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Posts with tag public test realm

Beyond Patch 2.2: Schwick's compilation of verified info

Patch 2.2, currently in testing on the PTR, has some great improvements like voice chat and reporting AFK'ers in Battlegrounds. What it doesn't have is any new, big, sexy chunk of playable content. So when are we going to see the post-Karazhan 10-main raid zone, Zul'Aman? New Heroic Badge rewards? Guild banks? Oh, we already know that last one.

Forum MVP Schwick on the WoW European forums has compiled a list of known updates in Patch 2.3 and beyond. He often provide reference links to his sources form many of his future patch notes, which makes him an information god in my book.

He also goes on to list all the verified information about the WotLK expansion. I thought I had read all the info that was out already, but on Schwick's list I found items I didn't know, like the fact that Blizzard has a plan to deal with the fact that the Horde doesn't have a fear ward. Or that Naxxramas, the last raid zone introduced before TBC launched, will be repurposed in the new expansion. Or that new shaders will be introduced for shinier graphics. Mmm, sparkles.

Check out Schwick's post if you want to get a look ahead about what's known for future patches.

Screenshot of Zul'Aman boss models courtesy of

Filed under: Patches, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Test a spec for free or try a new class on the PTR

When the Public Test Realm is up, any player who has had an active account since November 2006 can copy their character over to help test the new update. During the Patch 2.1 Public Test phase, I copied my L64 feral druid over and respecced to Balance. Fortunately, I had a decent set of Balance gear with me and was able to give the spec a good test drive. I enjoyed it enough that I eventually went Balance when I hit L70 on the live servers.

With Patch 2.2 currently on the Public Test Realm, Blizzard is allowing players to copy up to 4 premade L70 characters to the Test Realm. This time, I decided to see what it was like to play some other classes I long admired, so I copied a shaman, a priest and a rogue.

Each toon starts out with a full set of raid gear and PvP gear for different specs as well as plenty of trinkets, rings, weapons, drink, bandages and gems. They also get epic mounts, both land and air. They have none of their talent points assigned, so you can spec them immediately, but you will have to find a trainer to get the higher levels of any spells/abilities you pick up in your talent tree.

Read on for my impressions on each class after the jump.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Classes, Talents

Voice chat coming soon to the PTRs

We missed it on Friday afternoon, but apparently voice chat is coming in 2.2. Previously, we'd heard that Zul'Aman and guild banks weren't showing up until 2.3, but there wasn't official word on when voice chat was arriving. PTR players have reported seeing a voicechat interface, but of course it hasn't been hooked up to any code yet.

But Hortus now says we'll be seeing voice chat ingame sooner than we thought-- it will be coming soon to a PTR near you, and pending testing, should go live with 2.2. Wow. Blizzard must have done a lot of work on that behind the scenes, assuming that it is what they promise: a fully featured builtin voice chat client. Think it's coincidence that there have been a few sound bugs on the test realms lately?

Which means that at some point we'll have to ask this question: What will happen to Teamspeak and Ventrilo? There's a nice bit of industry there-- players pay for servers all over the place, and while each server is pretty cheap, altogether they add up to a nice chunk of change, I'm sure. My guess is that TS and Vent aren't going anywhere (because players are so used to them, and not just in WoW), but until we see what kind of interface Blizzard has created, we won't know if they're worth leaving or not. Seeing as it's the PTRs, we should get a chance to play with it soon.

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, News items, Features

Premade characters now available on the PTR

Premade level 70 characters with "high level raid dungeon equipment" are now available to be copied to the US Public Test Realms.

There are two catches:

1) You have to have The Burning Crusade in order to copy and test these characters because they are level 70.

2) There seems to be a 3 day wait time.

Do you want to play with Patch 2.2 sporting some free epics? Go here and start the copy process. Blizzard asks that you allow the copy process to finish before logging into the Test Realm. There is a Copy Status page where you can check your progress.

This is an excellent opportunity to not only play with the new features (and bugs) in 2.2, but also to try out a class/race combo you may be considering rolling -- all tricked out in purples.

Have fun! ... in 3 days...

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Patch 2.2 on the PTRs

The next patch, 2.2, has just gone live on the public test realms. So for your reading pleasure, I present you with the terribly exciting patch 2.2 notes. Primarily, this patch seems to be a number of bug fixes and minor tweaks, but it also includes the infamous DoT change and a number PvP-related tweaks (reduction in CC times in PvP is what stands out to me). The patch notes are extremely long, so I won't try to summarize the rest -- check the whole things out after the break.

[Thanks, Boubouille!]

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Bugs

Bad news for new Mage arena gear

With the release of the Arena Season 2 gear on the public test realm yesterday the number crunchers went to town. What they quickly found was not good news for Mages. It appears that the +INT on the new Mage armor is actually less than the Season 1 gear even though it costs more to purchase.

But wait, you say, this is the test realm, surely it can be tweaked before it goes live. Blizzard responded that the gear is being looked at, but if any changes were made to its stats, it wouldn't be in time for the content patch. The mage gear is going live in its current state.

When it comes to numbers, I'm easily confused, but in this case my confusion stems from this: why put things on the test server if you can't tweak it based on feedback before it goes live? I mean...isn't that the point of a test server? Can someone with a great understanding of the Testing process enlighten me?

Filed under: Mage, Items, PvP

Latest changes on the PTR

As you may or may not be aware, a patch was rolled out on the public test realms yesterday, bringing us all sorts of cool screenshots of Hyjal and Illidan. However, these weren't the only changes the patch brought us. On the test realm forums, Kainazzo has been kind enough to compile a list of changes for us.

Of course there's the expected bug fixes:
  • (Hunter) Viewing Pet Details no longer results in a fatal error
  • (Hunter) Using aimed shot and steady shot no longer results in turning 180 degrees
  • (Other) Alliance epic flying mount animation has been fixed.
  • (Items) The meta gems bought with Spirit Shards now function properly.
  • (Items) Almost every set bonus was reworked to stack properly with other set bonuses
However, perhaps the most interesting changes were to Paladins:
  • Illumination now returns 60% of base mana cost, up from 50%.
  • 1h weapon spec is now working, and is causing 5% more damage to spells like consecrate and holy shield while a 1 handed weapon is equipped.
Is illumination still worth it at 60% instead of 50%? Blizzard, how about you push the numbers to 75% and we'll talk.

Filed under: Patches, Bugs

PTR notes: Up on the roof

It's always nice when Alliance pay a diplomatic visit to Orgrimmar. The ambassadors -- usually of the night elf variety -- tend to sit on the bank's roof, naked and dancing, until the point when some brave Hordie decides to attack the dancer. Then out come the stealthed rogues.

But Alliance are no longer welcome in the Horde capital. As of the 2.1.0 test realm, there are Troll Roof Stalkers on top of the Orgrimmar bank. These level 70 elites are apparently intended to keep Alliance out of Org. Many people are angry at what they consider a new chapter in Blizzard's war on fun, but it's unlikely that enough Alliance enjoy hanging out in Orgrimmar to mount serious protests. Heck, I'm Horde and I don't even like hanging out in Orgrimmar. It looks like it was designed by the army surplus tent store.

Personally, I don't consider this a game-breaking nerf -- but then again, I'm Hordeside. I do understand why it seems unfair, so I will accede to the placement of Gnome Shin Kickers in the Deeprun Tram if this change goes live. Also, I agree that Troll Roof Stalkers would be a great band name. What do you think about this change?

Filed under: Patches, PvP

Breakfast Topic: Testing, 1, 2, 3...

By now we all know that the PTRs are up and running (depending on your definition of "running" -- according to reports on the PTR forums they're crashing frequently) -- after all, the PTR client is where we got these lovely patch notes from! So, have you copied your characters over? Are you raiding the Black Temple to get the very first look at new content? In short, do you bother with all the tedious testing and bug reporting that's associated with playing on the public test realms? Or do you simply ignore the entire affair and continue playing the game as though nothing were happening?

Filed under: Patches, Breakfast Topics

Don't worry: it's called a "test" realm for a reason

Fortunately, testing patch 2.1 won't require filling in any bubblesI know that many of us read the new 2.1 patch notes and went into a panic. Paladin's illumination? Mage's sheep and ice block? Priest's shadow weaving? Shaman's elemental focus? There are plenty of changes here that could strike dread into the hearts of players who have picked their classes, talents, and professions for specific reasons that have suddenly vanished out from under them. But is it worth panicing over? I say not yet -- and Tseric agrees with me. The public test realms -- the only place where patch 2.1 is currently deployed -- are brought online for a reason. You guessed it: to test things.

While the test realms are online, we can all log on and get a first-hand look at how these changes will impact our characters. From there, we can offer our feedback and opinions. And, while many of you will say that these are never listened to, it's not unheard of for Blizzard to make major changes to a patch in light of public outcry. But for those of you in the audience who are upset or angry about the proposed patch 2.1 changes, I advise you to try to post your complaints calmly and constructively -- all caps typing and angry flames will only serve to get you banned from posting.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

PTRs online... well, sorta.

There are obvious downloading issues, so apparently I'll have a more detailed report for you in about 11 hours. However, you can get started downloading your own PTR patch here (though if you could just wait until I've got mine that'd be great). The character copy function (there are apparently no pre-made characters available for copying) is overloaded by traffic and only gives a "server too busy" message.

However, lucky reader Mark is further along in the download process -- and managed to snag these screenshots of the patch notes. See page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, and page 6 for the full patch notes -- or read on for a transcribed version (via Kyrra on the test realm forums).

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard

Another Week and No Patch?

Hortus (who works, I believe, in QA) has announced that the public test realms will be offline tomorrow between 12:00 PM PDT to 8:00 PM PDT for hardware maintenance. The fact that the realms are scheduled to come back online after Tuesday's regular maintenance window suggests that, yes, we're going another week without 1.12 being deployed on the live servers. Though I suppose that, while unlikely, it wouldn't be impossible for the PTRs to go offline running patch 1.12 and come back online running 1.13 - Blizzard does come out with surprises from time to time, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Drysc's message that "there are no current intentions to announce the release date of 1.12 beforehand" doesn't make me optimistic, either, though.

Update: My mistake, the PTR maintenance was Monday evening, not Tuesday evening. The overall point still holds, however.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Realm Status

US PTR Maintenance: Now!

Well, they don't usually give us much warning on these things, so at 4:44 PM PDT we received word that the PTRs were going offline for patch maintenance with no ETA on them coming back online. The fact that the PTRs continue to be updated, despite being online since July 17th, makes me feel that patch 1.12 is still something that's being fine tuned - which lends me to think that the patch going live may still be some time off. Of course... Blizzard has been known to surprise me before, so take this thought with a grain of salt (or two or three). And... since the test realms are still online and going strong - it's a great place to have some fun playing a class you know nothing about!

Update: The PTRs seem to have come back online at 7:25 PM PDT.

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status

US Test Realm Maintenance Today

Not long after the live realms come back online, the test realms are scheduled to go offline. They'll be down between 2:00PM and 4:00PM PDT for some maintenance. Also, one of the realms will be moving to the "Oceanic" tab (no news on which realm will be making the move) for further cross-realms battlegrounds testing. Haven't had your chance to test yet? Well, you've got at least another week before there's a chance to roll out the patch on the live realms, and the test realms are a great opportunity to give new talent builds - or entire classes - a good try to see how they work out. Plus, it has the potential to be a lot of fun.

Update: The test realms were late coming back online, but they all seem to be back online as of 5:42PM PDT.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Realm Status

My Secret Life as a Rogue: Of Talents and Talent Builds

It's been some time since I wrote about my initial attempts at playing the rogue class. And, no, I haven't given it up yet! I've only reached the fairly puny level of 33, but the rogue changes coming in the next patch have me excited about continued leveling - after all, there's little joy in having half of a talent build.

However, my recent efforts have been divided between my own rogue on the live realms and a pre-made level 60 rogue on the test realms. After some initial goofing off - it is, after all, a bit disorienting to jump from a low-30s character in mostly greens to a level 60 character with dual crusader enchants - I set to work trying different talent builds. Of course I've read all of the discussion on possible builds, but sometimes there's just no substitute for experience - and the test realms provide an ideal opportunity to see just what the class is capable of, with all possible talent permutations.

And, perhaps, some experimentation could teach me something about how to play my own, lesser rogue a bit better...

Read more →

Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Virtual selves

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