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Posts with tag vanilla

Patch 1.10 changes revealed

In an unprecedented move, Blizzard has released notes for patch 1.10, as found in Community Manager Bashiok's personal notebook. Some of the changes will include:
  • Quests completed at the level cap that no longer increase experience will now reward gold.
  • Many items in Blackrock Depths will become blue quality items, better representing the dungeon's difficulty.
  • Many bracers, belts and gloves will become bind on equip, making gearing up for harder dungeons like BRD and UBRS easier and more accessible.
Here's the full annoucement:

New changes
I found an old notebook in a box and so I wanted to share some changes we're expecting to come through.

In patch 1.10 we're going to make it so that when you're at level cap completing quests will turn XP into gold. So that should be a good change, there will still be a reason to complete quests at max level. We're also going to update some items. In BRD almost all items are going to become blue quality, so that should be a nice upgrade for people. Also all bracers, belts, and gloves will be BoE. Which should help get more people geared up through the AH to tackle this difficult dungeon.

We'll keep you updated should we find any other old notes that are no longer new or exciting.


We live in exciting times.
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: Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: I can do what now?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

I've been watching the clips of people flying about Eastern Kingdoms. I can hardly wait! It got me to thinking about all the mount changes I've witnessed in the course of my gaming time.

I started towards the end of vanilla. The Burning Crusade had been announced. My daughter was in the beta, actually, and telling me that I needed to get into this game before it "expanded," whatever that meant. So I made my character and started to run everywhere. Dun Morogh, Loch Modan, Elwynn Forest, Redridge, Westfall, Wetlands, Arathi Highlands, Hinterlands, Ashenvale, Desolace, Feralas, Felwood were all done on foot. I knew the route from Nijel's Point to Maraudon to the point that I could hit auto run and be pretty certain I'd make it there without too much trouble, just a few swoops and centaur along the way.

I didn't get my first ram until level 45, as I couldn't afford it. I didn't get my epic ram until level 65 because I couldn't afford it. I was four months into level 70 before getting flying because, yup, couldn't afford it. The joke "When I was your level, I ran everywhere, uphill, both ways, in snow, barefoot ..." is semi-serious.

This isn't about Blizzard's changing the levels for mounts. I have low-level alts, and I absolutely love their having mounts to get to the places my main once ran. This is a post about those things you do even when you don't have to anymore.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

15 Minutes of Fame: Classic raiders keep a different pace

15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft personalities of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, from the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

The old days are long gone, Gramps; take off the rose-colored glasses and play Wrath, where raiding is better than ever.

So goes conventional wisdom in the comments whenever anyone espouses a little nostalgia for the old days of vanilla WoW. Raiding was a far different animal back then. Players who raided were still considered hardcore -- "casual raiding" wasn't on the radar yet -- and devoted week after week of angling for a 40-man raid slot in hopes of earning the chance at a purple drop. Even though strategy sites for WoW raids blossomed sooner rather than later, videos and the trustworthy guides remained relatively sparse, and many early guilds developed their own tactics and jealously guarded alternative strategies. Standing at the mailbox in Ironforge with a massive, raid-sized weapon on your back meant wielding a badge of achievement that attracted a small crowd; bearers would be flooded with awed whispers asking where it was from.

A thoughtful look back at WoW's 40-man past yields both positives and negatives. It wasn't simply the size of the raids that made them feel so different than today's raids ; it was the interplay of raid size, the inexperience of the raiding player base, the scarcity and difficulty of rewards, the lack of universally accepted tactics and strategies ... A whole host of influences that simply can't be replicated today.

But while the era may long cold and dead, the content is still very much alive. Beyond the bored, pre-expansion players who are fending off burnout by sightseeing in vanilla WoW and The Burning Crusade instances lies another layer of players who are attacking old content with level-appropriate characters. These classic raiders aren't fruitlessly attempting to recreate the past; rather, they're enjoying an entirely different pacing for the game.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

The loose ends of Arko'narin

As the years have passed in the World of Warcraft, I find myself meeting more and more players who have no idea what I'm talking about when I mention some memorable quest or tiny hideaway in a level 50 zone. This is by no means unexpected in a game as old as WoW, but I find it quite tragic that those near and dear to me are missing out on things that once captivated me. So what do I do? Well, I grab my semi-interested guildmate and whisk him away on a field trip; I take on the role of an Azerothian tour guide. Sometimes I even wear a funny hat.

I really enjoy the concept behind achievements like The Loremaster and World Explorer. It has a very "go see and experience the world for yourself" feel to it that I can agree with. The problem is I think those achievements are a bit overwhelming for the average person, myself included. I really can't imagine actively going out and doing the hundreds of "gather 10 berries/feathers/saliva samples" quests for fun. What I'd really like to see is an achievement system that focuses more on quality than quantity: Loremaster Lite, for example, or World Explorer's Top 20 spots. Kind of like Blizzard's way of saying, "Hey, here is the stuff we are most proud of. Go see it."

Blizzard is busy, though. But hey! I'm here, and I even have a funny hat to wear in real life! It's not an explorer hat; it's a squid hat. (It looks like a squid is eating my head when I wear it.) As I sit here, allowing my brains to be munched on by this crocheted Cthulhu, I have to wonder: are all those things I love about the old world going to exist once Cataclysm comes out?

Suddenly I'm stricken with worry. What if I never get to see those things again? Worse, what if some people never see them at all?! So today I'm going to remedy this anxiety with one tiny step in the direction of furthering Azerothian awareness, and I'm going to start with the beautiful night elf warrior, Arko'narin.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Spiritual Guidance: A new look

Every Sunday, Spiritual Guidance reverts to "lovey-dovey" heal mode by the hands of priestess Dawn Moore. This week she has set aside her differences with Fox Van Allen, her dark counterpart, so that she can peacefully enjoy dumplings and fair weather. She hopes that he enjoys the fruit basket she sent him. The cyanide in the apples shouldn't be a problem for a master of darkness such as himself to digest. Right?

As I alluded to in my analysis of the Cataclysm priest preview last week, I will be taking a departure from my typical column this week on Spiritual Guidance. Instead of a guide or current event, I'd like to take some time to examine the priest class with a wider perspective. My analysis from Thursday was a response to the pinpoints of Blizzard's preview; this article, on the other hand, will examine the class from a broad design perspective. My hope in doing this is to get readers thinking about our class and the game differently and, in turn, start an ongoing discussion of where it could go.

Why do this? Because Cataclysm is approaching, and now is the time, if there ever was one, to suggest things we would like to see change. Blizzard is most likely to listen to strong and constructive ideas we put forth now, and I think it's valuable to get you guys in on the discussion. Now is the time to speak up!

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Tom Chilton explains early WoW class balance (or lack thereof)

We see a fair amount of pining for "the way things used to be" in this community -- rose-colored hindsight that is, by all accounts, horribly wrong. Maybe you enjoyed the sense of wonder upon going through the game the first time. That's completely understandable. But no one really enjoyed running Molten Core. Or the old honor system. Or the horrible class balance and several patently useless talent trees at launch.

Speaking of, I wonder if there's anybody that could shed some light on that last bit. Maybe Tom Chilton, the lead Game Director could, in his latest interview on the five-year anniversary mini-site.

As it turns out, Chilton was brought in in early 2004 to work on the PvP portion of the game, but ended up handling a lot more when the honor system was put on hold to handle more pressing concerns, like making gameplay interesting.
"From April until the game shipped, the vast majority of my time was spent working on the design for the auction house, the mail system, and implementing the talent trees for every class. I was the only person available to do that -- our other class designer, Kevin Jordan, was mainly focused on ensuring that all of the classes had spells and abilities up to level 60, and managing the flow of when you'd get which ability. Kevin and I, and Rob Pardo, and Mike Heiberg from the StarCraft team, all worked on that part of the game. It was exciting, but it was weird -- my experience with some of the classes was making a character of that class on an internal server, playing it up to level 10 to get a feel for how the class played, and starting to make 60 levels worth of talents. A lot of my early experience was trying to get familiar with every class."
Kind of explains a lot, doesn't it? Like Lacerate, for example. People who complain about balance nowadays really have no idea how bad it used to be, or how much Blizzard's process for fixing it has improved. Chilton goes into more detail about WoW's early development in his full interview on the Battlecry site.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Interviews

World of Warcraft and Battle Chest on sale for Black Friday

Yes indeed, this Friday is none other than Black Friday, which means the deals will be aplenty, the crowds will be horrendous, and the holiday money drain will begin (of course, you could go with Buy Nothing Day, but that seems a little too grinchy to me -- why not go ahead and buy while the buying's good?). Fortunately, there are a few WoW deals floating around out there, in case you need to pick up a copy of the game for a loved one (or that Recruit-a-friend account you've been planning to make).

The regular WoW vanilla game (useful for leveling to 60, but if you want to go past that, you'll have to buy the expansions) is on sale in a few places for super cheap -- the Ladies of Leet saw it at Best Buy for just five bucks, and Gamestop's matching that price. Gamestop also will have the Battle Chest (with WoW and BC and a few other goodies) for $19.99, and Newegg has the same price if you don't want to fight the crowds. Unfortunately, there's no sign of Wrath on sale -- you'll still have to pony up the $40 if that's the one you want. But stay tuned in the comments -- if readers can find better prices on this stuff, we're sure you'll see them below. Good luck out there, happy deal finding.

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

Win some real-life loot from screenshot contests


We've got not one but two different screeshot contests that have shown up on the tip line lately. First off, our friend Mep, who runs WoW Screenshots, has gotten his contest all up and running, and you can go over and upload a screenshot or vote for the winners over there right now. His contest runs through September 20th, and the prize is a mousepad with your winning screenshot printed right on it. Pretty groovy custom prize -- we can't wait to see what kinds of screenshots rise to the top.

And Chris also emailed us about a new site he's started up called Epic Screens. It's another screenshot database (a little competition is a good thing, right?), and he's hosting his own best screenshot contest, with two copies of vanilla WoW on the line (perfect, he says, for Recruit-a-friend). He doesn't have a final date (or any other official rules posted), so we're guessing you just head on over there and submit some shots, and if you win, he'll let you know. Sounds like fun -- let the screenshot competitions begin!

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Contests, Screenshots, Fan art

Raid Rx: Raid bosses that brought healers to their knees - Part 1


Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related. Ever wondered what were the hardest fights to heal in the game? Based solely on my opinion and experience, here's a list counting down from number 10 to number 6.

Different raid bosses had different ways to challenge healers. Tanks and DPS players had to worry about their own position, damage output, threat, and other abilities. Healers were focused more on keeping the rest of the raid alive through varying levels of damage and attacks.

This is a multi-part article where I take a look at some of the most tear inducing raid bosses that the game has to offer. This week features number 10 to number 6!

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Ranking, Raiding, Lore, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

NPD: World of Warcraft has sold 8.6 million boxes at retail

Gamasutra has received an interesting stat from the good folks at NPD: after hearing that The Sims 3 sold over 800,000 copies in its first month, they were curious to see what kind of unit sales our own World of Warcraft has experienced. And the numbers are pretty big: among the original game and all of the expansion packs since the vanilla release over four years ago, NPD says 8.6 million boxes of WoW have been sold in the US. That's a little misleading if you're comparing it to actual subscription numbers: remember that this is over three different releases (so the actual number of all-time players, not current players, is probably 1/3 of that), and it includes different collectors' editions of each of the three game editions. So there are nowhere near 8.6 million US players of WoW -- that's just how many times players have come through the retail line with the various releases.

What that is, however, is a lot of money. Gamasutra estimates that at an average of $30 for each unit sold (the vanilla game currently retails at $20, but the expansions all sell at $40, and of course the original game was more expensive once upon a time), that's $258 million in income for Blizzard. In short, Blizzard's making a mint at the retail counter, even before they sign anyone up for subscriptions.

Then again, if you look at their own costs, those aren't insubstantial, either -- Activision's Bobby Kotick claimed that anyone starting up an MMO to compete with WoW would have to throw at least half a billion dollars into the mix just to get started, so we can presume Blizzard has spent at least $500 million on their staff, development, and hardware. So it's not like they're taking it all to the bank, though we can at least presume they're sitting firmly in the black.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

A leveling server, just for leveling

Reader Tiago sent us an interesting idea I thought was worth sharing. He suggests that Blizzard create a "leveling server" -- a server that would be marked as specifically for new characters, so when you rolled a new toon on there, you'd be surrounded by a bunch of other people pre-80. And the key here would be that when you hit 80 on this server, then you would get a free server transfer off. In other words, Blizzard would have one server (completely optional, of course) designed for people to level on, with a realm full of people playing in the old world and leveling through the old quests.

Sounds good, right? Like most of our ideas, Blizzard probably won't go for it -- they've already knocked down the idea of vanilla realms, and while this isn't the same thing (you'd be able to level to 80, the idea is just that you'd leave the server when you got there), it does mean creating a different ruleset for a brand new type of server. Plus, to a much lesser extent, it could create an even more lonely existence on the normal servers. Not to mention that Blizzard has been focusing on speeding past the low levels, not emphasizing them.

But I like the idea anyway -- it doesn't seem too tough to do (mark one realm recommended, and provide free server transfers off of it), and it seems like an excellent way to get people who enjoy leveling up all together in the same place. And that's really what MMOs like this are all about, right?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Quests, Leveling

The end of vanilla WoW

We've heard about suggestions of vanilla servers before (and Blizzard has flatly stated that they have no plans for them), but here's a new twist: Nomnom on Korgath says that Blizzard should finally, once and for all, abandon the old world. He says that leveling from 1-60 is a pain, even with the changes and recruit-a-friend (and on that, I agree -- my Paladin is level 50 and staying there, because leveling is boring), and that Blizzard should just start all new characters at level 55, especially if you've already got a 70+ character. They already did it with Death Knights, and those have worked their way into the endgame just fine.

That idea's definitely been batted around before, and anyone leveling an alt can definitely see the benefits. But think of what you're giving up with a new rule like that: Deadmines, Wailing Caverns, Scarlet Monastery. All of the epic quests and reputations, all of the great old-world vistas and settings. Plus, new players to the game will find the old world even emptier than it already is -- everyone who has a high level character will already be leveling through Outland or Northrend.

Do we really want to abandon the old world for good? Blizzard doesn't think so -- Palehoof unofficially suggests that Blizzard is happy with the subscription fees for the two weeks it takes you to level your character, and Bornakk officially says that Blizzard is happy with the way things work now, and if they see a problem, they'll fix it. You have to think that they'll eventually allow this kind of "powerleveling" in some way -- as we move closer to level 100, it'll just be silly bothering with the lower levels considering how far ahead the new content is. But for now, you'll have to stick to leveling the old-fashioned way, because vanilla WoW isn't going anywhere.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Buffs, Death Knight

No vanilla WoW realms. Really.

This is a tired old argument, but Blizzard poster Vaneras wanted to drive another nail into the coffin by stating, simply, that Blizzard has no plans of launching classic or pre-TBC realms. Aside from being a very complex endeavor that undoes a lot of class balancing over the years, the game simply isn't designed for Level 60 content anymore. Still, there are some proponents of the idea, which has even gotten some enterprising folks to set up private (and illegal) servers just for vanilla WoW.

It's a line Blizzard has drawn from way back when, yet suggestions or requests for classic realms continue to pop up on the forums. Let me tell you here and now... don't bother. Blizzard will eventually just lock your thread or delete it entirely simply because it's not in their best interests to provide such a service. First of all, so much development time has been invested in moving the game forward. Blizzard is also ramping up leveling time because they want players to focus on the endgame that they're developing right now. Besides, really, the game has never been more fun.

Filed under: Blizzard, Forums

15 Minutes of Fame: Playin' it old school


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Upcoming Raids
Zul'Gurub (Farm)
Ahn'Qiraj (20) (Farm)
Molten Core (10/10 Farm)
Blackwing Lair (2/8)
Onyxia (Farm)
Azuregos (Farm)

ZG (Farm)? Blackwing Lair (2/8)?! LOL wut?!? We've written before about players who love to chow down on some good, old-fashioned retro WoW content, avidly mixing original instances with the latest hotness from Wrath. Heralds of Yore from Smolderthorn takes that idea to the next level: not only do they specialize in old-school content, they do it as intended – at level 60.

Why would a guild put two entire game expansions on /ignore? Hearken back to the days of "vanilla WoW" with 15 Minutes of Fame and Heralds of Yore, after the break.

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Filed under: Guilds, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, 15 Minutes of Fame

Downgrading your account (or not)

If you're one of those folks who pines for the days of level 60 and Molten Core, but you've already installed Burning Crusade and made your way to 70, Slorkuz (who?) officially tells us you're out of luck. Once an account has been upgraded to Burning Crusade, there is no going back -- even if you uninstall everything and just put vanilla WoW on your PC, trying to sign in with your BC upgraded account will open up Outland and the latest content yet again.

If you really want to see the world the way it was before the Dark Portal reopened, you'll have to create a new account, and not upgrade it to Burning Crusade. But even then, you won't really go back in time -- you'll still see gems on the AH, and Blood Elves and Draenei wandering around. It's one more reason to keep asking Blizzard for classic servers, apparently -- as of right now, there's no way to really go back to the way things were.

But why would you want to anyway, right? Gold abounds, epics are easy to get, and most of the PvP problems are fixed. Nostalgia may be telling you that you want to stumble around with 39 other people in Motlen Core hoping for a Tier 1 drop every two weeks, but for most people, things are much better nowadays.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

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