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Filed under: Cheats

Elder Charms, LFR loot, and perception of the doubly random

One of the things I've noticed since Mists of Pandaria launched is rooted in a quirk of human psychology. The commonplace becomes expected, the expected becomes tedious, and what was once a reward seems less so. I'm talking about what happens when you use an Elder Charm of Good Fortune to get an extra roll on loot for a boss, whether it be in LFR or a guild raid, and you get extra gold instead of an item, or an item you already have.

Ultimately, you haven't really lost anything save the Elder Charm itself, and there's a hard cap of 10 on those, so you would have ended up using it sooner or later anyway. But it feels like a loss, strangely enough, when you use the charm and see the word gold pop up, even though it isn't. I was thinking about this while reading a forum thread with a response from Draztal today.

Draztal - the big LFR loot whiners topic

That's basically what all the whiners are saying.

At the risk of sounding "old" but I remember years ago; if you were pugging current content raids, you were lucky if the group could even kill the boss. Never mind also getting loot.

Perhaps what's happening is that some players are having the illusion that because the roll is happening, something must drop eventually (eventually being, more often than not). But, if I may, I'd suggest you guys note down how many drops (for your character) do you encounter in your guild raids of a given week and how much competition you have going on for them.

When you factor those things in, does LFR really feel *that* different to the speed at which you gear up when you're competing against others in your guild? I'm just curious :-)

My answer is yes, it does feel different, but not because of LFR itself. It feels different mostly because, when people use their Elder Charm they have an expectation that isn't grounded in reality, myself included. No one uses that coin wanting gold. You use the coin hoping that the item you need from the boss will drop, which is human nature. But the coin is random.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

5 tips for playing WoW with a baby on your chest

5 tips for playing WoW with a baby on your chest
Seems like a lot of WoW Insider has spontaneously had a baby recently. OK, not spontaneous. A child isn't the sort of thing that creeps up on you. There's warning, is what I'm saying. You have time to plan. And that time's pretty important, because once your bundle of joy is in this world, things get a whole lot more complex. Like playing WoW.

I'm obviously not one of those folks who say you have to quit your gaming life the second you have a child, but there are some fairly realistic adjustments that need to be made. Long nights of hardcore raiding are probably off the menu for a little while, and screaming hate-filled obscenities at that cheap rogue who just ganked you for the 50th time is right out. But, still, playing WoW is possible -- it just takes a little finesse.

As I'm writing this now with my own little bundle of snot, poop, and adorableness, I wanted to share to the prospective parental audience what I've already discovered. I am by no means an expert, but this is the stuff I wish someone had told me before I logged in with a 7-pound baby on my chest.

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Filed under: Cheats, Events, Humor

Blizzard issues official statement on Raid Finder exploit consequences

Earlier in the day, raiding group Paragon apologized for exploiting a bug in the Raid Finder tool that allowed their raiders to obtain loot from a boss more than once in a lockout period. Blizzard has followed up with a statement of its own, explaining that people who exploited the bug in a similar manner will be receiving temporary suspensions.

Raid Finder Loot Exploit Suspensions
Shortly after patch 4.3 was released, we became aware that some players were abusing an exploit to obtain loot from the same Raid Finder bosses multiple times in a single raid lockout period (one week). The Raid Finder loot mechanic is of course intended to only allow a person to roll on boss loot drops once per raid lockout period. The raid lockout mechanic has been a mainstay of the World of Warcraft rules since Onyxia and Molten Core, ensuring that no one can obtain loot from a boss more than once per lockout. Due to the nature of the exploit and the clear intent of those who abused it, they've been issued notices and given temporary suspensions from the game. We're also working to remove all Raid Finder items from those who used the exploit.

It's good to see Blizzard taking action on this. Certainly there will be some who will believe this to be too mild a punishment. But given the number of people who abused the exploit (Paragon was far from the only guild doing this) and a need to hand out punishment evenly and consistently, a temporary suspension appears to be the right solution.
Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Cheats, Blizzard, News items, Raiding

Paragon: We're sorry we cheated

High-end raiding guild Paragon issued an apology today for exploiting a bug in the Raid Finder that allowed its raiders to accumulate a large quantity of tier 13 gear. The statement reads, in part:

We acknowledge that using this unintended behavior, which was quite clearly a bug, to our gain, was wrong. The fact that others were using it as well is no justification for doing it ourselves. We apologize for doing it, and accept whatever consequences follow.

Paragon had come up with a plan to run the Raid Finder multiple times, once for each raider. While executing the plan, they noticed and exploited a bug that allowed the raid the ability to loot passed gear -- a violation of Blizzard's rules. The exploit has since been hotfixed.
Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Cheats, News items, Raiding

Pro Tip: Don't exploit loot rules in LFR's Dragon Soul

A stern but necessary warning from Bashiok today:

Dragon Soul loot exploit
If you are getting loot off of a boss twice then it is an exploit. This has always been the case in World of Warcraft, and we expect players to know better.

We're in the process of implementing a hotfix to fix the exploit, and are deciding what steps we'll be taking for the gear that was already obtained.

We're not going to post about what people are doing (we never have and never will post exactly how the serious exploits are done), but there is a clear and intentional way people are getting a lot of loot out of the Dragon Soul raid using the Raid Finder.

This method they're using gets around the "one shot at loot per week" rule, and it's something that Blizzard clearly from the get-go didn't want to happen. Bashiok is absolutely right as well -- it's well known amongst WoW's experienced playerbase that such exploits are never to be done.

There are reports that some people who've exploited the system are getting the exploited gear stripped from them in the EU; however there is no official announcement yet as to what's happening.

Once that's announced, we'll let you know.

Filed under: Cheats, News items

Insider Trader: Selling arrows in singles for the price of a stack scam

Got trade skills? Want money? Insider Trader is the column to read. Whenever they let Basil write it, he'll do his best to fill your head full of ideas and your bags full of valuables and gold.

I'm going to come right out and say it: Don't do this. I recently wrote about ways engineers can make money, mentioning (among other things) selling epic ammo to hunters. The problem with making the best raiding and PvP ammo in the game only available from players is that it forces hunters to either find an engineer with the recipe who is willing to do all the crafting by mail, or buy it off the auction house.

What do I have against the auction house, you ask? Well, overall it's an excellent tool and far superior to the much nastier alternative of being forced to actually use trade chat for, you know, trade. It's not perfect, however. In fact, there's one massive glaring inadequacy that can be found.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Economy, Insider Trader (Professions)

Blizzard bans 320,000 WarCraft III and Diablo II players

Blizzard appears to be cleaning house in preparation for its StarCraft II release as well as its revamp. In a recent announcement on the service's forums, Blizzard rep Bashiok revealed that over 300,000 accounts were punished for violations of the terms of service for Warcraft III and Diablo II for using hacks and illegal third-party tools (which are essentially hacks).

For those of you who have had past experience with, these numbers probably don't surprise you. The network has had a long reputation of being fairly easy on people using hacks as Blizzard tends to save up over a long period of time in order to do a massive batch of bans at once. This means that those who are using hacks have a long period of time to abuse the system before anything is done about it. The hacks for some games were rampant enough that other players began using hacks that detect other hacks. Regardless of the reason behind using a hack, it is still against the terms of service and means if you get caught, you're out.

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Filed under: Cheats, Blizzard, News items, Account Security

A look at GM Island and the Player Jail

It's hard to judge exactly how many players know about GM Island. Some of the older players will remember the flood of trade chat and guild chats whenever a GM was online and visible in GM Island, and those folks who like to mess around with private servers and unexplored places will have at least heard of its existence. However today, with the island being so cordoned off, many players probably are not familiar with the mythical island of the game masters.

GM Island is a piece of land that used to exist in the very upper left hand coordinates of Azeroth, far beyond the reach of players. It exists as an in-game entrance point for Blizzard GMs, and is a relatively mundane place. It has a small keep and a dock, a few trees and bushes, and that's it.

There was a time when players were able to swim out to the island, and that swim took around an hour of hard work. It involved using a level one character constantly casting renew and other healing spells; and the player had to know exactly where to point themselves or risk being hopelessly lost in the vast oceans of Azeroth. The trick used to get there was similar to the one that allowed players to get to the Isle of Quel'Danas on the patch 2.4 PTR back in 2008. It was also possible to water-walk out there, but not much is known anymore about that method, at least publicly.

After the break we'll take a look at a few of the features and lore surrounding GM Island, as well as look at some videos. However, please be forewarned that some of the images and videos in this post are from private servers. Enough legitimate in-game footage simply doesn't exist.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats

Editorial: Thoughts on the Ensidia ban

Are you wondering what has caused all the ruckus in the raiding community the past few days? Have you been typing your fingers to the bone since Wednesday night, arguing for one side or the other in forums and chat channels? Whoever you are, or whatever side you're on, in the still-burning aftermath of Ensidia's ban, I feel some reflection is needed. Thus, I am going explain, to the best of my ability, what happened to cause such uproar in the raiding community this week. I am also going to, as the title implies, offer my speculations.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Bugs, Guilds, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

High-Rated PvPers do the robot

We've gotten a bunch of tips recently that claim some very e-famous PvPers are botting in BGs. If you aren't familiar with the term "botting," provides us with the following definitions of bot:

    1. Bot:
      the larva of a botfly.
    2. Bot:
      –noun (Australian Slang)
      a person who cadges; scrounger.
    3. Bot:
      a device or piece of software that can execute commands, reply to messages, or perform routine tasks, as online searches, either automatically or with minimal human intervention (often used in combination): intelligent infobots; shopping bots that help consumers find the best prices.

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Filed under: Cheats, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Rumors

Hunters discover "new" Worgen pet

As the holiday weekend rolled around, we started to get a number of tips that Hunters were successfully training themselves a...Worgen pet? Worgen?!? How was this level of cool allowed into the game without anyone knowing about it until now?

Well, it turns out that the Worgen pet is in fact a very clever use of game mechanics somewhat akin to those used by Hunters in order to tame the (now sadly vanished) Grimtotem Spirit Guide. Garwal, a warg NPC in northern Howling Fjord who can turn into a Worgen as part of a questline (the link is the Horde version, but it's the same for both Horde and Alliance) can actually be tamed and kept in Worgen form if the timing is right. Mania's Arcania has a look at the process used here, which involves a little math, a little guesswork, and the strategic use of Wyvern Sting.

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Filed under: Hunter, Cheats, News items, Humor

Exodus punished for exploiting Yogg-Saron encounter

As previously reported, there were accusations that US guild Exodus used an exploit to obtain the World First of the last unclaimed Hard Mode in Ulduar -- Alone in the Darkness. As it turns out, these accusations were true and blue poster Daelo posted on the official forums that the Yogg-Saron encounter was hotfixed on all servers to prevent this from happening in the future. Owing to this, Exodus' kill is no longer recognized by some achievement trackers.

Contrary to some reports, however, Exodus released a statement on their website that members of their guild were not banned, clarifying that Blizzard meted out a 72-hour suspension for their abuse of game mechanics. They argue that the encounter wasn't beatable to begin with, similar to the C'thun fight in Ahn'Qiraj before it was fixed, prompting the exploit. In the same statement, Exodus also points at Ensidia's arguably hypocritical stance of complaining about the abuse considering Ensidia used similar questionable methods to achieve other World Firsts. Serennia mentions this behavior in his column at wowriot, as well, bringing into question Blizzard's apparent double standard when meting out punishment.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Guilds, Blizzard

Phat Loot Phriday: Ironmender

Here's an offhand, one that works pretty well for Priests.

Name: Ironmender (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Off-hand
Damage/Speed: N/A
  • +54 Stamina, +47 Intellect, +45 Spirit
  • Improves haste rating by 36 and spell power by 74.

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Filed under: Priest, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Odds and ends, Phat Loot Phriday

The Azeroth Ethicist: Special I.W.I.N. edition

In reading the commentary on the site concerning the brouhaha surrounding Martin Fury and The Marvel Family's steamrolling of raid content, there were a lot of assertions made that left an impression on me, but the overwhelming feeling I had coming away from it was the players were treating it as a TOS issue when ultimately it's not. For obvious reasons, Blizzard doesn't spend a lot of time creating specific rules for what happens when players get ahold of items that are not officially supposed to exist. I do, however, believe it to be a moral issue.

Was Karatechop wrong to use the shirt, or just wrong past a certain point?

Someone made of stricter stuff than myself would probably say that it was wrong to use the shirt at all, but I have to admit -- I don't have it in me to condemn Karatechop's initial impulse to try it out. GM items don't officially exist for players; we know about them only because they've been data-mined, and you'd have to be a fairly frequent habitué of Warcraft fan sites to have any inkling that they're in the game at all. If I'd been in Karatechop's position, like many players I would've believed that Martin Fury was a joke when I first saw it. Who honestly expects to run across an item like that, let alone one that was mailed to a guildie's level 13 Warlock? I don't believe Karatechop was wrong to try the shirt when he had no reason to believe it was anything other than a joke or some bizarre glitch.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Features, Bosses, Achievements

[1.Local]: The theory, debate, controversy and scandal edition

Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

The [1.Local] PuG was in rare form this week, postulating theories and pontificating on issues ranging from the Martin Fury scandal to whether or not Ulduar difficulty and loot is on target. We highlight not one but two in-depth posts on the lore behind the Horde/Alliance relationship, each with extensive reader reaction.

This edition of [1.Local] also spotlights fresh reaction from Karatechop, the player at the epicenter of the Martin Fury brouhaha. What does he think about all the hullabaloo over his banning in the wake of his use of a GM-only item that came into the hands of a guildmate? Karatechop responds to the pages of comments on our exclusive interview with him about the incident. All this and more, after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Features, Raiding, Interviews, [1.Local]

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