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Posts with tag official

Ghostcrawler on why Bluetrackers suck

Ghostcrawler has finally said on the forums what I've been saying for a while here on WoW.com and elsewhere: using blue text on the forums as a way of disseminating information is "a strange way to communicate." He's been appending the words "[Not tracked]" to some of his posts so they don't end up on the official "bluetracker," because a lot of what he posts is just silly and fun and not to be pored over and examined (especially without the context of the other posts around it). But all of those posts are still picked up by the unofficial bluetrackers that many players follow, and he laments that it's annoying to have people jump in on threads without reading all the context: "you end up looking like a real jerk half the time."

I would never call GC a jerk, but it's clear to see what he means -- sending out information via official posts on the forum is something Blizzard has done for a long time, and it's really a bad way to go about it. To their credit, they've been trying lots of new things lately, from official interviews to class Q&As and just plain releasing official information on the site. But I've always thought (and still think) that the company could use an official blog -- back when I was playing Dark Age of Camelot, I really enjoyed all of their work on the Camelot Herald, and I think Blizzard would benefit from something more like that. They do have a section for official news on the front page, but that's mostly licensed items and marketing information, not actual updates to the game.

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Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Forums

An official server for South Africa

Here's an interesting post from what looks like a site in Zaire wondering if Blizzard will ever bring World of Warcraft to South Africa. It's true -- we all take it for granted that here in North America and Europe, the game is available, but in many parts of the world, it's not. And apparently there's a market in a place like South Africa -- Blizzard says they have about five to seven thousand players down there already (we'd assume they're playing on EU or US servers), and that probably doesn't count any of the players on private servers, which could be as many as 20,000.

iGame is a division of an ISP called iBurst down there, and they say they're prepared to run an official server (within 24 hours' notice!) if Blizzard gives the OK, but Blizzard has told them that they need at least 40,000 players in the area to make it worth running an official server.

There's another option called a "peering" server, which apparently does hook up to Blizzard's servers, but uses local connections and networks to make things a little faster. But again, Blizzard needs to assent to that, and it seems like they're hesitant at the moment.

Oceanic realms have had issues for a long time, but at least the players there do have a chunk of servers dedicated to them. Are there any other major places in the world that don't have official WoW support yet? South America? India?

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

Steamwheedle Cartel holding a "Black Market" crafting event


I love this idea a whole lot. A group of folks on Steamwheedle are holding an RP even (which they've done before), but it's a different kind of event than the usual party or dueling tournament. Instead, it's going to be completely peaceful -- they're having a Saturday morning crafting bazaar. Down in the empty vendor stalls of Undercity, they'll have crafters of all types and levels, some with their mats, some where you'll have to bring your own mats, making items aplenty for players. On January 24th, they're holding a "Black Market", where you'll be able to get almost anything crafted that you want (providing you've got the goods). They're also having a raffle, and they'll be serving food and drink as well. What a great idea.

In fact, I'd love to see something like this come to the game at large -- maybe Blizzard could provide a bonus to crafting when it's done at a certain time in a certain place, like create a "crafter's market" weekly on Saturday mornings (scheduled just like the Sunday fishing tournament), where crafters can make sure to be in a certain area ready to craft for any players who might need it, and can get bonus items or currency or mats for their trouble.

For such a social game, combat seems to always end up being the only way for players to connect regularly (not that there's anything wrong with that, but the only way to bond in game seems to be killing things). It would be nice to see more of this type of connection encouraged by Blizzard, with players using the skills they've earned to help each other and both sides getting a nice reward for it.

Filed under: Herbalism, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Jewelcrafting, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Using the new ingame Aggro Warning

Today's patch will bring with it a long awaited feature: an ingame Aggro Warning. Almost since launch, addons like Threatmeter and Omen have warned raiders and other folks that mobs are incoming (pulling aggro means that you've attracted the attention of some monsters by doing a little too much damage or healing), and the functionality has been so widespread that Blizzard has finally implemented it in the official UI.

According to what we saw on the PTR, it should come default whenever you head into an instance, but if you want to see aggro all the time, you can go to the Interface options, and flip "Display Aggro Warning" to always. Checking "Show Aggro Percentages" will give you a little percentage at the top of the target frame, showing just how much aggro you're getting from whatever you've got targeted.

If you've used a threatmeter before, you know that if you do pull aggro, you'll want to a) stop healing or doing damage immediately, and b) pop any aggro-reducing trinkets, abilities or talents you happen to have, like Feint or Disengage. Of course, if you have used an addon like Omen in the past, odds are you shouldn't get rid of it -- the ingame Aggro Warning is pretty thin, so odds are that your guild will still require Omen anyway for high level raiding. But as a simple heads up when you've got monsters about to come your way, the Aggro Warning does its job.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Instances

Gamestop listing for "WorldofWarcraft Gaming Mouse"


We got sent this picture by a rogue Gamestop employee -- he says he found a listing in their computer not only for the upcoming Zboards for Warhammer and Wrath of the Lich King, but as you can see, there's also a listing for a "WorldofWarcraft Gaming Mouse." There's no company listed, so we don't know who might be making it, and no other features are listed except the price, which stands at a hefty $99.00. There have been WoW mice available in China for a while, but with the price on this one, we're guessing it'll be a little less colorful and a little more "professional." Hey, if it's got extra buttons on it to help me level up fishing, I'll give it a look.

Our tipster also says it's listed as a November release date, and as you can see above, it looks like we can expect it around November 3rd (a week before Wrath's release). If your mouse is looking a little old and busted lately, and you've got some of that tax refund check still sitting around waiting to be spent, it could be just the thing to help you run around Northrend.

Update: Intrepid commenter Folinger found a cache of a Gamestop page for the mouse -- apparently it's also from Ideazon, and comes adorned with WoW art and 15 programmable buttons. Hopefully one of them will help me with my current goal of powerleveling fishing.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

Official interactive Northrend map


In case you'd like to get a sneak peek at what you'll be rampaging all over in Wrath, Blizzard has just put up an interactive map of the new continent of Northrend on its site. It's pretty, of course, but also information-packed. For each zone, if you click on it, it lists the following information:
  • Level range of the zone; the two starting zones are listed as 68–72, as we expected.
  • Flight points, Alliance, Horde, and neutral. All the zones seem to have plenty of flight points, which will make it less painful not to have flying mounts until 77.
  • Instances, with levels for those.
  • Raids. Interestingly, both the raids currently in beta (Naxxramas and Chamber of Aspects) are in Dragonblight; I hadn't realized that.
  • Zone map

Obviously, if you're averse to these kinds of spoilers, don't click over. Otherwise, enjoy the pretty pictures. 55 days until LK; I can't wait.

Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

Blizz posts overpriced ringtones, wallpapers


It's not an iPhone Armory app, but Blizzard did release some official content for your mobile phones. They've set up a mobile.blizzard.com site, at which you can buy wallpapers and ringtones from WoW and the other Blizz franchises. At this point, you're probably asking yourself one question: can I get a murloc gurgle ringtone? The answer, thankfully, is yes. Yes you can. (Though I can't guarantee it's a good idea.)

There is a big catch: the ringtones are priced at $2.99 each. Yikes. I know ringtones are big business, and I know Blizz is all about the tie-ins, but this is foolishness. Who would pay this over recording an MP3 and sending it to their phone? The wallpapers are $1.99, which is equally dumb for something I could just as easily screenshot off Blizz's concept art pages and email to my phone. Also I can't find the USA or Canada on the list of countries; it seems, at least at the moment, that these are not available here.

It's a shame that these are so oddly expensive, and that they're not even available in the US, because some of them are pretty well-done. It would be awesome to play the WoW intro theme when my guildies text me to go raid. I guess I'll just have to make my own ringtone for it.

Filed under: Blizzard

Floor dropdown on the beta map interface hints at instance maps


The latest beta build has brought a new twist to the good old map interface. As MMO Champion reports, there is now a dropdown box on the map screen, letting you choose from a few different "floors." What this means exactly, we aren't sure -- the obvious conclusion is that you'll now be able to look at different sections of the world map (for example, see into different levels of buildings or caverns). And Dalaran (which this map is a part of) is one of those areas that has two different levels, so this particular menu will let you see both halves of the city.

But this also suggests an even bigger change: including maps of instances in the official interface. Since launch, Blizzard hasn't ever shown us ingame instance maps (though we're not sure why -- maybe they want to require players to explore instances rather than follow a map through them). But lately, addons like Atlas have made them easily available to players, so maybe Blizzard has decided it's time to map out dungeons as well. We'll have to see what use they put this new dropdown to.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Expansions

Official Wrath talent calculators on EU site


European players have been apparently encountering lag, disconnections, and neglect from Blizzard Europe for the past little while (or so they keep writing into us and saying). Perhaps this is what the European team has been working on: they've just released official Wrath talent calculators, for all ten classes.

At a glance, I didn't notice any differences between this and the calculators that have been up on Wowhead (and elsewhere) for a little while - i.e., they both reflect the current beta versions of everything. And I actually find that the Wowhead calculators run better for me (after all, talent calculators were Wowhead's original reason for being). Still, it's exciting to see these made official: a sign that the Lich King draws ever nearer. Can anyone spot a difference between the official calculators and what we already knew?

Update: Now up on the US site too (thanks, Darias).

Filed under: Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Rookie: Embracing the official forums


WoW Rookie is brought to our readers to help our newest players get acclimated to the game. Make sure you send a note to WoW Insider if you have suggestions for what new players need to know.

I spend most of my evenings perusing the North American and European WoW Foums for interesting topics for our Forum Post of the Day feature. I've come across all kinds of threads from the uplifting, to the whiney, to the popular discussion. They are a great resource for tips and strategies.

Blizzard welcomes constructive criticism and suggestions from the WoW community. You are welcome to be a part of it as well. There are a few things you should know about the forums.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Blizzard, WoW Rookie, Forums, Account Security

Official SSO quest guide


The official US website came back up an hour or two ago, and with it came a "reputation tips" guide for the Shattered Sun Offensive. Now I asked myself when I saw this, of all the factions, why SSO? They're one of the easiest, not to mention most profitable, factions out there; surely people can just do a bunch of dailies and get to Exalted in a week or so.

However, it turns out that although this presents itself as a faction guide, what it really is is a quest guide. It covers all the Isle of Quel'Danas daily quest as well as the SSO-associated Outland dailies. While you won't find anything new in there if you've done the quests a few times, newcomers to the Isle may find some useful tips, such as:
I must confess, I've stopped doing the dailies altogether now, as I'm Exalted on both my 70s and have faster ways to get gold when I need it. But it is certainly one of the more enjoyable reputation grinds.

Filed under: Quests, Factions, Guides

Tracking alts officially within the guild interface

It's been almost a full year since I last saw this brought up, and we still haven't seen anything from Blizzard on it. Eric over on WoW LJ brings up the issue of tracking alts within a guild. As we found out last time, most people just use guild notes (or helpful addons) to keep track of whose alt is whose inside a guild, and it works OK -- assuming people are up front about when they're logging in on another toon.

But still, it seems like an official interface would work much better. And especially considering that Blizzard is actually going to start encouraging alts as a part of the gameplay (you have to have a character at least 55 on the account to start up a Death Knight, and there are rumors that alts will benefit from reputation grinds as well), it seems like they might be interested in making the connection between characters on the account a little more obvious.

And as we said last time, there are benefits to the guild as well -- you never know when that lowbie leveling through Westfall might actually have a Death Knight ready to tank for you. I'm still not sure about marking alts in the Armory, but if you join up to a guild, I'd think guilds should have the right to know, officially, who's an alt of whom.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Alts, Death Knight

Beckett releases an in-depth WoW guide

Beckett Media is a company normally known for their collectible magazines -- they cover things like baseball cards, Yu-Gi-Oh, toys, and all of that other junk most people don't bother with (ok, ok, I kid, collectors, but I don't get the point of buying toys you don't take out of the box). Apparently, a little while back, Beckett started to get into another field where most of what you do is collecting: massively multiplayer online games, and they started a magazine called Beckett Massive Online Gamer. And now, they've started publishing a series of biannual guides for various online games, starting with our very own World of Warcraft.

We haven't seen the guide, but their sales page promises "tips for conquering dungeons, guides for leveling to 70," and "perfecting WoW endgame classes," all for only $9.99. To tell the truth, it sounds pretty lame (not to mention that you can get exactly the same stuff right here for the low, low price of free), but at least there's another print competitor to the official Brady Guides -- if you absolutely need your WoW news in print form, you've got at least two choices now.

Anyone seen one of these yet? Next time you're at the collectibles store, see if they've got one sitting on the magazine shelf and let us know what it looks like.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Guides

Hunter's Helper running beta test

If you're a fan of Gazmik Fizzwidget's addons (including Feed-o-matic, ReagentCost, and Linkerator), you'll be happy to know that he's already jumping on top of patch 2.4, and in fact he's working right now on a beta of one of his most popular addons, Hunter's Helper. You can download the beta over on WoWInterface -- it won't work so well under WoW 2.3, but it's designed to be taken out on the TTR (or the PTR, if that comes back before the patch drops), and tested out.

Since it's likely that the patch will drop tomorrow, hopefully Fizzwidget has worked out most of the kinks. But it's awesome to see an addon developer ready to go for a brand new patch -- it's too bad that Blizzard hasn't been more proactive in helping these guys out with distributing their new versions around a big patch. Maybe once the Armory has gotten to a point where it's serving all the needs Blizzard wants it to, they can start working on an official third-party addon site.

[Via Mania]

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Blizzard, Add-Ons

Cool Guys and Girls needed to play Warlocks


Axel on LJ points us to an easter egg on the Official WoW page that I can't help think must be fairly old, but I've never seen it before, so here you go: highlighting text under the Warlock and Warrior listings on the class page reveals some funny flavor text.

The US page seems to have been changed from the original above (as of this writing, under Warlocks it says "hey you found some hidden text, there must be some giant conspiracy here"), but the European page shows the original "cool guy/girl" as a recommended player for Warlocks. At least one commenter on the LJ page says this has been around since day one on the main page, and I wouldn't be surprised -- Blizzard is familiar with leaving secrets on the official page for players.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, Classes

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