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by Published on 2013-11-03 07:49 PM

Blizzcon Ticket Winners have been PMed and only have until 11:59 PM EST tonight to reply before another winner is selected!

Developer Interview With AusGamers, Fist Weapons, Wands and Transmogrification, Estimates on Pre-Expansion Patch, Blue Posts

Weekly News Recap, Beta Key Giveaway, Building a Budget Priest Deck

Recruit a Friend Active Until Level 85
It looks like the RAF update will be increasing the maximum level that it provides extra experience and levels from 80 to 85! Keep in mind this works for currently active RAF accounts, but no return date for the program has been announced yet.



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.

Next Realm Connections

Monday, November 4
We will be connecting the realms listed below on Monday, November 4th during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 6 a.m. PST through approximately 11:00 a.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Haomarush and Detheroc/Dethecus/Blackwing Lair
  • Stonemaul and Bloodscalp/Maiev/Boulderfist/Dunemaul
  • Daggerspine and Aegwynn/Hakkar
  • Tortheldrin and Frostmane
  • Dentarg and Whisperwind

Future Connections
We currently anticipate two additional batches of realm connections as indicated below. We do not currently have a date for these connections, but will provide further updates when we can.

​Batch 1
  • Scilla and Ursin
  • Undermine and Anvilmar
  • Malorne and Firetree/Rivendare/Drak'Tharon
  • Quel'dorei and Sen'jin
  • Gul'dan and Skullcrusher
  • Echo Isles and Draenor
  • Fizzcrank and Aggramar

Batch 2
  • Lethon and Detheroc/Dethecus/Blackwing Lair/Haomarush
  • Smolderthorn and Chromaggus/Garithos/Anub'arak
  • Gorgonnash and Warsong
  • Winterhoof and Kilrogg
  • Lightning's Blade and Burning Blade
  • Cairne and Perenolde

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.

Ability Balance in PvP and PvE
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
PvP is an intrinsic part of World of Warcraft. Just the fact that players have to choose one of two factions that are at war with one another is proof enough of that.

Nevertheless, if you follow WoW since the very beginning, you can see the evolution that PvP went through until now.
Initially, there wasn’t even any instanced PvP content at all. Battlegrounds were introduced a few months after the game was launched and Arenas only came with the first expansion.

Meanwhile you had a lot of PvE content being pushed out, new raids, new dungeons, new items, new quests… but this is beside the point, it’s not fair to compare the amount of PvE to PvP content, they’re two completely different beasts.

PvE players will never be happy if we let content stagnate, that’s just the nature of PvE Content. It needs constant and regular updates. Players also expect to progress, and it’s even more complex than that, because they also expect content to remain challenging. (Players’ experience rises, and the new content’s difficulty has to match it)

PvP players on the other hand are much more likely to be happy with less content updates and less changes, as they tend to focus on balance and gameplay mechanics.

With this in mind and given that there are many more players interested on the PvE than the on the PvP side of WoW, I think it comes as no surprise that PvE uses a lot more resources than PvP does.

Things can get even more complicated when you start to look at what drives players and what their motivations are, for example, item upgrades and character power progression are concepts that pose a challenge to PvP balance, but whether you like it or not, it became one of the main drives for a lot of PvP players, so PvE and PvP are actually tangled with each other on many aspects.

You can try to make a distinction and say that those are actually “PvE players” that enjoy PvP as a way to progress their characters, but does that really matter? Maybe it does, but the fact is, there are more players interested into PvP than the “hardcore” PvP crowd.
WoW is a game where PvE and PvP are supposed to be mixed, the open world is the best example of that, it’s neither exclusively PvE nor PvP, it’s both at the same time. That was the essence of PvP in WoW, to let players fight each other whenever they go face to face in the open world, and ideally that should feel seamless. I know it’s not really seamless at the moment (especially with the controversy about world-PvP), but maybe we can do something about that in the future.

The topic being discussed is a very hard problem to solve and I really appreciate your thoughts on it, I know how frustrating it can be when certain things occasionally affect PvP. I’ve always been into both arenas and raiding, and I try my best to have an unbiased view on the subject, I think a lot of you do too, and we just have to realize that there is no easy and perfect solution for this, what you can expect though is that we will do our very best (and your feedback really helps) to make both PvE and PvP coexist "peacefully" at the same time in the same game.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items
I'm not sure about that. It's hard to see the effect of a single piece of gear on performance. Upgrade is upgrade.
Weapons and trinkets are easily felt IMO. Chests and helms less so. Bracers are hard to feel even though I know they contribute. (Source)
My psych classes told me a diverse reward structure is what you should go for,if you want a game to be engaging
We have not been super successful there. WoW has lots of reward types but many players care far more for power than anything else. (Source)

How do you feel warforged worked out this tier combined with upgrades? made the 25 man race to easy and the 10man to hard.
Weapon or trinket drops probably had a much larger effect than the warforged ilevels. (Source)

Is there a specific reason why Bindings of Immerseus is giving Spirit instead of Hit and giving Non-Mages/Locks an advantage?
The Spirit was aimed at healers. There wasn't an elegant way to make it "non-hit Spirit." (Source)

Sorry, full regem-reenchant-reforge every upgrade is so tedious and expensive that I don't bother anymore. And I feel bad.
We agree that we have let post loot modification get a bit out of control. (Source)

I realize you probably won't respond to this but any news on this mount? I'm dying for it.
Patience. We haven't forgotten it. (Source)

OpenRaid Updated
Our friends over at OpenRaid have released some nice updates to their site today:

  • QuickRaid Revamp - Now you can create groups for things like Flex raids that are going on now rather than scheduling something in the future or relying on a crowded chat to find people. You can also quickly check experience and gear based on data from the armory without individually looking everyone up.
  • Repeatable Events - If you have a weekly run, such as ICC, Ulduar, or Elegon, you can now quickly copy this week's event and invite everyone that came, making for easier weekly runs.
  • Dual-Spec Roster Sign-Ups - You can now sign up for events as multiple specs
  • OpenRaid Addon - The addon has been updated to make it a quick copy and paste to invite your group, with more updates coming.

by Published on 2013-11-01 07:18 PM

Blizzard Trademarks "Warlords of Draenor" - WoW Expansion
Blizzard just trademarked "Warlords of Draenor" in New Zealand. It was then registered in Australia shortly after.

  • Computer game software, computer game discs, downloadable computer game software, computer game software downloadable from a global computer network, interactive multimedia computer game program; downloadable electronic game software for use on portable electronic devices such as mobile and cellular phones, laptops, handheld computers, and tablet PCs.
  • Entertainment services, namely, providing on-line computer games; providing on-line non-downloadable computer games that may be accessed via a global computer network; providing online news and information in the field of computer games.

It's also worth mentioning that warlordsofdraenor.com was registered a month ago.

I do realize that we had a lot of fun times with trademarks in the past (*cough* Dark Below *cough*) but let's just say that on a personal level I'm pretty confident about this one. I'll leave the speculation up to you guys until Blizzcon.



by Published on 2013-10-31 04:31 PM

Blizzcon Ticket Giveaway

SoCal Punk Legends Blink-182 to Close Out Blizzcon 2013
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Thousands of gamers are about to come to a party and celebrate all the big things (and all the small things too) . . . and maybe even fall in love with a gnome at a rock show when legendary Southern California punk rock trio Blink-182 headlines the closing concert at Blizzard Entertainment’s sold-out BlizzCon® gaming convention, taking place November 8–9 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Acclaimed worldwide for their influential and groundbreaking pop-punk sound, Blink-182 has achieved massive critical and commercial success, with over 35 million albums sold. Their third album, Enema of the State, went quintuple platinum and catapulted the band into superstardom.

Unfortunately for fans of Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” video, Anaheim city ordinances strictly forbid the band from running naked through the streets around the convention center. BlizzCon attendees are kindly asked to adhere to the same policy.

“After two days of hard work watching games and playing games and talking about games, we can’t think of a better way to kick back and relax than to have your face melted by Blink-182,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re thrilled to have such an awesome band helping us bring BlizzCon to an epic conclusion.”

“Nothing beats touring and playing in front of a live crowd,” said Tom DeLonge, Blink-182 guitarist and vocalist. “Our roots are in Southern California, so playing at BlizzCon will be like having a show in our own backyard—only with a couple thousand more orcs and elves in loincloths and bikini armor.”

BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft®, Diablo®, and StarCraft® game universes. The show will have an array of activities, including discussion panels, competitive and casual tournaments, contests, hands-on playtime with current and upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games, and more.

While tickets to the convention are no longer available, viewers at home can join the excitement by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, which offers comprehensive live coverage of both days of the event, including Blink-182’s performance, via multi-channel HD Internet stream for $39.99 USD (pricing and availability may vary by region).

DIRECTV customers in the United States can order the BlizzCon 2013 Pay Per View event, priced at $49.99 USD, which includes access to the Virtual Ticket online stream. Visit www.directv.com/blizzcon for more details.

With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply. As BlizzCon draws closer, further details about the show will be announced at www.blizzcon.com.
by Published on 2013-10-31 03:44 AM

Last Chance Contest: Win 2 BlizzCon Tickets!

Blizzcon General Admission Ticket Giveaway!

Blizzcon Ticket Giveaway
We have some spare Blizzcon tickets to give away this year! Read below for entry information and be sure to enter on DiabloFans and HearthPwn if you want a better chance of winning.

  • To enter: Post a comment telling us which of the Blizzcon panels you are most excited for, other than the Opening Ceremony.
  • Tickets do not include travel and accommodation expenses. You are responsible for getting to Blizzcon!
  • There will be 5 (five) winners selected, each of them will receive 2 (two) BlizzCon tickets.
  • Deadline for entries is Saturday, November 2nd at 11:59 PM EST.
  • Winners will be selected randomly and contacted via PM.
  • Winners need to respond with their shipping info within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen.
  • You may only enter once per site. More than one entry on this site will disqualify you.
  • You may only win one prize, regardless if you enter on each site.


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.


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