- In the Galakras encounter, a situation that caused demolition NPCs to stop opening the door to the towers has been resolved.
- An issue causing players not to receive credit towards the Drop It! and Drop It Now! achievements has been resolved.
- Crashin' Thrashin' Flyers and MiniZeps should now be able to damage each other while in sanctuary areas.
In early 2009 I wrote about The Ghostcrawler Experiment. In it I asked the question if Greg Street's (aka Ghostcrawler's) unique communication has helped or hindered World of Warcraft. Today, five years later, he departs from Blizzard as their Lead Systems Designer amongst the cheers and jeers of the community. Now is a good time to revisit the question as the experiment conclude: was Ghostcrawler's presence good or bad?
It's my contention that overall his presence has helped not only World of Warcraft succeed but has also evolved the level of discourse in the industry. Prior to Ghostcrawler's prolific writing, developer communication was often scant for AAA titles. There'd be the canned press interviews (notice that gaming press interviews are almost always the same), the short blog or video post saying nothing revolutionary and just acting as a marketing tool, and a series of social media interactions that only showed off a few new graphics.
While Ghostcrawler was not the first game designer to provide an abnormal level of insight behind the scenes, he is the largest and most public. The stage given to him was gigantic, and he took control of it unlike few people could. Ghostcrawler's words, quite literally, reached more people than the nightly news some days. Tens of millions tune into the Warcraft media sites for BlizzCon, and he was front and center with the nerfing of paladins.
Filed under: Analysis / Opinion
But just what do these programs do and how can you -- and your friends -- take advantage of them? We'll lay out all the details below.
Filed under: WoW Rookie
But I did get a lot of what I wished for. Role-specific queues in random battlegrounds, and associated matchmaking was introduced in 5.3, and bots are slowly being whittled down. PvE gear has been squashed a lot better in instanced PvP, although it still massively prevails in world PvP. Burst damage is becoming less and less of a problem, with a few notable exceptions (I'm looking at you, elemental shaman).
And what's more, while the implementation had some ill effects, one thing I wanted to see but was conflicted about came into play with The Crowd Chose You, and later with Dampening and the fix to make teams who've lost more players lose the arena too. We did pretty well, altogether.
But there were plenty of things we didn't get. Has my wishlist changed? Yes, in that I now want an even bigger moon on an even longer stick. Again, do note that these are just desires. Where I am aware of Blizzard talking about things being done, I'll say so.
Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)
I've been playing the Starbound beta and having a blaaaast. It's on Steam right now!
Is the lack of a new race or class for WoD feel like a letdown? There's so many options in the existing game world. The only thing I would see as a downside would be so many players using their instant 90 on the new race/class. Still waiting for the "massive races": Ogre for Horde and Vrykul for Alliance.
I'm sure there are others who feel differently, but I've been waiting for new character models for what feels like forever, so I'm perfectly happy with "only" getting those instead of a new race. As for classes, there are already so many. It's hard to keep carving out new niches, especially when you can't make them too niche-y. I think new models and no new class was the right call.
Filed under: The Queue
Gallery: Around Azeroth 3
Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.
Filed under: Around Azeroth
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Stacey Landry is the resident mage here, bender of space and time, conjurer of delicious confectioneries and expert at dressing well while setting things on fire.
I haven't forgotten the arcane among us. When it comes to flavor, arcane mages have it in spades. All of the now definitive mage abilities - Alter Time, Time Warp, Arcane Explosion - these all stem from the power of the arcane. These mages are not elementalists, but delvers into the arcane secrets, the essence of magic itself. Arcane mages embody everything you think of when you think "wizard," mysterious and powerful, and with sparkly spell effects.
I've played arcane over the years at various times, usually when it was too good to ignore as a top-performing spec. Mists introduced some major changes to arcane, even from patch to patch. The charges of Arcane Power went from six to four. The cooldown on Rune of Power was removed. The range of Rune of Power's effect was increased. Scorch went baseline for fire - not a bad result for fire, but tough if you were an arcane mage. Ice Floes is not a panacea when it comes to movement and casting, though the cool down and charges on it were also adjusted for the better.
To be completely clear: Arcane mages aren't having a hard time in terms of damage output. Currently arcane is very high performing. If you look at some of the numbers from various sources, arcane is not just high, it's the highest. That hasn't necessarily made it popular, though, for a number of reasons. Arcane is facing a few challenges.
For my part, I typically spend in-game time in Stormwind, though I may shift to Darnassus (or somewhere in the vicinity) soon, when I start working on raising my faction standing with the night elves. (Though I'll miss having all of those Stormwind portals to easily get around.) But what about you, readers? Where do you call your in-game home -- and why?
Filed under: Breakfast Topics
Using player surveys, psychological experiments, and in-game data, Yee breaks down misconceptions about who plays fantasy games and the extent to which the online and offline worlds operate separately. With a wealth of entertaining and provocative examples, he explains what virtual worlds are about and why they matter, not only for entertainment but also for business and education. He uses gaming as a lens through which to examine the pressing question of what it means to be human in a digital world. His thought-provoking book is an invitation to think more deeply about virtual worlds and what they reveal to us about ourselves.
If you've enjoyed reading Yee's previous work, we think you'll enjoy this, too. You can pick up a hardcopy on Amazon now.
The cross-realm functionality in 5.4.2, however, is just that -- cross-realm functionality. Currently, the Raid Browser only allows players to see other players from their own realm. In patch 5.4.2, players will be able to see cross-realm players as well -- something that is similar to what the popular addon oQueue already accomplishes via the BattleTag system. Follow after the break for the full post from Lore.