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Posts with tag cm

Breakfast Topic: How do you talk to Blizzard?

Breakfast Topic How do you talk to Blizzard
When I left World of Warcraft, about two years ago, if you wanted to talk to Blizzard, you didn't have many options. You could submit an in-game ticket if you had a problem or post complaints or discussion in the forums and hope for a response. But response time for GMs was typically slow and you could never tell if a Blizzard employee would jump on responding to your forum thread. Having a conversation with a Blizzard employee seemed like a rare thing -- that involved a heck of a lot of luck

And while there's still no way to guarantee a blue response, when I came back to WoW, I was most surprised by how much communicating with Blizzard had changed. These days you can find Blizzard and Blizzard employees on the forums and in-game, of course, but you'll also find them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even Reddit. And they're not just there to talk official Blizzard business (though they certainly answer questions from time to time): you're just as likely to find them chatting and joking, just like anyone else on social networks.

So when you've got a burning question or a game problem that needs addressing, where do you go to talk about it? Do you stick to the classic official channels, or do you launch into a discussion on Twitter?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

WoW Archivist: How forum trolls broke a CM

A Tseric post from 2006
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?

Last week, I included some passionate but mostly reasonable discussion of debuffs on the official forums from the earliest days of WoW and beyond. The official forums have always been a rough and tumble part of the game -- an area that Blizzard has always wanted to improve.

Trolls invade

One can speculate about a dozen different reasons for why WoW's official forums have been so full of jerks. Is it because there are just so many players and thus so many people with forum access, raising the statistical jerk demographic? Does the game's immense popularity encourage people to demand more of the company that makes it than any other in gaming? Does the ongoing passion for WoW simply make the forums the best place to troll on the Internet?

The forums have become gradually better over time, but the vanilla and Burning Crusade eras were completely out of control. Caught off-guard by the game's explosive early popularity, Blizzard's first team of community managers found themselves overwhelmingly outnumbered in their own forums. They couldn't possibly hope to keep up with the sheer volume of threads being generated. The CMs did what they could, but it was a losing battle from the start. The trolls took the forums by storm, and Blizzard never fully ousted them.

Then, in May 2007, one community manager simply couldn't take it any more.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

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

Encrypted Text: A rogue's resumé

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any topic requests or questions you have!

I feel bad for all of the guild leaders who are looking for rogues right now. As the least-played class in the game, we're already pretty scarce. The fact that we're usually invisible doesn't help the situation, either. Have you seen the frenzy that gets into people during Pilgrim's Bounty? Everyone is roaming the streets with their Turkey Shooters, looking for rogues to snipe. They start by denying that there's a rogue shortage, claiming that they'll find us eventually. After a few days of being unable to find a dwarf rogue, they get angry and start cursing us rogues for staying in Stealth all the time. Shortly after, they start bargaining, offering us large sums of gold to just show ourselves for a moment.

The truth is that regardless of how well we're performing at the moment, rogues are still in demand, due to short supply. Guilds both big and small are looking for assassins and shades to join their rosters. I have personally interviewed several rogue candidates for my own guild, and unfortunately, I am incredibly strict when reviewing their applications. You might be able to trick some hunter into thinking that you're great by swapping to a combat spec and posting your Halfus parse, but that won't convince a vigilant rogue. In order to prove yourself amongst your fellow rogue brethren, you need to compose your curriculum mortem. It's like a curriculum vitae, but with death instead of life. Get it? Rogues kill stuff? Okay, I'll leave the bad puns to Christian Belt.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Haste bug squashed by hotfix

Patch 4.0.6 brought with it a rather nasty bug that primarily affected non-mana using DPS including hunters, feral druids, rogues, and death knights. The client was disagreeing with the server on exactly how much haste refreshed the regeneration time of focus, energy, and runes, causing the client to report that certain resources were ready for use before they actually were, which then caused the player to press the button and the ability to not fire.

CM Bashiok has been keeping us up to date on the status of the bug and just recently reported that it should be fixed via a hotfix that was applied late last night. You can read the full text of his post behind the break.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Rogue, Bugs, News items, Death Knight

Cataclysm playable at midnight PST Dec. 7, no matter how you buy it

Here's a bit of sad news for all WoW players not lucky enough to live on the west coast: Blizzard CM Bashiok has announced that the official Cataclysm start time for all North American servers will be Dec. 7 at midnight PST. This will include servers on other time zones. So, sorry eastern time people. You may be able to pick up your copies of the game at midnight EST, but you'll have to wait a few hours for the west coast to catch up before you play.

The full announcement is as follows:

Bashiok
Wondering exactly what time you'll be able to begin playing your goblin or worgen or making your way to level 85? On all North American realms, World of Warcraft players who upgrade to Cataclysm will be able to begin experiencing the new content at 12 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) on December 7, whether they purchase the digital download through Battle.net or buy a physical retail boxed version in stores. Players will not be able to access Cataclysm expansion content prior to 12 a.m. PST, regardless of how they upgrade or what time zone they're located in.



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: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items, Cataclysm

Eyonix leaving Blizzard

It's sad news for the World of Warcraft community today as longtime Blizzard community manager Eyonix has announced that he's leaving the company. He announced his departure in a simple and direct post on the official forums:
"For nearly six years, we've shared our thoughts with one and other, we've laughed, we've argued, and we've cried -- the crying part was just me wasn't it? Those times, I'm afraid must come to an end as I've made the decision to explore opportunities outside of Blizzard.
It has very honestly been a huge pleasure, and I thank you all for allowing 'Eyonix' to always remain a very fond memory as I move on."
My perspective might be a little different than some readers' due to my employment history, but I've always felt for the plight of the community manager, especially at Blizzard. Become emotionally detached, they say you're not passionate. Become emotionally invested, they say you take it too personally. Eyonix has generally managed to strike that particular balance -- no mean feat for a community manager, especially one for a community so inherently unmanageable. He was one of the good guys.

We'll likely never know what caused his departure, especially given that there was definitely no horrible public meltdown accompanying this particular exit, but I hope that the move is a positive and fortuitous one for him. Even when I might've disagreed with the Community team at large, I always supported Eyonix.

Godspeed, little whelp.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Cooking for the holidays


Artwair complains over on the forums that there is cooking required for the What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been achievement (that some of you have done -- grats! -- and others of you are deciding to do in the next year), saying that something as significant as leveling up Cooking all the way shouldn't be required for what is basically an optional achievement. But Kisirani replies with as good an answer as you'll find: the achievement is designed to send you all over the world, including to some professions and abilities that you wouldn't be leveling otherwise. Especially because the achievement is optional, it's not out-of-place to ask for some cooking to happen. And I'll add that cooking is worth leveling anyway -- not only does it get you some nice buffs, let you use up some of the trash collecting in you bags, and hook up your guild or raid with some excellent items, but it's pretty easy to do, especially if you do it with fishing (which is also very useful by itself).

While she's at it, Kisirani also provides a nice tease at Pilgrim's Bounty, which isn't a part of the big meta-achievement anyway, but will have some extra recipes to find and cook, as well as a new Thanksgiving-style celebration (two words: "Turkey shooter"). Can't wait to see it.

Filed under: Patches, Events, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Lore, Achievements

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

Larger default backpack "very possible" in the future

Just about everyone playing World of Warcraft will be happy to hear this news: Eyonix says that it's 'very possible' that we'll be able to get our hands on a bigger backpack at some point in the future. Though the cynic in me says that 'very possible it'll happen eventually' is just a more positive way of saying 'we have no plans for that at this time,' I'll force myself to stay optimistic on this one.

I've sort of grown out of whining about the little itty bitty default backpack simply because it's been there forever, but I'll be absolutely stoked if they ever let it scale or let you replace it with a bigger bag. Eyonix says that we should be proud of our trusty 16 slot, and I suppose that's sort of true. It's been with me through Molten Core and Ahn'Qiraj, through Naxxramas and the Black Temple and all of that jazz, but to be honest? It's getting kind of gross. It has developed a stench. I think it's been coated in slime and ichor a few too many times. If I could finally toss it out, that would be just great.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: Will work for Blizz


I've often thought I'd do just about anything to work at Blizzard. I mean, with offices that look like this, working on one of your favorite games - who wouldn't? But then I think about my many years spent in the trenches as both rep and management at various IT/Internet jobs, and I'm no longer sure that I'd do anything to work there. You see, the one group I don't envy are those on the front lines of customer service. Much like the story from Thursday in which we learned about a rep having to deal with a kid and his suicide threat when he ostensibly didn't get what he wanted, CSRs, GMs and CMs deal with very frustrating situations every day.

But there again, it is Blizzard, and I'd be lying if I said most people I know wouldn't give their [insert requisite body part] to work there, just to experience the culture and be part of the company that makes some truly awesome games. The sheer coolness of the company and a lot of their outward facing policies seems like being part of that team would more than make up for any abuse you might get as a trade-off. How about you? Would you be willing to step onto the front lines, taking every nasty, mean comment you're dealt with a smile - or carefully constructed snark? Would you be willing to work at Blizzard on the front lines? Or is that a bit too much of a figurative bulls-eye than you'd want painted on yourself?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Mage class not being removed at this time

In a startling announcement, European CM Vaneras has confirmed that Blizzard has no plans to remove the Mage class from the game. "Current plans," the CM later clarified. "Please remember that the expansion is still in the middle of extensive beta testing, and many aspects of the game are being balanced. If we find that a crappy talent or class is not working, we will remove it."

The statement was met with mixed reactions among the playerbase, as many have agitated for an existing class to be cannibalized and its sweet innards redistributed in order to preserve raid balance in Wrath of the Lich King. Other, less pointless ranged DPS classes saw much debate concerning the issue. While Hunters could regrettably not be reached for comment as it was dinnertime and Mom was calling, the Warlock community, found at their collective den of iniquity, replied, "Nerfing us is not the answer. Buff other classes." When asked about Mages, they thought for a moment and said, "Classes worth buffing."

WoW Insider has thus far been unable to confirm with a developer that Mages will indeed remain in the game through patch 3.02. Reached at his office late Tuesday afternoon, Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan responded, "The what class?"

Disclaimer: the author of this post may possibly be bored and prone to making things up about expansion hysteria.

Filed under: Mage, Odds and ends, Expansions, Humor, Classes, Forums

Authenticator failure revisited, Blizzard responds

We created a lot of waves with this post about Blizzard's Authenticator key allegedly failing -- as you know if you've been listening to the podcast, lots of people have emailed us with their own input on the situation, alternately thanking us for making it known that the Authenticator wasn't 100% secure, and lambasting us for being "ignorant" about how Blizzard's security token works. At the base of the story, there are two things we know are true: that someone was using the Authenticator on their account, and then was subsequently hacked. For that reason, we've stood by the "Authenticator fails" story -- while having an Authenticator on your account is a helpful line of defense, it, like all other computer security measures, isn't a 100% guarantee against getting hacked.

Most people agree on that. Where opinions differ are in how the account was hacked -- originally, we and a few other sources speculated that the Authenticator had been somehow removed from the account in question. But now Belfaire has responded (we believe to the incident in question, though a link to our story was removed from the original post), and says that as far as he can tell, the Authenticator was not removed from the account. In fact, after the password was changed back, the Authenticator's serial key was asked for and given, so the Authenticator remained attached to the account the whole time.

Of course, that just leaves the most important question: how did the account get hacked? We've heard all kinds of various insights as to how the Authenticator works (it only lasts for 60 seconds, supposedly each key can only be used once, so there's no way a keylogger could nab the Authenticator code and reuse it), but the fact remains that the person we're talking about was using the key, and still got hacked. One hack out of all the Authenticators sold so far is a terrific record, and could prove that, statistically, an Authenticator is good as 100% security. But the fact remains that this person got hacked while using the key (however it was done), and if security can be broken once, it will be broken again.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Neth lays down answers on Wrath release, leaks

Nethaera was in an answering mood this weekend -- she opened up a few cans on all kinds of player questions, and clarified a few answers we weren't so thrilled with before. The biggest question, of course, was the release date for Wrath, and rather than just giving the usual "soon" answer, Neth actually made sure to say that Blizzard has definitely not finished the game yet.

She also gave a much better answer about why Blizzard is opposed to the leaking of talent data from the game. Before, all we heard was that leaking the data was "extremely offensive and inappropriate" (that comment's been deleted from the forums, actually). And this time around, Neth is much more reasonable -- the reason they don't want data leaked is because they want players to theorycraft from gameplay, not from talent data. Of course, that still doesn't mean hearing about the data earlier is a bad thing, for the players or devs, but she has a point -- reading talent data isn't the same as playing the class.

Other than that, the questions aren't too great. People ask if Blizzard is going to do anything original, and of course they are -- Blizzard's great ideas don't come out any sooner than "when they're ready," but when they do, they're almost always groundbreaking and fun. It's completely understandable that Wrath is taking their focus, and while yes, the waiting is always the hardest part, Blizzard has never shown us that the wait for their games is anything less than worth it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Forum post of the day: Ride your pony

I had to look twice at the 2.4.3 patch notes before I could bring myself to believe that the developers are planning on reducing the level requirement for ponying up. It makes a lot of sense, as we ramp up toward Wrath of the Lich King, it will progressively longer to reach the endgame, especially for new characters and particularly new players. The change makes sense to me, and I'm looking forward to Desolace being a less crummy place to level alts. No, you won't get a refund on previously purchased mounts, but nobody got refunds when the cost of the level 60 riding skill decreased either.

The community seems to be having primarily positive reactions to the news that basic mounts will be purchasable by characters at level 30. Ithnnin of Scarlet Crusade (posting on a level 40) feels that this change is an added insult to the game. He feels that Blizzard has spent too much energy catering to a "small new audience." He feels that the changes to make leveling easier have a negative effect on the accomplishments of those who when through the process when it was more difficult.

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Filed under: Patches, Economy, Leveling, Buffs, Forum Post of the Day

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