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Posts with tag voice chat

New patch coming to the PTRs and it's not what you think

Patch 2.2.2 is coming up next
Patch 2.2.2 is coming to the Public Test Realm later today according to Hortus. Instead of Zul'Aman or more Voice Chat testing, Blizzard is putting their October Holiday content up. The first event, Brewfest, is a new holiday for Azeroth. Early reports hint at attack kegs, signalling Dark Iron dwarves, racing rams, and even sausage eating. Sounds suspiciously like the annual German event, Oktoberfest.

After Brewfest, Blizzard will test the Hallows End festivities. Considering this long held event is on the Test server hints that Blizzard may have some new tricks or treats in store for us. Mountable flying brooms have already been spotted in the Test files. Hallows End is scheduled to start October 18th on the Live servers.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

Polling players on new content

There's an interesting discussion going on over on the forums about whether or not Blizzard should conduct player polls. Antiquity from Lightning's Blade can't see why they don't-- it's an easy way for them to get quick feedback about different aspects of gameplay. But Nethaera disagrees. She says (and I can see her point as well) that polls are commonly inaccurate, which is definitely true, and while she doesn't exactly come out and say it, she seems to be implying that Blizzard would rather hear player feedback in terms of discussion rather than in numbers. Just hearing that 70% of players will use voice chat doesn't tell the whole story-- more important to know would be the reasons players would use voice chat, and in what situations they would use it.

So it's not really likely that Blizzard will implement in-game polling anytime soon-- for now, they're content to get their player feedback from the forums (and, I suspect, from sites just like this one).

However. We here at WoW Insider have no such compunctions, and we love to hear your feedback in terms of numbers just as much as in the comments. And I especially like Antiquity's poll suggestion, so here it is. Yes, this isn't really a solution to what he wants-- he wants to hear in-game voices, not forum voices or WoW Insider reader voices. But it is an interesting question, and I would like to see what you all think.

What would you like to see Blizzard develop as future content?
More solo content1656 (36.3%)
More 5 man content1008 (22.1%)
More 10 man content1516 (33.2%)
More 25 man content381 (8.4%)


(I did leave off the "All of the above" choice-- if that was on there, I don't see why everyone wouldn't choose it. This way, you're forced to choose your preference.)

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances

How soon is now?

Post 2.2 ChangesRestless for the 2.2 patch to go live, players have been flooding the official forums for updates on long requested features: surnames, player housing, engineering revamp, to name a few. The response to all these requests was the same: we'd like to implement these ideas, but don't know when.

The only glimmer of hope the Community Managers could give was about class reviews. Word is Ret Paladins and Enhancement Shamans are receiving "changes" sooner rather than later and for Priests, the Holy tree and Discipline tree will receive some dev lovin'. For those classes not listed and feeling the need for review, there's always the next expansion. TBC did wonders for the druid Balance and Feral trees.

Now we must wait for the Voice Chat patch to go live and then Blizzard can be more specific about what game changes are coming next and which stay on the back burner.

Filed under: Patches, News items, Classes

Beyond Patch 2.2: Schwick's compilation of verified info


Patch 2.2, currently in testing on the PTR, has some great improvements like voice chat and reporting AFK'ers in Battlegrounds. What it doesn't have is any new, big, sexy chunk of playable content. So when are we going to see the post-Karazhan 10-main raid zone, Zul'Aman? New Heroic Badge rewards? Guild banks? Oh, we already know that last one.

Forum MVP Schwick on the WoW European forums has compiled a list of known updates in Patch 2.3 and beyond. He often provide reference links to his sources form many of his future patch notes, which makes him an information god in my book.

He also goes on to list all the verified information about the WotLK expansion. I thought I had read all the info that was out already, but on Schwick's list I found items I didn't know, like the fact that Blizzard has a plan to deal with the fact that the Horde doesn't have a fear ward. Or that Naxxramas, the last raid zone introduced before TBC launched, will be repurposed in the new expansion. Or that new shaders will be introduced for shinier graphics. Mmm, sparkles.

Check out Schwick's post if you want to get a look ahead about what's known for future patches.

Screenshot of Zul'Aman boss models courtesy of MMO-Champion.com.

Filed under: Patches, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

PTR Update: Hortus confirms and denies



Hortus has posted a sticky about the current PTR issues which addresses a lot of problems in and questions about 2.2. Most notably, he has confirmed that Zul'Aman and Guild Banks will not be in patch 2.2. He also has confirmed that Voice Chat will still be in 2.2, but it is not yet available for testing on the test server.

In addition, Hortus addressed some of the problems people are having with premade character copies. Hortus says that if you get an error when trying to copy a premade, the queue is full and to try again later. He does not address why the error message doesn't just say that...

Also, it seems that even though some premade characters are missing abilities or have abilities they are not supposed to have, they do not intend to fix them at this time.

Side note not mentioned by Horus: Copying characters that are not premade to the test realms is also on a several day wait.

Hortus denies that the Orc Shoulders are now bigger than before the bug:

Orc shoulders are now the correct size, they are not any larger than they were before, it's your imagination.


He also addresses Athlon errors, authentication issues and how not to get your post deleted.

It seems that with all of these issues and Voice Chat not even being tested yet, Patch 2.2 is a long way off. What are you most looking forward to or dreading in 2.2? Have you successfully copied a premade? If so, any problems and how long did it take?

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard

Zul'Aman sneak preview at E3


We're here at E3 and, although not blown away by any major announcements from Blizzard, did get a chance to check out a preview of the new 10-man Zul'Aman outdoor instance in Ghostlands. It's going to be a more casual dungeon than Karazhan, ideally doable in a few hours' time investment, with six bosses and no attunement required. There will be quests included as part of the story line, with at least one rescue mission per avatar boss that will have a time-dependent element similar to the Baron Run mechanic in Stratholme, with better rewards offered for quicker completion. The six bosses include bear, dragonhawk and lynx avatars, a "god of evil," a witch doctor, and the final troll boss Zul'jin. Like Hakkar in Zul'Gurub, Zul'jin has a spiritual connection with the other boss avatars and is able to draw upon their ghostly spirits in order to change his shape and assume some of their powers and abilities. All the bosses and the trash mobs (which will be primarily forest trolls) will be social and able to call for help from additional mobs -- surely good for a few wipes whilst learning the encounters.

Blizzard offered a few other small bits of news: voice chat and guild banks will be coming in minor patches before the big Zul'Aman patch is released. Voice chat will include a feature that automagically lowers the game volume when players are talking, and onscreen interface indicators to help keep track of who is talking at any given time. Guild banks will be endowed with some sort of permission system enabling guild masters to give access to specific items to some guild members and not others.

Unfortunately, Starcraft 2 was not yet playable, but we'll be looking forward to that and far more megaton news to be forthcoming at Blizzcon -- it's clear this press conference was merely a teaser.

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Instances, Features, Raiding, Bosses, BlizzCon

Hearing voices in the World of Warcraft

Clive Thompson (who I've enjoyed reading for a while now) posted a piece on Wired the other day about how voice changed the way he saw fellow players in World of Warcraft. It's a really interesting read, not least of all because of the two academic studies mentioned: one study found that women were "treated differently" when using voice chat, and another found that gamers made more solid and trusting relationships with friends they knew by voice rather than those that knew by text.

I don't know if Thompson has heard yet that voice is going to be builtin to WoW very soon now, but it's true: voice is about to play a much bigger part in our game. And it's also true that voice changes things a lot-- in my regular guild, I will often jump on our Teamspeak server just to chat with my fellow guildies and friends, even if I'm not in a group. In It came from the Blog (the official WoW Insider guild in which I occasionally can be seen saying crazy things), we haven't set up a Vent server (although it's coming, guys), and so I had the strange experience the other day of running an instance with only text chat to keep me company. Don't get me wrong, I like all the guys in IcftB, but I don't know if the reason I don't know them better is just because I haven't been with the guild as long, or if I just haven't actually heard their voices.

In the end, Thompson marks it down to a generational thing-- some people are willing to share their voices and hear others, he says, and some just aren't. I'm not sure if that's true necessarily (I am pretty conservative on, say, my Myspace page, and pretty free with my Ventrilo joining), but either way, the use of voice chat in videogames has only just started to make itself known.

WoW Moviewatch: Joi Ito talks WoW

This is probably the longest movie we've ever posted, at over 43 minutes. Entrepreneur, internet celebrity and generally hoopy frood Joi Ito (of We Know/We No on Eitrigg-US) gave this lecture on WoW at the latest Chaos Communication Conference (23C3). The talk doesn't assume any WoW knowledge, but also doesn't bore those of us who do play (at least not me). It seems to broadly concern itself with WoW as a social space/social experiment, including guild organization, voice chat, real-world/WoW bleed-through, and the implications of having such a huge subscriber base.


I found the video quite interesting. I wish it included the Q&A afterwards; maybe we can have our own discussion in the comments here.

Previously on Moviewatch

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Features, WoW Moviewatch

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