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Posts with tag wow-beta

WoW Archivist: Beta surprises

Death knights bomb the plaguelands
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, we launched into the newest beta in WoW's history -- its sixth! -- for Warlords of Draenor. It's an exciting time for the game. Every beta has its surprises, good and bad. New things that were never announced. Prior announcements that changed unexpectedly. We've already had a number of surprises in the Warlords beta: the faction hub shift to Ashran, cross-faction auctions, and the removal of guild leveling.

Beta is just ramping up. We are sure to encounter more than one surprise over the next few months as we test the Draenor experience and gear up for the expansion's launch. Let's take a look back at the previous five betas and examine some of the twists that greeted testers -- and often shocked the WoW community. Caveat: I'm excluding storyline surprises.

The original beta

In 2003 and early 2004, players didn't really know what to expect from a World of Warcraft MMO. Blizzard, after all, had never made one before. Most of the original beta served up surprise after surprise. Yet, a few stand out.

Tired heroes. Patch 0.6 introduced the first incarnation of the rest system. Today it is simply a bonus for players who don't have time to log in every day. The original version was more like the Chinese government's "anti-obsession measures": it punished you for playing too long. The system looked like this:
  • Well rested gave 200% of the XP from a mob kill
  • Rested gave between 100% and 200% XP
  • Normal gave 100% XP
  • Fatigued gave 50% XP
  • Exhausted gave 25% XP
Your hero needed a good night's rest -- a full eight hours at an inn -- to go from exhausted to normal.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW Archivist

Beta Testing 101: How to write a good bug report on the forums

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If you're in the Mists of Pandaria beta, chances are good that you've encountered a few bugs by now. As a beta tester, it's not just your job to sit there and play through the game. You're also expected to report the bugs you happen upon in your travels through Pandaria. Blizzard has provided beta forums for feedback and bug reporting, so you've got a place to jot those bugs down. Once you've found and identified a bug, you should write up a brief report so Blizzard knows that there's a problem and can fix the problem before release.

Before you scamper off to the beta forums, however, there's a proper way to write these bug reports so that Blizzard knows what you're talking about and can take appropriate action. If you write a bug report incorrectly, you're not helping matters any -- and in some cases, you can even confuse the situation and make it worse. So how do you write a good bug report on the beta forums?

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Filed under: Bugs, Mists of Pandaria

Beta Testing 101: 5 things you should always report

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Have you made it into the Mists of Pandaria beta yet? Being a beta tester isn't about simply playing through a free sample of the game. If you're expecting a completed product when you log in, you're in for a surprise. What you are playing is a not-quite-finished version of the game, and it's highly likely you'll run into your fair share of bugs as you're wandering Pandaria's gorgeous hills and valleys. As a beta tester, it's your job to report those bugs you find in game, so that they can be fixed before the game goes live.

However, not every error out there deserves a report. Things like NPCs that are marked with a PC or NYI tag are things the developers already know about -- they're just placeholder models. Music isn't yet implemented into Pandaria yet either, but the developers know about that, too. So what makes a bug a bug, and what kinds of bugs should you report?

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Filed under: Bugs, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: New archaeology items

Players with the archaeology profession will get to experience some joy come Mists of Pandaria, according to a new post at MMO-Champion. All of the datamined items are directly related to Pandaria itself and allow us to start piecing together the history of the continent. Pandaria currently is such a new land to all of us that Matt Rossi and Anne Stickney have managed to condense all of the lore we currently know about it into a single post, which is truly an epic feat. The new items introduced through archaeology will help us paint more of a picture of what Pandaria's history was and who the major players were.

Items such as the Manacles of Rebellion, Cracked Mogu Runestone, and Petrified Bone Whip are relics of the depraved Mogu Empire, focusing on their love of torture and slavery. The Spear of Xuen and the Standard of Nuzao show us that the pandaren aren't the naive, comic race that some people are assuming; they've fought in and won their own wars. And in classic pandaren fashion, the Empty Keg of Bewmaster Xin Wo Yin and the Twin Steins of Brewfather Quan Tou Kuo highlight the race's love of beer.

As it's still beta; things are still subject to change. For one, I'm hoping Blizzard adds in more pandaren lore items. Beyond that, I'd like to see some new on-use vanity items like the Last Relic of Argus, as these datamined items all lack any on-use effects. Finally, I think Blizzard may want to revisit the rarity of some items; the Edicts of the Thunder King make very little sense as a common item when you realize they're essentially the same as finding the stone that holds Hammurabi's Code or the tablets of the Ten Commandments.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Archaeology, Mists of Pandaria

Beta Testing 101: What to, and what not to, expect from the MoP beta

Blizzcon cinematic announces pandaren
In the most exciting World of Warcraft news of 2012, the beta for Mists of Pandaria opened up this week. Like millions of other players, I was not one of the lucky few chosen for the first round of beta invites. However, there are a number of diligent players currently hard at work testing some of the changes coming in MoP, as well as datamining glyphs and leveling monks.

If you're one of the lucky players who got in this week or if you manage to get in in the next few weeks, there are some important facts you should know before you play the beta. For seasoned veterans of beta testing, these will be self evident. For the others for whom this will be the first beta ever, these are things you should read and consider. If you don't, you could turn into one of the disappointing trade chat trolls who rages about their warrior suddenly having a mana bar (and other fun beta mishaps).

Oh yes, there will be bugs

Above all else, the thing you can most expect from the beta of any video game ever is that there will be bugs. Bugs are one of the main reasons games go into beta; they're a way of allowing scores of players to scour every inch of the game world for bugs by doing everything possible that could possibly cause an issue. By doing this, Blizzard can isolate and treat bugs before they ever make it to live servers, allowing players on live a smooth playing experience.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: Memories of Dire Maul

The 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 said we'd be visiting Dire Maul in-depth this week, and we're going to do exactly that. Dire Maul was added in World of Warcraft patch 1.3 all the way back in March 2005. As I pointed out last week, Dire Maul attempted a great number of things that Blizzard has never tried to do since. It was also one of the few instances that was given a lasting relevance throughout an entire expansion phase of the game's life -- from the day it was implemented in patch 1.3 to the final day prior to the launch of The Burning Crusade, players had a reason to venture into the three wings of Dire Maul that wasn't simply grinding for currency.

Dire Maul was one of the last bastions of adventure and discovery in our dungeons. That isn't to say all instances afterwards were bad, that's not true at all, but never again did we have a 5-man dungeon that you were free to explore and discover the secrets hidden away in its dark corners. It's a style of dungeon we haven't seen since, and with the prominence of the dungeon finder in World of Warcraft these days, it's one we're unlikely to see ever again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft patch 1.3

The 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?

Less than four months after the release of patch 1.2, which introduced the 5-man dungeon Maraudon, came patch 1.3 and yet another new 5-man dungeon -- or rather, three new 5-man dungeons rolled into one. Patch 1.3 introduced Dire Maul to the game. Dire Maul's three-in-one format remains rather unique in World of Warcraft. Nothing like it has ever been attempted again. Patch 1.3 also included many other noteworthy details:
  • Blizzard began its trend of implementing popular addons into the game's default UI.
  • The first steps towards capping the number of players that could enter a dungeon or raid were put in place.
  • The very first incarnation of the Dungeon Finder tool appeared. No, it wasn't useful in any imaginable way.
Come along, won't you?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Indalamar the Warrior

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? What secrets does the game still hold? If you enjoyed Patches of Yesteryear, you're going to love this.

I have a confession to make. I lied about Archivist being done with events from WoW's beta. Last week, we discussed the Talisman of Binding Shard, an item that dropped six months into World of Warcraft's lifespan on live realms. What we are going to discuss today goes back again in the final stages of the beta.

Remember last week how I told all of you to make a note of the guild name Nurfed because it was going to come up again? Today, you will meet Indalamar the Warrior with a capital "W."

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft patch 1.1

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? What secrets does the game still hold? If you enjoyed Patches of Yesteryear, you're going to love this.

This week's Archivist will be tackling World of Warcraft patch 1.1. Up until this point, we'd been mired in alpha and beta patches, examining the game before the masses got its grubby mitts on it. Patch 1.1 is the first 1.x version of the game, making it the first version of the client made available for open release to the public. However, this patch was released prior to the official launch of the game -- those of you that participated in the open beta of World of Warcraft back in late 2004, it's this version of the game that you likely saw first.

This patch included goodies such as:
  • The implementation of kodo as the replacement for Plainsrunning
  • Molten Core and Onyxia's Lair were opened up
  • Removal of many in-combat resurrection spells
Let's crack open the archives!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft beta patch 0.12

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? What secrets does the game still hold? If you enjoyed Patches of Yesteryear, you're going to love this.

World of Warcraft's beta patch 0.12 marked the final pre-release patch of the game. Patch 1.1 was the official release candidate, but this was the final cycle of the beta. Some highlights from this patch include:
  • The item durability system was implemented.
  • You could no longer complete standard quests in a raid group.
  • Scholomance and Ragefire Chasm were implemented.
Let's discuss, shall we?

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft beta patch 0.11

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? What secrets does the game still hold? If you enjoyed Patches of Yesteryear, you're going to love this.

Last week, we took a break from patch notes to tackle a reader request: The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj. This week, it's back to patch notes, and we'll be looking at beta patch 0.11 from September 2004. The beta started to wind down at this point, but the game still wasn't quite feature complete -- even with the launch of the game only a month out.

Some highlights from this patch include:
  • Revamped model system
  • The addition of loot options that brought the group looting system mostly in line with what we have today
  • Undead players' ability to speak Common revoked, given Gutterspeak
Onward!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: The Karazhan Crypt

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? What secrets does the game still hold? If you enjoyed Patches of Yesteryear, you're going to love this.

Contrary to what I said at the end of last week's column, we're taking a break from looking at old beta patches this week to show you precisely why we changed the column's name from Patches of Yesteryear -- some of World of Warcraft's most fascinating mysteries never appeared in patch notes at all. The Karazhan Crypt intrigued many players throughout vanilla WoW and into The Burning Crusade. By the time Wrath of the Lich King rolled around, it was almost entirely forgotten.

The Karazhan Crypt is a piece of unreleased content that is really rather grim. While World of Warcraft has images of death and downright creepy things all over the game, very little stands up to the sights in the crypts of Karazhan.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft beta patch 0.9

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? What secrets does the game still hold? If you enjoyed Patches of Yesteryear, you're going to love this.

Do any of you vanilla WoW players remember how terrifying Teremus the Devourer used to be? He was among the very first world bosses, and boy was he annoying. He was immune to fire damage, frost damage, and magic-based DoTs. Seriously? Immune to fire, frost and DoTs? Yeah, he was brutal. It was perfectly normal to find him rampaging through Stormwind thanks to a friendly hunter kiting him to town.

You have patch 0.9 (Aug. 17, 2004) to thank for Teremus' rather ... aggressive nature. He was in the game world before that, but he would leave you alone as long as you left him alone. As of patch 0.9, he turned into a lowbie ganking machine.

Other patch 0.9 highlights:
  • Hunters opened up for play testing -- yes, after mages and warriors were given talent trees. And they could use shields.
  • Priests and rogues received the first iteration of their talent trees.
  • Micro-dungeon redesigns were put in.
"What the heck is a micro-dungeon?" I hear you ask. Well, let me tell you!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archaeologist: World of Warcraft beta patch 0.8

The WoW Archaeologist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? What secrets does the game still hold? If you enjoyed Patches of Yesteryear, you're going to love this.

Patch 0.8 was released to World of Warcraft beta servers in July 2004. The game was still taking shape at that point in time, but development of the base product had come far enough that Blizzard could finally start adding additional layers of complexity. Warriors and mages were the first classes to receive talent trees, and that happened in this patch.

Other notable additions in patch 0.8 include ...
  • Players who died in PvP against a player or PvP-flagged NPC had to wait in time-out for 2 minutes before they could resurrect via corpse retrieval.
  • The level cap was raised to 50.
  • Sunken Temple and Razorfen Downs were opened and itemized.
  • Rogues lost the ability to use bucklers (shields).
  • Tauren were given the Plainsrunning ability.
Follow us behind the cut for the full patch 0.8 patch notes and discussion of the highlights!

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Filed under: Blizzard, WoW Archivist

The Queue: Super The Queue Alpha II Gold Turbo Tournament Edition


Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

I am so hyped up for Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. I got my Tournament Edition fightstick, my Collector's Edition paid up and ready for pickup, my MvC2 downloaded from Xbox Live. Could not be more excited. Can't wait to repeatedly get destroyed by people running Magneto/Storm/Sentinel teams. It'll be like 2001 all over again.

Chips asked:

I just came back to the game after a long break and I noticed several things different about the male troll model. They seem to have a perpetual stubbed toe, some of their hair and shoulder armor clips, and the end of tabards curl upwards. I haven't been able to find much info about this, is this a recent bug, or a deliberate model change?

Male troll models are indeed messed up right now, and the issues are at least partially fixed in 4.0.6.

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