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Posts with tag tseric

WoW Archivist: How forum trolls broke a CM

A Tseric post from 2006
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Last week, I included some passionate but mostly reasonable discussion of debuffs on the official forums from the earliest days of WoW and beyond. The official forums have always been a rough and tumble part of the game -- an area that Blizzard has always wanted to improve.

Trolls invade

One can speculate about a dozen different reasons for why WoW's official forums have been so full of jerks. Is it because there are just so many players and thus so many people with forum access, raising the statistical jerk demographic? Does the game's immense popularity encourage people to demand more of the company that makes it than any other in gaming? Does the ongoing passion for WoW simply make the forums the best place to troll on the Internet?

The forums have become gradually better over time, but the vanilla and Burning Crusade eras were completely out of control. Caught off-guard by the game's explosive early popularity, Blizzard's first team of community managers found themselves overwhelmingly outnumbered in their own forums. They couldn't possibly hope to keep up with the sheer volume of threads being generated. The CMs did what they could, but it was a losing battle from the start. The trolls took the forums by storm, and Blizzard never fully ousted them.

Then, in May 2007, one community manager simply couldn't take it any more.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

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

Reflections on Tseric

Tseric has left Blizzard. While we don't know officially why he is gone, we can make a pretty strong guess. We do know that he was under a huge amount of stress, and even at one point argued with a forum poster with what I consider to be completely eloquent language. The last time we see him on the forums was that very same day. In the last post he left on the forums, posters were mercilessly taunting him. His reply that Sunday morning was simple, short, and more than slightly bitter:

I'm sure you all think you're hilarious in your own space/mind.

Get off my internet.


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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Tseric has now left the building...

[This is the face of shock, I'm telling you.]"Treacherous" on the official forums pointed out a new CM opening on the Blizzard site, then asked if Tseric's recent absence was somehow related. The very next response was Eyonix with the following statement:

Tseric is now pursuing other opportunities and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.

While I know Tseric's opinion wasn't always popular, I did think that he was an excellent CM for a very long time. He brought some of the better zings to the forums, and until the last bit, was generally a pretty nice guy from what I saw of him. Many people are still hotly divided on whether or not it was his right to reply like he did to that one post... Was he right or wrong to reply in that gruff of a manner? And just how far is too far when you're dealing with customers?

Obviously we don't know if he walked out on the job after dealing with the forums for 2+ years, or if he was let go due to that bit of forum head-explody that happened. (And Blizzard wouldn't dare tell anyone because that's a lawsuit in the making.) But in either case, I personally would like to wish Tseric the very best for his future, and I hope we'll hear from him somewhere down the road.

/salute Tseric

Filed under: News items

Are the official forums a good or bad thing?

Late Saturday night, Tseric, a community manager on the official WoW forums, got into an argument with a (literal) troll about freedom of speech on the WoW forums. Tseric then posted a pretty stunning denunciation of the whole forum concept:

"When you can understand how a group of beligerent and angry posters can drive away people from this game with an uncrafted and improvisational campaign of misery and spin-doctoring, then perhaps, you can understand the decisions I make. Until you face mobs of psychology, you will not see my side.

Until you see some bright-eyed player coming onto the forums wanting to know what they should spec as this class, and see them shat on and driven away by petty and selfish people who are simply leveraging for game buffs, you will not understand.

You will not understand until you have to see it daily, for years..."

Pretty tough words from someone who gets paid to manage the forums, but I have to admit that I kind of agree with them. The WoW forums can be a great resource -- specifically the UI, Customer Service, Guild Relations and Professions forums -- but most of the class forums, the raids and dungeons forum, and the general forum can quickly become a cesspool of complaining. Instead of helping people in the game and offering constructive criticism, the forums can serve to drive away new players, and make them see problems when there may not be any. For example, while I'm writing this post and skimming the forums, I've "discovered":

  • All the battlegrounds suck.
  • Diplomacy is one of the worst racials in-game.
  • Everyone is quitting WoW.
  • It is a slap in the face that people who are hated with the Steamwheedle Cartel cannot get epic blacksmithing weapons. What do you mean, buy some cloth and get my rep back up? I like being a pirate!
  • Blizzard hates casuals.
  • Everyone hates hunters.
  • The American health care system sucks (originally titled Are Nihilum Human, thus demonstrating some pretty admirable topic derailing.)

Man, and ten minutes ago I was happily grinding on dinosaurs in Un'Goro until I got killed and camped by a rogue. (Just checked -- yep, he's still there.) Who knew I had so many things to be angry about?

Do you read the WoW forums? What do you think could be done to improve them? Overall, do you think they're good or bad for the game?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Continuing quest chains (and a new [fake] Quel'serrar!)

A few weeks ago on Phat Loot Phriday, I wrote about the Essence of Eranikus, a cool little trinket from the dragon in Sunken Temple. It's actually part of an unfinished questline-- a few steps after you get the gem from Eranikus, the questline ends in Winterspring with no explanation as to what happened with the rest of the story. Like many players (including myself), Falandan wants to know if Blizzard has any plans to finish up this series of quests.

Tseric answers on the forums, and says that while Blizz is leaving their option open, the main problem with returning to unfinished quests (The Missing Diplomat/King of Stormwind is another) is that they'd have players of a high level doing low level quests. Either that, or they'd have to interrupt the normal leveling game, and you'd be doing quests in the same line with ten (or more) levels between them.

But while that's an obstacle Blizzard is considering, apparently it's not going to stop them from revisiting some old questlines: reader anobolic (thanks!) sends a link to this flickr account, with what looks like an extension of the Quel'serrar questline!

If you've got Quel'serrar now (not sure yet if Blizzard will give it back to you if you've sold or destroyed it for some reason), you'll be able to do another set of quests (rumored to involve another dragon, and maybe even an Undead Onyxia-- she's back?!?) that will either get you the Daughter of Quel'serrar (more purple for paladins), the Son of Quel'serrar (for warriors), or, if you're the first person on the server to complete the quest, Quel'serrar Reborn (and apparently you get a "dragonslayer" title with that as well). Oh, and there's also a rumor of a Quel'serrar shield to come. Very cool! Of course, all this is rumor so far-- it's not even certain that this is coming in patch 2.1 is real at all (see Update) -- but if Blizzard is rewarding those who worked for the High Blade with another questline to work through, it's a good sign that we might see updates to the old unfinished ones as well.

Update: Commenters are casting doubt on the authenticity of the pictures. Stuff like this could be easily photoshopped, and we have no other source for it, so take the info about Quel'serrar with a grain of salt.

Update2: Commenter Leggend (thanks!) says this is proof the images were just adjusted in Photoshop. Oh well. Maybe someday Blizzard will actually finish off some of these old questlines.

Filed under: Patches, Items, Blizzard, Quests, Lore

CM chaos on the PTR

The community managers showed up on the PTR on Friday, and as you might imagine, chaos ensued. Eyonix appeared as a level one gnome, and he and Tseric both got invited to a player guild, where they chatted with players for a couple of hours. I don't know if any actually battleground matching systems got tested (that was originally their reason for showing up), but apparently lots and lots of people got killed by Gruul, Baron Rivendare, and even Nefarian appearing in Lower City Shattrath.

Hopefully a CM event like this (as has happened before, when the expansion beta ended) signals that the end of the PTR (and the patch going live) is right around the corner.

Gallery: CMs ingame

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, Blizzard, NPCs

Alchemy hotfix: No more discoveries for now

Last night, Alchemists everywhere lost a wonderful ability. One which many (including my Druid) have not been able to savor the sweet success of. According to Tseric, there was a bug causing an exploitable situation in regard to potion/transmute discoveries. So, as was done with rogue poisons staying on when entering an instance, Blizzard has opted to temporarily remove the ability altogether for all alchemists to learn new potions, flasks and transmutes through discovery.

Per Tseric on the Profession forums:

We have been working on the resolution of a serious exploit in game which has led to certain consequences that we wanted everyone to be aware of. A hot fix has been recently applied to the alchemy profession, with regards to discoveries. For the time being, we have disabled all chance of a discovery, until we can implement the proper fix through a patch , as we can not resolve this matter solely with hot fixes. We apologize for the necessary but temporary removal of discoveries, and are working to have them re-implemented with an upcoming content patch.

While disheartening for the moment, at least it is only a temporary removal and not a permanent one. I'm sad to hear that my Druid will have to wait for some discoveries (she was so close, too!) but I'm certain Blizzard will get this remedied. It's just a question of if we'll see the alchemy discovery fix patch prior to, with, or after the 2.1 patch. That is, considering the focus on everything going on in the PTRs at the moment...

[image via Mario Caruso]

Filed under: Alchemy, Patches, Bugs, News items

Lots of hotfixes kills bugs dead

Looks like the Entangling Roots hotfix, while one of the most anticipated, wasn't the only hotfix that dropped at the end of last week. Tseric has updated the forums with a bit more than a few hotfixes to hit the servers recently.

Among them, the Roots problem is now fixed, as well as that problem with the Draenei getting the "Crumpled Up Note" for the quest in BRD. There are also changes with the Maiden of Virtue, the chess pieces in Karazhan, and the Mechanar elevator door that lots of players were having trouble with.

All the fixes are reprinted after the jump. Keep that bug squashing coming, Blizz!

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Filed under: Patches, Bugs, Blizzard

Spell haste rating revealed

This came up when we reported on the new "rating" system a long time ago (implemented so that Blizzard could better scale gear on the way up), but like Cyberdemon of Frostwolf-A, I missed it. Alongside the self-explanatory stuff like critical strike rating, and the new resilience rating, there's a new rating called "Spell Haste." Cyberdemon wondered what it was, and Tseric confirms that a higher spell haste rating speeds up the cast times of all your spells. Pretty cool.

The reason we likely haven't seen it much yet is because so far, spell haste stuff only drops at the highest levels, and, from what I can see, in the form of temporary buffs that allow you to get a few casts off quickly. An equipped high spell haste rating would fundamentally change the way the game was played in many situations-- if mages could kick out a quicker pyroblast whenever they wanted, that would have a big effect in a lot of PvP situations.

Tseric also clarifies that this only affects cast time, not DoT tick time, or duration of spells. And while the two trinkets linked above are the only places I could find it in the game so far, I wouldn't be surprised if this rating found its way into certain instance specific buffs, either for us (players could get a DoT put on them that would kill them in 30 seconds, but let them cast all their spells almost instantly within that time) or against us (mind-controlled players get their spells hasted for a short period against the raid). Either way, as more and more players move into the endgame, spell haste will be something to look out for.

Update: Commenters have found a few other spell haste items, including this 60 trinket, and an awesome BoE caster sword.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding

Khorium is back, if really, really rare

There's rare as in "hard to find," and then there's rare as in "nonexistent." Some players were wondering which one Khorium, a new mineable metal in the expansion, and the rarest metal in the game, was, after a few of them leveled all the way to 375 mining without seeing one node of it pop up.
Neth first said it was spawning as normal (very, very rarely). Apparently it's a rare spawn from Fel Iron or Adamantite nodes, but players just weren't seeing it come up at all, or seeing it come up very, very rarely-- as in one node every few hours. Finally, earlier yesterday, Tseric acknowledged that the rate was spawning lower than intended, and a hotfix was planned and pushed. When players still complained that they weren't finding it, Tseric said one more fix was on the way, and so Khorium should now be back in the game and spawning as normal.

Now, fixed in three days isn't bad for a bug, and now that it's back in the game, there's really no problem. But didn't anyone in beta hit 375 mining? How did they not catch this one?

Filed under: Mining, Items, Bugs, Economy

Forum Post of the Day: Single player instances?

If you've been playing (and trolling the forums) for any amount of time, you'll know that the argument made here -- for challenging, instanced, single-player content -- is not a new one. This thread has all the usual responses, ranging from definitions of "massively multiplayer" to suggestions that solo instances would be impossible to create to suggestions that class-specific solo instances would be perfect. However, there's a lot of good discussion in the thread -- highlighted by a post by Tseric attempting to explain why this type of content is not feasible.

If it requires too much healing to complete, pure melee or casters are impeded.

If it requires significant amounts of dps, you either have to spec and gear properly for one, single dungeon or pure dps classes simply have a leg up.

If you can't tank or mitigate damage effectively...well, you're dead at the first pull.

Therefore, if you reduce group size and composition to a single participant, the more generic and easy you have to make the dungeon.

And of balancing nine class specific dungeons? Tseric quips, "Do you realize how much time that would take?" And you have to admit -- he's got a point. Would you rather see Blizzard spending their development time working on nine different variations of the same dungeon, or working on nine new dungeons everyone can see?

Of course, as painful as my last PuG was, I might prefer the solo content anyway.

Filed under: Instances

New LFG system coming in the expansion

This is probably old news if you've been paying extremely close attention to Burning Crusade news (closer attention than me-- which is really, really close): there's going to be an all new LFG system in place when the expansion hits. Now, this is the first I've heard of it, but Tseric has confirmed it (with exactly zero information at all) on the forums.

Which is music to my ears because the current system, err, how shall I put this? It sucks kodo balls. There's so much spam in the LFG channel, you'd think it's the canned meats aisle at the supermarket, and all that garbage is doubled with a second group of people shouting for the first group to "stop spamming LFG." It's impossible to find a group, because if you accept anyone who will join any group, you get a bunch of classes that won't play well together. And as far as I know, priests at 60 don't even watch the LFG channel-- either you have to know someone or have a guildie heal for you (don't worry, I'm working my priest up there as we speak).

So a new LFG system would be, at the very least, extremely welcome. Tseric will only say that it is "robust" and that it is "not just a revamped chat channel." Apparently Blizzard will go through it in-depth at a later date. At the very least, I'm expecting it to be somewhat like Dark Age's system, where you can flag yourself as LFG and browse others with the same interests (Experience, Questing, Dungeons). At best, it might be some kind of smart meeting stone system, that pairs players of like levels, preferences, gear, and even guilds as quickly as possible. Like almost everything else with the expansion, it seems we'll just have to wait and see.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Quests, Expansions

Tactical Mastery Isn't Going Anywhere

Tactical Mastery: every Warrior both loves and hates it. Loves it, because it makes stance dancing much easier (the talent lets you keep rage around while you switch between stances to use different abilities). Hates it, because most warriors consider it so necessary that even if they don't spec Arms, they have to use at least 10 points to level it all the way up. Recently, this little love/hate relationship has gained fire, because in the new Burning Crusade talents, Blizzard has moved Tactical Mastery over to the first tier of the protection tree. Warriors, as they are wont to do, smell blood in the water, and lots of them are fighting with Tseric to try and get Blizz to make it trainable instead, and remove it from the tree completely.

Now if my Shaman prediction hasn't convinced you of my greatness, it might interest you to know that I've leveled up not one but two warriors (and am working on a third). So I know what I'm talking about when I say: Blizzard will never take Tactical Mastery out of the talent tree. As Tseric says, learning how to stance dance and choose abilities by stance is one of the elemental parts of the class. Besides, Tactical Mastery isn't even completely necessary anyway-- one warrior in my guild never bothered to learn it, and instead counts on timed Bloodrages and DPS to make up the lost rage. So if you're waiting to TM to disappear from the tree, don't hold your breath.

Tseric has also posted an interesting "Design Philosophy for Warriors." Warriors, it seems, are like the workhorses of Azeroth-- every race can be one, and there are plenty to go around, so the class has to be as customizable and yet as viable as possible. The devs working on the Warrior class, Tseric says, aren't interested in removing tough choices-- they're interested in getting players to make them. Removing TM would do exactly the opposite. But at the same time, making those choices pays off-- as I learned yet again last night: dual wielding and duoing with a priest, my little gnome warrior was unstoppable.

Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions

Age old debate?


Casual vs. Hardcore, Raider vs. Solo, etc etc. If you have been combing through the forums daily with me, I am sure you see the same threads about how blizzard is ignoring the soloing population of Warcraft. Well, Blizzard is silent no longer; they have released a small statement in the forums to address everyone making the comments. To summarize for you, they are working on it! Development and testing takes time, based on the number of developers they have.

Blizzard is also still experimenting with ways to fix problems such as rewarding questing at level 60 or stat progression for non-raiders. I am sure we each have in-depth opinions on how they can fix it, so feel free to drop them here once the comment system is back up. You can also post your comments to blizzard in this new thread.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

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