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Posts with tag taiwan

25-man raids have harder challenges and better rewards on Asian realms

Difficulty level Asian

The European raiding team Method had a chance to interview Ion Hazzikostas, World of Warcraft's Lead Encounter Designer. Most of the discussion centered around the recently released item upgrade system that came in patch 5.1. One of the more interesting tidbits is how item rewards and raids are slightly different in Asia compared to the European and North American regions.

Ion Hazzikostas

How does the upgrading system work on the Asian servers? From what I have seen their items are upgradable not 2, but 4 times. Won't this result in a problem while tuning the bosses of the next content?

Ion: The way it works in Asia, we actually use the upgrade system to create the distinction between 10 player and 25 player that we previously announced for 5.1. So in Korea, Taiwan and China, when you kill a boss in 25 player mode, it drops an item that is already 2/4. So instead of 496, it drops as 504 but can be upgraded 2 more times, so effectively they are 8 ilvls higher but you are still only upgrading any item twice. The other thing that is changed in 5.1, is actually that all 25 player bosses have 8% more health and do 8% more damage, than they do in the US or Europe. It is a bit more like the Wrath of the Lich King system, where 25man is just harder and drops higher item level loot but in theory doing 25 player with 25 player loot in Asia should be the same as doing 25 with 25 loot in Europe/US.

Items that drop in 10-man raids have 0/2 upgrades. Items that drop in 25 man raids have 2/4 upgrades. This is similar to the Wrath of the Lich King model of rewards. Blizzard has already stressed that Asian realms aren't used as "experimental realms" for possible system changes in other regions around the world. In other words, it isn't likely that we'll see these types of reward systems in place anytime soon. But it's an interesting solution to the whole 10 man vs 25 man raiding issue and logistics incentives.

The interview dove into other topics such as:

  • Brawler's Guild
  • Dominance Offensive
  • Current raiding discussion

To those of you who play on Asian realms, we'd love to hear from you regarding your raiding experiences and this reward structure. 25-man raids seems to be the dominant raiding format compared to 10-man raids in that region.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items

WoW Insider Show Episode 119 with special guest Mary Varn

Our podcast was live on the air as usual last Saturday, and the show is now up for your listening enjoyment. Artist Mary Varn was aboard to talk with us about her comic and her Warcraft career, and Matt Low of World of Matticus also jumped on to chat with Turpster and I about the latest WoW news, including the impending patch 3.3, the recent server outages, and the Taiwanese player who picked up all of the achievements in the game (which, probably not entirely concidentally, is the subject of Mary's comic today).

And of course we answered your emails as well. For those of you wondering about our Podcast Awards nomination, voting has ended, and the winners are supposed to be announced next Saturday in a ceremony online. We'll keep you updated -- remember, if we win, we'll be giving away any prizes we get to one lucky listener, and we'll be recording a Warcraft bedtime story for all of you to download. Cross your fingers for us!

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Filed under: Podcasts, Podcasting, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Quests, Humor, WoW Insider Show, Achievements

Listen to the WoW Insider Show today with special guest Mary Varn

Yes, our podcast is back again this afternoon at 3:30pm EDT, and this week we're welcoming Mary Varn, the creator and artist behind NPC Comic, a webcomic about a girl and her two cats who all play World of Warcraft. She'll talk with us about her work and her own characters, and since we'll also have Kelly "Cadistra" Aarons of the new Byron the Tauren Rogue comic on again, maybe they'll be able to share some insight on putting WoW-related cartoons together.

Turpster and I will make sure it's not all about drawing comics, though -- we'll be answering emails and talking about the most popular posts from the last week, including what's going on with patch 3.3 and when it might drop, what's up with all of the outages lately, and what it takes to get all of the achievements. All of them. Should be a great show -- you can tune in over on our Ustream page at 3:30pm Eastern, or just head after the break. See you then.

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

Taiwanese player earns all of the achievements

Yes, that's right, all of them. You've probably heard about this already (we're a little late to the party, just because it seemed a little fishy to us at first), but a player in Taiwan has an Armory profile that claims he (or she, though the character is a male tauren druid) has achieved all 986 achievements available in the current version of World of Warcraft. That's everything, from Loremaster, to all the ToGC Tributes, to the Pilgrim's Bounty holiday rewards, even Insane in the Membrane. If there's something you can do in WoW, this guy seems to have done it. He hasn't finished this year's Winter's Veil achievement yet (it's not actually possible until the 15th), but he has done a PvP achievement twice, apparently, so he's still 986/986.

I'm still a little doubtful: as you can see above, the Feats of Strength bar looks like it's empty, but this guy actually has lots of Feats done as well, including all of the realm first feats (including First Aid, and Leatherworking, all within days of each other). It just doesn't seem possible that one character could do all of that. But it all seems to check out, so we'll give him his due: Congratulations, "Littlegray" of Wrathbringer. And just in case you hadn't heard: there are other games to play.

Update: I thought Insane in the Membrane was an achievement, but it is actually a Feat, and he does not have it. Thanks commenters for the clarification.

Filed under: Tauren, Druid, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Achievements

Stars wins August's Guild of the Month contest

It's almost the end of September, but we're finally ready to announce the winner of August's Guild of the Month contest. As you probably saw in the title of this post, August's winner is a guild that has become something of a household name for WoW players, being one of the longest standing, most accomplished raiding guilds in the world (of Warcraft). Rather than me telling you about who Stars is, I'll leave that up to Leonking, a member of Stars currently living right here in the United States. You can find what he wrote behind the cut below.

Stars was August's winner, but remember that September's Guild of the Month contest is still ongoing! We had a lot of great entries for August, and we would all love if everyone who entered last month gave it another try this time around. We're absolutely eager to her from new entrants, too! This is your chance to not only win a $100 gift certificate from Swagdog for some custom guild apparel, but also be featured right here on WoW.com. Good luck, and we can't wait to hear from you!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Contests, Raiding

WoW currently free to play in China, fate still being decided by government

The trials and tribulations continue for Chinese MMO players, WoW, and its new Chinese provider NetEase. IncGamers is reporting that the beta of the game is continuing - effectively making the game free to play for those lucky enough to be taking part - while the Chinese government decides if enough changes have been made, such as the removal of corpses, gore and other unpleasant parts of the MMO experience, for the game to get a Chinese relaunch.

Since handing over the baton from from The9, things have not gone very well. After an extended hiatus which saw the game's servers offline while the data was transferred over, the game is still awaiting the final go-ahead from GAPP (the General Administration of Press and Publication). The beta was originally supposed to last around a week but because of the delay has been going on for nearly a month. However IncGamers is also reporting that according to NetEase, all the internal testing has been completed and once the GAPP are done, the game should launch pretty quickly.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

Stars snag world-first legitimate Alone in the Darkness


World-first Heroic: Alone in the Darkness? "Didn't Exodus already get that?" you may ask. Well, they did get the achievement, but they used an exploit, and were slapped on the wrist to the tune of a 72 hour suspension. Which means: the stage was open for a legitimate world-first!

In a break from the tradition of European guilds getting major world-first accomplishments, Chinese guild Stars (playing on the Taiwanese servers) has apparently completed the achievement legitimately. They got that nifty Mimiron's Head mount, too.

In case you're scratching your head wondering what this is all about, during the Yogg-Saron fight (the last boss of Ulduar), the four Keepers of Ulduar (Freya, Thorim, Hodir, and Mimiron) help you out. You can choose how many of the Keepers you want to activate for the fight, and if you use fewer than all of them, it's hard-mode. "Alone in the Darkness" is Yogg-Saron with zero keepers: as hard as it gets.

Congratulations to Stars on a truly impressive feat.

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Bosses, Achievements

With the game offline in China, others aim to step in

As you may or may not have heard, the World of Warcraft is currently offline in China, thanks to a fight between the game's former licensee, The9, and its current licensee, Netease. Yes, if you think a day or so of downtime is bad here in the US and the EU, that's nothing compared to this: the game has been down since June 7th, and neither Blizzard nor Netease have given an estimate of when the game might be back online. An analyst from China does say that they expect most players to return to the servers once they return, but in the meantime, many players have spread over into Taiwan's WoW server. We don't believe that Blizzard allowed transfers during this time, so they've likely started and leveling brand new characters over there.

And don't think that other games haven't noticed this unique window of opportunity: there are currently millions of MMO players looking for something to do in China, and there are at least three big other games looking to give them something to do. Aion, which is currently in beta here in the US but is apparently up and running in Asia already, is making as much of a play as they can, and there are two local Chinese games, Zhuxian Online and Chibi Online, both developed by a company called Perfect World, that are also aiming to steal some of China's WoW players.

Very interesting situation over there -- imagine how much the MMO world would be thrown off here if WoW just completely disappeared for multiple weeks, if not longer. Blizzard is likely scrambling to get things moving over there as fast as possible.

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

WoW China transition begins this month, will be down for weeks

JLM Pacific Epoch, the source that revealed this whole WoW China debacle to us in the first place, has continued their ongoing coverage of the World of Warcraft situation in China. As reported previously, The9 is no longer in charge of WoW China. The whole thing has been handed over to NetEase, who is already running some of Blizzard's other overseas properties. The9's operations of World of Warcraft will cease on June 7th, and NetEase will bring operations back up late that same month. Yes, that's a few weeks without WoW in China whatsoever. Luckily, it's intended that character information will carry over from one provider to the next.

No matter how much or how little you play the game, you have to admit that WoW being taken away for weeks sucks pretty hard. Of course, the fact that this might make it easier for them to get Wrath of the Lich King may ease the hurt a little. We here in North America (or even the EU or Oceania) may complain about downtime and lag and server instability, but we should consider ourselves lucky that gaming is a relatively painless experience in comparison to what our Chinese playmates need to put up with. Here's hoping that WoW in China remains strong after all of this, and not utterly barren due to people fleeing to Taiwan's realms.

[via Massively]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Chinese guild heads to Taiwan, kills Mimiron on hard mode


WoW has been in a state of flux in China lately, with the9 failing to gain approval from the government to publish Wrath of the Lich King, which in turn may or may not have lead to Blizzard licensing the operation of WoW in China to Netease instead.

In the midst of all this, it has been the players stuck in the middle, their play availability up in the air, stuck killing Kil'jaedan over and over and over as they wait for Northrend with bated breath. That said, there's still been a few players who have taken matters into their own hands.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

[UPDATED] WoW Arena Tournament down to top three teams

After three straight heartbreaking losses against American team Selective Queuers, Worldwide Invitational champions Council of Mages bowed out from the tournament today leaving only three teams to battle it out for the prestigious -- and kingly -- prize of $75,000. The Korean team of Hyoga, Snowstorm, and Student, considered by many to be the best RMP in the world, was the last Asian team in the tournament. They were also the last non-WLD (Warrior, Warlock, Druid) team to be eliminated, as the top three -- Europe's Nihilum Plasma, and the United States' Selective Queuers and Fnatic Orz all predominantly ran WLD throughout the competition.

Selective Queuers ran a soft counter comp to Council of Mages' RMP by swapping in Rogue for Warrior, but otherwise performed as expected as RMP do not handle WLDs (or RLDs in this case) very well. Although the matches that managed to get streamed were fine examples of professional Arena play, the dominance of WLD teams showed just how strong the comp is in the 3v3 format. Despite brilliant play from Council of Mages, they simply couldn't get over the hump of a well-played WLD team.

Props must be given to Glick of Fnatic Orz, back-to-back winners of the MLG series, who played a Retribution Paladin in a double melee comp during one match against Made in Taiwan... and won. Hunters will also be pleased to know that Made in Taiwan skillfully fielded a Hunter against Fnatic Orz, splitting those matches 2-2. The remaining matches of the tournament will be played tomorrow, with the winner of the upper bracket match between Fnatic Orz and Nihilum Plasma heading straight to the Grand Finals. The loser of that matchup will face Selective Queuers in the semi-finals. With any luck, the matches will be streamed without hiccups on Blizzard's BlizzCon tournament coverage and maybe we'll see if Fnatic Orz truly is the best team in the world.

[UPDATE: Nihilum Plasma beat Fnatic Orz in the upper bracket finals, sending Nihilum to await the winner of the match between Fnatic Orz and Selective Queuers in the semis. This guarantees a Finals match versus Europe and the United States. Should be exciting to watch.]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, BlizzCon, Arena

The9 and Soft-World to carry Wrath in Asia

Blizzard announced today that the forthcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion will be published by The9 in mainland China, and Soft-World in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. The9 and Soft-World have brought both the original WoW and Burning Crusade to their respective regions, so it's not surprising that they'll be handling Wrath as well. Release dates, of course, are still TBA, there as here.

However, if there's one thing I like to do, it's speculating based on insufficient data. The agreement with Soft-World to carry BC appears to have been made just a month before BC's January 2007 launch in North America and Europe. So if Wrath follows this pattern, it will be out next month. On the other hand, the agreement with The9 to carry BC in mainland China was made in February 2007, a month after BC came out here, so if this holds true for Wrath as well, we should have been hitting Northrend a month ago. Either one of these is pretty unlikely; maybe there's not much information to be gleaned from this announcement after all (aside from that WoW is still doing well in Asia).

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

World Wide WoW: East vs West, which WoW sites are better?

Westerners and Easterners, for whatever reason, often have very different sorts of websites, and the World of Warcraft websites for different regions of the world reflect this. The game itself may be the same anywhere in the world, but the people who play it are different, and it's interesting to note some of these differences to see what we can learn from them about the people.

Westerners (Americans and Europeans, to be exact) get a blog-like format, featuring columns and an expansive vertical menu going down the left side. Western WoW pages of various countries tend to be more or less the same, just in different languages.

Easterners (namely Chinese, Taiwanese and Koreans), get quite a different experience. One of the first things you notice on the front page is that lots of information on the WoW sites is presented interactively, with images taking up the main space, and words and news items being pushed into the background. Words are kept to a minimum, and are presented in square-like sections, rather than columns, with a friendly flash menu stretching across the top of the page. Their pages all seem tailor-designed for each of the three Asian regions, and no two are exactly alike.

Are westerners getting shafted with lower-quality websites for their World of Warcraft needs? Or are the Easterners' glitzy sites making up for something Westerners may take for granted? Continue reading for a closer look, with a gallery of illustrative screenshots.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Galleries, World Wide WoW

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