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Posts with tag bind-to-account

What are heirlooms and how can I get them?

If you're new or recently returned to World of Warcraft, you've probably heard mention of heirlooms. This stellar leveling gear binds to your account rather than your characters -- so you can mail it to your alts -- and levels as you do, getting better as your character advances through the game. And best of all, heirloom gear often grants you an experience bonus for equipping it -- typically 5% or 10% bonus experience for each piece of armor. What that means is faster leveling with no need to worry about hunting down the best gear along the way.

Because heirlooms are targeted squarely at level 90 characters leveling alts, you might not have put much thought into them -- but we're here to tell you that you don't need to wait until level 90 to pick up some heirloom gear for your character. If you know where and how to get it, you can grab a few pieces as you advance -- and with the sizable benefits they offer, you'll probably be glad you did.

But whether you're a new character leveling up or a long-time level 90 thinking about a new alt, we'll walk you through what's available and where to find it.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Features that have changed the World of Warcraft

Features that have changed the World of Warcraft
Time to be blunt. World of Warcraft is way better now than it was in vanilla.

Before you gasp and get a case of the vapors, let's get real here. I'm me, it's true, you know it's true. The talent system? Leaps and bounds better than the last minute Diablo II clone we got in classic. Raiding? Raids today are more accessible, better designed, and far more varied then the resistapaloozas we got back in the day. I say this as a dude who farmed UBRS for the Draconian Deflector and who tanked Princess Huhuran in cloth freaking booties because they had nature resistance on them. Throughout its near-decade long run, World of Warcraft has constantly changed, iterated and improved on the experience it provides. Every patch, every expansion has made adjustments and tweaks, and while nothing is perfect and not all changes were good (We all know that any change to warriors that didn't make them invincible supergods wasn't a good one, am I right? Why are there so many crickets here?) the game has moved forward with new systems and features.

For me, it's interesting to look back over the history of the game at those changes that really improved the player experience or changed it in a fundamental way, that altered how we play. And so, now I'll do exactly that. With Flex Raids on the horizon for patch 5.4, what else can we look back on?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: Hellscream's BoA epics

Patch 54 PTR  Hellscream's BoA epics
An interesting new wrinkle in patch 5.4 has been discovered, in the form of a whole host of new Bind to Account weapons found in the files for Siege of Orgrimmar. Available in Flexible Raid, normal and heroic levels (although for many of them, only one or two versions have yet been found) these items use the old Horde PvP models, although that may not be final. We know that the items are not finished, their item levels are not finalized at this time. Still, items like Hellscream's Decapitator are interesting for a variety of reasons. Will they behave like current heirlooms and Archaeology BoA's like Zin'rokh, meaning that you could send them to your alts of either faction? BoA items like these could definitely provide an alt with a leg-up on gearing, and making them available only via Flex and Normal/Heroic would definitely get players interested in checking out Flex Raids.

At present we have a variety of datamined Hellscream's items - In addition to the Decapitator above, we have the Barrier, Cleaver, Doomblade, Pig Sticker, Razor, Shield Wall, Tome of Destruction, War Staff, Warbow and Warmace. No word yet on whether or not these items will be usable with transmogrification, considering that at present the original PvP items require certain PvP ranks to use them with transmog.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR: Updated abilities and quality of life changes for pet battles

Patch 52 PTR Updated abilities and quality of life changes for pet battles

I find myself logged onto a different character every time I'm doing a round of pet battle dailies. It shouldn't be an issue, because pets are account bound, but there's just one little thing: Battle Pet Bandages. I never earn any on my main character -- maybe it's bad luck. It's very frustrating to end up with a defeated team, Revive Battle Pets on cooldown, and no stable master nearby. Oh, and no bandages!

Well, it feels like the devs really have been listening to the battle pet community, because they released a few quality of life updates on the PTR that (mostly) will make pet battlers happy campers.
  • Battle Pet Bandages now stack and are Bind to Account.
  • Level-capped players will now have a chance to earn Lesser Charms of Good Fortune after winning a pet battle versus a pet within 5 levels of the highest level pet on their team. Higher-level pets will offer a better chance to earn a charm.
  • Winning a pet battle versus a team within 5 levels of the player's highest-level pet will now award player experience.
I'm so happy to see that pet bandages will be Bind to Account. Being able to funnel every precious bandage to one character will make things much easier -- especially for the altoholics out there. And three huge huzzahs to earning stuff while battling pets! It takes quite a bit of time to grind every pet battle achievement, even with power leveling newbie pets. So, earning rewards normally reserved for playing through PvE content turns pet battling into time well spent. I'm tempted to level a character solely through pet battles, now that winning one will grant player experience!

You can check out the full list of updated pet battle patch notes at the official site, but to make things easier we've compiled the complete list of notes after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Transferring wealth between servers with battle pets?

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen and Fox Van Allen aim to show you how to make money on the Auction House. Check out Basil's re-reboot of Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

Note: This article is about the Mists of Pandaria Beta. There is no guarantee that this functionality will exist in the live version of MoP.

The new pet battle system in Mists of Pandaria is going to be one of the most exciting new features for a lot of people; however, a potentially unintended consequence of the way it's currently implemented is that by selling pets on one realm that you bought on another realm, you will be able to transfer wealth between servers or factions. Orkchop wrote me an email that got me investigating:

All these pets are bound to your account, across all servers, across both factions, and can be sold. You can log on to your level 90 main, buy some pets, learn them, then log on to another server, create a level 1 and go sell those pets at auction. All without touching the neutral auction house and its fees.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard previews new rated battlegrounds PVP mounts

Blizzard is making another big push in patch 4.2 to get players engaged in rated battleground PVP action with the new Vicious War Wolf and Vicious War Steed for the Horde and Alliance respectively. Both new mounts look amazing. Alliance players go a little crazy with Horde heads hanging off the back of their spike-horse; Hordies get to roll around with the skulls of their former enemies dangling as a warning.

The really interesting and cool part about these mounts are that they are awarded for 75, 150, and 300 rated battleground wins. That's right -- each time you reach one of those milestones, you are given another account-bound mount for use on one of your alts, with three mounts available total. That is an awesome change that potentially signals the beginning of more account-bound achievement items being earned and shared across players' accounts, as opposed to having to complete each achievement on each character. This is the first step in something bigger, I'm sure of it.

Rated battlegrounds have been a touchy subject with Blizzard, since depending on who you ask they are either wildly successful or not being used enough. Gathering 10 people for coordinated PVP is sometimes just as much of a pain as doing it for raiding, and the time commitment can be just as large. With these new mounts, Blizzard hopes to get more people into the rated battleground system and start fighting it out for some cool new mounts.

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Filed under: PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Cataclysm

Heirloom items bound to Battle.net accounts on patch 4.1 PTR

We just posted about the new heirlooms based on tier 1 armor discovered on the patch 4.1 PTR, but apparently there's even bigger news! Wowhead has discovered that as of 4.1, all heirloom items (including the newly added ones) are labeled as "Binds to Battle.net Account," an entirely different label than "Binds to Account."

It's too early to discern exactly what this new distinction means, but at the very least, you should be able to mail heirlooms to characters on your realm that are on a different WoW account but the same Battle.net account. It's not known whether or not you'll finally be allowed to mail heirlooms to different realms, but at least you'll be able to mail some heirlooms to that Recruit-a-Friend mule account you made. Pretty cool!

We'll let you know if Blizzard gives any official word on what's happening.

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: News items

WoW Rookie: Heirlooms ease the way for alts


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit the WoW.com WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

While most of us want to bite into the big leagues as soon as we ding 80, some players are more interested in trying out another class or the other faction. As soon as they reach the top, they dip back down to the bottom again. Making the road to 80 quicker and easier the second (and each subsequent) time around are heirloom items.

First introduced in Patch 3.0.2, heirloom items are "big brother" helper items designed to be purchased by level 80 characters and passed along to younger characters on the same account, realm and faction. Heirlooms were specifically created to help your alts level up. Their stats get better and better as your character levels, and the shoulders and chest armor even provide an XP bonus. Such a deal!

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Filed under: Items, Tips, How-tos, Features, Guides, WoW Rookie, Alts

The limits and possibilities of Bind to Account

Aeuis brings up an interesting point over on the forums: even though some of the items we get are called "Bind on Account" (or, more properly, Bind to Account, even though most people use BoA as shorthand) they're really not that, because you can't actually send them across factions or realms. Of course, that's pretty obvious to people who've been playing the game for a while -- Blizzard has never really encouraged cross-faction interaction at all (you can "send" items through the neutral AH, though even that is a bit of a hack, not really the intended purpose). So BoA items are actually bound to account, server, and faction.

But Wyrxian is surprisingly open about "future possibility:" he does say that while Blizzard could allow us to send items between factions if they wanted us to, they also wanted to leave things open just in case the functionality came into view in the future. That doesn't mean we can expect a change in the next patch, but it does seem to mean that Blizzard is still open to the "possibility." You'd think it be tough technically (character inventories are all over the place, especially cross-server), but considering that we can now have cross-server battlegrounds, all it would probably take is a tweak to the in-game mail system. One character sends an item, another character receives it.

And really, the only possibility that might come open is just ease-of-use -- that's why BoA and Heirloom items are in the game already, and if Blizzard determines that it would be easier to have you share items between your characters' factions and servers (perhaps if they upgrade the character re-customization feature to include a faction change?), then it will likely happen sooner or later.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: Heirloom excitement


Account-bound, or heirloom items have a curious place in the game. They're gear intended to get players through the leveling process as quickly as possible, so we don't have to worry about gearing up. They remind me of my mother-in-law, actually, who has the uncanny ability to preserve items from her children's childhood. I mean, it's eerie how almost all of my daughter's clothes today used to belong to my wife when she was a baby. Considering how she's the spitting image of her mother, you can imagine the amusement we get from perusing old albums.

In short, heirloom items rock. They rock so much, in fact, WoW.com user James Peripheral wrote in his blog about the very coolness of heirloom items. He mentions how, even at Level 5 (or Level 1 for that matter), a character can look absolutely dapper or "looking like he owns Eastern Plagulands". That seems to be a bonus of account-bound items -- they allow players to skip the clown phase of leveling. What's your take on heirloom gear? We know you all love them (if you don't, you probably have issues...), so tell us about your experience with them. Head on over to James' blog, too, to share your thoughts. Even better, why not write your heirloom experiences in your WoW.com account blog and tell others about them? We'd love to hear your hand-me-down stories.

Filed under: Items, Breakfast Topics, Leveling

Wrath 101: Heirloom items and how to get them

Wrath of the Lich King introduced not only new content, but an entirely new type of item. These items are called Heirloom items, or Bind to Account (BoA) items. They aren't tied to any one character and can be freely passed from alt to alt, but they're all tied to one account, the account that bought the item. No handing them over to your friends, no mailing them to other players, no mailing them to your second account. So far none of these items are drops, but rewards for more veteran players of the Wrath content. There are two different ways of earning these items, but they dovetail nicely.

Quite simply, you need to participate in Wrath's content. Items suited to PvE are acquired via Emblems of Heroism, and items suited for PvP are acquired via Stone Keeper's Shards.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

The Queue: Finding treasure where there's no treasure to be found


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Another day, another Queue. Forgive the awful quality of the screenshot above, I tried to show off Malygos' righteous beard but the guy doesn't sit still, even if you ask him nicely. He's a crabby son of a lich sometimes. Well, let's forget about him and dig into today's questions. As always, if you have a question for The Queue, leave it in the comments section below and we'll get to it in a future edition.

Magebleck asked...

As a mage, my main weapon is almost always a Staff with some good stats to it. Since Wrath of the Lich King has come out I have read several places that there are now some really well speced staffs that are "Bind to Account", such as the Dignified Headmaster's Charge and the Grand Staff of Jordan. I understand that their stats scale with level, but how does one go about aquiering these new "BtA" items?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Ask a Beta Tester: Baron Rivendare, heirloom items, and more

Remember a little while ago on Ask a Beta Tester, someone asked if Jaina Proudmoore has any role in Wrath? And I said no, she has no new story involvement? Well, a recent beta patch made a fool out of me. She has a role, it's epic, and no she doesn't make out with Arthas you horrible, horrible people.

And with that out of the way, let's get on with the questions. Shadgalaul asked...

What about the whole dual-spec situation? Was this implemented, or did it just fade out and get scrapped?

This hasn't been implemented yet, and nobody is sure whether it's on hold or been scrapped. It seems like instead of giving dual specs, they're trying to make one spec be able to hold its own. For example, tanks are getting higher DPS so they can go off and do their quests without wanting to hang themselves. It's not a perfect solution and there are still a few balance issues, but I bet that if they shelved the dual spec thing, this is what they tried instead.

We may still see dual specs in the future, but we haven't so far.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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