The Problem of Over Correcting

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Blue Posts, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Anduin is in a powerful place. Before the Big One, the priest’s options for fighting were weak and clumsy. Velen had few uses, Fade was mostly useless, Greater Heal was entirely useless. But some redesign and new cards swooped in to bolster Azeroth’s priestly princeling into a powerful Hero.

hearthstone-anduin

But there might be a bit of a problem with him now. The priest has, perhaps, the best removals in the game. Holy Nova doesn’t hit as hard as Flamestike but it does heal your minions. Shadow Words Pain and Death are leagues better than Corruption or Naturalize. There are a host of powerful 4 attack minions, Ysera and the Auctioneer for example, but those can still be countered by silences or even a +1 buff from your end. That leaves the priest with Mind Control. Yes, the controlled minion has summoning sickness. Yes, it costs 8 mana, putting it behind Flamestrike by 1 turn and it’s twice the cost of Polymorph. Despite the high cost and delay in its effect, Mind Control is devastating. It’s at minimum a 2 card counter: you steal a card from a player, and force them to deal with the threat.

The Masters of Hearthstone’s mechanics aren’t unaware of Mind Control’s potency and the priest’s recent empowerment. In a post by Takralus, the community rep said:

We are talking about the issue here and looking at the power of Mind Control at different skill levels and in different modes so we can make any adjustments that may be needed. We’re still deliberating the right course of action, but we have heard you guys and we understand your concerns.

 

I’ve got some ideas for how to bring Mind Control under control.

  • Make the cost 10. A longer delay that allows you to rush the priest a little faster.  This is the least elegant option, I think.
  • Limit the targets. Maybe only 6 attack, or undamaged units.
  • The Mind Controlled target is weakened – a penalty to attack and health or is automatically silenced, since Anduin seems to enjoy that mechanic anyway.
  • The Mind Control effect can be silenced and the creature returns to its original owner.

Obviously, Mind Control is being examined by Blizzard’s team and they’re testing and watching it closely. Keep submitting suggestions to them and posting comments on the Hearthstone forums. The priest may have been over corrected but that’s how design works: a tweak this way, a twist that way, and eventually things are balanced out.

Blizzard Customer Service Twitter Diablo III Beta Key Giveaway

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blue Posts, Diablo 3 News

The Blizzard Customer Service Twitter announced a Diablo III Beta Key giveaway. That’s 500 keys folks. Chances to win are pretty high. Check out the official rules.

@BlizzardCS is giving away 500 keys for the exclusive Diablo III beta test over the next five weeks. If you want to lead the charge against the minions of the Burning Hells before the game’s official release – follow the instructions below and enter the drawing for your chance to win.

Starting December 20, 2011, we’ll be randomly selecting 100 winners each week to receive a key to our exclusive Diablo III beta test. Drawings will occur at the end of every Tuesday for five (5) weeks for the total 500 keys.

What you need to know:

    How to Enter:
        1. Have an active Battle.net® account
        2. Be a registered user of Twitter®
        4. Use the hashtag #DiabloBeta and @BlizzardCS in a Tweet,
        5. Send an email of the tweet to cstwitterfeedback@blizzard.com. With a link to your tweet.

    If you have not registered a Battle.net account, visit http://www.battle.net to register for a Battle.net account at no cost to you; and if you are not a registered user of Twitter®, simply visit http://twitter.com/signup to register at no cost to you.

      Sweepstakes Starts
        December 20, 2011 @ 1:00 pm (PST)

      Sweepstakes Ends

        January 23, 2012 @ 11:59 pm (PST)

      Partial transcript of rules:

      1. Eligibility. BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION (referred to herein as “SPONSOR”) IS THE SPONSOR OF THIS CONTEST. THIS CONTEST IS OPEN ONLY TO RESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, MEXICO, CHILE, COSTA RICA, ARGENTINA, PANAMA, VENEZUELA, PERU FRANCE, BELGIUM, UNITED KINGDOM, LUXEMBOURG, GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWEDEN, FINLAND, DENMARK, NORWAY, SPAIN, ITALY, TAIWAN AND SOUTH KOREA WHICH ARE OF THE AGE OF MAJORITY IN THEIR COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE. If you are under the legal age of majority in your country of residence, but are (i) over the age of 13 years of age and a resident of the United States of America, or a member country of the European Union other than Spain, or the United Kingdom; (ii) who is least 14 years of age and a resident of Spain or the United Kingdom; or (iii) who is at least 15 years of age and is a resident of the Republic of Korea; and one of your parents or legal guardians must submit a signed, written statement that they have read, understood and agree to these Contest rules to be eligible to win a prize, and that such agreement constitutes acceptance of these Contest rules on behalf of you and themselves. If you reside in the Province of Quebec in Canada, you are not eligible to participate in this Contest. To be eligible to win a prize, entries must be completed and received by Sponsor in the format designated below. Directors, officers and employees of Sponsor, its parent, and any of their respective affiliate companies, subsidiaries, agents, professional advisors, advertising and promotional agencies, and immediate families of each are not eligible to win any prizes. All applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. There is no cost to enter or win. Entries limited to one entry per Battle.net Account per week during the Sweepstakes. Offer void where prohibited. In the event of any dispute, entries will be deemed to have been submitted by the owner of the e-mail address associated with the entry.

      2. Contest Period. The Contest shall commence at 12:01 AM Pacific Daylight Savings Time on December 20, 2011 (the “Start Date”), and shall continue in duration until 11:59 PM Pacific Daylight Savings Time, January 23, 2012 (the “Deadline”). All entries must be received by the Deadline and in accordance with these official rules to be eligible to win a prize.

2011-holiday-diablo-3-t-shirts

2011 Christmas Promo: Blizzard T-shirts, Hoodies, Peripherals & Drinkware up to 20% off

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in General-Discussion, World of Warcraft News

Don’t have a clue what to gift your best friends, or family members for Christmas? Are they Blizzard gamers? J!NX announced a new Christmas promotion that covers all Blizzard T-shirts, Hoodies, Hats, the new SteelSeries peripherals and Drinkware from Taverncraft.

This is definitely cool and I don’t think you will get that kind of a discount on peripherals elsewhere. Take a look. There are two promo offers. Choose only one. Can’t be combined with other offers:

Promo # 1

Save 5% off your order of $30 or more
Save 10% off your order of $50 or more
Save 15% off your order of $75 or more
Save 20% off your order of $100 or more

Don’t forget to type this Promotion Code during checkout to activate the discount: SAVINGTHROW

This offer expires Saturday, December 24, 2011 at 11:59PM PDT, so don’t wait!
*can’t be combined with any other offers, sale prices, or discounts

Promo # 2

Buy any 3 T-Shirts, Hoodies, or Hats and get FREE Shipping!

At checkout type the promo code: FREESHIP2011

*Good for US and international shipping. Can’t be combined with any other offers, sales or discounts.

Blizzard Licensed T-shirts, Hoodies, Hats

Check out each link to browse through all the newest T-shirts, hoodies, and hats based on StarCraft II, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Diablo III.

Peripherals & Drinkware




Undercity Mug




Orgrimmar Mug



Stormwind Mug




Ironforge Mug




SteelSeries QcK Goblin Edition




SteelSeries QcK Worgen Edition



SteelSeries QcK Deathwing Edition


SteelSeries World of Warcraft Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse



SteelSeries Siberia v2 Full-size USB Headset


SteelSeries 7H headset for iPod iPhone and iPad



SteelSeries Siberia V2 for iPod, iPhone and iPad




SteelSeries Siberia Neckband for iPod iPhone and iPad


SteelSeries Siberia v2 Full-size Headset (Red)


Murloc Stein

WoW PTR 3.1.3 Patch Notes Preview

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard has revealed some of the changes pending on the upcoming PTR 3.1.3—a patch preceding the content patch 3.2.  In this new minor patch, we can see a lot of class changes either buffing or nerfing certain spells and abilities.  Another nerf on the Mimiron encounter will probably be welcomed by some casual guilds, or irritate the hardcore guilds. To each their own poison. A few items will get their stats tweaked some. You can read the patch notes after the break.

Death Knights

  • Frost Presence: Armor bonus is now 60% down from 80%.

Druids

  • Improved Barkskin: This talent now also grants 80/160% additional armor while in Travel Form or not shapeshifted.
  • Improved Tree of Life: The armor bonus to Tree of Life Form from this talent has been reduced to 67/133/200% bonus armor.

Hunters

  • Hunter’s Mark: The ranged attack power bonus from this ability has been increased from 300 to 500.
  • Master Marksman: This talent now also decreases the cost of Aimed Shot and Chimera Shot by 5/10/15/20/25%.

Paladins

  • Eye For An Eye: This talent now deals 5/10% of the critical strike damage taken by the paladin back at the attacker.
  • Hand of Freedom: The base duration of this buff has been reduced from 10 seconds to 6 seconds.

Rogues

  • Overkill: Talent redesigned. Now increases energy regeneration by 30% while stealthed, and for 20 seconds after breaking stealth.

Warlocks

  • Chaos Bolt: This spell no longer ignores damage reduction effects of the target.

Warriors

  • Blood Frenzy: This talent now provides 5/10% haste instead of 3/6%.
  • Bloodthirst: Cooldown reduced from 5 seconds to 4 seconds, and rage cost reduced from 30 rage to 20 rage.
  • Juggernaut: This talent now also increases the cooldown on Charge by 510 seconds.

Items

  • Death Knight PvP Gauntlets: The chance to refresh a Frost Rune when casting Chains of Ice has been removed. When equipped, these gloves now generate

    5 additional runic power whenever Chains of Ice is used.

Dungeons

  • Ulduar
    • Mimiron
      • The flight time of Rocket Strikes has been increased, and Rocket Strikes will try to prefer players at range.
      • The Leviathan Mk II component of the V-07-TR-0N will become stunned during Phase 4 when the VX-001 component begins to cast the P3Wx2 Laser Barrage

        ability.

      • Proximity mines now deal less damage and have a lower duration. A small arming time has also been added so proximity mines will not immediately

        detonate on creation.

Bug Fixes

  • Druid Tier 8 Balance Set: The 4-piece bonus no longer has its effect consumed by Starfire casts in progress when it triggers. The chance for the

    effect to be triggered has been reduced down to 8%, as it was originally inflated to compensate.

  • Ice Layered Barrier: Upgraded to item level 232. In addition, the stats in the tooltip have been correctly adjusted to 78 spell power, 48 haste rating, 16 mana per 5 seconds, 52 Intellect, and 50 Stamina.
  • Pulsing Spellshield: The stats listed in the tooltip for this item were incorrect and have been adjusted. This item provides 69 spell power, 34 haste rating, 42 critical strike rating, 45 intellect, and 45 stamina.

Patch 3.1.2: Class Q&A Series

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Developers, Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, Nethaera, World of Warcraft News

The developers want your feedback about each class and questions for the developers.  Read first the patch notes to identify the changes introduced in patch 3.1.2. Play around your class once the live servers come back online, specially tonight when you go to Ulduar. Any bugs or suggestions should be posted at the following forum threads.  Try not to create new threads about this topic. The developers will be reading all your feedback in these class specific threads.

More threads will be appearing in upcoming days and weeks. For now these are the class threads available:

USA

Europe

 

Blizzard Quote:
We are looking for community class questions and topics for a class Question & Answer series. Over the next few weeks, we will be posting in each of the class forums and discussing the latest high priority questions and topics the community has. We will then be compiling these questions and topics into a larger Question & Answer post to address as many of questions as possible. While we will be creating one post in each of the class forums to solicit questions and topics of interest, we will also be keeping a close eye on additional posts and discussions.

It is important to keep in mind that we have a schedule of classes we will be addressing and will be getting to each class individually over this period of time. Please note, this list is subject to change.

Shaman
Mage
Warlock
Death Knight
Paladin
Warrior
Hunter
Druid
Rogue
Priest

Best Costume to win a free trip to Blizzcon 2009

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, BlizzCon, BlizzCon 2009, Blue Posts, Contests, Diablo 2 News, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, Warcraft 3 News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard is preparing to announce a new contest that starts on May 20.  The winners of this contest will get free trip for two to BlizzCon 2009 and some phat lootz.  The catch?  You better be good at sewing costumes … or a blacksmith or leatherworker in real life.

Blizzard Quote:
Warm up your sewing machines and start selecting the best fabrics you can; the Blizzard Costume Contest is coming soon! The best costume-maker will receive a grand prize package filled with great loot from our partners Panini, SteelSeries, and Upper Deck as well as an a trip for two to BlizzCon 2009! Check out our contest information page for details.

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/contests/costume09/

This contest will launch on May 20 so get your costumes ready!

What World of Warcraft Music is Missing on CD?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard started a new poll asking for fan feedback. It is not openly implied, but it might be possible they are preparing a stand-alone soundtrack CD for sale or iTunes goodies. I recommend all our visitors to participate in the poll, regardless.  The World of Warcraft music is very rich and enjoyable.  Those who have the Collector’s Edtions know what I am talking about. Sometimes I listen to the soundtracks on a daily basis while working on the website, or doing other stuff other than gaming.

The Music of Blizzard Entertainment by EMINENCE is also a good product to listen to. Who knows, maybe this poll is about some interesting project.  It would be good to share your feelings on which music in-game you love the most that didn’t make it into the Collector’s Edition or the EMINENCE CDs. The poll has the following options:

  • Black Temple

  • Ulduar
  • Zul’Aman
  • Kharazhan
  • Sunwell
  • Other (Write In)
Blizzard Quote:
The World of Warcraft is full of music, but not all of it makes it onto the CDs. What music do you think is missing and what ones would you like to have most? If your favorite isn’t on the list, feel free to write it in!

Secrets of Ulduar Compensation Day

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard is giving all World of Warcraft subscribers a One-Day Exempt Compensation due to the exceeded maintenance schedule and afterward-downtime caused by instability. This compensation will be reflected in your WoW Account page in the official website.

Blizzard Quote:
World of Warcraft saw many new features and additions added to the game with the launch of our latest content patch, Secrets of Ulduar. While we anticipated extended downtime for this patch, the actual downtime exceeded our expectations and after the realms came online players have experienced long petition wait times. At this time, many of the issues that caused these problems have been addressed and resolved.

In light of these circumstances, all European and Russian accounts that are active and in good standing will receive one free day of play time. This day of compensation should be applied and viewable in your account management page (http://www.wow-europe.com/account) within the next 7 days. We thank you for your continued support of World of Warcraft and we

Patch 3.1.1 - Non-Fixed Ulduar Known Issues

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard is sharing with fans a list of known Ulduar [specific

] bugs they are aware of, but no hotfixes or solutions have been found at this moment to address them, which means these are on queue for a upcoming patch.

Blizzard Quote:
Here’s the current issues with Ulduar we’re currently investigating or are known and have no current fix.

Siege Engines that use Steam Rush while on a ramp sometimes fall through the world.
We currently have no fix for this, the workaround is simply to not cast Steam Rush on the ramps. The ability works fine in the Flame Leviathan fight and other flat ground.

Ignis sometimes will slag pot the offtank dealing with constructs.
The protections in place work most of the time, but we’re still investigating reports on this. Note that the protection is only granted if the tank is actively being melee’d by the construct. If players immobilize the construct and the tank backs away, the tank will not have the slag pot protection.

Kologarn can Stone Grip someone at the exact same time his right arm dies, leaving the player gripped for an extended time.
This is really rare, we located the issue, but a fix will have to wait for a future patch.

Kologarn can sometimes not respawn after a wipe.
UPDATE: We’re investigating this, but the current workaround is to soft reset the zone.

Mimiron will sometimes spray the room with his P3W X2 ability in phase 4.
UPDATE: We’re checking into this currently, and we’re combing through reports to try and nail down the specifics can trigger this.

Mimiron’s Aerial Command Unit can sometimes switch targets from the normal ranged tank to a different target in phase 4.
UPDATE: This behavior can be caused by the ranged tank moving outside the range of the Plasma Ball ability, which is 30 yards. We’ll update this in a future patch to create a phase 4 version of the spell with a longer range. The current spell has the shorter range to allow the ranged tank to move the Command Unit more easily in Phase 3.

Mimiron’s Assault Bots corpses don’t despawn after phase 3 ends, and they can hide mines with their bodies.
UPDATE: We’re going to have them vaporize after phase 3 in a future patch.

Some of the XT-002 Deconstructor adds can evade.
UPDATE: We’re investigating these reports.

The above isn’t the total list of all issues we’re checking out and fixing, some are visual only or are very rare.

New Hofixes After Patch 3.1.1

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

The amount of work the Blizzard Developers and CMs have put into this patch is staggering, and not only with the release of patch 3.1 and the minor patch 3.1.1—they continue to apply hotfixes left and right.  Bornakk has reported this week at least three hotfixes, the latest one posted yesterday April 21 right after the patch. Below and “after the break” you can see the very large number of 40 new hotfixes.  If you missed the previous two lists of hotfixes I reported recently you can check them out here and here.

  • The Saronite Animus in the heroic General Vezax encounter has had its health increased.

  • The Mimiron hard mode has received the following changes: increased damage from Flames, increased damage from Frost Bomb (in heroic), increased damage from Water Spray, and increased the health and damage bonuses he receives from Emergency Mode.
  • The damage bonus of the Frozen Power talent should no longer affect boss creatures.
  • The buff players receive from Tenacity in Wintergrasp is now stronger.
  • Stoneclaw Totem should no longer put a shield on hostile targets.
  • For the trash mobs leading to Mimiron: the damage from a Clockwork Sapper

Starcraft 2 Battle Report 2 Almost Ready

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, StarCraft 2 News

Starcraft II Fans eager to watch the Battle Report 2 should be satisfied to hear that it is almost upon us according to Karune.  Very nice to get updates on its production, even if there is no ETA revealed.

Blizzard Quote:
Karune: Localization is just about finished and we are clearing it through a few more legal channels, as certain countries are more cautious when it comes to gore in video games. I know I’ve been telling ya, but it shouldn’t be too much longer. Will keep you updated.

PTR 3.1 Raid Schedule March 31-April 1

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

The new PTR 3.1 Raid Schedule covers March 31-April 1. Today it is Hodir (Hard Mode) for USA and no test for Europe.  Wednesday it is Iron Council (hard Mode) for USA and General Vezax (Hard Mode) for Europe. Make arrangements with your guilds to help test these bosses, and make sure to offer feedback and bug reports.

Blizzard Quote:
Here’s the current schedule for Ulduar PTR testing:

On the North American test realms:

Hodir (Hard Mode) – Tuesday Night, March 31, starting at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT.
We’ve made some adjustments to the NPC mechanics in an effort to better balance the ability for melee and ranged players to do damage.

Iron Council (Hard Mode) – Wednesday Night, April 1, starting at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT.
We’d like Steelbreaker last tested again, we have Static Disruption working again.

On the European test realms:

General Vezax (Hard Mode) – Wednesday Night, April 1 at 19:00 CET.
We’ve made further adjustments to try and balance the the effectiveness of ranged DPS casters and melee in the fight.

For Hard Mode testing, Shirts of Uber will be available on Ursula McWeaksauce to help simulate a raid having obtained Ulduar gear. Check the entrance area of Ulduar for the vendor.

This schedule could change at a moment’s notice due to server, bug, or patch status. I’ll try to keep everyone informed as much as possible. Ulduar and the bosses to be tested will remain also open a variable length of time. How long they stay open depends upon a host of factors including designer availability, bug status, etc.

We’re very interested in seeing combat logs and parses for all raid testing on the PTR.

Quick Ulduar FAQ:

Q) Where’s all the trash?
A) Trash is complete, and players will see the trash associated with each boss during their tests.

Q) Where’s the loot?
A) All loot is present.

Q) What about achievements?
A) All achievements are active.

The Global Community: 2009 China’s Lunar New Year Event

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard is showing off various photos submitted by chinese WoW players to celebrate the Lunar New Year Festival.  They are showing a handful out of over 8 thousand entries. Check them out by clicking on the images in this page.

Blizzard Quote:
This year, World of Warcraft players in China celebrated the Lunar New Year with a photo event called,

Blizzard Entertainment Recruiting at GDC 2009

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blue Posts

Blizzard Entertainment will be at the Game Developers Conference through March 23-27 at the Career Pavillion in the Moscone Center, San Francisco.  Fans who have the skills and the passion for games are welcome to apply for a job. This is a great opportunity to sell yourself and become part of the best game developer studio in the world. Heed the call !!!

Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo 3 Wizard Orb and Unannounced Weapon Enchantment

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Bashiok, Blizzard Developers, Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, Diablo 3 News

Bashiok teased players with one of the Diablo III features that have not been announced yet: How to upgrade base weapons damage to make them more powerful? The answer is not former Diablo II runes. Say whoa? We will probably have to wait until Blizzcon 2009 this August to find out or one of the BlizzCasts? Additionally, we learn something about the Wizard.

Blizzard Quote:

Wizard

Bashiok: The sort of plate-like gauntlets shown on her are part of the armor set look she was wearing. I think the “focus” you’re talking about is actually an orb, which is a wizard-specific off hand item. You’ve got the idea right though, a lot of the wizard spell animations incorporate the orb into a sort of focusing element while casting. The electrocute and disintegrate videos show it pretty well.

Unannounced Weapon Enhancement

Bashiok: I think it’s important not to mistake the word used for a system (in this case rune) for what the systems are actually accomplishing.

In Diablo II runes were used to augment weapons and essentially add more stats to them, runes in certain combinations would create runewords which were in essence more powerful than the sum of each individual rune. But remove the word rune, and you’re looking at a system that simply upgrades items.

Similarly, runes in Diablo III, take away the word rune and we’re looking at a system where skills and abilities can be altered to behave differently, simply increased in effectiveness, or some combination thereof.

Essentially what your question comes down to then is, where is the system in Diablo III that allows us to make base weapons more powerful? And that’s a question that will have to be answered at a later time.

PTR 3.1 Ulduar Patchwerk Test Results

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Yesterday, Sunday, Blizzard opened Ulduar with two copies of Naxxramas’ Patchwerk: One was tagged as DPS Test and the second was tagged as Tank Test. My group was able to kill the DPS test Patchwerk twice with some difficulty. However, we couldn’t kill the Tank Test dummy. We went as far as 1.3 million health.before he killed the tank. Daelo revealed the reason. It hits a 10% harder every 10 seconds. It is recommended to bring consumables and flasks to these tests in order to help fine-tune the event. Make sure to share your feedback about the Patchwerk DPS and Tank Tests at the following official forums thread.

Blizzard Quote:
Here will be a thread for everyone to post their test results from attempts against the two versions of Patchwerk on test.

One version is essentially just a normal patchwerk with double the HP for use as a DPS test. This is Patchwerk (DPS Test).

The other version we currently have is Patchwerk (Tank Test). This is Patchwerk without the Hateful Strike, double the HP, but most importantly every 10 seconds his melee damage increases by 10%. Not only are we looking to see just how long tanks can be kept up given maximum effort from the entire raid, but also how long can tanks be kept up with more limited numbers of healers.

Also, if there are suggestions for modifications or new versions of test Patchwerks, we’d love to here it.

On a side note, we’re working to get a test glyph vendor created. It won’t be ready for the next build to hit PTR, but we’ll have it later.

POLL: What do you think of the new mechanics?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, StarCraft 2 News

Blizzard has been incredibly active with StarCraft II updates after the release of Q&A Batch 49. It is a very good sign that their internal closed beta date is very close. Today, Cydra posted a new poll to find out your feedback. We encourage all our visitors and long-time loyal followers to participate in this official poll that aims to research your overall opinion concerning the recent game mechanics and model overhaul.

Blizzard Quote:
Vote for the new game mechanics

The StarCraft 2 team has made a number of changes in each of the races and the new game mechanics are expected to provide players with more strategic options and chances.

Here are the new game mechanics for gathering resources and building up army. And you can check more changes in each races at the latest StarCraft II Q&A – Batch 49(StarCraft II Q&A – Batch 49) as well. So, what do you think of this new game mechanics change?

Protoss Dark Pylon:

Blizzard Talks On World of Warcraft Sales In Australia

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Entertainment shared with—us—fansites a very important message for all fans and subscribers of World of Warcraft.  Recently, an erroneous and misleading article has been echoed throughout many gaming news outlets worldwide declaring that World of Warcraft would be banned from Australian store shelves. The article said that all games sold in Australia requires an Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) rating. Without this rating, games don’t make it into Australian store shelves.

Some gaming sites have said that MMOs don’t have a OFLC rating, including World of Warcraft. And thus, operate illegally as of the passing of the recent new legislation. However, Blizzard has communicated as of today, February 6th, that this is not true.

Blizzard Quote:
Blizzard Entertainment and its affiliates work very closely with the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia to ensure that we are in full compliance with Australian law as it relates to the distribution and operation of our games, including World of Warcraft. We

Upcoming 3.1 class changes

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

As many of you know the next major content patch will include some very exciting things, such as Ulduar, a new epic raid dungeon, a wealth of new items, and much more. We thought players would especially enjoy reading just a few of the class changes we’re currently planning.

This is the second in a series of three upcoming class change highlight announcements: Priests, Rogues, Shaman, Warlocks, Druids, and Warriors. Please keep in mind, that these lists are not at all comprehensive, and subject to change.

Please read and discuss details of these upcoming changes in each class forum:

Priest

  • Divine Spirit

Zarhym Talks About Content Patch 3.1

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Zarhym expressed a lot of feedback about the upcoming major content patch 3.1 and the 25-man / 10-man dungeon Ulduar.  Content patches will be released at a fair pace, but not as often as it happened in Burning Crusade to allow guilds breath-space with raid progression before moving on to a new dungeon.

Blizzard Quote:
Our development team is currently hard at work on Ulduar. It’s going to be massive. For those looking to progress past Naxxramas, this will be your place. For those looking for much more of a challenge content-wise than they’ve seen thus far in Wrath of the Lich King, Ulduar welcomes you.

After The Burning Crusade’s final major content patch, the plan was to space out the new raid dungeons in Wrath of the Lich King so there wouldn’t be overwhelming moments or times where several raids are released at once and slightly ill-tuned (as was the case with The Burning Crusade’s launch); we also don’t want extremely long periods of time where no new raids come out, as was the case after The Burning Crusade’s initial launch.

I trust players can expect to find a fair amount of challenge and content with patch 3.1, and each major content patch after that in Wrath of the Lich King will offer similar new feats.

Raid progression in this game has always been fairly linear. That is by design. The idea is to have clear progressions depending on how you choose to spend your time, whether in 5-man, 10-man, 25-man, or PvP.

It takes quite a bit of time to design a new dungeon, even just speaking about the art alone. By the time we get around to tuning a new raid dungeon, the idea is to offer new, more difficult challenges, which would naturally result in better rewards. That seems to describe a linear design philosophy as you put it.

For those asking about the challenge, I’d wager the average guild couldn’t expect to waltz into Ulduar and clear the place right away in its top form. If it didn’t come back to haunt me (har), I’d guess it would take weeks for the average guild.

You might see some additional rewards from heroism vendors down the line, though it’s not expected there will be a host of new items released comparable to Ulduar or Icecrown loot, at least not in the same manner Sunwell badge gear was provided.

As we continue to evaluate professions, one shouldn’t rule out additional glyphs in the future. The achievements will continue to come, and there will always be plenty of achievements for everyone.

Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.8a Released

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Earlier today, Blizzard released a new minor patch on US Realms during the Tuesday maintenance schedule. Some of these class, race or gender bugs had been acknowledged and reported by Blizzard when the original Patch 3.0.8 was deployed. It’s nice to see that the devs worked around the clock to release them this quick. Nethaera sent us word immediately. You can read the patch notes and any updates here.

Patch 3.0.8a resolves the following bugs:

Blizzard Quote:
General

  • Human females Helms will no longer lift off the character’s head during a Special2H animation or during a HoldRifle animation.

Death Knights

  • Howling Blast : The 5 second cooldown will now display correctly.

Hunters

  • All Hunter aspects are no longer on the global cooldown that is shared with other Hunter abilities. All hunter aspects are now on a separate 1 second cooldown.

Warlocks

  • Ritual of Summoning will now function as intended.

Account-Wide Death Knight Creation Updated

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Nethaera has informed us of an update to the recent Account-wide Death Knight Creation issue alert posted at the official forums. Some players are able to still create Death Knights, but other players can’t. Blizzard is trying to isolate what is causing this seemingly random bug.  As of later tonight, the problem will be resolved after the restarts. We have below a FAQ to Account-wide Death Knight Creation provided by Blizzard.

Blizzard Quote:
Update – 1/21 11:30 AM PST

We are continuing to work on allowing death knight creation on all eligible realms per the creation rules for death knights and will provide further updates as soon as they are available.

Update – 1/20 5:20pm PST

We will be bringing all realms down at 5am PDT (Oceanic realms will be brought down at 12pm PDT) on January 21 to address an issue with Death Knight creation. The restarts should only take approximately 15 minutes to complete. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Update- 1/20 3:30 PM PST

Please be aware that select players are currently able to create death knights on realms other than the one they currently have a level 55+ character on while others are still unable to do so at this time. We are currently working to address this issue and anticipate this to be corrected as of tonight

Diablo III: Build Customization, UI, Economy and More

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blue Posts, Diablo 3 News

This past week Bashiok has been on a roll posting and replying to fans on the official Diablo 3 forums. Among the topics discussed were the stat points allocation concerns which seem to be the new kid on the block after the Art Direction uproar a few months ago. Bashiok continues to tease and hint many Character build customization options that are still unrevealed. He also mentioned that any buttons we saw in the Blizzcon 2008 hands-on demo were placeholders and that none are recycled from World of Warcraft, but unique to Diablo III. There are other topics. You can read them below after the break. Share your thoughts with other fans.

Blizzard Quote:

Inventory

Maphack @ Azeroth: Well your developers seem to feel that putting items into boxes with the classic inventory was punishing to players, as if we weren’t beyond the level of tinker toys.

Bashiok: No I’m sure you’re a very intelligent person, but at it’s core elements Diablo is not about pouring over the worth of a single inventory square. That’s not what makes the game.

The grid system puts a secondary value on an item, one of how much space it actually takes up. That amount of space, unless it’s broken up in to minuscule segments, can’t be properly attributed to the actual worth of the item.

So you have a grand charm, three spaces, is it a good charm or a crappy charm? If it’s worth keeping is it worth taking up three inventory spots? If it’s worth taking up three inventory spots with that grand charm is there any other combination of lesser charms that could…

That’s just a lot of ridiculous work to figure out the worth of each single square of inventory space, and it’s pretty much unnecessarily punishing, yes.

Blizzard Quote:

Trade House System, Not Auction House

Qookie @ USEast: Now in World of Warcraft , using the Auction House is the biggest method of getting rich with gold cause gold is one way to get the best item in the game and another way is dueling in Arena or BattleGround for points and these points you can use to buy special items which some are the best item in the game and some aren’t. The problem with the Auction House is that it takes away with the interaction with other players to talk to each other and bargin items to a lower price and are that fun stuff you can do in diablo but not with gold, but with items. You can still trade with other people but mostly doesn’t happen because of course you can get mostly everything from your guild/Clan or your Auction House.

Bashiok: I’m not sure I understood all of what you said, sorry, it sort of read like stereo instructions written by the guy that scares people away from using the pay phone at the 7-11 down the street.

Just a couple of my own cents on the system. First off we really don’t have a solid plan for any sort of external trading system, that is anything beyond being in the same game with the person. We know we’d like something like that though if at all possible.

Foremost – spamming is bad. I think trade channels usually suck because of the requirement to spam. The amount of time and effort spent just to get your items noticed borders on brain-explosiony. Throw in the lack of easily gauged economy and you’re usually left out in the dark, laughed at, ripped off, etc. Your suggestion seems to mix the idea of an auction house and trade channel, in that you can use a channel in-game to spam, and then have some sort of UI to trade the item. That definitely solves one issue, which is needing to leave the game and just sit in a chat channel. What it doesn’t solve is needing to sit in a chat channel and spam. Sure, you could probably play and spam the channel every once in a while but it’s really not the cleanest approach. You’re still spamming a chat channel, you’re still limited to the people that want to see that spam (ie not many).

Since you brought it up let’s move on to the World of Warcraft’s auction house. World of Warcraft did not invent the auction house trading system. It may have certainly refined it, but an irrational hatred of the game that some of you seem to have really shouldn’t translate to game systems that aren’t original to it. There are some major advantages to an auction house similar to WoW’s. You don’t have to be present being the biggest and best. You can be playing with friends, PvPing, asleep, at school or work, and someone has the ability to see your items, and you have a greater chance to sell/trade them. You don’t have to spam a channel, you don’t have to even be online and playing. That’s HUGE, and really the main reason so many people use trading systems such as websites and forums for Diablo II. You want to focus on playing the game or not playing the game, not sitting around hoping someone wants your item.

It also helps form a visible and easily identified economy. I’m a new player, I got a sword I think it’s probably pretty nice, I can go on an auction house and search for it or similar swords and get an idea of how much it should sell for. In this case being in a trade channel is no better whether it’s in-game or out of game. What you’d probably end up with is people still going to forums and more static styles of trading found on websites, but even then any unified sense of economy is spread thin. Maybe that’s not such a bad system in itself, and an official trading site could work. Of course what you lose either way though, auction house or website, is in-game player interaction. Which is what I assume you’re striving to keep.

When it comes down to it, any change or addition or removal of any systems have to be weighed. Do the positives outweigh the negatives?

I’ll go back to what I said at the beginning and state we don’t know what if any types of trading systems will be in the final game. Maybe there won’t be, it may be that eventually we settle on leaving it Diablo II style. We have some ideas of what would be cool, but at the end of the day we’re not going to do anything that isn’t far and away a more positive change for the game.

Character Build Customization

Deliras @ Europe: As some forumers have stated before I want to recall that one of the greatest and most enjoyable aspects of the DIablo series (specially D2 and D2-LoD), is the amazing variety of character builds you were able to create.

Bashiok: Agreed, and we’ll probably surpass them for viable number of character builds. With runes it’s actually kind of scary. Seeing the game in the wild and what people will come up with… eek. But it’s exciting, making a character that almost feels too powerful is pretty damn fun.

Many Build Customization Options Unrevealed

Deliras @ Europe: If you were to build your uberpwnzor pvp bowazon for example, every single stat had to be allocated carefully.

Bashiok: Ah, so then stat points were just a means to an end then, weren’t they? In almost all cases anyway. They were a requirement to the items, clicking a button to raise a number to a required value. The items and abilities chosen are really what created the character, not figuring out item requirements.

You could argue about it forever if you wanted to. The stat points didn’t make the character, but little extra math problems are fun, but little extra math problems don’t really equate to fun or interesting character building, but I think that math problems are fun and interesting, but … etc. etc. etc.

And of course all I can attempt to do is assure you that there’s going to be plenty of build potential, plenty of customization, and plenty of math to dive into, if that’s your thing.

Diablo 3 UI Unique, not WoW Clone. BlizzCon UI buttons were Placeholder

Qookie @ USEast: … Blizzard needs to understand they cannot be lazy and take ideas from World of Warcraft just because it’s a good idea. …

Bashiok: Uhm, well out of all the things you said I guess I could probably talk about the icons. All of the Diablo III UI and icons are created by the Diablo III team, mainly our UI designer Mike Nicholson. We’re not taking any art from other games, it’s all created for Diablo III. It should also be noted that everything seen thus far should be considered placeholder, a lot of the UI has already changed fairly significantly.

DX10 and OpenGL 3.0

Spherous @ USEast: Does Blizzard plan to make use of Direct X 10 and OpenGL 3.0?

Bashiok: We’re not currently using any specific DirectX 10 features in Diablo III. That could potentially change of course, but if it did we don’t have any plans to then require DirectX 10 to play the game.

Patch 3.0.8: Ghostcrawler On Dispel Resistance Overhaul

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Ghostcrawler explained the internal concerns about Dispel Resistance mechanics from talent trees and dispel abilities.  The Developers wish to hear your feedback at the following forum thread. Feel free to submit to them your feedback, and tell us what you think by posting a comment below. Do classes need this nerf, or does it sound logical to you?

Blizzard Quote:
Ghostcrawler: The general rule of thumb is that helpful spells (e.g. buffs) and dots are protected. Other offensive spells (e.g. crowd controls) are not.

We are definitely interested on hearing feedback on this implementation. We like the basic mechanic of casting and dispelling spells, but I think many players agreed that the system beyond that needed an overhaul. I am sure many players have their own ideas on how this should have worked, because a lot of them have been pitched to us.

Feel free to discuss dispel and dispel resistance here rather than having the conversation across multiple threads.

The dispells spells themselves generally have not changed. The talents that protected some of your spells have changed.

Overall, dispelling attacks used against you should be easier to dispel (except for dots).

Windows 7 and World of Warcraft

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Windows 7 OS beta (Watch the video demo) will be distributed on January 10th to the first two million downloads. Thereafter, downloads will be disrupted. If you are among the very few lucky, you will have to burn the ISO file. You require to have a DVD burner drive.  The Windows 7 installation must be made from within the DVD containing the ISO file.  No physical DVDs will be distributed by Microsoft. (Official Windows 7 Website)

World of Warcraft players attempting to install Windows 7 will very likely go: “Zomg! Windows 7 sux!” As per Blizzard Entertainment, today, Darth (from Technical Support Team) cleared up that Blizzard doesn’t support new OS in alpha or beta stage. You still have the opportunity to discuss issues or features of Windows 7 and World of Warcraft with other fans at a specific thread.  Don’t create new threads. Moderators will lock or delete them.

Blizzard Quote:
Please keep in mind that we (Blizzard) do not support operating systems in Alpha, Beta or Release Candidate phases. We will allow you to discuss the game or OS performance here when the public beta is released in a centralized thread. It’ll most likely be this sticky when it is unlocked tomorrow.

Getting Started

Drivers for….

Video:
-AMD – http://support.ati.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=894%20ID%20737-39069
-NVIDIA – http://www.nvidia.com/object/windows_7.html

Vote for Your Favorite StarCraft II Dark Templar

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blue Posts, StarCraft 2 News

The Starcraft II Team wants your feedback to choose which of the three types of Dark Templar will be used in Starcraft II. Your participation and collaboration will decide the design process and appearance of the Dark Templar. If you are among the fans who do not like the Dark Templar’s appearance this is your chance to let your voice be heard. Cast your vote at the official poll and add your comments too.

You can watch the different types of Dark Templar animations at the Starcraft2.com Website.

Blizzard Quote:
The protoss dark templar has always been one of the StarCraft community’s favorite units—now, the community has a chance to participate directly in the dark templar design process for StarCraft II! Over the course of the next month, players will vote to decide which dark templar model will appear in StarCraft II multiplayer matches.

The first option represents the Lenassa tribe of dark templar, which made its debut in the original StarCraft. This unit carries a single warp blade, and a cloth shroud covers its face.

The second option represents the Zer’atai tribe of dark templar, who wield dual scythes and wear an ensemble of heavy armor and the bones of slain zerg.

The third and final option is to have both tribes represented: When you build a dark templar, either the Lenassa or Zer’atai dark templar would spawn randomly.

You can learn more about the dark templar here . Voting will close on Febuary 5th at 11:22 AM CET. The choice is in your hands!

Thanks, Handclaw

Starcraft II - Burrowed Unit Selection and Zealot Upgrade

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blue Posts, StarCraft 2 News

Blizzard Quote:
Zealot Upgrades
There are two upgrades possible at Twilight Council, one is researching ‘Charge’ for Zealots and the other is researching ‘Blink’ for Stalkers. Charge upgrade for Zealots includes movement speed increase of Zealots as well.  So to speak, Charge increases the movement speed of Zealots AND allows them to intercept nearby enemies.

Unit Selection of Burrowed Zerg
Let’s say you have Zerglings in one group and some of Zerglings in a group are burrowed and the others are not. You can switch your selection of Zerglings burrowed or unburrowed in a group by hitting Tab key and also UI color is different for the units of which the ability is on with some more darked green color.
And you can use Tab key as well for Siege Tank’s Siege Mode, Spine Crawler’s Root.

However, for unit’s cloaking ability like Ghost and Banshee, I couldn’t swith off the selection of Cloaked/Decloaked units in one group by Tab key.

And one more thing, when you double click on a unit, you can select all of the same units even though some of the same units’ ability is on and other’s off like Siege Mode or Cloak. But you can select only burrowed or rooted units by double clicking on burrowed or rooted units.

I will check this more with Development team and if I have additional information on this, I will share it with you.

Important: Naxxramas and World Latency Fixes

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

The World of Warcraft Developers need your feedback to find solutions to the latency afflicting raid players throughout Naxxramas and the outdoor world. Feel free to post your comments at the following official thread.

Blizzard Quote:
Nethaera: For the last several weeks, our players have been experiencing periodic latency in both outdoor Northrend areas and Naxxramas, and we wanted to provide you with several updates on what we’re doing to resolve these issues. As many players have discovered, the outdoor Northrend latency has been tied to activity in Wintergrasp. We are actively working on a server-side fix that should address the high latency experienced in the outdoor world when Wintergrasp is active. This fix is currently in testing on internal test realms and we anticipate that we’ll be able to push it to live realms in the near future. Concerning Naxxramas, optimizations are being made that will address both the latency and disconnection issues affecting players while in that zone. These optimizations will be included with the next minor content patch.

We appreciate your patience as we work to address these issues.

Ulduar on PTR Soon

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blue Posts, Dungeon & Raids, World of Warcraft News

Vaneras has revealed a few details about the upcoming new 25-man raid dungeon: Ulduar It will be partially available on PTR at some point in upcoming weeks with various hard-modes to tackle.  Blizzard is satisfied with how the Sartharion dungeon was designed and plan to create new dungeons with many hard-modes.  Ulduar will not be just for everyone. Even in normal mode it will be challenging. It is developed for those guilds that have geared up through Malygos, Naxxramas and Sartharion, yet those will find Ulduar a hard experience..

Blizzard Quote:
Ulduar will be available on PTR in the future, however we are planning on having several limitations in place so that we can control what can be tested at any given time. Ulduar will also not be available permanently like Naxxramas was in the WotLK Beta.

All this basically means that if there is something we want to test, then we will enable the zone and encounter so that it is available. If at some point there is something that we no longer want to test, then the zone will be disabled so that it is no longer available.

Keep in mind though, that there will be quite a few encounters to test in both the 10 and the 25 man versions, and there will also be a whole lot of “hard modes” and achievements to test.

We are quite pleased with how Sartharion and his drakes worked, so we would like to expand on that idea quite a bit in Ulduar and future raids. We are currently planning for most of the encounters to have “hard modes” that will allow for raids to increase the difficulty. Increasing the challenge will of course also mean an increase of reward level if successful.

Ulduar will be on PTR in the future, but we’re going to have tight controls in place on what can be tested at any given time. Ulduar will also not be up permanently like Naxxramas was in the WotLK Beta. If we have something to test, we’ll make the zone and encounter available. If we don’t, we’ll disable the zone.

That being said, there’s going to be a LOT of encounters to test in both 10 and 25 player modes. There will also be a whole lot of “hard modes” and achievements to test. We’re shooting for most all of the encounters to have “hard modes” that allow raids to increase the challenge and reward level if they’re up to it. We’re pretty pleased with how Sartharion and his drakes worked, and we’re going to expand on that idea extensively in Ulduar and future raids.

The reward for completing the hard modes are not going to be just achievement points, titles, or mounts, but improved, additional item rewards.

I think it’s safe to say that Ulduar will be a bit more difficult overall than Naxxramas, even without the hard modes. We’re still going to tune the zone for accessibility(*), but a raid group that’s done Naxxramas, Malygos, and Sartharion and obtained the gear from those encounters should be well prepared for Ulduar. Not only is the raid’s gear better, but players should now have some raiding experience under their belts. We also have a much more accurate picture of what guilds are capable of from a healing, damage, and tanking perspective then when WotLK first went live. If Naxxramas was the introduction to raiding 101 class for players who have never raided before, think of Ulduar as the second year class.

* There will be one optional encounter that is only tuned as a “hard mode” encounter.

I don’t think you have to worry about spoilers from Achievements, to be honest. Seeing achievement text before you fight a boss is like seeing a single piece of a large jigsaw puzzle. Sure, it’s something, but it’s nothing really without seeing the context of the encounter as a whole. I also expect achievements to be something tested late in the PTR process. Implementing them is one of the last parts of the development pipeline.