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Posts with tag controversy

Does the Annual Pass guarantee instant beta access?

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

A number of WoW Annual Pass subscribers are upset over a change to the Annual Pass terms, which now grant access to the Mists of Pandaria beta test over successive invite batches as opposed to the originally advertised "when it goes live." When the Annual Pass was announced at BlizzCon, I had never dreamed that Blizzard would let in press, fan sites, players, Annual Pass holders, opt-in players, and more at the exact same time. It has not been the norm for Blizzard to run things in such a way, but these days, it's hard to expect the norm from Irvine.

My honest reaction to this whole controversy is that in the course of four weeks, it won't be a huge deal because a majority of people looking to get beta access immediately will probably have it. The people who have or had beta access will do what a majority of players do -- play for a little bit, check out the pandas, show their friends, and then they're gone until release day. That's fine and dandy, no doubt about it, but a lot of the rhetoric coming from the community is that beta was a chance for them to try the game and see for themselves. That's not what a beta is about, in principle.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Breakfast Topic: The other kind of hybrids

In conversations about WoW, the word "hybrid" brings forth images of paladins, druids and so forth. But interestingly enough, WoW has another kind of hybrid. I am referring, of course, to characters with inter-species ancestry. For those who care about the lore of Warcraft, feelings on hybrids range from "I don't really care" to "They're awesome!" to "They ruin the lore!" An example of a character who elicits the first opinion is Lantresor of the Blade. Is he a hybrid? Yes. Do people make a big deal out of it? Not really. His ancestry simply adds a nice bit of backstory to (at the time Burning Crusade was released) a new character.

Two examples of well-received hybrids are Garona Halforcen and Rexxar. Garona, originally created as a half-human, half-orc hybrid, has in recent times been retconned into a half-orc, half-draenei -- still a popular character among those that know of her. Rexxar, the half-ogre, half-orc Champion of the Horde, has been a popular character since his creation in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne's orc bonus campaign.

However, hybrids can also be targets of immense hatred from the fan base. Rhonin, while not a hybrid himself, is often accused of being a "Mary Sue" by fans, with one of the most popular reasons being that he is married to a high elf, Veressa Windrunner. His twin sons, by extension, have been poorly received. There was some anger when it was revealed that the first Guardian of Tirisfal was Alodi, a half-elf.

But among all the disputed hybrids, none is more controversial than Med'an. The son of the aforementioned Garona Halforcen and Medivh, last Guardian of the original Council of Tirisfal, Med'an is quarter-orc, quarter-draenei and half-human. This apparently gives him the natural aptitude to not only be a mage, but a shaman and paladin as well. Not only this, but he becomes a new Guardian of Tirisfal, which drives some to say that he "ruins the point" of Warcraft III. Regardless of your opinions on the character, the controversy created by Med'an has few rivals within Warcraft's history.

In addition to hybrid characters, some races are alleged by some to be hybrids. The drakonid, humanoid dragons, are said in some places to be half-dragon. The same goes for harpies and other races.

What are your feelings about hybrids? Should drakonid be the next playable race, or should Deathwing just eliminate them all in Cataclysm? Or are you somewhere in between?

This article has been brought to you by Seed, Aol's guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. Watch for the next call for submissions and a chance to submit your own article. The next new byline you see here may be yours!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

What happened to TourGuide?

There have been many Addon stories that will live through World of Warcraft's history and beyond, as cautionary tales, expressions of visions or the refinement of a segment of the MMO genre that, rapidly, is becoming the norm in most games. Tekkub's TourGuide is going to be, if it is not already, one of those stories. Join me on this adventure where we discuss what all the drama was all about and an interview I did with Tekkub concerning the transpired events.

[This article has been updated.]

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Interviews

Ammo controversy in 3.3 already

Patch 3.3 is only barely out on the live realms, and already, there's a controversy with the new epic ammo recipes. Lassirra says that hunters are concerned that the requirements to make the ammo are just too high. Blizzard had promised to make getting epic ammo easier, and this still has the requirement of having a high level engineer, with the extra charge of requiring a Goblin engie for the bullets, and a Gnomish engie for the arrows. And even after you find a 450 Engineer in the right spec, you still have to get a couple of Crystallized Shadow or Earth together. That doesn't sound "easier" to me, either.

Let's not forget, however, that this is cutting edge (no pun intended) ammo -- this isn't the kind of vendor junk you just fire while leveling. It's a 30 point DPS gain from the previous high level ammo, and that kind of increase probably does justify a little tougher requirement to make. Of course, it'll probably work out so that other classes get that increase normally through their itemization, but that's just the way it works for hunters. If you want the new ammo, you'll have to find an friendly engie of the right spec with the right skill Honored with the new Ashen Verdict faction, and then keep them supplied with as much Crystallized Earth and Shadow as you can find.

Filed under: Hunter, Engineering, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

Dealing with temporary changes in-game

Larisa's got a good rant about something I've considered before in a slightly different context: players aren't very good at anticipating how temporary game changes will work out. We, as a group (not individually necessarily), are quite quick to judgment when we see changes to the game, and the word Larisa uses is "conservatism" -- she notes the examples of the reaction to the zombie outbreak and the Children's Week batleground issues, and says that players "tossed the gift away, like spoiled kids." We (again, in general, not you specifically) have a very short view of how temporary changes will affect the game, lambast Blizzard for changing what didn't need to be changed, and very often, when the dust settles and the zombies are gone or the event is over, we realize that it wasn't so bad after all.

She's not talking about class changes here -- those are more permanent changes that affect the basic rules of the game. But specifically with temporary events (I'd even throw the Brewfest controversies, and the Headless Horseman complaints in the mix), players sometimes have reactions that are way out of proportion to the events themselves. These holidays and world events are temporary: shouldn't we just enjoy them while we can?

It's definitely a valid point, and something to remember for the next time a temporary event throws off your usual routine in-game. The fact is that we players are spoiled -- Blizzard generally does a great job keeping this game fun, and so when even a little issue sneaks into the game during a temporary event. But Larisa promises that next time she gets shaken up by a temporary change, she'll give it another chance. Sounds like a great idea to me.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances

Martin Fury: What would you have done?

Everyone is in a furor over the Martin Fury/Karatechop controversy -- and we've had a few requests already to poll you guys on exactly what you think about it, so here you go. The story, as we've ascertained, is that Karatechop got the item by way of a low-level guildie (who'd been receiving items after he'd had his account hacked), "didn't even contemplate a ticket," and had the guildie bring the item into normal Ulduar with him. They downed Ignis with it, and after that proceeded out of the instance, flipped it to Heroic, and used the item thirteen more times, completing even some world first hard modes with it.

So the question is: what would you have done? Lots of players say they wouldn't have touched it, and that it was clearly an item they shouldn't have had. Others say that Karatechop and his guild did what anyone would have done -- it was Blizzard's mistake and they were just taking advantage of it. We'd like to know, so here's a poll: what would you have done if Martin Fury showed up in your mailbox?

What would you have done with Martin Fury?
Not touched it at all, it's not my item4626 (16.7%)
Played around with it a bit, maybe killing mobs a few times in the overworld7991 (28.8%)
Saved it for future use, in Icecrown or elsewhere2781 (10.0%)
Headed straight for PvP and rocked Wintergrasp3168 (11.4%)
What Karatechop did: rolled through progression content9202 (33.1%)


Of course, Karatechop eventually got banned for what he did, but answer that question under the premise that he didn't necessarily know that at the time. And there's another question here: lots of players say that they are surprised Karatechop and his guild didn't open a GM ticket right away -- clearly Blizzard didn't mean to send him the item, and he should have contacted them to get it back. But others aren't so sure. The second question is: no matter what you did with the item, would you have told the GMs about it?

Would you have opened a ticket when you saw the item?
Yes12219 (48.6%)
No12910 (51.4%)

Filed under: Items, Polls, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

YouPlayorWePay opens up a new month, plans to add EU realms soon


We haven't heard much from the folks at You Play or We Pay lately, but maybe that's a good thing for them -- after all the noise from their initial launch, it seems like things have calmed down over there. They're giving out "Compensation Credits," it looks like they've started running a few ads, and it seems like they've finally settled on a model that works for everyone -- both the founders of the site and the people who sign up for compensation. While we heard the first month of slots filled up pretty fast, the second month seems to be going a little slower -- they've still got about half the slots for March still available as of this writing. But as you can see from the picture, they're promising some real items in exchange for those Compensation Credits. With 150 slots in March and about 100 credits given out last month, you may be waiting over a year to save up the credits to buy a 30-day game card, but the site is working the way they planned: you can sign up for free and eventually get something back for your realm's downtime.

And they're planning on expanding soon -- the site reports that by the 15th of March, English EU players will be able to sign up for compensation on their realms' downtime as well. This site caused a lot of controversy when it first opened up, but we have to give it to them: it looks like they've worked out a way to do what they want to do.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Realm Status, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Making money

Are hybrid tanks going to *be* left behind?


In the wake of Alex Ziebart's recent post for Hybrid Theory, we received a number of comments from paladins on their ability to main-tank a 25-man raid. Behind the scenes, the subject was equally controversial; many of us here play tanks and we all feel passionate about our classes. An email discussion started about hybrid tanks in general, and it got to be so interesting that we were threatened with being fired if we didn't post it we were asked to share it with our readers.

Warriors? Druids? Paladins? And the people who love them? This one's for you. Now, I've previously fielded complaints that my posts are too long, so far warning; if you're not in the mood for a pretty thorough look at the current state of hybrid tanking, you'll probably want to keep moving. If you play any tank at all, just want to know more about them and the people who choose to play tanks, or are considering rolling a tank class, I hope you find the following to be of interest.

Please note that the headers below are not, as in portions of Matthew Rossi's post, quotes from anybody involved; they're just a means of helping me organize my thoughts and translate our email conversations into the blogging format. I'm attempting to condense the content of multiple email conversations.

My perspective on Alex's post

For reference, my main is a tanking feral druid in a Tier 6 raiding guild. Our main tank is a protection paladin, and we're on Reliquary of Souls at the moment. This guy main-tanked Vashj, main-tanked Kael for a certain period until we found out his computer settings made it really tough for him to see Flamestrikes (so we substituted a warrior for that reason, not because of the pally/warrior divide), and has main-tanked most of Hyjal and a fairish amount of Black Temple.

More past the cut.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Classes

Curse's terms of use deserve a closer look

There's a storm brewing over in the UI & Macros forum, and it's about the terms of use for popular add-on site Curse. If you use mods at all, you're almost certainly aware of the site; I go there all the time. They're probably the biggest mod site right now. So it comes as something of a surprise to me that such a pillar of the scene would have what seems to be a pretty abusive set of terms service.

According to the analysis conducted in this forum thread, Curse's ToU "specifically removes any and all copyright that we as authors have on our addons." Yikes!

There are other bad parts of the ToU language too, including that Curse can change the ToU at any time without notifying authors. Of course, the site is within its rights to impose any ToU it wants on the users, but it's not nice to take control of creations out of authors' hands. I am not a lawyer, so it's altogether possible that I'm interpreting some of this incorrectly. The forum thread, however, claims that lawyers looked at Curse's terms and agreed that the interpretation is correct.

Until these provisions are changed -- and Curse promises that they will be -- I recommend mod authors use other sites like WoWInterface or wowui.incgamers.com. In writing this article I read the terms of use for those sites -- or rather, tried to. IncGamers doesn't even have their ToU up! But they've been a pretty well-behaved site in the past (they used to be worldofwar.net), so I trust them. WoWInterface's terms of service didn't seem to have anything like what Curse has, and a source at the site assured me that "we never touch an author's zip file without their knowledge and consent, ever." WI has a good history of respecting the community and the authors. Curse folks, are we all reading this wrong? Is there something in this issue that's being missed?

Update: As several of Curse's employees have helpfully pointed out to me, the new ToU are much better. However, I still have reservations about them.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons

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