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Posts with tag forum

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

Time change for this week's European extended maintenance

European Blue Ancilorn has updated the times for this week's extended maintenance which will affect a large percentage of realms. We mentioned the extended maintenance to you last week and that Ancilorn was keen to make sure players had an "opportunity to plan accordingly".

The selected realms will be offline from 1:00am to 3:00pm CEST, not
3:00am until 5:00pm CEST as we previously reported. The following servers are affected by the extended downtime:

Balnazzar, Bloodfeather, Darksorrow, Defias Brotherhood, Earthen Ring, Frostwhisper, Genjuros, Haomarush, Hellscream, Laughing Skull, Lightning's Blade, Magtheridon, Neptulon, Nordrassil, Quel'Thalas, Ragnaros, Ravencrest, Runetotem, Shadowmoon, Shadowsong, Shattered Hand, Silvermoon, Skullcrusher, Spinebreaker, Stormrage, Stormreaver, Stormscale, Sylvanas, Terenas, The Maelstrom, The Venture Co, Thunderhorn, Turalyon, Twisting Nether and Vashj.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items, Forums, Europe

Breakfast Topic: Would you change your faction?


Earlier this week we reported on Nethaera's stunning revelation that faction changes were in the works. Yeah, I was just as amazed. It might just be an idea at the moment, a work in progress which we might not get access to until a patch or even the next expansion. The logistics are mind-boggling. Would this be a literally blending of species into factions so Humans could join the Horde and Taurens the Alliance or would your character literally be transformed into another species? How exactly would the lore work around that? We've had character customisation for a while now and the ability to change gender but changing faction and possibly even species. That a whole new kettle of fish.

So, constant readers, in the wake of this bombshell I'm very eager to know what you think. Does the very idea of changing faction seem contrary to how the game works? Would you consider jumping factions? Would you rather see characters choose whether to become Horde or Alliance? Could you change your very species to join the opposing faction? From a lore perspective, how do you think would this work and, indeed, does it need to have a basis in lore? After all no one questioned the gender change. What do you think?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Breakfast Topics, Forums

EU forums get separate Horde and Alliance guild recruitment areas


Now while the US forums have had this feature for a while, EU Blue Wryxian has posted that the EU forums have a little more order this afternoon. Rather than clumping the Horde and Alliance guild recruitment threads together, they now have separate areas to, as he puts it, 'increase the usefulness and accessibility of the Guild Recruitment forums'.

Despite his entreaties to the contrary, we're sure it's more to do with
furthering the mutual dislike between factions. However that said, it will certainly save a lot of time and hassle.

So if you're Alliance and looking for a guild, take a look here while Hordies can go here.

Filed under: Guilds, Forums

Finding unfinished quests

Alan on LJ is having a problem I've been thinking a lot about lately -- like me, he wants to go back and finish the Loremaster achievement, which asks you to clean up all of the quests in the old continents. But like me, he's wondering just how he'll find all of those old quests -- unfortunately, there's no way to know which quests have and haven't been done, and while of course, there's a "low level quest" tracking option, that still requires you to run around to all of the different quest locations to find them.

A forum thread like this one is a huge help, but still, there's no way in the game to really go back and easily find which ones we've missed. Even with a list like that, you might spend twenty minutes trying for a drop before realizing you've already done that quest. Blizzard promised us a little while back that they'd be changing the "discovery" mechanic (so that we'd be able to see on the map which areas we hadn't discovered for the achivements yet), and an option like that might be helpful for cleaning up old quest -- say that low level quest tracking might work over the entire map, or there might be a magic box in Dalaran that would have whatever quest items we might need.

The good news here is that Blizzard has built a fair amount of leeway into the quest achievements -- you won't need every single one to get the points, so the more obscure drop-based quests can probably go undone without worry. But just like the World Exploration achievements, a little more help finding the quests we might have missed would go a long way.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Quests, NPCs, Achievements

PTR forums are up! Panic some more!

Maybe PTR character copies being up today isn't a fluke after all ! The US PTR forums just came up as well, ready to become an unceasing wall of jungle animal noises. Head on over if you're so inclined.

With the character copy page being up too, signs are continuing to point to it being 3.1 PTR go time very soon. Be ready to download that client and, as always, keep an eye out here for when the PTR news trickle inevitably turns into a flood. We swear to shake it up if you swear to listen.

Filed under: Patches, News items, Forums

Forum Post of the Day: Get your mum to draw the Lich King

Adding your mom's worldly wisdom to any situation always makes it better, and clearly the EU forums agree with this sentiment! Elbonio of the European WoW forums wants you to ask your mum to draw the Lich King, even if she's never seen him before. If she asks what he looks like, just ask her to draw what she thinks he'd look like.

I'm pretty sure I've seen this meme before, on the SomethingAwful forums, replacing Arthas with Homer Simpson, but the results are still pretty hilarious. Elbonio's been kind enough to compile a gallery of the kid-tested, mother-approved images that resulted from the experiment.

If you get your mom or significant other to do it, but don't have an EU forum account, feel free to post it in the comments below and I'll assemble them for laughs at a later date.

What are you waiting for? Go ask! But be nice, because after all, she's your mum.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Humor, Forums

New spooky forum avatars

Taking a gander at the official forums tonight will reveal something magically spooky.

All the blue posters have been turned into glowing jack-o-lanterns, and all of us normal folks have turned into undead zombies.

The conspiracy theorist in me suggests that this is a clue to the next stage of the zombie invasion. Tomorrow we'll all log on and have a strange urge for brains and only brains. Lots and lots of juicy... yummy... braaains. Insert Homer Simpson drool here.

Of course this could just be another fancy bit for Halloween, but who knows....

There is no indication how long this will last, and also there's no word if there'll be new Wrath of the Lich King avatars after this is done as there were when the Burning Crusade was released.

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Oceanic players get their own forum

Bornakk announced yesterday that Blizzard has launched a new forum specifically for players on Oceanic realms. It is intended to be a "friendly and focused environment" for Oceanic players to discuss WoW.

Of course, the Oceanic realms still have their individual forums and this has caused some confusion among the forum posters regarding why the forums were established. And it wouldn't be forums without trolls.

I, for one, see the value of a forum for Oceanic players to discuss their specific issues and to be able to find players in similar situations without searching the U.S. forums and without being limited to specific servers.

If you are an Oceanic player, please take our poll:
Is the Oceanic Realms forum a good idea?
Yes! It's about time!596 (25.6%)
No, the individual realm forums are all we need.179 (7.7%)
I don't care unless this takes us a step closer to local realms and green latency bars.928 (39.8%)
I'm not an Oceanic player, but I don't want to feel left out.628 (26.9%)


Filed under: Realm News, Blizzard, News items, Forums

WoW, Casually: Finding forum help

Each week or so, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time.

This week, I answer some Reader Mail from Arjun.

Hi Robin,

The writing style of [WoW Insider] is always upbeat/positive, which is great. I thought I'd ask you your opinion of the official WoW forums, especially the realm forums. What do you think of them? Should casual or newer players try to avoid them at all costs? I've been playing casually for about a year, and have two 70s (Ally Mage and BE Tankadin). I posted to the forums that I'm looking for a new guild, casual in focus. It's amazing what happens, but not in a good way. [Here is the forum link.] What would you recommend to your readers about the official WoW forums?

Thanks,

Arjun

My answer is after the jump.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Forums, WoW, Casually

Test realm forum offline, possible pointer to WotLK beta


More news for all you hungry Wrath of the Lich King fans out there. The test realm forum has been taken offline and is showing as undergoing a change, although we don't know what that is just yet. The exact submessage is "The forum you're trying to access is not ready." This is significant for a couple reasons.

First, the test realm forum is usually left up for a while after the patch so folks have some place to go and reference everything that was learned during the beta. I know that I've used the forum for up to a month to go and get necessary information.

Secondly, this comes less than a day after the World of Warcraft beta site experienced a change. When getting public releases of software ready, it's often a process of "First, get the site going – but don't link it to the public. Second, take down the public systems and get them ready." This is quite possibly what we're seeing here.

Finally, this forum always goes down before something beta-ish is released. This could mean they're just clearing it to implement a 2.4.2 release or something, but I doubt that given they've usually only cleared it for major point release. Ie: 2.2, 2.3, 2.4.

An interesting tid bit of WotLK news for you all this morning. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that within a month we'll see some major announcements concerning the next expansion.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Nethaera's smack down

Nehthaera today wanted to let a lot of the naysayers out there know a thing or two about their April Fool's jokes and the issues with the servers. She tells us the obvious, more or less: the people who do the April Fool's work are completely separate from the people that do the server and development work.

So these elaborate and well done jokes have exactly zero impact on the servers. They don't have anything to do with maintenance, with patch 2.4, or with Wrath of the Lich King (well, unless you actually believe there'll be a bard class). This means they could have done nothing for April Fool's, and things still would have been as difficult as they were yesterday.

I want to give Nethaera two thumbs up for her post. I really enjoy it lately when GMs and CMs lay the smack down about issues like this, especially to whiney forum posters.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, News items

The PvE + PvP instance

"Lowlifescum" over on the official WoW forums has had an interesting idea, to combine PvE instances and Battleground instances into a kind of "race-to-the-boss" PvP and PvE experience combined. According to his idea, players would queue up for the instance, and when both 5-man teams are ready, begin on opposite ends of a dungeon. From there, they have to fight their way through normal monsters and 1 or 2 regular bosses before finally reaching the final boss in the middle. They would have to choose between rushing through as quickly as possible in order to reach the final boss first, or else moving slowly and steadily enough that they can avoid setbacks along the way, and arrive at the last boss fully prepared for the other team to attack in the middle of the fight.

The first existing instance your mind jumps to is likely Alterac Valley, but this new instance would be different in that the players are not marching towards two separate goals, split up into two offensive and defensive groups, but rather going after the very same bosses and getting in each others way to a certain extent. Obviously it would also be a lot smaller than AV too, and, like Arenas, based from the beginning on teamwork with your friends rather than random groupings of strangers.

Obviously balancing such a battle would be very difficult, and the losers should feel as though they gain something of value even if they don't beat the other team. When I imagine this sort of instance, I envision something like a maze where players can not only meet up at the last boss, but also sneak around and PvP with each other the whole way through. Different sections of the instance could be designed to provide advantages to different sorts of classes, whether melee or ranged, damage or healing, and monsters could be designed to interact with the two groups of players in some very dynamic ways. Perhaps the bosses and maps could even vary a bit from battle to battle to keep everything fresh.

A Blizzard representative showed up in the original thread to say that he liked the idea too, and hopes that someday we might be able to see something like it. What do you think about it, and what elements would you pay special attention to in order to make it work?

Filed under: PvP, Instances, Bosses, Forums, Battlegrounds, Arena

Forum Post of the Day: Scaling warlock pets


Amongst all the candy corn on the warlock forums a post arose today dealing with a topic close to every lock's heart, despite how cold and twisted they might be inside. We're talking about pet scaling here, or rather the lack thereof. Pets are far too squishy at higher levels, locks say, and the chief cause of this is the fact that they simply don't scale properly as a lock's gear improves.

This is largely a PvP concern, although I would love to be able to bring my Felguard into a raid instance and have him last more than 3.5 seconds. Every piece of armor my lock adds to her kit should buff her pet as well as her own locky self, it only makes sense. Well, that's the way it should be, but it's not working properly, and the locks are looking for some love. And before you go there, no this isn't a call for a buff, this is an example of a bug that needs to be addressed, and has nothing to do with whether or not locks are overpowered.

The good news is that the devs are interested in hearing what you locks have to say on this issue. This is one case where they are asking for feedback and suggestions on how to improve the situation. Of course we're talking about constructive feedback, so Neth asks that you keep the complaining to a minimum if you want to have your voice heard.

Filed under: Warlock, Forums

Forum Post of the Day: The fight to enter Zul'Aman



Patch 2.3 is adding a lot to the game we know as WoW, including a new ten man instance, Zul'Aman. With the addition of this instance, a question arises on the forums: exactly how will players get into the instance with all the chaos that will be going on outside?

By chaos of course I mean PvP. Like the original poster states in the title to his forum post, "one does not simply walk into the Ghostlands." For some this is a concern, for others it points to an exhilarating challenge looming on the horizon. On PvP realms this sort of struggle is common (can we say Ashenvale kids? Come on, say it with me Ashenvale.), but on other realms, PvE or RP, the sudden forced PvP that must inevitably occur outside the gates of Zul'Aman is something dreaded.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, Instances, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

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