MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2013-10-30 09:12 AM

New Internal Patch: Adventure Mode Tutorials, Maps for All Acts, Call of the Ancients and More

Dev Interview - Rating, Social, and Balance Issues; Innkeeper Invitational Spotlight #2

BlizzCon Live Raid: Method vs. Midwinter
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
At BlizzCons past, the World of Warcraft Live Raid has proven to be a spectacle of pure entertainment and roar-inducing gameplay mastery. BlizzCon 2013’s live raid challenge is sure to be no exception with #1-worldwide ranked 25-player Horde guild Method (EU-Twisting Nether) squaring off against #1-worldwide ranked 25-player Alliance guild Midwinter (US-Sargeras). These two teams of exceptionally skilled raiders will be racing through 25-player Heroic Siege of Orgrimmar to tackle five encounters that will make for an especially exciting spectator experience. The winning guild will be the first to best all five, including Sha of Pride, the Kor’kron Dark Shaman, Malkorok, Siegecrafter Blackfuse, and the infamous Garrosh Hellscream himself.

Midwinter and Method raced each other for the first time in September during Athene’s “The Siege” live marathon event, and while Method came out of the Throne of Thunder victorious, the deciding factor may have come early on with Midwinter’s slightly messy handling of Jin’rokh at the start of the race. As Method was later overcome by the unforgiving machinations of Dark Animus, and Midwinter positioned themselves to take the lead—that is, until Dark Animus dealt equal punishment to the U.S.-based guild. When all was said and done, Ra-den fell just two minutes too late for Midwinter to claim the bragging rights that day. (Watch the full Throne of Thunder race VoD.)

Method also claims the world-first Heroic 25-player Garrosh kill, finishing him off a mere nine days before Midwinter completed their siege on Orgrimmar. But if history is any indication for these two guilds, a single mistake in any of the five intense encounters we’ve selected could spell defeat for either team.

If you’re attending BlizzCon 2013 in person, join us Saturday morning at 10 a.m. PST in Hall D to witness the epic battle—otherwise, you can tune in to watch the race live from the comfort of your home with the Virtual Ticket. World of Warcraft lead encounter designer Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas will be joined on stage by community manager Josh “Lore” Allen to provide commentary on the Live Raid. In addition, we’ll have Method members Rogerbrown, Sco, and Justwait, and Midwinter members Slootbag, Dpsonroids, and Pravity leading their teams directly from the stage.

You just don’t want to miss this. Simple as that!

Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 29
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
  • Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Class Armor
      • Resolved an issue where casting Healing Touch while Nature's Swiftness is active did not consume the Restoration Tier-16 4-piece bonus.
  • Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Blackout Kick's damage-over-time component for the Windwalker specialization should no longer be incorrectly affected by Resilience a second time.
      • Expel Harm's damage should now properly benefit from PvP Power and interact correctly with Resilience.
    • Mistweaver
      • The glyphed version of Surging Mist should no longer incorrectly cost slightly less mana than the unglyphed version.
    • Windwalker
      • Touch of Karma should now correctly redirect the same amount of damage that the Monk receives in PvP. Previously, the ability was incorrectly being modified by both the target and Monk's own Resilience.

Quests
  • Resolved an issue where harvesting Juicycrunch Carrots and Scallions did not start Work Order: II quests.

Creatures
  • Tormented Spirits in Kun-Lai Summit now respawn less quickly.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • The Fallen Protectors
      • Resolved an issue that prevented players that have died during the encounter from receiving credit for the Go Long achievement.
    • Norushen
      • Amalgam of Corruption, Manifestation of Corruption, and Essence of Corruption's health has been reduced by 15% on Raid Finder difficulty.
    • Iron Juggernaut
      • Iron Juggernaut's health has been reduced by 5% on Raid Finder difficulty.
    • Kor'kron Dark Shaman
      • Earthbreaker Haromm and Wavebinder Kardris' health has been reduced by 5% on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Mokvar the Treasurer's Bribe ability should now be properly removed when the target has less than 50% health.
    • Malkorok
      • Malkorok's health has been reduced by 10% on Raid Finder difficulty.
    • Spoils of Pandaria
      • Kor'kron Wild Gun should no longer incorrectly drop Normal difficulty loot for Raid Finder and Flexible difficulties.
      • Resolved an issue that prevented players that have died during the encounter from receiving credit for the Criss Cross achievement.
    • Thok the Bloodthirsty
      • Thok the Bloodthirsty's health has been reduced by 15% on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Kor'kron Jailer should no longer incorrectly drop Normal difficulty loot for Raid Finder and Flexible difficulties.
    • Garrosh Hellscream
      • Garrosh Hellscream, Kor'kron Warbringers, and Farseer Wolf Riders' health has been reduced by 5% on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Embodied Despair's health in the Realm of Y'Shaarj has been reduced on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Resolved an issue where players were able to obtain the "Strike!" achievement on Raid Finder difficulty.
  • Sunwell Plateau
    • Resolved an issue for players soloing the encounter that could cause Sathrovarr the Corruptor to not award any loot.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Siegecrafter Blackfuse Adds Health
We had made several rounds of tuning changes to the various Siege of Orgrimmar encounters late in the 5.4 PTR process, and some health adjustments that were reverted before 5.4 was released ended up resurfacing in patch 5.4.1. Apologies for the inconvenience -- this should be corrected within the next day. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Are you planning to keep the current spec and talent system in the expansion? Cause I, for one, love it!
While I can't talk about future expansions, overall we are happy with the current spec and talent design. (Source)
you did especially good job with the mage 90 talents
Like many of our systems, there is certainly room for improvement on specific talents. The system overall is a keeper though. (Source)

The new talents are way too stripped compared to old one, it used to be fun while leveling. now it's (15 more )
We think the new talents are better overall, but they do make leveling slightly less rewarding. (Source)
The question is whether talents are supposed to add max level customization or leveling rewards. We went with the former. (Source)

while the 3 or 4 people here like the new talent design the 5 million who quit didnt, as well as millions in game
If something that seems so obvious to you is not obvious to others, at least consider that it, in fact, might not be true. (Source)

Flex Raiding
Do you think difficulty is more appropriate or is it the flexibility. Does NM still have a place in future?
Overall I think the flexibility, because there already was an easier raid version. Flex lets them run with (just) their friends. (Source)

Would you encourage players to socialize-PuG instead of LFD? Eg. offering rewards (more VP, money, drops). #warcraft
We're doing that a bit already with Flex. The message we want to send is LFR is fine and good, but maybe try this other thing.... (Source)

WAH - WoW RTS: Alliance and Horde SC2 Map
StevenLuo released the first version of his SC2 Map that uses WoW art assets to make a Warcraft style RTS game.

by Published on 2013-10-29 04:29 AM

Reaper of Souls First Look: Historical Westmarch

Patch 5.4.1 Live This Week
Patch 5.4.1 goes live this week, bringing updates to the Recruit a Friend system, the Blizzcon pet, and tooltip updates to reflect the Patch 5.4 hotfixes. The previously mentioned merging of all previous patches into one file has been reverted, so it should be a very small download.

Murkalot
Murkalot's Flail is the Blizzcon Reward pet added in Patch 5.4.1, and grants the Murkalot achievement. If you aren't going to Blizzcon, you can still get him by purchasing the Virtual Ticket.



Recruit a Friend In-Game UI
The Recruit a Friend system has been moved in game, making it even easier to use.



Emerald Hippogryph
The Emerald Hippogryph is the new Recruit a Friend reward and grants the Friends In Places Even Higher Than That achievement.





Recruit a Friend Pet Rewards
Some pets that were previously only used for promotions in Asia are now Recruit a Friend rewards.


Achievement Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Arena
Player vs. Player

Feats of Strength

Player vs. Player
  • Fire-Watcher has been updated to reflect the hotfix down to 2,000 coins, down from 10,000.

Proving Grounds
Scenarios



Mounts and Pets
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Mounts
  • Emerald Hippogryph (New) Summons and dismisses a rideable Emerald Hippogryph. The capabilities of this mount depend on your Riding skill and location. Account wide. 1.5 sec cast.

Companions
  • Bernard (New) Right Click to summon and dismiss Bernard. Battle Pet. Instant.
  • Murkalot (New) Right Click to summon and dismiss Murkalot. Battle Pet. Instant.




New Strings
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_ERROR_PARENTAL_CONTROLS - Feature has been disabled by Parental Controls.
  • CHOOSE_ONE_REWARD - Choose 1 Reward
  • CLAIM_REWARD - Claim Reward
  • ERR_RECRUIT_A_FRIEND_ACCOUNT_LIMIT - You have submitted the maximum number of recruits for this time period. Please try again later.
  • ERR_RECRUIT_A_FRIEND_FAILED - Failed to send Recruit A Friend request. Please try again later.
  • PREVIEW - Preview
  • PRODUCT_CHOICE_NO_TAKE_BACKSIES - Are you sure? You can't change your selection after this step.
  • PRODUCT_CHOICE_SUBTEXT - (%s)
  • PRODUCT_CLAIMING_FAILED - Error claiming product. Please try again.
  • QUEUED_STATUS_LOCKED - |cffff2020Locked|r
  • QUEUED_STATUS_LOCKED_EXPLANATION - You are locked to this rated battleground until it finishes.
  • RAF_BENEFIT1 - Level Faster
  • RAF_BENEFIT2 - Grantable Levels
  • RAF_BENEFIT3 - Summon your friend
  • RAF_BENEFIT4 - 30 days of free game time
  • RAF_BENEFIT5 - In-Game Mount
  • RAF_BENEFITS - Benefits
  • RAF_BUTTON_DISABLED_FACTION - You cannot use Recruit A Friend while playing a neutral character.
  • RAF_BUTTON_REWARD_TOOLTIP_DESCRIPTION - You have earned a reward from Recruit A Friend! Click here to claim it!
  • RAF_BUTTON_REWARD_TOOLTIP_TITLE - Recruit A Friend Reward
  • RAF_BUTTON_TOOLTIP_DESCRIPTION - You can recruit a friend and earn fantastic rewards!
  • RAF_BUTTON_TOOLTIP_TITLE - Recruit A Friend
  • RAF_DESCRIPTION - Earn game time, in-game rewards,\nand more by recruiting your friends
  • RAF_ENTER_EMAIL - Enter your friend's email address
  • RAF_ENTER_NOTE - Write a note to your friend
  • RAF_ENTER_NOTE_PROMPT - Enter a note...
  • RAF_FAQ - Recruit a Friend FAQ
  • RAF_INVITATION_SENT - Your invitation has been sent!\n\nYour friend will receive an email with instructions on creating a new account and downloading the game. You will be notified in-game when they have created a new character and you can begin your adventure together.
  • RAF_INVITEE_FRIEND_ADDED_EXPLANATION - You are now friends with the person who invited you to play World of Warcraft.\n\n|cffffd200Right-click|r their name to whisper them when they are online.\n\nYou can now join up and enjoy Azeroth together!
  • RAF_INVITEE_FRIEND_ADDED_NOTICE - Open your friends list to find your friend that invited you to play World of Warcraft
  • RAF_INVITER_FRIEND_ADDED - Your recruited friend is now your Battletag Friend: |cff88C5ff[%s]|r
  • RAF_MORE_DETAILS - [Click here for more details on how it works.]
  • RAF_PRODUCT_CHOICE_CLAIM - Click to choose your reward
  • RAF_PRODUCT_CHOICE_EARNED - You have earned a Recruit A Friend Reward
  • RAF_REALM_INFO - Your friend will be directed to join:\n|cffffd200%1$s|r on |W|cffffd200%2$s|r|w
  • RAF_SEND_INVITATION - Send Invitation
  • RECRUIT_A_FRIEND - Recruit A Friend
  • RECRUIT_A_FRIEND_FACTION_SUGGESTION_ALLIANCE - Your friend plays for the Alliance faction. Pick one of these races if you want to play together.\n\nHuman, Dwarf, Night Elf, Gnome, Draenei, Worgen, or Pandaren
  • RECRUIT_A_FRIEND_FACTION_SUGGESTION_HORDE - Your friend plays for the Horde faction. Pick one of these races if you want to play together.\n\nOrc, Undead, Tauren, Troll, Blood Elf, Goblin, or Pandaren.
  • RECRUIT_A_FRIEND_REWARDS - Recruit A Friend Rewards



New Mail
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Automated In-game Mail
  • Automated In-game Mail #399 - Emerald Hippogryph: Some feel that the Emerald Hippogryph is the most majestic of these noble creatures.

    Even if one does not agree, they are certainly a striking sight nonetheless!

    --Mei Francis - Exotic Mounts



New Icons



Recruit-A-Friend Updates Coming Soon
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
It’s been a while since we’ve updated the Recruit-A-Friend program, but the time has come once again to close the doors for a bit and do a little remodeling. On Tuesday, October 15, we’ll be temporarily shutting down new Recruit-a-Friend sign-ups. Don’t worry though—the program will be back (and better than ever) before you know it.

While we don’t have an official date to share regarding the release of the updated Recruit-A-Friend (RAF) program, those whose accounts are already linked are not affected by this, and any unclaimed rewards will be redeemable once the program starts up again. You’ll also be happy to learn that the current reward will still be available when the Recruit-A-Friend program returns—in fact, players who participate in the upcoming program will have even more reward options available to them. We’ll have more details for you at a future point in time.


Connected Realms Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As previously announced, we’ve been working toward connecting realms to increase the number of players on low-population realms, and since then have completed several connections. As a part of our ongoing communication, we wanted to provide you with an update that contains a list of completed realm connections, currently planned connections, and any additional future plans in one convenient location.

*Please note this list does not encompass all potential future connections. Please check back for further updates.

Completed Connections
  • Aegwynn and Gurubashi
  • Anub’arak and Chromaggus/Garithos
  • Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
  • Balnazzar and Warsong
  • Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher
  • Blackwing Lair and Detheroc/Dethecus
  • Blood Furnace and Mannaroth
  • Burning Blade and Onyxia
  • Chromaggus and Garithos
  • Dalvengyr and Dark Iron
  • Drak’Tharon and Firetree/Rivendare
  • Dunemaul, Maiev, Boulderfist and Bloodscalp
  • Hakkar and Aegwynn
  • Nesingwary and Vek’nilash
  • Rivendare and Firetree

Next Realm Connections
Once determined, dates and times for the next round of realm connections will be provided in the General Forum and in-game breaking news.

Next Round
  • Haomarush and Detheroc/Dethecus/Blackwing Lair
  • Stonemaul and Bloodscalp/Maiev/Boulderfist/Dunemaul
  • Tortheldrin and Frostmane
  • Winterhoof and Kilrogg
  • Gul’dan and Skullcrusher/Black Dragonflight
  • Lightning’s Blade and Burning Blade

Plans for these connections may change at any time, but we’ll provide additional updates on specific dates for future connections here as we can. Please note that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Realm Population Issues
Blizzard has currently done everything they can, pouring tons of resources and money into making a system that allowed cross realm, guilds and servers.

People are stuck on ether a dead server or a server with a queue of two hour. How to solve this you ask? Well here we go, this conclusion will blow your brains out, it took me years of thinking, but I think I finally know how it can be solved! Are you ready!?

Make paid character transfers free already.

The resources they put into making cross realm guilds would have been better if put into a creating a automated transfer system.

What do you guys think? would free char transfer solve these issue?

Actually, it might make matters worse.

Hypothetical situation: You're on a nicely balanced realm with a healthy population. The next day a large portion of players from your faction decide to move to another realm for whatever reason, maybe to dominate the opposite faction there. With no cost involved, it would be an easy thing to up and move on the spur of the moment. Your realm would now be quieter and you'd be on the minority faction. You'd probably want to move as well after that. Would anyone from your faction ever roll a char or transfer willingly to that server once the faction balance was skewed like that?

Right now, if people could freely move to whatever server they wanted, what do you think would happen? I strongly suspect the busier realms would get busier and the quieter realms would get quieter. The horde-heavy realms would become horde-only and the same with Alliance.

But I'm genuinely interested in your opinion on this, what do you think would happen?

Oh yes what about connected realms ? It was suggestively due for 5.4 but right now it just looks like GMs' little playground, where they seem to pick on a day basis what servers would be fun for them to connect, for example on the French side, Naxxramas and Temple noir who are both deserted, which must be useful...
Connected Realms were designed specifically to tackle the issue of low population realms. We've begun with the process as mentioned here, and there are many more realms yet to be connected. It has been a long and careful process, selecting which realms to connect, and we're pushing forward with it carefully but purposefully. Realms will continue to be connected with other realms until they have a healthy population, so please don't assume that we're done with the realms that have been involved so far if their population isn't yet ideal.

As I said earlier, the ability to move for free, even with a cooldown, could potentially cause overnight faction/population fluctuations which the current costs somewhat prevent. However, we are always looking for ways to help with faction imbalance/population issues, so please continue with your feedback. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

News Recap
There has finally been some news recently, so here is your chance to catch up!

by Published on 2013-10-27 06:15 PM

Mystic Q&A, Diablo Screenshot Art, PCGamer With a RoS Preview

Giveaway Conclusions, Hearthstone Highlights, Weekend Tournaments, Opt-In Update

Character Level Scaling
Patch 5.4 added an interesting feature to the game that allows character levels to be scaled down in dungeons. It isn't normally active, but can be activated with a trick in a few different lower level dungeons. This shouldn't come as a big surprise, as the developers mentioned that this system was mostly in place in the Patch 5.4 interviews.

Right now the system clearly isn't finished, as some spells cannot be cast due to your scaled character level, stats on the character frame are not consistent, pet abilities aren't scaled down properly, and your scaled level is only reflected in tooltips and not unit frames.

This system might be related to a new type of instance added to the game files in Patch 5.4, "Timewalker". This isn't actually implemented officially for any instances yet, so treat it like any other datamined information until something is announced.

You can see an example of scaled down gameplay and stats below, but keep in mind things aren't supposed to be balanced at all yet, and no stat squish has happened, so even though gear and level is scaled down, we still had more player power than would be intended.





Connected Realms Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As previously announced, we’ve been working toward connecting realms to increase the number of players on low-population realms, and since then have completed several connections. As a part of our ongoing communication, we wanted to provide you with an update that contains a list of completed realm connections, currently planned connections, and any additional future plans in one convenient location.

Completed Connections
  • Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
  • Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher
  • Aegwynn and Gurubashi
  • Balnazzar and Warsong
  • Burning Blade and Onyxia
  • Chromaggus and Garithos
  • Dalvengyr and Dark Iron
  • Dethecus and Detheroc
  • Dunemaul, Maiev, Boulderfist and Bloodscalp
  • Hakkar and Aegwynn
  • Rivendare and Firetree

Next Realm Connections
We plan to progress with two additional batches with the first batch connecting on Monday, October 28. These realms will be down for maintenance from 6:00 a.m. PDT through approximately 11:00 a.m. PDT and will be complete once made live.

Batch 1
  • Blackwing Lair and Detheroc/Dethecus
  • Anub’arak and Chromaggus/Garithos
  • Drak’Tharon and Firetree/Rivendare
  • Blood Furnace and Mannaroth
  • Nesingwary and Vek’nilash

Once determined, dates and times for the next batch will be provided in the General Forum and in-game breaking news.

Batch 2
  • Haomarush and Detheroc/Dethecus/Blackwing Lair
  • Stonemaul and Bloodscalp/Maiev/Boulderfist/Dunemaul
  • Tortheldrin and Frostmane
  • Winterhoof and Kilrogg
  • Gul’dan and Skullcrusher
  • Lightning’s Blade and Burning Blade

Plans for these connections may change at any time, but we’ll provide additional updates on specific dates for future connections here as we can. Please note that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Connected Realms Feedback
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
they dont connect realms to fix faction imbalance
Faction balance is definitely being considered, but it is a tricky factor though, because generally the factions are not balanced within the same realm types.

If we were connecting PvE realms with PvP realms, then faction balance would be much less of an issue since our PvP realms are typically Horde heavy, and our PvE realms are typically Alliance heavy. But since we have to connect realms within the same realm types, the population will be increased on the connected realms but we cannot fully balance the factions on all of those realms.

That being said, the overall population situation on those realms should feel vastly improved overall once we are done with the whole process, so although the outnumbered factions in some cases will remain outnumbered, they should still see a nice boost to their numbers.

Will you keep adding more realms if connected realms are still too low?
Sure. As an example; Emeriss and Hakkar have been connected now, and Crushridge will be connected with those two realms next, and more realms will be connected to those three in the future.

Remember, what you are seeing now is just the beginning. Plenty more connections will be made, which means that it is way to soon to proclaim doom and gloom on the few connections that have been made so far

I'm sorry, once more, but You are connecting 2 COMPLETELY empty servers to emeriss. why would you connect 3 realms together while 1 has an "ok" amount of 90's, emeriss in this case, and 2 thats made of thin air? isn't it better to connect hakkar with emeriss and crushridge with another realm like emeriss? I don't see it fullfilling the purpose of populating the realms further, nor help the technical issues by mixing in massive amounts of realms without it changing anything.

hakkar and crushridge basically contributes nothing to emeriss, but ofc, the other way around, emeriss contributes to them, But why would you attach 2 empty realms to the same one? wouldn't it be serving a much better purpose connecting those nothingness realms to one other realm?

Because those three realms will be connected, the population will effectively be larger on all the three realms. Right now it might not feel like much of a population boost for the players on Emeriss, but it will already feel like a significant population boost for the players on Crushridge and Hakkar. We have just begun the realm connection process though, and more realms(yet to be announced) will be connected to Hakkar, Crushridge, and Emeriss.

In short, once the entire realm connection process is complete for Emeriss and all the realms(some that are still to be announced) that Emeriss will be connected to, players on all of those realms will feel like they are playing on one single well populated realm.

As I mentioned before, this is only just the beginning of the realm connection process, so it is a little too soon to declare doom and gloom

after seeing that Scarshield Legions and Spooregar will be merged, isn't it better to just merge the RPPVP servers with each other?
The plan is that Scarshield Legion and Sporeggar will be connected with more realms in the future, but we cannot connect all realms in one go. We have to do it in a staggered manner to make sure that realms will be connected 100% correctly without any complications.

One of the reasons why we are not announcing all the planned realm connections right away is because we want to be careful with raising false expectations in case something does not go according to the plan. If we announce specific realm connections in advance, then we will naturally raise a lot of hope and expectations for the players on those realms scheduled to be connected, but if some unforeseen complications would then arise that would result in us not being able to connect some realms as planned, then we will have a lot of upset and disappointed people.

Hey Vaneras i´m curious to know whats th target population for each final group of connected realms. Something like a high populated server? or Medium?
I can't give you any specific numbers,

But the target is high population realms with some additional capacity for new players and/or migrating players. We basically want a healthy population for the connected realms, but not so high that there will be queues from the get go.

High Population Realms
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Our realm forums are filled with queue posts and no one is responding to any of them so STOP! pouring people into realms that already have 1-2 hour queues.
We are not directing people into the high population realms—we actually warn players against creating characters there—and your feedback is not being ignored.

With the specific aim of tackling this issue, we set up FCMs for every realm that has a queue. For some time now, we’ve been offering FCMs to realms with a medium population, so no one should fear being moved to a realm with hardly any other players.

Also, when people opt to play on a realm which is clearly marked as “full”, they are warned that this may result in a wait to play. In fact, if there is a queue on the realm at that particular time, players should be unable to migrate characters there or create new ones (unless they have one there already to my knowledge).

Currently, if players with friends or family on high population realms wish to make characters there so they can play together, they are able to do so as long as there’s no queue at that time. CRZ and the associated technology has made it possible to do many things with friends on different realms, so there should be less of a desire to move to these high pop realms, but clearly they still appeal to people. As always, we’re considering and monitoring this with the aim of improving the situation for everyone.

Well but connected realms will not solve the Queue-problem. Empty Main-cities are empty main-cities. I surely will not transfer off of Stormscale or Outland just because it's free to Low Pop Servers. It just "feels" good to be around other players in main hubs. If Blizzard connects also cities - then really everyone can say "i dont care" on what server I play on. Which is just the right solution for everyone. Cross-Realm for everything.
Despite us offering FCMs to medium pop servers now, many still perceive these realms as low pop, and are reluctant to move there. Once Connected Realms are in place, hopefully people will be happier to move from realms with queues to these revitalised realms with healthy populations.

You know why people refuse to move? Because those so called "medium" population realms have 1/4th of full server populations. Take silvermoon for instance, it's alliance PVE heaven - huge population concentraded on a 1 faction. Target server might have different faction ration too which cuts the number of players by 75% or more. Number of pugs and people in general on peaktime there is less than Silvermoon has at 2 AM servertime.
Yeah, we've seen feedback that people don't like moving to quiet realms after being on busy ones, which is why we changed the FCMs to realms with higher populations. Having said that, even those realms will seem quiet after being on one like Outland for example, and I understand the reluctance. We have to be careful which realms we send people to though. If we offer FCMs to a realm with a nice healthy population, we risk creating queues there too.

Faction balance is a different matter, but we always try to help with that when creating the FCMs. In reality though, people on a realm where their faction is dominant will be hesitant to move to a realm where it's no longer the case. If we offer FCMs to people who are in the minority faction, those few remaining players may abandon the realm and make matters worse.

It's natural, especially on PvP realms, that people will gravitate towards realms that favour their faction, and over time the size difference grows. Blocking certain character transfers or character creations to tackle this isn't really ideal for those who want to play alongside friends.

i also suspect theses Qs are artificially created as they did not exist in 5.3 or 5.2 on silvermoon
No. The queues are purely from the number of people logging into the realm. They have not been "falsely created" in any way so please put away the tin foil hats. The only thing that impacts realm queue times is the number of people that wish to play on a certain realm at a certain time.

We're at an interesting time right now, what with Connected Realms being implemented. Populations are bound to be in flux while realms are connected. As I mentioned earlier, when all realms have a healthy population we're hoping FCMs will have a much larger appeal, but either way we can better analyse the situation when the dust starts to settle.

why must i PAY to move my guilds?
It's simply not built into the FCM automated system. That's something that is still being considered though, it's also a matter of resources and priorities, as always.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Misc
the lack of future information is making WoW boring for me. I have nothing to be excited about. Any new news soon?
We often talk about WoW at Blizzcon. (Source)

Even though there's a lot to do, the lack of clear direction gets me logging in less. Hopefully a balance in the future!
We agree that the lack of direction, especially when new patches come out, is a big problem. (Source)

why dont you let us the players decide what we feel is unfun?
A good question, and there are a few reasons. A) Players don't agree on what is fun. (Source)
B) There is no efficient way to communicate that information to us. (Source)
Then how about providing us a means to communicate properly & efficiently to you folks?
Players have a tendency to write really long forum posts, which makes it even harder to extract useful feedback. (Source)
C) Players aren't always great at predicting what changes they will like or not. (Source)
A common sentiment in game design is that players know what they like, but not always why. (Source)
Those maxims sound more condescending than intended. (Source)
Their aim is really to discourage designers from getting into the mode of trying to please everyone too much. (Source)
Another is that players are great at detecting problems and much worse at suggesting solutions. (Source)
so why are most replies to the people who complain with no solution rather than only those with ideas?
It's difficult to give someone who put a lot of effort into their pitch a reasonable critique, esp. given the volume we get. (Source)
On the other hand, it takes no time to try and discourage complainers and makes my twitter feed easier to read in the long run. (Source)

Why is a vanity pet called a companion while a combat pet is called simply a pet? It should be the other way around!
We discussed that, but the word "pet" meant too many different things and we were reluctant to attempt to redefine too much. (Source)

Why all the hush hush about VRealms, yo? Want my realm connected!
We're not trying to keep it hushed. We're just rolling it out cautiously to make sure it's a good, stable experience. (Source)

Is balance based on topguilds only?Bcs this OP wlock dmg from no t16 2/4piece, me not being is non existent = /
We strive for balance at a variety of skill and item levels because we have players at a variety of levels. (Source)
by Published on 2013-10-25 06:32 PM

Blizzcon in a Box Contest winners have been PMed, please check your PMs so you don't miss out!

Patch 5.4.1 - RaF Changes, EU Connected Realms, Dampening Hotfix, Blue Posts, Comic

Inside the BlizzCon 2013 Goody Bag
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
With BlizzCon just around the corner, it’s time to share the adorably lethal secret that waits inside this year’s Goody Bag. . . .

As a memento for joining us at the heart of the storm, BlizzCon attendees will receive a BlizzCon 2013 Cute But Deadly Souvenir Set featuring the delightfully menacing likenesses of Arthas, Kerrigan, and Diablo. The result of a universe-crossing collaboration, this trio kicks off an exciting new line of figures—and there are even more cute but deadly surprises to come. This limited-edition set is an exclusive gift for BlizzCon attendees, and will never be reproduced for commercial sale. Now isn’t that special?!

Check out the Cute But Deadly lineup below:


by Published on 2013-10-25 06:11 AM

Blizzcon in a Box Contest Ends Tonight!

Reaper of Souls First Look: The Mystic

NA Connectivity Issues, Opt-In Waves, Hearthstone Highlights, Beta Key Giveaway Reminder

Patch 5.4.1 PTR - Build 17513
Build 17513 was deployed to the PTR realms yesterday, with tooltip updates being the only spell changes.

This patch is a ~3 GB download and combines all of the previous Mists of Pandaria patches into one file. This should allow the launcher to remove all of the old patch files that have built up over the expansion, saving a little bit of disk space and having to go through multiple files to patch assets that changed over the expansion while playing.

Recruit a Friend In-Game UI


Recruit a Friend Pet Rewards
Some pets that were previously only used for promotions in Asia are now Recruit a Friend rewards.


Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Item Set Bonuses
  • Item - Mage T15 4P Bonus Increases the effects of Arcane Charges by 20% 5%, increases the critical strike chance of Pyroblast by 5%, and increases the chance for your Frostbolt to trigger Fingers of Frost by an additional 6%.

Warlock (Forums)
Affliction
  • Haunt You send a ghostly soul into the target, dealing [ 2,804 + 262.5% of Spell Power ] Shadow damage and increasing all periodic damage done by your spells on the target by 0% 35% for 8 sec. Warlock - Affliction Spec. 1 Soul Shard. 40 yd range. 1.5 sec cast.



Next Connected Realms (EU)
The first set of EU Connected realms is going live today and it looks like the next batch will be coming next week!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As a part of our ongoing Connected Realms implementation, we will be connecting additional realms as listed below. We don’t have a specific date yet on when these connections will occur, but we’ll provide another update once we do.

Realm Connections:
  • Mug’thol and Dethecus/Theradras
  • Temple Noir and Naxxramas
  • Crushridge and Emeriss/Hakkar
  • Sporeggar and Scarshield Legion

We’ll provide updates on the next batch of realm connections as they're available. For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Upcoming Dampening Hotfix
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We agree that matches where one team decides they can’t win (usually because they’ve lost a player), and thus decides to play defensively in an attempt to force a tie, don’t really make for fun gameplay. In fact, one of our original goals for 5.4 with The Crowd Chose You was to eliminate that sort of behavior. We’d much prefer matches to end with a winner whenever possible through fair play.

To that end, we’ll be applying a hotfix that will add one small tie-breaker. After the hotfix, if a match should last for the full 20 minutes, the team with the most players left standing will be awarded the victory. If both teams have an equal number of players alive, the match will still end in a draw (as it does currently).

We feel that this will continue to encourage players to try to defeat the other team, while discouraging them from dragging the game out hoping for a tie, without any other major impact on player behavior. We’ll give an update to the official hotfix blog when this hotfix goes live.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Connected Realms
I was wondering why are all the realms getting merged PvP ones, both in US and here, without any PvE ones getting merges? Any particular reason for this?
No special reason other than we have to start somewhere. Not to worry though, low pop PvE realms will get some love too soon enough

Why are low pop realms connected with other low pop realms? it should be a high pop realm with a low pop realm.
We have just begun connecting realms, and many more connections are planned still. Once we are done with the entire process, the population on all connected realms should be quite healthy

Any plans on connecting full servers with dead ones and moving people over. Or just splitting the server in two, but keeping them connected? Here in Draenor its a mad house. 1000+ queue lines some times, was made to wait for an hour and a half once.
The current high population realms that have queues will remain as they are today, however we are monitoring the situation on those realms. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Arena Queue Length
Klause is correct -- we were actually just unable to start new Arena matches fast enough. Turns out, you guys really like to PvP.

We pushed a hotfix last night that should have cleared up the issue and sped up queues significantly. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR Queue Time
In my experience, queue times can vary depending on a few different factors including the time of day and which day of the week it is. I usually end up trying to get my alts through on a Tuesday night, and the queues often seem quite short at that point.

If time is your main obstacle, you might want to consider getting a group of like-minded guildies or friends together and tackling it on Flex difficulty at a set time each week (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Reaper of Souls First Look: The Mystic
It looks like Reaper of Souls will be bringing back the Mystic that was removed from beta, adding Transmogrification and Enchanting (similar to Reforging in WoW).



Dark Legacy Comics - #412
DLC #412 takes a look at how many free to play games work.

by Published on 2013-10-24 06:12 AM

Blizzcon in a Box Contest, Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 21

Blizzcon in a Box Contest, Design a Legendary Part 1, More on Design a Legendary, Blue Posts

Hearthstone Deck Building Hints, Opt-In Waves, Beta Key Giveaways

Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 23
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Garrosh Hellscream
      • [Requires a realm restart.] Kor'kron Reapers now deal less damage on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • [Requires a realm restart.] Minion of Y'Shaarj's Empowering Corruption now heals for 15% of health (down from 30%) and increases damage dealt by 20% (down from 50%) on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • [Requires a realm restart.] Harbinger of Y'Shaarj's Y'Shaarj Touched now heals for 2% of health per second (down from 5%) and increases damage dealt by 20% (down from 50%) on Raid Finder difficulty.

Next Connected Realms (US)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We will performing maintenance on the realms listed below on Thursday, October 24 from 6:00 a.m. PDT until approximately 11:00 a.m. PDT. Once these are available again, these connections will be complete. We will provide additional updates as needed.

Next Realm Connections:
  • Dethecus and Detheroc
  • Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
  • Hakkar and Aegwynn / Gurubashi
  • Rivendare and Firetree
  • Dunemaul and Bloodscalp/ Maiev/Boulderfist

Next Connected Realms (EU)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re kicking off the Connected Realms implementation here in Europe, and below you can see a list of the first realms to be connected. We don’t yet have a specific date for when these connections will occur, but we’ll provide another update once we do.

Realm Connections:
  • Hakkar and Emeriss
  • Taerar and Echsenkessel
  • Burning Steppes and Kor’gall
  • Theradras and Dethecus

We’ll provide updates on the next batch of realm connections as they're available. For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Repair Costs
On face value the existence of repair costs may seem questionable, however as others have pointed out it does serve a purpose.

Without loss or the potential of losing something, the feeling of success diminishes. Some of the most punishing games can also be the most rewarding, which can be important for players. To state that repair costs are only an artificial gold sink is not quite accurate, they should deter players from dying within the game and indirectly act as an incentive for success.

The initial point about having meaningful gold sinks in the game is valid and it's something we've worked towards with a number of features, such as the Void Storage. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dampening and Necrotic Strike
We’re paying very close attention to Dampening, we understand that sparing Necrotic Strike seems like a controversial decision but we don’t really think it should be considered so; Necrotic Strike's mechanics are also very often misunderstood, so maybe that has something to do with it.
Like I said, we’re monitoring this very closely, and even though we’re confident in the outcome of this latest change, things might still change. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)


BlizzCon 2013 World of Warcraft Global Invitational: Meet the Teams
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The World of Warcraft Global Invitational is set to rock BlizzCon 2013 and we have just the teams to do the job. Eight top 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe have been invited to compete in the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational, taking place November 8 and 9 at BlizzCon in Anaheim, California.

The teams battling it out in each group has been chosen as follows:

Group A
  • MiR (EU)
  • Skill-Capped (NA)
  • Flash Wolves (TW)
  • The Last Battle (CN)

Group B
  • Bleached Bones (EU)
  • PvP-Live (NA)
  • LG-IM (KR)
  • LKD (CN)

To help you figure out which team to root for, we’ve put together a quick overview of who’s made it to the big dance.

North America
Skill-Capped
  • Alex 'Sodah' Ringe
  • Rodney 'Talbadar' Pare
  • Adam 'Chanimals' Chan

Sodah and Talbadar are no strangers to the WoW Arena scene, but they’ve never carried the same flag until now. The two have built a strong respect for each other over years of rivalry, and this year they hope to combine their skills with Chanimals’ Warlock experience to defeat anyone the world can throw at them. The trio will represent Skill-Capped, a site dedicated to improving and growing the community’s understanding of WoW PvP.

PvP Live
  • Kyle 'Novoz' McKitrick
  • David 'DannyCarey' Cook
  • Michael 'Thugonomics' Negley

Novoz and Thugonomics have been competing together for several seasons now, but haven’t yet been able to claim a spot on top of the pedestal. For this year’s BlizzCon, destiny helped round out their roster and brought DannyCarey’s monk to try to weave victory from the mists for Thugonomics and Novoz.

Europe
MiR
  • Jonathan 'Minpojke' Andersson
  • Mathias 'Zunniyaki' Esterlechner
  • Youness 'Nóliferqt' Dorqoch

The members of MiR met each other about two months after the start of Arena Season 13 in May 2013. They then focused their skills predominantly on playing a Shadow Priest, Frost Mage, and Restoration Druid, a combination that allowed the trio to remain the highest European team throughout the entire season.

Bleached Bones
  • Jamie 'Blukstack' Garcia Acebal
  • Simon 'Boetar' Heinks
  • Rene 'Swapxy' Pinkera

Bleached Bones has participated in several tournaments, such as the 2011 and 2012 European Regionals, 2012 Battle.net World Championship (BWC) in Shanghai, and the recent Bleached Bones and MiR Gaming online tournaments. Bleached Bones has been playing together as a team for over a year now, and thanks in part to their success in tournaments and on the European ladder, the team has gained the synergy and team dynamics required to beat the best of the best. Since last year’s BWC, Bleached Bones has been getting in as much practice as possible, playing hours and hours every day to prepare for BlizzCon 2013 and to show their skill and experience as a team.

China
The Last Battle
  • [TBD] Yang 'Bqsslol' Wenbin
  • [TBD] Li 'Holylolz' Yang
  • [TBD] Yeung 'Feelfear' Wing Yu

Yang Li and Wenbin Yang played on the team DoubleG at the 2012 Battle.net World Championship. This year, they’re playing under the name “The Last Battle” to acknowledge that they’re getting older, and that they believe this is the last year they’ll be able to make it to the global stage at BlizzCon—an opportunity they’d like to cherish as much as possible.

LKD
  • [TBD] Yang 'Yunainai' Huajun
  • [TBD] Zhang 'Badcat' Wenfeng
  • [TBD] Niu 'Hanaichuan' Muzhi

BadCat previously competed against his current teammates in the Chinese Battle.net World Championship 2012 qualifiers, but their mutual enjoyment of the challenge and variety of play the Arena affords them has brought these former rivals together to strive for victory in the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational at BlizzCon this year.

Korea
LG-IM
  • Jinhyung 'Avenger' Park
  • Jongmun 'Shotky' Shin
  • Seungmin 'Nooker' Ok

LGIM competed at BlizzCon as 'Kimchi Man' in 2011 and at the 2012 Battle.net World Championship as LGIM, and this is their third consecutive time participating in the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational. Warlock player Adouken, who led the group for the past 2 years, has left, but a new member 'Nooker' has joined—and their lineup has never been so formidable. LGIM has been throwing in everything they have to honing their skills and teamwork, and their performance is something to look forward to.

Taiwan
Flash Wolves
  • Wei-Yi 'PrankCat' Chen
  • Kwok 'Nightrain' Yuk-Nam
  • Che-Yuan 'Shunsha' Chang

Flash Wolves was formerly known as TEAM ROCCAT, and Prankcat is a veteran of global tournaments play. Due to the team’s outstanding score in the 2013 World of Warcraft World Championship Series Taiwan Finals, they gained sponsorship and are able to represent Taiwan for the second time—and they’re determined to win the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational!

You can catch all of the action shoutcast by Jared 'vhell' Coulston, Adam 'Hoodrych' Brown, Isaac 'Azael' Cummings-Bentley, and Blizzard Community Manager Josh 'Lore' Allen for FREE via the official BlizzCon 2013 live stream, available at www.blizzcon.com. The coverage starts Friday at 11:45 a.m. Pacific time following an introductory pre-show. Make sure to take a look at the complete Friday and Saturday schedule so you don't miss a moment.

Blizzard Art
Blizzard added more pieces to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Art gallery.


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