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Zarhym muses about 15-man raids

Recently, a player on the official forums asked about the potential for 15-man raids in World of Warcraft. Zarhym responded to the post, stating that he believes that 15-man raiding numbers are a "pretty optimal number of raiders" since class representation is easier to deal with. However, there is no plan in the near future for Blizzard to implement three different raid sizes in the near future, which most likely means 10- and 25-man raiding is here to stay. But what if we lived in a world of 15-man raiding?

There are many benefits to 15-man raids that work around the scaling problems of 25-mans and the tuning issues of 10-mans. The big issues with 25-man raids include scaling and filling out the roster. Many guilds cannot field 25 people for their weekly raid and usually have to resort to pugging a few stragglers who aren't in tune with the group. Other guilds who cannot field 25 players choose to do two 10-man raids, but the issue of group composition takes center stage; where two 10-mans require a total of four tanks and five to six healers, the 25-man requires two tanks and six to eight healers. You can get a nasty split if you don't have just the right number of specific classes.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Farewell and thank you, WoW.com

I've told this story a few times before: I actually started out on WoW.com as a comment troll. A few years back, Jennie Lees was the lead blogger here, and she posted something silly about a wallpaper or a plush doll, I don't remember. I was also reading the forums at the time, and Blizzard had just dropped new priest patch notes. "Why are you posting this junk," I commented angrily, "when the priest notes just dropped?" She was nice about it -- she actually emailed me and said that the priest updates post was coming soon. And I felt so bad about it, I never activated the comment. But a little while after that, when WoW Insider posted that they were looking for some new writers, I applied, and said that I was sorry for that comment, but that I was working on becoming a writer and could help out with posting on the site when needed.

When I started writing for WoW Insider (now WoW.com, obviously), I was working retail in Chicago, writing part-time in the evenings. The site itself got only a few thousand hits a month, with one or two weekly features and maybe ten comments per post. Now, over three years later, I'm a fulltime freelance writer, I've been to three BlizzCons, I've written over 1.7 million words in over 3,300 posts here about everything in Azeroth, and the site itself rivals some of the best blogs on the Internet, routinely garnering millions of hits a month. I helped build this site with my own two hands, and while I definitely can't claim all the credit (there was and is a huge team of people who keep this thing running), it's with a fair amount of sorrow that I'm here to tell you today will be my last day on WoW.com.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

The Daily Quest: Guild switching

We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: Hunter, Items, Virtual selves, Guilds, Raiding, The Daily Quest

The early days of the World of Warcraft

It's been five years since this game launched, and it's changed so much that you might have forgotten what life was like back then. But thanks to the magic of the Internet, those times are saved in clear HTML. Let's dig up some memories of the early game.

It's interesting to think what Blizzard was like before World of Warcraft. Today, the two are almost synonymous -- while they have two other major franchises (and one secret IP hiding in the works), it's almost impossible for anyone to think of Blizzard without thinking of WoW, and vice versa. The company has become almost solely defined by what they've done with this game. But of course, before the release, that wasn't the case.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling

Speaking up for what's right

This is a pretty insightful thread, from all sides, on what the forums and customer feedback are really for. Rekker on Detheroc makes a good point, and that is that while people will complain about anything, almost no one speaks up when things are working right. We talked a little bit about this on the podcast this past week: are Blizzard's decisions based on a player base that never seems to be happy, no matter what you throw at them, or on some arbitrary design guidelines that Blizzard has stuck with from the beginning?

Ghostcrawler, as you might expect, says it's a little bit of both. Blizzard doesn't just do what players say -- they consider player feedback and then make decisions from there. But at the same time, they can't ignore what players say, either. GC agrees that the forums are not the best sample of feedback, for the same reasons that Rekker gives: players go there because something is bothering them and they want it changed, not usually because they really love something in the game and want it to stay the same.

Of course, forums are not the only form of feedback from the community, and there are many places Blizzard can get feedback about things in the game that players like (ahem). But just like Blizzard does, whenever you look at the forums, you have to realize that you're looking at just a slice of the feedback. People don't make QQ posts about the stuff they appreciate and like having in the game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Buffs, Forums

Why healing meters suck

Matticus also has a guest blogger on his site (I posted about Phaelia's guest blogger earlier today), and he's got a great post up too, about healing meters and why they just aren't helpful to anyone. Damage meters are well known to be disliked by many players -- while they can often show some DPSers where they fit in the general rankings, they're usually still not a great indicator of performance (and when DPS gets really involved in beating the meters, then things go bad quickly).

But healing meters are even worse. Given all of the crazy mechanics in the game (from armor and self-heals to situational abilities and AoE heals), they are very rarely (if ever) a valid interpretation of who's doing the healing and whether they're doing it right or wrong. And as guest blogger Ulkesshern says, more healing doesn't make a better healer anyway -- overhealing and spamming big heals do not mean you're a good healer, though they may get you higher on the healing meters.

There is one good word for healing meters, and that's to give the healer an ego boost after you show off the DPS meters at the end of the instance (usually they're on the bottom of DPS, and so when you switch over to healing, they're happy to be back on top again). But Ulkesshern makes a good point: for anything worth tabulating or tracking, healing meters are not to be trusted or followed.

Filed under: Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs

Merry Christmas from WoW Insider!

It's Christmas Day today, so from all of us here at WoW Insider to you and yours, have a great and safe holiday, no matter where you are. Hopefully whatever you find under your tree, be it virtual or real, is exactly what you were hoping for.

And don't forget that Winter's Veil presents go up ingame today as well -- the rumor going around is that it's a racecar (and who doesn't want a racecar, seriously), but the only way to find out is to head on into the capital cities and go look for Greatfather Winter's presents.

As always, thanks for all you do for us -- your support throughout the year helps us deliver all the WoW news and views that we post every day. Posting will likely be a little light over the next few days, as our bloggers spend the holiday with their own families, but of course we'll be back soon with a brand new set of posts for you to come and unwrap every day.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, NPCs

Happy Thanksgiving from WoW Insider


America today is celebrating Thanksgiving Day, a holiday where we all sit down with friends and family, eat loads of turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, and all the other good stuff, and give thanks for all the blessings we've received throughout the year. WoW Insider would like to wish you, our readers, a happy Thanksgiving and a great and safe holiday season. We are thankful for many things, but mostly for you: it's because you come and read and visit the site that we get to keep it going every day of every week the rest of the year. Much appreciated -- thank you.

Many of our bloggers are also with their families and attending their own celebrations this weekend, so posting may be slow around here today and tomorrow. Odds are that you haven't reached 80 yet, and even if you have, odds are even better that you haven't grinded all the reputations you want, so just head on into the game and work on that for a bit, and we'll be back after this weekend with our usual news, views, and insight into this game and its players.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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

Bumping your recruitment posts

Many guilds out there have their recruitment posts up on both the realm forums and the global recruitment forums. One of the big keys to a recruitment post is to keep it up on the top of the forums so everyone sees it, and sees it before any other posts. This means that you and your guildies have to bump the post to the top of the list, and bump it quite often.

The global recruitment forums recently underwent an upgrade, where the forums were split into Alliance and Horde factions. This has helped a bit with the number of posts per day, and has thus lessened the number of required bumps a recruitment posts needs to keep it on the front page.

However, you still have to bump it quite a bit.

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Filed under: Guilds, Odds and ends

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

WoW Insider's top ten WoW stories of 2007

We had a gigantic year at WoW Insider-- from January 1st to December 31st, we've posted over 4,500 stories here on this very site, about nearly every facet of the World of Warcraft (and you guys didn't slouch, either-- we had over 150,000 comments on the site in 2007). We've reported on everything from hearthstone soaps to Norweigan mooses, and everything from Arena PvP to Zul'Aman. We've posted guides, rumors, insights, jokes, and everything else we could find connected to this game that we all play (17 hours a week on average).

And seeing as 2007 is just about to end, we figured it would be fun to take a look at the year behind us, and list the top ten stories that we reported on during that time. From comedic to controversial, these ten stories run the gamut, and they also comprise the most important news that happened in the World of Warcraft this year. As a staff, we collected all of the biggest stories of the year, and then rated them from one to ten.

So click the link below to finish out this year, and check out WoW Insider's Top Ten WoW Stories of 2007. Before the year ends, let's take a look back at what happened in Azeroth and the culture surrounding it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, Blizzard, Features, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Weekly

It's Saturday again, and that means it's time for WoW Insider Weekly, our weekly look at all of our great weekly and bi-weekly features here at WoW Insider. Our columnists work hard all to create great weekly content, and every Saturday we put it all in one post and serve it up to you on a big silver platter*.

*Silver platter not included.

Azeroth Interrupted: How to tell it's time to take a WoW break
Because sometimes, you need to just say no.

Spiritual Guidance: Threat and you
If you priests don't want monsters running at you, you shouldn't insult their mothers!

Officers' Quarters: 2.3 -- an officer's perspective
What do you guild officers need to know about what's coming in the next big content patch?

All the World's a Stage: It's not just about sexy butts
I see David's point, but he forgot one thing: what if you're Sir Mix-a-lot?

/silly: Shadow of the colossal mistake
Our weekly cartoon shows a city raid gone wrong.

Build Shop: Shaman 15/5/41
Eliah's gone this week, so I showed off my Resto-with-a-side-of-DPS build.

Shifting Perspectives: Online Druid resources
If you're a Druid, get out your bookmarks window-- you'll want to keep these.

Reader WoWSpace of the Week: 2.3 WoWspaces!
Featuring WoW on a television. That's crazy talk!

Guildwatch: The most important thing

"Guild drama is a lot like falling in love..."

The Light and How to Swing It: PvP Healing Build
Chris tells you how to win both friends and fights in PvP.

BRK: Karazhan for Hunter-Dummies
A Hunter guide for Blizzard's most popular raid.

Know Your Lore: The Titans
They're old, they're Norse, and they created the world. Find out more about Azeroth's enigmatic god-beings.

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Why we war
How much war could a warrior war if a warrior were wared for war?

Ask WoW Insider: Best way to find a new server?
Help this guy figure out where to reroll.

Phat Loot Phriday: Black Bow of the Betrayer
It's black, it's pointy, and it gets you mana. What's not to love?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, Features

Reminder: The WoW Insider Show is live tomorrow afternoon


Tomorrow, don't forget to tune in to WoW Radio, and check out the third episode of our official podcast, the WoW Insider Show. We're going to kick off the broadcast about 3:30pm EST (which is 8:30pm GMT, I believe), and we've got lots of great discussion items on our platter: we'll hit up AFKers in Alterac (because we haven't talked about that on the podcast yet, right?), the WSVG shutdown shocker, and all of our most popular posts of the last week.

I'm going to be back on the mic this week, and WoW Insider's Amanda Riviera will be joining me, as well as Turpster ("The T," as we like to call him) and Alris from WoW Radio. And of course we want you along for the ride as well: go to wcradio.com tomorrow to listen in live, and we'll also be sitting in the IRC channel at #wowradio on irc.mmoirc.com. And as usual, we'll be watching for your emails: theshow@wow.com is the address for your suggestions, complaints, compliments, or questions you'd like us to answer.

Tune in tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 pm EST for the third episode of the absolute best podcast about WoW Insider: we'll see you on the WoW Insider show.

Filed under: Podcasting, WoW Insider Business

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