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Posts with tag features

My Warlords of Draenor Wish List

It should be noted that these are not features that have been announced, nor even speculated about or teased to my knowledge - if they have, I missed them somehow. It's possible. I'm human, I miss things. But I was thinking about the features announced for Warlords of Draenor (including recent announcements that blood elves and draenei will be among the races who get new models) and I realized that there's all sorts of things I'd like to see that haven't even been mentioned yet, and while I don't expect they'll happen, I might as well share them with you in the hopes that they may end up arriving at some point down the road. After all, transmog and LFR happened in the middle of an expansion, and they both worked out pretty well.

So here we go.

Level scaling

This is one I've wanted for a while. With flexible raiding now a reality, I'm drawn back to the idea of being able to scale your level down to run older content with friends, something the late, lamented City of Heroes had (called mentoring/sidekicking in that game). We've been teased with this potentially existing as recently as October of 2013 and whether or not it was a hoax then (I personally have no idea) it's something I've wanted for years. Sure, it's fun to bring your level 90 to an old dungeon and blow it up sometimes, but I want the option to step myself down and run it at an appropriate level in appropriate gear if I so choose. I'd also like to be able to boost a friend up to my level so that we can run stuff together, although I suspect the free level 90 boost is aimed at handling this same problem. Basically, anything that lets friends do more stuff together, I'm down for.

And speaking of that...

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Filed under: PvP, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Features that have changed the World of Warcraft

Features that have changed the World of Warcraft
Time to be blunt. World of Warcraft is way better now than it was in vanilla.

Before you gasp and get a case of the vapors, let's get real here. I'm me, it's true, you know it's true. The talent system? Leaps and bounds better than the last minute Diablo II clone we got in classic. Raiding? Raids today are more accessible, better designed, and far more varied then the resistapaloozas we got back in the day. I say this as a dude who farmed UBRS for the Draconian Deflector and who tanked Princess Huhuran in cloth freaking booties because they had nature resistance on them. Throughout its near-decade long run, World of Warcraft has constantly changed, iterated and improved on the experience it provides. Every patch, every expansion has made adjustments and tweaks, and while nothing is perfect and not all changes were good (We all know that any change to warriors that didn't make them invincible supergods wasn't a good one, am I right? Why are there so many crickets here?) the game has moved forward with new systems and features.

For me, it's interesting to look back over the history of the game at those changes that really improved the player experience or changed it in a fundamental way, that altered how we play. And so, now I'll do exactly that. With Flex Raids on the horizon for patch 5.4, what else can we look back on?

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

Taking scaling and flexing further

Taking scaling and flexing further
Patch 5.4 has several new features I find interesting, namely virtual realms, flexible raiding and proving grounds. What interests me most about these features, and features from previous patches and expansions like scenarios, LFR, and challenge modes are what they suggest for other possible features utilizing the same or similar technology. We saw this with the introduction of the dungeon finder for five man groups - that technology was applied to holiday bosses, then expanded for LFR, which is itself being altered and expanded for use in flex raiding.

This leads me to contemplate ways to expand this, and give us even more new features making use of elements we've seen before. It's all speculation, of course, but we all do it from time to time. What do you want to see for the future of World of Warcraft?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Community Blog Topic Results: Features we wish WoW had

Community Blog Topic Results Features we wish WoW had
Last week, we asked, "What 3 features do you wish WoW had?" Quite a few people answered, many with more than three features. For myself, I suggested cross-realm mail, one free server transfer a month, and story questlines for each class. Here's the breakdown of the responses.

Level scaling

Since reading everyone else's ideas, I'd like to boot cross-realm mail out of my top three list and instead replace it with level scaling so that players of disparate levels can play together. Jojo over at Admiring Azeroth would also like to see level scaling be used so that players could return to lower level zones and complete the content with an appropriate amount of challenge. Feckless Leader's Ross has this to say about what scaling down would have to offer the max-level player:
Quest rewards can always contain gold, and perhaps scaled-down players would also earn the currency of the day, or be able to champion faction rep will questing with your friend. Of course this would work for low-level dungeons, too.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

How feedback works and why it matters

How feedback works and why it matters
Lately I've seen some forum posts that confuse me. Perhaps it's because these posts themselves seem confused. Posts like this one, where Librily the worgen mage accuses Blizzard and World of Warcraft's development team of soliciting feedback that they don't actually look at. I find this especially odd on a forum where community managers regularly engage with posters, and I wanted to address what feedback is, how it works, and why it matters now and going forward.

Frankly, it is impossible to look at the design of Mists of Pandaria and not see how much player feedback has influenced the design of the expansion. The 85 to 90 game is everything Cataclysm was not -- it all takes place in a seamless new land, it removed flying in order to provide player immersion, it works the Horde/Alliance conflict into the storyline. It is in every way the result of player feedback being constructively weighted and utilized responsibly. By that, I mean that the game's developers clearly looked at what players were saying they liked and disliked and worked to find ways to address player concerns.

What they didn't do -- what they have never done and cannot ever do -- is simply go to the forums, see who yelled loudest, and give them everything they wanted. That would be absurd design by mob, it would produce an unplayable game full of broken classes and most importantly of all, it would not be fun to play. Games require a ton of work to produce, especially a game like World of Warcraft, and the amount of effort behind the scenes to bring what we get to see and experience does not allow for that kind of design even if it were desirable, which it is not. Game design is not about giving the players everything they say they want, nor is it about doing everything they say as soon as they say it.

Let's talk about how good feedback works, the difference between opinion and fact, and why taking the time to make a well constructed argument is worthwhile even if you don't see any signs of it changing anything.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

Five features I wish World of Warcraft had

Five features I wish World of Warcraft had
The game is eternally evolving. Sometimes that means things get added, and sometimes that means they get taken away (Oh, Have Group Will Travel, I miss you every day). This means the game is in a constant state of evolution and therefore that there's always room for improvement. With Mists of Pandaria changing the game and adding features like Scenarios, Challenge Modes and Pet Battles, and Cataclysm having already added void storage and transmogrification, the mind moves to what we could potentially see in the future. What features do we all want to see?

I have no idea. Seriously, how could I possibly know what you want to see? I mean, you might tell me in the comments, but that's in the future. There's no way I can have read the comments on this post before I finish writing it. However, I'm fairly in touch with what I want to see. And so, here's five features I wish WoW had. (Note - I didn't say more bank space or void storage tabs, but man, I want those too.)

1. Mentoring

One of the features the lamented MMO City of Heroes had that I always enjoyed was its Mentoring system. Now, this isn't something WoW's developer's are unaware of - it's a fantastic system which allows higher level characters to play with their lower level friends, either by raising the lower level character temporarily in order to be able to survive higher level content, or by lowering the higher level character to the lower level. The current system that can raise or lower gear levels for beta testing and which will normalize gear for challenge modes could be used in such a fashion, and I think it's an idea long overdue for WoW to blatantly pilfer and run with it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: What post-launch game features do you most appreciate?

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

World of Warcraft has been up and running for six years now, and to anyone who played in the early days, the game is barely recognizable. I'm not talking about the Shattering; I'm talking about the meat of the game, the interface and UI and mechanics that allow us to interact with Azeroth. Blizzard is a great innovator, and over the years we've gained such features as battlegrounds, linked auction houses, meeting stones, heroic dungeons, arenas, the dungeon finder, heirlooms, and the in-game calendar. None of these were present at launch, but they all affect our playstyles today.

These are all great, but that doesn't mean I stop daydreaming about what else Blizzard could do. I love the armory calendar view, but I'd be thrilled if the Blizzard calendar integrated with my Google calendar so I could see raids and guild events alongside my real-life schedule. I also yearn for variable speed scrolling quest text. Instant text encourages me to skip to the end, but the scrolling option is vastly slower than my reading speed, and I just can't handle it.

Which feature added after launch do you think was the biggest game-changer and why? What new innovations would you like to see? Which new Cataclysm features do you think will have the greatest impact on the way we play?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Armory gets updated with a model viewer

The World of Warcraft armory page has just been updated with new features and tools!

As stated on their updates page:

Every character profile now has a 3D model viewer that displays the character in his or her currently equipped gear, and accurately displays the character's physical features, hairstyle, and helm/cloak display as they appear in-game. Mousing over the character model window brings up a control panel with the following controls
  • Camera controls: To rotate the camera around a character, click and hold the left mouse button while moving the mouse left and right, or click the arrow buttons in the top left of the window. To zoom in and out, use the mouse wheel while hovering over the character window, or click the zoom buttons in the top left of the window. To move the character within the frame, right-click and drag the character in the window (or on the small square in the bottom left corner of the window).
  • Animations: Each character has a selection of animations that they can perform. Use the arrows next to the animation's name to cycle through them. The available animations are determined by the character's class and currently equipped weapons.
  • Capture pose: If you are logged in, you can set the default pose of any character on your account. Use the camera and animation controls to create a pose, then click the save icon to set it as the default. All visitors to the character's profile will then see the character in that pose.
  • Play controls: The rewind, pause, and fast forward buttons allow you to fine-tune a pose for a character.
  • Fullscreen mode: You can view the character in a fullscreen display against a selection of backgrounds. All controls will continue to function in fullscreen mode.
  • Embed: You can embed a standalone, interactive version of the character's model viewer in a compatible website, such as a social networking site, guild website, or forum.
  • Options: Extra options include selecting a background in fullscreen mode and toggling the display of a character's helm, cloak, or tabard.
That's freakin' cool! I like the ability to embed the model viewer and the ability to stick a preset pose for people looking up your character is a plus.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Spiritual Guidance: How to be the perfect pickup group priest



Every week (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a UI and addons blog for WoW.
Too bad he was too busy running heroics to come to the aid of the King!

With the new dungeon finder tool released, I felt it was a good idea to write up how a priest should handle themselves in instances with a group of players they don't know. Once I started using the system, I became exposed to a large variety of different personalities, skill levels and gear levels. Quite the experience grouping with players packing gear ranging from Trial of the Grand Crusader to the random hunter wielding the grey bow of death.

My approach to pugging has not been that different since the pre-dungeon tool era when players would randomly form up in groups for whatever the heroic daily was. After a while, I stopped doing heroics because I didn't need the emblems anymore. In the end, I had to re-learn and remember some of the core philosophies I held onto when I dived back into the world of running heroic dungeons again.

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Filed under: (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

World of Warcraft: The Magazine still coming later this year

A few readers have sent us notes asking what happened to their World of Warcraft: The Magazine subscription, and so here's a quick followup to the magazine you might not have heard about since BlizzCon. As far as we know, it's still on track for release in "late 2009" -- the website went live a while back, and they're updating on Twitter. The first issue should almost be done, and it's supposed to have a feature on the WoW TCG, something about Inscription, and memories of the game for the 5th anniversary, as well as lots of other stuff, we're sure.

Additionally, even if you haven't ordered a subscription yet (I haven't, actually, but I meant to), there will be previews of the issue online at some point. Or, on the other hand, if you're tired of waiting, you can contact them with support help and questions via email as well. But as far as we've heard, it's still coming before the end of the year, so keep an eye on your mailbox. It'll be a little different from some of the news you've seen online (it's completely official, which means everything in there is approved by Blizzard before it goes out, not to mention that they'll have some nice access in terms of news about upcoming content), but it definitely seems like it'll be an interesting read.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide 31-40

Welcome to the latest Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that is your absolute best source for all things mage. Leveling guides? Talent spec guides? Loot guides? PvP guides? Profession guides? Random, vindictive, mean-spirited, and wholly superfluous warlock-bashing? Check, check, check, check, check, and CHECK. Arcane Brilliance has all your mage needs covered.

And the leveling parade continues! Your mage is level 30 and you've grown in your mastery of the magical arts. Your Fireballs are now significantly more likely to set your enemies aflame than they are to go off in your face, you now arrive at your teleport destinations with your extremities more or less intact, and small children no longer cry at the sight of the pastries you conjure.

In celebration of our new-found competence, we'll be changing the content of these leveling columns a bit. We'll no longer be giving each two-level gap its own blurb. Instead, we'll be covering each new spell as it comes, and every major milestone at the appropriate point. If that means that more than two levels go by without a specific shout-out in the text, so be it. Enough preamble. Read on and we'll see how it goes. If it's terrible, we all know I'll just blame warlocks.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, 21-30


Welcome to another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that won't give up, will never back down, won't retreat and won't surrender. Arcane Brilliance has the heart of a champion, the eye of the tiger, the soul of a lion, the reflexes of a mongoose, and the gall bladder of an emu. Now, if you'll excuse Arcane Brilliance, it needs to go indulge in an 80's movie training montage to get ready for this column. And yes, in case you were wondering, Stan Bush and Vince Dicola will feature prominently.

After a rather extended hiatus from the leveling grind, we here at Arcane Brilliance (and when I say "we," I pretty much mean "me," and when I say "pretty much," I mean "absolutely." I fact, I'm not sure why I even said "we" in the first place. Just forget I said anything. Let's move on, shall we?) are finally ready to continue with our series of overly wordy leveling guides this week. Here's what we've covered thus far (and, yes, I'm aware that I continue to use the first-person plural when referring to myself. I'm a very confused individual.):

Part 1: Getting started

Part 2: Levels 1-10

Part 3: Levels 11-20

We begin today's installment at the grand old level of 21. Your mage is freshly bemounted (That word doesn't actually exist, but I think it should) and ready to take on the world. Chances are you're preparing to move into your third major zone. From this point on, you have a great deal of freedom in choosing where you want to quest. I'd recommend an add-on like Cartographer, or a website like mapwow (just check the box that says "Show names for zones") to see a map that tells you the appropriate levels of the zones around you, so you can pick a place to make your home for the next 5-10 levels. Once you've selected a destination, mount up and head that way. Stick to the road if you decide to travel through any higher-level zones in-between, and be sure to pick up any flight paths you pass during the trip.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Leveling, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

World of WarCrafts: Flickpainting and a playtime playlist


World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself; contact our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts) with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.

In the wake of the torrential magnificence of the cosplayers at BlizzCon and Dragon*Con in recent weeks, we're going to dial back the sheer creative force this week. Let's catch up with more humble creative efforts with a new take on an old favorite (yes, it's another take on fabric painting) plus a playlist of WoW machinima and songs designed especially as an accompaniment to your playtime.

Flickpainting

Serthida of US Bloodhoof-H sent us yet another fresh take on Sugarrat's wildly popular bleach shirt. Serthida has created a bandana, but the approach works equally well on tees and other fabric.

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Filed under: Machinima, Fan stuff, Features, Fan art, World of WarCrafts

Arcane Brilliance: Making your Mage raid-worthy, part 2

Welcome to the latest Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that believes there's no such thing as a wrong time to turn something into a sheep. Unless it was already a sheep to begin with. Then it would probably have been better to turn it into a pig or a rabbit or something. Or maybe just hit it with a Pyroblast. Mmmm. Lamb chops. What were we talking about again?

If you missed last week, here's a link to click on so you can catch up. If you can't be bothered to read the first part of this column, let me summarize the idea here: we're discussing ways to get your Mage all decked out in epic, raid-worthy gear without ever actually entering a raid instance. Now, more than ever before, we have so many options for obtaining raid-quality gear that actually raiding for it seems almost...old-fashioned.

Last week we talked about 5-mans in both their normal and heroic varieties, focusing on Trial of the Champion, because duh. But maybe you don't want to do 5-mans. Maybe your guildies aren't on, and maybe you hate pugs. Maybe you are a Mage, and because there are eighty-four DPSers looking for group for every one tank or healer, you threw your hands up after an hour of trying to get a group and went off to do dailies.

Well good news, everyone! Doing those dailies can get you epics too! Yes, it is entirely possible--even if you happen to be the guy on your server who ninjas gear in pugs and sucks at everything to the point that nobody invites you to groups anymore--to fill just every slot of your gear with sparkly purples without doing any instances of any kind. Isn't that wonderful? It tends to take a bit longer, overall, but these alternative methods for obtaining gear can be perfect for those of us who simply don't have a lot of time to commit to a group. Simply log in, craft an epic cloak, do a daily quest or two, blast out a couple Arena matches, and then repeat for a few weeks, and eventually you'll have epics too. Anyway, nice talking to you, see you next week! Wait...what's that? You want details? Oh fine. Clicky clicky.

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Filed under: Mage, Blacksmithing, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Quests, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Factions, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Inscription

Arcane Brilliance: Making your Mage raid-worthy, part 1


Welcome to another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that asks all the tough questions, and then Ice Blocks before the tough answers one-shot it.

A little while after Wrath hit, Arcane Brilliance posted a column on how to gear your Mage up for Naxx. Several things have changed since then:

  1. Pretty much everything I wrote then is now wrong.
  2. You don't really gear for Naxx anymore. Naxx is now a place you go in order to gear up for other places.
  3. Trial of the Champion.
Knowing these things, I thought an updated gearing column might be in order. So if you're raising a fledgling Mage, and level 80 is about to hit you like a truckload of Death Knights, and you're looking for the quickest way to turn green and blue into purple, look no farther. Well maybe a little farther. The column's not over yet.

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Filed under: Mage, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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