Mar 12th 2012 4:52PM @lanmis:
How many people? Me, for one, at least to some extent. I have 9 Cata-level characters. They all have 525 Cooking and a First Aid somewhere in the Embersilk range, and Fishing skills somewhere in the vicinity of 300. These days I pretty much just cycle them through the DMF for the monthly boosts to Fishing and First Aid, and if I'm doing something like waiting on a queue, I may do the Fishing daily.
...what's that? Archaeology? Are you nuts?
Mar 8th 2012 12:21PM Yep. I still remember my first character that I did more than fiddle around with, a rogue running around in spell leather from the guild bank because it had more armor. I figured it was a piece of armor, so armor was the most important attribute--anything else was just a nice little bonus, but nothing to worry about.
Mar 8th 2012 12:09PM They made a comment that it would boost healing "in PvP situations." If I had to guess, I'd say that if you're in any situation that would auto-flag you on a regular server (BGs, enemy cities), then you qualify--whether you're fighting other players or guards, etc. Otherwise, something like the 5-minute cooloff applies--if your target isn't eligible to turn off their flag yet, or if they'd be in cooloff from the last time they they weren't eligible, the bonus applies. (They'd have to add something that starts the timer even if you're not trying to turn off your flag, but that seems like a relatively small change.)
Mar 7th 2012 1:36PM Some of the returning folks will already own Cataclysm, others will own Wrath; it's anybody's guess as to the exact proportions.
The concern I've long seen expressed is that the cost of entry for new players (re-entry for former players), in both cash and time (in the form of leveling) is too high: Blizzard makes some money on selling the game and expansions, but their real revenue is from subscriptions, and if that cost of entry is a barrier to folks subscribing, it's a problem for Blizz.
To put it another way, each basic/BC former player who comes back, pays for one month, then desubscribes again is a net loss...compared to having the same player pay for Wrath/Cataclysm, play for one month and desubscribe again. But without this offer, how many such players would do that? If you're getting people who otherwise wouldn't come back, it's pure gain for Blizzard.
Each Wrath player who comes back, pays for one month, then desubscribes again...is pretty close to a wash, since buying Cata would get you a free month (that's the case at the moment, right?), but a physical copy of the game is nowhere near 100% profit for Blizz. Again, though, without the offer, how many of those players would be doing this?
People who wouldn't have otherwise come back are again pure gain for Blizzard.
Each Cata player who comes back, pays for one month, then desubscribes again...is a pure gain for Blizzard since the original player isn't getting a free month.
Of course, any player who comes back, and stays back for even a few months is a definite win for Blizzard.
Certainly, there will be some number of people who game the system by bringing back inactive accounts they may have had on the side, but those people will just be paying Blizzard $15 for the benefit of having an improved account that they weren't using anyway and a single-character mount.
Really, the biggest issue I see with this is that it lowers the cost of entry for returning players, but does nothing for new players. While the RAF bonus reduces the time commitment of leveling considerably, I think they'll still want there to be some commitment to people having to level at least once. The cash cost of entry, though...I'd expect to see either "Cataclysm is all you need to buy" or "RAF accounts automatically get Cataclysm when they upgrade", or *something* like that. I'd also expect to see more ways to get ding-to-80, but only after you've already got an 80.
Mar 6th 2012 10:23AM All my character names start with D. Working within that:
for my first draenei, I fiddled with Greek-to-Russian names and came out with Dimitros.
For my draenei mage, I started with Deryni from the Kurtz books and went to Derynos to echo Dimitros.
My warrior similarly started as Dorsai and went to Dorsa.
My DK is Durance, to evoke both the idea of endurance (since I was hoping to tank with him) and the idea of being imprisoned by the chains of unlife.
My gnome banker is Dzurich, for a reference to the Gnomes of Zurich. Sadly, no reference to Brust's Dzur except maybe in temperament a bit. And he's not even my primary banker anymore.
My goblin rogue is Ducata, in reference to ducats. I couldn't find any other good money-derived names that weren't taken on my server.
On my secondary (downtime) server I have a low-level tauren named Dineh, after the Navajo name for themselves, and a priest named Delphya in reference to the priestesses of Delphi.
My others are just names picked for sound or vaguely appropriate ethnic background.
Mar 5th 2012 5:55PM 6 hours? Crap. (That's aimed at me, not you.) I know I'm a true casual, but I hit 85 shortly after Cata hit, and I'm still not LFR-ready. Suppose I should get around to doing the last of the Twilight heroics.
Mar 5th 2012 12:14PM Probably because he said he'd been away for 7 months, not 15. Presumably, he'd already been poking around in Cataclysm content for 8 months or so before he went on hiatus. Certainly, there's been *some* non-endgame content since then, such as the new DMF, but the endgame is the likeliest point for him to be interested in.
(Being lazy, I will not go look up the actual dates for 4.1 and 4.2. My rough feeling suggests he has already seen 4.1 and probably 4.2.)
Mar 1st 2012 3:17PM "...Chromie can still do what Chromie does best."
Get people online to spend a lot of time speculating as to her draconic gender?
Feb 26th 2012 7:04PM Hurricane dropped for my paladin in Blasted Lands, as I recall. I tried AHing it, it wasn't going for much (given that this was in early LK), so I put in the Guild Bank.
Feb 23rd 2012 3:31PM The idea is that right now, there are more people who are willing to raid in a dedicated fashion than are able to do so. If this is correct, lowering the difficulty increases the recruiting base--potentially by the 10% figure.
If there are more people able than willing, then the nerf will not have as much of an effect--though presumably there are some people who are *almost* willing to put in the effort, and the nerf will drop the effort enough for them to become willing.