Update: Our friends over at GuildWars2Guru were able to take part in the press event for Guild Wars 2 and get PvE, PvP, cities, character creation, and other videos. If you are interested in the game be sure to have a look!

Mists of Pandaria Internal Alpha Started
A lot of people have been asking me when we should expect a MoP beta or more updates on the game, and the answer to that question is simple: soon. All the recent events indicate that the internal alpha testing already started:

  • The old WoW2 Battle.net accounts used for the Cataclysm Beta have finally been removed from some players Battle.net pages.
  • The recent update of the official talent calculator had multiple spells tagged as "NYI" (Not Yet Implemented). This is what we see in Alpha/Beta stages of the game to indicate that a spell doesn't work in-game yet.
  • Community Managers have posted actual screenshots of new spells tooltips in-game. It means they have a server they can easily connect to for that, and it's most likely the biggest proof.

Now what does it mean for players? First, let's be clear, this is the internal alpha and it is different from the Friend & Family Alpha where non-Blizzard employees can play as long as they know someone in the company. This one would be restricted to employees only and Blizzard executives are probably watching anything happening there very closely.

However, it definitely means that if everything goes well we should see a Friend & Family Alpha or a Beta within one or two month, and the Mists of Pandaria press tour on March 19 is most likely a way to prepare fansites to that. For Cataclysm, the press tour happened about 2 weeks before the start of the closed beta.

NAO Invitational Tournament
Curse, Skill-Capped, and Logitech are sponsoring a player run Arena tournament with over $4000 in prizes. You can find the list of prizes on ArenaJunkies. See the structure and rules for more information about how the teams are selected.

This tournament did not allow 4.3 PvE gear and had the final matches this afternoon.

Method vs Dragon Soul
Method made a nice video overview of their journey through Dragon Soul that is different from the normal boss kill videos.

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

This article was originally published in forum thread: Mists of Pandaria Internal Alpha, NAO Invitational, Method vs Dragon Soul started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 148 Comments
  1. pzijderv's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bantokar View Post
    Yeah but how many did Blizzard sucker into being stuck with their subs for that long? See a lot of people won´t have the option to leave.
    how did they "sucker" anyone into the pass? it was just an option for me as far as i know, nothing was promised other then a year wow, beta mop acces, D3 and the mount. do explain the "sucker" part.
  1. Insomnie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevoman View Post
    They don't even have to do that. They've already got over a million suckers who are stuck paying for the game even if they don't want to play it. It only needs 1.5m subscribers to remain profitable, right?
    Are you guys smoking crack?Would any company ever throw away a chunk much greater than the 50% of their revenues just so they can hold a "THIS IS HOW WE MOTHRFUCKING ROLL!!!11one!" stance?
  1. Drudatz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bantokar View Post
    Yeah but how many did Blizzard sucker into being stuck with their subs for that long? See a lot of people won´t have the option to leave.
    dont you read mmoc at all? it was in the news around 1.000.000 people....and active subscribers are around 10 times that much....

    Quote Originally Posted by 7seti View Post
    Considering the massive leaks that happened during Cata's F&F alpha, I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard decided to skip that phase this time. If so, we could expect a release date around August.
    Blizzard will never skip a F&F alpha....
    But even if they would theyd have no time to release before december...

    Quote Originally Posted by asphyx5 View Post
    People thinking a nov release date are smoking crack.. There's no way gonna have dragon soul last all of spring/summer/fall .. Especially since the raid itself is smaller than even ICC. I expect prob a august release but that cutting it.
    Yes it will last that long cause theres D3 and SC2:Addon 1 before MoP will be release so see you in December MoP
  1. bluspacecow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bgknoccout View Post
    I don't care about beta, I don't care about the mount and I don't care about D3. I won't miss any of them, only my money.
    inb4 deal with signing up for such a deal - I wasn't aware that my financial situation should suck this hard at the moment.
    Give Billing a Call :


    From posts from SFA blues on the Customer Services forums Blizzard would much rather take away the benefits of the annual pass then turn away a potential customer.

    IE They would rather take the mount off you , take away the free D3 and take away your beta spot in the MoP beta.... Then look into collection agencies to recover the remaining payments in the 12 month contract.

    I'm sure that if you give Billing a call and you talk to them about your financial situation they'll be willing to take you off the Annual Pass.
  1. Bound4Earth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bantokar View Post
    So ehh, any way of getting out of this annual pass crap?
    Just stop or cancel your subscription. You automatically lose all bonuses tied to the annual pass, but I imagine that a lot of people will do this. Annual pass sounded like a great idea when people thought Diablo would be release Early Q1 with MoP to follow about 6 months later, but with how slow they're moving I expect another big drop in subs before any games release this year.

    I mean how can the second 1/3rd of a game take so damn long, they released Starcraft and the expansion for SC both within a year of each other and the expansion had as much content as the original game. Oh yeah that's right they had a full dev team working on one game. Now they try to juggle their development team between four games and never focus on one game. That explains why the Diablo III beta is still so broken after all this time and nowhere near release. I wish they never dissolved Blizzard North and lost most of the devs from that team. Diablo III would have been done 1-2 years ago, minimum.

    At their current pace we'll get Starcraft 2 the full game released completely after 8 years with the expansion taking another 4 years for finish for a total of 12 years. It only took then maybe 3-4 years to completely develop the original Starcraft from the ground up and this time they're only copy pasting the original with better graphics and a few new very minor additions. Diablo III was announced in 2008 so they were playing with ideas a minimum for 1-2 years prior which makes a 4 year + development cycle for the game alone with the expansion taking another 2 years at this rate for a total of 6 years...How is that acceptable by any means.

    Don't get me wrong I liked SC2 I just liked it better the first time I played it as Starcraft. I hope that doesn't happen with Diablo III. From what I've seen it offers the same exact experience that Torchlight. I'm hoping Blizzard has something bigger then real life money on in game items.

    TLDR: I hope their skeleton development teams start gaining members so we can actually see Blizzard make some progress this year, especially with the complete and utter lack of attention and focus on WoW.
  1. Neily's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bantokar View Post
    Yeah but how many did Blizzard sucker into being stuck with their subs for that long? See a lot of people won´t have the option to leave.
    I get a guaranteed MoP Beta access and a £30-40 game for free just for continuing to play WoW for another year.

    The only so-called "suckers" here are those who continue to play WoW, buy D3 and didn't get the annual pass, really.
  1. atl4ntis's Avatar
    something where you could log in and use new pandas stuff has been up for a while now, stop giving hype information like lol internal alpha. Jeez mmo-champ must suffer bleeding visits since wow is bleeding subs aswell.
  1. Eggwolls's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bound4Earth View Post
    Just stop or cancel your subscription.
    You can't cancel your subscription if you have opted into annual pass. You basically signed a contract when you signed up for it and it's not going to be broken easily. You have to contact Blizzard and give a reason that is on their list of criteria. I don't know any exact reasons off the top of my head. Some guy made a pretty decent blog about how annoying it was to cancel it though.
  1. Ophelos's Avatar
    "Mists of Pandaria Internal Alpha Started" is misleading, since alpha stage of a game is the very start of a working title. An blizzard is much more into the dev stage, (clearing showing how far they were at blizzcon). It should be "blizzard is working on Mists of Pandaria Internal beta", so they can show the press.
  1. Lared0n's Avatar
    And thats why we had Annual Pass.
  1. komgcn's Avatar
    Very nice movie, I really enjoyed it.Thank you Method, great job.
  1. TheEaterofSouls's Avatar
    Blizzard doesn't need to follow the exact same beta/alpha time you know. Maybe we'll get open beta in may and then it'll get released in august. There is absolutely no set time-frame for the games development process. For all we know it could have been well underway behind our backs. But on the internet conspiracies like these are expected. :/ (It could be over half finished for all we know at this point.) And FYI you will get D3 and beta. Even if D3 doesnt come out til fall.
  1. Khadgerler's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by komgcn View Post
    Very nice movie, I really enjoyed it.Thank you Method, great job.

    Great movie method...also enjoyed it.
  1. koowal's Avatar
    Dwarf with mug of beer totally looks like Gérard Depardieu.
  1. Crofford's Avatar
    This is why I, personally, stopped playing WoW.

    Paying my sub for more than six months with NO NEW CONTENT just wasn't, in my opinion, worth it. Especially when the content was progressively less and less.

    I wish only good times to those of you who remain subbed and are enjoying the game. The content patches just weren't worth more than $100 to me any more.
  1. Idletime's Avatar
    I didn't get why people bought into the Annual Pass. Most of you were after the mount (which you got), some felt they were going to be playing WoW anyhow (which most of you are, and obviously don't remember what the end of an expansion looks like, it's pretty damned dull), and some were after the free D3, which all added up was a zero sum game for allowing them to nail your credit card once per month.

    As a person that's dealt with people who break contracts only to have them end up in collection, let this be a really good lesson for the future. If you are asked to sign up for something and commit to an annual or multi-year payment schedule for a consumer item or service, tell them NO EFFING WAY.

    I personally thought the name itself was misleading, as I always felt they should have requested full payment up front rather than the opportunity to pay over time since this was going to lead to a ton of bad feelings when they didn't make good on the Q1 delivery of D3 and they were going to starve the WoW playing public for content over the next year until they released MoP. Sure you get Beta Access. Get ready to be pissed off when you're bored out of your skull with that and they wipe your realms a few times.

    TL;DR: Caveat Emptor, never trust this or any gaming company when you think you know they will deliver on your schedule and not theirs.
  1. rickastlee's Avatar
    so sad for the annual subscribers... i hope you have a lot of alts you wanna level while you wait for the Q4 release on a related note: GW2 closed beta footage looks amazing and anticipating this was the biggest reason I thought buying the annual pass lacked major foresight.
  1. Rorcanna's Avatar
    -_-'...It is really tiresome seeing adolescent know-it-alls going on about how they pity those that signed up for the annual pass, how we got "suckered" into it and how we should let this be a lesson...I have gone into contracts with breeders for dogs worth 2000 euro with breeding rights worth about 10k-15k euro per litter with average litter size accounted for, I've entered into contracts for insurance, house/apartment, cars and so on...Most adult people that signed for the annual pass, have entered contracts before without a problem at all, contracts concerning a lot more than game time. Do I really have anything to learn from someone too stupid/raged at this game/bad at economics to see that the annual pass was a good deal to some people when they try to give me a lecture? No...of course not. The very thought is just way too hilarious to fathom.Did some people sign the annual pass without giving it much thought? Sure, but they weren't suckered...they had the rules written in front of them and still signed without thinking. That's not Blizzard's fault. Just as it ain't their fault when some people grow bored/fail so hard at the game that they grow angry at it.

    What's next, Blizzard getting blamed for people in general living beyond their assets?I signed up for this pass after carefully reading it (yes, actually reading it! HURR!) and simply realizing that it would benefit me. I have not felt regret even once, and despite this being the end of yet another expansion I'm enjoying myself enough to stay subscribed, just like I did at the end of WOTLK. Simple.Thinking.And.Knowing.What.You.Want is all that goes into my decision to sign that annual pass.

    I'm sure the same can be said for most adults that signed, and those that are the exceptions...well, they should learn a thing or two, that's true. But again, it ain't Blizzard's fault in any way. Now, time to keep playing and shuffling and leveling and raiding and doing all the fun stuff that's fun in the game still. .
  1. Idletime's Avatar
    Never said it was Blizz's fault Rorcanna, you made my point exactly. You're obviously someone happy with the contract, and happy with the purchase, and not part of the 14-21 year olds that are so dumb they can't read terms and requirements. Read the text of what you sign, and think ahead. I deal in contracts on a daily basis and the dumbest thing I've ever heard was "I didn't read it before signing" and even dumber are the people that didn't comprehend it. The point is, I like reading stories where people didn't read, because I hope that it teaches them for life down the road. If you live in the USA, we honor contracts here, so don't expect anyone to let you out of them.
  1. ImpTaimer's Avatar
    Why are people still pissing and moaning over the annual pass. It's a straight gain to go for it unless you don't want to play WoW. If you don't want to play WoW, don't sign up for it.

    For assumption purposes: $60 (Diablo 3) + 25$ (Tyrael's Charger) = $85. That's OVER a 6-month subscription ($77.94 USD - Six Months Recurring ($12.99 per month)). They even throw in a free beta access. Assuming the length of the beta, lets assume a few months, that's practically getting another free game in itself (another $30-60). Even if you don't care about the mount, you still profit from doing the annual pass just from two free games (most single-player games run their course in at least a month unless you play them sparingly or it has mod/multiplayer support).

    Lets be honest, you're only pissed off because you haven't been told exactly when Diablo 3 or MoP beta access will come out, so you feel like you're wasting money sticking to a game you're bored with. You'd rather play Rift, SWTOR, or etc till these things come out, but you're stuck with this annual pass. If that's the case, you never should've signed up.

    Developers these days are really keen on the "it'll be done when it's done" gimmick when in reality they're just creating superfluous hype for their game. They know when they want to push it out, otherwise you wouldn't have to worry as much about them releasing half-empty, buggy, boring games. "When it's done" is just the new gimmick game companies adopted to sell games. Get used to getting set up for failure. Pre-orders, DLC, and mod-kits pretty much pampered developers into releasing crapware. When people stop pre-ordering and buying DLC, we'll see some better customer care.

    I mean really people, if you can't handle a little math or commitment, don't even bother with marriage.


    But don't get me wrong... I blame Ghostcrawler for most of the fun that got sucked out of the game. He's in charge of classes, the key-fun-factor in the game, and he failed miserably. Waiting whole Xpacs to even attempt anything drastic with a class is just pathetic, especially for a game you pay a subscription for. PTR is just a fucking joke.

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