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Posts with tag WoW-community

Warlords of Draenor: Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas on healing in dungeons

Dungeons can be tricky to balance. Too easy, and everything turns into a 'go go go' zergdown. Too hard, and no one wants to run them. This is of course subject to change as gear and skill and familiarity all increase, of course. But it's a topic that Ion Hazzikostas recently took up on the forums. One of the things people have been concerned about is the change to how healing works, and Ion discussed it and why they made the changes. Basically, it came down to the idea that with mana regen effectively not a factor in Mists, the only way to kill players in raids was with massive spikes of damage that required immediate reaction from healers to survive.
Our goal is not to make healing more difficult. Note that nowhere in the above did I say that a problem with Mists healing is that it was too "easy." We want to slow down the pace a bit, and for the challenge in healing to lie more in making decisions about spell usage and targeting, and less in twitch-reaction and sustaining a DPS-style rotation. This also means that the cost of a mistake is not a dead player, but rather a more injured one, giving you a chance to fix your error.
So what does this have to do with dungeon tuning? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Dungeons are being tested on the beta now (I've recently gotten to run Auchindoun and Shadowmoon Burial Grounds) and when they're tested, your level is adjusted to the bare minimum necessary to run said dungeons. This of course means that players are testing the content at its lowest possible threshold, because it has to function for players in the minimum gear to get into the door. And this leads to issues with healing, because the dungeons aren't final yet. It's an interesting job, beta testing. Often, stuff doesn't work - that's why you test it.

We've reproduced Watcher's post in full after the cut. For the most part, I'm interested to see if Blizzard actually succeeds with their goal of slowing down healing.

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

Know Your Lore: The Ashbringer, Alexandros Mograine

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Unlike other KYL's we've written here, this one's actually about two things - a person, and a weapon. The weapon is one of the most powerful ever forged, crafted by the hand of a dwarven king mourning a brother he believed slain, made with a chunk of crystal from another world. The man was a tireless crusader for his people, who stood against the forces of the Scourge - and when he did, whole armies of the undead were as ash.

We speak of both, for both were the Ashbringer. But to speak of the blade, first we have to speak of the man - for it was by the actions of Alexandros Mograine that the blade came into existence.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Moviewatch: Peaches

Spring is finally here for real. Sure, the nights are cold, but the days are getting longer and the temperature is finally climbing a little bit. It's a good time to get outside and enjoy some fair reminders of the warmer days to come. And no song celebrates the fruit of the season quite like Peaches.

Bonkey's WoW-rendition of this classic song is probably still my favorite. With an all-star cast of machinima legends, Peaches is the ultimate celebration of fun, community, and thank-the-Light-for-the-weather.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Bashiok on choice and complexity

It's not a secret that a lot of change is coming to Warlords of Draenor and WoW, and not all of us are sanguine about all of it. Enter Bashiok, the man, the demonic evil tree avatar, with a forum post about the nature of choice and how it informs complexity in our gaming.

Bashiok's point about interesting choices vs. choices for the sake of having more choices is one that is worth discussing. There's complexity that comes from the interaction of options, and complexity that descends from an overwhelming variety of options. In the past, Blizzard has always tried to err on the side of lesser, more interesting choices as opposed to more choices that aren't necessarily choices at all. One need look no further than the change in Mists of Pandaria to our talent system. We lost talents that added things like 1/2/3% crit and gained decisions. Not everyone liked that change, but it's worthwhile to keep in mind when looking at future changes that happen.

There's a lot of complexity in modern WoW that evolved over time as new systems were introduced, but not all of this complexity is based on meaningful options and gameplay. As we get closer to Warlords of Draenor, we're going to lose some of this evolved complexity, in order to clear out some room for more choices that matter.

For the full text of Bashiok's post, click on through to the other side.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Youtube user Kephas demonstrates how to play WoW blind

Everyone remembers the story of Hexu and Davidian, a completely blind player and his helpful friend who acts as a guide dog of sorts to help Hexu find his way. While Youtube user and avid WoW player Kephas isn't completely blind like Hexu, he has no vision in his left eye at all, limited sight in his right, and no peripheral vision. Despite this, Kephas still manages to play World of Warcraft just fine, and decided to make a video to show everyone just what it's like to play WoW as a visually-impaired player.

In the video, Kephas goes over his UI and the addons he uses to make playing possible, even going so far as to provide a demonstration of his dps on a handy target dummy, then following that up with a jaunt to successfully and easily solo Onyxia's Lair. Kephas followed up the first video with a second that details and explains how he plays a variety of classes through the use of clever macros. Paladin, monk, warrior, hunter and death knight all get a play through and some test time on target dummies in the follow up video. While some characters are admittedly better geared than others, Kephas still manages to pull plenty of dps with each.

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Filed under: News items

Random Acts of Uberness: Good times with good people

Good deeds are all well and good, but good people truly make the world go 'round. If you're recruiting for your guild, you couldn't do better than to find players like these. Good times with good people -- that's taking the random roll out of Random Acts of Uberness.

Caught being uber: Aret, Baelgun (US- Alliance) I'm leveling a Priest alt, Holygears, and I'm in Uldum. The area seems particularly busy perhaps because so many of us are trying to push alts to 90 (we have to use all that yummy Timeless Isle gear, don't we?).

My quest was The Bandit Warlord and required killing Warlord Ihsenn. While I'm flying there, I'm thinking I might have to wait awhile for a respawn because of how busy the area is. As the Warlord shows up on the horizon, I realize he's alive but already tagged. Bummer ... worst timing ever!

Just to help him go down faster, I start hitting the Warlord with Penance, Holy Fire, and a Smite. In the middle of whacking buttons, up pops a group invite. Since the Warlord is going down fast, I quickly accepted, the Warlord died, and I got credit. I typed "Thanks" in party chat and Aret of Baelgun replied with an abbreviated "No problem." Aret managed to invite me and Mesmerizze of Whisperwind before the Warlord died so we could all three get credit.

It's not a huge deal, but it turned a potential "sit and wait" depressing scenario into a "keep on going" moment. Thanks, Aret. -- Holygears, Alexstrasza (US-Alliance)

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Filed under: News items

15 Minutes of Fame: Actor Jake Stormoen lives the fantasy life on set and in Azeroth

Photo: Arrowstorm Entertainment
I actually made myself practice saying the first name of actor Jake Stormoen before our recent phone interview: "Jayyyyyyyke," I intoned over and over, trying to banish the memory of the chewy Irish "Jehk" I'd heard so many times in tale after tale of Azerothian camaraderie from long-time gaming buddy Kristian Nairn ("Hodor" in HBO's Game of Thrones). It's impossible to get very far talking with either actor without running into a reference to the other; the two have formed one of those crazy gaming bonds that -- well, you know how it is with a bromance forged in the ice and fire of Azeroth.

I caught up with the smaller half of the inseparable WoW-playing duo by phone during a break from the frigid set of multi-part fantasy epic Mythica, now filming on location in Utah in temperatures as low as 10 below zero. Young actor with a cool fantasy role? This guy's most definitely got it going on. We explored WoW friendships, mused over the pressures of tanking, laughed about blowing off steam in Azeroth after a long day on the set -- oh, and paused the whole interview mid-stream to deadpan and snort our way through a phone call from the Hodor-sized half of the Nairn/Stormoen duo.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Random Acts of Uberness: Around the world with a friendly troll

Why stop at one world boss when you can knock out a whole handful of them? It's easy with a little help from a fellow Hordie. No transportation? No problem!

Caught being uber: Kaza, Zul'jin (US-Horde) Why hello there! I'm Evianary, a level 84 Undead Mage, that's currently on Zul'jin. While on my mage the other day I found a World Boss group and thought why not do it on my mage to try and get prepared for level 90? Unfortunately, I cannot fly in Pandaria, and there were no Warlocks in my group!

I was in quite the pickle, till Kaza, an awesome troll hunter also from Zul'jin. She, or he, flew me to all the various bosses including Sha, Galleon, Oondasta, and Nalak! I even got some shiny epics that are currently waiting for me. I'd just like to really thank her/him for helping a fellow Hordie out! -- Evianary, Zul'jin (US-Horde)

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Filed under: News items

Random Acts of Uberness: The power of glasnost

After a veritable hurricane of goodwill during the holidays, it's seemingly back to business as usual on the highways and byways of Azeroth -- except for these players who took something personally in all the right ways.

Caught being uber: Glasnost and Purix, Zul'jin (US-Horde) So I've been trying to tame Degu for weeks on end. I'm just not coordinated enough to do it on my own. So tonight, after my fourth or fifth death, an 88 mage, Purix on Zul'Jin, asked if I wanted some help taming him. We both died a bunch more times trying. So I started advertising for a tank. Oddly enough, I had a DK volunteer, Glasnost on Zul'Jin.

The three of us tried countless times, and the three of us died countless times. Finally, after the DK made the comment, "Alright, now this is personal," we tried a few more times with the three of us and died. Then the DK had the idea to have the mage not do anything, just to let him tank Degu alone. He took the beating until Degu was down under 20% and let himself die. I threw down the ice trap, Deterrence, and hit tame. I got him! I tried to pay both the folks who helped me and they wouldn't let me. I gave the mage all the cloth I had in my bags and the DK says, "Nah, just name him after me." So I did. -- Zentagia, Zul'jin (US-Horde)

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Filed under: News items

Random Acts of Uberness: Defender of Hellfire Peninsula

Nobody ever protected me from the Fel Reaver when I was a mere young'un in Hellfire Peninsula ... /sniff

Caught being uber: Fireßugz, Ravencrest (US-Alliance) I'd like to send a shout-out to Fireßugz, level 85 dwarf shaman on Ravencrest-US(Alliance). There I was, minding my own business killing Crust Bursters in Hellfire Peninsula ... when the notorious horror of Hellfire appeared overhead! It was a Fel Reaver, of course, and despite popping a health potion and Darkflight, things looked grim ... until suddenly the Fel Reaver turned aside from me, distracted by a flame shock!

Fireßugz descended from the heavens, destroyed the Fel Reaver, and went on his way. I don't know what he was doing in Hellfire Peninsula, or what inspired him to stop to kill it, but it's truly appreciated. -- Carnassial, Ravencrest-US (Alliance)

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Filed under: News items

Random Acts of Uberness: Recruit-a-gear

The author of this week's first Random Acts of Uberness letter reports hearing rumblings in trade chat as he was busily receiving Recruit-A-Friend levels. What happens when you attract the attention of townies when you're insta-leveling in public?

Caught being uber: Axtin, Stormreaver (US-Alliance) I was in Stormwind receiving free levels from 23 to 85 from the RAF benefit. Some people were commenting about it, and when I hit 85, I mentioned that I needed to get some gear, now. I was just going to go to the adventuring supplies vendor and buy everything I needed, when Axtin told me to hold on.

He came back a few minutes later and gave me a complete set of plate gear, rings, and weapon for my newly minted 85 warrior. I tried to pay him for it, but he refused. By far one of the coolest experiences I've had. Saved me a huge amount of gold buying all the vendor gear. -- Eriine, Stormreaver (US-Alliance)

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Filed under: News items

Random Acts of Uberness: Some Crashin' Thrashin' good help

That one holiday achievement you can never seem to check off, no matter how many years you persist? With the help of a random act of uberness, consider it done!

Caught being uber: Aliviani, Kilrogg (US-Alliance) I've been unable to complete the achievement Crashin' and Thrashin' for five years. My guild tends to scatter for the last half of December in order to enjoy the holidays, and I've had the darnedest luck getting people to crash my little toy car into. I had 4 crashes leading into the holiday this year. Well, that all changed!

Thanks to cross realm zones I headed over to Ironforge and asked for help. Aliviani, a druid from the Kilrogg server kindly offered to group up with me and summoned her own racer as many time as necessary until I had gotten the achievement. She already had the achievement, and wanted nothing in return! She has no idea how much I appreciate the kind gesture. Now that one achievement no longer haunts me! -- Celna, Silvermoon (US-Alliance)

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Filed under: News items

Random Acts of Uberness: 'Tis the season to be uber

The flood of holiday happiness continues this week with a record number of Random Acts of Uberness reported across Azeroth. This week, we start off with a note that turns the tables on the player who reported the lead story in last week's Random Acts, proving that when players reach out to build community, everybody wins.

Caught being uber: Kazekana, Hyjal (US-Horde) Well, during the Winter Festival, Mistsofjade and myself (Lucidluna) passed out free cookies, milk and ports to everyone who came up to us, then Christmas Eve night we handed out Fortune cards! We got tons of heartfelt sweet messages from people as well as thank yous and even a few gifts from players, but Misty and I both were SHOCKED to find out that we were on WoW insiders! We received a whisper while in LFR about it and tons of congratulations from the servers players.

Misty and I both really wanted to thank Kazehana from Hyjal for submitting us. Misty is actually my mom and we both were having a very less than fantastic Christmas this year, and that really meant allot to us both. It was really great of them to do that for us and they have no idea how much it lifted our spirits and made our Christmas! Thank you Kazehana for making our Christmas 100x better! -- Lucidluna and Mistsofjade, Hyjal (US-Horde)

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Filed under: News items

The WoW Insider Show Episode 326

The WoW Insider Show Episode 247 In which we say hello to Anne
Every week, join us as we present you with The WoW Insider Show podcast -- an hour's worth of WoW community discussion covering everything from the week's top stories here on WoW Insider to emails from our readers and what's been going on with our particular characters in Azeroth.

Want to have your question answered on the air? Email theshow@wowinsider.com! And don't forget to join us for the live show again next Monday at 8:00 p.m. PDT!

Get the podcast:

[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
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Listen here on the page:


Filed under: Podcasts, Podcasting, WoW Insider Show

Random Acts of Uberness: Uber-Claus is coming to town

'Tis the season to be uber, as demonstrated by this bursting-at-the-seams gift bag of Random Acts of Winter Veil Uberness.

Caught being uber: Mistsofjade, Lucidluna, and Taise, Hyjal (US-Horde) These ladies are handing out free cookies and milk to everyone on my server. The mage (Lucidluna) is also handing out free ports. They are dressed for the season as well. They are super nice. I also attached a screenshot of them handing stuff out under the tree in Org. I think they deserve the love and kindness they are giving this holiday season. -- Kazehana, Hyjal (US-Horde)

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Filed under: News items

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