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Posts with tag customization

Blizzard's vision and player choice

Temple of Karabor assaulted
This past Thursday, Cory Stockton (aka Mumper) answered a simple question on Twitter. He told players that the faction hubs would no longer be located in the Temple of Karabor and Bladespire Fortress, but on the island of Ashran.

The firestorm of controversy that followed seemed to take Blizzard by surprise. Lore took to the forums to explain the change. He gave Blizzard's reasoning, including the lore explanation for the new hubs. Far from mollifying the player base, it only served to inflame those who disagreed with the shift in locale.

My response is this: Why not both? Why must one city or the other be the One Hub to Rule Them All? Why can't we, the players, choose which city to bind our hearthstone to -- without being punished for it? Why does there have to be one "right" answer on such a basic quality of life issue? Let us choose and use phasing so we only see our own choice as a hub.

Although I don't condone the extremely negative way that some reacted to the announcement, the anger didn't surprise me at all. It points to a problem that has loomed over WoW for a long time: lack of player options and personalization.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Five features I really want from the next expansion

So everyone's handily speculating on just what the next expansion will be, and what it will have and not have. That's pretty awesome. I love speculating. So in the spirit of things, I've decided to throw my hat in the ring and natter on about what I'd love to see from the next expansion, whatever it ends up being.

Let's just jump right into it. What stuff do I think would be awesome?

An overhaul of the leveling/alt process

I definitely think we need to reconsider how we deal with alts. I'd love to see a system that reduced the time you had to spend getting them leveled once you got the first one to max - heirlooms work for that, but that long-rumored heirloom tab would make it a lot easier. Another thing which would definitely help are more heirlooms like Hellscream's Decapitator - our current heirlooms don't take us all the way to max level the way it will, and it's also useful now as a raid-level item an alt can make use of. It's an experiment I hope they continue.

I've seen some arguments that we should be able to start a high-level alt to skip over a lot of the leveling process, especially as we get closer and closer to the likely new level cap of 100. If that was implemented, it would need to be done carefully, but I'd definitely support some way to preview a class at or near max level so you could figure out if you'll like it or cut down on having to do the full 1 to 100 (or whatever it ends up being) march again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Male pandaren hairstyles gallery

Want to know what's going to be available in the hairstyle department before you roll your brand new pandaren? Have I got the gallery for you! Featuring a bunch of hairstyles now easily accessed on the new character creation screen as well as some of the fur colors available for male pandaren, this gallery is your one-stop shop for locks of pandaren love. Take a look.

My personal favorite pandaren haircuts are the wild ones that make every pandaren dude look like a guy you went to college with. You know him. You know him.



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: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Male pandaren customization gallery

Last night, we were treated to a beta patch with a bunch of new information, files, items, and more. The brand new character creation screen has gotten some major improvements, and the male pandaren are getting many new skin color and texture options, ranging from older and gray looks to a few red panda color schemes borrowed from the females. Suffice to say, there are a lot of color and fur options for new pandaren players. Check out the gallery of male pandaren fur and skin color choices below.




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: Mists of Pandaria

23 images of the female pandaren customization

The female pandaren was finally revealed earlier this week for the world to see, and reaction has been fairly positive. Pandaren in general are sharply modeled and animated, and players have been asking for as much information on character customization as possible. We've put together an awesome gallery showcasing many of the female pandaren facial styles and markings, as well as the alternate red panda style with matching tail.

As goes the community, so too I go -- I was worried about the female pandaren model. The male pandaren looked so great at BlizzCon that I really didn't think Blizzard could surpass it. Personally, I think it works and fits well. Check out our gallery for lots of shots of the female pandaren.




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: Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: How do you make your characters?

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

I like to consider making characters a bit of an art. My girlfriend's brother just chooses a class/race he doesn't have an alt of, hits the random appearance button, and then gives himself a name based on obscure foods or food companies. Her sister ... let's just say she could spend the whole day making her characters. My girlfriend seems to start out with a general popular character in mind and then twists it where she needs differences (or where the game forces imperfections of that character).

I'm a former roleplayer, but I'm also team oriented ... mainly for PUGs. For example, my current main is a DK I made when WotLK launched. I liked the idea of the class, I loved Death Grip, and I wanted to play a needed class without the option of a possible healer spec. (I've been a healer for years, so I feel like I've earned retirement.) Based on the character skills and theme, I chose the name of a well known nomadic warrior, but shortened his name tremendously because I love having a name that's easy to type.

For his appearance, I looked at what other people did, and tried to steer clear of a few things, like popular skin options. I love having beards (mainly because my beard in real life always develops a cowlick when it reaches epic lengths), but once in awhile I can make a feminine looking character without actually rolling a lady. I'm fickle that way.

So how do you come up with your characters? Do you randomize? Pick names based on Street Fighter characters? Or just go with the flavor of the month?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW Insider? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions, and be sure to sign up for Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider. The next byline you see here may be yours!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Gold Capped: Improving the default auction house interface

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make money on the auction house. Email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

The default interface for the auction house could use some loving. It's an essential part of players' gaming experience, and whether they use it or not, its design has an effect on them. We've seen many examples of Blizzard designing parts of their UI to include features provided by addons that had become so prevalent that everyone had to run them. For example, threat didn't always show up on the default frames -- back in my day, we had to run Omen to avoid pulling aggro from the tank.

It's important to recognize that not every valuable interface tweak belongs in the basic WoW UI, though. If it's a feature that's only used by a small segment of players or is unnecessarily complex, it's probably best off in an addon. You won't see me advocating that the base AH UI keep historic pricing numbers, for example. It is, though, a travesty that you have to page through hundreds of pages of single auctions to get to the lower priced stacks.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Add-Ons, Gold Capped

The trouble with tabards

Blizzard has recently been on a commenting spree on the topic of tabards. For a while now, Blizzard has been thinking up ways to solve the tabard dilemma -- the game features tons of awesome tabards with really cool designs, some of which even have an on-use effect, but no way to economically store these items. Players are forced to clear out large swaths of inventory space in order to keep all of their tabards, and Blizzard has even introduced tabard vendors that sell earned tabards so these cool clothing items won't be lost forever by players. Hit the jump for the posts as well as my own little thoughts.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Customizing and opting out of Real ID

This is not a discussion of the good (yay, crossrealm chat!) and the bad (boo, privacy fail) of Real ID. This is a guide for how to truly opt out of this feature and how to adjust the settings if you do participate in game.

To be clear, everyone who does not have a parentally controlled account has in fact opted into Real ID, due to a security flaw. Addons have access to the name on your account right now. So you need to be very careful about what addons you download -- make sure they are reputable. In order to actually opt out, you need to set up parental controls on your account. This is not an easy task. Previous to the Battle.net merge, you could just go to a page and set them up. Done. Now, you must set up an account as one that is under parental control. Once your account is that of a child's (a several-step process), your settings default to Real ID-disabled. Any Real ID friends you have will no longer be friends. In order to enable it, you need to check the Enable Real ID box.

Setting up parental controls:
  1. Go to the appropriate battle.net site for your region. (That link should take you there.)
  2. Push the Create or Manage a Battle.net Account button.
  3. Log in as normal.
  4. Click on Parental Controls, which is an option listed under Manage My Games. (And, if you're like me, you'll be sad that you are still not in the beta.)
  5. Choose the No - Setup Parental Controls button.
  6. Fill in your info as both the child's account and your own. (Why they make this distinction, I don't know. Parental controls always used to be an option for adults to manage their own game time.)
  7. You will receive an email. You need to save this email, because the link in there is the only way to get to the parental controls. Otherwise, you have to make Blizzard resend it. Click the link to get into the controls.
  8. Save Settings and then be told it will take up to 30 minutes to go into effect.
That is how to opt out. How to optimize opting in is after the break.

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

FigurePrints announces Busts


FigurePrints announced that they are now creating busts of your character. You give them your character's name and server and they will produce a statuette of your character's head and shoulders on a World of Warcraft labeled stand. They are being offered now at $69.95, which is quite a bit less than the full statuette at $129.95.

Half the fun of this announcement is the fact that you can get a preview of what your character's bust will look like. You can choose to not show the helm, cloak and/or tabard. Or you can have your character wear one of several armor sets available.

I don't know if this was announced today in honor of Boobquake, but I like to think it is. Perhaps it's just the romantic in me.

Filed under: News items

Night Elf in Guitar Hero 5


This is one of the many reasons why I really enjoy this job: one day, you're talking turkey with a psychologist who's dealing with serious addiction issues, and the next, you're writing about Night Elves in Guitar Hero 5. Personally, I prefer Harmonix's new Beatles game, but there's no denying that the character customization system in our very own Activision-Blizzard's Guitar Hero 5 is extremely complex. So much so that Artair on Doomhammer was actually able to make a pretty respectable-looking Night Elf male with the system.

Which really just makes it much more ridiculous that this thing could be playing onstage with none other than Kurt Cobain. But we'll let that one go -- if you've found a way to get any other Warcraft characters jamming in Guitar Hero (or any other game with an in-depth character creator), be sure to send us a tip and some pics.

Filed under: Night Elves, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, Screenshots, NPCs, Fan art

Breakfast Topic: Shirt of choice


Out of all of the things we've broken down and discussed on this site, I don't think we've ever really dug into this one: what's your character's shirt of choice? The shirt slot on your character screen is really the last customization-only slot we've got left, ever since the tabards were allotted to earning reputation. So today's discussion topic is: what shirt do you have in there?

Unfortunately, the Shirt of Uber is only a PTR item, so no one is wearing it on the live realms, or else obviously that's what we'd all be wearing. The Epic Purple Shirt is probably a favorite since earlier this year, if you've been lucky enough to get the TCG code. I'd bet the Swashbuckler's Shirts are popular, and the Red Linen Shirt has always been one of my favorites. I'm sure the Tuxedo Shirt has its share of fans as well.

So what are you wearing underneath that armor? It'd be cool if Blizzard actually beefed up our choices there a bit -- maybe they could put stripes on the sleeve to show rank, or have some special color or model for people who have met certain achievements (and come on, a Three Worgen Moon shirt? I'd wear that). Then again, maybe it's better that the shirts stay pretty low key -- every other item on our character screen has gotten a purpose lately, so maybe we're better off wearing whatever shirt we want.

Filed under: Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

Keybindings and how to change them


Xella has a great post over at WoW LJ about keybindings, and it got me thinking. I play with what I thought was the "standard" way -- with the left hand sitting on the home fingers of Shift, A, W, D, and the spacebar, and then jumping up to the 1-6 (or further down the number line if necessary, though truth be told, I usually mouse-click those when I have the time to do so) to hit various abilities. But xella does it very differently -- she maps her fingers to the top abilities keys, using only her ring finger for movement. I would probably never have come up with that on my own (my habits come directly from FPS games, where the 1-6 keys are mostly for weapon switching, something you don't do quite as often as casting abilities), but it does make a lot of sense, even if xella says her ring finger, with all of those movement motions, is getting somewhat worn out.

And then she hits on something else I've been dealing with lately, too: changing what you've got. Setting up your keybinds is one thing, but actually changing them can be tougher.

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Filed under: Tips, Tricks, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Hardware

Felicia Day teaches Jimmy Fallon about World of Warcraft

I'm back and forth on Jimmy Fallon -- when NBC first announced that he was taking over the great Conan O'Brien's late night spot, I wasn't real impressed. But since then, you can't say he hasn't worked for it -- the show, which isn't even on the air yet, has been blogging and running all over the country to drum up some interest (including a little gig with the guys at sister site Engadget), and their latest stop takes then to the abode of our good friend Felicia Day to play World of Warcraft.

As you can see above, Fallon isn't much for Azeroth -- while Felicia is rocking a pretty hardcore Warlock, Jimmy still has a tough time getting past the character creation screen. But he did drum at least one laugh out of me (which is one more than he ever got from me on SNL), so well done. I very much agree with the commenters on the blog -- if he can keep the show technology and geek-focused like this (and maybe get at least one character up to level 30 -- all Felicia had to do was say "roll on a PvE server," right?), he might have a chance at filling Conan's shoes.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Humor, Classes

Hearthstone also displays your characters on Facebook


Last week, when we reported on the Facebook I Play WoW app reaching a full 100,000 users, a lot of commenters mentioned another app over there, Hearthstone, that's got a good reputation from the people who use it. I checked it out, and indeed, it's an excellent alternative (or addition -- there's nothing keeping you from using both) to let you show your WoW characters off on Facebook.

Just like I Play WoW, Hearthstone pulls your character information directly from the Armory, and displays it in a number of ways around Facebook, including, if you so choose, on your profile pages or on your wall. A few of our commenters said they liked Hearthstone's display better, but I didn't see any major differences there -- they both display your character, class, level, and server, and both will click through to pages where you can see more stats and discuss the character with others. Hearthstone will also let you change your character's image to a custom choice and enter a bio, though I Play WoW has some customization options as well. Hearthstone has an "equipment history," so even if you shard those epics you can still brag about having them. And finally,Hearthstone will let you play with the characters right on Facebook, and you can /salute or /duel the characters of your friends.

Overall, they're both worth checking out if you want to show off some of your World of Warcraft progress on Facebook. Obviously, I Play WoW is bigger, but as our commenters pointed out, Hearthstone has some excellent features as well.

Filed under: Hunter, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

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