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Challenge mode rewards clarified for "end of season"

Challenge Mode Entrance
Blizzard has posted a blog detailing changes to the proposed "end-of-season" challenge mode rewards. They had previously posted a rather firm policy, detailing how this season's rewards would remain limited to those who'd previously earned them, and not be account wide. However, it seems they've changed their mind. Hit the break for the full post, as ever, but let's summarise the key points here:
  • The "Undaunted" title for all bronze medals will be account wide, so useable on any character.
  • The Pandaren Phoenix mounts earned with a full set of Silver medals will become account-wide.
  • If any character on your account has a full set of Silver medals, all four of the Pandaren Phoenixes (Crimson, Ashen, Violet, and Emerald) will become available to all characters.
  • Cosmetic sets will not be account wide. If you have all nine Gold medals, you can still buy the sets after the season ends on the character that earned the medals.
  • The "Challenger's Path" spells will be retained.
  • Realm Best titles will be permanently removed.
Hit the break for the full post.

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Filed under: News items

Rating issues for Arena and RBG wins

There is a strange issue taking place at the moment with rating. Rating itself is a tricky thing to wrap your head around, especially as it's recently gone thorough something of a shift. Right now, your character has two ratings for every bracket of arena, and for RBGs. One is the MMR, the matchmaking rating. This is the rating the system uses to match you up against similar level players. It's shown at the bottom right of the scoreboard after every match, as an average of your group's character MMRs.

The other type of rating is CR, Current Rating. This is the rating that your character earns by winning and losing matches, the one that's shown in green and red letters in the main part of the scoreboard. It's also the rating that gets you titles and mounts. Every season CR is reset to 0, while MMR remains what it was last season. So, if you ended season 14 on an MMR of 1800 and a CR of 1880, you'd have begun season 15 with an MMR of 1800 and a CR of 0.

What happens next is that as you win games, your CR increases towards your MMR. You should expect it to stabilize as you reach a CR that's near your MMR. As you win and lose games, your MMR will also shift. Your MMR aims to give you a 50/50 win-loss rate, as when that's achieved you're being pretty evenly matched.

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Filed under: PvP

April Fools: Patch 6.0 notes revealed

In what can only be a completely serious and legitimate forum post, Community Manager Bashiok has shared the first set of patch notes for Warlords of Draenor. As ever with patch notes, we've pulled some of the most notable ones here, and the full list is after the break.
  • Warlock -- All spells and abilities have been significantly revamped. Again. You'll figure it out.
  • Warriors have been nerfed because reasons.
  • Due to recent acquisitions, The Oculus is temporarily inaccessible.
  • Despite concerns over workers' rights violations due to unreasonable weather conditions, Arthas has stated that people should let it go, and that he will indeed remain the final boss of Icecrown Citadel. The cold never bothered him anyway.
  • We give up. Shaman is now spelled "Shawmun."
  • Monk -- The amount healed by Healing Sphere has been increased by 1000%, because RUN OVER THE HEALING SPHERES.

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Filed under: Humor

How to stop clicking

Before we get started, let's make one thing very clear. I'm not saying there's anything inherently wrong with clicking. If you want to click, that's just fine, this article isn't for you. If you're someone who clicks and is perfectly happy about it, then skip over all this and tell me about it in the comments. But, if you are a clicker who wants to change, then read on. As an aside, now's a great time to make the switch, we've got a while without new content...

So what is a clicker?

Without this key piece of information, the above won't be that relevant. A clicker is a term for someone who uses mouse-clicks to hit their abilities rather than keybinding them. There is an assumption made that people who are clicking their abilities are also using their keyboard to move. Their mouse is tied up with moving around the screen to hit abilities, and therefore only occasionally has the time to move their character. It's not necessarily true, but it seems a reasonable position.

Why does clicking get a bad reputation? Well, a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's slower. It is slower to move your mouse across your screen and hit different abilities than it is to move your hand across a keyboard. If you don't believe me, here's an experiment: head over to this keyboard site, and type a simple sentence by clicking the keys. Now try it with your keyboard. Unless there's something else at play, the latter should be faster. What's more, turn a full circle on the spot with your keyboard, and do the same with your mouse. One's a lot faster than the other.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, WoW Rookie

Wowcraft Episode 1

CarBot Animations, the creator of the StarCrafts series and the recent Diablols episode, as well as the Heroes of the Storm cartoon trailer, has turned his hand to World of Warcraft cartoon creation. And, as you can see from the video above he began at the beginning of the character's life, with the inevitable issue of name creation.

CarBot is well-known in the Starcraft II community for his video work, and the Blizzard gear store even sells his designs with official Blizzard branding. They're adorable, and I can only hope that the same trend emerges with his WoW work, so I can have cute cartoon WoW characters on a t-shirt!

What did you think of the video? It seems like a great introduction, and made me chuckle. Orcs and Gnomes don't seem to mix. But maybe we'll see more gnomish participation in CarBot's video work than we usually do in Blizzard's!

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls book and Blizzard's Augmented Reality app

Blizzard makes amazing art books, and the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Collector's Edition book is no exception. But, it comes with a little something extra, too. If you head to the Android Play Store, running Android 4.0 or higher, you can download the Blizzard AR Viewer. It's on the iOS App Store too, requiring iOS 6.0 or later, still called the Blizzard AR Viewer.

Once you have that, you'll need to search through the book, and maybe even images of the book pages, for the little mask symbol shown to the right. Then use the viewer to scan the page. No need to push buttons, on Android at least, it recognizes the pages automatically. And then enjoy as the beautifully drawn images are converted to animated 3D models with sound in front of your eyes! Amaze your friends with your desk full of monsters! Poke them with your finger... carefully. I was wide-eyed with childish wonder at this, and maybe I'm behind the times, but this is a very cool feature. I hope to see it for many more art books in future!

Filed under: Diablo 3

Heroes of the Storm: Senior Designer talks Tyrael

Tyrael, Archangel of Justice, is under the spotlight for Heroes of the Storm this week. Senior Game Designer Richard Khoo sat down with Community Manager Trikslyr to discuss this Hero's not-so-angelic leanings. It's a great interview, touching on the importance of using the Heroes game world and mechanics to create a hero that fits with the traits and feel of well-known lore figures.

Tyrael, as the Archangel, is a hybrid between a warrior and a support class, meaning he can charge in and flatten his foes, but also assist his allies with powerful shields, even sacrificing his own health to help them. The designers felt this was fitting with his righteous, angelic qualities in the Diablo universe. He also caters to the angelic "speed of light" idea with his teleportation abilities that base themselves off his sword. They also comment on the post-mortem gameplay that Tyrael, along with a couple of other heroes, features.

Hit the break for the full interview!

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls launch party

Central LA venue Vibiana, a converted chapel, played host to the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls launch event on Monday night, and I was lucky enough to be invited along. The venue was incredibly well-done, eerie red lighting shifting in color through the evening, and key quotes from the game's opening monologue projected onto the vaulted ceiling, along with the circular motifs you see above.

The evening began with activities, guests were issued with Bounty cards, where they could collect Blood Shards -- a new Reaper of Souls currency -- from visiting the art gallery, having their photo taken, getting a caricature or a temporary tattoo. All the activities were completely free, and handing in Blood Shards rewarded a poster, t-shirt or backpack.

Along with the activities were cos-players, specially re-named versions of classic drinks, and at 9pm a toast with Game Director Josh Mosqueira, which then turned into a live stream as Day 9 took to the stage. Those of us who were attending as Influencers were then offered a free Collector's Edition, which could be signed by the developers from the team. Hit the break for more images.

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Filed under: Diablo 3

Patch 5.4.7 Hotfixes for March 25

A small but perfectly formed set of hotfixes have just been published on the official World of Warcraft website. There's just a few minor fixes, but significant bug fixes to boosted level 90s and to priest healing in PvP.
Blizzard

Character Boost

  • Resolved an issue where some boosted characters were unable to see the portal to Pandaria in capital cities.

Classes

  • Priest
    • General
      • Resolved an issue where the amount of healing received from Prayer of Mending was not benefitting from PvP Power.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios

  • Throne of Thunder
    • Reduced the health and damage of Gurubashi, Amani, Drakkari, and Farraki adds during the Horridon encounter by 20% on Raid Finder difficulty.

Filed under: Hotfixes, Mists of Pandaria

Heroes of the Storm Balance Updates and Hero Rotation

This week, in celebration of the launch of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, two new skins have been added -- demonic Tyrael and Angelic Valla. What's more, the free-to-play hero rotation has some of the most exciting heroes available for free to players, including the recently added Tychus. The rest of the heroes are as follows:
Week of Tuesday, Mar. 25 – April 1, 2014:
  • Tyrande
  • Stitches
  • Diablo
  • Tychus
  • Kerrigan
  • Nova
Along with the latest free-to-play hero rotation, we're getting some balance changes to certain heroes. There aren't a huge number of changes but many are significant, including a lot of nerfs to Uther! Hit the break for all the changes.

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

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