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Posts with tag blog

Dev Watercooler: Pruning the Gardens of War

We've been waiting for it forever and it's finally here -- Blizzard released the first in a series of Dev Watercoolers discussing Warlords of Draenor. This particular post is about systems changes and the reasons behind them. So what did they reveal this time?
  • The upcoming item squish is detailed, both in terms of the reasoning behind it and the effects it will have. In order to ensure old content will still be soloable, you'll even see a buff implemented when higher level characters clear older content to make them even more powerful by comparison.
  • Base damage on player spells and abilities is being removed - all abilities and damage will scale with spell or attack power.
  • Racial traits are being adjusted - high outliers (like, perhaps, Every Man For Himself) will be reduced in power, while obsolete abilities will be removed entirely.
  • In terms of the ability purge (called 'pruning' here), one big target is Cooldowns. Various classes with multiple cooldowns will see them removed or combined.
  • Crowd Control is seeing a significant overhaul and reduction, with a complete list on the blog post - examples include interrupts no longer having added silences, certain CC's like Cyclone now being dispellable, and all stuns now sharing the same DR.

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

What will be your first priority in Patch 5.2?

A Day on the Isle of Thunder
There, on the horizon to the Northwest, do you see it? Daggers of lightning spear through clusters of dark clouds filling the air with electricity you can almost feel crackling against your skin. There's a sense of foreboding that clings, and something else...
Community Manager Crithto has written a blog post, telling the world about his imagined first day on the Isle of Thunder. He spoke of having bought the Tillers farm, and set his hearthstone in his new plot of land. He also planted some crops according to the work orders that had come in, allowing him to gain reputation with factions other than the Tillers by growing vegetables to help them on their way. Having dealt with his farm, it's over to the Shado-Pan Garrison to get a ride over to Lor'themar and the Isle of Thunder dailies, using Shan'ze Ritual Stones to summon a rare, and a chance of winning a mount, as well as contributing to the Horde's war effort. Lastly, a rare key drop allows him a chance to enter the Treasure Room!

That's Crithto's day, but what part of the plethora of new content coming with patch 5.2 will be your top priority? Will you do the new factions' dailies, or will you dive straight into the new raids, or perhaps farm some rares, hoping for a mount drop?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

What are your favorite WoW blogs? Let's see them all!

What are your favorite WoW blogs Let's see them all!
One of the best parts of the WoW experience is the community. Players from the very most pro to the very casual "have fun when I can" crowd get inspired, start blogs, create art, and share their Azerothian experiences with the world wide web. It enriches our skills, creates friendships, and generally makes the world an awesome place.

So, let's put a list together. Tell me all of your favorite WoW blogs -- from the roleplaying lists to theorycrafting -- and I'll put them together in a later post. We do projects like this all the time, of course, but this is my first time for the new year.

Just leave a comment in this thread and let me know the name of the blog, the URL, and why you love it. Here's hoping we all get the chance to find someone new and get them some attention. Stuff like this takes time and effort, so let's reward that work with a little attention!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: You always want what you can't have

Each week, Blog Azeroth hosts a Shared Topic for bloggers to answer on their blogs and then link to in the forum. This week, dragonray from Azerothian Life asks:
What is in game that you want, but you can't have? Is there an animal you want to tame, a critter you want to collect, a tabard that has the perfect design for a transmog set etc etc.

What is it you want, but know you can't get your hands on and have to stare at longingly whenever you log in?
I wish I had the original World of Warcraft Collector's Edition companion pets: Mini Diablo, the Zergling, and the Panda Cub. I don't have to stare at them longingly whenever I log in, because people rarely have them out. But I do have to look at the Collector's Edition box on a daily basis.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Ghostcrawler discusses Mists of Pandaria buff and debuff design

Ghostcrawler has continued his series explaining some of the system changes coming to World of Warcraft in Mists of Pandaria. The newest blog post discusses which buffs players will be bringing to groups as well as which debuffs certain classes can inflict on enemies. Blizzard is giving a variety of classes each category of buff and debuff in order to make setting up 10- or 25-man raids a breeze.

First, Ghostcrawler outlined the main design goals of the new buff and debuff categories, saying that making the player feel more powerful in a group as well as making group-building easier were two of the biggest reasons for the changes. DPS classes should be excited to know that buffs and debuffs will vary per role rather than spec, so a DPS warrior will bring the same utility whether he is arms or fury.

After discussing the design goals, Ghostcrawler gave some notes with regards to the new categories of buffs and debuffs, with the new categories as the big finish. Check out all of the categories in Ghostcrawler's post after the jump.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler talks game systems in final Cataclysm post-mortem

Blizzard's Cataclysm post-mortem blog series has seen Dave "Fargo" Kosak discuss quest design and Scott "Daelo" Mercer discuss dungeons and raids; today, Blizzard wraps up the series with a look at Cataclysm's game systems. As with Fargo and Daelo, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, WoW's lead systems designer, talks about what worked (the 1-to-60 revamp, choosing a spec at level 10) and what didn't (a long list of other things). GC is surprisingly candid in this particular blog entry, and it's definitely worth a read to get a bead on what Blizzard learned from World of Warcraft's third expansion.

The full interview is after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Do you blog about WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Have you ever noticed that a search for tips about WoW brings up about a million blogs on the subject? Blogs can be found on nearly every aspect of WoW -- you can find lore blogs, class blogs, race blogs, profession blogs ... You name it, there's a blog on it.

I personally maintained a blog for raiding mages for a while, but I had to let it go when my raiding group went on hiatus and I simply couldn't fit any of the other raiding groups into my schedule. I'd like to get back to it. It was a lot of fun, and I also noticed that since I was trying to pay really close attention to mechanics so that I could pass the information on to other mages, it made me a better raider. My husband currently writes a blog about being a dad who games. I know that there are a bunch of those out there too, but it's fun for him to discuss situations that come up in his daily life with other people who understand completely.

What about you? Do you blog about WoW or gaming in general? What's your specific topic of expertise? Do you feel like you have a lot to contribute on the subject? Have you thought about starting a blog but just haven't found your niche yet? Do have any specific blogs about WoW that you really like?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Dev Watercooler: Ghostcrawler discusses the number of player abilities

In his continuing conversational blog series Dev Watercooler, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street (lead systems designer) muses about the number of abilities players have, what the sweet spot is in terms of quantity, the need for all classes to have a viable AoE rotation, and the difference between rotational abilities and situational abilities. From a game design perspective, this might be the coolest Dev Watercooler yet.

Read this full Dev Watercooler after the break, or check out the other Dev Watercoolers with Ghostcrawler:

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Dev Watercooler: Ghostcrawler talks critical hits (and misses)

The Dev Watercooler, Ghostcrawler's conversational community blog series, continues with a look at the theories behind critical hits. After a bit on the history of critical strikes in WoW, Ghostcrawler gets down to business with an awesome discussion about the homogenization of classes, the issue with healer critical hits, and the pros and cons of homogenizing critical hits across the board.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Ghostcrawler chats about interrupts at the Dev Watercooler

Ghostcrawler (WoW lead systems designer) is blogging up a storm over at the WoW community site, with a new series called Dev Watercooler. The aim of this new column is to have candid chats with the community discussing game mechanics and pose questions that relate to the ongoing development of World of Warcraft. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that this is pretty cool.

In his first Dev Watercooler, Ghostcrawler talks about interrupts, where interrupt mechanics are going, and what he hopes they can look like over time.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: How has reading WoW Insider changed your game experience?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Long, long ago, there was a time when I didn't read WoW Insider. When I started playing the game in vanilla WoW, I didn't read anything -- I didn't even know there were WoW sites on the Internet. I got all of my information by word of mouth, and when someone finally told me about Thottbot, it was a game-changer for me. It wasn't until late BC, however, that I even heard about this blog, and I don't think I read it regularly until Wrath.

Keeping track of World of Warcraft news and changes has completely changed how I play the game. Rather than wandering through the world until I come across something interesting, I get a heads-up about new reputation factions, daily quests, mount drops, and craftable items that I can then go searching for. I've learned more about my class, become a better player on my alts, and been assured that it's not just me who hates heroic Grim Batol. I even have an auction addon now, and though I don't play the auctioneer game, I am impressed by those who do.

When did you first start reading WoW Insider? Has the game changed for you as a result? What have you learned about here that you never knew before?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Ghostcrawler explains tanking with a vengeance

Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) had some very interesting tidbits of information and explanations on the new tanking mechanic vengeance in a recent blog post on the new World of Warcraft community website. Vengeance is a new passive ability that all properly specced tanks receive, which converts damage taken into an attack power bonus to make sure that tank threat scales with the increasing power of DPS.

Ghostcrawler admits that as with all new mechanics, there is much tweaking still to happen to Vengeance. He explains that the ability has been implemented to give tanks the tools needed to retain threat, but not do the job for them.

One interesting point that Ghostcrawler makes is that Blizzard and the designers strive for a healthy balance between the mechanics making tanking possible and players' ability to successfully hold threat. All in all, this is a great post, and I hope for much more from Ghostcrawler like this. I love the systems design posts and rationales behind gameplay design, especially when it covers my role of choice. Check out the whole article on the new community blog.

And, Mr. Street, as for that dinosaur -- screenshots or it didn't happen.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Loremaster achievement changes coming with Cataclysm

With the old world changing so drastically come The Shattering, there's been some question of how the Loremaster achievement might change in the wake of Cataclysm. Community Manager Zarhym has clarified this for us in a recent blog post. As he puts it, if you already have either Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms or Loremaster of Kalimdor, those achievements will stay intact. However, if you're only partially through with those achievements, you may suffer a setback, as any quest that's being removed from the game will no longer count toward those achievements in progress. Therefore, it's a good idea to finish up the achievement if you can.

That said, it will be a little bit easier to get those Loremaster achievements come The Shattering. Instead of having one huge quest counter for each continent, patch 4.0.3a will introduce zone-specific quest achievements to the old world, similar to the ones that already exist for Outland and Northrend zones. Once you finish the zone-specific achievements for every zone on a given continent (minus the new Cataclysm zones, of course), you'll have the achievement. Even old-school Loremasters can get in on the action, as the zone quest achievements will still be available for them to complete.

While Zarhym didn't specifically outline it in his post, Loremaster of Cataclysm will be required for future Loremasters as well, although it's not clear whether that will start to be a requirement in patch 4.0.3a or at the launch of Cataclysm itself.

Filed under: News items, Achievements, Cataclysm

Drama Mamas: Dealing with absent RP guildies

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

This week's is a long one, so let's get right to it.
Dear Drama Mamas,

I belong to a small roleplaying guild on a fairly heavily populated server. Two of our guild leaders have recently retired, and the discussion that followed seems to have opened up a particularly ugly can of worms. There are a lot of complicated drama subsets that are going on at the moment, but I fear I may have started the one that's now bothering me the most.

Previous to our guild leaders retiring, we had a few incidents of members who had been very active suddenly disappear with no word of why or when/if to expect them back. (We have a forum for the guild, so the means of communication are readily available). We have a very strong policy of RL > the game; but as a small, close-knit guild, I feel that someone disappearing impacts guild members both in story lines and in the way they feel OOCly.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

WoW Insider is available on your Amazon Kindle

So, I bought an Amazon Kindle recently, and it's just the coolest thing. All the books I could ever read, available to me any time, on a crisp, easy-to-read display that doesn't hurt my eyes. "But I don't care about books," you say. "I care about blogs! Specifically, blogs about WoW that are named WoW Insider!"

Well, you're in luck. WoW Insider is available on the Kindle right this very moment, and you can get it one of two ways. The first is to use the experimental browser, accessible from the main Kindle menu under "Experimental"; enter our URL or mobile address ( The browser is surprisingly nice for being on an e-reader device, and especially for being in black and white.

The second way is admittedly cooler. You can subscribe to WoW Insider from the Blogs section of the Kindle Store for a small fee, and as long as you have a wireless connection, your Kindle will automatically update your archive of WoW Insider articles as often as we post new articles. Most formatting is intact in the Kindle blog format -- the only thing missing is pictures.

Reading the latest Know Your Lore like it was a book? Now that's technology I can get behind.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business

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