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Posts with tag vaneras

Free EU character transfer destinations revealed

Toward the end of August, European CM Vaneras had announced the closure of a few English-speaking EU servers due to the great success of their Russian localization, with a note that destination realms for free character transfers would be announced later on. Later on is, apparently, last night. Thundgot has posted the destination realms, and each set includes one that is part of the same battlegroup as the realm of origin.
  • From Molten Core you can transfer to Burning Steppes*, Deathwing, Dentarg
  • From Shadowmoon you can transfer to Boulderfist, Spinebreaker*, Xavius
  • From Stonemaul you can transfer to Ahn'Qiraj, Burning Blade, Jaedenar*
  • From Warsong you can transfer to Auchindoun, Bladefist*, Haomarush
If you call one of the four closing realms home, I strongly recommend you go research your options and choose your destination while you still can. If you haven't moved yourself somewhere by the time their nebulous deadline (post-patch 3.0.2) hits, you'll have your destination chosen for you when the realms are ultimately brought down. Make sure you end up somewhere you'll like.

Filed under: Realm News, Blizzard, Forums

Vaneras announces closure of four European servers

European CM Vaneras made an interesting announcement just the other day: Four EU realms will be closing entirely with Patch 3.0. The EU realms Molten Core, Shadowmoon, Stonemaul, and Warsong will be closing up shop, and free character transfers will be offered to other, currently unannounced EU realms. The destination options will be announced within the next week.

Don't worry, though. These realm closures have nothing to do with any dips in WoW's popularity. It's actually due to the launch of WoW's Russian localization. A vast majority of the players on those particular realms were Russian players, and they migrated to the new Russian servers when they opened up, leaving most everyone else high and dry. The equipment these four servers run off of will likely just be used elsewhere, since Vaneras stated they'll be prepped for Wrath of the Lich King's launch after being taken down. Most likely they'll need to launch a few more realms when Wrath rolls around, but it was just far easier to fold these four into larger communities at this point.

[ Thanks, Swarfy! ]

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Players respond to the cinematic

Welp, the cinematic is out now for your viewing pleasure, and the response is... mixed. While pretty much everyone praises the technical quality (Blizzard's got that cinematic magic, which makes it all the more surprising that they went with live action for the movie), there is some back and forth on whether this cinematic stands up to the other two. While fans of Arthas definitely got their fill (and it was interesting to hear Terenas' voice echoing from the past, which hearkens back to perhaps the best cutscene Blizzard's ever done), other players were disappointed to see that this cinematic doesn't follow the standard "various classes and races battle it out" formula. And that only shows that this expansion will be very much more about the guy in the Lich King suit than anything else.

We'd point out, too, that this trailer didn't really have a "You are Not Prepared"-style catchphrase (though the word "King" definitely echoes with significance right at the end there). Clearly, Blizzard chose to go a different direction this time around, and whether it worked or not, of course, is up to you.

Unfortunately, Gnomes didn't get their day... or did they? When players cry foul on the forums, Vaneras (in official blue text) answered with the picture above. Can you see the Death Knight Gnome hidden in among the Undead army? I like Schwick's answer even better, though -- there's probably a Gnome Rogue stealthed right behind Arthas. Those little buggers are everywhere.

Update: A few people are suggesting that there is more to the trailer that we haven't seen, but Nethaera has confirmed that that's everything. She commented on the forums that the trailer only showed half the battle, but later confirmed that she meant the story was incomplete (and that we needed to complete it by going to Northrend), and not that there was more of the trailer to show.

Filed under: Gnomes, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Bosses, NPCs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzard showcases in Leipzig Games Convention

The European-gaming savvy among our readers will already be familiar with the Leipzig-held Games Convention. "If a seismograph were installed in Leipzig," says the GC website, "it would probably swing to its limits for four days non-stop in August."

Vaneras announced today that Blizzard's going to be once again showcasing at the Games Convention. Not only will attendees be able to try out StarCraft 2 demos, they'll get a chance to play around with Wrath of the Lich King. And, as seems to be standard operating procedure, Blizzard will be providing a "Live Raid" during the show. They've not announced who the Live Raid is going to be, but I think safe money's on Nihilum.

The other thing at Leipzig which is pretty cool is that Blizzard's going to have representatives at the booth ... recruiting. They recommend bringing your resume along when you visit the Blizzard booth, and asking questions about what it's like to work for the Big Blue.

The Leipzig Games Convention had a few interesting things coming out of it last year, so we might get a chance to hear even more without having to wait for BlizzCon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items

Anetheron's Infernals hotfixed

Quite a few raiders, including some of our own here at WoW Insider, noticed one more big change to a raid boss that that came in with patch 2.4.3: Anetheron, the second boss of Mount Hyjal, was not dropping Towering Infernals on random players as usual. This made the battle pretty trivial for most raids by making it more or less a run of the mill tank and spank.

Unfortunately -- or fortunately, depending on how challenging you like your raids -- this was not an actual intended change. Vaneras and Bornakk are both reporting that Anetheron has been hotfixed and should start dropping infernals again. Sorry guys, no more free loot. Well, no more freer loot, at least.

Filed under: Bugs, News items, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

New Illidan wallpaper from Blizzard

Vaneras is apparently clearing house on cool Burning Crusade artwork before we get to the next expansion -- he's posted a new wallpaper up on the Blizzard site, and it pretty much rocks. Our good friend Illy D is still hanging out with that dusty old skull, literally dripping with demonic power, while a bunch of slimy Naga stand threateningly behind him. Very nice.

The second poster in the thread wishes Illidan actually looked like this in game, and to a certain extent, he's right -- Blizzard has always made games as easy on the CPU as possible, so ingame models, while usually textured very well, aren't quite as detailed as their concept art. But the concept art (and the cinematics) is what, I think, allows these characters to have so much of a life outside of the game. Most of us have never been told that we weren't prepared by Illidan ingame, but we surely remember him telling us the same thing before the last expansion.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, NPCs, Fan art, Hardware

Arena Junkies suffers virus attack

Arena Junkies suffers virus attackArena Junkies is one of the most reputable online sources for. . .arena junkies. Its posters are numbered predominately among the 2000+ Arena Rated teams, and thus the site serves as a key resource for arena veterans and up-and-comers alike. Arena Junkies hosts dozens of forums, macros, strategies, and example Arena-centric Talent builds. Arena Junkies is also an official part of the Blizzard Fan Site Program. Oh, and they've got their own T-Shirts.

Which is why it can be so troubling to see they've been attacked by one of Vaneras's malicious "eVillains." The eVillain posted a "malicious applet" in their Interface forums, planting a virus which apparently spread to the hosting server itself. Naxos warns forum-goers that if any Junkie clicked on the link responsible for the attack, he or she should be careful that their system isn't under any danger. With the rising number of keyloggers and account theft, that kind of precaution is starting to get common for even the most casual WoW player.

Naxos definitely seems to have a handle on the problem, though. Arena Junkies reverted to its last-saved backup, from very early that morning, and now Arena Junkies is back to running smoothly. According to Naxos, the virus itself was a variation of the i-worm/stration virus. Links to the virus have, understandably, been removed.

It's unclear whether this attack was an attack of opportunity, or if someone has it out for the Arena Junkies. As Bio puts it: "He prob sucks at the arena."

Filed under: News items, Account Security

Roleplay tidbits to be revealed in the next Blizzcast

Here's yet another reason for me and all my roleplaying kin to tune in to the next Blizzcast: They will be discussing roleplaying in WoW, says Vaneras. It won't be a major topic, but there is some discussion about plans to continue development of "things that are for roleplaying."

So, I am certainly excited. I can't help but speculate where this could go. What could they have planned, development-wise? Will we see more reporting tools for RP server violations? Or will we simply see more character customization options to allow us to submerge ourselves more fully into the Worlds of Azeroth and Outland? I think my big problem is going to be holding back my expectations. They're running so wild, that I can't help but that think I'll be disappointed in what's actually said.

That said, Between this information and whatever we learn about the Ashbringer, this Blizzcast should be a great listen for all RP and lore buffs. There doesn't seem to be any word yet about when it will be released, but Vaneras' post makes me think it must be close. Stay tuned here and to the official Blizzcast page.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore, RP

Naxx will be entry level raid dungeon in WotLK

Bornakk, who apparently looks like Abe Lincoln, has revealed that Naxx will be an "entry level raid dungeon" in Wrath of the Lich King, and EU CM Vaneras adds that unlike Kael'thas (who exists in two places at once ingame), it will be moving whole hog up to Northrend -- the 40 man dungeon that we have now will no longer exist.

Very interesting. Unfortunately, we're not quite clear on what "entry level" means -- it seems unlikely that Naxx would be a level 71 dungeon (or that there will be any "raid dungeons" before level 80 at all). And the fact that he uses the word "raid" definitely means it's either 10 or 25man, then, though whether it will be the new Karazhan or Gruul remains to be seen. Bornakk also says that attunement isn't solidified yet -- a lot of players are hoping that all that Argent Dawn rep doesn't go to waste, but he says it's a matter of balancing "special quest lines" with opening up content to many players.

Finally, the Ashbringer gets a mention -- apparently it will be discussed in the next Blizzcast. It's great to finally be hearing some official information about Wrath of the Lich King, vague as it may be. Hopefully there's lots more to come, sooner rather than later.
Check out more information on WoW's upcoming expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, including Blizzard's recent interview about Northrend and the new creatures that infest of Northrend.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

An "insightful and thoughtful" look at Hunter DPS from the forums

Despite the fact that my level 70 Hunter isn't technically my main, she's probably my favorite character. A lot of people will tell you that a Hunter is an overly easy class: sic your pet, turn on Auto Shot, and you're done. While having a built-in tank that you can even heal a bit gives you a pretty strong advantage when going it alone, I'd have to say they oversimplify things a bit.

The largest area where the complexity of the Hunter class shows is in end-game DPS. If you want to be the most effective DPSer possible, it takes quite a bit of work. The way that you must weave shots in between your auto shots is a complicated dance that requires split second timing that can mean vast differences in DPS totals between Hunters. Cheeky of the Khadgar-US server (author of the famous Cheeky's Spreadsheet) posted a very concise and well-stated summary of some of the problems with Hunter DPS on the official US forums here a few months back. The post was originally written by Lactose of the Talnivarr-EU Server, who posted it on the EU forms here, where it got some blue love today a while back.

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding, Talents, Forums

Europe joins in the free move fun

To go along with the set of free North American character transfers that started yesterday, Blizzard Europe has seen fit to open the following free character transfers:
  • From: Al'Akir, Crushridge, Grim Batol, Outland, Stormscale
  • To: Burning Blade, Laughing Skull
The transfers are scheduled to be active from today until next Tuesday, March 4, although the standard disclaimer applies that the transfers may be shut down early if the desired population levels are reached.

Since Blizz bases their transfer decision off of their stats for what realms need it most, this should be the appropriate set of servers, but I'll ask you anyway: if you're on one of the "from" servers, are you overcrowded now? If you're on one of the "to" servers, are you glad to have some new company coming? And if you're on another server altogether, do you need some transfer loving? Sound off in the comments.

Filed under: Realm News, News items

Change your gender? Blizz says no

Character customization is on its way into Azeroth-- when Wrath of the Lich King comes around (whenever that is), we'll be able to change the way our characters look more than ever. But Blizzard still isn't interested in letting us change the most major functions of our characters-- Vaneras over on the EU forums makes it pretty clear that gender changes are never going to happen.

Gender changes are still a subject that inspires a little taboo in real-life, but actually, in World of Warcraft, it's something that a lot of players might want. Plus, while it's obvious that Blizzard wouldn't want people changing race or class (since there are actual abilities that go with both of those choices), there is no difference in the game between male and female, save for the cosmetic look. Sure, the story behind it would be a hard workaround (I'll let you imagine how that might play out, or, more likely, not), but allowing gender changes wouldn't upset the game, and would let those who feel they've made the wrong choice, err, "fix" things.

The fact is, however, that just like race and class, the gender you chose when you rolled a character have probably determined that character's existence. While changing the character's gender is just a cosmetic thing in terms of code, it's not in terms of identity, and that's what Blizzard has a problem with. The idea of a role playing game like WoW is that you choose a role to play. And if you have the option to change that role at a moment's notice, what's the point of asking you to choose in the first place?

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

Feral druid range bug and graphical issues

For a very long time now, druids have been bemoaning the "feral range bug," which makes it so that feral special attacks sometimes don't work, even though the regular auto attacks are fine. I've always thought this bug caused special attacks to have a shorter range than auto attacks (and I wasn't alone), but some videos demonstrate that the bug (as shown above, and also here) has to do more with positioning than the actual range between the druid and the target.

I play a feral druid, and I can't say that I've noticed this bug very much, but I tend to shy away from PvP situations where it would be likely to show up most -- mainly because I find feral druid PvP to be very difficult (though I keep trying now and then). Perhaps this bug is one of the reasons for that, but everything is just too fast-paced for me to see?

In any case, Vaneras on the European WoW forums responded to a poster in order to let us know that the developers are indeed aware of this "concern," and they ... well... that's it. They're just aware. Nobody knows if they'll actually fix it or not, though I would assume they will at some point.

In addition, Vaneras says the developers are aware of the some graphical imperfections in some druid feral forms, and they also "like the idea of new graphics and models for the Druid forms, however there are no plans for such in the immediate future." The key word here is "immediate," which implies that the not-so-distant future might be quite different! Is there hope for feral druid graphical updates in Wrath of the Lich King, perhaps?

[Update] I just got back from testing this in PvP, and sure enough I found my special abilities weren't landing, even though I was on top of my enemy. Click on the link below to see a video of this bug in a PvP situation.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Bugs

You don't have to tolerate racism in WoW

As with any grouping of people online, some WoW players can perfectly sociable and respectful of others, and some can be nasty, offensive and even bigoted. As the player Adaan wrote on the European WoW forums, he had the displeasure of encountering some players who use a certain racially offensive word, and it made him feel very angry.

It turns out that if you encounter such language in WoW, you can report other players for racism. Vaneras stepped in to confirm that Blizzard does not tolerate racist language, and such comments will get those players banned. Although I have not encountered racist language in WoW myself, I heartily encourage anyone who does to report that player. Dealing with racism in real life can often lead to awkward confrontations with people who refuse to admit what they were saying was wrong in any way, but in WoW, Blizzard is all set to do that for you, while at the same time helping to make sure there are negative consequences on racist behavior.

Although Vaneras doesn't mention it in his post, it is my understanding that the same also follows for other forms of discriminatory language, such as sexism. While of course there can be a lot of annoying grey area in such issues, another reason to such offenses in WoW is that Blizzard may actually have proof of what the other person said stored in their systems, and a genuine problem is more likely to receive a real consequence than might otherwise be the case.

Filed under: Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Forums

Blizzard "stealing" XP with leveling changes

Warcry has a super interesting reading of the XP leveling changes that Blizzard is making in 2.3. Their style is a little more, err, informal than ours, but they're right-- Blizzard is basically stealing XP from you in the next patch. Vaneras confirmed the other day that players who have a certain percentage of XP before the patch will keep that same percentage of XP, but not the same amount of XP. So, if, for example, you're halfway through level 59 when the patch hits, you'll lose about 600,000 XP that you've already earned.

But before you get all angry about Blizzard wasting all that time you spent leveling, realize that things will likely even out in the end. Even though you'll lose 600,000 XP from the amount you have, you'll still be halfway through level 59, and you won't need as much XP as you did before to level to 60. So you haven't really "lost" anything, because even though Blizzard has "taken away" some XP, you didn't need what they took anyway.

As we've said before, these leveling improvements are going to be great news, not only for altaholics who are leveling up their third or fourth character by now, but also for guilds eager to see some new 70s to bring into the raiding mix. Folks who are leveling both before and after patch 2.3 are going to experience some strange math, but that happens all the time anyway (did you know that all the stuff you're killing at level 70 now doesn't count towards the experience you'll need to earn in the next expansion?). Blizzard is tweaking the numbers, but the experience will still be faster.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Leveling

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