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WoW Archivist: Bottlenecks

Gyrocopter jam
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Wherever thousands of players try to complete on-rails content, bottlenecks are inevitable. For Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard is trying to be proactive about eliminating them. Back in July, CM Zorbrix posted a "targeted feedback request" about bottlenecks in the beta. Given that the introductory experience is completely on rails before the expansion unleashes players into its less structured zones, this is a real concern.

WoW hasn't had the best track record when it comes to bottlenecks. As we help Blizzard loosen the bottlenecks of the future, let's revisit those of the past.

The great gyrocopter jam of 2012

Blizzard's server tech has come a long way since the game's launch. Lag and crashes are no longer rampant during expansion launches. But sometimes, other problems can prohibit players from progressing on Day 1. If we're talking bottlenecks, we have to start with the most infamous one in all of WoW, which also happens to be one of the most recent.

This was a problem that people saw coming. I found a thread on MMO Champion from September 2012 where a poster writes, "On Beta - everyone had to funnel through a single vehicle quest to proceed on the Jade Forest quest line. I'm a touch concerned that this is going to be way worse than any other expansion..."

And this guy was totally right. OK, maybe Mists wasn't as bad as The Burning Crusade overall, but the ironically named Unleash Hell was still the biggest -- and most dramatic -- bottleneck ever caused by a single quest.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Engineering: 2.3 and beyond


It would be an understatement to say that engineering as a profession has been sorely lacking for quite some time. Although there are those among us who have remained optimistic (and a touch crazy), the upcoming changes in patch 2.3 will do wonders to lift the spirits of browbeaten inventors everywhere.

Yet, the forums are still rife with creative new ideas for the direction of the profession, as well as glaring issues that have yet to be addressed. Today I will be summarizing some of the more ingenius and workable proposals for the future of engineering, highlighting some of the changes that Blizzard has promised to make, and bringing some much-needed attention to the problems that still plague this profession. Even if you aren't an engineer yourself, many of the suggestions for craftable goodies make for an interesting read.

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Filed under: Engineering, Patches, Items, Odds and ends, Features, Mounts, Forums

The latest changes on the PTR

World of Raids once again has the latest breaking news on the latest Patch 2.3 Public Test Ream changes! Today's class changes seem to be mostly happy buffs, especially for hunters and rogues and paladins, as well as a slight nerf to warriors beyond the jump. Also read on below for Guild Bank prices, New Arena Season 3 weapon models, a Field Repair Bot change, as well as a few new engineering toys.

Hunters:
  • It looks like hunters get their version of Mortal Strike after all: Aimed Shot now reduces all healing done on the target by 50% for 10 seconds, in addition to the regularly increased damage.
  • The dead zone has not been eradicated, but it has been reduced to just about 1 yard. Why not just get rid of the dead zone and be done with it? Is Blizzard paranoid about the possibility of using melee and ranged abilities at the same time through latency bugs or something?
Rogues:
  • The rogue talent "Aggression" is being improved so that its damage bonus applies to Backstab as well as Sinister Strike and Eviscerate (at +2/4/6% with each rank).
  • Shadowstep now has a 30 second cooldown in addition to being usable out of stealth. Its range has been changed from 0-20 yards to 8-25 yards, and its +20% damage bonus now applies to whatever special attack you make next (i.e. Sinister Strike, Hemorrhage -- even Eviscerate or Rupture). Could this make it beneficial to non-dagger rogues as well?
  • Hemorrhage has received a huge buff: It now increases physical damage dealt to its target by up to 36 (increased from 10!), but its number of charges has been reduced from 30 to 10. This should make hemo rogues more desirable in groups, and also increase the benefit from having more than one in a raid -- but is it really enough?
Paladins:
  • The "Fanaticism" talent in the retribution tree now reduces the paladin's threat by 30% at the highest rank in addition to 15% increased critical strike chance with all judgements.
  • The protection talent "Precision" now gives a +3% chance to hit with spells in addition to melee attacks.

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Filed under: Hunter, Paladin, Rogue, Warrior, Engineering, Patches

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