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. 


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. 


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!

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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! 

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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…

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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! 

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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. 


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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.

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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 


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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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?!

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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! 

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

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! 

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. 

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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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Legendary 130

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! 


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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: 

WoWScrnShot_061313_032719As 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. 



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: 

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? 

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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! 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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Legendary 127

Patch 5.3 Landed This Week, with a host of new features… and they all broke! The Legendary crew break it down for you.

 Patch 5.3 brought with it a host of developer interviews, including Gamebreaker’s interview with Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street and Brian Holinka, so we dig into several of those this week, and also hit the big PvP changes that have taken place, and been taken out of the game! 

  • So, patch 5.3’s new battleground is broken, in its rated set-up at least, the new queue system is broken, and the PvP vendors are broken. We have a look into just exactly what went wrong with the new PvP content and what the developers are doing to fix it. 
  • There’s also been a hilarious (for some players anyway) issue with the Seat of Knowledge, Lorewalker Cho’s room in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. It’s contested territory, as well as being the room where everyone is being sent for the lead-in quest for the Battlefield Barrens feature. So, it has been utter carnage. But that’s not the problem, the problem is that there was no way for players to get their corpses back! So the devs have hotfixed in a corpse mount. Is this the first step towards adding corpse flying in all of Pandaria?
  • And the team discuss the Tyrannical Conquest achievement, this has been awarded way too early to a ton of people, meaning the PvP vendors selling Tyrannica gear for honor have had to be shut down. The devs are working on a fix, but they’re going to have to roll back the achievements, and take back the gear, so it’ll be a while. 
  • There were a ton of interviews this week, and we’re looking at some points raised in them, Random Battleground Matchmaking, and the insanely changeable PvP gearing systems through Mists, as well as wondering what exactly PvPers have to aim for with the current system. We also look at a forum post that implies the imminent return of the Cataclysm-style Elite PvP gear. 
  • And there’s some interesting stuff in an Icy Veins interview, where the developers are discussing Raiding class balance, and get this, asserting that it’s OK for specs within a class to outperform each other, if they’re “not fundamentally different” — they give the example of Arms and Fury warriors. We think this is a little crazy, how about you? 

And your viewer questions! We love your viewer questions, especially video questions, and if you want Josh Allen to answer your video question before he leaves us for Blizzard at the end of May, now’s the time to send it in! Email them to submit@gamebreaker.tv, and keep an eye on all our social networking sites for other ways to submit. 

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Patch 5.3 has been out for a few days now, but what are our impressions of it?

I sincerely hoped you noticed the use of Post-Mortem in the title. Because WoW‘s dead? Oh, never mind. Patch 5.3 launched on Tuesday, May 21, bringing with it a host of new features. Let’s take a quick look at what came with it: 

  • Massive PvP gear changes, all characters now have 65% base resilience
  • New Battleground, Deepwind Gorge
  • New Arena: Tiger’s Peak
  • Conquest catch-up cap introduced
  • The XP required to get from 85-90 has been reduced by 33%
  • Off-Spec loot options have been added, allowing characters to get loot for any spec
  • Miners and Herbalists can now level from 1-max purely in Pandaria
  • Heroic scenarios have been added to the game, awarding a massive 120VP and the chance to get 522 loot
  • Several new scenarios have been added, including heroic difficulties
  • There is a whole new area of max-level quest and dynamic content in Barrens, as well as Durotar and some nearby areas
  • You can now transmogrify items in your bank and void storage
  • Lesser Charms now drop from the Barrens quests and mobs as well as from rares in Pandaria
  • And there’s a whole lot more little changes that we’re really just starting to discover!

So of all this patch 5.3 goodness, what’s floating your boat and what’s sinking your battleship? Personally, I’m really enjoying the new battleground and arena, and soaking up all the extra Conquest points on my alts. I’m having a ball, and I haven’t even touched the new stuff in the Barrens yet! But what about you? 

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Patch 5.3 is coming and Legendary is joined by Blizzard’s Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street and Brian Holinka for a live video interview!

Gary Gannon and Olivia Grace interview Blizzard’s Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street as well as Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka on Blizzard’s first ever live video interview! As you’d expect, the conversation focuses around the upcoming patch, and we took full advantage of having the two main influences on WoW PvP to grill about the big upcoming changes. 

  • We started off by chatting to the guys about the recent drop in subscription numbers, asking what they thought it might have been related to, and asking what they felt it meant for the future of WoW. 
  • We then moved on into the more specific patch 5.3 discussion, first asking Brian to explain his mission with regard to patch 5.3, and as far as WoW PvP goes in general.
  • We then talked about the huge gearing changes going into patch 5.3, as well as taking a look back over the previous changes he’d made, while also wondering if everything is changing too much for the less well-informed player. 
  • PvE gear in PvP was next up, with the patch 5.3 change to give everyone 65% base resilience, there are concerns among the player base that PvE gear would be an equally good, even superior choice, and we discussed that with a specific view towards problem areas such as tanks, and world PvP, as well as just in general. 
  • We had to talk about at least some PvE, so that took the form of Heroic Scenarios, and whether they were seen by the devs as a replacement for 5-mans.Greg clarified that no, they weren’t, and reassured us that we could indeed expect to see heroic 5-mans in the future. We also touched on the new Battlefield Barrens quests, 10 and 25-man raiding, and cleared up a response in an earlier interview where Greg implied that there might not be any Valor gear in future patches.
  • Moving back into PvP, we had to take a look at class balance, discussing outliers and potential problems, as well as looking back at balance over the expansion. 
  • Next up was the new Role Check system, where the Blizzard devs were keen to clarify that the way the system worked meant that the queue times would not be lengthened at all, and therefore players were extremely unlikely to risk the ire of their team-mates by queueing as a spec they had no intention of playing. 
  • Lastly we hit up the changes to existing arena and battleground maps, as well as proposed changes to CC, instant cast heals, blanket silences and more. 

You can tune in to Legendary for more World of Warcraft discussion every Thursday night at 8pm Pacific! 


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Patch 5.3 Release Date Is Confirmed By Blizzard on Twitter

Blizzard has taken to twitter of all places to announce the patch 5.3 release date: it’s May 21st! This is in just a few days time, that’s right, it lands on Tuesday, and Wednesday in the EU. There’s an absolute ton of stuff going on in this patch, so do check out all Gamebreaker’s coverage! There’s big changes that take the grind out of Pandaria, there’s a 33% nerf to the XP required to get from 85-90, and there’s a change that removes bad luck from your charms! Every time you use one you’ll get luckier and luckier. 

What’s more there are also heroic scenarios, which will require a pre-made group, have greater challenges and drop high end loot as well as a ton of valor. Not only that, but 2 new ranks are being added to the Brawler’s Guild, as well as a new area specifically for rank 8 players to hang out.

What’s more there are massive changes coming to PvP. Resilience’s days are over, it’s all going to be base resil now, and PvP Power is king. There are also changes to the amount of PvP Power on gear, as well as PvE gear being scaled back in PvP instances. We’re all going to be really interested to see the outcome of these changes. 

You can check out Blizzard’s official guide to getting ready for patch 5.3 here.

So, what do you think? Is the patch 5.3 release date sooner than you thought it would be? It’s certainly come in fairly fast, only a few days after the release candidate hit the PTR. Of course, this patch has no additional raid content, but there’s a huge amount of stuff coming in!

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This week the Legendary crew are talking patch 5.3, raiding, and more with World First raider Treckie!

This week Legendary’s regular crew is joined by Method’s Treckie, the main tank from the EU’s well-known world first raiding guild. With patch 5.3 coming, there was also a great interview with one of our regular hosts, Pat Krane, and Blizzard Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, with plenty of raiding chat to get our teeth into. 

  • First up though, Ghostcrawler tweeted a large and surprising change to tanking mechanic, Vengeance. Vengeance scales attack power off damage taken, and affects tank damage as well as certain tanks’ healing abilities. Treckie explains that tanks have been using this mechanic rather “creatively” to put out huge damage and healing numbers, and why he thinks the nerf is coming in. 
  • Moving into the interview, after a bit of patch 5.3 speculation, the first thing the team look at is the linear nature of the raid. There’s an interesting mix of opinions, as the more casual raiders prefer the forked raid approach, where different bosses can be tackled if progression hits a roadblock, but the ultra-hardcore World First raiders prefer the linear progression, as it allows them to easily monitor the race. 
  • Next up, the interview reveals something interesting about the super-secret thirteenth boss, Ra-Den. Ion asserted in the interview that no guild has killed him without “creative use of mechanics”. Isn’t that cheating?! Method’s Treckie fills the team in on just how creative they had to get to get this boss down, and explains that, so far, no guild has killed Ra-Den using the fight’s full mechanics.
  • There’s a lot of discussion about the future of hardcore raiding, and wondering whether an additional difficulty for more casual “friends and family” guilds is needed, with casuals and hardcore raiders alike weighing in. 
  • And then of course, we head back to the Holinka Files. This week, ideas about battlegroups and rating about, along with the revelation that Brian Holinka hates 2v2! OK so we’re joking about that last one, but really, 2v2 is broken and not getting its achievements back. The team discuss what could incentivize players to get started in the Arena. 

And your viewer questions! We love your viewer questions, especially video questions, and if you want Josh Allen to answer your video question before he leaves us for Blizzard at the end of May, now’s the time to send it in! Email them to submit@gamebreaker.tv, and keep an eye on all our social networking sites for other ways to submit. 

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The latest Patch 5.3 PTR build is up, and has brought some fairly major changes to the leveling process of Mining and Herbalism. 

Patch 5.3 seems to be a bit of a melting pot where Blizzard’s devs are trying out various different ideas for the game, and one of those new ideas is encapsulated in the changes coming in for two of World of Warcraft’s gathering professions, Mining and Herbalism. 

To sum up the change, a catch-up mechanic has now been introduced for max-level characters, where they can herb and mine their way from level one to Zen Master just on the continent of Pandaria. There’s no need to visit a single old world node, no need to ever take the teleport back to your home city, the days of stranglekelp and copper ore are dead and gone. 

Instead, you will now be mining and herbing the current herbs and ores, just very, very slowly. I took my max-level patch 5.3 PTR warlock, and dropped her professions to pick up herbalism and mining, then went to find a node or two. 

mining ghost iron pandaria


I started with mining, and as you can hopefully see from the image, my skill level is 1, but I’m mining Ghost Iron. Doing so will cause the node to despawn, and will also award the miner a Ghost Iron Nugget. The same applies for herbs, where fragments are discovered from nodes rather than full stacks. As your skill increases, the number of herbs and nuggets obtained does too. Ten of these fragments, shards, stems, or whatever the particular one you’re gathering is called will combine into one of the complete thing. So 10 Ghost Iron Nuggets turns into one Ghost Iron Ore, for example. 

What do you think of this new system? Will it cause problems for the markets for these materials, given that anyone at all can now mine and herb the current things that you need? Will it cause a market crash? And what other professions need reworking? It occurs to me that there are others that could have done with such a change far more than herbing, certainly, such as Leatherworking and Skinning, which are two of the worst to level in my opinion. What do you think? 

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Are you casual or hardcore? And what does that mean anyway?

Casual and Hardcore are terms which are thrown around quite a lot. But what do they even mean, and are you a casual or hardcore player? One thing that seems like it could be a deciding factor is time spent in games. But then, of course, the question becomes how long do you have to spend playing games to be considered hardcore? There was a cartoon I was sent a little while back which said that hardcore gamers were the ones who play the same amount as you do, casual gamers are the ones who play less, and no-lifers are the ones who play more. While it’s obviously a joke, and rather silly, there is an element of truth to this – players’ perceptions, based off their own gaming, will inform their own personal ideas about what is casual and what is hardcore. 

That being said, there are certainly groups of players that would be considered pretty indisputably hardcore, such as world first raiders, pro gamers on the e-sports circuit and such. You’d struggle to argue that those guys aren’t hardcore gamers. But the definition has shifted a lot, too. Previously it more related to knowledge, if you were interested in the industry, if you were someone who followed developers, knew about new and upcoming titles, and played games with a greater interest, then you’d be hardcore. Those lines have shifted a great deal, though, and now it more relates to either time, or something else. 

And if it’s not time, then what? If you spend 40 hours a week on WoW, but do nothing but pet battles, are you a hardcore gamer? Or is the activity you’re participating in so undeniably casual that you can’t be considered hardcore? What do you have to do to be a hardcore gamer? And where do you draw the line between hardcore and casual? Do these terms even mean anything any more? 

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Legendary discusses the 1.3 million drop in WoW subscriber numbers, and were the changes to 10 vs 25-man raiding a mistake?!

 Join Josh Allen, Gary Gannon, Pat Krane and Olivia Grace for another episode of Legendary, the World of Warcraft show! 

  • This week we felt we had to discuss the news that WoW subscriber numbers had taken another big hit, dropping by 1.3 million to 8.3 million subscribers. Now, this still leaves World of Warcraft in a very secure position in its spot as the biggest MMORPG in the world, but nonetheless, 1.3 million is a big drop in numbers, and the team speculate about what might be behind it. Could it be Mists of Pandaria itself?
  • Next up we’ve got some tweets from Ghostcrawler, one where he implies that, in fact, the decision Blizzard made to move away from the Wrath of the Lich King Icecrown Citadel style of 10-man and 25-man raiding being on separate lockouts and awarding different item levels of loot in return for different difficulties may have been a bad one. The team wonder what the impact of going back to the old system might be, for serious raiders and the more casual player too.
  • In the same tweet, Ghostcrawler mentioned that actually, removing the cap on dailies might not have been a great move, leading the team to wonder about different players’ different mentalities, as well as the pressure people put on themselves to succeed. 
  • We also discussed some more twitter discussions with the devs, where Ghostcrawler talks about the Mists talent system and how it’s likely to continue, wondering what might change in future
  • And the Holinka files return! Brian Holinka is fast becoming Blizzard’s biggest twitter contributor, and we’ve got some more golden discussion on arena timeout draws, and potential methods to improve the system. What we love about Brian is how open he is to discussion, despite looking a little like Marcus Fenix, and this week is no exception. 

And your viewer questions! We love your viewer questions, especially video questions, and if you want Josh Allen to answer your video question before he leaves us for Blizzard at the end of May, now’s the time to send it in! Email them to submit@gamebreaker.tv, and keep an eye on all our social networking sites for other ways to submit. 

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Patch 5.3 is coming and Blizzard have created a guide to the changes!

Blizzard Community Manager Daxxarri has posted an excellent summary of all the things you need to know about Patch 5.3, including various changes we’ve covered at length here on Gamebreaker, on both Legendary and in articles. There are various things to look at, which I explain at greater length in the video, and Daxxarri’s post is below, in full. 

The main news is the return of item upgrades. PvPers can upgrade season 12 items, at the same cost as before, 750 Conquest for two upgrades of four item levels, and 1500 honor points for an upgrade of eight item levels. PvE gear can be upgraded in the usual manner, at the reduced cost of 250 Valor Points to upgrade by 4 Item Levels, for a total of 500 Valor in exchange for 8 Item Levels per item. This also applies retroactively to all items that can be upgraded using Valor, and the exact same numbers apply to Justice gear.

 More and more sources of lesser charms of good fortune are being added, as the article states, 

  • Outdoor world creatures level 90 and above now have a chance to drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.
  • Rare spawns in Pandaria (except Zandalari Warscouts and Zandalari Warbringers) and bosses encountered as part of the Battlefield: Barrens quest event in Kalimdor will drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.

And the XP required to go from 85-90 is being nerfed by almost a third! Are the devs finally seeing the error of their ways?

Now that the patch is on the horizon, we’ve narrowed down some of the key things you might want to know before the big day. If you want to find out more about everything that’s coming, you can check out the latest Public Test Realm patch notes, or even download and play on the PTR itself.

Be Prepared
Hold on to some of those currencies you’ve been earning over the course of patch 5.2. The gear-upgrading Void Binders are returning in patch 5.3, but it will be cheaper to upgrade items using Valor and Justice Points. Upgradeable PvP items from Season 12 will be eligible for upgrade once again at their original costs. In addition, Heirloom items will be cheaper to upgrade, whether you’re using Justice Points, Honor Points, or Darkmoon Faire tickets. We’re also speeding up the leveling process from 85 to 90. Here are the details:

  • The experience required to level from 85 to 90 will be reduced by 33%. Time to dust off those alts!
  • The Void Binders are coming back!The amount of Justice, Honor, and Darkmoon Faire tickets needed to upgrade Heirloom items will be reduced by 60%.
    • Items upgraded with Valor will now cost 250 Valor Points to upgrade per 4 Item Levels, for a total of 500 Valor for 8 Item Levels per item. This applies retroactively to all items that can be upgraded using Valor.
    • Items upgraded with Justice will now cost 750 Justice Points to upgrade for 8 Item Levels. They can only be upgraded once, for a total of 750 Justice and 8 Item Levels per item. This applies retroactively to all items that can be upgraded using Justice.
    • Malevolent Gladiator’s Conquest (Season 12) items that have upgrades available will still be upgradable at their original Conquest Point costs (750 Conquest Points per 4 Item Levels, with two upgrades possible).
    • Dreadful Gladiator’s Honor (Season 12) items that have upgrades available will still be upgradable at their original costs (one upgrade at a cost of 750 1500 Honor Points for 8 Item Levels).
    • No other PvP items will be able to be upgraded.

Item Level Requirements
Are you ready to face the Raid Finder, Heroic dungeons, and new Heroic Scenarios? Make sure that you’re geared up to dive right in:

  • Heroic Scenarios require an average Item Level of 480; unlike normal Scenarios, you’ll need a pre-made party to enter.
  • An average Item Level of 435 is required for Heroic dungeons.
  • An average Item Level of 460 is required for the Raid Finder version of Mogu’shan Vaults.
  • An average item level of 470 is required for Raid Finder versions of Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring.
  • An average Item Level of 480 is required for the Raid Finder version of Throne of Thunder.

Lesser Charms of Good Fortune
We’re adding more ways to acquire Lesser Charms of Good Fortune in patch 5.3. In addition to the changes that took effect in patch 5.2, which reduced the number of Lesser Charms of Good Fortune required to purchase three Mogu Runes of Fate from 90 to 50 and allowed players to earn Lesser Charms from Pet Battles, these new sources of Lesser Charms will be available in patch 5.3:

  • Outdoor world creatures level 90 and above now have a chance to drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.
  • Rare spawns in Pandaria (except Zandalari Warscouts and Zandalari Warbringers) and bosses encountered as part of the Battlefield: Barrens quest event in Kalimdor will drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.

PvP Season Update 
PvP Season 13 is still in full swing. We discussed many of the changes coming to PvP gear in our PvP Gear in 5.2 and Preparing for PvP in Patch 5.3 blogs, and the changes below are explained in greater detail there. As a reminder, the 7,250 Conquest Point requirement to purchase non-elite Conquest Point weapons is being removed with patch 5.3.

A number of significant changes are coming to PvP and PvP gear:

  • All characters now have a base Resilience of 65%.
  • Battle Fatigue now reduces the effectiveness of healing and absorb spells and abilities by 45% (was 30%).
  • PvP Power bonus to healing is now based on class and specialization.
    • Healing specializations receive a 100% bonus to healing from PvP Power.
    • Damage specializations for Druids, Monks, Paladins, Priests, and Shaman receive a 70% bonus to healing from PvP Power.
    • All other specializations and classes (including tanking) receive a 40% bonus to healing from PvP Power.

Patching Smoothly
It’s easy to make sure that you’re ready to play when the realms become available on patch day. If you haven’t played in a while, one of the simplest things you can do is open the World of Warcraft launcher and allow the updater to download the latest available game files. If you use user interface add-ons, make sure you have the latest versions and that they’re updated and ready to go for the new patch. This is also a good time to update your video card’s drivers.

If you experience any patching issues, there’s a technical support forum thread all about patching that could help. You can also follow @BlizzardCS on Twitter for the latest support-related news.

Getting Additional Account Help
If you’re having an issue with your account, a number of resources are available to you. If other players are experiencing a similar issue, they may have already posted about it on the Customer Support forum locatedhere, so that can sometimes be a good first stop. If you need more information or direct assistance, theBattle.net Support site will allow you to search through available solutions, submit a support ticket, or contact customer support directly.

A compilation of resources and information can also be found on the Customer Support forum, including information on in-game support, reporting bugs and cheats, submitting suggestions, reporting forum violations, and sharing forum feedback.

Good luck, and we’ll see you in Azeroth!

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Activision Blizzard announced the drop in WoW Subscription Numbers in a press release today.

 The WoW subscription numbers have taken yet another hit, with a 1.3 million subscriber drop between February and May, Kotaku reports. They add that the subscriber loss has mostly come from eastern markets, but even so, this is over a 25% total loss from the dizzying heights of the Wrath of the Lich King subscriber numbers. 

We’ve joked about WoW being dead here before on Gamebreaker, and we’re hoping it’s pretty clear that we’re not being wholly serious this time either. The game has not gone the way of the dodo, it is not pushing up the daisies, it is not an ex-MMORPG just yet. Even with this drop, the WoW subscriber numbers are very healthy compared to just about any other MMORPG on the market right now. And for a title of its age to be able to maintain such a large base, even in the face of some stiff competition is impressive indeed. 8.3 million people is not a small number. 

Nonetheless, this is the lowest WoW subscription number point since early in 2007. It is a natural low point in the expansion cycle, with the latest patch on its way, and an uptick could well appear. Mists of Pandaria has been a divisive expansion, heralded jointly as being the best the game has been, and one of the worst grinds of recent years. But is this drop in numbers due to the changes in WoW, or the changes in the gaming world around it? WoW has a very diverse appeal: with a subscriber base of this size it’s nigh on impossible to please everyone, and are the players who joined later on just too different to those who came in at the start?

While WoW is hardly dead in the water, one has to wonder: what’s causing the subscription losses? And will it ever regain them?

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NetEase has launched a Mists-Focused WoW Mahjong Set

 NetEase, one of the world’s largest retailers of WoW-focused and other Blizzard merchandise, has launched a WoW Mahjong Set. This set, while not specifically advertised as having a Mists of Pandaria theme, features Pandaria as well as the Panda pawprint emblem heavily throughout. 

wow mahjong 2


As can be seen, above, the tiles all feature the panda pawprint, which is also emblazoned on the poker chips which can be seen in the middle, and the dice. The cloth play-mat, when folded out, is a map of Pandaria, The box itself is also WoW-themed.

The cost of the set is around $208, according to currency conversion websites at today’s rates, which are of course subject to change, it is priced at 1288 Yuan on the NetEase website. The set is a limited edition of 1,000, which is rumored to be the worldwide allocation, rather than just the allocation for China’s market, but given how popular it’s proving, and the coverage it’s getting, we can only hope for more copies to be created. I know I’d like one! 

If you do want to try to get your hands on one of these limited edition WoW Mahjong sets, the first thing you’ll need is some software that translates webpages, such as Google Translate, unless you’re fluent in Chinese. There doesn’t appear to be an english option! Once you’ve got that down, you’ll need to find your way to the page where you sign up for a NetEase account, and do so. You’ll get a verification email, which may well land in your spam folder, and that will let you place your name in the pre-order section. It doesn’t seem overly expensive for something so beautifully made, so be prepared for disappointment! 

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Legendary 124

Josh Allen, Gary Gannon and Olivia Grace are joined by Pat Krane for another episode of Legendary, the World of Warcraft show! This week, we’re discussing the Exodus Split, we’ve got more crazy patch 5.3 PvP news from the Holinka files, and one of our team made a big announcement…

  • So, if you weren’t watching twitter, or Josh Allen’s stream, you might not be aware that he only went and got himself hired by Blizzard Entertainment! Josh will join their Community Management team with the likes of Bashiok and Zarhym, and he talks us through the hiring process, and his plans for his future content. 
  • There’s some crazy raiding news, with the newly merged Exodus raiding guild, which combined Exodus with Vodka. They’ve declared a split, they’re not going to continue with hardcore raiding, and ex-Vodka rogue Killars posted a lengthy explanation on Facebook which basically blamed Mists of Pandaria! The gang discuss the split, and the future of hardcore raiding.
  • Brian Holinka is back into the news, he’s really kicking up a storm with his crazy PvP changes in WoW right now, getting the PvP community rather worked up! This week, there have been nerfs to PvP Power, meaning that the number of points required to get a 1% PvP Power increase has gone from 265 to 400. What’s more, PvP gems have had their stat budget cut in half. We’re all wondering what’s going on! 
  • We also take a look at some Ghostcrawler tweets about Tri-Spec, which was datamined in patch 5.3, where he’s discussing whether it is really even necessary to have dual spec any more with how convenient the talent system now is. The team aren’t super-impressed with the idea of losing dual spec!
  • And there’s some secret items unearthed following a clue from Blizzard, that cause a fire kitty effect for druids! 

Lastly, of course, we answer your viewer questions! Send your questions in to submit@gamebreaker.tv, we particularly love your video questions, and keep an eye on our facebook to submit them there!

Also… If you like today’s featured image, let Sarah Schnau (@Noxychu) know. We saw her Lore/Bashiok doodle yesterday and couldn’t resist borrowing it for this post.

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Legendary 123

The Legendary Crew talk through the recent Blizzard interview, discussing the Devs responses on PvP rewards, Spectator Modes and potential fixes for low-pop realms.

Josh Allen, Gary Gannon and Olivia Grace are once again joined by host of Convert to Raid, Pat Krane, to discuss the week’s World of Warcraft news. This week we have a ton to cover, from the various Blizzard interviews taking place as well as some interesting hotfixes. 

  • First up though, some tweets from Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street. He talks about how the development team wishes they’d incorporated more options, more clear direction at level 90, but also more difficulty levels, and more dungeons, perhaps in patch 5.3. 
  • There was not only the huge, huge CoveritLive interview, but also an Ask The Devs during the week dealing specifically with PvP. Not a huge amount of revolutionary news in there, but the System Design Team snuck in a doozy right at the end, saying that a battleground could be cut. The team discuss which battleground it could be, and why.
  • Moving into the CoveritLive interview, the first interesting tidbit was a comment from Ghostcrawler on a potential solution for low-pop realms. He said they are “working on a plan” but wasn’t any more specific than that. The team discuss what it could be… 
  • They also talk about some new work they’re doing on phasing. This should hopefully allow players to play together all the time, even if they’re in different phases, removing one of the main obstacles to this feature’s use is a great step
  • PvP Designer Brian Holinka had a lot to say, starting off with some ideas about division systems for ranked PvP, like those in Call of Duty or League of Legends. The team then move on to talking about his later response in the Blizzard Interview regarding some changes in the manner in which points are awarded in battlegrounds, pushing players harder to focus on objectives. 
  • And finally for PvP news, he says they’re not planning a spectator mode in Arenas or Rated Battlegrounds.
  • There was plenty of PvE news, too, with Cory Stockton asserting that the incredibly fast patch cycle that players have become used to will continue into the foreseeable future. Another thing Cory was asked about was whether the Siege of Orgrimmar would offer any new environments. He confirmed that it would.
  • Also on the story side, there was some great discussion with Dave Kosak regarding the Alliance’s too-good ways.
  • And last up, a very interesting hotfix to Mogu Runes of Fate!

Lastly, of course, we answer your viewer questions! Send your questions in to submit@gamebreaker.tv, we particularly love your video questions, and keep an eye on our facebook to submit them there!


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Blizzard Live Q&A

Blizzard developers Ghostcrawler, Brian Holinka, Ion Hazzikostas, Cory Stockton and Dave Kosak sat down for a live text Q&A.

There were all sorts of questions covered, everything from PvP point earning in battlegrounds to RPPM trinkets and proc weapons, to low population servers, and a ton of lore related questions! We’ve pulled out some highlights below, but you can see the full transcript read and discussed in the video above, with our commentary, and linked on Wowhead

Let’s get into the highlights! The devs are all using their forum names, so of course, Ghostcrawler is, well, Ghostcrawler, Brian Holinka is Desvin, Ion Hazzikostas is Watcher, Cory Stockton is Mumper, and Dave Kosak is Fargo.

Do you plan on addressing the server population issues soon or you just planing on keeping exploiting it to make further revenue off of server transfers?

//Ghostcrawler: We do have plans and we are actively (as in I was in a meeting on it yesterday) working on a plan. We don’t want to share that plan until we are reasonably confident that it is going to work. We want to be clear that we don’t think the experience for players on very low pop realms (which includes very imbalanced factions on otherwise active realms) is a good one. We want to solve it.

Eric Heidelberger@eheidel30Is there any talk of moving to a division system for arena rankings? (e.g. CoD, LoL) #WoWCiL

//Desvin: We certainly think there are some benefits to those division systems, like providing intermediate milestones for all players. Ultimately, you still get to a situation where you feel like it’s hard to improve.

The advent of phasing in the game in Wrath and increased use in Cata and MoP has been good. It’s allowed to show some permanent results for quests and such. Will phasing be used more in the upcoming patches and expansions to show the results of questing in a more permanent manner that doesn’t affect lower level characters leveling?

//Mumper: There are a lot of things about phasing that we like. Also a number of things we would like to solve. We are hoping to introduce some tech to help groups of friends be able to play together even if they are in differnet phases. Stay tuned!

Should we expect the Siege of Orgrimmar to be moved back to prolong the expansion?

//Mumper: Nope, we are feeling really happy with the pace of our patches and all signs indicate we will keep moving at that pace for the forseeable future.

One of the major complaints about the final Cataclysm raid was the lack of new environments. How do you plan to avoid this problem in the Siege of Orgrimmar?

Mumper: Lesson learned. You can plan on seeing new environments in the 5.4 raid for sure. (along with Orgrimmar)

Will there be any spectator mode added to arena/rbgs?

//Desvin: We don’t have any plans for a spectator mode in arena/rbgs.

How many bosses will 5.4 have?

//Watcher: We’re pretty happy with the overall size and epic feel of the Throne of Thunder raid. In that ballpark.

Battlegrounds such as Warsong Gulch and Twins peaks, players are focused more on “Farming Middle” or getting as many Killing Blows as possible rather then completing objectives. Any thoughts on trying to make Battlegrounds objectives or tasks more appealing? E.g.: You gain 5 Conquest Points for killing flag carrier/return flag

//Desvin: We’ve talked about revising how we reward honor in a way that promotes players focusing on objectives. We have to be careful of how we do this since more passive things, like guarding an objective in Arathi Basin, are important and help your team win.


//Fargo: I think the Alliance has had some strong moments this expansion: Jaina’s arc is interesting, it’s nice to see her engaged in world events again. The Dalaran sequence was a pretty awesome Alliance win. We’ve spent more time with Varian and Anduin than in any other expansion. (Though if your complaint is that we’ve been human-heavy with the lore, we’re pretty guilty! An informal survey of our team reveals that that most of us are human.)


When we tried to figure out the story arc for this expansion, we wanted to focus on war. And we thought, after Cataclysm, we really needed an Alliance win. We’re getting to raid a capital city and overthrow its Warchief – something that’s never happened before! POW! Obviously we needed to spend some time developing the major expansion villain, so we’re seeing a lot of Garrosh.


The overall story depicts the Alliance drawing together while the horde is splintering apart. By 5.4 the Alliance war machine is hitting the beaches of Durotar, having softened them up with wetworks in advance. Fun stuff.


We really focused on Varian, Jaina, and Anduin this time around. We’ll be able to spotlight other characters in the future.


Is there going to continue to be more story development involving more of the female world leaders, quest NPCs and such? Pandaria gave us people like Suna and Taoshi, but we also have Alleria, Tyrande, Moira, etc?

//Fargo: We got to spend more time with Jaina lately, and Moira gets a great moment in 5.3. (I really like Moira.) I’m also a fan of Zaela of the Dragonmaw – do you guys think she should survive the war?


Feedback from 5.1 shows that not everyone was happy with Tyrande being so hotheaded. We were trying to get her a little back to her impulsive War3 roots, but it doesn’t seem to have played well with fans. So I’d like to revisit Tyrande at some point.


Now, Sylvanas? UP TO SOMETHING, I guarantee.


//Admiral Rogers seems to strike a chord with people, she’s pretty badass. We also spent a little time with Vereesa Windrunner, who’s coping with the loss of her husband… all interesting story hooks. We can only follow up on so much story, but we like to spend time with interesting characters whenever gameplay allows.


Can we move away from the “Alliance is the good guys” phase? WoW lore is usually about grey areas, usually no one being the clear ‘good guy’ (though perhaps not in the manner of Warhammer, in which everyone’s insane). MoP, however, has painted a lovely (awful) picture of most of the Horde – Orcs in specific. Sure, there’s Garrosh, but can we please see the Alliance do something despicable so that I can see less “HORDE R EVAL” Scrolls of Lore threads?

//Fargo: Good question! Alliance seems awfully good … when compared to Garrosh, who’s started using his own people as cannon fodder and is weaponizing everything he can get his hands on. But there are still grey areas. Do you think Jaina did the right thing in Dalaran? What about Admiral Rogers gunning down drowning soldiers in Pandaria? There’s an edge there.

Will there be a final legendary weapon in mop? Or will we just get legendary power through many different items?

//Fargo: Oh hellz yeah. You’re getting a glorious orange item. Wrathion is true to his word.

Question for Ion and the encounter designers: Now that Ra-den has been defeated by a number of guilds around the world, what are your thoughts about the success of this encounter with its limited attempts and accessibility? Can we expect to see more such encounters in the future?

//Watcher: Mixed thoughts about Ra-den. The sense of mystery surrounding him was pretty cool. The first guilds that took down Heroic Lei Shen had no idea what to expect when that grate in Primordius’s room opened. And after the grueling pace that some guilds set in blazing a path through the main Throne of Thunder progression, it gave them a chance to relax a bit, while still retaining a competitive mindset. The encounter itself had some bugs and tuning issues that were regrettable, and that’s ultimately our failing. Clever raiders often work out unforeseen solutions to the problems presented by encounters, and unfortunately the “right” way to do Ra-den ends up being one that bypasses half the mechanics on the encounter. But with an environment of limited attempts and competition between guilds, re-tuning the encounter on the fly in order to correct that would have been problematic.


So, overall, a mixed bag. I wouldn’t expect to see Heroic-only and/or limited-attempt bosses become a regular fixture, but it’s something we may revisit in the future, applying lessons learned from past experience as always.

About item upgrades coming back next patch-with the Thunderforge “thing” in ToT its realy annoying to have to upgrade items that you MIGHT replace.Everyone in a top raiding guild feels obligated to upgrade all of his items but that feeling that you dont have TF version of something will rankles alot.Can you maybe implement a limit of how many items you can upgrade (limit on how many upgraded items you can have equiped)? It will bring some sort of strategising and make item upgrading much less annoying.Also something that bothers me-Heroic 25 man Lei Shen awards the same amount of VPs as clearing Temple of the Jade Serpent.Like srsly?Dont you think that if you can clear ToT 25 HC (or normal atleast) is worth a valor cap so you dont have to do random HCs or LFR for those extra points?Thats from me cheers.

//Watcher: The major change we’re making to item upgrades in 5.3 is drastically reducing their cost. We agree that it felt pretty bad to upgrade a non-best-in-slot item in 5.1 and then end up replacing it. 1500 Valor was a pretty hefty investment. But at 250 VP per upgrade, you can realistically upgrade all your gear over the course of a tier, which should change things a bit. As for sources of Valor, part of the intent of the system is to encourage players to experience a wide variety of content. Heroic Lei Shen drops slightly better loot than Sha of Doubt, so it’s not like killing him is strictly underrewarded. That said, we are significantly buffing the amount of Valor rewarded by activities like Challenge Modes (and the new Heroic Scenarios) in 5.3, so you should be able to do more challenging content with your guildmates to get the remainder of your VP for the week, if you feel that LFR or random heroics aren’t of interest.


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Killars reports that World First guild Exodus is dead

This does not come, perhaps, as a huge surprise to those who follow world first raid races closely, as the new merged version of Exodus and Vodka didn’t really compete in the race for World First, although their world 8th progression is, of course, impressive. Killars, a rogue from the guild, took to his Facebook page to put the rumors to rest with a lengthy post. Killars came from Vodka, the guild who took on current World First champions Method in the Dragon Soul race a while back. 

<Exodus> IS DEAD!?!

Yes, I’ll confirm the news here for anyone not in the loop or questioning the rumors. <Exodus> will no longer continue to function as a 25 man raiding guild. No plan to go 10 man as of yet, but that really doesn’t matter because 25 man is what the hardcore raiding scene really is about and Exodus will no longer be competing in such a scene.

Why? How? Well this game isn’t to blame. In the last few years this game (despite many people quitting and guilds dying) isn’t to blame for vodka/Exodus’ demise it’s the raiding community. I don’t mean this is a pointing the finger sort of way, it’s an inevitable sort of flaw in the competition of the top end raiders. You see… we’ve basically been killing ourselves off slowly since day 1. In the last few years we’ve certainly picked up the pace, but the “hardcore raider” is a dying breed and it’s certainly becoming a more difficult breed to be a part of. What I mean by this is of course the time commitment and the level of shear dedication and determination it takes and costs to be at the very top. This isn’t to poke fun, but to just shed light of why many people, and subsequently, many guilds will fall. Raiding for many many hours on end is fun, CAN be exciting, and at the end of it all can really prove who really wants that world first/us first/realm first the most. Unfortunately we (hardcore raiders) pushed too hard. Tier after tier we just keep adding to the insanity in both farming preparations and actual progressing. It’s almost as if progression itself never really ends after a end tier boss dies. Combine this with Blizzard actually putting new content out faster, alts playing a big role, PTR/BETA, dailys, coins, BMAH, well… you just get lost in it all. Right now there are a few legit world first guilds left. The competition is slim because the competition is literally eating each other (well not that literally). Good luck to everyone left in the race for this expact, but I don’t know how much longer this sort of thing can last.

Am I done? Is this my good bye post to the raiding community? No haha no my friends I’m way too stubborn and foolish to actually use my knowledge to stop myself from the enjoyment I get from WoW and the community. This is something I’ve talked about since around Firelands. I had a clear realization of how much more TIME fit in the equation of “how to be world first” and although it bothered me I still enjoyed it as I was one of the few that had that TIME. I’m simply reiterating what I’ve said many times as it is the elaborate explanation I can give to people now that my guild(s) have died and I want people to avoid pointing fingers at a particular person or a particular situation.

What’s next for Killars? I dunno… “LFR Troll Rogue ilvl 532″ I guess… I really don’t know (which is kinda scary) but we’ll see.

Question is, what do you think of this? It’s going to be interesting to see where these players go, as Method commented on their site. Will they form a 10-man team to give Paragon a run for their money in the smaller race size? Killars doesn’t seem keen to do this, but he’s just one of many players. And what do you think of his assertions on what is wrong with raiding? Has it become more a race of time than a race of skill?

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In this chat bubble I’m wondering about your class choices: what is the best MMO class for you?

I talk more about this in the video, but I’ve always played mage classes, since I began playing games that allowed me to do so. As a bookish kid, who placed a high value on intellect (ha!), I appreciated the idea of mage classes, using cold intelligence to slay their brutish foes from afar, while never suffering a scratch. While we can’t assert that any particular class archetype is the best MMO class, we’re wondering which is the best MMO class for you. 

So why did you pick your class? What poked you in that direction in the first place and do you, like I do, carry on playing the same type of class over and over again? 

When I first started playing WoW, I rolled, inevitably, a mage. It’s what I always rolled. But I failed, and rolled it on the wrong server, so a friend came to my rescue, put me on the right server, and made me a paladin. I must admit that I didn’t like it that much, I wasn’t as good at melee, and found the speed at which you killed things a bit slow and dull, which wasn’t helped that, in order to stay alive with minimal knowledge, I had specced into holy for the heals on a friend’s advice. Bad advice. 

 But before long I saw what I now know what a shaman. With retrospect they were probably too high a level, or better geared with heirlooms and the like, or simply far more skilled, but they blew the heads off the mobs I was trying to kill in seconds, and the rest, as they say, is history. I love my paladin, because I love tanking, and my shaman has since become a healer, but I still love ripping the faces off mobs, and other players, with my ele spec, and my fire mage. The mage I inevitably made, and that I still feel might be the best MMO class for me. 

As an aside, if you’re wondering what the world of psychology thinks you’re destined to play, there’s a rather old but still fun quiz to decide what you should play. It’s WoW-specific, but still fun! It told me I should play a Shaman. I was scared.

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The latest set of patch 5.3 PTR notes have gutted the grind in Grindaria even more than the last set!

What exactly is going on here? For those of you who weren’t aware, the latest patch 5.3 PTR build dropped last night, and within the notes (which you can see below) the eagle eyed reader will have spotted the following:

  • Experience needed to increase from level 85 to level 90 has been reduced by 33%.
  • Players no longer need to have defeated Grand Empress Shek’zeer to enter the Terrace of Endless Spring in Normal difficulty.
  • Reduced the number of Lesser Charms of Good Fortune needed for the Mogu Runes of Fate weekly quest to 50, down from 90.

Now let’s think back a few days to the previous build, where these changes were added.

  • Shado-Pan and The August Celestials daily quests no longer have a faction prerequisite to be Revered with the Golden Lotus.
  • A Test of Valor: Reduced the amount of Valor needed for this achievement to 3000 Valor Points, down from 6000.

It should also be noted that the Mogu Rune of Fate change was hotfixed into live servers just yesterday, today in the EU. Now, I don’t know about you, but here at Gamebreaker we’re noticing a trend in these patch notes. The grind is going away. What does it mean, though? Blizzard’s development team have always been focused on learning from their mistakes, and we’re beginning to wonder if they’re realizing that Mists of Grindaria was one of them. 

What’s your take on this? The playerbase, or at least a fairly vocal minority, certainly seemed to feel that there was too much grinding taking place, should these changes have been introduced earlier? Or are you on the opposing side, and think the original setup in Mists was just fine and dandy, in no need of a revamp? It could also be a further attempt to increase the alt-friendliness, by allowing for both faster leveling and easier gearing. What’s your take on it?


Experience needed to increase from level 85 to level 90 has been reduced by 33%.

  • Tranquility now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance. This change also applies to players using the Symbiosis version of Tranquility.


  • Ironbark now has a cooldown of 60 seconds, down from 2 minutes.
  • Swiftmend’s area-of-effect component now heals injured allies within 10 yards, up from 8 yards.
  • Wild Mushroom: Bloom: Healing from this spell has been increased by 100%, which includes all bonus healing from Rejuvenation overhealing. In addition, the radius has been increased to 10 yards (up from 8).

Item Sets

  • Restoration PvP 4-piece set bonus now reduces the cooldown of Ironbark by 30 seconds (down from 90 seconds).


  • Revive Pet now has a cast time of 4 seconds, down from 6 seconds.


  • Revival now has a healing cap of 15 raid members (up from 6) when used in a 25-player instance.


  • Devotion Aura can now be used while the Paladin is silenced.


  • Glyph of the Battle Healer now heals a nearby injured friendly target, excluding the Paladin, for 20% of damage dealt while Seal of Insight is active, down from 30%.


  • Glyph of Smite no longer causes the additional 20% damage dealt by Smite to transfer into Atonement.


  • Atonement now heals nearby friendly targets for 90% of the damage dealt, down from 100%.
  • Penance now deals 10% less damage, but healing done is increased by 10%.


  • Divine Hymn now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance.


  • Vampiric Embrace now has a healing cap of 15 raid members (up from 6) when used in a 25-player instance.


  • Demonic Gateway cast time has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 5 seconds, gains its first charge after 5 seconds (down from 13 seconds), and gains a new charge every 10 seconds (down from 15 seconds). The summoned gateway has 100% of the summoning Warlock’s health, 100% of the Warlock’s resilience, and can now be attacked and killed by enemy players.

Item Sets

  • Warlock PvP 2-piece set bonus no longer reduces cooldown on Unending Resolve and have been replaced by the former 4-piece set bonus where the Warlock’s Twilight Ward absorbs damage from all magical schools.
  • Warlock PvP 4-piece set bonus now increases damage dealt by Agony, Corruption, Doom, Immolate, and Unstable Affliction by 10%.

Pet Battles

  • Pandaren Spirit Pet Supplies now has a chance to drop a family specific rare Battle-Stone.

Battle Pet Quests

  • A new achievement and reward has been added for characters that complete every Pet Battle daily quest in a single day.
  • Protection for bad luck streaks have been added to Battle-Stones from pet supplies bags and wild battles. Each bag or battle that does not provide a stone has a progressively better chance to award a stone to the player.

Raids, Dungeons and Scenarios
Bonus Roll

  • Reduced the number of Lesser Charms of Good Fortune needed for the Mogu Runes of Fate weekly quest to 50, down from 90.

Terrace of Endless Spring

  • Players no longer need to have defeated Grand Empress Shek’zeer to enter the Terrace of Endless Spring in Normal difficulty.


  • Shado-Pan Assault belts now require Friendly reputation to purchase, down from Revered.
  • Shado-Pan Assault chest pieces now require Honored reputation to purchase, down from Revered.
  • The following PvP trinkets now have a cooldown of 2 minutes, down from 5 minutes.
    • Bequeathed Insignia of the Alliance
    • Bequeathed Insignia of the Horde
    • Inherited Insignia of the Alliance
    • Inherited Insignia of the Horde
    • Inherited Mark of Tyranny
    • Insignia of the Alliance
    • Insignia of the Horde
  • The following trinkets have on-use effects reduced by 33%, but have a 100% increase to duration when used in a Battleground or Arena.
    • Fabled Feather of Ji-Kun
    • Renataki’s Soul Charm
    • Steadfast Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault
    • Wushoolay’s Final Choice
  • The following trinkets have on-use effects reduced by 75%, but have a 400% increase to duration when used in a Battleground or Arena.
    • Delicate Vial of the Sanguinaire
    • Gaze of the Twins
    • Primordius’ Talisman of Rage
    • Talisman of Bloodlust
  • All other trinkets above ilevel 502 have on-use effects reduced by 50%, but have a 100% increase to duration when used in a Battleground or Arena.