Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag options

The time for variant skins is now

With the upcoming character model redesign for Warlords of Draenor, and with no announcement for any new races or classes, a question I've heard asked a lot is is that enough? And while I think it is enough, considering how massive a task it is and how much it will change the game for people, I do think the focus on character models means that now is absolutely the time to introduce another level of character customization. I don't expect (based on what we've seen) to see many new options like a height slider. So I think the old idea to give us variant skins based on sub-groups like the broken draenei, Mag'har orcs, Dark Iron dwarves, Grimtotem tauren and so on should finally become an option.

In some cases this would be easier than in others. Giving draenei a playable broken appearance (seen above) would require a lot of work - as you can see, the model is outdated and is even on the wrong skeleton for a draenei. (It's built on top of the current tauren skeleton.) But allowing a player to choose a Dragonmaw, Blackrock or Mag'har orc is as simple as giving them more options in skin tone.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

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.

Read more →

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

More options for party communication

Our buddy Rufus from the WoW LJ brings word of a sneaky change in the recent patch: raid warnings (those warnings that pop up in the middle of your screen, created by typing "/rw" while leading a raid) no longer work in parties. Apparently you have to be in a raid to actually toss off a warning. Of course, that could have happened before this patch, but at any rate, it's in the game now. No more /rw in party chat.

Not only is it a bummer because some people used to use it constantly to keep party members in line, but this also means that there's one less means of communication between all of these random parties forming out there on the realms. Sure, in a perfect world, everyone would know the fights and chat would be enough to make sure everyone was on the same page (or depending of your vision of a perfect world, everyone actually uses the in-game voice chat -- a quick survey of our staff here presumes that it works in cross-realm PuGs, but given that I've never actually seen it used on the live realms by anyone, who knows?), but we're hardly running instances in a perfect world. Sometimes chat is not the best way to get a complicated boss fight organized and ready.

Read more →

Filed under: Fan stuff, Walkthroughs, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Instances

How often should we do repeatable content?

Blessing of Kings asks an excellent question: how often should we be running repeatable content? Certainly Blizzard has considered this issue before -- they've gone with daily quests in the first expansion, and recently they've been rethinking just how often we'll be rerunning dungeons, too. But both of those time periods are fairly arbitrary to us: is it possible that we should start running things twice a week (once during and once on the weekend), or maybe do weekly quests instead of daily?

BoK says: possibly. Rohan suggests a weekly quest that rewarded 70g instead of the daily 10g reward we usually get (not including the XP bonus which kicks it up to 13g). Players who don't have time to run every day, but do have the weekly availability (like me -- I play mostly on the weekends), would be able to still pick up the reward. I'll go one step further, in fact: what if we had an option? What if we could choose to run a quest daily (and get a bigger reward overall), or run it once per week, using up all of our daily chances for that week, and getting a smaller total reward? That seems to be the best way -- those who could log in every day would get a larger reward, while those who couldn't could still get more than just the single daily.

Rohan also says that Heroic and BG quests should remain daily, and on that we agree: those quests are perfect for creating variety every day, and getting people to run those instances. In fact, those would be fun to see expanded -- maybe Blizzard could create weekly series of daily quests that followed a small storyline across dungeons or BGs. Blizzard has done a pretty good job balancing out repeatable content periods, but it's always nicer to have more options.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Economy, Instances, Quests

Crusaders' Coliseum difficulty is a test for Blizzard

I've suspected this on the podcast, and I'm sure many people have figured this before, but Crygil makes it absolutely clear: the four difficulty levels set up on the Crusaders' Coliseum is just a test for Blizzard. This isn't at all the standard, it's just something different they're trying with this format of dungeon, and they'll be watching to see how players respond. As Crygil says, it definitely doesn't mean that they'll be going back and revamping the old dungeons to reflect the new layout (where 10 and 25-man raids each have their own Heroic modes), and the corollary is that it doesn't necessarily mean that Icecrown will be like this, either. They're giving this a shot, and if there are issues with it, they'll go back to the old way or consider something else.

Will it work? My guess is that it will. Besides the fact that players will always run the heck out of the game's latest raid (and Blizzard can definitely use that as justification that it's a popular way to do things), I think any move that gives players more options will be received well. Some guilds will try to run all four modes all the time, and will get sick of the instance way before any new content shows up, but I think most folks will just choose one or two difficulties to run every week (say, 25-man Heroic with their guild, and 10-man Heroic with a PuG), and get their gear from there. Whether we'll see this again in Icecrown, however, I'm not sure -- this seems like a setup for a lower-tier instance that everyone gets to run, not an expansion-ending, top-of-the-line raid. Blizzard may go back to the normal 10 and 25-man setup for Icecrown, and then bring this scheme back for instances in the next expansion, whatever that may be.
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Raiding

"Because I don't play" isn't an option on Blizzard's quit page

Jason Burns points out, pretty insightfully, on his blog that of all the various options Blizzard lists for quitting the game, simply not having the time to play it isn't one of them. Whenever you decide to cancel your subscription, you get a little survey to fill out, with two lists of options to explain why you're leaving the game. In the past, we've found some pretty silly options in there (and actually, it looks like they've changed quite a bit since we posted about the Will of the Forsaken nerf on the list), but Jason says that as many varied and different reasons as there are for leaving, Blizzard didn't include his: he likes the game, he just doesn't have the time to play it and justify the subscription.

Which is what he eventually typed in. Like so many things with Blizzard, it would be fascinating to see the stats behind the information they're getting here -- do they see a little bump in quitters every time new patch notes come out? Is customer support really the biggest issue people have, or is harassment a major reason for people leaving as well? Just boredom with the game seems like it would be a huge reason to me, but there's not really a clear option for that either.

Unfortunately, we'll probably never know the real stats behind this -- Blizzard isn't going to be revealing why people are leaving their game anytime soon. But it does seem strange that some of the biggest reasons you'd expect aren't on their list of possibles at all.

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

Theming the login page

Toussaint is exactly right -- this took me back. Way back to the original login screen and music, when level 60 was the max and everyone was running UBRS and the Plaguelands instances, and "heroic" was just something us players were. Even the Burning Crusade login screen, right, brings back some memories, of wandering around Hellfire Peninsula and raiding in Netherstorm. The roar of the frost wyrm we have now is nice and all, but sometimes we long for earlier days.

Which brought me to the question: what about a theme-switching system? There's no real reason the login screen has to be set to the current expansion -- while it's nice to have a new look to that interface every time we reinstall the program, there's nothing the new one really does that the old one couldn't. You'd think they'd be easy to change around, and if Blizzard just gave us a drop-down switcher in the options, we could choose whichever one we wanted.

Let's not forget, however, that their code is weird -- you wouldn't think that they'd hard-wire the new Battle.net login code to the newest login screen, but maybe they did something silly like that, which would probably mean we'll never see the "classic" login screen again. But still, if there's a way to do it, it would be nice to see that old portal and hear that rousing anthem yet again.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

The limits of Video Mode Ultra


I think I've found the limits of Video Mode Ultra -- when we first hard in the 3.1 patch notes that Blizzard was adding in a superspecial video mode for high-end computers to use, I was excited. I just recently "updated" my PC (read: "it broke and I had to spend a lot of time and money to fix it"), and it's been running like butter, so I was interested in putting it to the test. The day after the patch dropped, I flipped the switch to Ultra, and had no problems -- until this past Saturday. While wandering around Dalaran, I noticed my framerate had dropped quite a bit. I lowered a couple of the environmental settings just a bit and I was fine again, but apparently even with a 2.5 GHz quad core CPU, 4gb of RAM, and a GeForce 9600GT, Video Mode Ultra is still just a little too hardcore for me.

What's interesting is that I ran Wintergrasp a few times before having those slowdowns in Dalaran, and never had a problem. But then again, Blizzard did say that they had spent a lot of time making sure Wintergrasp was streamlined enough to run huge battles with minimal slowdown, so maybe Dalaran didn't get that same makeover. And I should say as well that I had no issues anywhere else in the world -- even my Naxx run the other evening looked perfect with Ultra flipped on.

Having a "future" graphics mode on PC games is nothing new -- for most games, the highest graphics setting is usually "experimental," so there's a little leeway in terms of release time (the game looks good with current hardware, but even better with next year's gear). And Video Mode Ultra is just that -- Blizzard trying to send a shot across the bow at those who are already saying the graphics look a little dated.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Hardware

New options button in beta

In the LK beta build that just went live tonight, build number 8905, there's a new Options button on the login screen, just above Cinematics, Credits, and Terms of Use. What lies behind its blue mystery? [Edit: apparently it was there in the last build too. I never noticed.]

Unsurprisingly enough, it contains some options that you might want to change before entering the game. Specifically, it has options for video resolution, video effect quality, and sound. For the most part, these are the same options currently available in-game. "Enable Reverb," "Headphone Mode," and "Death Knight Voices" have been added to the sound pane. "Disable Resize" has been added under "Windowed Mode" in the resolution pane; I'm not sure why you'd want to do that, though, unless you kept accidentally resizing the window (which I've never had an issue with, and I often play windowed).

The big innovation here (and yes, I realize innovations in option dialogs may not strike you as particularly interesting) is a master slider for video quality. Now you don't have to fiddle separately with terrain distance and ground clutter density if you don't want to; just drag the slider somewhere on the scale from "Low" to "High," whatever's prettiest without being too devastating to your framerates on your particular system. Of course, there's a "Custom" setting, so if you want to tweak all the little sliders, you are still free to do so. A nice change, and it will especially benefit people who don't necessarily know what all the options mean.


Filed under: Galleries, Wrath of the Lich King

Sounding off on ingame sound

If you checked out the unofficial changes in patch 2.4, you'll have noticed (or just heard on the realms) that quite a few sounds got changed. Some are louder (as in that annoying PW: Shield sound), some are quieter, and some are just plain missing (it's a known bug that Tigers and Sabers don't roar anymore). But this brings up an interesting debate: many players are saying that they never would have noticed -- they rarely ever play with sound on anyway.

Playing with music off is one thing (and yes, many people prefer to listen to their own music while playing), but playing with the sound completely off seems like it would be tough -- there are a lot of audio cues going on in the game, and with sound off, you might not notice that a party member accidentally pulled another mob offscreen, or that someone behind you is casting a certain spell, or any number of other things that have specific audio to them. That doesn't need to be the only thing you listen to (I usually have to turn down the game sound during raids, just so I can hear what's going on in Vent), but surely listening to game sound makes you a better player.

Do you keep the sound muted all the time, and if so, why? And do you have any trouble playing if you do? Of course, it does help you avoid that annoying PW:S sound, but as someone who keeps the game sound up (though not the music), it seems like there are specific cues meant to be heard while playing the game. Don't you miss those with the sound off?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Bugs, Hardware

UI changes in 2.4


Sure, there's a new zone, including a 5-man dungeon, a raid, and a truckload of loot in patch 2.4. But what about the important stuff? It turns out we're in for a few UI changes as well. Every time Blizzard improves their interface it builds my admiration for them more, because the truth is they don't have to -- we have some fantastic Add-On developers in the community. However, incorporating must-have changes into the default UI is good for all players, and I'm glad they do it.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches

Due for more Polymorph options

Here's a good idea from the forums: more sheep choices! Polymorph was one of the most beloved spells in the Warcraft RTS games, and so players were thrilled to see it come to World of Warcraft, and even more thrilled when two other variations on the spell were learned: instead of sheeping, players can either polymorph pig or turtle with two learned spells from quests or drops in the game.

But since the introduction of Zul'Gurub, we haven't seen any other options for mages in game. And there are plenty to choose from by now-- Polymorph: Ravager, Polymorph: Clefthoof, or Polymorph: Elekk would all work great. Polymorph: Willy would even be lots of fun. Oh, and yes, as players in the thread say, since we're headed to Northrend, Polymorph: Penguin would not be out of order in the next expansion.

Blizzard has done a pretty good job of taking mounts, both flying and ground-based, towards a little horizontal progress-- giving more options on one level instead of setting up a few options over multiple levels. But hopefully Polymorph will get a little love, too-- even though mages are the only ones who benefit directly, my guild has always had fun making sure our mages have all the Polymorph options possible.

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

WoW Insider's PTR voice chat hands on

Voice chat is now available on the 2.2 PTR, so I downloaded the test realms, rolled up a gnome Warlock, and put on my Logitech headset to try it out. What I found was a pretty intuitive voice chat system that does most everything Blizzard promised to do, and will likely replace Teamspeak or Ventrilo for a lot of smaller guilds.

Unfortunately, it's complicated enough that it probably won't be extremely widespread-- players who haven't found the need to join up on voice chat yet probably still won't feel a need to do so. But for guilds who don't want to pay for a separate server and friends who group together often, the ingame voice chat should work just fine.

The rest of my impressions, including a complete walkthrough on how the chat system works, are after the jump.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Features, Guides

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories