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Filed under: Blizzard

Rygarius clarifies Draenor's Secret Power hotfix

One of the recent hotfixes was to the Draenor's Secret Power quest. Before the hotfix, players were able to complete the three heroic dungeons and turn in the quest items for the next stage in the legendary quest chain, getting an ilevel 680 ring in the process, because they were not required to complete the 4986 Apexis Crystals requirement first.
Rygarius - Sooo you're letting them keep the rings?
Here to provide additional clarification on the hotfix note that went out yesterday, November 17.

Quests
Draenor's Secret Power: Completion of this quest is now required before being able to move onto the next step of the Legendary quest chain. For characters that skipped this quest, completion of this quest has also been made into a requirement before being eligible for the next upgrade.

This means players that skipped the quest will still have to complete Draenor's Secret Power before being eligible for the next upgrade. That last part wasn't included until now cause I was tunnel visioning on hotfixes and glossed over the supplemental email for the change. Hope this clears any confusion up.


If you have the ring, you'll be keeping it, but people who haven't yet upgraded will have to wait until they have the apexis crystals. Since raids won't be open until December, this is (to my eyes, anyway) a minor advantage for a few players. Going any further in the quest still costs that 4986 Apexis Crystals.


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

World of Warcraft passes 10 million subscribers

In a press release today, Blizzard Entertainment announced that WoW's total subscribers are now up over 10 million players. This comes on the wave of selling 3.3 million copies of Warlords of Draenor.

This confirms vague statements issued by community managers and other Blizzard people over the last week -- that things have gotten quite busy around Azeroth.

Filed under: Blizzard

Blizzard giving all subscribers 5 days of free game time

Executive Producer J. Allen Brack has posted a message on the official forums apologizing for the Warlords of Draenor launch issues. To compensate players, each player who had an active subscription as of November 14 is getting 5 days of game time added to their accounts. He also mentions that they are continuing to deploy the new instancing tech to all realms to help with queue times. The end result will be realms having approximately double the population capacity they did before launch.
J. Allen Brack
In recognition of the difficulties so many of you ran into when trying to play over the first few days, we're adding five days' worth of extra time to every subscription in the Americas, Oceania, and Europe that was active as of Friday, November 14. Things are already in a much better place than they were going into the weekend, so I hope you'll now be able to focus on having a ton of fun with this expansion.

You can read his full message on the official forums.

Filed under: Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

Tuesday will be a normal server reset

I've been asked several times if we're going to have a server reset this Tuesday, and I assumed we were, but I didn't actually know. Because people have asked me, I decided to settle this question by the most expedient manner possible - I asked Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas. I'd do this more often, but frankly I think he has better things to do than tell me what color shoes I should buy.

So there you have it - are we going to have a normal server reset this tuesday, and a last two days to farm those old raids, run SoO for Heirlooms, or whatever? All signs point to yes. Enjoy your last two days in Pandaria, guys. Midnight pacific time on Thursday morning, we're all off to Draenor.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Live Q&A Wednesday

This Wednesday, at 11 Am Pacific, CM Lore will be hosting questions about Warlords of Draenor on Twitch.TV, with Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut. This will be a Q&A that allows for class questions, so if you were a little disappointed that they didn't answer class questions at BlizzCon, this is your chance to ask them.

Lore - Warlords Launch Q&A, Live Wednesday Nov 12th!
This Wednesday, I'll be joining World of Warcraft Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut to answer your questions live on Twitch.TV! With Warlords of Draenor's launch only a couple of days away, we're sure there's plenty of questions we weren't able to answer at BlizzCon, and now is your chance to ask them!

When: Wednesday, November 12th, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific Standard Time (see this handy tool to find when that is in your local time!)
Where: The World of Warcraft channel on Twitch.TV/WoW

There are two ways to submit questions. If you're using Twitter, simply tweet your question using the hashtag #WarlordsQA. You can also ask it as a reply to this forum thread; however, as we'd like to get to as many questions as possible, we will only consider questions using 40 words or less. Make them count! In order to be considered, your question must be submitted before 12:01 AM PST on Wednesday, November 12th.

See you there!


So there you have it. Tweet your questions with the above hashtag (#WarlordsQA) or reply to the forum threat linked above but for your own sake remember that 40 words or less limit - you don't want to ask a question only to have it disallowed for length, after all. You've got until 12 AM PST Wednesday, November 12th to ask your questions, so get to work guys.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard makes changes to official forums

So if you use the official forums a lot, you should probably be aware that they're going to change. This November 12th (known by its official name, Aaah it's the Day Before Warlords) the role sub-forums - Damage Dealing, Healing and Tanking - will be closed, along with several others. In addition, the Fan Fiction forum is being merged into the World's End Tavern forum. Kaivax has the skinny.

Kaivax - Changes coming to the WoW forums Nov. 12
On November 12 at 6:00 p.m. PST, we will be closing the following sub-forums permanently:

Tech & Science
Books & Comics
Raid & Guild Leadership
Community Events & Creations
Class Roles ->> Damage Dealing, Tanking, & Healing

Additionally, the Fan Fiction forum will be merged into the World's End Tavern forum at that time.

We will also be opening some new sub-forums immediately thereafter, with the launch of Warlords of Draenor.

We suggest that you save any content in any sub-forum (that you wish to keep a copy of) as soon as possible.


So if you make use of those forums, and there's something on there you want to keep or save, get on that - it's gone in six days.

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

Patch 6.0.3 hotfixes for November 5th

Once again into the breach, dear friends, and instead of using dead bodies as material for a wall, we're going to look at the hotfixes that Blizzard made for November 5th. Shall we? Let's do.
  • Hunter's tenacity pets saw a couple of fixes.
    • Tenacity Pet Specialization: Blood of the Rhino now reduces the pet's physical damage taken by 15% instead of increasing armor by 20%.
    • Tenacity Pet Specialization: Great Stamina now increases the pet's health by 60% (up from 12%).
  • Priests saw a 15% nerf to Holy Nova's healing, while Divine Star's healing or damage (based on spec) was buffed by 15%
  • Fixed an issue where Zidormi may send players to an incorrect phase in the Blasted Lands.
  • Once a Challenge Mode has started, characters can no longer change specializations, talents, or glyphs.
For a full list of the hotfixes, follow us beyond the curtain.

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, Priest, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Death Knight, Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft: Looking for Group documentary debuts at BlizzCon

This Saturday during BlizzCon, we're going to get to take a look at a new documentary about World of Warcraft, with a lot of familiar faces (seriously, the trailer alone is packed with celebrities) and an interesting perspective on how WoW took what was a pretty niche market in MMO's and made them a lot more mainstream.

My first reaction was "Wow, that's a heck of a Garona cosplay!" Which is why I headed up the post with that picture. Seriously, she looks more like Garona than Garona does. WHoever you are, Garona cosplayer, please let me know so I can put your name in this post. But beyond that, as someone who's been playing for ten years, I found it amazing to see it all laid out like that, how we were all just stumbling our way through the game, having no idea what it was or what it would lead to.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

2014 Halloween Pumpkin Contest winners announced

The winners of Blizzard's 2014 Halloween Pumpkin Contest have been announced on the official website, and all winners and honorable mentions are now available for viewing. The top five winners all received a Premium Series 4 Headless Horseman action figure -- a pretty appropriate and cool prize. Bringing home top prize this year were a well-carved murloc version of everyone's favorite evil mastermind, Gul'dan -- who also made a second and far more orcish appearance, as well as a tribute to Azmodan, Lord of Sin from the Diablo franchise, Thrall, and Lord Darius Crowley.

Aside from the top five, there are also twenty honorable mentions with this year's contest, and all have been put together in a gallery for viewing. Congratulations to all the winners, this year's entries were pretty amazing! Head to the official site to take a look at the winners and honorable mentions -- and maybe get some ideas for next year's round of pumpkin carving, too.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

Artcraft Level Design Part 4 features Nagrand

Part four of the latest series of Artcraft was released this week, and this time, five different level designers are featured in the segment, all talking about the development of Draenor's version of Nagrand. Nagrand is pretty unique in that Outland's version of the zone is one of the most pristine parts of Outland -- it's been virtually untouched by corruption, although chunks of the zone have obviously broken off and floated away. Which makes for the interesting task of keeping those familiar landmarks of Outland's Nagrand, while seamlessly adding those missing areas that were lost in the Twisting Nether.

All of the designers talk about that particular hurdle, as well as delivering a lot of other really interesting facts about Nagrand and the Highmaul Raid included on the western edge of the zone. The development of Highmaul and the Highmaul ogres vs. the Warsong orcs is particularly cool. This is the final installment of this particular series of Artcraft -- honestly I think it's been one of my favorites to date, simply because it highlighted so much of the stuff behind those zones we spend all our time in, but hardly ever think about in terms of how they came to be. You can check out the final installment on Blizzard's website, as well as all other posts in the series.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.0.3 Hotfixes for October 30th

So here we are, friends, the complete list of hotfixes for Patch 6.0.3, as of October 30th. What's happening, you may ask? Well, for starters, all the class tuning hotfixes we mentioned yesterday are in. But of course there's more:
  • Resolved an issue where durations for periodic effects were not always being extended for the full amount when refreshed by another ability.
  • Downfall Wing 4: Resolved an issue where Gnomish Gyrocopters may not be destroying Thresher Turrets for Alliance players.
  • Razorfen Kraul: Groyat, the Blind Hunter's Drain Life ability should no longer damage or heal for an excessive amount.
  • Isle of Conquest: Huge Seaforium Bombs no longer have a level requirement to interact with them.
For the complete list of hotfixes, the official site has the skinny.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor

Artcraft continues with a look at development tools

The excellent Artcraft series continues with a look at the tools used to develop zones, as well as how the Level Design team works with Environment Artists to craft a zone's many areas and make them all seem like natural parts of an area.

Artcraft - Level Design Part 3
The environment artists make the models and textures, and the level designer sculpts and paints the terrain, places the trees, rocks, and bushes-all the while considering gameplay and both the art and design direction. A typical day for our level designers will include decisions about the overall look and feel of a zone, as well as paying finite attention to detail, like how one plant looks when placed next to another plant in the scene.


So far this has been one of my favorite Artcrafts - while it was fun to get to see the various new models for playable races, getting to see the tools that craft the World of Warcraft we experience as players is nothing short of amazing and I'm very much looking forward to part four. Just getting to read about how they vary the shade of green to bring out different elements of the zone has me super excited. Nagrand is beautiful and diverse, and we're getting to see how elements of the game we've already known are referenced and incorporated in its creation.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard wants you to update your payment information


Blizzard made a good point today -- you should probably check and make sure all your payment information is updated. If it's not and something goes wrong, now is the time to deal with it, rather than when the assist queues are busy with all the stuff that happens during an expansion release.

This probably isn't some evil conspiracy. But for those of you that want to don your tin foil hat and think that Blizzard wants to collect new payment info so that they can do nefarious things with the money, bravo. I salute your conspiracy-ness.

To check your payment info, Blizzard has outlined the following steps:
Blizzard Entertainment
1. Log in to your Battle.net account at https://battle.net/

2. From the Settings dropdown, select Contact & Shipping Addresses.

3. Make sure you're seeing your current Contact Address and phone number, and then click Shipping Address to make sure that's up-to-date as well.

4. Return to the Settings dropdown and select My Payment Options.

5. Select Edit next to each payment method, and make sure you're seeing your current information.

Filed under: Blizzard

Artcraft continues with Nagrand and level design

One of my favorite zones to just look at in The Burning Crusade was Nagrand, it was a beautiful zone with just enough strangeness to feel alien and different. Now in the latest installment of Artcraft by senior level designer Michael McInerney, we're getting a look at how Blizzard's level designers created a Nagrand that felt like the natural predecessor to the zone we already know.

Artcraft - Level Design Part 2
Nagrand also had some equity we wanted to explore; players have experienced a shattered version of the zone in Outland, and this was a unique opportunity to provide a contrasting look. Giving places a sense of history is high on the list of zone design philosophies. Some of the more obvious ways to tell a zone's history are with ruins, when they make sense. The Highmaul ogres were once a great power in Nagrand. Now they are on the edge of oblivion. All that's left of their once great civilization is scattered remnants, as evidenced by their crumbling towers and roads you find throughout the zone. It's not a coincidence that the area they occupy in the zone doesn't exist in Outland.


How'd they do? Well, having been there on the beta, I have to say the new Nagrand is magnificent and definitely feels like it could have been the place we know, before the destruction of Draenor. Mister McInernery's point about the various races in the zone telling a story by how they interact with the environment is also spot on - you can tell a lot about the various people you encounter in Nagrand by how they live.

Head on over to the official site for more, it's definitely worth a read.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard disables 'anti-exploit' experience cap mechanic

For a while now people have been complaining about a new system that caused experience gained by repeatedly killing the same mobs as they respawned to be reduced, saying it was too punitive. Now Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has posted explaining that the mechanic, intended to combat exploits common to power leveling, has been disabled.

Watcher
This isn't intended to be an "anti-grind" mechanic. It's intended to be an "anti-exploit" mechanic that programmatically addresses power-leveling abuses, with the aim of letting us reward legitimate players more generously. In the past, we've often had little choice but to drastically reduce the experience awarded by certain respawning bosses or enemies that are locked in combat with other NPCs, because otherwise they'd be abused. That always felt bad to the regular player who was just passing through in the course of questing or exploration and got unexpectedly little or no experience for killing something. The goal was to come up with an approach that would be invisible to most players, but discourage sitting there and repeatedly farming the same mob for long stretches of time in order to gain experience. Alternatives like questing, dungeons, or PvP are all supposed to be more lucrative than that - WoW has never been a game in which mass-killing mobs for experience was the most efficient route.

That said, clearly this implementation is far too strict, and is triggering from a wide variety of normal activity. We're going to disable the functionality entirely and look into a much more narrowly targeted approach if and when we reintroduce it. Apologies for the inconvenience and the lack of response on the issue - we were working on understanding exactly where the algorithm was going awry, and now that we've done so, we'll be taking action in the near future.


So if you happen to enjoy grinding and don't mind it being somewhat less rewarding, while not wanting it to be almost completely so, this change should please you. Still, there probably should be a mechanic for combating power leveling abuses involving tagging mobs and then having a whole party or raid backing you up to kill what you tag, and I hope that when they do come up with an idea for it, it's a little less broadly implemented than this was.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

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