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postheadericon Blizzard Blues Explain Monk Choices

Unwanted RogueWell, blow me down with a feather. It seems that monks are going to be given some very powerful raid saving abilities. While this is great, I do struggle to understand the logic explained blow by the “Blizzard Blues” How does taking a particular talent spec of monk instead of or as well as your shaman or druid magically make way for your DPS rogue or hunter. Did these guys do basic math. 11 into 10 STILL won’t go, you’ve just made another class and spec “indispensable” which doesn’t help your rogues or hunters one little bit.

Not that I personally care.  I don’t run a  hunter or a rogue, but the math is still wrong no matter where you sit on this one.

Talent Tree Homogenization
There is homogenization that is good for the game, and homogenization that is bad for the game.
Consider Blood Lust/Heroism and Rebirth (battle rez). Those are very powerful abilities and probably mandatory for raiding. If shaman and druids were the only classes that brought them still, then every 10-player raid group would need a shaman and druid to be successful. In a game with 10-player raids and 11 classes, that means someone is excluded. Even worse, if yours is the guild with 2 really good rogues or hunters, you are going to have to make the choice to sit one of those players out in order to be optimal. Even if that hunter is a really nice guy or a good player, he can’t come because you need Blood Lust. We don’t think that’s fun, and we know a lot of players agree. There are several abilities in this mandatory or near-mandatory category: interrupts, raid buffs, dispels and so on. We have no problems spreading those around, or homogenizing the abilities that mean groups can bring the player they want to.
The other category though is making each class feel a bit different when you play them. These are abilities or mechanics that tend to make your class or spec feel unique, but aren’t mandatory. There are a lot of these in the game: Chakra, Cauterize, Bladestorm, Demonic Circle, etc. There are of course still going to be healing, survival, damage and movement abilities in the game that are equivalent in their effect as another classes’ ability, but they all work a little differently, and hopefully make you feel different when you group with other characters or play different alts. It’s important to us to protect those differences in the game.

Character and Creature Model Quality
We’ve acknowledged that the old character models could do with a revamp, and we’re planning to get this done. But the point several of you raised about system requirements holds true; we want WoW to be accessible to those with older machines as well as those of you with top-end gaming rigs.

postheadericon Warcraft Server Stats Reveal A Truth We Already Knew

Twink Farming After PandariaI’m a big fan of MMO Champion, and sometimes they bring you up some statistics that completely change your perception of the game. Recently they did an update on the gear levels of those participating in player versus player combat in war craft.

I put the figures below, but it begged the bigger question…

“Whatever happened to twinking”

I’ve put a polite enquiry on the MMOC website.

“Does this only take into account characters have reached level 85, or is it across the board.”

I was told that this was a total survey, and that player versus player combat for characters below highest level was virtually non-existent, statistically not worth mentioning.

Sample Size

  • Item Level 370+: 2.6 million sample size
  • Item Level 385+: 600k sample size
  • Item Level 395+: 25k sample size

Participation Rate

  • Item Level 370+: 17% of the eligible characters participated in Rated Battlegrounds
  • Item Level 385+: 28% of the eligible characters participated in Rated Battlegrounds
  • Item Level 395+: 39% of the eligible characters participated in Rated Battlegrounds

What are telling statistic this is. I used to enjoy the levelling process, and had twink at 19 and 39 which seem to be the sweet spot. My level 60 level 70 characters often used to go out and farm blues and greens for my twinks. The number of times that the Scarlet Monastery for twinking greens and blues I can’t possibly count.

Now, the race to the highest level of the game is almost negligible. It’s just a chore.

All the fun and exciting things we used to do along the way are now put off until the highest level.

There is no point levelling profession as you go, as you have a top-level character in a stable who can bike or farm all the equipment and ingredients you need in a fraction of the time.

There is no point grouping for quests, all the main deals are only the high-level characters, and as the statistics show hardly anybody partakes in PvP other than at level cap.

Soling od dual boxing some low-level instances for fun, well it’s been a very boring and solo experience now since Wrath of the Lichking was released in 2008. It’s a waste of time trying to group up on most servers to anything other than top-level instances, no-ones doing them…ever.

If you’re levelling up an alt, and stop to have a little chat at those around you, the chances of finding a genuine World of Warcraft newbie is virtually zero.

Everybody else’s levelling up alts as well. To fill a gap in their profession skills, or just because they are bored of the offensive or defensive rotation of their main characters.

I’m ranting again, but I wish Blizzard would put some thought into making the levelling process at least a little bit exciting and involving. Perhaps giving tangible rewards for group, crafting or PvP activities such as heirloom items which level with you?

I don’t know, what do you think?

postheadericon 64 Bit Mac Client Almost Ready

64 Bit CPU's From Ages AgoIt’s about time that software moved to 64 bit platforms. There is a 90% plus chance (probably 99.9%) that you play Warcraft on a 64 bit machine. The processor is 64 bit (all mainstream processors have been 64 bit for almost a decade now), and the OS you are using is 64bit  or has a 64 bit option.

I won’t bore you with the massive advantages we would all have if all software moved to 64 bit – but at least Blizzard are now making a positive step towards propagating the next generation of hardware with the move to a 64 bit client.

Patch 4.3.2 64-bit PTR Client

The new PTR build also brought us a 64-bit client for Mac users.

Originally Posted by Blizzard

A 64-bit client is now available for use with the 4.3.2 PTR. You can download it at the link below, unzip it into your PTR directory, and then run the executable to test it.

  • The 64-bit client is being distributed separately from the PTR as it is not yet supported for use with World of Warcraft.
  • This can only be used with the 4.3.2 PTR, it is not to be used with the live version of the game.
  • The game’s built in voice chat does not currently work in the 64-bit client.
  • [Mac] The 64-bit Mac client does not currently support the in-game movie recording functionality.
  • [Mac] The 64-bit Mac client does not currently support the customized LCD display for the Logitech G15 series of keyboards.
  • [Mac] The 64-bit Mac client is currently not supported on 10.5 systems. You will need 10.6.8 or later for this version.

Build 15201 – PC link, Mac link
If you encounter any issues while using the 64-bit version, please report your findings in the PTR bug report forum (, and return to using the 32-bit executable.

postheadericon Mists Of Pandaria Release Speculation

Mists Release Date SpeculationSo Blizzard have said that there will be one more content that between now and the release of Mists of Pandaria. Patch 4.4

The rest of this post is pure speculation.

I have no idea what the time-line will be the release of the new expansion but given that the last content patch is only a matter of weeks old, Blizzard has 3 to 4 months between one content patch and the next. There is also a similar gap between the last content patch for any given expansion and the release of the full expansion .

What this means if you add it all up is, if Blizzard follows the usual pattern and spacing rules that they have since 2004, Mists of Pandaria will be out late summer or early autumn 2012.

Some this will be good news for many this will be a disappointment. The rumour that this may be because of the support required post-release for Diablo III is probably unfounded.

The new game has a completely different development team working on this game, even the telephone support for Diablo to a different centre I believe.

So before Mists of Pandaria drops, we can expect 4.4 and possibly even smaller incremental content patches. Given that I’m engrossed in Star Wars at the moment I’m not that concerned, but when the time comes I shall be waiting and raring to go with the new monk class.

postheadericon Pet PvP? I Thought Dog or Cock Fighting Was Banned!

Mists of PokemonThe new pet system in Mists of Pandaria looks to be introducing innovation into the whole companion system.

The idea that your pets can take part in pet versus pet PVP is an interesting one, but many believe that it introduces an unnecessary level of detachment from the game play.

At the end of the day, no major world achievements have yet been introduced that require pet versus PET battles To be undertaken, so the way I see it you can either partake in it or not.

What’s the point in moaning about something you don’t have to do and other people may enjoy?

On the other hand, it does point in a more frivolous direction for our game. Lets Remember seven years ago World of Warcraft was quite serious and deep a MMO. It seemed to do pretty well for its first four or five years.

I’m going to reserve judgement until I’ve actually taken part in a pet battle and seen how involved they are.

postheadericon Monks – Are They The First Real New Class for Warcraft?

Monks - The first TRULY new class for WarcraftAs we look forward to the introduction in a few months of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria expansion, I thought it was time to take a look at the last class introduced to the game. The Death Knight.

At the time I think Blizzard’s introduction of this class was done for obvious reasons.

To reward long-term players with a slightly overpowered class capable of performing most main actions slightly better than average. You could tank, you could self heal, you had partial group healing abilities, you could DPS. Depending on your spec Death Knights at patch 3.0 could do just about anything.

2) To reward seasoned players. At the time of Wrath was released it had become clear that most seasoned players had several alts at a high level and had done Azeroth several times. Death Knights gave these players the opportunity to perhaps fill a hole in their stable of ‘toons without the grind of Azeroth.

3) Refer to 2. Yes, Death Knights were simply to allow many players to skip Azeroth and go straight to the burning Crusade. Skip the entire original game and go straight to the expansion packs.


If you think about it, that’s an incredibly telling fact.

It’s saying,

“We don’t think our original game has enough content or variation to keep our established players interested.”

It also pointed to the increasing dominance of endgame raids and instances to provide meaningful rewards the players. Both in terms of content and gear.

Stylized Death KnightThis had a knock-on effect a game. With gear increasingly farmed from high end instances, even the scant “ new raider” recipes available to crafters would be trimmed down to the bare bones. Blacksmith’s could make one tanking weapon for level 80 starting raiders, and for some reason it was mace. The story was the same for most other crafting professions. The game was shifting towards more endgame group content – and something in the mechanics had to change.

But times have changed. As we look forward to the monks that will be introduced in Mists of Pandarea, the headroom above Death Knights has increased dramatically. Levels 80 to 90 have added a considerable amount of levelling scope. Azeroth has been completely remodelled quest lines that followed you throughout your entire levelling process now require that you start at the beginning.

Death Knights themselves have been nerfed and nerfed again until they are barely capable of holding their own.

They are now the ubiquitous jack of all trades, and masters of none.

The class mechanics have been simplified again and again, and “Mists” looks like they will be simplified still further.

Other than a quick alt to fetch and carry..what now is the actual purpose in game of the Death Knight? The first – and probably last “Hero Class”

Death Knights seem to have been designed to solve a problem that no longer exists, and now stand out as anachronisms. Serving no real purpose other than a quick fix for levelling.

So all hail the monks of Pandaria. The first proper new class in Warcraft.

postheadericon Win a Job at Blizzard in 2012

Blizzard Internship 2012Okay, that headline is a little misleading. But blizzard, our favourite software producer has announced its internship program for this year.

Covering most areas of the company including esports, publishing and quality insurance this internship program offers college students in the United States the opportunity to get hands-on with the world’s number one MMO software company.

There are a few provisos;

All applicants must currently be students studying in the USA and due to return to school or college this autumn (2012)

The internships themselves last approximately 3 months and are paid placements.

The location is centralised and Irvine California

you’ve got until the end of January to submit your application.

So by my reckoning you have three weeks from today. What are you waiting for, here is the Blizzard internship link.

postheadericon Diablo 3 release in the six weeks – “Yes or No”.

Diablo 3 BannerFor those of us who followed the release date drama with Star Wars TOR recently, nothing that a major MMO company does as regards informing their potential user base will surprise me any more.

Perhaps not quite as drastic as deciding game will ship two days before the shops close at Christmas (Which was Bioware’s plan – in Europe anyway) Blizzard are still remaining cagey as to the exact date that Diablo three will release.

Most tellingly the Beta is still on-going and does not have an end date yet.

Traditional thinking would suggest that while the pre-release Beta still has an indefinite time to run, there is no firm or fixed release date scheduled.

However, I wouldn’t take this too seriously. Such is the secrecy and “cloak and dagger” methods surrounding any major games released these days, particularly in the MMO field, it could well be that Blizzard will only give us 3 to 4 weeks notice.

I’ll let you in on a secret, my best guess is somewhere between February 1st 2012 and October 28, 2027. And I’ll eat my hat if I’m wrong.

postheadericon PvP in WoW – I Love it, But Not Everyone Does!

Pandaria PvP DilemmaI happen to love player versus player combat, it’s what I do about 50% of the time I spend in game. But I also know that in the various guilds on my servers that PvP is definitely a secondary consideration to the majority of players I meet on a day-to-day basis.

When writing this I actually tried to find an authoritative article where the number of players who regularly indulge in player versus player combat versus those that avoid it will summarise. However I only found speculation.

Perhaps the best measure is the balance of servers between player versus environment and player versus player.

There is a clear imbalance between server types in favour of player versus environment, there always has been, and this is not just common to World of Warcraft, it is something that most MMO RPG games reflect.

One of my main characters has been on a server since the day Warcraft went live over seven years ago, he has been in the same guild for all but the first six weeks of that time.

But now the murmurings are that several of the guild members who have been with me for a very long time will leave if the game continues its drift towards player versus player.

Like I said, I love PvP. But I’m also aware that I’m in a (large) minority.

The question is – are Blizzard also aware of this?

postheadericon Economy Dilemma For Blizzard as Mists of Pandaria Approaches

Warcraft's Gold ProblemsHere’s something that may sound a little controversial. Gold is no longer important at all in all in Warcraft.With 92% of all accounts now containing one level 85 character or more, there is very little point in pretending that gold has much as a value any more.

Since Wrath of the Lich King, in fact since patch 2.3 the emphasis has changed in the game and most high end loot. Scratch that in fact nearly all loot worth having for your top and characters is now a result of a raid.

The question is however, where does that leave crafting. Crafting has been an integral part of the game to myself and many other players for the past seven years, and now, other than the starter gear which most people burn through inside a week, there is only the odd instance drop recipe that offers any long-term crafting challenge to us.

While I applaud Blizzard’s clear direction with the announcement of Mists of Pandaria, I do believe that a strong new crafting structure needs to be put in place, otherwise they may as well just take the whole aspect out of the game altogether.

postheadericon What Now For Crafting in Mists of Pandaria and WoW Patch 5.0?

The Pandas Are Coming!Crafting is in need of a major update before Pandaria and Warcraft five-point nought is released.

Over the last four years there has been an inexorable shift towards all high end items being instance drops only, there are very few recipes for crafters which provide any benefit to those who have moved even slightly into endgame and discarded their starting raiding gear.

I realise I’m writing this at many of the people reading it will have no concern for crafting whatsoever.

As world War Craft shifts more towards an action orientated game with less and less depth, crafting can be seen as an obvious casualty of an MMO which is trying its hardest to emulate games like “Battlefield” and EA’s hugely popular combat only style of play.

But for many of us veterans of seven years or more, crafting was one of the most exciting parts of the game early on, and while it has been continually simplified with each expansion, we all still live in hope of the sort of in-depth and engaging crafting and harvesting that other multi-player games such as “Star Wars Galaxies” and even “Pirates of the Burning Sea” have managed to implement.

There is also the issue of consumables, particularly potions retaining a level of value endgame when nearly every other crafting profession has zero or little value.

It is still the case that turning up for a raid with no high-end potions will soon have your healer leaving you to regret your oversight. Alchemists coupled with herbalists can still churn out a substantial amount of gold making their bread and butter items.

Enchanters also have a role to play in the game. Each new dungeon drop will need to be enchanted with the appropriate stats. Given the cost of raising an enchanter, this seems eminently fair, particularly when compared to the relative ease of reaching illustrious level with an alchemist.

However, leather workers and blacksmiths are reduced to producing the odd trinket or socket item with their main stock in trade being almost 100% redundant at endgame. You make the starting instance gear, and then forget all about your crafting profession altogether.

I waited eagerly for news from blizzard as to how they are going to address this.

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Pandarian Mists for Warcraft

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postheadericon World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Preview Trailer

Shrouded in fog since the world was sundered more than ten thousand years ago, the ancient realm of Pandaria has remained unspoiled by war. Its lush forests and cloud-ringed mountains are home to a complex ecosystem of indigenous races and exotic creatures — including the noble and enigmatic pandaren. Will the mists of Pandaria part to reveal the world’s salvation… or will the battle to control this new land push the Horde and the Alliance over the brink of war and into total annihilation? Learn more about the fourth World of Warcraft expansion set, Mists of Pandaria, on our official website:

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Announcement Trailer [HD] Developer: Blizzard Entertainment Release: TBA Genre: MMO/RPG Platform: PC Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment Website: FOR MORE MACHINIMA, GO TO: FOR MORE GAMEPLAY, GO TO: FOR MORE SPORTS GAMEPLAY, GO TO: FOR MORE TRAILERS, GO TO: FOR MMO AND RPG GAMEPLAY, GO TO: TAGS: World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria Trailer announcement blizzcon 2011 activision blizzard entertainment wow mmo rpg gameplay expansion
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