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Further MMR adjustments for Rated Battlegrounds

You may recall that, a little while back, WoW Insider posted about the changes being made to MMR tolerance in order to repair the ladders after a bug. It seems, unfortunately, that these changes did not go far enough to rectify the issues for players of Rated Battlegrounds. It makes sense that, for this far less played discipline, MMR issues have not self-corrected.

As a result of this, matches played are still resulting in 0 point rating gains with wins, which is disheartening at best. So Blizzard has come up with a simple solution that might have been a faster and more popular fix to the initial issue -- increase everyone's rating to get it closer to their current MMR. If these terms are confusing, I made a fair attempt at explaining them in the last post.

This, coupled with the initial increased tolerance in MMR to rating parity, should result in everyone gaining points for wins. Hit the break for Lore's full post.

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Filed under: PvP

Breakfast Topic: Do you still PUG?

The idea of playing in a PUG -- or a random pick up group -- was once a painful one. You might spend ages in chat trying to find random players willing to join you for a dungeon only to get stuck spending hours trying to successfully navigate the dungeon... or even longer if you were unlucky enough to be trying to run Blackrock Depths. Grouping could be painful, which meant you tended to stick with guildmates or friends for dungeon runs that wouldn't leave you wanting to tear your hair out.

Of course, in today's game, the dungeon finder and raid finder make getting groups together a simple task, and dungeon running itself has been streamlined to make it easier for random groups to succeed. With these changes, it's gotten a lot easier to run a random dungeon, and so some of the stigma around PUGs seems to have faded -- or perhaps just transferred to LFRs.

For today's discussion, I'm wondering: do you play WoW in random groups? Or do you rather stick with guildmates and friends?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Character service pricing going up for those paying in pounds

Though character service pricing has always seemed high, if you're paying for WoW in pounds sterling then soon you're going to have to pay a bit more. Presumably, this is to bridge the difference in value between the pound and the euro, but Blizzard's description of the price change as an adjustment to ensure they're offering the "best entertainment value" doesn't really sell it -- as pages of unhappy commenters can attest to. If you're in the market for character services, here's the new pricing, in effect April 30th:

Takralus
Name Change .................................................... Current Price: £6 | New Price: £7
Pets ....................................................... Current Price: £9 | New Price: No change
Helms ................................................... Current Price: £10 | New Price: No change
Appearance Change ...................................... Current Price: £12 | New Price: £13
Guild Name Change ....................................... Current Price: £15 | New Price: £17
Character Transfer ........................................ Current Price: £15 | New Price: £17
Race Change ................................................. Current Price: £15 | New Price: £17
Mounts ................................................ Current Price: £17 | New Price: No change
Faction Change ............................................. Current Price: £20 | New Price: £22
Guild Transfer ..................................... Current Price: £25 | New Price: No change
Guild Faction Change ......................... Current Price: £30 | New Price: No change
Level 90 Character Boost .................... Current Price: £40 | New Price: No change
Guild Transfer and Faction Change .... Current Price: £50 | New Price: No change

Filed under: News items

Patch 5.4.7 hotfixes for April 23

A new round of hotfixes has gone live today. This round includes a number of changes to Siege of Orgrimmar, all of which can be found below.
Patch 5.4.7 Hotfixes
Classes
  • Shaman
    • Healing Stream Totem no longer incorrectly heals itself.
Quests
  • Scourge Tactics: Increased the spawn rate of Webbed Crusaders.
  • The Embalmer's Revenge: Resolved an issue where Stitches was not resetting correctly.
Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Malkorok
      • Resolved an issue where Ancient Miasma effects were able to persist after the encounter ended.
    • Garrosh Hellscream
      • During the Garrosh Hellscream encounter, Word of Glory no longer generates threat during stages 2 and 3 to address an issue that was making the encounter more difficult than intended for raid groups with Protection Paladin tanks.
      • Unstable Iron Stars now Fixate on players for 12 seconds (up from 10 seconds) during stage 4 of the Garrosh Hellscream encounter on Heroic difficulty.
  • The Eye of Eternity: Resolved an issue that could prevent players from being able to loot Alexstrasza's Gift after defeating Malygos.
Items
  • Potion of Luck: Reduced the amount of gold found in Plundered Treasures.


If you were one of the many making enormous profit off of the Potion of Luck and Plundered Treasures ... your luck has just run out. Boom.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Moviewatch: Peaches

Spring is finally here for real. Sure, the nights are cold, but the days are getting longer and the temperature is finally climbing a little bit. It's a good time to get outside and enjoy some fair reminders of the warmer days to come. And no song celebrates the fruit of the season quite like Peaches.

Bonkey's WoW-rendition of this classic song is probably still my favorite. With an all-star cast of machinima legends, Peaches is the ultimate celebration of fun, community, and thank-the-Light-for-the-weather.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Are you playing Hearthstone for iPad?

I admit, I was charmed by Hearthstone during its beta. But after a lot of playtime -- and the beta wipe which cleared my card collection -- the game lost some of its shine. By launch, I was playing very little, if at all, and my gametime has dwindled ever since. That was until Hearthstone for iPad appeared -- and if the download numbers are anything to go by, I'm far from the only one who's jumped on (or back on) the Hearthstone bandwagon.

Easily being able to fire up a game of Hearthstone on my tablet means that now I play a lot of times where I might not have before -- having a game running while I'm checking email or watching television. So, readers, tell me: has Hearthstone coming to the iPad brought you into the game?

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Know Your Lore: Gnomes, the inheritors of the future

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

The gnomes are one of two people of modern Azeroth who can lay claim to being the most intelligent, most adept with technology, most innovative of the mortal races. Unlike their goblin rivals, however, the gnomes are not materialists in the sense of always seeking a means to profit - their mindset is far more exploratory. A goblin looks at a situation and bends her mind to determine how best to exploit it, while a gnome seeks to learn how it works. And in a way, the gnome is far more dangerous, because they're never satisfied.

Consider this - the gnomes invented a weapon so destructive it rendered their own city unlivable for years. Even today, Gnomeregan isn't fully recovered. This radiation bomb (the work of Sicco Thermaplugg, the ambitious madman who once ruled Gnomeregan in its fallen state after Gelbin Mekkatorque led those gnomes he could out of the city) is proof positive of just how terrifying gnomish ingenuity can really be. Unlike the mana bomb Garrosh Hellscream used on Theramore, the radiation bomb doesn't destroy building - it kills without ruining structures. Furthermore, the mana bomb was a discovery, created by blood elves serving Kael'thas Sunstrider who had the chance to study naaru technology in Tempest Keep, but the radiation bomb was entirely a gnomish invention. From their origins as a titan created construct race, the gnomes have persevered through to the modern day as a clever, resourceful, inventive people. But Sicco Thermaplugg also shows that gnomes can be treacherous, deceitful, arrogant and even contemptuous of others.

Now, following the Siege of Orgrimmar, is there any limit to what the gnomes can achieve?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Who I want to see in Warlords of Draenor: Griselda Blackhand

No, this is not actually a picture of Griselda.
If you don't know who Griselda was, that's not really your fault - she was a character who lived and died during the original Warcraft game. But to my mind Griselda is a perfect example of the way you can make use of the parallel world of Draenor we're going to visit, a character who can highlight the ways that things have changed.

Originally, Griselda was one of the three children of Blackhand the Destroyer, and like her brothers Rend and Maim, she was artificially aged to adulthood via warlock magic and trained to fight. But unlike her brothers, her father denied her the blood of Mannoroth (so, ironically, she was spared the blood curse) and would not give her a position of authority like the ones he'd given Rend and Maim. This was a colossal act of disdain on his part - he'd stolen her childhood from her, turned her into a weapon, and then refused to make use of her. Why he did this is unclear - it's often said it was a punishment for her insolence, but we don't know what that insolence entailed.

Her fate in our timeline (turning against her father, running to the Deadmines alongside an ogre named Turok, assassinated by her father's warriors) isn't what I'm interested in, however. It's how the Griselda of this Draenor could turn out that interests me.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Story and Sound: Mozart would be writing the World of Warcraft


I've been thinking a lot lately about the dynamics of telling a story. What exactly is a story? How do you tell it most effectively, both from an artistic narrative stand point, and a consumer-friendly attention grabbing one? I've also been concerned with new ways to tell a story, especially one that people might discount at first since the story mechanism lives on the edge of pop culture.

Besides working on WoW Insider, I also make my home at the Minnesota Opera, working on their website and advancing an opera's story through digital mediums. Opera is an old art form, one that if not nurtured and brought into the next century is at risk of becoming obscure. I'm proud to work for a company that realizes this and does some really ground breaking things.

It struck me recently when sitting through a dress rehearsal the eerie similarities between Warcraft and an opera like The Magic Flute. After thinking about how very like these two story-telling vehicles are, I realized that they are both just a natural progression in humanity's ability to tell a story.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls soundtrack now available online

If you're a fan of Blizzard's music, you can now acquire the Reaper of Souls soundtrack through iTunes. You can purchase the album for $9.99 or individual tracks for $1.29 each. The Reaper of Souls music page on Blizzard's website includes 30 second samples of each track as well as composers' notes.

If you find yourself interested in multiple tracks, we suggest just going in for the album -- there are 22 total tracks, adding up to a significant cost difference. $9.99 or $28.38? The choice is yours!

Filed under: Diablo 3

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