Entries in blue (11)

Community Team Informal Q & A

Gosh. It feels like I've been talking a heckuva lot about Blues today, what with two special events planned for tomorrow and the Community Team mugging for a photo op with a pair of giant plushies.

Ryuzaaki clearly hadn't had his fill, calling an impromptu Q & A session on the official forums so that we could all learn a little bit more about our favorite Blizzard posters. His original post follows, with responses from several CMs after the break:

As a community many of us are familiar with those oh so elusive Community Managers who patrol these forums posting whenever they feel the urge. However, for many people not many know much more about them other than the blue name. The idea of this thread is to allow CM's to talk about themselves or allow the community to ask specific questions. 

So to get this started I'll ask a few of my own questions here: 

1. To many of us its known that Bornakk and Zarhym are actually close friends *and that they work right next to each other*. So to continue on that, when did you both first meet, and what were your first impressions that caused you to become such good friends? 

2. Where has Neth been? We miss you = (. 

The next few are in general towards any CM's. 

3. Many kids have the desire of working in a gaming field as they age, but did any of you truly expect to actually achieve such a career? If not what was your dream job as a child. 

4. As CM's you all maintain your own characters in game that you have played as fairly as everyone else. What has been your most humorous situation to happen in game? In regards to the fact that people may be rude to you and be completely oblivious that you are in fact the CM's on the forums? 

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Blue Stew: 8/31/09

Blue Stew is a new daily column bringing you a delicious concoction of developer news, thoughts, and opinions straight from the boiling pot that is the official World of Warcraft forums. The highlights of each day include additional commentary by Project Lore staff. Welcome to day two of Blue Stew, everyone. A lot of you seemed interested in what this column has to offer, so I'm going to do my best to bring you its brothy goodness every day this week. Now, on with today's serving...

  • Oh man, what is it with Druids? It seems that poor Blizzard just can't get a break from their polymorphic prejudice! Veere has set up an obstacle course made out of Winchesters so that he can get even better at jumping the gun. Wanting to test his progress, he decided to post this gem on the official forums: "NE Mages = The Death of Lore?" I don't know what it is that makes people think that lore exists in a vacuum. Moving forward with the timeline and shaking things up a little bit doesn't equal a retcon, people! So the arcane has been forbidden from Night Elf culture for thousands of years? OK, that's fine, but I'm sure you've all heard this phrase before: "Desperate times call for desperate measures!" Look at it this way, when the world is as threatened as it is by a force like Deathwing, each and every race on Azeroth is going to take a good, long, hard look at themselves and figure out what they can or need to do to overcome that destruction, and sometimes that means breaking taboos and sharing resources with each other. If that means paths once closed need to be re-opened, well, I see no problems with that. But, of course, there will be ramifications for doing so. Blue poster Kisirani reminds us that Blizzard is not ignorant of such things: "I'd like to reinforce that we're perfectly aware of the way Night Elf society has viewed arcane magic over the years. We are similarly aware that Night Elf Mages have been in the game since patch 1.3. Not all Highborne became the High Elves and Blood Elves of today. As evidenced in the screenshot linked, patch 3.2.2 begins the explanation. We're not ignoring what came before, but we are moving the storyline forward, and at times, that means change and a shake up in the status quo." So, please, where Cataclysm lore is concerned, be aware that these things have been announced long before they actually occur within the game world.
  • Lyresse spends most of her days inside a giant, plastic bubble. Not because she's sick, but because she's always wondered what it was like to be a hamster. She's also curious about WoW's shoulda-beens and coulda-beens, and asks if phasing technology could be used to breathe new life into old quest lines. Her given examples include finishing the bridge in Redridge Mountains and the remote nature of Marshall's Refuge in Un'Goro Crater (how the heck did they manage to get a flight path out there?). Wryxian responds with a tight-lipped answer, admitting that he knows little of what the development team plans to do with the technology, but that "the main issue will be deciding on when to stop using it." It doesn't seem like we'll be getting any real answers on this subject anytime soon, and while I have no doubt it will be used to make new quest lines more exciting, I'm not sure what can be done for old ones like those Lyresse is interested in. The fact of the matter is that we have to consider Cataclysm as a quantum leap forward in the WoW universe. Everything is moving forward, and many of those old quests might not even be available any longer. That is to say that we likely won't get another line dealing with the bridge in Redridge, because either it will be finished at the start of the expansion, or it will be utterly destroyed. So, I'm not entirely sure that we're going to see old areas of the world that could've benefitted from it in the past actually incorporate phasing now, but rather that they all will from here on out.
  • Grand Apothecary Putress Grand Apothecary Putress I think Lindra can read minds, because she's asked a question that I've been itching to ever since being clued into the massive changes of Cataclysm: "What's going to happen to the Plaguelands?" Wryxian answered the call once again, expressing his own interest in the possibilities: "It's really intriguing wondering what exactly will happen to places like the Plaguelands. Will they be kept much as they are, even despite the nailing we all expect Arthas will receive, or will they be liberated and thus potentially becoming hotly contested by all the various races that may be interested in re-claiming the area for their own?" With Arthas most likely gone, the Scourge will lose their power. Like a bee hive without its Queen, they'll become listless and without direction. With production of new Scourge at a halt, they become easy pickin's for the likes of the Argent Dawn and Scarlet Crusade, eventually allowed the Plaguelands to be reclaimed by those who seek to call it home. Will the Blood Elves want to rebuild Quel'Thalas? Do the Humans want to reclaim their former capital of Lordaeron? And what about the Forsaken? They still need a place to call home (and, in fact, they seem intent on expanding their influence with the sacking of Gilneas). It seems to me that, with the spirit of open contention between factions at hand, that the Plaguelands will once again become a battlefield. So, what of the Scourge? Just because Arthas is gone doesn't mean they've lost all of their masters. In fact, there are a couple traitorous Forsaken who might see the Lick King's death as an opportunity. Despite their disdain for the Scourge, who could resist controlling an instant army?
Well, that wraps it up for today, folks. Add your thoughts below and, as always, keep those suggestions flowing!

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Blue Stew: 8/28/09

Blue Stew is a new daily column bringing you a delicious concoction of developer news, thoughts, and opinions straight from the boiling pot that is the official World of Warcraft forums. The highlights of each day include additional commentary by Project Lore staff. Welcome to the first edition of Blue Stew! We know that trying to find anything useful on the official forums can be a lot like tip-toe-ing through a minefield, but if you look a little harder, you can find some surprisingly useful information from the development team and various Community Managers (collectively known as "Blues," due to their specially-colored text). The goal of this column is to provide you with the highlights each day, as well as our own brand of commentary on the subjects at hand where appropriate. Considering the nature of the beast, there might not always be a lot worth talking about. But since this is our virgin voyage, why don't we go ahead, crack the bottle on the bow of the ship, and get this thing sailing?

  • picture-38First up is an inquiry from transmogrification fetishist and part-time Druid, Saberclaw, who idly wonders why Goblins don't get to transform in the same way that Worgen do? Maybe it has something to do with our fuzzy, were-wolf bretheren being the only race with a reason to change the way they look? He quickly recoils from his stupidly outlandish thread title, stating that he was really just trying to ask whether or not we'd get to pick from various goblin types at the outset. Wryxian was kind enough to step up to the plate, stating that while the playable Goblins aren't as vastly different from their current in-game counterparts (as opposed to the Draenei, when they were introduced), you can expect them to be more than just another "standard green short guy." And I have to agree. Just looking at the picture to the right, you can tell that this particular set of Goblins has been bred and prepared for combat. There's something leaner and meaner about them. Something that says they'd rather drain your blood than your bank account. I don't know if it calls for drastic changes to the race, but I bet they'll be a lot more expressive and interesting than your average, "time is money, friend" NPC.
  • Axelhander, when he's not busy squishing grapes between his toes, spends his spare time correcting the development team on their flawed game design.  Today, he called out Kalgan (a.k.a. Lead Game Designer, Tom Chilton) on some comments he'd made in a locked thread about the nature of Rated Battlegrounds. His major beef? Why, as a primarily solo player, is he being locked out of the best gear able to be obtained through the new rating system? Kalgan already addressed this issue in the previous thread, stating that the reason they didn't want to allow single players to queue and participate in the rated Battlegrounds was because it would be too easy and convenient for them to game the system by afk-ing. The natural assumption would be that, as a part of a group, any individual player would have more incentive to perform at their best. After all, think of it like an Arena group: a member that just sits there while his comrades do all the work (or, more likely, get slaughtered) isn't going to be on the team much longer. Kalgan adds that the current design philosophy for end-game PvE content is to reward organization, and that they'd they like to do the same with PvP: "I understand that you're expressing a philosophical disagreement as to whether rewarding for organizational effort and coordination is the right approach for the game, but I'm not sure why the expectation would be that we'd do that in battlegrounds when we don't do that in pve. You certainly can't 'get gear on par with the game's best' by doing solo daily quests either." Hey, I like to solo as much as the next guy. When I level a new alt, I almost never team up with anybody until I hit the level cap, but what's the use in rewarding someone the finest gear in the game if they don't care to engage in the level of content that requires it?
  • Zomber had to put on his "smart" glasses for this one. He asks: What's going to happen to the Argent Tournament when Cataclysm hits? Will it simply become another Quel'Danas, a once-major hub of end-game activity reduced to obsolescence by new content? Or will the event end once the crusade against the Lich King does? Zomber then expanded his query to incorporate other pockets of "dead" content in the game. The inimitable Bornakk answered the call, stating that since not everyone will own Cataclym right away, it makes sense to keep the Tournament, and areas like it, in the game. He also emphasized that it may stay in play longer than Quel'Danas did because it's currently one of the easiest and most convenient ways for a player to raise their reputation with their faction's major cities. Bornakk acknowledges how tricky managing this sort of ephemeral content is: "Generally speaking - spending a lot of time on new content and then making it end and disappear is not something we like to do and have to be very careful on when and how often we do it. We are changing some of the classic continents because they have been there for 5 years so we feel it's okay to change it around after all this time."
So that's it for the first edition of Blue Stew, which we will pick up starting again on Monday. I hope you were entertained, enlightened, or both. But it's clear that there are many ways in which we could improve this column. So, please, in addition to adding your thoughts on the content above, let us know how we might make it better! What sorts of issues should we focus on? How can we make it more interesting to read? The floor is yours, readers.

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Patch 3.2: Raiding Lockout Extensions

"Okay guys, let's get Yogg-Saron this attempt!"
Blizzard is known for pulling random, often unrequested, features out of the collective brain trust and adding them to an upcoming patch without warning.  Normally people cheer for additions to the default setup.  Some of the features just don't cut it, falling way short of the robustness offered by the many add-ons already available.  Other changes are entirely unobtainable outside of Blizzard's doing.  Case in point, the changes to Raid Info in Secrets of Ulduar.  The change in code enabled players to accept or deny a raid lockout for various reasons.  If something wasn't right, then we'd be able to abort that cleared instance or one that started ages ago unbeknownst to us.  Without a doubt a useful addition which has made everyone's instancing less cumbersome. Following the same RaidID logic, Blizzard confirmed this week that Call of the Crusade will give players the ability to extend your raid lockout period.  No longer will you have to give up on an instance with just Kel'Thuzad up, or clear the beginning of Ulduar just to make further attempts on Yogg-Saron.  Instead members of a raid or party can chose, individually, to continue the instance at a later date by extending the lockout timer for another session (seven days for most raids, another day for heroics).  The lockout timer can be extended indefinitely.  Worried that you'll extend your lockout timer only to fail at completing your goal?  Fear not, Blizzard will allow players to drop the extended instance so long as nothing of substance was completed since its extension. Why would Blizzard do this you ask?  Eyonix has your basic sure-to-upset-the-hardcore answer.  "This new option is being added as a means to allow parties and raids to progress through an instance at their chosen pace". Initially I was annoyed with the announcement.  Not only did it seem to be a pointless waste of development time, but it removes one of the reasons for a lockout period to exist.  I got over those issues though.  The development time spent on the change is nothing in the long run, perhaps a week's worth of work for a programmer and some QA personal.  And the lockouts exist mainly to keep people from getting too much loot in a week, not as a race against the (long) clock.  In the end both casual and hardcore guilds will benefit from the change, and it is doubtful that the gear gap between the teams will shrink with the added feature.  Leave that up to the emblem changes. Time well spent or is this going to be a rarely used feature like in-game voice chat?  Another win for casual raiders and a strike for the hardcore?  As an added, perhaps unintended, bonus we'll be able to gear up our alts by taking over older, partially cleared (all hard modes downed) instances and cleaning up any remaining easy bosses.  That can't be bad right? For more details, check the latest official PTR notes.

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Blizzard Needs A Central Information Repository

Hmm, I Think It Is Way In The Back Here... <QQ>I touched upon this subject last week in my farewell to Warhammer Online post, but it has raised its ugly head once again.  For all intents and purposes, Blizzard has no facility implemented - and in use - to disseminate crucial or important information to the mass of World of Warcraft subscribers.  Yes, they have the official forums and the front page of WorldofWarcraft.com, but they don't use these facilities to their utmost potential. Rather than being a haven for important discussions, details and announcements, the majority of the forum is used as a soapbox by angry and disenfranchised players.  Blues do creep in and drop bombs on the community here and there, but their efforts are trivialized by how few of us absorb the morsels.  To top it off, the same question or topic is then brought up a week later.  The front page of the MMORPG's official website is employed as a facilitator to a degree, with contests or huge announcements disclosed, but it misses the mark when compared to what it could easily offer. Bloggers, players and apparently even Ghostcrawler are fed up with the lack of a central information repository.  It doesn't have to be anything glamorous, new or even incredibly up-to-date.  To make most QQers happy, all Blizzard would have to do is a weekly wrap-up of important blue posts.  Just a quick summation of the hot topics with direct links to the discussions and we'd be so much happier.  Sure, bloggers would have to remain on the prowl for daily updates, but the average playerbase would enjoy the information being delivered in a nice package for them.</QQ> There is also a flip side to this.  Rather than placating critics like me, the developer would likely draw more casual subscribers into the forums if they had a "safe" starting point like this.  From what I have gathered from anecdotal evidence, most of my casual friends fear the forum is some sort of mystical creature with a thousand or so maws.  Perhaps it is all the clutter that comes from the repeating topics, the hatred spewed or the know-it-all attitudes.  Or, to lift Ghostcrawler's statement, maybe it is a "perfect storm" of the three. I rarely frequented the forums when I was a hardcore player because of this very issue.  It wasn't until I when I relapsed into real life that I began lurking the forums on a regular basis.  You know, to stay hip and all.  But lurking is all I ever do...How often do you frequent the forums and in what capacity?  Poster or lurker?  You seem to love our wrap-ups, but would you want Blizzard to do one of their important information on a weekly basis? And yes, I know that ProjectLore or any number of sites could do this, I just feel that Blizzard should be doing it to keep their customers informed.  Plus, as you can see by our growing list of talented bloggers, we have serious business to discuss, dissect and diss! Diss is still a common colloquialism right?  Oh god, am I getting old?!

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PvP and PvE Armor in 3.1 - Rogue, Death Knight, Mage

I always wondered about how Blizzard would handle armor designs as new content as released. As players are able to get more and more powerful and fight progressively nefarious enemies, how could armor sets get progressively more epic to reflect the power of the wielders? Thrall is beginning to look less and less cool comparatively. I thought tier 2's Bloodfang was far cooler than anything until tier 5 for rogues. The Burning Crusade armor sets had quite a few very bizarre armor sets as Blizzard designer's were reaching to try to make things as epic as possible. They definitely had the theme of Burning Crusade, drawing on the ideas of "lasers! pew pew" used in the nether-themed places and Draenei. The mighty morphing pally rangers will never be forgotten! The Wrath sets definitely have a distinctive look as well. The tier 7 sets are nigh direct copies of tier 3 since tier 3 was obtained in Naxxramas, which was revamped and moved to Northrend, but the non-tier pieces have had a very satisfying Nordic look that was a little shocking coming from the highly colored and crazy Burning Crusade world. Tier 8 continues this trend, with the items being highly influenced by the Titan architecture and carrying a very "new" look. Some players complained that the new PvP sets were too bland. Blue poster Zarhym told players:

The look of the sets will improve as the seasons continue. If we started the first sets of PvP gear with asteroids orbiting the shoulders, in a couple seasons you'd be wearing Thrall on your head... Under the current design philosophy, the idea is that in PvE you're killing very rare and challenging creatures of Azeroth, while in PvP you're receiving gear from the crafters (so to speak) of your faction to get you battle-ready. Chances are you're going to be given the gear that'll get the job done rather than the gear that has to be constructed entirely out of the nipples of a 7,000 year-old dragon.
I personally like this idea. It used to be that my PvP sets would be a mish-mash of pieces from various sets and didn't look very cool. Now, it blends together much more nicely. You can check out all the new armor sets for both PvP and PvE gear on MMO champion. Additionally, you can read more about the Frost Wyrm mount reward in season 5 and more discussion on PvP rewards. Check out the first part of our gallery comparing the tier 8 and tier 7 sets along with all the Wrath Gladiator sets. Today, we feature the classes of the "Lost Vanquisher": Rogue, Death Knight, and Mage. Druid's sets are not done yet, so they will be featured later. Thanks to MMO Champion for the renderings of the sets from the PTR. Note that the unreleased armor sets are still subject to change. Rogue Mage Death Knight The Death Knight's "Valorous Darkruned Battlegear" appears to be the same as Darion Mograine's armor. Very cool! Rogue's PvP sets are boring. They look like a themed grey set. I've got to say, the tier pieces look great though. Mage's tier 7 looks more like druid gear with the moose horns, but the tier 8 looks decent. What do you guys think? Is the current philosophy of PvP gear's look good, and are the PvE tier sets maintaining a good look?

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Battle.net Unites Blizzard Games

Battle.netWe saw a glimmer of this when installing Wrath, and its now beginning. Players now have the option to create an overarching Battle.net account and link all of their Blizzard games together. This may become mandatory in the future. After registering, you can "merge" your WoW account and your Battle.net account. Whenever you login to WoW, you then use your Battle.net credentials, namely the email address you used for your Battle.net account and your new password. Login for the non-WoW Blizzard games still uses their existing logon system and they will not (yet?) accept the new Battle.net credentials. Warcraft gamesYou can add StarCraft Anthology, Warcraft III, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Warcraft Battle Chest, Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, and Diablo II Battle Chest into your Battle.net account by providing the site with your CD key. You can also buy a CD key online from the Blizzard store. You are then able to download the fully patched game to your computer using the standard Blizzard downloader used for all WoW patches and media, and in the future there may be more integrated features to unify the games. Warcraft II Battle.net edition is notably not on the list. In the future, its likely that we will see "account wide achievements" and other such things. Its unclear how or if the older games will play into this, but you can be certain that Starcraft II, Diablo III, and the currently unannounced MMO that Blizzard is working on will use the new Battle.net heavily. TFT ManagementWarcraft II, Warcraft III, Diablo II, and Starcraft all shared the same Battle.net servers and game channels could be joined by anyone from any of those games. I'd love to see WoW join in on this, as I still hop on Warcraft III and Starcraft once in a while and would like to chat with players across all of these games. In addition, Blizzard annouced that the highly popular Blizzard authenticator will be available as an application for mobile devices, namely the iPhone and iPod touch. Its a great piece of equipment that improves account security. It is being re-branded as the Battle.net authenticator. The authenticator will work with all Battle.net games. Downloadable software is much easier to keep in stock than hardware, so hopefully this will provide players with a venue to get an authenticator. Price is not yet announced, and it may be free to increase account security. Since mobile devices (especially the iPod) must authenticate over the internet, I don't think its unlikely that an exploit to replicate the authenticator will happen at some point in the future.

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The Dilemma Of Choosing Gear

Choosing gear used to be so simple. When you roll a new character, you start out with the crappiest of the crap. At first, it’s just a matter of picking whatever has the highest armor rating. Couldn’t be easier. Then you add in stats to consider. Would you rather have agility or intelligence? Is your character more suited to armor of the bear or of the tiger? Are you mainly PvE or PvP? The choice becomes slightly more difficult, but usually is still pretty clear-cut as long as you have a certain spec in mind. My main character is a rogue, so I almost always went for the agility, with stamina as my second-favored stat (<3 “of the monkey” armor). Then come item enhancements. Being a leatherworker, for me the choice was between using an armor kit or getting a guildmate to enchant my gear with increased stats. Again, I usually went for the agility whenever possible. But then I hit the high-50s, and things got more complicated. Blue armor was no longer always better than green armor. The stat bonuses started getting better. Many items offer bonuses to more than just one or two stats. And now there are sockets to consider, along with bonuses for actually filling the sockets. Or, bonuses for having multiple items in a set. And in addition to just stat bonuses, there also are pluses to attack power, crit rating, resilience rating, dodge rating, resistances etc. Too many choices! Of course, one helpful trick is to equip back and forth between the gear you’re choosing from, and see how the stats that matter to you change. Or, if it’s a bind on equip item, you can use an add-on specific to your spec (I use GearDPS) to see how the gear will work for you. Sometimes you have to choose between one great stat and another great stat. A straight-up plus to agility isn’t always my best choice anymore, not when so many other enhancements may increase both agility and a combo of other needed stats. How does one cope, especially when making the shift to questing in Outland, then Northrend, where much, much better equipment is given as quest rewards (and it drops pretty frequently, too)? In the early 60s, I often found myself carrying around gear that, as it was, wasn’t quite as good as what I had equipped. But if I was able to get it enchanted, it would be a little bit better. Then I would find an even better item before I had the chance to enchant the second one. Or I would hold on to gear that I thought was awesome, but that I wasn't high enough level to equip yet. But once I reached the right level to equip it, my gear already had surpassed that mark. Now that I'm in Northrend, it’s getting even more complicated. So, I became more stingy with my gear. For BoP gear that's a quest reward and already obsolete, I'll just choose whichever item sells for the highest amount (yay, Auctioneer addon). For me, I can't justify equipping BoE gear if I’m going to find something better in a half-level anyways. Instead, auction it! Or give it to a guildy to disenchant.  Do those few extra tenths-of-a-chance to crit really make a difference when I can level quickly without it? Is it even worth keeping spare sets of gear for different uses when you’re leveling up so quickly that it becomes obsolete before you can use it? At least until I hit 80, my guess is no. So how do you go about choosing whether to use gear that may be replaced quickly? Do you go ahead and equip it and make use of it while you can? Do you just go for the money? Or is there a happy medium?

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Patch 3.1 Class Changes Announced

Go Get \'Em BlueEveryone's favorite class designer hit the official forums during maintenance day to inform us that class changes for Patch 3.1 would be announced soon.  For those who don't already know it, Patch v3.1 will be Wrath's first content patch, with the main feature being the addition of an all-new raid known as Ulduar.  Popular speculation has Yogg-Saron - the second known "Old God" - or parts of him as the final boss.  Piggy-backing on the big content patch are numerous other tweaks, such as the classes changes discussed below. Making good on Ghostcrawler's promise, Eyonix threw up Part 1 of the upcoming changes.  However, only Rogues (yahoo), Priests and Shamans currently have a short-list of changes, every other class is "coming soon."  I am no Shaman, nor am I an expert Priest, but it seems pretty obvious that both classes have been buffed overall in the listed changes.  As for what my lovable little gnome thinks about his upcoming changes?  Awesome. PvP, that is the big change for Priests.  The notes specifically state that Shadow PvPers will see increased survivability thanks to a buff to Shadow Form which reduces magic damage along with physical damage.  Although no specific modifications were detailed, Eyonix notes that the developers are looking into making Holy have "additional PvP utility."  All the Discipline Priests shouldn't feel left out though, they get an entirely new ability, Power Word: Barrier, which is essentially a PW:S for their group.  Blizzard even through in some love for the whole class, adding Divine Spirit as a core ability. Shamans of the Elemental and Enhancement varieties also scored some additional, although undefined, PvP utility.  Following that, Dalaran's lag should be slightly lower come v3.1 thanks to the streamlining of Totems.  Mana Spring / Healing Stream Totems and Disease Cleansing / Poison Cleansing Totems have been combined. They are now two totems rather than four separate lag-inducing pillars of doom.  The nature-friendly class has received one modification that might be viewed as a nerf, Chain Lightning will jump to four targets, but do less damage.  The less damage could mean for the fourth jump or that the overall DPS output by CL will be lowered The number one change I was looking forward to for Rogues was how Blizzard planned to tackle the annoyance of keeping Hunger for Blood active.  For the none rogues out there, the spell had to be spammed three times, wasting two extra global cooldowns and 60 energy, to max it out.  Then it had to be refreshed every 30 seconds to keep it up.  While refreshing didn't break stealth - you could refresh while creeping to the next mob - it was incredibly annoying to worry about an ability with such a short duration that was so desperately needed.  The new HfB is a self-buff that can only be used when a bleed effect (anyone's bleed) is active.  While the need for a bleed is indeed a nerf, the 6% damage increase - from 9% with three stacks to 15% with no need for stacking - should help soothe that irritated skin. Like the other classes, rogues have also seen a selection of buffs beyond the HfB change.  Added haste, lower cooldowns and additional damage to various talents and abilities should make every rogue happy.  However, we do not know the exact amount these favorable changes will impact us, due to the numbers on a few of tweaks not being unveiled. The rest of the classes will be revealed in the upcoming parts of Eyonix's post.  Please hold off on the complaints until you see your own buffs.  Remember, these notes are not comprehensive and therefore do not list all the changes.  On the flip side, they can also be thrown out the window at a moment's notice. All of the changes do seem to be buffs, so perhaps Blizzard is saving all the nerfs for one giant post to get all the QQ out at once...Sly devils. In other news, numerous bugs have been found in WoW recently, but the developers are already hard at work on hotfixes. Update: Eyonix has posted more class changes.  Warriors, Warlocks and Druids should check out the post covering Part 2 of the changes.

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Blizzard Confirms Bind To Accounts AKA Heirloom Items

Venerable Dal\'Rend\'s Sacred Charge I already had a nice blog entry written for today but something was announced yesterday that all of you should definitely know about. Well, a few things were announced but Juggynaut already covered the PvE to PvP Paid Transfer news. I am against it, that is my two cents. In lieu of starting a new column this Friday I just had to talk about the so called 'Bind on Account' items, more properly known as Heirloom items. This new development is ripe with awesomeness, even if it is mainly for the alting people out there. Details on the Heirloom or 'Bind to Account' items:

  • Purchasable via dungeon tokens (similar to Badges of Justice)
  • Can be transferred to characters on your account (ie cannot be traded)
  • Only transferable to characters on the same realm
  • Items scale with level (see inset picture)
  • Scaling will make the item equivalent to a blue item of the characters level
  • Heirloom armor will transform based on the character who wears it. Therefore, a level 80 plate piece can be worn by a level 1-39 character who wears mail, but gains the ability to wear plate at level 40.
Future changes:
  • Additional Heirloom items aimed at high level alts to come in the future
  • Additional ways to earn heirloom items
Best of all this information has been confirmed by Tigole and Verimonde! They even confirm that the goals of the items are to get people to play other classes and support people that love to play alts. Hardcore or casual, I would think that both camps would approve of this move. Don't worry, that blog entry that was bumped for this should return next Friday.

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