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Posts with tag blue

Ghostcrawler on why Bluetrackers suck

Ghostcrawler has finally said on the forums what I've been saying for a while here on WoW.com and elsewhere: using blue text on the forums as a way of disseminating information is "a strange way to communicate." He's been appending the words "[Not tracked]" to some of his posts so they don't end up on the official "bluetracker," because a lot of what he posts is just silly and fun and not to be pored over and examined (especially without the context of the other posts around it). But all of those posts are still picked up by the unofficial bluetrackers that many players follow, and he laments that it's annoying to have people jump in on threads without reading all the context: "you end up looking like a real jerk half the time."

I would never call GC a jerk, but it's clear to see what he means -- sending out information via official posts on the forum is something Blizzard has done for a long time, and it's really a bad way to go about it. To their credit, they've been trying lots of new things lately, from official interviews to class Q&As and just plain releasing official information on the site. But I've always thought (and still think) that the company could use an official blog -- back when I was playing Dark Age of Camelot, I really enjoyed all of their work on the Camelot Herald, and I think Blizzard would benefit from something more like that. They do have a section for official news on the front page, but that's mostly licensed items and marketing information, not actual updates to the game.

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Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Forums

Class Q&A: Mage

Second up in the class Q&A (Shamans were first) are Mages, those lovable glass cannons. Or are they? The Q&A opens with Ghostcrawler discussing public perception of the class, with a prompt of "a lot has changed since the days when the 'glass cannon' description was applied."

General

GC describes the mage as "the iconic caster:" deals magic damage from range. They should be versatile enough to do single-target damage, AoE damage, and crowd control, and every group should want one. (I'm noticing a trend here -- GC also described Shamans as a class every group should want. I guess every group should want all classes.)

They like the different feel between the three trees is in a good place, with Frostfire possibly providing a fourth aesthetic. They have decided that "king of AoE" is no longer a good niche to put any class in, so now they're trying to give both AoE and single-target to all DPS specs (with "extra effort" to make sure mages do good AoE).

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Filed under: Mage

Blizz wants your class questions

Blizzard gets more and more communicative every week recently. I love it. They recently announced that they're seeking questions for a community question and answer series, with a separate thread for each class. They'll be going through the class threads in order, answering questions and generally being awesome (one hopes). Afterwards everything will be gathered into one big blue pile of answers and presented to the community.

Nethaera is going to be the organizer of this little event, it seems. She warns us that it is "probably going to be a couple of weeks" before we start getting answers, because they want to give sufficient time for WoW players around the world to get their questions in. She also says she's going to try to get "the most prominent questions" answered, as well as questions that have been around for a long time without being addressed.

This is a great time to get your class questions and concerns addressed, so if you have anything you've always wanted to ask a dev, go find the Q&A thread for your class (in your class forum) and post away.

Filed under: Classes, Forums

Forum post of the day: Go blues!

Snaboo of Greymane shouted out to the Blizzard posters on the forums. He appreciates that they are being customer focused and social. This elicited positive responses from a handful of blue posters, except Bornakk, who's still grumpy.

Some posters disagreed about the attention the blues pay to the community. That they are slow to respond to "serious" questions or that they seem disrespectful of players. Crygil pointed out that in many cases there are several threads on a particular subject. The blues try to address at least one of them, but aren't able to respond in all of the threads on a single topic.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Forum Post of the Day

Breakfast Topic: If you could be a real GM what would you do?

Gamesmasters have been in WoW news a lot recently. We've had reports that a GM mistakenly sent Martin's Fury out to a player leading to pwnage in Ulduar. For the last twenty four hours, my inbox and those of the rest of the team seem to be full of screenshots showing a weird new bug where player characters suddenly become GMs, if only cosmetically (they get the little Blizzard logo next to their names, but none of the power).

Since I started playing back in 2006, I've been fascinated by the Blues. Players speak their names with reverence. They exist unseen throughout Azeroth and have amazing abilities. Like many other players, I've opened tickets and engaged them in-game. I've even met a few in real life as well at the Darkmoon Faire and last year's WWI.

Now I know the life of a GM is not all roses, that their powers are kept in check by rules and regulations, but if you had the chance to be a real GM for five minutes, what would you do? Personally I'd go hang out on GM Island or walk into the hardest instance and smote everything before me. So come on, readers, if you had the chance and the power, what would you do?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Are we being teased about the next expansion?

So there's been a feeling in the air lately that some of the blues have been in a bit of a teasing mood. Sure, that's not neccessarily new, but what is interesting is what exactly they may be teasing us about. For example, here's a recent post in which one Sulmus of Aerie Peak asks for the Greymane Wall to be opened. Zarhym soon jumps in to say that they would be "out of their mind" to open the wall... then follows up with random ellipses. To top it all off, Bornakk and Crygil jump in with silly punctuation of their own.

Now when Alex and I were discussing this the other day, Alex insisted that they were basically admitting that the Greymane wall would be opened, likely in conjunction with the next expansion. He says it's already in the planning stages, and the blues are just waving the knowledge tantalizingly out of sight because they're not allowed to officially announce it yet. Now, at first I wasn't really on board with it, but then I noticed another post Zarhym commented in.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Lore, Rumors

A world without Varimathras

It was probably the least exciting thing to go down during the Wrathgate questline (Wrynn FTW, no?), and I've only played Alliance during Wrath, so I haven't really realized it until now: Varimathras is no longer in the game. He was always my favorite faction leader (even though he wasn't actually the Undead faction leader, so to speak) -- I loved his "You think you can match the might of a dreadlord?" taunt, his story (he always hinted that the Forsaken, a threat within the ranks of the Horde, might have a threat within their own ranks), and his demonic look. And now, after the Battle for the Undercity, he's gone.

Fortunately, this is World of Warcraft, and no one in Warcraft really ever stays completely dead -- just ask Kael'thas. But as a more pressing concern, players are currently wondering how they'll be able to do Varimathras' quests (for the Loremaster achievement) with him no longer hanging around the Undercity. New Blue poster Ancilorn says not to worry -- they'll come up with a way for those who can't see Varimathras to do the quests associated with him. Or, and probably more likely, they'll just take them out of the Loremaster requirements.

But a moment of silence, please, for one of my favorite lore figures, Varimathras. He was always on the winning side. Except for, you know, that one time right at the end.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Quests, Lore, NPCs

Instance throttling explained

If you do a lot of instances, you're probably familiar with the error message "Additional instances could not be launched. Please, try again later," and the accompanying dance of spamming the instance portal until it lets you in. For me it seems to happen most at the Azjol-Nerub portal, but that's probably just coincidence.

Anyway, although I've been seeing this error pretty much since WotLK launched, Wryxian just made a post today in the European forums explaining what it's all about. Basically, it's an attempt to fix instance performance; if too many instances are running at the same time on the instance server, lag and possible crashes result (and I'm sure we've all experienced that), so there's a limit imposed on how many instances can be up at any given time.

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Filed under: Realm News, Bugs, Instances

Upcoming 3.1 class changes: Warlock, Druid, Warrior

This is part two in a promised three-part series from Blizzard going over class changes that are coming in patch 3.1. Part one dropped last night, covering Shamans, Priests, and Rogues. This morning's episode covers some changes that are coming to Warlocks, Druids, and Warriors. And just to be preemptive, don't say "that's it?!". It's not. This is just some of the changes that your class will be seeing, and they're subject to further change as the patch evolves.

Warlock

  • Improved Shadow Bolt – this talent now provides a 5% spell critical strike buff (similar to Improved Scorch).
  • Improved Soul Leech – this talent now provides Replenishment (similar to shadow priests)
  • Drain Soul now has a chance to produce Soul Shards even if the target doesn't die.
  • Siphon Life no longer as an active ability but the talent grants the old Siphon Life effect to Corruption.
  • Curse of Recklessness and Curse of Weakness have been combined into one spell
  • Consume Shadows – this Voidwalker ability is no longer channeled but has a cooldown.
  • Several other warlock talents have had their ranks reduced, their effects changed or removed. This list includes but is not limited to Demonic Empathy, Shadow Embrace, Eradication, Suppression, and Pandemic.
  • Additional new talents have been added.

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Filed under: Druid, Warlock, Warrior, Patches, News items

The role of the Priest

Well, this is really a first for Blizzard (ever since the game was initially released and the class descriptions written, anyway). Ghostcrawler has noticed that there are a lot of questions saying people don't understand what the role of the Priest is right now. Accordingly, he has gone and written up "what [Blizzard] think of as the role of the priest class." I think it's interesting enough to reproduce in its entirety; I'll go through it one paragraph at a time.

The priest is a caster class that uses Holy and Shadow magic. Priests can only wear cloth armor and have a limited selection of weapons, but do most of their damage and healing from range. They make up for their low armor with spells that offer protection and healing.

This is obvious enough to anyone who has been a member of the Priest community long enough ("one tough cookie," anyone?). Still, it's nice to see it spelled out, I guess. And it does emphasize that our defenses are more in terms of "protection and healing," instead of in terms of escape skills like a Rogue (for example) has.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion

GC answers Hunter questions

Hunters, do you have questions about your class? Well, Ghostcrawler's got some answers. Not all of them, of course, but Big Red Kitty can probably handle the rest. Our favorite crab has been chatting a bit about the Hunter class on the official forums. Let's take a look at what he's been saying.

  • As far as DPS numbers, Blizzard balances in terms of absolutes, not relatives. This means Blizzards wants people with X quality gear to be doing Y DPS on fight Z, so things like "I got 5th on the meters" aren't as relevant - they're looking at specifically how much DPS you do. (source for this and the next three points)

  • Pets are balanced using "a trade-off between damage and utility." Some pets, like wasps, bring bonuses that your 5- or 10-man groups may be missing, and thus it is justified that they do less DPS. That said, "more parity among pets is something [the devs] want to pursue."

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches

Ghostcrawler on the state of the Mage

The tension between PvP balance and PvE balance is once more giving the developers a hard time. Ghostcrawler has made a post on the state of the Mage, and it runs roughly as follows. They're happy that Arcane is "starting to feel like a viable alternative" to Frostfire for raid DPS. However, they're concerned that Arcane does too much burst in PvP, and they need to figure out how to fix that without hurting Arcane too much in PvE. Argh! Can we just introduce different rule sets for PvP and PvE and be done with it? The devs have been saying similar things for Rogues since LK launched: too low in PvE, but we can't make them any higher in PvP or they'll be imbalanced.

He also touches on a few more points that don't make me want to hit things. The Improved Scorch debuff is "too much of a unique snowflake" in the new buff system, forcing exactly one mage per raid to spec for it and spend a fair amount of time casting Scorch to apply the debuff (compare Winter's Chill, which is applied passively); presumably, it is going to be addressed by making it easier to apply for Fire and/or castable by Arcane and/or other classes. Making frost-based Frostfire specs competitive is also "definitely a concern, but lower priority than these other issues."

Finally (and going back to PvE vs PvP), they would like to find some way to make Frostbolt builds competitive in PvE again (the phrase GC uses is "'Shatter combo' vibe"). However, so far, they haven't thought of a way to achieve this without buffing Cone of Cold Ice Lance [thanks, Bubsa], which they don't want to buff in PvP. Wouldn't it be simple enough to remove PvP from the game just make Lance do less damage or whatever in PvP?

Filed under: Mage, Forums

Lichborne: PvE Gems for Death Knights

I know there's gems around here somewhere.
Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly dose of Death Knight discussion.

Now that we've covered most standard pemutations of gear gathering in past Lichborne columns, I figured this week would be a good time to start talking about taking the extra steps to really trick out your gear. This week, will focus on gems. Not only will this help you take your gear to the next level, but it gives me a good excuse to talk about some new discoveries and discussions going on as we try to figure out the best ways to squeeze the most DPS out of a Death Knight. So to start, let's talk about which statistics you'll want to focus on when you gem.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Jewelcrafting, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Why you probably will never get a blue response


Here's the tldr version of the article for folks that are so inclined:

Question: How can I get blue to respond to my forum post?
Answer: You can't.

Question: Will I ever get a blue response?
Answer: No.

One of the most consistent and annoying things about the forums lately are people begging for blue responses. It's reached a near epidemic level with the greater visibility of Ghostcrawler and sites like WoW Insider, MMO-Champion, and World of Raids reporting on everything he says.

Most of this blue begging, as I've come to call it, used to occur in the General Forums; bugging for a Neth or Drysc response to everything. The begging then migrated over to the Customer Service Forums, asking for someone like Belfaire to respond (I admit I'm guilty of doing that once or twice, but hey, it worked out in the end). Now the begging is centered around the Role Forums, pleading for a Ghostcrawler response like the world is about to end if the blue beggar doesn't get one.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Forums

Many free US character transfers opened

Good evening, US WoW players. I've just received a priority message from Zarhym, your favorite floating skull: many North American PvP, RP, and RP-PvP realms now have transfers available! The following transfers are scheduled to run until Tuesday, February 3, at 5:00 PST:

  • Source A (PvP): Azgalor, Bloodscalp (Horde transfers only), Cho'gall (Horde transfers only), Crushridge, Dark Iron, Darkspear, Deathwing, Drak'Tharon, Dunemaul, Firetree, Gorefiend, Nathrezim, Shadowmoon, Smolderthorn, Spinebreaker, Stormscale, Tortheldrin, WildHammer
  • Destination A (PvP): Malorne, Scilla
  • Source B (RP): Argent Dawn, Cenarion Circle, Earthen Ring, Feathermoon, Moon Guard, Scarlet Crusade, Shadow Council
  • Destination B (RP): Wyrmrest Accord
  • Source C (RP-PvP): Maelstrom, Twisting Nether
  • Destination C: Scilla (PvP), Wyrmrest Accord (RP)

Hey, that includes my own native realm, Shadow Council. But I'm never moving; I love that place.

In addition, the following PvE transfers will be enabled this Thursday, January 29, at 6 PM PST, and are scheduled to run until Monday, February 2, at 6 PM PST:

  • Source D (PvE): Arygos, Alestrasza, Shadowsong, Eonar, Hyjal
  • Destination D (PvE): Winterhoof

As ever, transfers may close early if the desired population levels are reached, so go ahead and transfer early if you intend to do it.

Filed under: Realm News, News items

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