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Would we want content that hasn't been tested?

Would we want content that hasn't been tested
Lately, the EU forums have been on my must-read list due to posts like this one. Poster Ask (no sign of Embla) posed the question, as it is right and appropriate that Ask should do, of whether or not Blizzard could or should release new content without there being a PTR or beta for it.

I wasn't even done sputtering yet when CM Takralus pretty much said what I would have, were I not busy sputtering.

Takralus - "New" content and an idea
New content must be tested. Many, many players enjoy being able to test and give their feedback on upcoming new content, and we put that feedback to good use. But, many more people do not test it, and first experience it when the content is actually released.

The simple truth is that if you do not want to see maps and tactics for upcoming content, it's not too hard to avoid. Neither of those are things that will burn into your mind, never to be forgotten.

The day WoW launched, even that had first been through an alpha and then beta test, where people could play and give feedback for months :P

Even with beta tests, bugs get through. Anyone remember Sinestra? At the time Paragon killed her, they talked about the fight and its issues. One of those issues was that Paragon was one of the first guilds to really see Sinestra, and as a result, the fight had bugs that were not discovered until after Paragon began seriously pushing for the kill. In other words, not testing Sinestra on the PTR had consequences that may be acceptable with a single fight that only a few players will even see while it is current and that will be fixed by the time other guilds go back while outgearing it.

These consequences would absolutely be ruinous if they were felt by everyone attempting to do normal-mode raiding content. To a degree, not running a PTR or beta test is irresponsible on Blizzard's part, especially with content meant for the majority of players. I really think the responsibility for walking into a raid fresh, unspoiled by tips or beta testers, is on the players. Better we have some spoilers than untested content.

And yes, we had both an alpha and a beta for World of Warcraft. They didn't translate to having everyone know everything when it went live. Heck, half the time, it just confused you because stuff changed so much. I really fall on the side of those who appreciate beta testing.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Today's raid testing livestreams

If you missed the oodles (yeah that's right, oodles) of raid testing that took place over the weekend on the Mists of Pandaria beta, worry not. There are still two more bosses scheduled for testing today, Garalon in Heart of Fear at 13:30 EDT (1:30 p.m.) and Tsulong in Terrace of Endless Spring at 19:00 EDT (7:00 p.m.). Both bosses being tested are for 10-man heroic difficulty.

And if you don't have the chance to test the bosses yourself today (maybe because you find heroic difficulty daunting or your guildmates are all at work), check out the stream embed above. It's from the perspective of Kennyloggins, a hunter in the guild Midwinter of Ysera (US). The guild also has a team page if you're interested in seeing the fight from the perspective of other classes.

A little Shadowfiend also told me the guild is planning on giving away some prizes on behalf of its sponsor, once testing on Tsulong is complete.

For those of you interested in 25-man raid testing, a blue post from Watcher late last week said it would begin after 10-man heroic testing is finished. Following today's testing, there are six more bosses left on 10-man that could possibly be tested.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Raid testing schedule for July 3 and 5

Mists of Pandaria Beta Raid testing schedule for July 3rd and 5th
Are you and nine friends in the Mists of Pandaria beta, at level 90, and ready to test some raids?

We've got your raid testing schedule right here.

Watcher
On Tuesday, July 3, we'll be testing two encounters; on Thursday, July 5, we'll test two more.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Beta Test Realms, regardless of suggested geographical region.

Tuesday, July 3

Elegon (Mogu'shan Vaults) - 10 Player Normal
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Blade Lord Ta'yak (Heart of Fear) - 10 Player Normal
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

Thursday, July 5

Protectors of the Endless (Terrace of Endless Spring) - 10 Player Normal
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Tsulong (Terrace of Endless Spring) - 10 Player Normal
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session or cancel it entirely, due to bugs, builds, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.


Note: The ilevel of your gear will scale automatically. Initially, Blizzard said that MoP gear was required for the scaling, but some readers report that Cataclysm-level gear works as well. Your mileage may vary.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

New vanity glyphs in Mists of Pandaria beta

New vanity glyphs in Mists of Pandaria beta
A giant tauren named Flaskataur, Esq. is selling glyphs for your class in Orgrimmar, Stormwind and the Valley of the Four Winds. For some classes, he offers cosmetic glyphs. If you are a monk, hunter, mage, priest, or shaman, you can now customize your character's skills in various ways.

As you can see above, monks can glyph a new flight form called Zen Flight. Other examples include the Glyph of Marking that turns the Hunter's Mark into a bull's-eye, and the shaman's Chain Heal spell looks like water with the Glyph of Deluge. Check out the complete list of vanity glyphs at Wowhead News.

Flaskataur, Esq. will only show you the glyphs for the class you talk to him with. Prices are 4 silver each. He's live on the latest Mists of Pandaria beta build right now, looming over everyone in a conspicuous location. So if you're in the beta, you can try the new glyphs out for yourself.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: First raid testing schedule announced

Blizzard has announced the times of the first raid testing sessions for the Mists of Pandaria beta. Normal 10-man Stone Guard in Mongu'shan Vaults will be tested for two sessions this Friday, June 22. More details as to how to be ready are in the initial announcement.

Daelo
For Friday, June 22 we'll be testing just one encounter, the 10 player Normal difficulty version of the Stone Guard encounter in Mogu'shan Vaults. There will be further opportunities to test this encounter. Think of today as a warmup!

The encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Beta Test Realms, regardless of suggested geographical region.

Early Session: 10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)
Late Session: 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid. We might have to change the time of a testing session due to various issues with bugs, builds, server hardware issues, designers being sick, class issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information.


Will you be joining in on the testing fun?

[Via MMO-Champion]

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Sungshin Ironpaw powerlevels your cooking skill

Mists of Pandaria Beta Sungshin Ironpaw powerlevels your cooking skill from 1 to 525
In the town of Halfhill, located in the heart of the Valley of the Four Winds, adventurers can find many interesting people and things at the market. One of the market residents, Sungshin Ironpaw, can train your cooking from level 1 to 525 and has all of the required (new) recipes and mats to do it. At this point in the beta, it's not cheap, but the prices of course may change before launch.

Once you are at 525 cooking, the Guide to the Ways will offer you quests so that you can begin pursuing the the six Ways (specializations). Each Way has a max level of 600:
  • Grill
  • Wok
  • Pot
  • Steamer
  • Oven
  • Brew
Some of the quests, recipes and items that you can get from Sungshin are in the gallery below.

[Thanks for the tip, Jesse!]



It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: All heroics open for testing

Mists of Pandaria Beta All heroics open for testing
All of the Mists of Pandaria heroic dungeons are available for testing in the beta. While they are not easily accessed in the Dungeon Finder because of an extra-high gear level requirement, you can still test the heroic of your choice by entering it through the front door.

Blizzard has planned two changes to help players get into the heroics via the Dungeon Finder:
  1. A higher level will be able to be simulated.
  2. The gear level of 440 will be lowered via a hotfix.
The full text of Daelo's post is below.


Daelo
Currently for a player to enter into a Heroic Dungeon through the Dungeon Finder system requires an item level of 440. Currently, this is a more difficult bar to clear in the beta that it will be in the final live game.

We're going to work towards hotfixing that value down, but at the same time use some new magic we have to simulate a higher level. When that change gets applied, I'll edit this thread with the news.

In the meantime, you can actually go old school to test the dungeons. Form a group, then head in through the entrance!

I'm making feedback threads for them all, since they're all open.



It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

EU fansites giving away Mists of Pandaria beta keys

If you're living in Europe and waiting patiently (or even not so patiently) for an invite to the beta for Mists of Pandaria, then consider these fansites -- for they are just giving them away. CM Nakatoir posted the list of participating fansites with stashes of keys to give away on the forums, making it all the easier for you to find and enter as many as you can.

There are also threads linked for German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian players, with a French thread on the way. So get out there and enter some sweepstakes. There's nothing to lose and a possible Mists of Pandaria beta slot to win.

If you're an annual pass subscriber, however, you should already have access to the beta. Just head over to your Battle.net account page and check for the Mists of Pandaria beta account. From there, you can download the client and log in to start experiencing all the beta fun.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Skill Mastery: Blinding Light

Ever since Eadric the Pure first made players spin around to avoid being blinded by his Radiance -- the bane of keyboard turners everywhere -- many paladins were enamored with the idea of firing off a flash of light and similarly dazzling those around them into incoherence. And we almost had it too, in the Cataclysm beta, when Blinding Light first debuted as a player ability. However, the spell was removed early on, only (it seems) to be put on the back burner.

Now, Blinding Light returns in Mists for a second try at making it into the paladin spellbook. This time around, it looks like it is here to stay. If you're in the beta, you can try it out yourself as soon as you hit 87.

The spell itself is pretty straightforward. On a 3-minute cooldown, you can fire off a burst of light that will cause all enemies around you to wander confusedly for 6 seconds. As a tank, I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this in AoE situations, when I need a breather from a pack of enemies that are punching me in the face.

Ret and holy paladins will find similar use for it, whether out in the wilds of Pandaria or deep in PvP. Basically, any time you need to get a large number of enemies to leave you alone for a few seconds, this spell is there for you.

Admittedly, it doesn't have the same flash or zing as some other level 87 spells, but it can very much shine in the right situations.
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Paladin, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: 'What has changed?' makes class changes more palatable

Image
One of the sharpest double-edged swords in Blizzard's arsenal is the constant iteration to class and play design that comes with each World of Warcraft expansion. On the one hand, players like innovation and new mechanics and spells to keep their favorite class fresh. On the other hand, players could reject the changes as too severe or too different from the class they originally set out to play, as was the case with Alex Ziebart and myself with paladins in Cataclysm. It's a risky move to change up the core mechanics of a class, and the introduction of the "What's New" window helps streamline this occasionally daunting issue.

New and old players alike will benefit greatly from the "What has changed?" tab. Simply open up your spellbook and click on the last tab at the bottom. You'll be greeted with a new screen giving you the run down on some of the biggest changes to your class coming in Mists of Pandaria.

Read more →

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: What's the coolest glitch you've seen?

Image
The average beta tester in the Mists beta sees fun glitches all the time, some cooler than others. The recently rectified flying glitch in the beta was one of the best; I loved swimming through the air and getting a rare bird's-eye view of the new continent. Of course, it's all fixed up now, and there's no more air swimming to be had. Frankly, the current glitch where Earth Shield isn't consumed by damage is way less fun!

Being a PvPer, I've occasionally experienced the glitch in Ring of Valor where you fall through the floor of the arena and are immediately portaled back up to near your starting room. I even have one occurence on video, which is fun, with the Skype track paying homage to my immense confusion.

The header image is also a PvP glitch screenshot, believe it or not, from my PvPing priesty friend, the lovely @ameurling. She was doing some 2v2 in Dalaran Sewers and got feared through the wall into what she dubbed the Twilight Zone. This is what Azeroth looks like beyond the conventional world -- a gray space with an expansive, star-speckled sky. And I reckon this is a pretty darn cool glitch. Unfortunately, Alex couldn't get back into Dalaran Sewers -- you win some, you lose some!

So tell me, what glitch have you seen, experienced, heard of, or heard tell of? Is it cool? Is it cooler than Alex's accidental portal from Dalaran Sewers into the Twilight Zone? Tell me all about it.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Skill Mastery: Totemic Projection

Totemic Projection, obtainable at level 45, gives you the ability to launch your currently placed totems to any location around you within 40 yards. Fairly straightforward, really easy to use. Those of you who like setting up macros may want to start planning a little about creative uses with your totems and Totemic Projection.
  • Capacitor Totem Drop this totem and count to three, then Totemically Project it toward your target. Voilà! Instant stun!
  • Earthbind Totem Perhaps best used in PvP, you can setup Earthbind to root and slow down players as they're busy running away from you, allowing you to close the gap and Chain Lightning their faces.
Those are just some of the ideas I had off the top of my head. The other talents add extra functionality to your totems. Call of the Elements lets you finish off any totem cooldowns that are active, allowing you to use them again. The catch is that the cooldown of the totem needs to be shorter than 5 minutes. Sadly, this means you cannot use your Fire Elemental Totem, Earth Elemental Totem, or Stormlash Totem back-to-back. Totem Restoration is a passive ability that lets totems respawn if they keep getting destroyed. I'd say that's useful in PvP, more than anything else.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Shaman, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: New loot frames roll into view

Image
New loot frames! No more having to stare at your chat frames and scroll up and down to see which player won what item. Loot rolls are now condensed into a loot roll frame that appears in your screen. It lists the results of all the items that went up for grabs in the instance and who won them.

If you look at the screenshot above, you can see the roll numbers next to each player and what roll types were used. The player who won the item is listed at the top. You can expand or collapse the menu to see the list of players who rolled and what roll type they used, such as need or greed.

The only downside to this new feature is that I couldn't find a way to move the frame around. But hey, I'll take these new loot roll frames any day. What about you?

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Item upgrade strings surface

Image
Two interesting new client strings were unearthed early this morning on MMO-Champion related to the elusive item upgrade system that Blizzard has yet to completely flesh out for players. Valor points are changing their focus in Mists of Pandaria, to be used as a way to upgrade existing gear rather than being used to buy all-new pieces. This new system has yet be comprehensively explained, and these new client strings are our first hint at the system's actual implementation.

The basic understanding of the item upgrade system is that justice points will be used to purchase the first pieces of gear from vendors, and valor points will be used to turn that gear into better gear. What this hopefully means is that rather than having two vendors selling the same items with different stats, we can have a justice vendor who sells you items and then upgrades them via some interface dealie with valor points. Hopefully, the number of vendors decreases, because right now it's sort of a pain.
ITEM
  • ITEM_UPGRADE - Item Upgrade
ITEM_UPGRADE
  • ITEM_UPGRADE_DESCRIPTION - Use your valor points to upgrade a weapon or piece of armor that is level 375 or higher.
Honestly, I've been under the impression that Blizzard itself still had the system in flux, so anything being said about just wasn't set in stone. Now, with new client strings and references to upgrading your raid items, it looks like the system is closer to completion.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Why some Annual Passholders have yet to receive a beta invite

Annual Pass
Previously we reported that all Annual Passholders had been sent their Mists of Pandaria beta invites. But many players have been complaining that they still hadn't received theirs. Blizzard responded to that today. Those who have purchased the pass after April 18 will get their invites in a future wave. There were also errors when sending the invites to some accounts, and Blizzard is attempting to resolve them.


Annual Pass Invite Beta Update
We want to confirm that, at this time, all World of Warcraft Annual Pass subscribers have been invited to the Mists of Pandaria beta test, with two groups of exceptions. One exception group are those who purchased an Annual Pass on or after April 18, and will receive their invite in a future wave. The second exception is a small list of remaining accounts from previous waves that encountered an error, and will be properly flagged for beta access as soon as we can resolve the issue.

If you haven't yet purchased an Annual Pass, you still have time to guarantee your spot in the beta by signing up for a year agreement (link) before the offer expires on April 30. Those taking advantage of the Annual Pass receive Diablo III for free, access to the Mists of Pandaria beta, and the exclusive Tyrael's Charger flying mount for your World of Warcraft characters.



So if you haven't received your beta invite yet, you will Soon™. No dates have been released for when the remaining invites will go out. In the meantime, you can read up on all of the MoP beta info here on WoW Insider. (No, it's not the same as being able to play the beta, but I'm just saying ...)

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

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