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Posts with tag crygil

Night elf mohawk: Gone!

Thank goodness!

Anyone else relieved that this funky device is removed from the game? I have to admit, I wasn't a big fan of the big head look. I've been "pitied" many times by random players (and even those in my own guild). Dwarves and mohawks just don't seem to mix. In any case, Crygil has confirmed that the mohawk grenade will not be around any longer. Ever since the grenade became active on servers back in November, I couldn't walk around Dalaran without seeing large heads everywhere. Is this the last time we'll ever see Mr. T plant these grenades in game for players to use?

Somehow, I have a hunch that this won't be the last time we'll see mohawks in game.

Filed under: News items, Humor

Additional instances can now be launched


Crygil has the official word: Blizzard has completed their updates to the servers, and they are now saying performance is much better: all realms have "shown an improvement in instance performance as well as a noticeable reduction in the amount of players hitting the instance limit." Note that they don't say the issues have been solved (no one would say that everything was fixed, because it never is), but there should be a marked improvements in the "additional instances" bug. In the immortal words of the great Douglas Adams, "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."

And we're sure lots of players will welcome this news. At least until Cataclysm, when the flood of rerollers and werewolf fanatics taking on all of the new content and areas in the old world brings the servers back to their knees once again. But until then, enjoy your runs.

Thanks, FerrioClef!

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status, Blizzard, Instances, Hardware

Breakfast Topic: The joy of phasing


Rayless on the General Forums asks a question that I've always wondered about but never poked into; how exactly does phasing work? If you've leveled through the Death Knight starting area, done the Wrath Gate questline, or quested in Icecrown (and you should really do all three), you've had the opportunity to see Blizzard's most intricate phasing in action. However, Zarhym and Crygil are pretty cryptic on how it's done, and it's up to players to fill in the details.

In a nutshell, phasing is all about the information that's sent (or not sent) to your computer by the game server; Blizzard can toy with anything that's not client-side, affecting which buildings and NPCs you can "see" but not affecting the game's basic geography. I was surprised to discover that phasing has technically been in the game since launch -- ghosts and stealth are a form of phasing, as are (I would assume) the ghosts of Caer Darrow -- but the hugely elaborate set pieces of Wrath are simply a more complicated evolution of the same mechanic.

Given the success of phasing, players have been kicking around suggestions for instances or zones that could do with a touch of it, and Gnomeregan seems to be a pretty consistent pick. I'd have to agree, but I'd also add the Echo Isles (the Gnomes and Trolls have overcome their low-level foes by now, surely?) and perhaps Duskwood for starters. Is there any other zone or instance that you think would benefit from a little reality-bending?

Filed under: Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Quests, Expansions

Crusaders' Coliseum difficulty is a test for Blizzard

I've suspected this on the podcast, and I'm sure many people have figured this before, but Crygil makes it absolutely clear: the four difficulty levels set up on the Crusaders' Coliseum is just a test for Blizzard. This isn't at all the standard, it's just something different they're trying with this format of dungeon, and they'll be watching to see how players respond. As Crygil says, it definitely doesn't mean that they'll be going back and revamping the old dungeons to reflect the new layout (where 10 and 25-man raids each have their own Heroic modes), and the corollary is that it doesn't necessarily mean that Icecrown will be like this, either. They're giving this a shot, and if there are issues with it, they'll go back to the old way or consider something else.

Will it work? My guess is that it will. Besides the fact that players will always run the heck out of the game's latest raid (and Blizzard can definitely use that as justification that it's a popular way to do things), I think any move that gives players more options will be received well. Some guilds will try to run all four modes all the time, and will get sick of the instance way before any new content shows up, but I think most folks will just choose one or two difficulties to run every week (say, 25-man Heroic with their guild, and 10-man Heroic with a PuG), and get their gear from there. Whether we'll see this again in Icecrown, however, I'm not sure -- this seems like a setup for a lower-tier instance that everyone gets to run, not an expansion-ending, top-of-the-line raid. Blizzard may go back to the normal 10 and 25-man setup for Icecrown, and then bring this scheme back for instances in the next expansion, whatever that may be.
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite raid boss?

Here's a good question from the official forums: What's your favorite raid boss, and why? The original poster chose C'thun, from classic WoW's second-hardest raid, AQ40; Bornakk agrees. I haven't actually seen C'thun, but from what I hear it was both incredibly frustrating and incredibly awesome. Crygil picks Doomwalker, but he might be a little biased.

As for me, picking out of the fights I've done, I'm going to say Hodir. I don't remember classic raiding very clearly, and I only got through Karazhan and most of Zul'aman in BC. Ulduar is probably my favorite raid instance out of all the ones I've done, and the Hodir fight is really fun and demands a good amount of coordination from your group. What's your pick?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Raiding, Bosses

Sea Turtle irregularities

Crygil's been getting to the bottom of the sea -- sea turtle, that is (sorry about that one). Some players wondered if it's getting picked up in just Northrend pools or all over Northrend waters, but as we originally told you in our guide to getting one of the game's coolest new mounts, it is supposed to come only from fishing in pools in Northrend. People are reporting it appearing from elsewhere, but straight from Blizzard's blue text, that's where it's supposed to come from.

As for when you'll get it, that we don't know -- all we know so far about droprates is that it's "extremely rare," which is about as rare as items in Azeroth get. We've heard from quite a few people who've gotten it already, but for any given catch, the chance is really, really small that you'll pull up a mount along with your fish. Still, it's not impossible, and especially if you're leveling fishing (which you should be -- it's lots of fun nowadays), it's definitely something to keep your eyes open for.

Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

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

Arena Ratings system and requirements to be changed


This week saw the influx of the first batch of iLevel 232 Furious Gladiator weapons into the community. They're awesome weapons and just about the most accessible iLevel 232 items in the game. Available for a mere 50,000 Honor and 1,400 Arena points, the first tier of Furious Gladiator weapons require an 1850 team and personal rating. This is a rather easy rating to obtain in the 2v2 format but slightly more difficult in 3v3 and 5v5 because of several factors including the population competing in the respective brackets.

I mentioned off-hand in last weekend's WRUP that Blizzard borked the system again, and it turns out they did -- Crygil recently announced on the forums that they are working on an in-game update that should improve the ratings system of the 3v3 and 5v5 brackets to allow players in those brackets to achieve ratings similar to what can be gained in 2v2. They are also pushing the requirement of the iLevel 239 Furious Gladiator weapons from 2200 to 2350 to prevent more mayhem because, well, it's kind of too late to take back all those iLevel 232 weapons running around now, isn't it? The good news is that Blizzard is properly rewarding the other brackets after three seasons of having 2v2 advance faster and farther in ratings. The Arena Ratings system has undergone several iterations since it was introduced so you'd have thought Blizzard fixed it somewhere along the road. Apparently they didn't.

Crygil also points out that for Season 7, Blizzard plans to revert the requirements for the highest rated Arena weapons back to 2200 but ensure that the difficulty required to get those ratings are "closer to what is intended". This means that Season 6 is just about the best season to get into Arenas because ratings come rather easily. You know how Blizzard keeps on nerfing Ulduar so more people can experience it? This is the time to try out Arenas because the new progressive ratings system feels good. Just don't get used to it too much because Blizzard is going to 'tweak' the system again for Season 7.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Arena

Crygil wants to know what you think of class roles

CM Crygil has posted a very general thread over on the forums asking players what they think of the various class roles out there: "Ranged/Melee/DPS, Tanking and Healing." As you probably have noticed, those three roles make up what are often called the Holy Trinity in role-playing games and MMOs: either you do damage, prevent damage, or recover from damage, and those three roles make up the basics of most roleplaying combat systems, including the battles in World of Warcraft.

But as quite a few people in the thread say, they're not quite sure just why Crygil is asking for this information. Sure, there are lots of good and informative answers in here (most people actually spread out "the trinity" to four roles, splitting melee/close combat and ranged/magic combat into two parts), but as there has always been, there's really nothing outside of the kind of thinking that's been done before on the subject -- anytime developers try to break out a new part of the trinity of roles, they either fall right back into the stereotypes (a bard that casts magic damage "songs" is really just a dressed up Mage), or they end up breaking the game (mind control/crowd controller is a new class idea that's been played around with before, but as Blizzard has discovered, it's extremely hard to balance that exactly right).

As Crygil later says, these questions are his, not Blizzard's -- he just wants to get some perspective on what the forums dwellers think of how the current roles work. And he promises that CC is "on its way back," so maybe Blizzard will try to do some more experimenting with the different types of roles classes can play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Forums

What we know and don't know about the dungeon after Ulduar

One of the most often asked and debated questions on WoW Insider lately has been:"What is after Ulduar and patch 3.1?" While no one can know for sure, we do have some evidence out there that can help us at least look smart about it.

Back in October 2008, Kaplan said in an interview with Curse that Patch 3.2 will contain a new raid instance that hasn't been announced yet. There's some question as to what exactly he was talking about. We also know from the article that Patch 3.3 will contain the Icecrown Citadel, so we know the 3.2 dungeon won't be that.

There is also the possibility that Kaplan didn't mean a new raid instance in Patch 3.2, but a new battleground. Many people think this is the case. Zarhym confirmed that there will indeed be a new battleground sometime in the future, and signs point this happening in patch 3.2.

However...

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Raiding

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.

Read more →

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

Ulduar items and why they look the same


Players will whine about anything. No, really. A thread started by some Level 6 troll (actually, he's a Gnome) whines about how the non-tier pieces that drop in Ulduar are merely recolored versions of the tier models. The poster goes on to define Blizzard's goal of "class homogenization" as including appearance, as well. He points out that the non-tier items in Naxxramas were He also accuses Blizzard of blatant laziness and lack of effort.

It's a pretty tough argument, and players throughout the thread have weighed with their thoughts on the matter. This is an issue that has been apparent since the launch of Wrath of the Lich King, where many armor pieces have largely shared the same models. Take, for example, the Spaulders of the Giant Lords, a plate shoulder piece purchased from the Sons of Hodir at Revered reputation. It shares the same model as 22 other rare plate items, from drops to crafted pieces. That's a lot of similar-looking gear. This design direction ensures that players will find an easier time finding non-set pieces that match instead of looking like a clown. This was one of the criticisms hurled at the leveling items in The Burning Crusade, and Blizzard seems to avoided it in Wrath.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Naxxramas optimization

Crygil posted an important announcement last night concerning the lag and associated performance issues in Naxxramas. Blizzard has made some recent optimizations to Naxx, and they want to know what all of our experiences are like in the instance this week. As such, they're asking everyone to post feedback in terms of performance in the thread over on the official forums.

Now by performance I don't think they mean "My pocket Paladin can't tank."

What they're looking for are detailed reports such as "When I was attempting to do the Heigan dance, my entire group lagged behind a good 5 to 10 seconds. We decided to go and raid Hogger after we wiped for six hours in a row." Or "The Ice Block appeared after Frost Breath when my guild was taking down Sapphiron because of the 30 second lag."

Matt Rossi wrote a great piece yesterday on the need for designing the fights around latency. Hopefully this will become less of an issue as Blizzard works out their backend mechanics; and it appears this change is a major step forward.

Filed under: Realm News, News items, Raiding

Wintergrasp fix incoming

While the details are scant, Crygil posted an update on the Wintergrasp situation.

Essentially all the realms are going to be restarted on off-peak hours, and the fix should then kick in.

He notes that they are going to be monitoring realm stability and Wintergrasp closely. That leads me to believe they are not supremely confident in the fix. I'll hope that I'm wrong here and that they're just saying that to look good. Ideally the fix will be great and work off the bat.

/fingers-crossed.

Filed under: Bugs, News items, PvP

Armory going down for Wrath updates

Crygil posted early this morning that the Armory will be going down at 6 a.m. PST / 9 a.m. EST to prepare it for Wrath of the Lich King. The Armory will be down for approximately eight hours.

He doesn't go into specifics about what will be updated, but we have some good guesses at what we could see included:
  • Achievement listings
  • Wrath of the Lich King items
  • New reputations
  • Faster character data updates
Crygil also mentions that all the character data will be reset. This
means that you have to log into your character to repopulate the Armory information on it. This is important if you have seldom played alts yet still refer to the armory data, or if you are currently applying to a guild that requires armory information.

We'll have more concrete information on what this update brings after it's complete, sometime around 2 p.m. PST.

Filed under: Patches, News items, Achievements

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