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Posts with tag cms

Forum Post of the Day: Zarhym faces the flames

I was wondering when/if things would get a little hot and heavy for the new CM Zarhym on the forums, and this thread is it -- players start out asking for a date for the expansion (we all know when Wrath will come out already: "when it's done"), and when Zarhym orders up a generic answer, players start to test his limits. One snarky answer gets him to deal out a ban, and it's downhill from there -- when players start fighting with him over the fact that they want a new battleground, he gets a little snippy, and eventually, he says that putting in a new battleground would only satisfy a "small percentage" of the playerbase. And then players really get angry.

I think Zarhym handled himself pretty well -- his little snipe at players for thinking an expansion was "too soon" last year was uncalled for, especially since Blizzard told us they were actually aiming for one every year. But he's not distraught to the point of a Tseric yet, obviously. He's just not quite as smooth as, say, Drysc or Neth yet in quelling angry players.

It's too bad that, since the CMs are anonymous, we have no idea when they start of their qualifications or past experience (though of course we'd trust Blizzard to hire people who know what they're doing). But Zarhym got his official welcome to the forums -- when players start flaming you for saying the wrong thing, you know you've made it.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Forums, Battlegrounds

Zarhym floats, posts, and toasts

Forum regulars were treated to a new Community Manager over the weekend in the form of Zarhym. We don't always cover every appearance of a new blue, but when we do, it's usually interesting. What's noteworthy about Zarhym's appearance is that he has an unusually cool avatar, and a few folks have already begun speculating about it.

Zarhym hasn't posted a lot yet, but he's starting to show some personality. He's passed out some Kool Aid toasts, but is sticking to the not-quite-canned language about class balancing and ongoing development that we've come to expect from CMs. We also know his first levelling experience to level 40 was a Gnome.

I haven't seen any of the existing CMs disappear, though. My guess is this staffing expansion is related to the upcoming game expansion you might have heard about. Not only are there more players coming around to WoW, but those players are going to be busy posting questions, analysis, and complaints. Zarhym will probably help the team address all that, without lessening their existing service. Good luck, mate!

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

Alex's TTR stress test review

Yesterday's TTR Stress Test had its up and it had its downs, but overall it was a very fun experience. It was rocky in the beginning, with the server needing to be pulled down for a hardware upgrade shortly after the test was scheduled to begin. The TTR was riddled with soul-searing, unplayable lag up until that point, so I'd say it was needed.

The WoW Insider gang sat around for an hour doing a load of nothing until the server came back, but it was worth it. Most of the lag was gone, the Blizzard Entertainment crew were out and about doing their thing, and we were finally able to hit the arena. Unfortunately, our first match was against a three Resto Druid team. In a magical fairy world where Druids don't have Innervate or any natural mana regen whatsoever, I'm pretty sure Adam would have still gone OOM trying to Mana Burn all three of them to nothing.

Interested in the good times we had? Hop on past the cut and I'll give you the details!

Read more →

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Arena

Worldwide Arena Battle announced for Sunday on the TTR

Blizzard Poster Tyren has announced that this coming Sunday, 12pm to 3pm, Blizzard will be holding a Worldwide Arena Battle on the Tournament Test Realm in order to focus testing on the server. Members of the community and development teams will be queuing up to fight, so if you've always wanted to show Kalgan or Tigole what for in the Arena, this looks like your chance. You can expect a battle between the various CMs as well, so we'll have to watch to see who gets stickied and who gets banned.

If you're not sure how to access the TTR, you can read Zach Yonzon's guide here on the site. Don't worry if you don't have a character transfer slot left, every character created on the TTR is automatically level 70, and will spawn next to a selection of vendors that will let them buy a wide variety of gear to outfit themselves for battle.

Assuming the TTR doesn't collapse under the stress, we'll see you there!

WoW Insider Show live on the virtual air tomorrow afternoon


A brand new episode of our podcast, the WoW Insider Show, will be recorded live tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm on WoW Radio, and I can tell you right now that we'll be talking about Warlocks. The news about Lifetap changes topped the charts on WoW Insider this week, so myself, Duncor (Turpster is away this week, so the D is kindly stepping in), and John "BigBearButt" Petricelli (along with probably one more person from WoW Insider) will definitely be chatting about the most demonic class in the game.

But that's not all -- other topics of discussion will include what classes the CMs play, the worst quests in the game, and we'll also be asking the same question Nihilum did: are raiders becoming obsolete? Plus, we'll have reader mail (you can send it in right now at theshow@wow.com), and we'll welcome anyone and everyone on the IRC channel (#wowradio on irc.mmoirc.com). It's all tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm EST -- see you then!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Odds and ends, Quests, WoW Insider Show

How many 70s does Eyonix have?

Surprisingly, US CM Eyonix has dropped in on a thread titled "How many 70s do you have?" I'm surprised because I wouldn't think it would necessarily be in a CM's best interest for people to know what classes they play, as a common perception in the community is that if you don't have a level 70 <insert class here> you obviously know nothing about the class and should stop talking. Anyway, here's the four classes that the whelpling has gotten to the level cap (in the order he put them in):
  • Shaman
  • Priest
  • Druid
  • Paladin

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, Classes, Alts, Forums

Tharfor, his mouth, his foot, and shamans

Man-- as if Blizzard really needed something like this to happen. Shamans are already unhappy with patch 2.4, and in replying to a relatively well-written and well-founded thread on why that is, EU CM Tharfor drops this bomb:

The stats don't show a lack of popularity for shaman, they just show a ridiculous popularity for other classes.

I am taking that out of context a bit-- Tharfor is basically saying that Shamans are in the right place, and it's other classes that need to be balanced on to them (and Thundgot later wants it clarified as "certain" other classes-- Druids and Warriors specifically). But as if the Shaman forums weren't enough of a firestorm, that statement has set off a whole other explosion of complaints. People are even asking if a statement like that is supposed to reflect Blizzard's feelings as a company or just Tharfor's as a CM.

I feel for Tharfor-- at least he wrote a lot on the subject, and at least he stepped up to talk to shamans about this, even when I'm sure the other CMs were tired of banning people after dot-shock. But this Shaman issue isn't a problem that can be talked out on the forums-- serious changes need to be made in game. From the missing Shaman review before BC all the way up to the new Stormstrike icon in 2.4, Blizzard has done very little to cure the basic problems with the shaman class (totem length and mobility, and mana management), and posting statements like the one above isn't helping.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Classes, Forums

Predicting patch 2.4

So it's time for WoW Insider to do you all a favor. It seems like whenever we attempt to predict the timing of a certain patch, Blizzard ignores whatever we say, and drops it right away. With patch 2.2, we predicted in early September that it would take "weeks" longer, maybe even last November, and instead they had it out within the month. And with patch 2.3, we guessed that Blizzard wouldn't drop it before Thanksgiving, and just hours later they proved us wrong, and released it before the holiday.

So here you go: with everything we've seen on the forums lately, including the CMs a little giddy with excitement, and all of the news that dropped last week, we're going to officially predict that patch 2.4 will drop on the PTRs this coming Tuesday, and that it will hit the live realms sometime in early March (probably before Noblegarden, which starts on March 23rd).

There. Now, Blizzard has plenty of chances to prove us wrong by releasing the PTR sometime this week, and getting the patch out to live realms before March 1st. That's our favor to you-- if Blizzard follows their past pattern, they'll make us completely wrong again, and get you on the PTR and in the patch even sooner than we thought.

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

On CMs and their thread choices

Unholycow on Thrall finally calls out the CMs (in a more literate-than-usual way, I mean) for something they've been doing a long time on the forums-- posting in inconsequential threads, while big player questions remain unanswered. As he says, "what's going on?"

Neth answers pretty quickly, and this issue goes almost directly back to the issue of communication between players and CMs. The CMs feel they have a lot more freedom to post on silly threads, obviously, and so they do it more. But when talking about "serious" issues (or maybe just more touchy subjects), their words carry more weight, and so they have to pick and choose what they say.

And to that, I have to agree with Tolki, who posts in the thread that we'd rather have an Oprah than a Tony Snow. Sure, things didn't work out so well the last time a CM was completely honest with us, but surely there's a middle ground. BlizzCast is a start-- maybe the devs and CMs should work together to make sure that fairly often (once a week or even once a day), they can speak out on a "serious" issue, and give the player base something to chew on. It could be argued that the CMs' words carry so much weight on serious issues because we almost never hear from them, and if that's true, a regular schedule of discussions with either CMs or devs would help give the CMs more freedom to be more honest with us about what they think about (hey heeeeyy) what's really going on in game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Forums

What Blizzard can learn from the Ghost Wolf debacle

Make no mistake about it-- Blizzard screwed up the issue of ghost wolf taming. A few months ago, when patch 2.3 was introduced with the new Dustwallow content, players found that by quickening Hunters' spellcast time, they were able to tame an animal that was never meant to be tamed-- the ghost wolves summoned by Grimtotem shamans there. Players thought it was awesome, and so did we. And despite the expectation that Blizzard would fix the problem and ruin our fun, we were surprised to hear that even though Blizzard admitted the taming was not intended, they would let it go. Those who wanted to put in the extra effort and cost to get a neat pet model would get one.

Cut to earlier this week, when Drysc posted exactly the opposite on the forums.

This isn't the first time Blizzard has flipped on players, and odds are that it won't be the last. They screwed this up, and players deserve to either keep having the ability to go out of their way to tame these wolves, or get a good reason why they shouldn't be able to.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, Forums

Forum Post of the Day: Snow mans weekly


What happened to Drysc over the weekend? The man went snow crazy-- not only did all of the forum posters on the official WoW forums turn into candy canes yet again for the holidays, but the CMs also got turned into snowmen, and Drysc peppered the forums with a brand now "lol wut"-level catchphrase: "snow mans." There's snow rhyme or reason to it!

Still, as forum memes go, I laughed. Detaer from Daggerspine wrapped up all the "snow mans" into one big wrapup (which Drysc then added a "snow mans" to for an infinite snowy loop). The holidays are here again, and while a few forum posters were guessing that Drysc might have been hacked, it's much more likely that our CMs are drinking way too much egg nog. When will the frozen ice-inspired craziness end? There's just snow way to know.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, Forums

Forum Post of the Day: Ode to the CMs

I have to say that I really enjoyed this little ditty Tatiana wrote up over on the forums. She's seen all the trouble the CMs are contending with lately, feels a little sad for our Community Managers, and decided to write a song for them. I don't want to turn this into yet another discussion about Shaman buffs (we've got other posts for that), but no matter how you feel about the CMs, you just have to be won over by lines like "You tease us with "When it's ready" and even with "Soon." / And you get flaming pumpkins as your forum toon."

Hopefully some musician more qualified than I (I've got my trusty Uke right here, but unfortunately my mic isn't quite good enough to give this thing justice on a recording) will toss in a catchy chorus and set this to music. I imagine something a little Arlo Guthrie-- how else could you pull off the song's best joke: "In excitement I click on the Blue post, / To see if it's "Soon," or "!!!" or " If you have any complaints or feedback regarding a Community Manager, please email wowcmfeedback@blizzard.com. Thanks!" Funny. And if someone does put it together, drop us an email about it-- we'll be sure to play it on the podcast.

The whole thing is reprinted for posterity after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Forums

The Blizzard staff goes to the movies


So very funny. Take a few parts Blizzplanet Blizzard staff pictures page, and combine with a JibJab Flash app that lets you put your own pictures in, and you've got the makings of greatness seen above: Blizzard CM Drysc, starring in his own action movie as a rogue cop short on sanity and long on ammo, complete with cameo appearances by Nethaera, Feathers, Mike Morhaime (he's the boss, naturally), Metzen, Eyonix, and all the other Blizzard faces.

Oh and there's more-- here's Neth and Drysc on the dance floor, a preview of what we'll see at the next BlizzCon, and Eyonix and Drysc... well, you might not want to watch that last one.

Ivenoml of Hellscream put these all together, and salute to you, sir or madam, because these are darn funny. For their part, the Blizzard staff enjoyed them, too-- we're told by Eyonix that they're being passed around the company as we speak. So, so funny. Now we definitely need an item in WotLK called Unnecessary Force.

[ via incgamers ]

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, BlizzCon

Strange patch note choices (or, my last Orc shoulders post ever, I swear)

I can confirm for you that yes, patch 2.2 has finally fixed our Orc male shoulders. Finally, my Orc Shaman can hold his shoulders up proudly (ok, well, a little hunched down under all the weight, but still). I know lots of you readers are tired of hearing about it, but the saga is over: our Orc shoulders have grown back. Now I'll never mention it again.

Strangely enough, however, this change didn't make the patch notes, and when players ask why, Neth sounds a little tired of talking about it herself. She says that while the change did not appear in the official 2.2 notes, "one graphical item of which has been stated as being fixed many times now, does not make it less accurate." I've wondered before who exactly writes the patch notes, and yet again I find myself wondering what the method is behind their madness. Some patch changes, including some boss tweaks, are clearly not included on purpose. Some huge changes (like the DOTs affected by resilience change) get the smallest of mentions. And some small changes very much awaited by players, like the anti-AFK measures, get quite a bit of ink.

Now, I doubt that Blizzard purposely left the Orc shoulders change off the patch notes-- they probably just didn't think it important enough to include. But surely there are things that they do leave off of the notes on purpose, and some things that the devs might not think are big, but that whoever writes the patch notes chooses to emphasize. Whatever their method behind the madness, I can't see what it is at all.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Episode 3 of the WoW Insider show now available


Episode 3 of the WoW Insider Show is now available to listen over at WoW Radio and also as a podcast on iTunes (wow, those iTunes reviews are harsh, aren't they? Send us your suggestions on how to make the show better at theshow@wow.com). I was on board this time around, as was our own Amanda Rivera, and WoW Radio's ever popular Turpster and Alris from the World of Theorycraft.

We chatted about all of our popular posts from last week, including whether rogues stealthing around constitutes an exploit, Matthew's post about trojans, and what exactly Blizzard's Hydra is. We hit on lots more, too, and I made everyone give their prediction for the patch 2.2 release-- "this week," "next week," or "later." I believe "this week" won among the four of us (it's what I said), but considering what the CMs are saying lately, I have to admit I'm second guessing myself-- we may not see the patch tomorrow morning after all.

And don't forget that we do this live every Saturday at 3:30pm EST over at WoW Radio. Tune in next week for yet another episode of WoW Insider in audio form-- we call it the WoW Insider Show.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard, Features, WoW Insider Show

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