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Posts with tag beta

Hearthstone Beta: Playing through the tutorial

Hearthstone Beta Playing through the tutorial
As if you didn't already know, the Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft beta launched today, and like any geek worth her salt, I immediately downloaded it and started playing. So I thought I'd give you a brief run-down of the tutorial process and the like.

Hearthstone Beta Playing through the tutorialYou start off with a mage deck, as you load into the game, you have a very dwarven-sounding voice announcing that a new hero has appeared, Jaina Proudmoore. She's the character behind the mage deck, and the tutorial starts you off slow, taking on Hogger. The tutorial is really well constructed and doesn't hold your hand too much, just points out key elements as you go through it with little tip popups. As you progress through the tutorial, you're issued with free cards on every win, of which there are several, and these are added to your deck. You don't get anything amazing, but we''ve heard on several occasions how great pains have been taken to ensure that these cards are just as powerful as the higher level ones.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone Beta Imminent?

Hearthstone Beta The cake is hopefully not a lie
Blizzard Community Manager Zeriyah posted a tweet earlier this morning, which rather cryptically told us that the Hearthstone beta might be happening sooner than we'd all anticipated!

Following Zeriyah's link takes you to a yfrog video of a cake being baked, which you can see a screen capture of in the image above. Apologies for the play button in the middle. This certainly implies pretty heavily that we're going to be seeing a beta before too long, cake doesn't keep that well after all, and certainly not such a delicious-looking cake as this one.

We've heard before, however, about the beta rollout. It's going to start small, selectively, and in the US only, before being extended to the EU and the rest of the world. We've known this for some time, but as someone whose main account is EU it's still a tad disappointing. So if you have a US account, ensure that that is also registered for the beta by visiting the Hearthstone website.

Let's hope the cake is not a lie.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

How to sign up for the Hearthstone beta

How to sign up for the Hearthstone beta
So you've heard a lot about Blizzard's latest game, the free, digital CCG Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and you can't wait to get into the beta. But how do you get in on that sweet, beta testing action? Signing up to beta Hearthstone is pretty simple, but involves a few steps that may not be entirely obvious -- we'll walk you through them so you can have a chance to be one of the first to check out Hearthstone for yourself.

Whether you get into the beta or not, you can get a feel for Hearthstone by checking out the two match videos they've released so far -- one showing Jaina battling Thrall and the other showing Garrosh battling Uther. But for now there's nothing to do but sign up and be patient until the beta gets started. Read on for instructions!

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Filed under: Blizzard, Hearthstone Insider

WoW Archivist: Strange choices behind WoW's earliest talent trees

Vanilla druid talent trees
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

It's strange to think that players who first start playing in Mists might have no idea what the old talent trees looked like. To them, the new talent system is simply the status quo and the image above conjures no memories. The status quo has never lasted very long for talents in WoW. Through the years, talents have changed possibly more than any other aspect of the game. It's a good thing, too, because the earliest talent trees needed a lot of work. Let's take a look back!

The first beta talents

It's not easy to find solid information about the first iteration of talent trees from early beta. From what I can gather, WoW's original talents were more like spell ranks (which have also since been removed). You could invest talent points into particular spells to give them more damage/healing, longer range, etc. These talents were also tied to stats. By investing talent points, you gained stats relevant to your class.

These talents were generally considered workable but lackluster. They were removed from the beta in patch 0.6. Blizzard promised to "make them even cooler than before," and players speculated heavily about what the new trees might look like.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Brewmoon Festival

Mists of Pandaria Beta Brewmoon Festival
Those pandaren sure know how to party. One of the scenarios available for previewing and testing on the beta realms is the Brewmoon Festival. This party is hosted up in Kun-Lai Summit. Right away, you'll run into Brewmaster Boof. It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to host a large celebration, and the Brewmaster has dispatched his assistants to gather ingredients for the famous Kun-Lai Kicker. Naturally, good help is hard to find, and the assistants have not checked in lately. You'll be asked to track them down and retrieve their precious cargo.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard giving away even more MoP beta keys on Facebook

With today's news of Mists of Pandaria's Sept. 25 release date, there's sure to be a surge of interest in the expansion, and Blizzard is giving you the opportunity to get into the beta before it ends with a new sweepstakes. All you have to do is follow Warcraft on Facebook and complete the entry form, and you're good to go. They'll draw 2,000 names a week, and half of those will receive another key to give to a friend, for a grand total of 15,000 keys.

Check out the full Blizzard summary below, and get crackin' if you're not in the beta yet!


Mists of Pandaria Beta Key Sweepstakes
We've just launched a Mists of Pandaria Beta Key Sweepstakes! Starting July 31, we'll be randomly selecting 2,000 winners each week to receive a key to our exclusive World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta test. In addition, every other winner chosen will receive a second key to share with a friend! Drawings will occur every Tuesday for five weeks for a total of 15,000 keys.

To enter participants simply need to follow Warcraft on Facebook and complete our official entry form between now and August 27 for a chance to win. For more information about how to participate, check out the sweepstakes rules and eligibility page and our sweepstakes FAQ.



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, Contests, Mists of Pandaria

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

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