World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2013-10-01 12:40 AM

Closed Beta Patch – Featured Updates

Method Heroic Garrosh 25 Man World First
The 25 player Heroic Garrosh encounter has been defeated by Method.

Siege of Orgrimmar Raid Schedule
Don't forget that Siege of Orgrimmar Flex Wing 3 opens this week!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Dear world, if you react hyperbolically to even modest (3-5%) nerfs, then it makes it hard for us to tell when you are really concerned. (Source)

one way to deal with button bloat would be more abilities that "replaces X" (fist of justice for example).
Considered that, but if the ability only gets better, it feels weird to rename it. (Source)
On the other hand, if the abilities pick up extra effects with every replacement, the tooltips get really complex. (Source)

this statement leaves me wondering what the point of the PTR is? This could have, and should have, been easily answered in PTR
PTR catches a lot but it doesn't catch everything. There are millions more players raiding now than participated on PTR. (Source)
maybe if you didn't ignore class forums, you'd have picked this up as far back as 4.2 PTR when players picked it up
I just now looked at class forums. My conclusion: every class is benched and need buffs. How to know which claims to believe? (Source)
What about your much touted internal tracking systems that you've claimed are better than ranks/census/etc?
What I have always tried to say is that our internal tools are quite sophisticated, but no substitute for actual data. (Source)
Hardcore raiders forget that most players want to feel competitive, but their competitive =/= hardcore definition
I think you can be competitive and not hardcore. I guess it depends on your definitions. (Source)

why do you need data from millions of players? Just check what the top 1-10 guilds do on ptr ?
That is a data point of course, but not the only data point. (Source)
Consider that not everyone can deliver on the DPS that a top 10 guild can provide. (Source)
Also consider that those guilds are more focused on learning fights (without tipping their hand) than testing DPS for us. (Source)

RE:Hit/xpt caps being tedious and fiddly. Consider hit over cap -> cirt rating, xpt over cap -> haste rating? Too left field?
Not too left field. Games have done similar things successfully IMO. (Source)

I haven't seen one comment addressing this nerf, but a ton of responses to nonsense...
We do nerfs and buffs when damage doesn't match our targets, which was the case for Brewmaster. (Source)
We don't really want to get in the mode of justifying or asking permission to make changes we think are necessary. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Across 9 kills of Thok25H, 225 players, there have been only 2 mages. Bad encounter design or bad class design?
Remember when seeing first week heroics that players are vastly undergeared. (Source)
Given that, they often have to resort to creative or even degenerate strategies to have a chance at victory. (Source)
If there are few mages on Thok H in 3-4 weeks, then it's a problem we need to address on the class or enc side. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Greg please, can i get a fair answer for why Evil eye of galakras is not reducing holy avenger cooldown? I need to understand.
IIRC only warrior talented CDs are affected. HA in particular might make the other talents less desirable. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
"We didn't buff you because you campaigned" "we err'd in your favor because you were concerned"
Players delight in gotchas, which ultimately risks designers having to communicate less like people & more like robots. (Source)

SP's are great in multi-target fights, however single target fights we fall far behind, even more when movement is involved.
It is not a goal for all specs to tie in all situations. We fear that would erode class diversity quite a bit. (Source)
Historically, multidotting has been really effective. But if single target dotting is also effective, why play a non dot? (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
what buffs you giving Demo to compensate the drastic nerfs? Affliction is way higher, but left unchanged?
There were Affliction nerfs too: UVLS and Haunt. (Source)
I don't understand the UVLS nerf, sure it was a decent trinket, but 40% is like using a cannon to kill an ant.
The alternative was just nerfing warlock DPS by more, which didn't feel fair to those not using the trinket. (Source)

Can you please figure out how to balance warlock pve dmg.Once again they are are too far ahead. Or should we just accept it?
We are concerned it's too high, but we are trying to figure out how much of it is just the UVLS trinket. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Where was this tension when you decided to gut rage from damage and replace it with static rage generation?
The rage from dmg model just wasn't working. Warriors were too weak and slow with bad gear and ignored rage with good gear. (Source)
Wait, since when was that a problem? Classes should get their time in the sun. Rage isn't supposed to be energy.
I don't think "I suck in 5.0 and 5.2 but rule in 5.4" is a very fun model for anyone, including the warrior. (Source)

Hearthstone Closed Beta Patch – Featured Updates
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In our previous blog, we covered some of the nitty-gritty facts about the wipe and what exactly it entails. It’s an exciting time for the Hearthstone team, since this wipe will coincide with our first major closed beta patch for both the Americas and Europe regions. Our update covers a wealth of bug fixes and quality of life improvement within Hearthstone, and today we’ll be sharing some of the highlights of this upcoming patch. Many of these changes are based on feedback that you, our valued community, provided to us on the forums.

Daily Quests
We’ve gotten a lot of comments on quests. The community has discovered some fun hidden quests, but some of our daily quests have frustrated those of you who have quests that don’t correspond to your favored class. After the patch, daily quests that require you to win with a specific class will now give you a choice between two classes, allowing you some additional flexibility.

Class balance has been a hot topic, with many of you commenting on the strength and versatility of the Rogue class compared to other classes, such as the Warrior and Priest. Rogues will have some key spells and minions adjusted to bring them more in line with the other classes. Warriors and Priests will find themselves with new tools and improved cards to round out their arsenal, and we’ve made some adjustments to the other classes here and there as well. We’ll be publishing our full patch notes so you can review these and other changes to the heroes of Hearthstone in full detail.

Golden Cards
Golden cards are fun to collect in Hearthstone, and a cool way to show off your accomplishments. Many golden cards have been updated with new animations, and there are still more to come. If you’ve helped test our in-game store and acquired your new forever-friend Gelbin Mekkatorque, check out his shiny new animation! In addition to the new animations to Golden cards, we have also added the ability to unlock Golden Basic minions at higher experience levels. Now you can shoot for creating a 100% golden card deck to really dazzle your opponent!

We’ve received a lot of feedback regarding the crafting system, and how the crafting interface didn’t feel quite as intuitive as it should have been. Crafting is intended to be easy to access and a fun way to craft new cards for your collection, and we want that to be noticeable right away to the new player. We’ve updated the UI for our crafting system, so making cards for your collection should be even easier than before! Click the “Crafting Mode” button to access the updated crafting UI.

Social Improvements
We’ve improved our chat functionality to make it more streamlined and easier to interact with your friends. We’ve also introduced Toasts: they’re a cool addition to our social features that let your friends know when you’ve done something awesome in-game, like open a Legendary card or complete an Arena run. Combine these two improvements together and you’ll never miss an exciting moment with your card-slinging friends in Hearthstone!

Play Mode and Arena
Finally, we’re aware that a lot of discussion on the forums is revolving around Play and Arena mode, and how to make them more compelling for players to participate in. We’ve changed experience and leveling so you can max out your Hero at level 60 and earn experience in any game mode up to max level. This includes Play mode (ranked or unranked), Practice, matches against friends, and the Arena.

The rate that you acquire gold has been one of the other most-commented on topics on our forums. This patch will improve the gold output of Play mode, changing the gold generation rate from 5 gold per five wins to 10 gold per three wins. We will be monitoring this update as we progress further into closed beta and will continue to make changes as needed.

We’ve made significant changes to the Arena as well: In general, rewards gained will include less dust and more cards, as well as guaranteeing more gold for both five and six Arena wins. To further entice you to become an Arena Grand Master, an extra pack OR a golden card is now guaranteed at nine wins.

Full patch notes will be available alongside the patch, which will include the collection wipe. For more information on the wipe and what that entails, please read our blog here! Thank you for your continued feedback as we continue the closed beta testing phase of Hearthstone.

To opt-in to our closed beta test, please go here!

Dark Legacy Comics #409
DLC #409 takes a look at how zone boundaries work.

by Published on 2013-09-29 08:54 PM

AH Update, Blizzard Working on Cinematic Auto-Skipping, Book of Tyrael at NY Comic Con, Curse Weekly Roundup

Heroic Garrosh Defeated
The 10 player Heroic Garrosh encounter has been defeated in Asia by 天 啟. The group had a 573+ item level, compared to the top US and EU guilds that currently have a 565 item level.

Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic Progression
Method, Blood Legion, and Exorsus are leading progress with 13/14 bosses down now, followed by five other guilds at 12/14. Over in the 10 player column, Paragon and Depraved are leading with 13/14 bosses down.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Class Balance Discussion
For discussion: How to solve the problem that most class discussions happen in sequestered class forums, which tend to have an echo chamber? (Source)
must ask whats good bout discussion? Just lots of opinons?maybe in game sticky so anyone can say what they likehate bout class
Discussions tend to dismantle weak arguments and let stronger ones rise to the top. Discussions are like lists + evolution. (Source)
Doesn't stop many common opinions in the community that have been dismantled time and time again.
I agree with that, though I think that's a function of online discussion forums typically having rapid turnover. (Source)

change the format. and both use formats which generate a lot of traction. Forums are becoming antiquated.
Videos take too long to watch (esp with ads). I don't get the appeal. I like Reddit though. (Source)

..and that brings it back to my initial problem. The echo chamber argument is pretty weak....
I agree with Lhivera. The echo chamber effect resists debates and encourages brofisting. (Source)
Sounds harsh and elitist, but their progress and experience tells the same story 95% of the time.
But aren't you essentially arguing that the players are usually right? That is by far not the case. They are right... sometimes. (Source)

Arguments for a real problem and for a bogus problem will look very similar in a brofisting context.
Think of it from our POV, where there are always far more demands from players than the game really needs. (Source)
Separating good arguments from bad is non-trivial, so seeing a healthy debate w/ many POVs can help us make that distinction. (Source)

also enforces groupthink around "my class sucks".
And anyone who intrudes to disagree either "doesn't understand our issues" or is accused of trolling. (Source)
I'll say it again: You will never get as good feedback as you will get from the class specific forums. Ever.
Not from where I sit. Now it's possible to have healthy debate in class forums, but I rarely see it, and I read a lot of forums. (Source)

I think that would just move the echo chamber somewhere else. Vidcast discussion panels with top players/TCs.
It's interesting that panels and podcasts tend to invite dissenting opinions (w/in reason). (Source)
I think they understand that (softly) competitive structure yields more interesting & informed discussions. (Source)
I disagree that it's the format - more the interaction. If there's more from blues I believe you'd see more healthy discussion
The problem is the developers themselves are very busy and can't afford to spend hours per day in forums. (Twitter is fast.) (Source)

Why is the echo chamber a problem? Not trying to be sarcastic; trying to understand what alternate state is desired.
We're not saying there aren't class problems, but when everything is portrayed as a crisis, it's hard to know really needs fixing. (Source)
The echo chamber effect can also cause thought leaders or eloquent posters to create mountains out of molehills. (Source)
It's nice to get a "um your DPS is fine" dissenting opinion, but those "trolls" get chased out of class-specific threads. (Source)
you're guilty of this sort over tweets. 'We like where xx is at'. Some weeks later hotfix or minor patch and buffs appear
That is ultimately the system working though. Sometimes players convince us a change is necessary. Other times data prove us wrong. (Source)

Legitimate contributors are discouraged from posting because of toxic abusive posters. Remove problems, contributors return?
I used to subscribe to that more, but over moderation can also create fear and resentment. (Source)
It's also something we can't enforce on websites other than our own, but conversations certainly take place there. (Source)

Bold idea: remove class forums. No echo. "Answers/Advice For New Players" can be its own forum instead.
It's not strictly a "class subforum" problem. Even general forums spawn class-specific threads. (Source)

And to be clear, I do think that blues should always be very careful when they decide to post in a class forum.
I don't personally post in class forums anymore (or rarely anywhere). It caused more QQ than it solved IMO. (Source)
Even today you see Why didn't we get posts / as many posts / as many substantial posts / more posts b/c our issues are worse? (Source)

Reputation / Questing
I should clarify... levelling ONE char was fun. Levelling more in MoP was not.
That's fair criticism. We hoped that choices like Four Winds vs. Krasarang would help the second time around. (Source)

I'm wondering, how do you guys consider MOP levelling? A success, failure / could be better? I find it rather boring.
We think it was probably a little slow overall. At launch, you did a bunch of quests and saw the XP bar grow only a little. (Source)
We buffed the leveling speed a patch or two ago. It feels better now IMO. (Source)

can we get option to show rep gain in quest dialog?
We explored this, but many quests offer rep for multiple factions (like e.g. all Alliance cities) and it was really spammy. (Source)

So you'd rather people get burnt out on gearing, than actually participate because it's fun?
We find most players won't participate in any activity without motivation from rewards that improve power. (Source)
In fact the opposite can also be true: if we're not careful, players will engage in unfun things just for the power rewards. (Source)
You mean daily quests?
Or chain running Mechanar. Or farming Sunwell trash. The list goes on. (Source)

I hate to sound like an echo chamber, but dailies feeling required are why I'm not playing Mists.
I think your information might be fairly old. The new patch has virtually no dailies. It still has a lot to do. (Source)

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 GPUs from AMD are on the way, so if you are only upgrading your GPU it might be worth it to wait a month or two.

The current SSD prices are stable, with most SSDs under $1 per gigabyte when on sale. RAM prices are continuing to climb.

The Haswell CPUs from Intel are here and they run a little bit on the warmer side. Depending on how much you want to overclock, you may need to spend a bit more for a better CPU cooler like the NH-D14 or H90.

Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or something that is similarly multithreaded, you do not need the 4770K and should spend that money elsewhere.

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 [email protected], take a look in our team's thread.

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorAsus VE228H 21.5-Inch Monitor - $127ASUS VS248H-P 24-Inch Monitor - $160
KeyboardKensington Pro Fit Media Keyboard - $18Cyborg V.5 - $48
MouseLogitech G400s - $44Razer Deathadder - $48
SpeakersCreative A220 2.1 Speaker System - $26Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $35
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorAsus VE258Q 25-Inch Monitor - $216HP ZR2440W 24-inch - $367
KeyboardLogitech G510 - $79Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $70 ($120)
MouseLogitech G500 - $52Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $70
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $55Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $66

Puppy and Dolphin
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Puppy and Dolphin.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT Source 210 - $36NZXT Source 210 - $36
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 - $45XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $61
CPUAMD FX-6300 - $120AMD FX-8320 - $154
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $18Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $33
MotherboardASUS M5A97 R2.0 - $103ASUS M5A99FX PRO - $115
MemoryKingston HyperX Blu 4GB 1333 - $418GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $79
Graphics CardXFX 7770 - $95Gigabyte 7870 2 GB or Gigabyte GTX 660 OC - $190 / $180
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $56Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $85
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$536$765 - $775

Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $60Corsair Air 540 (Special Layout) - $140
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $87Corsair 750HX - $110
CPUIntel i5-4670K - $241Intel i7-4770K - $340
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $56Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $77
MotherboardASUS Z87-A - $140ASUS Z87-PLUS - $155
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $7916GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $153
Graphics CardMSI 7950 OR MSI N760 TF - $265 / $260Gigabyte 7970 - $280
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $85Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $85
SSDSAMSUNG 840 128GB (Review) - $95
Plextor 128 GB M5 Pro (Review) - $116
Corsair Neutron GTX 120GB (Review) - $125
SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB (Review) - $133
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$1125 - $1151$1457 - $1495

Heroes of the Storm Trademark
The Heroes of the Storm trademark from last week appears to have been applied for in the US database now as well. Keep in mind that nothing is confirmed until trademarks are granted.

by Published on 2013-09-28 07:25 AM

Wyatt Cheng on Health Pools and Combat - Part II, Differences Between the Templar and Crusader (Discussion), New Wallpaper: Book of Tyrael

Patch 5.4 Raid Finder and Flex Drop Rates
Now that we have a few weeks worth of data on WoWDB, we can talk a little bit about the Raid Finder and Flex difficulty drop rates.

World Boss Drop Rates

Raid Boss Drop Rates

Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic Progression
Method and Blood Legion are leading progress with 13/14 bosses down now, followed by six other guilds at 12/14. Over in the 10 player column, Paragon is still leading with 13/14 bosses down.

Upcoming Pet Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We have a few hotfixes to share with you and these changes should be in game now, or will take effect once the realms have been restarted:

  • Pierre and Rascal-Bot are no longer Bind on Pickup; they can now be caged and you can collect up to 3 of each.
  • Rascal-Bot's Phaser spell is now a one-round ability. The tooltip still erroneously states that it is a two-round ability which we plan to correct at a later date.
  • Jadefire Spirit's Fade ability now has an eight-round cooldown.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raid Finder Difficulty
You would think with all this LFR SoO complaints that Blizzard would get the message but they're still in denial...
You may have missed my second post. Or are you dismissing a lack of immediate change and specific hotfix notes as indifference?

This guy gets it. You don't make people better players by smoothing to road for them. You do it by handing them a shovel and saying "here's the tools, fix it yourself".
That's an unfortunately common outlook, that if you just made stuff harder for people they'd aspire to greatness. But we know that's not how it works for everyone, or how all people respond to challenges, or necessarily what everyone is even looking for in their entertainment. We're getting into social commentary territory which I'd like to avoid, but let's dismiss the notion that any of us "know what's best" for any other person, and instead accept their preferences as absolutely valid, and think and discuss about what the issues and solutions are from that viewpoint instead of focusing on how to tell other people they're enjoying their game incorrectly. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Patch 5.4 and Deterrence
I understand why there would be some confusion about Deterrence's function in 5.4. And yes, it's a nerf in cases where you were using it more or less on cooldown every minute for longer than about 4 minutes.

However, in cases where you'd like to use it more than once inside a 1-minute period, the new Deterrence is a significant buff. Previously, that couldn't be done without using Readiness, and the vast majority of players weren't saving Readiness for Deterrence.

It's different now, sure, but we like how the new version is working. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Why don't you make all raid modes share the same lockout? That way they won't have to hate such an awesome feature.
We like the idea that e.g. a HC guild could run a flex on another night for those folks who care about achievements. (Source)
FWIW, in 5.0 when my old guild was dead, LFR was the only way I was able to run those raids. So I am all for it
I am a HC raider, but if I log on an alt at 10 AM on a Sun, I don't want to have to look for guildies. LFR works great for that. (Source)

Do you think that this bias towards / insistence on larger raids leads to overemphasizing AE heals as a necessary consequence?
In 10s it's easier to coordinate and 25s easier to specialize, which leads to just doing one thing over and over. (Source)
I believe 25s are more fun personally and think better for the game strategically, but concede healing more fun in 10s. (Source)
I feel 10s are better socially. 25 is too many people I don't know well enough to care about or listen to.
Some truth to that, but 10s also have to be more selective & are less resilient to losing folks. In that way, 25s good for social. (Source)
seems the changes your making 10 man's are becoming worthless and second place to 25 man raids. how long b4 10 mans are gone
10s are in no danger of going anywhere. 25s remain in danger despite the advantages you are worried about. (Source)

so the next xpac will be another cataclysm, you had this talk before that launch about difficulty and need to change
No, the problem with Cat was there was no alternatives to HC dungeons. As I said, exclusive is fine as long as alternative exist. (Source)
That has me worried. The early cata zones is what made me leave last time!
Zones (meaning the outdoor leveling content) or dungeons? The discussion was about dungeons.... (Source)

does the vast diversity of player skill pose problems in content design?
Absolutely. Often players can use gear (which is generally a function of time invested) to help make up the difference. (Source)

Why not open heroics first week so heroic guilds dont load up on Ngear with multiple raids and the tiers last a little longer?
Seeing the encounters for one week in normal helps us catch last minute problems. (Source)
Imagine first kill of a heroic boss was 60 sec without cheating. Do we then buff the boss? Do we strip them of their kill? (Source)

If organized gameplay is "the heart and soul" of wow, why is only a minority part of this "heart and soul"?
Queuing for random matchmaking is very convenient. Our concern is that those players burn out quickly without social connections. (Source)

why the hell can i get a cloak off ordos when you need a legendary cloak to even fight him. Waste of a drop.
You can access Ordos if any character on your account has a cloak I believe. (Source)

WoWDB Addon Data Collection
Collecting data on things like the 5.4 drop rates is done with the help of thousands of players. The more people that contribute data, the more accurate and quickly we can update the database.

To help out, just click here if you have Curse Client already installed.

When you are playing the addon will gather data and save it. When you are done playing, Curse Client will see the game close and upload the collected data from the addon. You can see the last time data was uploaded by looking in the Plugins tab of the options, as well as making sure the addon is enabled there. If you don't normally leave it open, be sure you open Curse Client once in a while so that the data will upload

Fan Art
Today we take a look at some more of the Fan Art created for the WoW Tribute book.

by Published on 2013-09-27 06:04 AM

New Datamined Patch - Class Changes, Passive Effects, Character slots, Stat caps, Quests, and MUCH more

Patch Blue Posts - Server Upgrades, Balancing After the Patch, Asian Beta Testing

Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic Progression
Method is leading progress with 13/14 bosses down now, followed by seven other guilds at 12/14. Over in the 10 player column, Paragon has managed to kill Paragons, so they are currently leading with 13/14 bosses down.

Heroic Spoils of Pandaria Video
While we are waiting on a Paragons of the Klaxxi video, let's take a look at the Spoils of Pandaria encounter.

Change to Rated Battleground Queuing
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re in the process of applying a hotfix that will restrict a player’s ability to queue for a Rated Battleground if they’ve left one prematurely, until the previous Battleground is completed. Once the hotfix is active, should you find yourself unable to queue for a Rated Battleground immediately after leaving one in progress, you’ll simply need to wait until it has finished and will then be able to queue once again.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raid Finder Difficulty
We're not really seeing a big dramatic shift in completion/failure rates for the first weeks of LFR runs with Flex now in the picture vs. previous tiers, so I think the guesses that Flex is stealing all the good players are probably a bit premature. Probably. But as I said here, we're excited so many people seem to be enjoying Flex, it's going to be preferable to a lot of people over LFR, and of course that's going to have some kind of impact, but it's just too early to know to what extent.

You clearly have not reviewed the data from wing 2. It's about on par with how ridiculous HOF part 2 was, which you had to nerf.
No, we have. Adjustments are quite possible, we already have some LFR Nazgrim tweaks in the works, but we're seeing very reasonable wipe/completion rates on second wing SoO bosses. We're keeping a close eye on things.

5hr lfr and 20 wipes for the entire LFR is reasonable?
Obviously you'll get in groups that have some trouble, and sometimes you'll get in a group that one-shots everything. Individual group to group success rates aren't going to be consistent while people are still learning the fights. But when I refer to overall wipe/success rates I'm referring to overall averages for all LFR groups for all realms of multiple regions. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raid Finder Difficulty
It's too early to say how the interaction will fully play out between Flex and LFR, but I think it's reasonable to expect that a lot of people will prefer Flex because of its similarities with LFR (as a quick and low pressure way to raid), but without the things they don't like about LFR (Flex requiring a curated and managed group experience) for better rewards, achievements, and mounts, and with friends and guildies if possible. If that's the case, the core LFR audience changes, their reason for doing LFR changes, and it's potentially a world where LFR adapts to fit a more niche role, which could mean changes for challenge and reward to better fit the audience's intended use of it. All speculation of course, but we're certainly watching. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World of Warcraft: Trivial Pursuit – Now Available!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The time has come to put your World of Warcraft knowledge to the ultimate test. You and your friends will be able to tackle 600 questions across 6 categories including: Geography, Player Characters, Lore, Loot, Villains, and Encounters. You’ll also be able to use special hand-crafted Murloc dice and cute sculpted baby Murloc movers in 6 whimsical colors to play in true Warcraft style.

Buy it now on the Blizzard Store,, and at other fine retailers.

SteelSeries Mists of Pandaria Celebration
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Just in time to celebrate the Anniversary of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, SteelSeries is offering 50% off of all World of Warcraft gear. From keyboards to mousepads with exclusive game art, you’ll be able to take your gaming to the next level. You'll need to act quickly though, the sale ends September 26th 11:59pm GMT.

Facebook fans will also be able to score some of these great items on the SteelSeries page beginning September 25 through October 9. Make sure to visit their page for more information.

Hearthstone Update - Account Wipe Incoming
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hello Hearthstone players (and members of our gracious community still trying to get into the beta)!

Thank you for stopping by to read this important closed beta test update. At the start of the beta, we mentioned that we would reset information at some point, wiping all progress and cards in the process. We built this into our plan as we knew going into the beta that a number of cards were likely to emerge as overpowered and we also knew that we‘d make significant adjustments to the reward system and overall game progression. So, as part of the effort to level the playing field and also prepare our players’ accounts for the release version of our progression system, we made the decision to schedule a one-time wipe of all beta participant accounts. We have just about reached the point in closed beta where we’ll be doing this wipe, and thus wanted to share what that will mean for you, what to expect on the day of the wipe, and what will happen immediately afterwards.

A wipe? What’s a wipe?
If you are participating in the Hearthstone closed beta test, your progress will be reset. This includes your gold, experience and class levels gained through play, arcane dust quantities, cards unlocked through progression, and your medal ranking in Ranked Play mode. When you load up the game afterwards, it will be as if you were starting in Hearthstone as a new player. You’ll have to play the introductory missions once more and show Illidan just how prepared he is! (Spoilers: He’s not.)

When is the wipe happening?
We’re getting ready to release a pretty major beta patch to Hearthstone, and the wipe will coincide with that patch so we can closely monitor testing with the implemented updates.

A patch! What’s in the patch!?
We’ll announce details of the patch in a separate blog, so stay tuned!

I spent real money in Hearthstone! Is that going away!?
No way! As we mentioned in the earlier blog, any money you spent in Hearthstone will be reimbursed as gold, so you will be able to repurchase the same number of packs and Arena tickets you bought previously without additional investment. For each card pack purchased with real money, you’ll get back 100 gold. Each Arena entry will get you back 150 gold. Please note that any packs you purchase after the wipe will be different than the ones you had previously, so it is unlikely that you will receive the same cards again.

A couple examples:
  • Tim bought the $2.99 bundle for 2 packs during the beta. After the wipe, he will receive 200 gold (100 gold per pack x 2 packs.)
  • Janet bought the $49.99 bundle for 40 packs during the beta. She also bought 3 Arena entries. Janet will receive 4450 gold (100 gold x 40 packs + 150 gold X 3 Arena runs) after the wipe has been completed.

Like all gold, the reimbursed gold credit can be spent on either packs or Arena tickets. So if you bought a pack bundle previously, and would prefer to use your gold credit towards Arena entry, that’s available as an option.

Did you know: Getting back a lot of gold and need to buy a lot of packs at the same time? You can buy mass quantities of packs with gold by double-clicking on the brown “1 Pack” button in the store!

I helped test the store and got a Golden Gelbin Mekkatorque card! Is he wiped too?
Your good friend Gelbin will be waiting for you as soon as you complete the Illidan introductory mission. As soon as you’ve completed that mission you will receive the “Beta Hero” quest reward which will grant you Gelbin, as well as the gold credit for any purchases made prior to the wipe.

Will there be any wipes in the future?
We don’t anticipate any further wipes. This goes for both the Hearthstone beta and after the game’s official release. Any progress made during the beta after the wipe will be retained through the release of Hearthstone, such as new cards you obtain, levels that you gain and ranks you achieve. Basically, you’ll now be able to keep your stuff.

Wait, how will this work for Korea, Taiwan, and China? Closed beta hasn’t even started there yet!
Korea, Taiwan, and China will not be wiped. The wipe only applies to the beta participants currently playing in the North American and European beta tests.

Guild Wars 2 Trial Week
Guild Wars 2 is having another trial week from September 27 to October 3. There is also a new update coming out on October 1, the Twilight Assault.

by Published on 2013-09-26 08:40 AM

Wyatt Cheng on Negative Effects of Inconsistent Health Pools, RMAH Delay Issues Resolved, What Business Would Each Follower Want to Run?

Heroic Siegecrafter Blackfuse Video
Method has released their video of the Siegecrafter Blackfuse encounter.

Conquest Cap & Gear Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As many of you are aware, there have been several hotfixes regarding PvP gearing over the past week. We wanted to take a moment to not only explain what exactly went wrong, but also what we’re going to do about it.

The problems started with an error in calculating the season "catch-up cap". As you may know, this cap is calculated on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, for some players, these calculations began before Season 14 had officially begun. So, when the season did start, those players essentially had an entire season’s worth of catch-up credit added onto their normal weekly cap of 2200.

As soon as we recognized the error, we despawned the Conquest vendors while we worked on and tested a hotfix to correct the artificially inflated Conquest caps (and remove extra Conquest that had been earned). We also created a hotfix that was intended to solve the initial error with the catch-up calculations during maintenance in other regions, but were unable to apply it before the issue had spread to other regions.

Once the hotfix to correct Conquest caps was completed, it was applied to all regions, and the Conquest vendors were respawned. At the time, we believed that the hotfix would take effect without realm restarts. That, unfortunately, did not turn out to be the case, so over the weekend, a number of players were able to acquire several pieces of gear that they should not have otherwise been able to. On top of that, a small number of players were able to earn the Grievous Conquest achievement, which then allowed them to purchase Conquest gear with Honor points.

We’ve since been working hard to correct our mistakes, and as of right now, here’s where we stand:

  • All players who had an inflated Conquest cap have had those caps corrected
  • The Grievous Conquest achievement vendors have been despawned temporarily, as no one should have access to them through normal play at this time
  • The Grievous Gladiator weapons have had their level requirement hotfixed to 91 temporarily, as no one should have access to them through normal play at this time

However, there is still the matter of the extra gear that some of these players were able to obtain. We need to remove this extra gear to maintain a level playing field for all of our players, but we also have to be extremely careful not to remove extra gear that players earned legitimately (as drops from world bosses, for example). To that end, here’s what we’re planning to do:

  • We’ve already begun manually investigating players with multiple pieces of Grievous Conquest gear, starting with the most abusive cases
  • For less abusive cases, we intend to apply a hotfix during the next maintenance period that should clean up any remaining extra gear
  • This hotfix will also remove the Grievous Conquest achievement from those who have earned it prematurely
  • In both cases, our plan is to convert excess Grievous gear into its Tyrannical equivalent, to ensure that no players are accidentally left without an item in a given slot

We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this has caused, and are working around the clock to fix things as quickly and cleanly as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Hopefully those with full or near full sets actually get fixed. Lots of people running around with too much season 14 gear.
Many of those cases have actually already been resolved. We're working hard to get through all of them as quickly as possible.

Connected Realms Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We have completed maintenance to join Boulderfist and Bloodscalp into the first pair of Connected Realms. These realms should now be live once again, and we sincerely appreciate your patience during this maintenance period.

We would like to take the time to make players aware of a couple of known issues that we are currently investigating. The first of these is that players who do not have their macros cached locally may need to re-create those macros. Additionally, we have received reports of the guild message of the day not being displayed for some characters. At this time we’re unaware of how widespread these issues may be, and will investigate and resolve these issues before connecting any additional realms.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Virtual Realm Progress
They can't just implement it to servers, they need hefty testings and need to decide which servers to connect. It's not as simple as switching lights on.
Pretty much this. Connecting realms is not as simple as flicking on a switch.

Patch 5.4 added a lot of new content to World of Warcraft, and it added some neat things behind the scenes as well :-)

We now have the technology in place to connect realms, and we will do it, however there are a lot more factors than just the technology that needs to be taken into consideration when deciding which realms to connect. We are working on it though, in fact we have been working on it for a while now, and hopefully soon we will have a final list of the realms that will be connected.

If you can't do it why advertise it? It's like those offers you see during sales they advertise on TV, a certain item reduced by 50%, the problem is they have had it on the shelves for twice the price it should be. PCWorld are the worst for it.
We can do it, and we will do it! What I am saying is that patch 5.4 brought the technology that makes this possible and now the only thing that remains to be done is to decide on the best way to optimally connect those realms that needs a population boost.

I would say that it was more of a preview than actual advertisement, at least that was the intention behind the blog about connected realms that we posted before the patch went live - We wanted to provide more detailed information to people about what this feature actually entails so that people will know what to expect before realms get connected.

I can respect that but there is alot of questions unanswered still that surely by now you have made a decision on? Like will the BMAH be crossrealm, what about challenge mode times and realm first achievements?
Sure, some decisions have been made by now, but I'm afraid I can't go into much details on them right this moment. Hopefully it should not be too long until we are ready to share more information about connected realms.

4 of the 5 English speaking EU RP/PVP realms, are according to wowprogress data, amongst the 4 worst populated realms in the entire EU.

Frankly, since it has ALREADY been said that like type realm will be connected with like type realm, I fail to see the delay in connecting at least those 4 realms together right now if the technology is there. They will still be pitifully small re total player numbers unless they are all then connected to Defias Brotherhood, the high popped 5th RP/PVP realm, but hey, at least it would be a start.

Even though some realms were likely candidates to be connected together right from the start, like it is the case with some RP realms, there is also a matter of following the right procedure... things must be done in a certain order to ensure smooth implementation and to avoid mishaps that will be hard if not impossible to correct. I am fairly sure that we will not start connecting realms until final decisions have been made and we have a complete list of which realms to connect. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
I thought a game being 10 years old would be a good reason for radical changes.
No doubt there are some former players sitting on the sidelines waiting for the right feature set to jump back in, but... (Source)
I imagine a lot of former players just aren't tuned in anymore & wouldn't even know or care about the most radical changes. (Source)
Meanwhile, those still playing the game might be pretty happy with the way things are and risk walking with too much change. (Source)
Strategically, radical change probably would lose more players than it would gain. (Source)
What evidence or basis do you have that suggest you'd lose more players with radical changes?
The track record for MMOs with radical changes is not a good one. (Source)

Out of curiosity, was there a great deal of churn among players who were not raiding during BC?
We've always had a lot of churn. Historically we were able to attract more new players. (Source)
I believe in BC things like leveling an alt or grinding professions was still novel enough to motivate a lot of non-raiders. (Source)
In LK we had achievements which helped provide something to do, but 25 Naxx was also insanely popular because it was so easy. (Source)
We added LFR to try and fill that void. Flex should help too. (Source)

any chance on a lighting engine update? NPCs pacing with lanterns looks very silly.
To be clear, we have updated the lightning engine every expansion for as long as I can remember. (Source)

not smart ass Q. Saw in dev interviews team is ~40% larger and adding more. Why now and not back when subs were much higher?
We've said for yrs we want to get content out faster. Staffing up is non-trivial though - takes a while to find right people. (Source)
Is there a critical mass number of people you can hire? Too many voices; hard to rein in coherently, right?
There isn't a magical number, but concerns about hurting our process or culture by overhiring are quite legit. (Source)

Are you admitting that radical changes to the vanilla world and talents have backfired on you?
I think we're using different definitions of radical. A radical change would be overhauling the combat engine to allow dodging. (Source)
More recent games (not just MMOs) have more active combat. Maybe that would be cool for WoW. Massive and risky change though. (Source)
God please NO! I highly dislike the newer games active combat systems!
Yeah, exactly. A change of that magnitude would be a huge risk to the game and therefore extremely unlikely. (Source)

whats patch day like for you? Is it hectic or just a "normal" day and operations staff does most of the work on the servers?
No, it's very hectic. Even on smooth launches (knock on wood) there are inevitable hotfixes and ops concerns. (Source)

Who is responsible for choosing and confirming the next WoW expansion theme in Blizzard? Mike Morhaime?
It's an organic process, but mostly it comes from the WoW team. We ask lots of smart people to weigh in of course, inc. Mike. (Source)

Losing subs + more dev's working on the game. Isnt that somehow conflicting? Profit and so on?
Players often assume that numbers are driven by specific design decisions. Frequency of content is often a much bigger driver. (Source)

Quick question, do you think we may see WoW on consoles one day.
The input system (mouse + keyboard) would have to be radically rethought. (Source)

TCG Art Update
Blizzard has updated the TCG art gallery to feature ten new pieces.

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