring that our games are easily accessible to players all around the world. By offering a fully localized version of World of Warcraft along with customer service in Brazilian Portuguese, we’re able to deliver an experience that meets our standards and the expectations of our players in Brazil," said Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard Entertainment. "We look forward to welcoming Brazilian gamers to the global World of Warcraft community, and we hope they have a great time in Azeroth."

World of Warcraft, which now includes the content of thefirst expansion, The Burning Crusade®, as part of the base game, will be available in stores throughout Brazil at a suggested retail price of BRL 29.90. Fully localized versions of the second and third expansions, Wrath of the Lich King™ and Cataclysm™, will also be available at a suggested retail price of BRL 99.90 each. World of Warcraft, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm will come packaged in a DVD case and will include the game media and documentation in Brazilian Portuguese.

Existing players on the North American realms will be able to download and install a free language pack to play World of Warcraft in Brazilian Portuguese. In addition, Blizzard will be creating designated Brazilian Portuguese realms as an option for players who have installed the language pack or purchased the Brazilian Portuguese game client.

Subscription plans will be available at launch at an expected price of BRL 15 (30 days), BRL 42 (90 days), and BRL 78 (180 day). Sixty-day time cards will also be available in retail stores at launch.

Players will also have the option to purchase and download full Brazilian Portuguese versions of World of Warcraft and its expansions through Blizzard’s Battle.net website (http://us.battle.net/pt/), using international Visa or MasterCard, or by using various local debit cards, credit cards, cash payments, bank transfers, or eWallet options through Blizzard Entertainment’s payment-gateway partner, DineroMail, for no additional fee. These payment method options include Boleto Bancario in Brazil.

Additional pricing details and an official release date for the Brazilian Portuguese version of World of Warcraft will be announced closer to launch. For more information on World of Warcraft in Brazilian Portuguese, please visit: http://us.blizzard.com/pt-br/company...ow-brazil.html.



World of Warcraft Mobile Armory for Android™ Now Available
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The World of Warcraft Remote app for Android has leveled up to become the World of Warcraft Mobile Armory! We've just released a brand-new update for the free official World of Warcraft application for Android devices, and you can get it now from the Android Market. With the name change comes a number of improvements and additions that will help you stay even more connected to World of Warcraft wherever you go, including:


  • Talents and glyphs
  • Professions
  • Reputations
  • Calendar events
  • Bookmarks
  • Search improvements
  • And much more!

Visit the Android Market and download the free Mobile Armory app today.

Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Portions of this page are reproduced from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.

Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects -- Excerpt One
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Written by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden, the new novel Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects is now on store shelves. We’re pleased to present a series of three excerpts from the novel for your reading enjoyment.

Read the first excerpt below.

[Read More]
by Published on 2011-07-21 05:57 AM

Wowstead Firelands Promotion – Get 30 Free Days of Premium
For a limited time, Wowstead is offering new guild sites 30-free days of Wowstead premium access.
This promotion gives players the chance to experience great features like the Wowstead event planner, character integration, premium themes, and full CSS customization before asking members to contribute to a subscription or group plan. This is the perfect opportunity to try out the most complete World of Warcraft guild experience available.

In particular, you are going to want to check out the new Curse Raid Tracker add-on which was just released. You can download and install the CRT from Curse.com or through the Curse Client. Data from the add-on will automatically sync with your guild site through the Curse Client. The Curse Raid Tracker is an essential add-on for any raiding guild.



World of Warcraft: Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects Now Available!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Written by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden, the new novel Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects follows the former War Chief of the Horde as he struggles with the ongoing repercussions of the Cataclysm.

When Azeroth was young, the noble titans appointed the five great dragonflights to safeguard the budding world. Each of the flights' leaders was imbued with a portion of the titans' vast cosmic powers. Together, these majestic Dragon Aspects committed themselves to thwarting any force that threatened the safety of the World of Warcraft.

Over ten thousand years ago, a betrayal by the maddened black Dragon Aspect, Deathwing, shattered the strength and unity of the dragonflights. His most recent assault on Azeroth—the Cataclysm—has left the world in turmoil. At the Maelstrom, the center of Azeroth's instability, former Horde warchief Thrall and other accomplished shaman struggle to keep the world from tearing apart in the wake of Deathwing's attack. Yet a battle also rages within Thrall regarding his new life in the shamanic Earthen Ring, hampering his normally unparalleled abilities.

Unable to focus on his duties, Thrall undertakes a seemingly menial task from an unexpected source: the mysterious green Dragon Aspect, Ysera. This humble endeavor soon becomes a journey spanning the lands of Azeroth and the timeways of history itself, bringing Thrall into contact with ancient dragonflights. Divided by conflict and mistrust, these dragons have become easy prey to a horrific new weapon unleashed by Deathwing's servants . . . a living nightmare engineered to exterminate Azeroth's winged guardians.

Of even greater concern is a bleak and terrifying possible future glimpsed by Ysera: the Hour of Twilight. Before this apocalyptic vision comes to pass, Thrall must purge his own doubts in order to discover his purpose in the world and aid Azeroth's dragonflights as they face the Twilight of the Aspects.

World of Warcraft: Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects is now available at local and online book retailers!

Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/World-Warcraft...1038807&sr=8-1

Barnes & Noble - http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Wor.../9781416550884


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Adding more Battlegrounds to the game
We’d like to. We certainly haven't forgotten about the PvP community at all and we do a lot of PvP oriented behind the scenes work right now. While not very much of that effort is channeled into creating new maps at the moment, we would definitely like to increase the variety of Battleground and Arena maps that are available in the future. That's where things get sticky, though. One might think that creating a Battleground is a pretty simple process (they look simple, right?), but it's not.

Part of the reason is that Battlegrounds are like ducks. A duck looks like it effortlessly glides across the water, but their little feet are actually working madly beneath the surface to make it happen. Battlegrounds are the same way. They may look simple -- even static -- to a casual observer, but in reality there's an incredible number of very complicated processes going on behind the scenes. Part of the reason for this is due to a lot of technical hurdles that need to be jumped to make them perform as seamlessly as they do, battle after battle. As a result, it's actually extremely difficult to design Battlegrounds, partially due to the technical limitations that are currently in place.

The other part of the reason is that Battlegrounds (and Arena maps, for that matter) require a higher degree of polish than a PvE map does. If a bit of geometry causes you to hang up, or blocks line of sight in a dungeon or raid, then in the majority of circumstances you can probably just work around it until it's fixed. If the same flaw exists in a bg or arena map, then that imperfection might be exploited for an unfair advantage, which runs contrary to the spirit of fair competition we want in that kind of PvP. We know that a lot of the PvP community is ultimately more interested in having perfectly balanced and bug-free maps to play on, than they necessarily are in having new maps to play on.

The other thing to keep in mind is that, while boss mechanics might differ from raid to raid, broadly speaking all dungeons and raids have the same rule set (that is, they have raid locks and you have to run back to the portal when you wipe and so on). BGs and Arenas tend to have highly individual rule sets. The result is that, in addition to the factors I’ve already mentioned, we also have to craft every BG essentially by hand every time. We’d like to develop a tool to create PvP maps in the same way we have a tool we can use to create bosses or a tool we can use to create items. Such a tool would let us create BGs and other PvP-oriented maps more readily. That's something that we're working toward now, but it's time consuming and exacting work, and still quite a ways off.

Still, ultimately we think all this effort will pay off, and we're confident that you'll feel the same way. In the meantime, there are still plenty of players of the opposing faction to send back to the Spirit Healer, and we hope you can continue to have fun making red dead wherever you find it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Need > Greed > Disenchant
Need: I need that piece of gear and will wear it/use it in my appropriate spec
Greed: I do not need that piece of gear and will probably not use it. I will most likely Vendor it or perhaps wear it "for pretty"
Disenchant: I don't even want to bother vendoring this. I would rather the materials that is made up of. I have great use of the disenchanted item than the original
I think this is a pretty fair diagnosis of the current functionality. I'd also note though that group communication is really important. If you're unsure about whether or not you should be rolling Need on an item instead of Greed/Disenchant, communicate with the party and let them know of your intent.

The system for rolling on items isn't perfect and doesn't have built-in functionality for off-spec rolls, etc., but part of this is because we expect there should be at least some base level of communication between the players, particularly if anyone in the group is running dungeons for items and not just the points. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Communication prevents a lot of heartache in dungeons I find ;)
Agreed. And for what it's worth, I'm sure we could implement enough rolling options that we could effectively remove any need to ever communicate with the party about what your intent behind each roll is -- the intent would be made clear by the button you press. Sometimes more options aren't always good though. We want the system to be useful and sensible, but not so comprehensive that it ends up being muddled and complicated.

We think the current options are pretty sufficient. If you need the item for your current spec, roll Need. If you can use the item for off-spec, roll Need, but perhaps wait for everyone else to roll first, and/or let the group know why you want to roll Need. If you have an enchanter in your group and you can use mats, roll Disenchant. If you don't need the item or the mats, or you don't have an enchanter in the group, roll Greed for a chance at some extra gold.

Even while queuing for random dungeons solo, I've virtually never run into any major loot disputes or issues. Particularly at this point in the expansion, a lot of players are running Heroics primarily for the JP/VP. Most players understand why you're rolling Need with little to no communication necessary. It's not hard to ascertain, for example, that a DPS death knight is rolling Need on a tanking item for off-spec, and not just to be a jerk. Provided that death knight is accommodating to the tank in the party before rolling, or at least makes an agreement with the tank in advance that they can roll against each other, it's all gravy. ;) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Do I need to read the new book to figure out what's happening in-game?
We work to make sure that there is balance between what you can learn in game versus the books. That said, the books do allow a bit more insight than you normally could get via the game, but that has to do with the fact that books and games (while they can both deliver story) tell the story in different ways. Hopefully, for those that don't choose to read the books, they can learn what they wish or need in the game itself. For those who have the time and inclination to read the books, they can get a bit more back story and depth that they may not feel is complete enough for them in the game. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Death Strike Hotfix
The Death Strike hotfix was intended as a buff to single target Blood DK damage. Normally it’s not a big deal if one tank class does slightly higher or lower damage than other tank classes (as long as threat isn’t a problem), but when you have mechanics that greatly inflate tank damage, then it can be a bigger problem.

We discussed buffing Heart Strike or other attacks, but one of the concerns we commonly hear from Blood DKs is they feel torn about spending runes on Death Strike versus other abilities, and we didn't want to change their rotation in the middle of a patch, just modestly buff their damage. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

[...] For clarification's sake, we intended to increase critical strike chance. Improved Death Strike was not changed, merely buffed.

The hotfix was applied quite recently, so those of you who did not notice the improvement last night are correct. You can see the updated hotfix note here: (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)


  • Improved Death Strike now provides 40/80/120% bonus damage, up from 30/60/90%, and a 10/20/30% critical strike chance, up from 3/6/9%.

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


by Published on 2011-07-20 05:04 AM

If you missed it yesterday - Ragnaros 25 Heroic Mode World First Kill by DREAM Paragon

Patch 4.2 Hotfixes - July 19
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
July 19

General
  • The frequency at which players can use /yell, /say, and any emotes is now throttled to prevent excessive spamming of chat logs from occurring.

Classes
Death Knights
  • Improved Death Strike now provides 40/80/120% bonus damage, up from 30/60/90%, and a 10/20/30% critical strike bonus, up from 3/6/9%.

Druids
  • Flight Form now cancels the Leyara’s Locket buff.
  • Moonfire will now generate Lunar Energy when crossing from Solar to Lunar on the Eclipse bar.

Dungeons & Raids
  • All bosses in The Bastion of Twilight, Blackwing Descent, and Throne of the Four Winds once again award Valor Points in all raid sizes and difficulties. 10-player bosses award 35 Valor Points, while 25-player bosses award 45 Valor Points. This change does not apply to Argaloth in Baradin Hold. More information can be found here.

Firelands
  • Superheated cannot be cast on players, even if they attack the Flamewaker Animators as they are channeling energy towards the Unstable Magma.
  • Alysrazor
    • Collecting Blazing Power now refreshes Wings of Flame to its full duration each time.
    • Alysrazor will now always face the correct direction during Firestorm.
    • Imprinted should now be cleared from characters under all conditions when the encounter resets.
    • Interacting with a Molten Feather will now dismount characters, preventing the feather from being wasted.
  • Beth’tilac
    • Beth'tilac will now only eat spiderlings that move very close to her (the range on her ability to consume them has been reduced). In addition, eaten spiderlings will no longer sometimes remain on the ground or on players once she consumes them.
    • Drones should no longer evade or aggro characters on top of the web.
    • Fixate now truly fixates on random targets.
  • Ragnaros
    • On 25-player Heroic difficulty, Cloudbursts will now always properly apply Deluge to 3 players before fading away.
    • It should always be possible to interact with Cloudbursts, even if several players click on one at the same time.

Items
  • Heroic bind-on-equip items now sell to vendors for gold.

PvP
Arenas
  • A resolution has been put into place which should help alleviate Rated Battleground matchmaking delays. This fix corrects an issue that could occur if a team at the front of the queue was particularly difficult to match, resulting in a bottleneck which slowed matchmaking for all players in queue. More information can be found here.

Quests & Creatures
  • The melee evasion angle of several creatures has been adjusted. Most notably, melee classes should no longer be seeing abilities, such as Backstab or Shred, getting parried when standing well enough out of Ragnaros’s melee evasion angle, or other bosses/creatures with similar evasion angles.

Season Transition Compensation Action - Hotfix
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Around 50% of the intended recipients did not receive the 4000 honor that they should have with today’s maintenance. We’re in the process of scheduling an off-peak maintenance early tomorrow morning to correct that and deliver the remaining compensation packages.

Sorry for the hiccup, we’ll get them to you soon.

WoWArmory Facebook Application Closing
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We're in the process of deploying a new, open World of Warcraft Web API, which among other functions will provide a more fully-featured replacement for the existing WoWArmory website. Over the past few months we’ve been working with our partners and fansites to help them migrate away from using WoWArmory.com, and on August 2 we will decommission it, as well as the WoWArmory Facebook application.

When the Facebook application is turned off, users who installed it will no longer see it in their list of Facebook applications. They will also no longer have the ability to access Facebook pages that were associated with the application, and all news feed entries created by it will be removed.

Our hope is that through the new Web API, we can encourage a broad range of community-created features like the WoWArmory application, and are excited to see what else can be done by opening this information up to application and website developers. If you have any questions or comments about this change, please refer to our World of Warcraft Community Platform API forum here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/2626217/

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tier 11 Instance Valor Points Change
The change is that instead of chain-running troll dungeons to cap VP they have an additional option. Adding that additional option doesn't suddenly make the valor rewards more accessible. Especially because the option that's being added is entirely less accessible than what's been available this entire time.

You can make an argument that current tier shouldn't be available for purchase with Valor at all, that's a valid opinion to state. But that's a different topic.

What you're saying is that by us adding additional but less accessible ways (raids) to obtain VP that it somehow makes the rewards less meaningful than they were when people could 'only use Dungeon Finder' to get them. Sorry but that just doesn't make any sense. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Arena Boosting
If by that you mean that you pay someone gold to join their team or they join yours and you all participate in Arenas, etc... together while they'll help you get to a higher rating because they are far more skilled than you? No, in and of itself that is not a violation of our policies. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Acquiring PvP Gear when you reach level 85
What Aarschott explained to you does make sense. Level-85 PvP gear is intended to be earned and awarded to level-85 players. There is too much potential to "game" the system and stockpile really powerful gear so that you're fully equipped when you hit 85, if we were to allow you to buy level-85 gear with Honor you earned below the level cap.

The same applies for PvE gear. If you want powerful endgame items, you need to earn them via playing through endgame content.

Why don't you want a player having honor gear the second he/she hits 85? It's not necessarily good entertainment to go and get your butt kicked repeatedly in BGs for 150 sessions before you can begin to compete.
There are crafted items available to level-85 players which will help them substantially when first setting foot into Battlegrounds or Tol Barad. Getting a hold of this gear isn't too difficult.

The fact is that endgame progression is its own experience. Leveling is a very direct and obvious act of progression, but that changes when players hit the cap. Progression then trends much more toward itemization -- you have to participate in the endgame experience to get more powerful gear. But as I said, there is underrated entry-level crafting gear which can be very useful for helping to ease PvP-oriented players into level-85 Battlegrounds. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

OK, then why do we start earning Justice Points at 70? We can stockpile them till we have 4K; so if this really is your reasoning, why don't we get our JP/Honor wiped when we ding 85? I mean we didn't earn them doing endgame content, why should we be able to buy a few pieces of gear with them?
No, that's exactly the point of the design. If you enjoy doing some leveling via Battlegrounds, you're afforded the opportunity to buy up to two pieces of epic item level 371 PvP gear when you hit 85. You can then use gold and/or crafting materials to fill out just about every other slot, plus use enchantments, gems, and reforging to get your character into a competitive state for collecting additional epic Honor gear. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Shaman (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
OMG NO SHAMAN IN PARAGON'S RAGNAROS KILL!!!§§§111
It doesn't matter at all unless you can verify and prove that Heroic Ragnaros is impossible, or way more difficult to kill, when a specific class or specialization is represented in the raid.

You're forcing together a couple of incredibly fragmented pieces of data -- and the sample size of that tested data is 25 players in the whole world fighting one boss in the entire game -- to extrapolate an entire thesis on class balance.

No one is going to benefit from trying to make an argument out of this.

And why do you think the world first guilds continue to not bring any Shamans. Is it because they're in such a good place right now they didn't want people to complain that they were class stacking Shamans because of how amazing they are?

This is the 3rd world first end boss kill in the past 3 patches where there was not ONE DPS Shaman in the raid makeup (And only one Resto Shaman in the past 3 world first end boss kills). You can keep saying EVERY new patch that they can bring what they want and that there is nothing that you can do, but you should really look at why they aren't bringing one class every single time.
That's a pretty ineffective way to consider class balance. It's as though you're suggesting the answer to perceived shaman woes is for us to buff them until the top guilds in the world must bring them to their raids for world first kills. That's a vacuum in which class balance should never work.

One thing you're certainly not doing is counting all of the kills of each of the Heroic bosses which followed the world firsts. Shaman have certainly been present for Heroic boss kills in Cataclysm, but that data doesn't support your argument. You want to focus on, what, four total boss kills over the last eight months? Out of tens of thousands of Heroic boss kills which have occurred globally since Cataclysm, do you really think you're presenting a fair case? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The Daily Blink - From the Boys in R&D
The Daily Blink came up with an awesome alarm clock idea, hopefully Blizzard will find a way to manufacture it before christmas. Plz.

by Published on 2011-07-19 09:03 PM

Ragnaros 25 Heroic Mode World First Kill by DREAM Paragon
DREAM Paragon just killed Ragnaros in 25-Man Heroic Mode! Congratulations to them!


Ragnaros: Too soon! (From Paragon)

Or was it? No, not really. Not if you ask us.

We've NEVER put as much effort into a kill as we now did on downing Heroic Ragnaros. We had a few grueling low percentage wipes and we were already planning on continuing early tomorrow with a better set of gear. Our kill attempt was going to be our last pull of the night as the thunderstorms and disconnects were kicking in.

Then everything clicked. All of our combined effort, practicing, theorycrafting and planning finally paid off. We had a near-perfect try and Ragnaros just melted away. A wave of relief washed over us. It was finally over. We wiped 500+ times on the boss, although I lost count at some point. Absolutely epic feeling after such an epic fight!

We'd really like to thank all of you guys for supporting us. We also would like to extend our gratitude to our sponsors who help us do what we do; a big thank you to SteelSeries, ASUS and especially our new partner DREAM! We'd of course like to thank Blizzard and the developers as well. The hotfixes were lightning fast.

You can also follow us at our social media sites:



We will be releasing a video of our kill later on -- most likely as soon as someone else kills Ragnaros on Heroic. Until then, keep following us!
by Published on 2011-07-19 02:49 AM

Update - Added today's official announcements.

Tier 11 Valor Point Hotfix
Originally Posted by Daxxarri (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Due to some recent player feedback we’ve made the decision to implement a hotfix that will put Valor Points back on the bosses in Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight, and Throne of the Four Winds (except Argoloth).

We agreed that players should have some additional options for earning Valor Points beyond Firelands, Zandalari dungeons, and tier 11 Heroic difficulty raids. We don’t want raiding guilds to feel like they have to raid Firelands AND the old raids every week, but we do want players to feel like they have some options besides running ZA/ZG over and over.

Bosses in these raids will award 35 VP on 10-player normal difficulty, and 45 VP on 25-player normal difficulty, to match the rewards currently offered for the Heroic versions of those encounters.

This change should be live within the next few hours. You can stay informed about the latest hotfixes by checking the Patch 4.2 Hotfixes article for updates: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/3019413

Rated Battlegrounds Queuing Times
Originally Posted by Daxxarri (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hey all,

We are aware of the issue regarding extended queue times affecting Rated Battlegrounds. We’re currently investigating the situation and working to resolve it as soon as possible, but there isn’t an ETA for when this process will be complete. We'll provide further updates as the situation develops and we thank you for your patience in the meantime.

World of Warcraft Starter Edition
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the launch of Rage of the Firelands (patch 4.2), we introduced the World of Warcraft Starter Edition, a replacement for the previously available free trial. The Starter Edition allows anyone to play for free up to level 20 without the time restrictions placed on trial accounts -- all you need is a Battle.net account and Internet connection. The Starter Edition also opens up some new features that weren't available in the old time-limited trial:


  • Players with the WoW Starter Edition can create draenei and blood elf characters, which were previously unavailable with trial accounts.
  • The two starting zones associated with these races are also available to people wishing to try out the game.
  • The gold limit has been raised to 10 gold, allowing Starter Edition players to purchase mounts when they reach the appropriate level.

When you reach level 20, your characters will stop gaining experience. However, you are free to continue playing and exploring Azeroth for as long as you wish -- or you can roll an entirely new character to try out a new race or class. You can also choose to upgrade to a full, paid account at any time and continue your adventures beyond level 20.

With the launch of the Starter Edition, all existing trial accounts, including expired ones, have been reactivated. That means if you've tried WoW in the past, your trial-account characters are now accessible once more.

As you may have already seen, our Recruit-a-Friend program has also been upgraded as a result of the changes introduced with the WoW Starter Edition.

Now's a better time than ever to try out World of Warcraft. If you’re thinking of getting into WoW or know a friend who's been interested in joining you in Azeroth, it's easy to give it a try today.

For more information on this exciting new feature and a full list of restrictions, please visit the Starter Edition FAQ.

BlizzCon 2011 Contests Coming Soon!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
BlizzCon may still be months away, but we’re already getting our contests ready for your invariably impressive submissions. You’ll be able sign up for the online and onstage contests soon with the launch of our upcoming brand-new BlizzCon Contests page. Keep checking in at BlizzCon.com so you don’t miss your chance to sign up for our Costume and Dance contests and submit your masterpieces for our Original Song, Fan Art, and Movie contests.

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


by Published on 2011-07-17 07:42 PM

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
New SSDs are here and are finally priced reasonably. If you are thinking about purchasing a SSD, avoid the Intel 320 series as there is a fairly serious flaw. Now is a good time to buy, as the next generation is a good while away and the current prices are reasonable. New AMD CPUs will be here in September or October at the earliest, only unconfirmed benchmarks have been seen so far. The AMD Llano CPUs that came out recently are nothing impressive for gaming and the socket will not allow an upgrade to Bulldozer.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date. If you experience problems after updating, roll back to the recommended Nvidia Drivers.

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!

Peripherals/Monitors

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorASUS VW224U 22-Inch Widescreen - $150ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $200
KeyboardMicrosoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000 - $25Cyborg V.5 - $42
MouseLogitech MX518 - $30Logitech G500 - $54
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $23Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $40
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE276Q 27-Inch - $283Dell UltraSharp U2410 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $510
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $60Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $75 ($112)
MouseRazer Deathadder - $48Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $69
SpeakersCreative Inspire T3130 2.1 Speaker System - $50Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $83



Puppy and Dolphin

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $36NZXT GAMMA Classic - $36
Power SupplyCorsair Builder Series CX V2 500 - $40Corsair 650TX V2 - $75
CPUAMD Athlon II X4 640 AM3 - $100AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition - $112
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $35Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $35
MotherboardASUS M4A88TD-V EVO AM3 - AMD 880G - $105Asus AM3+ 880G M5A88-V EVO - $130
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $334GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $56
Graphics CardXFX 6770 - $137XFX 6850 or EVGA GTX 460 - $163/ $180
Hard DriveSAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $61SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $61
DVDLite-On 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $24Lite-On 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $24
Total$571$692 / $709


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 - $153
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $75Corsair 750HX (7 Year Warranty) - $135
CPUIntel i5-2500k - $220Intel i7-2600k - $315
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $58Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $80
MotherboardASUS P8P67-M PRO - $147ASUS Z68 P8Z68-V PRO - $210
Memory4GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $568GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $85
Graphics CardXFX 6950 1GB OR EVGA GTX 560 Ti- $245 / $225XFX 6970 OR EVGA GTX 570 - $320 / $330
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $90Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $90
SSDCrucial 128 GB m4 (Review) - $250
OR
OCZ 120 GB Agility 3 (Review) - $210
Intel 510 Series 120 GB (Review) - $285
OR
OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 (Review) - $270
DVDLite-On 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $24Lite-On 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $24
Total$955 - $1225$1682 - $1707



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Difficulty to get Valor Points
Valor Points aren't awarded in a vacuum though, nor are ZA and ZG necessarily the 'best and only' route. Overall, running a raid, even the previous tier's raid, is going to be more rewarding for most players overall than just hitting up ZA/ZG. You can acquire gear of a high ilevel that provides set bonuses to help prepare for the next tier of content, as well as get a chance at potentially lucrative (or useful) BoEs; opportunities you won't find in the troll dungeons.

That's not to say that there aren't advantages to hitting up ZA/ZG to cap your VP if that's all you're after; but to believe that it's necessarily the most rewarding path if that isn't your sole goal, is, I think, a mistake. They still offer viable alternative for those players who have already spent a good deal of time in the tier 11 raid content too.

On a related note, we're looking at ways to make raiding accessible and easier to get organized, without at the same time compromising the experience for those who are looking for a challenge. We adjusted tier 11 specifically so that players who haven't seen the content yet will have a chance to get in there and mix it up. In fact, we think that things work best overall when we have heroic raids, normal raids, and then previous tiers all available at the same time - which was an arrangement we didn't quite have in place when Cataclysm launched (unless you count Argaloth, but we don't think a single boss counts as a tier). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

People skipping queues by grouping with a tank through RealID
Not sure if this is the place to post or not, but you can use the old skipping queue method as a dps by queuing with a tank and the tank leaving instantly. It doesn't remove the dps person like it does on normal queuing. Something to look in to!

Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. It’s not a bug, though, and Real ID Party doesn’t change the way this system is intended to function.

We certainly don’t want players skipping queues and getting an unfair advantage over players that are waiting patiently. Ultimately, the Dungeon Finder rule system is much more “intelligent” than you might think: players who abuse the system may find that they are removed when their tank compatriot leaves, regardless of how long they were already in the dungeon. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Incentives to players to participate in world PvP
The problem with these "incentives" is that they could potentially cause additional problems or not feel "good" to those that get caught in it when they don't want to be involved. Also keep in mind that though we have PvP and PvE realms, it's all the same game, so if we introduce something, it would go on all realms.

As you've seen we did some outdoor PvP incentives in Burning Crusade (after it was introduced in Silithus and Eastern Plaguelands), but the difficulty then is keeping people involved and interested in going back to it.

We're always open to constructive feedback on these things, but introducing specific things into the world to inject PvP isn't a simple undertaking and has some potential pitfalls. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Why is Ghostcrawler no longer on the forums?
Where did he go? I am not aware of what exactly happened. Did he get a lot of trolls attacking him than decide to lay low after that?
No, it didn't really have anything to do with that. We (community managers) had several discussions with Ghostcrawler and the other lead developers about how we'd be approaching communication on the new community site when it launched. Ultimately, we all agreed it'd be better for the company and the community to have the community managers be the primary source of forum communication. He still reads the forums every day for feedback. Likewise, we stay in touch with him every day, often relaying information he provides us to you all. So his thoughts on any given subject are still very often shared on the forums. The only difference is we, as community managers, take the time to relay his thoughts to you so he can focus more on considering the feedback we collect and provide from the forums, affording him more time to focus on development.

That said, he's always looking for new subjects to tackle for our blogs, so you still get a direct link to his (and the rest of the development team's) thought process. As we've stated before, we also plan on completely revamping the concept of Ask the Devs. The goal is to make sure the new Ask the Devs format allows for more interaction between devs and players, and has a quicker turnaround time on answers provided.

He may not be in the trenches interacting with players on the forums daily anymore, but he's still watching. Reading. Contemplating. Waiting to strike. And when he does, we'll be there to share his words of wisdom. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

[...] Just know that we're very close to Ghostcrawler (and the rest of the dev leads), so we can have very frank discussions about game design. Sometimes we'll sit in GC's office and argue points we've seen on the forums, either because we personally agree with those points, or we're playing devil's advocate. He sits with the rest of the class design team too, so it's really awesome to get a philosophic design discussion going with the lot of them. They're very receptive to unfiltered feedback.

I guess my point is, the perception that something is missing in terms of player feedback from the forums reaching people like GC, is stronger than the reality. But I do agree that the communication about that feedback isn't as strong as it used to be. Our department is relatively new to the structure we have now -- it began shortly before the launch of StarCraft II when the new community site format was introduced about a year ago. We're still learning how to optimize our team and figure out the tools/staffing we need to better support our forum goers. To be honest, the roles and responsibilities of Blizzard community managers have greatly increased over the years, but we know that employee interaction on the forums is still as important as ever.

For now you'll still probably see developers on the PTR forums from time to time when they need direct testing feedback, or need to inquire further about any issues/concerns. Having said that, it is the role of the community team to get information from the company to the players, and vice versa. When we're doing our job right the developers can focus more of their time on developing the game, while still feeling like they're attuned to what players are saying. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Priest (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Divine Aegis Visual Effect
I spoke with the developers about this yesterday. You're likely to see a slightly toned down version of the original effect when it's updated. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Discipline Mastery
The root of the issue is this -- our Mastery affects our spells in very different ways.
The intent is exactly that. If mastery affected all of your spells the same way, then it would really just be a “+healing” stat, which we already offer (Intellect). Crit and haste don’t affect all your spells the same way, and we think it’s a more interesting design if mastery behaves the same way. It is possible to go too far of course. If mastery doesn’t affect enough of your entire healing package (either in terms of number of spells or raw output), then it just becomes a weak stat. Alternatively, it can lead classes, and healers in particular, to neglect spells that are weak because mastery doesn’t boost them. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The MMO Report
You know how it works, first news of the week (or last depending on your timezone), MMO Report!


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