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Posts with tag currency

Warlords of Draenor: Getting resources for your Garrison

‚ÄčAlliance garrison
The player's Garrison is one of the central features of Warlords of Draenor, coming with its own special Hearthstone, and in many ways taking the place of a faction hub. Depending on what kind of structures you choose to build in your Garrison, you can have your own crafting centers, bank access, auction house, PvP center, and more. However, to build any of them, you need resources.

In fact, to do just about anything with your Garrison you need resources. You need them for buildings, for crafting, and in order to send your followers on missions. So, just how do you get Garrison Resources? Well, I'm glad you asked. There are a variety of ways to earn your Garrison Resources in Warlords of Draenor, some easier than others.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Currency Changes coming for Patch 6.0

We mentioned already that item upgrades would become purchasable with Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. Now, Blizzard has clarified a host of changes to how currency will work in Patch 6.0 and beyond. In addition to being used to upgrade items, Lesser Charms will now be directly tradeable for Warforged Seals, and there's no longer a restriction on how many you can get in a week - You can dump literally all of your Lesser Charms to Seals if you so desire.

Other changes include the utter removal of Valor and Justice points (not Honor/Conquest, those remain), the removal of the Test of Valor component of the legendary cloak quest (you can still get the cloak, you just don't need to get the Valor points first), and the switching of all honor/justice items over to costing gold to purchase, including heirloom items.

You can read the post here.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Transmoggable farm implements

Farmer
Our friends over at Wowhead have uncovered a new feature in Warlords of Draenor that should make dedicated transmog enthusiasts very happy--transmoggable farm weapons. These include a Garden Hoe, Garden Shovel, Garden Pitchfork, Garden Scythe, and Garden Sickle. The Garden Hoe and Garden Sickle are classified as one-hand maces, all the rest are two-hand staves. They are vendor items sold by the NPCs around your Garrison's Herb Garden, and the cost is surprisingly steep--2,375 gold plus 500 Draenic Seeds for the one-handers, and 4,750 gold plus 1,000 Draenic Seeds for the two-handers. Draenic Seeds can be either grown in your Garrison's Herb Garden, or farmed out in the world by Herbalists.

If you've ever dreamed of an amazing farmer transmog, these weapons are sure to complete the look along with the Red Lumberjack Shirt and the Blue Overalls--for clothies, at least. Who'd have thought that a warlock could look so convincingly nurturing?

Filed under: Transmogrification, Warlords of Draenor

Managing expectations and the evolution of discussion

In the run-up to Warlords of Draenor, we're seeing news of a lot of class and systems changes - discussion of what's being changed or removed has been one of the things we're very concerned with over here, for obvious reasons. It's also a subject of major interest on the forums. In fact, some people are accusing Blizzard of only posting the bad news in an attempt to create negative feedback, to get people talking. Bashiok addressed this idea recently, and it got me thinking about how we interact with game news in the first place.
Bashiok - Simplifying currency? That's the grand plan?
Well, actually, good news doesn't really create much interest, if you want to dissect it. But that's beside the point. We're obviously not intentionally releasing bad or angering information to try to get people riled up. That'd be silly. We do want to try to manage expectations. Letting people know far in advance that currencies are being streamlined gets that into people's brain meats early, and gives it time to sink in so that when they start seeing or playing that change it ideally isn't jarring and upsetting at that moment.

My point was that people discussing a change they have partial information about, debating the specifics, and questioning what it means, are not necessarily negatives. In cases where those are becoming destructive we'll generally try to provide some guidance to at least direct it back to a constructive conversation.


It's this idea of managing expectations that interests me, because over the years, I've come to see quite a few examples of people not doing it. To this day I'm convinced that much of the negative reaction to Cataclysm wasn't to the expansion's flaws (and yet, I admit it had quite a few) and more to the expectations people had for the expansion - expectations it didn't meet, because it wasn't trying to meet them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard "planning on simplifying our currency structure" in Warlords

I've talked before about the need to simplify currency going forward, and I'm far from the only one. Now it appears Blizzard agrees - Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas' made that very clear on twitter recently.

Clearly this topic came up during this interview with PC Games N, which emphasized a bit more the idea of the complexity of current currency systems. The bonus roll system currently in play in Mists of Pandaria was mentioned as an alternative to valor. "We think we can take the bonus rolls system and make it a little bit more intelligent, so that it tries to avoid giving you duplicate loots - and allow that to be the way players counteract bad RNG. It removes a little bit of the grind and a little bit of the awkwardness of the current valor system."

While no announcement has been made yet about how Blizzard will streamline its currency, it's good to know they're aware of and focused on the issue.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

The Raid Finder, the Dungeon Finder, point caps and you

I have a theory that either our various caps for justice and valor points are too low, or the amount we get per activity is too high. I'll relate my thinking. I have several level 85 characters I'm running through the Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder tools. Clearing both halves of the Raid Finder Dragon Soul gets me 500 valor; I then run four random heroics, and I'm capped. This means that playing my main any further that week is effectively a waste of time. (I usually cap my valors out before I even raid for a week, which makes raiding just about the gear, but I'm OK with that.)

My problem is, I like my main. I'd play him more if there was anything to do. As it is, I tend to cap out on justice points rather than run on one of my alts, and even then, they usually cap on valors as well. (At least two of them do.) I even sometimes cap on honor, and with the new conquest point gains for Random BGs, I could cap on conquest if I really set my mind to it. And while I understand why we have both weekly and total caps on points, it often feels like I'm being penalized for liking the game and wanting to play it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

The Lawbringer: Paying for addons and APIs

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Not unlike most topics featured here on The Lawbringer, this one started with a blog post and a subsequent link to said blog post. CCP, the creators of MMO darling EVE Online, recently announced that players and customers could charge for third-party applications, utilities, and websites as long as the creator purchased a license. This is a fairly unprecedented move. CCP is probably the only company who could get away with this right now, but more on that later.

This story got my mind spinning about what this means for data feeds all over the MMO world, how Blizzard's free APIs coming out soon will change the way people make apps and utilities for WoW, and some thoughts on for-pay addons.

MMOs have spawned an impressive gray market of features, apps, utilities, and services that exist only because players are willing to partake in them. From Eve Online ship "fitting" apps to gold selling, the gray market lives alongside virtual worlds, and it is fascinating to think that these industries only exist because of the success of the genre. Recently, Blizzard previewed its own APIs that it would be releasing for web developers and app creators, providing easy-to-parse information to these development communities. This stuff isn't free, of course, which is interesting amidst the news that CCP would be charging a license fee for for-pay versions of utilities that make use of its APIs.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: China, forced labor, and why we must stop buying gold

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Gold selling is a multi-billion dollar industry that spans the globe, with a healthy portion of in-game currency sales originating from China. It's a cheap operation to start up -- all you need is cheap labor, some computers, a PayPal account, and a copy of World of Warcraft. The overhead is low and the payoff is big because the demand is present for the supply. People have a perceived need to buy gold, so more people sell gold, which allows the market to grow. It won't stop, either, as tradable virtual currency from all types of games hit the gray market.

What happens when an industry with low overheads becomes too profitable? What happens when a relatively simple setup like gold farming goes from the quaintness of cottage industry to a virtual currency-fueled industrial revolution? People start getting ideas when money is sitting there on the table, ready and waiting to be snatched up by the stalwart businessman. Combine that sentiment with the corruption and profit motives of institutions and a labor force that is for all intents and purposes free, and you get the sad tale of prisoners in China and the people in charge.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Guest Post: What will be Patch 4.0.1's legacy?

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

As the dust begins to settle in the wake of the great patch-aclysm of 2010, it's time to look back with a little perspective and see exactly what we've been left with. The most immediately visible effects revolve around the drastic changes to many of our favorite classes, but frankly, a bit too much hubbub has been made over these already. The WoW community is -- to put it delicately -- a rather passionate bunch, so we tend to react strongly to the need to relearn our classes. Realistically, though, it's just a matter of figuring out which playstyles suit us the most, adapting to them and hoping we don't lose any friends and guildies as casualties of evolution.

Damage numbers are also relatively meaningless at this stage in the game. While we're sure to see some frustratingly unviable specs in Cataclysm like we have in the past (*cough* PvE subtlety), for the most part, the developers can tweak code through patches and hotfixes to ensure that we all eventually see appropriately-sized numbers flashing before our eyes.

Since the order of buttons we press to succeed is in a constant state of flux anyway, we'll eventually forget that X skill or Y talent even existed. But some things will stick with us longer. I believe Patch 4.0.1's legacy depends more on permanent game changes that we'll one day take for granted.

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Filed under: Guest Posts

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm's guild revamp -- guild currency


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

After Blizzard's big announcement about how they plan to improve guilds in Cataclysm, I've been examining the changes in detail. First, I wrote about the lack of guild improvements over the years and how the expansion will, for better or worse, change WoW guilds forever. Then I speculated on possible leveling system options, guild talents, and guild achievements. This week, I'm going to finish up the series by talking a bit about guild currency and suggesting some products that Blizzard should let us buy with this new system.

Here's what we know so far. Guild currency will be earned by players in your guild who earn experience. It remains to be seen if experience (and thus currency) will still be earned by players once they reach the level cap, but I assume that it will.

So far, they've only mentioned a few items that we can buy:
  • Vanity items like mounts, tabards, and standards
  • Reagents like frost lotuses for flasks
  • Recipes
  • Heirloom items that scale with level

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: Is WoW too complex?

As I said the other day, we've talked about the dumbed-down argument quite a few times before, but I think this is the first time I've ever heard the opposite argument put forth so succinctly: Tadaa asks, over on the forums, "Is WoW getting too complex?" Longtime players will probably say no at first glance -- the game has been streamlined a lot since it first game out, and things that took up much of your time previously (tracking quests, looking up quest targets, dealing with respecs, and finding groups) now have systems built into the game that let you get past them easily. But think of what it would be like to step into Azeroth nowadays -- instead of just a chat channel where you can find groups, there's a whole system with terms like "damage" and "tank" in there. On first glance, it might be tough to figure out. And then there's things like resilience and Replenishment (which some experienced players don't even fully understand), and even things we think of as helpful features (getting pets and currency out of our inventory) can be super confusing for new players: where did that pet go that I just clicked on, or that badge that I just saw looted to me in the combat window?

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

Dealing with old currencies

Gaviedrummer has exactly the problem that I have, only mine is probably worse: he has about 50 Badges of Justice left over from the last expansion. True, I've only got about 30, but I've also got stacks of Apexis Shards, Spirit Shards, Halaa Tokens, Obsidian Warbeads, and pretty much every other old reputation and currency item from the Burning Crusade sitting around clogging up my bank. And while some of it is just me being lazy (I could turn the Warbeads in, and I think I could probably grind out a few more Halaa tokens to pick up something there), as gaviedrummer finds out, most of it is completely useless. Yes, we can still trade for level 70 items, but who needs those any more?

It would be nice, especially with the soulbound stuff (I presume I will someday have an alt coming up through Outland that might need some help), for Blizzard to give us an out. Even if it requires level 80 to do, and even if the exchange rate is terrible (something like one level 80 badge for five or ten level 70 badges), at least we'll be able to get rid of the old stuff. Obviously, they're worried that if they offer exchanges for new items, people will go back and grind the old instances for the old currency. But there has to be some middle ground or a level requirement or something, some rate that allows us to get something for the old junk, while keeping current level 80s from exploiting the system. Heck, even cloth has a reputation turn-in value, at the very minimum.

The Stone Keeper's Shards at least have a turn-in for honor, and at the bare minimum, that's what you'd want for any currency -- something cheap that you can just cash out of the system with all of your leftovers. Blizzard may say what's past is past (and like I said, I may just need to spend a weekend cleaning out the bank), but it would be nice to have an NPC in Shattrath that can say "Oh, you're level 80? Let me just take those old tokens off your hands at a discounted price!" And it would be an Ethereal, of course.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Leveling, NPCs, Making money

The pros and cons of autolooting

Gnomeaggedon has a really insightful post about one of my favorite "hidden" features in patch 3.1. The first time I ran Naxx after the patch, I was a little worried on the first boss that I couldn't loot my badges or Stone Keeper's Shards. But of course, I'd missed it in the patch notes: all of that currency stuff now works like currency should. Whenever one person in the group or raid loots it, everyone gets their own as well. No more forgetting to loot your Badge, as it all goes automatically into the currency screen. Very nice change.

But as Gnomeaggedon says, there are still a few kinks in the program (aren't there always?). Quest items still don't get auto-looted, and since Badges do, that's even less encouragement to go check the loot to see if there's anything you need. He'd also like it if items got autolinked while Master Looter is on -- right now, it's the responsibility of the Master Looter to link and give out items that get looted, and that doesn't always get done clearly. That second one is kind of a good point -- my raid looter does pretty well with showing off items, so I don't really have much of an issue with that, but it would be helpful to see for sure what's in there.

But back to autolooting: the flip side of this is that if Blizzard uses autolooting too much, the game becomes that much more simple -- they already show you where the monster is and how to kill it, and now you want them to give you the loot automatically too? While it would be easier to have quest items sent to your backpack automatically, let's not forget that mobs with loot on them are shiney. It might make sense in raids to do autolooting (since everyone is grabbing for the same quest item), but autolooting while soloing might be a little too streamlined.

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

Badge purchases now refundable for two hours

A previously unannounced relatively un-promoted feature is apparently going live in patch 3.1 today: buyback for "alternate currency" items. "Alternate currency" means any currency except gold - Emblems of Heroism, Arena Points, etc. According to Vaneras, when the patch goes live, you'll have two hours after buying an item with an alternate currency to sell it back and get a refund. I've never accidentally bought something with badges, but I know people who have, and it sucks; this is a nice fix.

A few caveats:

  • Stackable items (such as Frozen Orbs) are non-refundable.
  • Items that grant achievements are non-refundable.
  • Augments will not be returned - if you buy an item, enchant it, and then sell it back for badges, you don't get your enchant mats back.
  • This only works one step back: If you buy a tier token for emblems, then exchange that tier token for a tier piece, you can trade the tier piece back for the token if you want. You can not, however, trade that token back for emblems after doing that.

Even with these limitations, it's still good protection against accidental purchases. Thanks, Blizz!

Filed under: Items

Why too many currencies actually helps progression

Badges of Justice, Battleground marks, Marks of Honor Hold and Thrallmar, Spirit Shards, Stone Keeper's Shards, Emblems of Valor, Emblems of Heroism, and now Emblems of Conquest: Ulduar will add yet another currency item into the game and Cypruss of Draka wonders, rightfully, if it's all just too much. The good news is that since the currency system was introduced, all of this stuff is out of our bags, but wouldn't it just be easier if instead of creating a whole new token system, Blizzard just charged a lot more for the gear?

Bornakk says no -- he says that if they just kept the same tokens and charged more per item, people would end up doing Naxx, Ulduar, OS, and any other instances that dropped that token every single week rather than actually moving up through the content, which is what Blizzard wants us to do. He also says that the Emblem exchange mechanic is designed to help this -- you can do Ulduar and go backwards for the gear, but you can't do Naxx ten extra times to get Ulduar gear.

Which, we have to give it to Blizzard, is actually pretty smart. Yes, it does keep players from farming up the tokens (Blizzard knows that if you could run all the instances per week just to get one kind of token, there'd be lots of players who would), but it also keeps people progressing to get gear they can upgrade to. As Bornakk says, they've been trying to improve the Badge system ever since it was introduced in BC, and this method of introducing new currency to send players up the ladder is a result of their work there.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Raiding, Bosses, Making money, Battlegrounds

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