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Posts with tag server

Servers are now up, but Newfoundland is forever

Well, servers are up early, it seems. I'm standing in Dalaran right now. Why am I in Dalaran? I don't remember. The important thing is to note that yes, Newfoundland, there is a Blizzard Claus. Server maintenance, which had been extended to 3 p.m. PDT due to database updates, has apparently been finished slightly earlier than expected. Check to see if your server is among the ones that have come up.

I'm gonna go get ready for raid and keep reading about Newfoundland. I suggest you do too. Yes, both of those things.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: News items

Last chance to bid on retired server blades for charity

Blizzard's charity auctions of retired server blades seemed to go pretty well, with each blade going for several hundred dollars on eBay (and all of that money going to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital). Most of them ended before the holidays, which is unfortunate for those of us who missed grabbing the physical representation of a server community near and dear to our heart. But if you play on a European server, you might just be in luck -- Blizzard is offering a series of last-chance auctions for EU server blades starting today! Each server blade comes mounted in a nice case with an engraved plate ensuring authenticity and signed by members of the WoW dev team.

The full list of servers and end dates is available on the official Blizzard site. Good luck and happy bidding, EU folks!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard auctioning server blades to benefit St. Jude's

WoW server blade.
We posted about this a week ago, but a reminder can't hurt now that the auctions have actually gone live. If you're attending BlizzCon this year and have the chance to visit Hall A, you'll see one of the original World of Warcraft HP server blades that Blizzard is auctioning this year to benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. But even if you're not going to BlizzCon, you still have a shot at bidding: All of the available server blades (from both North American and Europeanrealms) are listed on EBay, and you've still got time to bid on them all. Most of them are older realms that Blizzard has upgraded recently as part of server maintenance, and -- judging from the bids on some of them -- my guess is that a lot of players are interested in owning their old servers. Better yet, each auctioned server will have a plaque with the server's name, dates of operation, and Blizzard developers' autographs inscribed on it. If you want to see an example of what it'll look like, scroll down on Blizzard's charity auction page.

If you're interested in owning a piece of World of Warcraft history in addition to benefiting a great cause, you can find general information and Blizzard's two EBay listings for the server blades here:
Turn to WoW Insider for all your BlizzCon 2011 news and information. Get ready to kick off the weekend with the WoW Insider Reader Meetup, cohosted by Wowhead and Gamebreaker.tv, and look for our liveblogs of the convention panels, interviews with WoW celebrities -- and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

Blizzard responds to Swifty ban incident

As you might have heard, Razer WoW gamer Swifty, along with numerous other players, were banned due to server disruption violations during one of Swifty's live streams that crashed a server. While Swifty acknowledged that he never intended to crash the server, Bashiok responded to the bans by stating that even if no one intended to crash servers or disrupt gameplay, the emote spamming and influx of players brought down many servers.

Swifty livestreams events with his guild on occasion and even hosts parts of the stream himself. Being the WoW gamer celebrity that he is, his stream attracts a good number of viewers. His own YouTube video response to his ban acknowledges between 4,000 and 5,000 people were watching his livestream. People flocked to the server, and the disruptions began. A number of players, including Swifty, were banned. Over the course of the day, Blizzard reviewed the information and decided to unban Swifty.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Cross-realm Dungeon Finder premium service coming soon

Blizzard has just announced a premium cross-realm Dungeon Finder feature, allowing players from the same faction to invite Real ID friends from different servers into 5-man regular and heroic dungeons. The popularity of the Dungeon Finder is well-known at this point, and expounding on the feature has been in the cards according to Blizzard for some time now.

This new feature will be part of a premium package of WoW features requiring an extra fee to use. Blizzard says that only the person doing the invites and creating the cross-server party will need to have access to the premium feature for the system to work. Currently, there is no release date, and the service is being described as a complex one to develop. Blizzard is most likely getting out in front of the news sites and datamining sites now, since pieces of this new system will begin to hit the PTR soon and Blizzard doesn't want too much speculation.

I personally think that this system is really cool for players who have an already-established friends base on other servers but don't want to leave their current home or don't have the money to do so and pay for a premium server transfer. For instance, Sacco and I can finally run some dungeons together. You hear that, Sacco? It's dungeon time.

Premium services always receive some type of backlash in the WoW community, and this one will be no different, so for caution's sake, let's wait until pricing information is officially announced before we explode with indignation. This is, however, a feature that many players have been asking for and will be very popular.

Read more →

Filed under: Cataclysm

Free realm transfers to lower-population servers

It's that time of year again -- the time when certain realms are filled to the brim, making them nigh unplayable. The release of Cataclysm has hit specific U.S. realms hard, and Blizzard is offering to help balance out population issues. To make life easier on these servers, Blizzard is offering free realm transfers to lower-population servers.

The high-populations realms are:
  • Barthilas (Oceanic-PvP)
  • Blackrock (US-PvP)
  • Frostmourne (Oceanic-PvP)
  • Illidan (US-PvP)
  • Kel'Thuzad (US-PvP)
  • Kil'jaeden (US-PvP)
  • Tichondrius (US-PvP)
The destination realms are as follows:
  • Altar of Storms (US-PvP)
  • Arathor (US-PvE)
  • Fenris (US-PvE)
  • Garrosh (US-PvE)
  • Grizzly Hills (US-PvE)
  • Gul'dan (US-PvP)
  • Gundrak (Oceanic-PvP)
  • Nazjatar (US-PvP)
  • Shattered Halls (US-PvP)
  • The Forgotten Coast (US-PvP)
Blizzard has stated that while these transfers are still free, they are subject to end once the destination realms fill up. So if you or your guild are planning a move, you should start now to avoid any complications. Most questions on free realm transfers should be on this handy FAQ. As always, a realm transfer to any of the ones not listed still requires a paid character transfer.

Filed under: Blizzard

Blood Sport: Not every good PvPer is a gladiator

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Sport for arena enthusiasts and The Art of War(craft) for fans of battlegrounds and world PvP. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more.

Listening Music: The Legend of Zelda, via symphony. You're welcome!

Occasionally, I'll meet a rank-1-quality opponent who is playing with people far below his or her level. Sometimes people are just naturally amazing at WoW. I'm not one of them. I have to use trial and error a lot before I pick something up. Oh well, at least I'm honest about it, right? I've battled opponents in the 1,900 bracket who are 2,700+ rated players; if only they would shed their partners and pick up a few gladiator buddies!

There are three primary reasons for people playing with teammates who are far below their level of PvP prowess: gear, friends and realms.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

BlizzCon 2010: Charity silent auction

Blizzard is holding a silent auction at BlizzCon to support Child's Play, the charity started by Penny Arcade to help sick children. Up for auction are signed artwork, a signed NOObz marine and actual WoW server hardware. See the gallery below for the items on which attendees are bidding.


BlizzCon 2010 is upon us! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. We're bringing you liveblogging of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Blizzard, BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: Strange habits

As I write this, I am dreading the week to come. After many months of going back and forth on the matter, I have decided to leave my guild for greener pastures. I'm reluctant to leave, though, since I do like my current guild; the people are nice, the raids are fun and we have a raiding philosophy of "work with what you've got" that I have always enjoyed. Still, for everything that I love, there are shortcomings and I am willing to risk losing what I have to see if my perfect guild exists somewhere out there.

So off I go to a new guild and server where I know no one. I'm scared -- scared I won't be good enough, scared they won't like me even if I am and scared I might be making a huge mistake in leaving my friends. You just have to swallow those kinds of thoughts, though. As a raider, I'm no stranger to moving around, and I've come up with many ways to deal with it.

One thing I do to cope is heading up to the spot you see in the picture before I transfer. This is my favorite hiding spot in the game, only accessible by players meticulous enough to complete the Higher Learning achievement. Up here, I will sit and eat some cake, then after I've had my fill, set out my little green rag doll on the bed and /sleep. The reason for this is so that when I log back in after my transfer has gone through, I know exactly where I'll be and I can pretend I'm waking up from a dream (or nightmare) to a new, promising day. I'm not sure why I do this; maybe the familiarity? It's really all quite silly, but I've been doing it for well over a year now and it seems natural.

Do you have any strange habits or rituals you do in game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

What effect does the Dungeon Finder have on smaller servers?

For a few days now, I've been mulling over a point raised by Spinksville in a blog post concerning the Dungeon Finder's impact on smaller servers. It was her contention that, although the Dungeon Finder makes getting 5-man runs faster and easier for people on underpopulated realms, the new tool was contributing (or likely to contribute) to the depopulation of realms without a lot of options for raiding. It's never been easier to gear up a character, she observed, and someone with a geared character is increasingly likely to want that toon raiding. However, smaller servers rarely field the array and depth of PuG raiding opportunities offered by larger realms. Her conclusion? "Being on a smaller server has never been less attractive for a casual player."

While I go back and forth on that point -- lots of people will just gear a toon for its own sake without necessarily planning to raid on it -- I don't think she's entirely wrong, and I also think the larger point concerning the Dungeon Finder's potential impact on server communities is probably accurate.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances

Joystiq talks to Frank Pearce about the past and future of Warcraft

Our friend Kevin Kelly over at the Joystiq mothership got a chance to talk to Frank Pearce at Blizzard about the Warcraft anniversary, and he did us proud. Not only did Frank Pearce do some nice reminiscing about Blizzard, where they've come from, and how the massive World of Warcraft undertaking has changed them as a company (they've gone from 500 employees to about 4,000 in just the last five years), but he also touched on some issues we've really been wondering about over here at WoW.com as well.

Like, say, the reason we haven't seen a girl in the ads yet. Pearce says they're open to it, and he wants some names submitted, so we'll offer up Felicia Day as a no-brainer, and if you guys have other ideas, share away below. He also talks about server capacity, and says that at nearly every step, Blizzard has been surprised by their success. He attributes race and faction changes to thinking that realms were big enough on day one to bring everybody together who wanted to come together, but they later realized that wasn't what was happening. He mentions China and NetEase and says they wish the process there was faster. And finally, he talks, surprisingly, about the BlizzCon Vegas that wasn't, and seems to confirm that Blizzard was considering a Vegas show. Interesting. Where else did they consider holding the convention, we wonder?

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, Cataclysm

Compensation for last week's extended downtime

In what will surely please anyone who follows or was affected by extended realm downtimes, Blizzard has quietly announced compensation for the realms affected by it last week. We covered the downtime last week as it occurred.

Even after having worked at Blizzard, I'm unsure as to how the decision is made to or not to offer compensation for downtime, but I'm glad that it does get offered periodically. It's no fun to have a day off or a light workday and then discover that the realm that houses your main is down, again.

Regardless, if you were on any of the realms listed after the cut, you should see that a 24-hour credit has been added to your subscription on your Account Management page. Take this, your blue badge of courage, and hold it high to the heavens, your karmic reward for not pitching a fit. "We cool, Blizz. We cool."

Read more →

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

Fixing raiding lag

There is quite a thread going around with some ideas about how to fix raiding lag. Lag, like many cross-computer issues, is a pretty complicated thing -- there's all kinds of reasons it could be happening, from errors on your computer to errors on Blizzard's end, and all the little connections and switches in between. A certain amount of lag is unavoidable. But there are certainly some things you can do to make sure the link between your client and Blizzard's server is working at its best. This thread, which started on the EJ forums and then moved on to Livejournal, has some good tips in it, including turning off most combat logs like Recount and even Blizzard's official "Everything" log -- having to write down everything happening in game does cost some computer time as you play. Blocking addon "spam" is another way to keep things simple and clear -- while lots of useful addons help you share information between raid members, sending that info back and forth can cause problems when you're down to milliseconds of lag.

The final suggestion is to run a third-party program that's supposed to keep your latency high, but I would be leery of doing that -- a better solution if you continue to have high latency constantly, even after making the changes above, would be to go to Blizzard (and/or your Internet Service Provider, or ISP) with your issues. They have a good guide to smoothing out your connection, and many times the problem can be with your router or firewall, which is usually a quick fix.

Read more →

Filed under: Guilds, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Hardware

Guildwatch: No tabard, no loot

Some stories of drama on the realms aren't directly guild-related, but they're just too good to pass up. The one above is just such a story -- one of our tipsters was just flying around Azeroth one day when a conversation in General caught his eye. One unlucky Time-Lost Proto-drake seeker ran into his very own Griftah, and ended up with 425 less gold and a very "unusual" toy item.

That story and more in this week's Guildwatch, which starts right after the break. If you have downed, recruiting, or drama news for us, feel free to send a tip in to guildwatch@wow.com, and you might see it here in the future. Read on for more!

Read more →

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

Searching for the most popular server


Kris over on the WoW LJ has an interesting question: what's the most popular server in the game? Blizzard never has (and likely never will) singled out one server as the most popular in the game, as the QQ that would ensue might bring the forums down (not to mention that it must change pretty often, as people transfer and reroll on other realms. It seems that everyone on a high population server thinks they must be top dog when they see queues during prime time, but the most widespread concrete numbers we have are probably from the unofficial Warcraft Realms census: they claim that, with over 35,000 characters on it, Whisperwind is number one.

Of course, even that can't be trusted -- those numbers are picked up from the site's addon, all within the last 30 days, and it could just be that WR has more info about more people on that server. But at the same time, I'd guess that Warcraft Realms' numbers are in the ballpark, as long as you're talking about Yankee Stadium. Whisperwind, Cenarion Circle, Stormrage, Moon Guard, and Proudmoore are all big servers, I can promise you anecdotally, while Laughing Skull, Blood Furnace, and Malorne are definitely at the other end of the spectrum. As for a most popular realm, there probably isn't one specifically (it changes periodically, if not even at different times of the day). But if your realm is near the top of Warcraft Realms' list, it's probably busier than the others.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Instances

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