Olivia Grace

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The Crowd Chose You? Not any more, and there’s intel from the Devs on who’s more hardcore, US or EU!

This week there was an interview with three of Blizzard’s biggest names, Production Director J. Allen Brack, Game Director Tom Chilton and Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas. There was a ton of interesting stuff in the interview. first up, the guys chatted a lot about some new systems coming for refer a friend. Basically, it’s now completely in-game instead of needing your browser, and it will reward a token which you can redeem for a new mount, or pet, or any of the old mounts. The team discuss the new plans, and wonder what else you might be able to get. 

video game shows legendary world of warcraft show     Legendary Ep147 | EU Raiders Are More Hardcore?!

Next up, the devs also talk about bag space, they’re finally admitting that we still need more of it, but instead of expanding our bags, they’re looking to take stuff out of them like toys and tabards. Bashiok posted about this and the devs also mentioned it in their interview, talking about a system similar to what we have for mounts and pets. This would also potentially work for Heirloom weapons, making all these items truly account-bound. The team love the idea of real BoAs, but were less interested in the removal of the other items. It seems the Legendary crew don’t hoard! 

Last up from this interview, they mentioned this when talking about the legendary cloak, but apparently they think that the EU raiders are more hardcore than the US?! The devs were talking about the Celestial bosses that you have to complete to get the cloak, and said they had to temporarily nerf the celestial bosses on the Timeless Isle. Boss health was nerfed by up to 80%, and some abilities were removed entirely to allow players to kill them before servers started to struggle – just like the Oondasta issues on the Isle of Thunder. Legendary wonders if this is true, and warns ragers to take the timezone issues into account. 

video game shows legendary world of warcraft show     Legendary Ep147 | EU Raiders Are More Hardcore?!

And get the Holinka files reopened… We have spoken so, so much about The Crowd Chose You, the match-ending system that gives you a buff allowing you to one-shot the opposition. Way back when it was first announced, we all agreed there was potential there for it to be gamed, and guess what… we were right. It’s been causing massive problems, and is being removed in favor of a healing debuff called Dampening. The team pick through the pros and cons of the new system, and how it can be gamed, as well as suggesting their own ideas. Ignore Pat’s!

Legendary

This week on Legendary, Olivia Grace and Mike Schaffnit are joined yet again by Jeremie Quek, to talk about Flex, the World First Race, and the Blizzcon Arena Tournament!

The gang start the show by chatting about a much needed change made to Flexible raiding, where the lockout system was altered to lock progress to the group leader. This removed the problem where bringing in new players to return to a raid would pull progress back, as progress was set to that of the least progressed player. The team clarified that this also means you can still use your coin-rolls and earn valor on every kill, and that accepting a lock part-way through a wing would not mean you couldn’t loot the earlier bosses in another group. 

Next up was the world first race, where Blood Legion took an incredibly early lead, defeating 9/14 before the EU guilds even got a chance to enter the heroic instance. Not that it hindered Method, who steamed to 10/14 in just 9 hours, and then took world first 11/14 from Blood Legion. Progress has since slowed dramatically, and the crew discuss why they were out of the gates at such high speed. 

They then move into PvP, talking about the latest issue to befall the Tournament Realm which, thanks to the lack of regionals this year, is the only way players can qualify for BlizzCon. Thanks to twitter, we can see that Team Evil Genuises aren’t going, which is a huge shock, and there’s new drama emerging around some of the EU’s most well-known players not being invited, thanks to a bug where another team was allegedly able to keep playing after the realm should have closed. There’s also other PvP news, including the removal of the conquest vendors… again!

Last up, the team take on some of the discussion around the Timeless Isle’s weirdest new item, the Censer of Eternal Agony. They all have strong opinions, and Mike and Olivia even agree on some aspects! 

 nd we answer your viewer questions! We love getting your viewer questions every week, so head over to our FacebookTwitter, or Google+ to submit them, or send us an email to submit@gamebreaker.tv. Put the title of the show in the subject header, and if you’re doing a video question, try to keep it short, one minute at the very longest! 

Siege of Orgrimmar

The World First race for Siege of Orgrimmar started yesterday in the US and today in the EU, and is almost over!

Think back, dear reader, to the days of the Throne of Thunder world first race, where after a week we were biting our nails waiting for Lei Shen to go down at the hands of top EU guild Method, to see if they would get into Ra-Den attempts before the reset kicked in, putting them ahead of the US’s Blood Legion. And indeed they did. and went on, some 10 days later, to take down Ra-Den and secure their World First. 

The later reset for the EU has proved interesting this time around as well, with European servers getting the patch a full day later (with consideration for timezones) than the US, as Blood Legion stormed to an early lead with 10/14 down after just 11 hours in the raid. Method followed suit, hitting 9/14 after just 7 hours, with boss 10 falling after their break at a solid 12 hours. So now the race is well and truly on with the familiar rivalry of Method versus Blood Legion taking center stage. 

But what’s going on with the pacing here? It’s remarkable that both of the top guilds are able to progress so far in such a short time. Midwinter have mentioned one-shotting or two-shotting bosses, as have Method and Blood Legion, so why is it such a breeze for these guilds to get through the early content? Blood Legion’s Riggnaros tweeted earlier saying the following : 

For all of the ppl talking about how much of a joke Siege is.  Yes, the first handful were very easy, but once you hit the 3rd wing(cont)…(cont)…the tuning is much more suited for a heroic raid. 3rd wing = Malkork and forward.

So it seems like the early part of the raid is perhaps not as steep as we’re used to. What’s going on here? Is this representative of what several Blizzard people have mentioned about how they want an even curve with this raid, without roadblock bosses such as Dark Animus getting in the way? Is it simply too easy? Or are these top end guilds just so much better than your average heroic raiders that it has to be more straightforward? Whatever the reason, Siege of Orgrimmar certainly seems to be posing far less of a problem than Throne of Thunder. Let’s see if Garrosh gets buffed…

Legendary

Patch 5.4′s Raid Release Schedule is unfair, according to the forums, and the PvP tournament is a total mess!

 

Patch 5.4′s raid release schedule was put on the official site earlier this week, and caused quite the ruckus over on the official forums. Blizzard Community Rep Bashiok has been posting a huge amount on the forums about the various reasons why Blizzard are sticking to their guns on this, and the Legendary crew pick apart his reasons and add in their own thoughts on LFR’s release, and its role in the raiding world. They wonder whether people have become too reliant on LFR, talk about how to PuG Flex with ease, and think about whether players are too entitled altogether these days.

Next up comes a discussion about healing, spurred on by a tweet from Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street. Pat and Olivia discuss the issues and considerations of healing at the moment in both raids and PvP, wondering whether there needs to be a radical healing rework to make the game fun again, as well as wondering which healers need changes to make them work. 

 We also hit some PvP news. PvP Live posted an interview with well-known Resto Shaman CDew, where he discusses his current anger with Blizzard and how they’ve handled this year’s Tournament Realm and BlizzCon qualification. The answer? Really badly. Olivia explains the issues in brief, and proceeds to add her own disapproval to the pile. Why was the qualification structure announced with a week to go? Why were there no regionals? Why wasn’t the tournament realm brought down to do the placing calculation? Why didn’t the rankings work on the Armory? Why wasn’t it continued into Patch 5.4? Has Blizzard abandoned Arena as an ESport? Do they even care?

And we answer your viewer questions! We love getting your viewer questions every week, so head over to our Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ to submit them, or send us an email to submit@gamebreaker.tv. Put the title of the show in the subject header, and if you’re doing a video question, try to keep it short, one minute at the very longest! 

Patch 5.4

The Patch 5.4 Trailer is here and man it’s a good one!

The Siege of Orgrimmar is going to hit live servers in just a couple of weeks, and the patch 5.4 trailer has just been dropped by Blizzard. And wow, it’s a good one. Finally, the pastoral pleasantry of Pandaria has been pervaded by darkness. Finally, the green days are over, replaced by black. 

And it looks rather like there’s a possibility we will lose one of the expansion’s central characters. 

What’s your take on the trailer? Personally, as you can probably gather, I’m quite excited. I have long felt that Blizzard needed to make some bolder moves, lore-wise, and while the potential death of a new, perhaps rather ancillary NPC is not really evidence that they’re hitting their stride, it might be a step in the right direction. The game desperately needs darkness, in my opinion, after this rather gentle expansion, and we’re finally getting it with Garrosh. 

While those of us who read GAMEBREAKER and watch Conspiracy Craft will be well aware of the vagaries and back-stories and side elements of WoW lore, many aren’t and it’s things like this that provide the information for the average player to understand just exactly why they’re marching into one of the world’s capitals and laying waste to some shaman. So what do you think about the building up of Garrosh’s story? And isn’t that “oh I hope they do come to my castle, I have such sights to show them” attitude just such a standard supervillain line?! 

Oh and the Alliance did feature. Didn’t you notice the blue sails on some of those boats? Or did you blink at that exact moment?

Legendary

This week, the Legendary crew talk level 90-100, Heirloom Equality, Arenas, and Patch 5.4 Blowing up Stormwind!

First up we hit some weapons, they were actually already there in previous builds, the epic items that dropped off Garrosh that were modelled on the old horde PvP weapons. In the most recent patch 5.4 PTR build, they got some new colors and some new tooltips, They’re now Heirlooms, going from 90-100. The crew wonder, firstly, what that means for the next expansion. Is this confirmation that we’ll be going to level 100 in WoW 6.0? And if so what does that mean? The team seem relatively positive, while certainly hoping that the XP requirement to level is not as high as it was in Mists.

The big thing about these weapons, that the team discuss at length is where they drop from. They come from Normal Mode, Heroic Mode and Flex, but not from LFR. The team discuss this at length, wondering what the impact will be, whether this is a good thing, whether Blizzard’s angle that these will push people into organised content is a reasonable angle. 

Next up, there has been some new information released about virtual realms, which have now been renamed connected realms. There was a lengthy q&a which cleared up a few concerns people had, including things such as names, auction houses, guilds, groups and so on, as well as finally clarifying why Blizzard didn’t just go the easier route of merging or closing realms. The team air their opinions, outlook and fears about this new content. 

And then, Stormwind explodes! The team seem pretty convinced that the exploded Stormwind from the Patch 5.4 PTR won’t be in the game for real, but instead in one of Garrosh’s visions. What do you reckon?

Last up, it’s time to reopen the Holinka Files. Not a crazy new idea, this time, but more information on how the arena match-ender “The Crowd Chose You” buff will work. The team discuss whether the way it’s displayed, and the buff itself, will promote people gaming the system, and what Blizzard might be able to do better. And, remarkably, Olivia and Schaff manage to avoid having an argument! 

And we answered your viewer questions!

We love your viewer questions, especially video questions, so send them in! Email them to submit@gamebreaker.tv, and keep an eye on all our social networking sites for other ways to submit.

And, of course, if you missed last week’s episode, be sure to check it out here.

This week, another Convert to Raid host joins the Legendary crew for Sub Numbers, Blizzard’s Titan and more!

This week, Mike Schaffnit, Olivia Grace and Pat Krane are joined by Pat’s partner in crime, Koltrane, for the usual dose of World of Warcraft talk, and a few tidbits on the “secret” Blizzard Titan project! 

First up, there has to be a week where we don’t start a show with a chat about the in-game store. But, unfortunately or otherwise, it’s not this week. The gang discuss the UI, which has finally appeared in the patch 5.4 PTR. The team are cautiously optimistic about the UI itself, saying that it’s pretty clean and good-looking, and not offensive. We discuss what we’d pay for the famous Enduring Elixir of Wisdom, and whether that would be in a standardized currency or local currency. 

Next, there are some interesting rumors about the WoW movie. A website called Bleeding Cool has posted some information that the plot centres around Khadgar and his experiences with Medivh, so perhaps we’re looking at a trip back in time to the first war here… and Johnny Depp is still on the rumored actors list.We also chat about making a movie for a dedicated existing fanbase that will also appeal to a wider audience. 

Next, WoW subscriber numbers. We had some breaking news about this in last week’s show, that the latest sub numbers were in and showed a drop from 8.3 million down to 7.7 million. Now, Blizzard have come out in their investor call and clarified that the sub drop is actually pretty evenly distributed across asia and the west. The team wonders what’s causing the bleed, and what Blizz can do to stop it.

Blizzard’s Titan was next up, Titan was not discussed in any detail, but Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime said a couple of things about it. First up, he said that Titan has not been officially announced, nor does it have a projected release date. And, what’s more, Morhaime added that while they can’t talk about the details yet, it’s unlikely to be a sub-based MMORPG. 

And lastly, one of the Legendary hosts got an in-game item named after them! 

And we answered your viewer questions!

We love your viewer questions, especially video questions, so send them in! Email them to submit@gamebreaker.tv, and keep an eye on all our social networking sites for other ways to submit.

And, of course, if you missed last week’s episode, be sure to check it out here.

Legendary WoW Subscribers Featured

WoW 6.0 brings a new class, Emerald Dream still not a thing, crazy patch 5.4 PTR items, and breaking WoW Subscribers Drop!

Gary Gannon, Mike Schaffnit, Pat Krane and Olivia Grace return for another episode of Legendary, with breaking news on WoW Subscribers disrupting the show! 

The team had a ton to talk about this week, with all that’s going on in patch 5.4, and they kicked off with some discussion and speculation on the potential meaning of the new currency datamined in the latest PTR build. Battle Coins. The crew wondered whether this would mean that the in-game store would feature a universal currency, how exactly it could work, and whether it might be earnable in-game, rather than just for real-world money. They even discussed whether it might transfer across into other Blizzard games. 

Moving on, there were several interviews in Asia with Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, and Legendary picks through them to find the most interesting tidbits — firstly, the potential introduction of a new support-style “buff” class! Now this isn’t confirmed, and the devs are keen to point out on Twitter that it’s really just something they’re considering, but the team discuss what it could be, how it would work and the implications for the game. Next up, there’s an interview regarding the future of WoW’s expansions, and the team wax lyirical about the potential for the future — Burning Legion? Old Gods? Playable Naga (nope). 

The planned last point was actually a bizarre PvP item, that had been found on the PTR and is used to turn a player hostile to all others, in return for 90% of their health. Kills achieved while the item is active award Bloody Coins, which can be used to buy a mount, a pet, and a PvP trinket. 

But there was some breaking news that rather derailed the planned show, as Gamasutra announced that Activision Blizzard had taken the radical step of buying out their French parent company, Vivendi, thereby avoiding the purported cash grab. Not only that, but in the same press release, Blizzard announced that Wow subscriber numbers had yet again fallen, this time hitting 7.7 million, a drop of 600,000 WoW subscribers. The team discuss it, wondering why and where to from here for World of Warcraft. 

 

Patch 5.4, Timeless Isle, Proving Grounds and Overpriced Headwear! 

This week the Legendary crew of Pat Krane, Gary Gannon and Olivia Grace has several big topics to discuss. First up, they take a look at the three new transmogrification helms which have been made available on the battle.net store. These are available for $15 a piece, and the team unanimously think that this price point is rather too high for what you’re getting. They discussed what they’d be happy to pay, as well as taking a look at the helms themselves and wondering what other items Blizzard might bring in. 

Next up, on a happier note, the gang look at the new Timeless Isle coming in patch 5.4. Released for testing on the PTR just a few hours before the show went live, the Timeless Isle is a new max-level questing zone. It’s crawling with rares, and Pat and Olivia recount their testing experiences of it so far. They observe that it is quite different in style to the usual max-level zones, and wonder if WoW players will like it, given how there is very little guidance, and the progression is very non-linear.

Also on the Timeless Isle is Ordos, the new world boss that Olivia got all annoyed about last week, and the big news is that Blizzard has backed down a little on the Legendary cloak requirement. Lore posted yesterday that they now only require one character on an account to have the Legendary cloak, meaning that everyone’s alts can also participate. Olivia managed to pull Ordos a few times, so gives a low-down on the fight, and the gang discuss the implications of this change. 

Last up, the team look at the new proving grounds feature which also opened for testing this week. Pat and Olivia both had the chance to run this new content, and the team talk through the pros and cons, the balance and the ups and downs. 

And we answered your viewer questions!

We love your viewer questions, especially video questions, so send them in! Email them to submit@gamebreaker.tv, and keep an eye on all our social networking sites for other ways to submit.

And, of course, if you missed last week’s episode, be sure to check it out here.

Legendary 134

Legendary takes another look at the WoW In Game Store, and asks whether it’s really pay-to-win…

The WoW In Game Store is still the hottest news this week, by far, with Bashiok making another post to follow up on Zarhym’s from last week. He confirmed that Mike Schaffnit was right, and that the plan is to roll it out in Asia first, and that the store would sell both the XP elixir and provide yet another way to obtain Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. The crew discussed at what point this crosses a line, and wondered what else it might sell, whether that would be OK, and whether players would warm to the idea of an in game store without considering it pay-to-win.

More happened this week than just the WoW in game store, though, and the team dissect some interesting tweets from Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, where he talks about loot, and how it might be readjusted for Flex raiding in future. The team wonder whether the personal loot system is a superior option to the normal or heroic mode loot system, and discuss the pros and cons of each for Flex raiding.

There’s also some tweets on Legendary items, and the guys wonder what the future is, as Ghostcrawler mentioned that they could have become too ubiquitous. Of course, all this loot conversation is irrelevant, as you’ll be able to buy it all on the in-game store come 6.0. OK, we’re joking. Or are we? 

Last up, some fixes have been made to what turned out to be the game’s most hated battleground: Strand of the Ancients?! Who saw that one coming? Oh right, Legendary did! Brian Holinka and his team clearly felt that Strand’s biggest flaw was the vehicle fights, and therefore have cut the vehicle spawns in half. They’ve also placed more emphasis on bombs, which can now be bought from the in-game store placed using an extra action button 

 

Legendary 131

This week on Legendary the crew checked out some interesting tweets and ran down the new patch 5.4 arena tie-break system

The patch 5.4 notes are coming in thick and fast, along with some interesting tweets from the developers, so the team sit down and rifle through all this content, before having another argument about discussion of the arena tie-break system! First up, we had to talk about Jimmy Fallon, and how Pat and Olivia found international fame, while Mike Schaffnit was left by the wayside. 

Moving on to some actual news, the team hit Blizzard LEad Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street’s twitter feed hard, dissecting not just one but three tweets, where he was talking, first, about whether classes really needed viable DPS specs. Then they moved on to an discussion about homogenization, where they chatted about tanking, healing, and then moved into whether warlocks are just QQing way too hard about the patch 5.4 Kil’jaeden’s cunning changes. Lastly, Ghostcrawler had tweeted about the layout of the Siege of Orgrimmar, and the team had a brief discussion about raid linearity. 

Next up it was time for some PvP news, and Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka has been tweeting up a storm in response to a video by Reinhardt on Youtube. Holinka responded to discussion about PvE gear in PvP, which the team discussed. They then moved in to a discussion about Reinhardt’s proposed solo skirmish system, and were joined for clarifications in twitch chat by Holinka himself! 

Last up was the Holinka Files main entry: the new arena tie-break system. Schaffnit and Olivia had their usual argument about the philosophy of PvP systems, while Pat waxed lyrical about healing and was generally the voice of reason! 

And we answered your viewer questions! We love your viewer questions, especially video questions, so send them in! Email them to submit@gamebreaker.tv, and keep an eye on all our social networking sites for other ways to submit. 

Reports have been received about an alleged Mobile Armory hack

Reports have been received detailing an alleged exploit involving, but not necessarily exploiting, the Blizzard World of Warcraft Mobile Armory. There have been forum posts detailing how players have lost thousands of gold, one even alleging to have witnessed purchases taking place on his Mobile Armory app, while trying to log into his account to prevent the transaction. 

There have also been reported GM ticket responses, and assertions that the technical teams are aware of an issue, and are working to rectify problems as we speak. While details are not officially available from Blizzard, we have seen reports that GMs are advising people to add SMS Protect to their accounts.

While this is being spoken of as a Mobile Armory hack, it is entirely possible that the vulnerability is not related to the Mobile Armory, instead using some other gap to exploit it. Of course, while this hack remains unconfirmed by Blizzard, this is speculative, and should not be taken as gospel. It is always pertinent to run virus, keylogger, and spyware checks on your PC, and on your smartphone. Using unique email addresses and passwords for different accounts is also best practice. 

WoW Expansion

A Chinese gaming site has dug something up which is either fanart or the next expansion’s title and logo…

Now, the reason we’re presenting this information as we are is that there is literally no guarantee it’s real in any way, shape or form. Blizzard has been very skilled, historically, at keeping things under wraps for at least a short while. However, it’s interesting to speculate, and a little of what we’re seeing here does ring true. So, first up, this site asserts to have discovered not only the name, but the logo of the next expansion, which would be WoW 6.0. Again, it’s really important to note that this could be complete nonsense, unrelated to the expansion. But here we go.

world of warcraft mmorpg mmorpg     UPDATED: Its Real? Or Its A Fake?! WoW 6.0 Revealed?!

Now, this isn’t the only thing these guys have found out. They’ve been doing their research in-game into the likelihood of this, and no dedicated WoW player will have missed the regular references to the Burning Legion cropping up from Wrathion and others, and zol.com via the magic of google translate also discusses a new NPC in Felwood that talks about the Legion’s return. I was not able to locate said NPC, partly because google made a hash of the translation, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not there! 

So what’s your take on this? Does it look like a fake to you, or might it be real? We’re really not sure here at Gamebreaker. It wouldn’t be hard at all to mock up a WoW logo and freak out some gamers, would it? But on the other hand, there have been so many hints, well, even more obvious than that, that this might be what’s coming up next. Maybe zol.com have actually managed to unearth the next expansion, WoW 6.0, and if they have, what do you think? Are you excited? and where’s the Emerald Dream, anyhow?!

Thanks for the tip, Bradley!

UPDATE: We’ve had confirmation that this is a fake. Are you disappointed?!

Jimmy Fallon

Last night, five Gamebreaker staff featured in a Jimmy Fallon World of Warcraft video!

Blizzard contacted Gamebreaker a couple of weeks back to ask for submissions for a Jimmy Fallon World of Warcraft video. Being people who are heavily into the whole World of Warcraft thing, as well as a hive of video content creators, we were happy to oblige, and we were thrilled to have so many of our people feature front and center in the resultant video, shown last night on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon! So, if you weren’t on the ball, who from Gamebreaker did you miss? 

Well first up we had our very own Magickmann, a.k.a. Mike Byrne, who runs our sister site freetoplay.tv. He got himself a featured spot! world of warcraft mmorpg     Gamebreaker Represents on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon World of Warcraft Video!

And shortly after Mike popped up, Legendary’s Olivia Grace made a short appearance in a featured spot, swaying gently with her plush Gryphon: 

world of warcraft mmorpg     Gamebreaker Represents on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon World of Warcraft Video!

And then, as they cut to the larger shot, including more people, we saw Legendary’s Pat Krane, as well as Conspiracy Craft host, social media guru and moderator extraordinaire Adriane Clark a.k.a. Missy, and our amazing moderator Adrienne Hall a.k.a. Lactarded! 

world of warcraft mmorpg     Gamebreaker Represents on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon World of Warcraft Video!

Gamebreaker was thrilled to be involved, and hopes that you enjoy the video. Yes, it was cheesy, yes it was a little silly, but yes, we had fun, and that’s what matters. It’s worth noting that, while we sent videos in to Blizzard, they had no control over the end product, that was all down to the Late Night team, so we were very lucky to be picked out.

Personally, I think the community surrounding the game is one of World of Warcraft’s greatest strengths, it is a social game after all, and while, inevitably among over 8 million players, there are bound to be people who are unkind, it’s a pretty great community. 

Blizz Brother Is Watching

Blizzard Senior Community Rep Jonathan “Zarhym” Brown has revealed details of Blizzard’s player monitoring system

He brought up Blizzard’s player monitoring system while responding to a thread about how Blizzard doesn’t care about griefers, where a player recounted a sorry tale of zoning in to Dark Animus, and getting tanks was taking a while, so one impatient DPS started the encounter and dropped group. The poster was, not unfairly, a bit miffed, as in this situation the player can’t be reported – they have dropped group – and indeed there is no specific course of action clear for affected players to proceed. 

So Zarhym wanted to be very clear on how exactly Blizzard was working to combat this behavior, and so told the forum about a system that’s been in place since Wrath of the Lich King first brought in the LFG tool: 

So what we’ve done is developed a hidden system that tracks player behavior in matchmade groups on a number of different levels. We don’t go into a lot of details about the system for a few reasons: A) we’ve been constantly evolving how intelligent the system is, B) the system is dynamic so that it can apply penalties based on varying factors — it’s analyzing trends as they change over time and accounting for them in some fashion — and C) we don’t want players to know exactly how the system starts penalizing people for less-than-average behavior and then try to game it.

Suffice it to say, the things you do in a matchmade group matter. If you’re above the average in kicking players out of groups, being kicked from groups, or ducking out early (as described in the OP), deserter debuffs, kicking thresholds, and the like become increasingly less forgiving.

Yep, you read that right, Blizzard is watching you! Of course they can’t reveal details of just exactly how, but it might provide some comfort to those players who are the subject of trolls and griefers. It seems like a good system, that penalizes people on the right basis, but firstly, is it really enough? Is there not more that Blizzard could be doing to combat the bad behavior that appears every now and then in WoW

And does this just feel a little bit like big brother to you? Personally I like it. I have nothing to hide. Nothing at all. Nope. 

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Patch 5.4: Flexible raiding gets a little less flexible, we talk Virtual Realms, Proving Grounds, and crazy PvP changes!

 Patch 5.4 news is coming in thick and fast, and Gary Gannon, Olivia Grace, Pat Krane and Mike Schaffnit return for Legendary to discuss everything that’s going down this week. 

  • First up, Gary’s been calling it forever, and servers are finally dead. OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but Virtual Realms were announced this week, in the patch 5.4 PTR notes. The team wonder whether these are really any different to server merges, while also wondering just exactly how this new patch 5.4 feature will work. Is this what CRZ always should have been? 
  • Next up, Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street has been tweeting about patch 5.4 bringing catch-up mechanisms for the Legendary quest-line. The crew wonder whether this is making the Legendary too accessible, and whether Legendary questlines need to be more epic. 
  • Proving grounds are finally, finally here! The feature we’ve been waiting for since the Mists of Pandaria beta has finally arrived, and the team have a lot of questions about the new leaderboard and challenge systems. How will they balance this for classes? How will it actually work? And is this really a viable training ground for tanks and healers, given how it lacks the human element? 
  • We’ve also got some more information on flexible raiding, and Legendary has a very mixed opinion on whether the lockout system is a good idea or a bad one. We discuss whether this makes the so-called flexible raiding less flexible, and how exactly the lockouts will work in practice. 
  • Some community manager called Lore or something has also provided more information on a special reward only available from difficulties above LFR, and the team wonder, firstly, what exactly it is, and secondly, the impact it will have on LFR. 
  • And last up, the Holinka files have a beauty this week. Not only has Blizzard’s Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka been tweeting about item levels, but he’s also been talking about a crazy new match-ender tie-break system. He was tweeted this image, and responded that it’s a tie-break system. The team discuss how exactly the new system might work, and have an argument about tie-breaks in general! 

video game shows legendary world of warcraft show     Inflexible Raiding?!

 

The patch 5.4 PTR has gone up today, and with it there are some huge surprises.

 First up, this post contains spoilers. If you do not want spoilers of the new content, please don’t read this post! 

OK, now we’ve got the housekeeping out of the way, let’s get started. There are clearly several significant lore events taking place here, all of which revolve somehow around Garrosh and his actions. So first, let’s take a look at the changes to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms: 

world of warcraft mmorpg mmorpg     Patch 5.4: Garrosh Kills Pandaria?! As you can see, the statues are in a bad way and there’s a considerable sha infestation taking over the Vale. The whole place has been drained of water, and one can’t help thinking this is in some way related to the goings on in that goblin mine where they discovered the Dark Heart of Pandaria. Moving into the area where the palace and the Shrines are, you can see the extent of the sha infestation. 

world of warcraft mmorpg mmorpg     Patch 5.4: Garrosh Kills Pandaria?!

 

The pools are completely gone, and the Golden Lotus daily hub is no more. Some commenters have added that perhaps the Sha aren’t such a great evil if they’re knocking out Daily hubs left, right and centre… But nonetheless, the devastation wrought on Pandaria’s Vale of Eternal Blossoms is considerable.  And don’t miss the mysterious white thing emerging from Mogu’shan Palace! Could this be an Old God?

What’s more, as can be seen in the video above, the instrument of this destruction has a whole new look. Garrosh has two new models, the one in the video showing off a moveable face and hands with fingers, while the one in the image below shows him corrupted by the Sha: 

world of warcraft mmorpg mmorpg     Patch 5.4: Garrosh Kills Pandaria?!

In each of these models, Garrosh is looking pretty good for an insane, warring orc with daddy issues. Speculation has abounded about the new raid, and we’re surprised to note that, going back up an image, the raid entrance, to everyone’s surprise, isn’t in Kalimdor, but below Mogu’shan palace. There’s a door beneath that glowy white thing, which leads to a raid portal. As yet, there’s nothing behind it, but when there is we’ll let you know! 

What do you think of the devastation of Pandaria at Garrosh’s hands? 

Blizzard’s new launcher will soon go live, and they’re looking for beta testers!

MMOC’s Dataminers recently dug up new information on the Launcher that had been hinted at on the Diablo forums way back in November. The friends and family testing has now begun on the new launcher, and Blizzard is looking for more for beta invitations to help them test this new software. 

We’re continuing the Battle.net®-related testing we mentioned previously. As part of this, we’re now inviting beta testers to help test and refine a new desktop app for Battle.net designed to improve the launcher experience for all Blizzard games and streamline the ability for players to get into their games.

If you’d like to help us with the testing, head to your Battle.net Beta Profile and opt in to at least one of the game universe beta tests (if you haven’t done so already). We’ll be inviting players to the beta test in waves—if you’re selected, your Battle.net account will be flagged automatically and you’ll receive an email with additional details.

For more information, check out the FAQ or visit the beta test forums.

Blizzard’s new launcher looks to be very similar in appearance to the League of Legends launcher, just allowing the player to launch all their Blizzard titles from the same start point. It integrates World of Warcraft, but also the Warcraft RTS series, Hearthstone, Starcraft, and Diablo, along with any future games that might be appearing come 2016. It also offers news stories, forum posts, blue posts, all manner of things, as well as a rumored battle.net chat within the launcher itself. It looks very slick indeed from early images, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it. 

Do remember that, as ever, invitations will be sent out in waves. You may not be first on the list, despite having signed up! 

Legendary 129

This week, the Legendary crew discuss the brand new Flexible Raiding format, accessibility of raiding, difficulty, and Elite PvP Gear!

So, some huge news dropped just a couple of hours before the show, and the Legendary 2.0 crew of Gary Gannon, Pat Krane, Mike Schaffnit and Olivia Grace had to incorporate it into the show. Indeed, we spent so much time arguing talking about Flexible Raiding that Gary had to push the show on to the later topics! 

We discussed the following: 

  • Initial impressions of Flexible Raiding, what did we think of it, what were the inherent issues that had led Legendary to be convinced that it would never happen? 
  • What would the impact of Flexible Raiding be for hardcore raiders? The group discussed the risk of burnout from the addition of an extra raid difficulty, and  the impact of potential changes like combining the lockout of the new system with that of LFR, as well as speculating on what Blizzard could do with item levels to prevent burnout. 
  • We then moved on to discussing a video by Preach, where he did an interesting experiment, going from a fresh 90 to being fully geared and killing Lei Shen in the raid finder while performing to the worst of his ability, taking as much damage as tanks while doing less damage than healers. The team considered the accessibility of the game to newer players and concluded that it might just all be a  little too easy. You can see Preach’s video here
  • Next up, Ghostcrawler tweeted recently about the unannounced feature, saying he wanted to calm the internet down with their endless speculation. We all decided… ok Olivia and Gary decided that it was definitely flexible raiding, and that Greg was just hedging so that people didn’t explode.
  • This week’s entry in the Holinka files related to a new change in Elite PvP gear. Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka confirmed via Twitter that Elite gear in patch 5.4 would revert to something very similar to its earlier situation, where it would be available based on rating, but all the gear would be purely cosmetic. We discussed whether this was enough to keep PvPers interested.

WoW-Playing couple imprison two girls in a filthy mobile home. Is video game addiction to blame?

The Albany Tribune has reported on a WoW-playing couple, who have been imprisoned in Southern California. Is video game addiction to blame? The article talks about how the couple, Lester Louis and Petra Huffmire, both 41, were charged with two counts of child abuse, and two of false imprisonment, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney’s office. Both charges are with regard to the ten-year-old and five-year-old girls who were in their care. The Albany Tribune article first states that these girls were their daughters, but later clarifies that Prosecutors did not make specific mention of how the girls and the couple were related.

The two girls were incarcerated in the couple’s mobile home while Lester and Petra played World of Warcraft, and it is stated that they were not permitted to leave the mobile home for any reason, including school. The mobile home itself was also extremely unsanitary. When police arrived, they reported that it was covered in mold, cobwebs, trash and even feces, and did not even have a working toilet. The two girls were found to be malnourished, with matted hair, rotted teeth and encrusted dirt on their feet.

Lester Huffmire is being held on $100,000 bail, and prosecutors asked that the same amount be set for Petra Huffmire when the two were arraigned Friday, according to the statement. If convicted, the couple could each face up to seven years in prison.

This will likely result in a continuation of the media storm surrounding video games, including World of Warcraft, and their negative effects on society as a whole. Video game addiction and what it can lead to has been rather a hot topic lately. While there is no doubt that WoW was a contributing factor in this particular sad story of abuse, false imprisonment, and neglect, alas these things happen with or without the influence of video games. World of Warcraft does not force players to do such things, nor is there a logical, unavoidable path from rolling a level one to imprisoning your children. 

Developer Discusses The Rumored Reset of Blizzard’s Titan!

Gamebreaker reported yesterday on the rumored reset of the much-discussed MMO, Blizzard’s Titan. Since that piece was published, the developers have weighed in, in response to a request for information from ZAM’s Jarimor. They had the following to say: 

“We’ve always had a highly iterative development process, and the unannounced MMO is no exception. We’ve come to a point where we need to make some large design and technology changes to the game. We’re using this opportunity to shift some of our resources to assist with other projects while the core team adapts our technology and tools to accommodate these new changes. Note that we haven’t announced any dates for the MMO.”

So what does this mean? It clearly relates to tech, as they state as much in the quote, so it could well be a change to a graphics engine, or even a port to a console like the PS4 or the XBone. The reduction in the size of the team is not that surprising, really, given that the sheer number of people required to work on a game in its earlier stages is far less than those required for latter endeavors.

How does this relate to the rumors we’ve been looking at over the past months? It’s certainly not looking remotely likely that there will be a teaser video at Blizzcon 2013, as TitanFocus had asserted in the past, Other than that, the mysterious game remains a mystery. Long story short, while it’s fun to speculate, rumors are rumors. 

As we mentioned in yesterday’s piece, this is hardly new or surprising for Blizzard. They did this with the Warcraft III RTS, as well as Starcraft: Ghost, which was put on a permanent hold. We can only hope that Blizzard’s Titan doesn’t suffer the same fate, but these guys aren’t renowned for putting out content they’re not happy with, for whatever reason. And, what’s more, they already have a hugely successful MMO on the market, and shooting WoW in the foot with Titan would probably be a bad move.