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Posts with tag blues

Community Manager Zarhym on game design vs. story development

Zarhym on game design vs story development
It's always interesting seeing the blue team's thoughts on World of Warcraft, whether on the community, or the development of the game itself. Community Manager Zarhym had some profound words to share this week regarding the interviews we've been seeing for patch 5.4, and the challenges of setting up community interviews with the different developers. There's been a big, ongoing debate amongst players regarding story development this expansion -- in particular, faction story development. Players feel that the Alliance story has been somewhat left behind this expansion, to say the very least.

Zarhym decided to chime in and comment not only on this topic, but on the topic of interviews in general, and how hard the story development team works on the story behind the game we love to play. Given that we've done several interviews with various developers over the course of Mists of Pandaria, it was nice to see Zarhym's thoughts on the matter. Read on for his post in full.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

How do blues choose what to respond to?

How do blues choose what to respond to

"Why do the blues only seem to comment on silly threads and never in a thread that has substance, provides meaningful insight, or merits actual discussion? This seems a complete waste of time and valuable resources."

This was part of the opening post on a thread in the US forums, discussing the Community Management team's choice of posts to respond to. And it's a reasonable question, a cursory glance at a blue tracker will reveal that many blue responses are indeed on light-hearted threads rather than on the ones demanding feedback on heavy issues. That, or they're commenting on quickly locked posts that violate the forum guidelines, elucidating the reasons for the thread's closure.

Why don't the blues respond more quickly to the weighty, substantial threads? Consider the amount of work required in the background to respond to a question about PvP balancing, for example, compared to the amount of work required to wish a forum a happy Winter Veil. While the latter simply requires a lively wit and a good knowledge of the forum code of conduct, the latter requires a good deal more input, from the developers and designers and more.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Blues explain nature of archaeology cooldowns

Several players and Community Manager Lylirra shared some discussion today on the official World of Warcraft forums about the cooldowns of novelty items crafted through the archaeology profession.

In the thread, the original poster suggested that the cooldowns of certain novelty items were too long in comparison to others and that Blizzard should consider fixing the discrepancies. The poster used Pendant of the Scarab Storm and Bones of Transformation as an example, noting that both items have a vanity effect that lasts 20 seconds but a cooldown difference of 90 minutes.

Lylirra responded, explaining that the cooldowns, though seemingly random, were chosen with specific issues in mind. She explains that with the Pendant of the Scarab Storm specifically, developers were concerned that the item's effect might strain certain players' computers.

Archaeology Items' Cooldowns
The current cooldown was chosen deliberately, but I can see why you might think otherwise (100 minutes is kind of strange for a cooldown time).

Anyway, summoning a harem of scarabs can be pretty taxing on some systems, so there were some initial concerns about putting the pendant on a short cooldown. Based on the feedback we've received, though, we're looking into reducing it. We agree that the effect is pretty cool and would be nice to use it more frequently.


Personally, a little lore logic behind the items might be nice as well. How is it that my character can summon a god every 3 minutes, but it takes 10 minutes to round up some sassy dwarven ladies?

Filed under: News items, Archaeology

Spiritual Guidance: Ghostcrawler on priests

Every Sunday (and the occasional weekday) Spiritual Guidance offers holy and discipline priests advice on how to wield the holy light and groove to the disco night. Your hostess Dawn Moore will provide the music.

There was a great priest thread on the official World of Warcraft healing forums late last week. The thread caps at 30 pages, then spills into another thread for further discussion. The original post is from a priest who also heals as a druid, and is currently unhappy with the state of priests in Icecrown Citadel. The poster asks for in-depth feedback from other priests with healing alts who are happy with the priest class in ICC.

The thread remains on topic and doesn't get too trolly before Ghostcrawler steps in on page 7 and gives a simple breakdown of how he plays priest. He remains in the thread for quite some time and provides readers with a good insight on how he and Blizzard feel about various aspects of priests at this time. If you missed this thread, I will be summarizing the highlights of what Ghostcrawler said and providing some of my own thoughts and analysis.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Dungeon Finder tricks and tips

When we last talked about this on the podcast, I said we'd basically have to wait and see how it all worked, but now that players have had their hands on the Dungeon Finder out on the live realms for a while, they're learning a few more tricks and tips about how to use it. As Rohan brings up over on the WoW Ladies LJ, it's easy enough to keep a good player once you've found them through the system: as long as none of you drop group once you're done with an instance, you can go back in and run as many as you want. Unfortunately, you can't friend them yet (hopefully that will show up whenever Battle.net functionality does), but the comments on that post point out that if you both sign up for an unpopular instance at the same time, chances are good you'll end up in the same group together (of course, that requires coordination, but maybe you can set up a time out of game).

More tips and tricks for the new system after the break.

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Filed under: Tips, Tricks, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Wrath of the Lich King

PUG with the Blues 2: Electric Pugabloo

If you didn't make it to the party last time, here's your second chance to PUG it up with WoW devs and CMs. Zarhym just announced take two of PUG with the Blues, and it's guaranteed to be a good time.

Just hop onto the Patch 3.3 PTR this Wednesday at 4 PM PST/7 PM EST and put your character into the random heroic Wrath dungeon queue. If you're lucky, you'll get grouped with someone with <GM> before their name and get to run a heroic with a dev!

This could be your only chance to use that funny quip you've been saving for a blue post reply, or to make sure that Ghostcrawler never lives down whatever off-the-cuff comment he made one time that everybody interpreted the way that they wanted. Just make sure to say it while he's busy doing something. Timing is everything.

Oh, and some WoW.com staff will be there too. So get your PTR client patched up and ready to go and let's. Get. Random.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

PUG with the blues today at 7:00 p.m. EST

Want to be cool, yo?

Want to bask in some blue goo?

Want to put yourself in a sticky situation having to heal Ghostcrawler (perhaps, if he shows up)?

Then come and pug with the blues today at 7:00 p.m. EST / 6:00 p.m. CST / 4:00 p.m. PST on the PTR. Blizzard folk will be logging onto the PTR to test out the new dungeon system matching tool that's coming up in patch 3.3. Blizzard has done this kind of event before on beta realms and tournament test realms, and they're always a good time.

WoW.com writers will be there taking some pictures of any antics that develop (we know the blues have a thing for turning people into toads and what not).

Nothing says loving like 10,000 people standing around /yelling "Don't nerf me, bro!"

That's hot.


Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Events, News items

Update on the Ghostcrawler situation


We reported this weekend on Ghostcrawler's self-imposed break from the forums. The response by the majority of the so-called mature fans was quite negative. Many were furious, and rightfully so in my opinion. It appeared that a key source of information for the community was taking leave. Right on the cusp of the Cataclysm alpha/beta, this would have been a terrible time for that to occur. We'd likely be in the dark about changes until they were discovered on the beta/PTR, and even then there would be little to no definitive philosophical discussion about the reasons behind the new content.

Ghostcrawler was apparently touched by the fan support, which you can see both in our post and the forum thread in the role forums. He's come back out and said that he will only be responding to topics he wants, rather than allowing clamoring forum-goers to push him into responding (or not responding).

This has been evident lately in the Shadow Priest QQ going on. When he doesn't respond to what is clearly inappropriate discourse, people get really angry. They think Blizzard is ignoring them, which isn't the case. The role forums are about discussion between players with Ghostcrawler occasionally appearing to offer some insight. Designers read everything on those forums, blue tagged or not.

His exact words, after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Forums

WoW Insider Show Episode 106 with guest Phil Kollar


Our podcast was on the virtual airwaves yet again last Saturday, and in addition to WoW.com folks Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington and of course Turpster (whose birthday was September 7th, so happy birthday to that guy), we welcomed Phil Kollar, former 1up editor, current Game Informer associate editor, frequent Twitterer, and World of Warcraft guild leader (he's running a guild called In Defense of the Genre over on Area 52, as we talk about during the show), not to mention all-around fun guy. He helped us talk about the latest news in Azeroth, including more Cataclysm discussion, the latest on the faction changes and how they're going, a quick mention of the changes to jousting in the 5-man ToC, and what it means that a guild took down Yogg-Saron in blue gear.

Pretty enjoyable show, if you ask me, but then again I always enjoy sitting down and podcasting for you all. You can listen in at the links below, and/or subscribe to the show on iTunes (where we can always use some nice reviews letting us know what you of what we're doing). I also tweaked the audio a little bit before this show, so hopefully it will sound a little better as well. Enjoy, and we'll talk to you next week!

Get the podcast:
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Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Podcasts, Podcasting, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Humor, Raiding, Bosses, WoW Insider Show, Cataclysm

Yogg-Saron in blues


This story's from last week, but I love it anyway -- over at the Greedy Goblin, Gevlon's guild was getting a little tired of all of the achievement-checking and gear requirements for endgame raiding, and so they set out to do something that many experienced raiders might admit seems impossible: take down Yogg-Saron with nothing but blues on. That means no epics at all -- no epic gear, dropped or crafted, no epic enchants, no epic gems. They did use profession bonuses, but everyone should have access to those by now (all it takes is money, and all that takes is time). And of course, they did it: toppled Yoggy with the group you see on the page there. The combat log is also posted, and it's about what you'd expect: none of the damage numbers are crazy high, but the group works so well together and plays so evenly that they get it done. That's the message to be taken away here: gear is nice, but nothing will get you farther than a well-oiled group of solid players.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Bosses, Leveling

Breakfast Topic: Have you ever actually met a GM in-game?


One of the things which captivated me when I first started playing WoW were the whispered myths surrounding GMs. Being that this was my first proper foray into the magical and mysterious world of online gaming I had no real idea of what exactly their strange beings where except that they were uber-powerful and acted as both peacekeepers on the forums and tech support in-game.

Over the years, I've submitted my fair share of tickets. Indeed once during the Wrath beta I and a bunch of other hapless explorers got trapped under Dalaran bank and I had to ask a GM to teleport them out (being a druid I just teleported to Moonglade -- after twenty minutes of waiting for my hearthstone to cooldown and them remembering I had an escape route). However in all my dealings with them in-game I've never actually met a GM in-game (on the other hand I've met a bunch in real life). So I want to know, readers, have you ever seen a GM with your own (virtual) eyes? Did they appear to you in that robe get up seen in the manual or as something a little more scary? Come on and spill the beans, I want to hear about all your fascinating GM encounters!

Filed under: Virtual selves, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

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

Time is Money: Selling vs. Disenchanting


Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply).

Today we'll be discussing the benefits of disenchanting items, and weigh them against your other options, such as vendoring and auctioning.

For the purposes of this discussion, I am going to assume that you aren't using the materials to level, but rather, are interested in making the most gold possible.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Features, Making money, Enchants, Time Is Money

Are disenchanters getting robbed by rolls?

Sardonis sent us a note the other day, with an interesting, if probably controversial, point inside: when we're in instances, Skinners take their skins, Miners take their ores, and Herbalists take their herbs (or of course they rotate around if there's more than one). At the end of the instance, we don't sit down and /roll on all of the herbs or ores that people have picked up. So why do we do it, Sardonis asks, with disenchanting shards?

Good question. My first response was that everyone needs enchants, and everyone can use those mats. But if everyone can get their friendly guild enchanter to enchant something, can't you get your Leatherworker to use skins, or your Blacksmith to use ores? Of course, you could argue that Leatherworkers can get skins from anywhere, but disenchanted blues only show up in instances. If it's an item that required five (or even 25) people to get, everyone should have a chance at it. There are herbs and ores in instances, true, but those can be found elsewhere as well -- they don't need a group to get them. And what about Rogues who unlock chests in instances -- sure, we need them to open the chests, but they need us to get them there.

You can get blues through questing and drops, though, too, so who knows who deserves what. Sardonis is at the point where he won't even say he's a disenchanter -- he'll just do a greed roll like everyone else, and if he gets the item, then he'll DE it. The tradition seems to be that we all roll when we've all helped drop some boss loot, but it's true that we'd never get the shards if it weren't for DE'ers. Maybe they do deserve to take what they make.

Filed under: Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Enchants

Ulduar vehicles will scale with gear

Here's a little consolation to those of you, like Eliah, concerned about the Ulduar vehicle fights: Unlike some of the other vehicle fights in the game already, Daelo says on the forums that the vehicles in the next raid will actually scale with gear. He says someone in blues will have a much harder time in the vehicles than someone kitted out in Naxx gear.

Personally, I've only done Oculus, but I do agree with Eliah that putting us in vehicles takes away a lot of the achievement we've gained by leveling and questing -- it's not fun to fail on a boss just because you're trying to deal with a whole new set of abilities you've had no control over until you jumped in the driver's seat. But the fact that the Ulduar vehicles will scale helps a little bit -- players were concerned that every time you went in there, it'd be the same fight, but with new gear that should change. And obviously Blizzard has heard the concerns about the Oculus, so you'd have to hope they wouldn't make the same mistake twice.

Elsewhere on the forums, Zarhym promises, comically, that we'll all enjoy this (and that we'll forget to post how much we enjoy it on the forums afterwards). He says that the fight is different from anything else we've done in the World of Warcraft, and that when all is said and blown up, it'll be an epic encounter. We'll see.

Need more news about Ulduar? We've got updates, previews, speculation, and everything else you need to know about the next big raid coming in patch 3.1. If the Titans are hiding it up there, we'll tell you about it here.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding

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