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All Things Warcraft : The Buddy System

Posted Jan 13, 2014 by Suzie Ford

Senior PvP designer Brian Holinka recently announced on Twitter that Blizzard is planning a new PVP season before the release of the next expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Brian's Tweet indicated that new gear and rewards will be coming along with this new season and that additional details, including a timeline, will be coming soon. 

Read more of Reza Lackey's The WoW Factor: The Buddy System.

World of Warcraft : New PvP Season Planned Prior to Expac

Posted Jan 08, 2014 by Suzie Ford

According to a Twitter post by Blizzard's Brian Holinka, World of Warcraft players can expect a new PvP season to start and finish prior to the launch of the Warlords of Draenor expansion. The good folks at WoWInsider.com have speculated that, at the earliest, the current season would end in February and a new season towards the end of June.

The speculation has it that the new PvP season would end and mark the release of WoD.

Can we therefore predict the length of season 15? Not really, but we can confidently say it's likely to be over 20 weeks. Bearing in mind that we're 16 weeks into season 14, we may well have another 4+ weeks to go, meaning that season 14 will end at best February 4, so a 20-week duration would put season 15's end on July 1. This would be highly optimistic. (Edit: And as commenters add, the season end has previously marked the pre-patch, not the expansion itself.)

Think they're right? Let us know what you think in the comments.

World of Warcraft : WoW Clone - You Say That Like It's a Bad Thing

Posted Jan 06, 2014 by Suzie Ford

It’s no secret that World of Warcraft inspires many people to great heights of passion, both because of their affection for or antipathy towards the game. In the nine years since WoW launched, every subsequent MMO has been compared to it in one way or another, usually by those who mean that comparison as an insult to the developers who made the game.

Head through the jump to read Suzie Ford's editorial, WoW Clone - You Say It Like It's a Bad Thing.

World of Warcraft : Parental Controls Updated to Provide Purchase Security

Posted Jan 04, 2014 by Suzie Ford

The parental controls on Battle.Net have been updated to protect user accounts from excessive purchases. The default setting will prevent unauthorized purchases in the World of Warcraft in-game shop. 

On January 7, 2014 or shortly afterwards, we’re making a change to Battle.net® Parental Controls: a new default setting will prevent in-game purchases for accounts that have Parental Controls turned on. The account will not be able to:

  • Make purchases in the World of Warcraft® in-game Shop
  • Make real-money purchases in Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft
  • Make purchases in the Diablo® III real-money auction house (note: the auction house will be permanently closed on March 18, 2014)
  • We’re making this change to ensure that Parental Controls users will have more control over real-money purchases in Blizzard games. No action is needed to keep this default setting and prevent in-game purchases.
  • To enable in-game purchases for this account:
  1. Log in to Battle.net and visit the Retrieve Parental Controls page.
  2. Enter your Parental Controls email address.
  3. Click the Send Parental Controls Email button.
  4. Check your Parental Controls email for a message from Blizzard Entertainment.
  5. Click the link under the account user’s name. This will take you to the Parental Controls setup page.
  6. Under the Purchase Settings section, check Allow in-game purchases, and click the Save Settings button.

If you’d like to remove Parental Controls from this Battle.net account, visit our Adding and Removing Battle.net Parental Controls support article for detailed instructions.

Regards,

Blizzard Entertainment

Read more on the World of Warcraft forum.

World of Warcraft : Taming LFR

Posted Jan 03, 2014 by Suzie Ford

In a new "blue post" on the official World of Warcraft forums, "Lore" takes to the airwaves to discuss some thoughts about the Looking For Raid tool and how things will change in the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion. Among other things, the team is looking to make Flex more like LFR to give players who are past the tourist-y LFR a way to make meaningful end-game progression.

That's where Flexible Mode came in. We've been absolutely thrilled to see how well Flex has worked out, not just technically but also in how much the community has embraced it. We originally designed the feature focused on smaller or less hardcore guilds who maybe couldn't guarantee a full roster every time they wanted to raid, but we've been pleased to see that it's also been working extremely well for pick up groups (particularly through third-party services such as OpenRaid or oQueue).

In Warlords of Draenor, we're implementing a completely new Group Finder, which will allow players to find or create cross-realm groups for pretty much anything, including raids. We think that sort of environment -- finding an organized group, with a leader, and strategy, and possibly even using voice chat -- will be much more appealing and enjoyable for the player who craves an endgame raiding experience but can't find a team that fits their schedule. Plus, having an easy-to-use in-game Group Finder will, we believe, make finding such a group just as easy as queueing for Raid Finder (or easier, if you often find yourself in Raid Finder groups you'd rather not be a part of).

Read more on the World of Warcraft forum.

World of Warcraft : Potential Trojan Warned

Posted Jan 02, 2014 by Suzie Ford

The World of Warcraft support forum has been updated with a blue post that lays out some pretty serious information about a potential trojan that has even cracked through the authenticator security mesure. The trojan can access both a player's account information and authenticator password. 

We've been receiving reports regarding a dangerous Trojan that is being used to compromise player's accounts even if they are using an authenticator for protection. The Trojan acts in real time to do this by stealing both your account information and the authenticator password at the time you enter them.

If your account has been compromised recently, I'd recommend looking for the Trojan. It can be identified by creating an MSInfo file and then looking in the Startup Program section of that file for either "Disker" or "Disker64". It will usually appear like this:

Disker rundll32.exe c:\users\name\appdata\local\temp\w_win.dll,dw Name-PC\Name Startup

Disker64 rundll32.exe c:\users\name\appdata\local\temp\w_64.dll,dw Name-PC\Name Startup

We are currently looking for more information on the Trojan. We have not been able to locate any anti-virus programs that will remove it besides just reformatting your system. If you have been recently compromised and find it on your system please reply with the following pieces of information.

Your MSInfo.

A list of any addons you recently installed along with where you got them.

A list of any programs you recently installed along with where you got them.

Any security programs you have run and their results.

Join the ongoing discussion on the World of Warcraft forum.

World of Warcraft : What's a Level 90 Worth To You?

Posted Jan 02, 2014 by Suzie Ford

According to several tips, World of Warcraft players are receiving an email survey from Blizzard Entertainment. In it, they ask players what they feel is a worthwhile pricetag for an instant level 90 character in addition to survey how much players feel about a variety of prices for the expansion itself.

Via: Polygon

World of Warcraft : Delving More Into Garrisons

Posted Dec 30, 2013 by Suzie Ford

One of the features that many World of Warcraft players are looking forward to is the newly announced garrisons feature. In this week's WoW Factor, we take a look at garrisons and what they mean to players and to the game. Read on!

One of the most asked for features from WoW players was the addition of player housing. Blizzard acknowledged this desire for gamers to have a part of the game to call their own, but the developers didn't want to add this feature unless they could make it feel like it belonged in the world. They also said on many occasions that their take on player housing would need to also offer some sort of complimentary gameplay mechanics beyond simply choosing where to put a chair or what color to make a wall - there would need to be a compelling reason from a gameplay standpoint to introduce such a feature. 

Read more of Reza Lackey's The WoW Factor: Delving More Into Garrisons.

World of Warcraft : Help Ron Beat Cancer - A WoW Developer in Need

Posted Dec 24, 2013 by Suzie Ford

Ron Nakada, WoW software engineer, has had quite a year. Starting with getting married and ending with a cancer diagnosis, one could say it's been unforgettable. Ron, however, needs our help. Diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer, the insurance coverage between short- and long-term coverage contains a gap that could cause his family to fall immeasurably behind in medical bills. Ron's friends are trying to help.

Today Ron continues with great determination and spirit on a path of healing. However, some emergencies have occurred along the way, and Ron’s short-term disability-insurance, which did not cover monthly expenses, ended recently. Long-term disability-insurance will not start for a while and provides an even lesser benefit that falls far short of their monthly needs. Ron has an urgent need right now to pay accumulated bills (including credit cards he has had to rely on to get by) and a longer term need for assistance while he continues the battle.

Let’s pull together again to help our dear friend Ron!  Donations go to Ron immediately.  Any amount you can donate today will help fulfill short-term needs this month.  I’ve set the goal at $8,000 in one week to reflect the urgent short-term need, but the bigger goal is to reach $25,000 by mid January.  Let’s hit that first goal so Ron and his family can enjoy this Christmas without the stress of overdue bills and the threat of utilities shutting off.  After achieving that, we will extend the deadline and update the amount to the final goal.

Read more about Ron, the campaign and more on the Help Ron Beat Cancer campaign page.

Via Kotaku

All Things Warcraft : Adventure Time

Posted Dec 16, 2013 by Suzie Ford

In this week's WoW Factor, we take a look at all the WoW news of the past week including a film update and a first look at the new quest helper. Read on before heading to the comments.

One of the long term design goals for WoW has been to have players spend more time in the game when they're playing. It's common practice for us to tab out several times to access resources outside of the game to help us with our quests, tips on defeating bosses and what to do next. For example, the recently added dungeon journal offers dungeon and raid maps, boss information and the ability to sort through loot tables. While add-ons have offered similar features, I'm of the belief that the fewer add-ons that I need to use, the better. This week on the WoW factor we're checking out the upcoming Adventure Guide that will ship with the Warlords of Draenor expansion. But first, some news.

Read more of Reza Lackey's The WoW Factor: Adventure Time.


Adventure Guide for PvE focused players.

World of Warcraft : In-Game Shopping Arrives

Posted Dec 10, 2013 by Suzie Ford

World of Warcraft players wanting to buy the latest mount or pet for their collections (among other things), can now do so via an in-game store. Blizzard has laid out the details on the World of Warcraft blog.

You can now browse and purchase a bevy of mounts and pets* from directly within World of Warcraft through our newly added Shop interface. Just click the Shop icon on the menu bar once you’ve logged in to a character, and you’ll be able to pick out a new friend to add to your collection and start your adventures together right away. By combining the best of cutting-edge goblin and gnomish technology, we’ve also made it possible for you to receive your new pal right in your inventory (or via mail if your inventory is full).

Read more on the World of Warcraft site.

The Tourist : Looking Back at Mists of Pandaria

Posted Dec 06, 2013 by Suzie Ford

The Tourist is our way of revisiting favorites of the past, recent and otherwise. In our latest column, we take a look at World of Warcraft's Mist of Pandaria expansion and what it brought to the game. Read on and the leave your memories of Pandaria in the comments.

WoW was my first true MMO love. I remember being awed by everything when I made my first character, captured in the wonder of what lay ahead and the mystery of all around. It was scary, and thrilling, and extremely fun. I bought a cheap laptop just so I could play during my breaks at college. When I discovered instances, I called a friend who was also new and gushed. He logged right on and joined me in the Deadmines. I won the blue mage staff from the last boss and believed that I'd found something so rare that I was in the money. Shortly after, I was scouring the internet trying to figure out how to un-soulbind an item. This was the mystery, the adventure, and the compelling thread that drew me through the next three years.

Read more of Chris Coke's The Tourist: Looking Back at Mists of Pandaria.

World of Warcraft : BREAKING NEWS - Movie Cast Announced

Posted Dec 04, 2013 by Suzie Ford

The forthcoming film based on Blizzard's Warcraft series has been largely shrouded in mystery cast-wise. The wraps are off and the full cast has been announced.

Universal Pictures has revealed they have closed deals with Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Toby Kebbell, and Rob Kazinsky and are in final stages of negotiation with Dominic Cooper to star in Warcraft, based on Blizzard Entertainment’s award-winning video game series.

Charles Roven, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Alex Gartner will produce. Stuart Fenegan, Jillian Share, Brent O’Connor and Blizzard’s Mike Morhaime and Paul Sams will serve as executive producers. Chris Metzen, Rob Pardo and Nick Carpenter from Blizzard will co-produce.

The script was written by Charles Leavitt and rewritten by Duncan Jones. Production is set to begin as planned in Vancouver this January.

  • Patton was most recently seen in BAGGAGE CLAIM and 2 GUNS as well as MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL. She is repped by CAA.
  • Kebbell was last seen in THE COUNSELOR and is in the upcoming DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. He is repped by CAA.
  • Kazinsky was most recently seen in PACIFIC RIM and HBO’s “True Blood.” He is repped by The Gersh Agency in the US and Creative Artists Management in the UK.
  • Cooper’s credits include CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. He can also be seen in Universal’s DRACULA UNTOLD. He is repped by CAA.
  • Legendary most recently released PACIFIC RIM directed by Guillermo del Toro, the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, and MAN OF STEEL with Warner Bros. In addition to WARCRAFT, highlights from Legendary’s upcoming slate include the GODZILLA project, based on Toho Company’s famed character; and 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE.
  • Roven most recently produced THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and MAN OF STEEL as well as serving as a producer on the upcoming yet untitled Superman Batman Film. Atlas Entertainment will next release David O. Russell’s AMERICAN HUSTLE, which just won the New York Film Critics Circle award for Best Picture, starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence.

All Things Warcraft : Raiding and Questing in Draenor

Posted Dec 02, 2013 by Suzie Ford

With the arrival of the World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, players will be facing new (and improved!) raiding and questing features. In our latest column, we take a look at some of them and offer a few thoughts. Read on before heading to the comments to leave you own opinion.

With the last raid in the Cataclysm expansion, Dragon Soul, Blizzard introduced a new Looking For Raid system (or LFR) that allowed players to queue for a specific wing of a raid and be grouped with others in an easier difficulty version of a raid. The LFR also introduced personal loot. To avoid drama over loot, the game would randomly decide if a player would get an item from a boss and then decide what eligible item on the loot table would be awarded. This new raid system proved to be incredibly popular and was offered for each raid released since.

Read more of Reza Lackey's The WoW Factor: Raiding and Questing in Draenor.

World of Warcraft : Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street to Leave Blizzard

Posted Nov 27, 2013 by Suzie Ford

In a shocking announcement, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has announced that he will be leaving Blizzard Entertainment after six years with the company.  According to the post written on the Battle.net forum, Street is leaving to pursue other options, as yet unnamed.

You know that part at the end of raid night when the final boss is dead and you’re done handing out loot and everyone kind of goes their separate ways? Yeah, this is one of those times.

We just came off of a great BlizzCon. We had so many different games to talk about, and we were thrilled at the reception of Warlords of Draenor. It was great to meet or reconnect with so many of you. I love BlizzCon dearly, which makes it so hard to tell you that this will be my last one, or at least my last one up on stage. An opportunity has come my way, and I have made the very tough decision to move on from Blizzard.

I wanted to thank all of you for being a part of this grand quest. I have said a hundred times that having passionate gamers, including the angry ones, is a far better place to be than having a community that doesn’t care. You all care. Like us, you want the game to be the best that it can be. So I ask you to keep on providing your feedback. I promise (and I rarely promise!) that the developers care very much about what you have to say.

I’ll be out there, and I can’t imagine it will be that hard to find me.

Hugs,

Ghostcrawler

P.S. No, you can’t have a pony. Or a moose. Or a mantis shrimp. Or a tardigrade. Or a crab. Keep trying though.

 

P.P.S. I play a Holy Priest. 

World of Warcraft : New Mount Added & Special Pet to Benefit Make-A-Wish

Posted Nov 21, 2013 by Suzie Ford

Blizzard Entertainment has announced that a new mount and pet are available for purchase in the Battle.Net shop for World of Warcraft. The mount is the Enchanted Fey Dragon. Fifty percent of sales of the Alterac Brew Pup (pet) will directly benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Alterac Brew Pup will cost $10.

The Alterac Brew Pup is a hardy friend who’s always ready to lend a paw or revitalizing swig of “good cheer” to anyone in need. Bred for rescue duty, the Alterac brewhound's bloodline is famous for having found and resuscitated many mountain travelers trapped beneath the snow . . . and then slobbering all over them. The most famous brewhound of all is Bernard, credited with saving upwards of 50 lives—many of them dwarf and orc soldiers dragged out of the snow beneath the treacherous bridges of Alterac Valley. 

Check out the Battle.net Shop for more information.

On a separate note, Blizzard also included this information:

Philippines Typhoon Relief

As many of you know, the Philippines was recently struck by Typhoon Haiyan, and you may be looking for a way to help those affected by this disaster. Internally, Blizzard is matching employee donations for typhoon relief made to the American Red Cross—if you’d like to support the Red Cross’s relief efforts yourself, we encourage you to visit the Red Cross Typhoon Appeal website to make a donation directly.

World of Warcraft : Conan O'Brien Character Falls in Snow & Dies at Blizzcon

Posted Nov 21, 2013 by Suzie Ford

A couple of weeks ago, Anaheim, California was invaded by Blizzard and the Blizzcon convention. US TV celeb Conan O'Brien attended as well and he has released a brand new (and hilarious!) video about O'Brien's impressions of World of Warcraft. And, yes....O'Brien's character fell off a cliff into the snow and...died.


All Things Warcraft : Beginning to look at Draenor

Posted Nov 18, 2013 by Suzie Ford

Last week, the MMO space was captivated by Blizzard's announcement of the World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor. In our latest WoW Factor, we take a look at some of the exciting features that will come with Warlords and much more. Read on and then leave your impressions in the comments.

Warlords of Draenor takes us to the world of Draenor before its breaking into what we know today as Outland. As you may know, Outland was the focus WoW’s first expansion, the Burning Crusade. Warlords takes us back in time so-to-speak (more on this later) to the savage world of Draenor just prior to the events of the orcs drinking the cursed blood of Mannoroth and invading Azeroth through the Dark Portal. Now that same Portal will glow red and through it lies the old world of Draenor.

Read more of Reza Lackey's The WoW Factor: Beginning to look at Draenor.

World of Warcraft : 'War Crimes' to Bridge Gap Between Pandaria & Warlords

Posted Nov 18, 2013 by Suzie Ford

Massively has a terrific new interview with author Christie Golden, writer of more than a few World of Warcraft-based novels. In the interview, Golden reveals her next novel, "War Crimes", that is set to bridge the gap between Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor. Sylvanas Windrunner fans will be happy to know that her character will be part of a large subplot as well.

You know, that was actually -- when we were brainstorming, that one of my ideas to bring her [Sylvanas] in for this particular subplot which I won't spoil! And I know, because I get that all the time, I get "When are you going to do Sylvanas?" I have my Sylvanas t-shirt on, and everyone's all "When are you going to write her story?" (laughs) So now I can say we will see a lot of her and we will get inside her head for sure. We're gonna see Anduin -- we'll see a lot of Anduin -- and we're going to see Varian, and we're going to see a lot of Tyrande.

The first chapter is kind of setting the scene for how the laws, how this will unfold. And we won't be using the exact terms, but there is -- the terms we came up with is that there is an accuser, and there is a defender. And each of the factions has to select somebody. Through a very slight clever manipulation, poor Baine is stuck defending Garrosh Hellscream. Because he's the only one that they can trust to really try to do what's right and give him a fair defense. And the prosecution is not Varian, the prosecution is Tyrande.

"War Crimes" is set to be released on June 3, 2014, perhaps a good indicator of when we will see Warlords of Draenor released. The book can be preordered at most online book retailers for around $20 USD.

Read more at the link above.

World of Warcraft : WoW Isn’t the Killer

Posted Nov 14, 2013 by Suzie Ford

World of Warcraft is a divisive game in the genre with one side saying it's killed innovation, the other its champion. In his latest op-ed, Rob Lashley offers a few thoughts about how both sides have a point. Read on and then head to the battleground in the comments.

A couple weeks back a friend of mine sent me a direct message on Twitter and asked that I take a look at Trials of Ascension. ToA is a MMORPG in development that was attempting to get funded on Kickstarter. While ToA has some really interesting ideas I thought the presentation was lacking and did not stack up to the quality of pitches we have seen recently on KickStarter and told my friend I did not think it would get funded. In fact I told him I thought the project would get pulled before they reached the end of their campaign window. It was at this point he told me I had been wrong once before about a Kickstarter and I reminded him that I had to be wrong some of the time otherwise it would not be fair to him. Unfortunately this time I did end up being correct and ToA pulled their campaign before they reached the end of their pledge drive. Forged Chaos, the developers behind ToA, issued a mea culpa to the backers promising more refinement on their project in an attempt to make a comeback in the future. Hopefully they can find a way to make it back.

Read more of Rob Lashley's WoW Isn’t the Killer.

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