RaF Active to Level 85, Connected Realms Update, Blue Posts

Recruit a Friend Active Until Level 85 It looks like the RAF update will be increasing the maximum level that it provides extra experience and levels from 80 to 85! Keep in mind this works for currently active RAF accounts, but no return date for the program has been announced yet.

Connected Realms Update

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As previously announced, we’ve been working toward connecting realms to increase the number of players on low-population realms, and since then have completed several connections. As a part of our ongoing communication, we wanted to provide you with an update that contains a list of completed realm connections, currently planned connections, and any additional future plans in one convenient location.
*Please note this list does not encompass all potential future connections.  Please check back for further updates.
Next Realm Connections
Monday, November 4 We will be connecting the realms listed below on Monday, November 4th during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 6 a.m. PST through approximately 11:00 a.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.
  • Haomarush and Detheroc/Dethecus/Blackwing Lair
  • Stonemaul and Bloodscalp/Maiev/Boulderfist/Dunemaul
  • Daggerspine and Aegwynn/Hakkar
  • Tortheldrin and Frostmane
  • Dentarg and Whisperwind

Future Connections We currently anticipate two additional batches of realm connections as indicated below. We do not currently have a date for these connections, but will provide further updates when we can.
​Batch 1

  • Scilla and Ursin
  • Undermine and Anvilmar
  • Malorne and Firetree/Rivendare/Drak’Tharon
  • Quel’dorei and Sen’jin
  • Gul’dan and Skullcrusher
  • Echo Isles and Draenor
  • Fizzcrank and Aggramar

Batch 2

  • Lethon and Detheroc/Dethecus/Blackwing Lair/Haomarush
  • Smolderthorn and Chromaggus/Garithos/Anub’arak
  • Gorgonnash and Warsong
  • Winterhoof and Kilrogg
  • Lightning’s Blade and Burning Blade
  • Cairne and Perenolde

Plans for these connections may change at any time, but we’ll provide additional updates on specific dates for future connections here as we can. Please note that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.
For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Ability Balance in PvP and PvE

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
PvP is an intrinsic part of World of Warcraft. Just the fact that players have to choose one of two factions that are at war with one another is proof enough of that.
Nevertheless, if you follow WoW since the very beginning, you can see the evolution that PvP went through until now. Initially, there wasn’t even any instanced PvP content at all. Battlegrounds were introduced a few months after the game was launched and Arenas only came with the first expansion.
Meanwhile you had a lot of PvE content being pushed out, new raids, new dungeons, new items, new quests… but this is beside the point, it’s not fair to compare the amount of PvE to PvP content, they’re two completely different beasts.
PvE players will never be happy if we let content stagnate, that’s just the nature of PvE Content. It needs constant and regular updates. Players also expect to progress, and it’s even more complex than that, because they also expect content to remain challenging. (Players’ experience rises, and the new content’s difficulty has to match it)
PvP players on the other hand are much more likely to be happy with less content updates and less changes, as they tend to focus on balance and gameplay mechanics.
With this in mind and given that there are many more players interested on the PvE than the on the PvP side of WoW, I think it comes as no surprise that PvE uses a lot more resources than PvP does.
Things can get even more complicated when you start to look at what drives players and what their motivations are, for example, item upgrades and character power progression are concepts that pose a challenge to PvP balance, but whether you like it or not, it became one of the main drives for a lot of PvP players, so PvE and PvP are actually tangled with each other on many aspects.
You can try to make a distinction and say that those are actually “PvE players” that enjoy PvP as a way to progress their characters, but does that really matter? Maybe it does, but the fact is, there are more players interested into PvP than the “hardcore” PvP crowd. WoW is a game where PvE and PvP are supposed to be mixed, the open world is the best example of that, it’s neither exclusively PvE nor PvP, it’s both at the same time. That was the essence of PvP in WoW, to let players fight each other whenever they go face to face in the open world, and ideally that should feel seamless. I know it’s not really seamless at the moment (especially with the controversy about world-PvP), but maybe we can do something about that in the future.
The topic being discussed is a very hard problem to solve and I really appreciate your thoughts on it, I know how frustrating it can be when certain things occasionally affect PvP. I’ve always been into both arenas and raiding, and I try my best to have an unbiased view on the subject, I think a lot of you do too, and we just have to realize that there is no easy and perfect solution for this, what you can expect though is that we will do our very best (and your feedback really helps) to make both PvE and PvP coexist “peacefully” at the same time in the same game.

Blue Tweets

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items I’m not sure about that. It’s hard to see the effect of a single piece of gear on performance. Upgrade is upgrade. Weapons and trinkets are easily felt IMO. Chests and helms less so. Bracers are hard to feel even though I know they contribute. (Source) My psych classes told me a diverse reward structure is what you should go for,if you want a game to be engaging We have not been super successful there. WoW has lots of reward types but many players care far more for power than anything else. (Source)
How do you feel warforged worked out this tier combined with upgrades? made the 25 man race to easy and the 10man to hard. Weapon or trinket drops probably had a much larger effect than the warforged ilevels. (Source)
Is there a specific reason why Bindings of Immerseus is giving Spirit instead of Hit and giving Non-Mages/Locks an advantage? The Spirit was aimed at healers. There wasn’t an elegant way to make it “non-hit Spirit.” (Source)
Sorry, full regem-reenchant-reforge every upgrade is so tedious and expensive that I don’t bother anymore. And I feel bad. We agree that we have let post loot modification get a bit out of control. (Source)
I realize you probably won’t respond to this but any news on this mount? I’m dying for it. Patience. We haven’t forgotten it.  (Source)

#mmo-champion-com, #blizzard, #blue-posts, #connected-realms-update, #connections, #future-connections, #game, #gaming, #mists-of-pandaria, #mop, #news, #pandaria, #pve, #pvp, #raf-active-to-level-85, #updated, #videogames, #world-of-warcraft, #wow, #wownews

Patch 5.4.1 Live This Week, Connected Realms Update, Blue Posts, News Recap

Patch 5.4.1 Live This Week
Patch 5.4.1 goes live this week, bringing updates to the Recruit a Friend system, the Blizzcon pet, and tooltip updates to reflect the Patch 5.4 hotfixes. The previously mentioned merging of all previous patches into one file has been reverted, so it should be a very small download.

Murkalot
Murkalot’s Flail is the Blizzcon Reward pet added in Patch 5.4.1, and grants the Murkalot achievement. If you aren’t going to Blizzcon, you can still get him by purchasing the Virtual Ticket.

Recruit a Friend In-Game UI The Recruit a Friend system has been moved in game, making it even easier to use.

Emerald Hippogryph The Emerald Hippogryph is the new Recruit a Friend reward and grants the Friends In Places Even Higher Than That achievement.

Recruit a Friend Pet Rewards Some pets that were previously only used for promotions in Asia are now Recruit a Friend rewards.

Achievement Changes

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Arena Player vs. Player

Feats of Strength

Player vs. Player

  • Fire-Watcher has been updated to reflect the hotfix down to 2,000 coins, down from 10,000.

Proving Grounds Scenarios

Mounts and Pets

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Mounts

  • Emerald Hippogryph (New) Summons and dismisses a rideable Emerald Hippogryph. The capabilities of this mount depend on your Riding skill and location. Account wide. 1.5 sec cast.

Companions

  • Bernard (New) Right Click to summon and dismiss Bernard. Battle Pet. Instant.
  • Murkalot (New) Right Click to summon and dismiss Murkalot. Battle Pet. Instant.

New Strings

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_ERROR_PARENTAL_CONTROLS – Feature has been disabled by Parental Controls.
  • CHOOSE_ONE_REWARD – Choose 1 Reward
  • CLAIM_REWARD – Claim Reward
  • ERR_RECRUIT_A_FRIEND_ACCOUNT_LIMIT – You have submitted the maximum number of recruits for this time period. Please try again later.
  • ERR_RECRUIT_A_FRIEND_FAILED – Failed to send Recruit A Friend request. Please try again later.
  • PREVIEW – Preview
  • PRODUCT_CHOICE_NO_TAKE_BACKSIES – Are you sure? You can’t change your selection after this step.
  • PRODUCT_CHOICE_SUBTEXT – (%s)
  • PRODUCT_CLAIMING_FAILED – Error claiming product. Please try again.
  • QUEUED_STATUS_LOCKED – |cffff2020Locked|r
  • QUEUED_STATUS_LOCKED_EXPLANATION – You are locked to this rated battleground until it finishes.
  • RAF_BENEFIT1 – Level Faster
  • RAF_BENEFIT2 – Grantable Levels
  • RAF_BENEFIT3 – Summon your friend
  • RAF_BENEFIT4 – 30 days of free game time
  • RAF_BENEFIT5 – In-Game Mount
  • RAF_BENEFITS – Benefits
  • RAF_BUTTON_DISABLED_FACTION – You cannot use Recruit A Friend while playing a neutral character.
  • RAF_BUTTON_REWARD_TOOLTIP_DESCRIPTION – You have earned a reward from Recruit A Friend! Click here to claim it!
  • RAF_BUTTON_REWARD_TOOLTIP_TITLE – Recruit A Friend Reward
  • RAF_BUTTON_TOOLTIP_DESCRIPTION – You can recruit a friend and earn fantastic rewards!
  • RAF_BUTTON_TOOLTIP_TITLE – Recruit A Friend
  • RAF_DESCRIPTION – Earn game time, in-game rewards,\nand more by recruiting your friends
  • RAF_ENTER_EMAIL – Enter your friend’s email address
  • RAF_ENTER_NOTE – Write a note to your friend
  • RAF_ENTER_NOTE_PROMPT – Enter a note…
  • RAF_FAQ – Recruit a Friend FAQ
  • RAF_INVITATION_SENT – Your invitation has been sent!\n\nYour friend will receive an email with instructions on creating a new account and downloading the game. You will be notified in-game when they have created a new character and you can begin your adventure together.
  • RAF_INVITEE_FRIEND_ADDED_EXPLANATION – You are now friends with the person who invited you to play World of Warcraft.\n\n|cffffd200Right-click|r their name to whisper them when they are online.\n\nYou can now join up and enjoy Azeroth together!
  • RAF_INVITEE_FRIEND_ADDED_NOTICE – Open your friends list to find your friend that invited you to play World of Warcraft
  • RAF_INVITER_FRIEND_ADDED – Your recruited friend is now your Battletag Friend: |cff88C5ff[%s]|r
  • RAF_MORE_DETAILS – [Click here for more details on how it works.]
  • RAF_PRODUCT_CHOICE_CLAIM – Click to choose your reward
  • RAF_PRODUCT_CHOICE_EARNED – You have earned a Recruit A Friend Reward
  • RAF_REALM_INFO – Your friend will be directed to join:\n|cffffd200%1$s|r on |W|cffffd200%2$s|r|w
  • RAF_SEND_INVITATION – Send Invitation
  • RECRUIT_A_FRIEND – Recruit A Friend
  • RECRUIT_A_FRIEND_FACTION_SUGGESTION_ALLIANCE – Your friend plays for the Alliance faction. Pick one of these races if you want to play together.\n\nHuman, Dwarf, Night Elf, Gnome, Draenei, Worgen, or Pandaren
  • RECRUIT_A_FRIEND_FACTION_SUGGESTION_HORDE – Your friend plays for the Horde faction. Pick one of these races if you want to play together.\n\nOrc, Undead, Tauren, Troll, Blood Elf, Goblin, or Pandaren.
  • RECRUIT_A_FRIEND_REWARDS – Recruit A Friend Rewards

New Mail

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Automated In-game Mail
Automated In-game Mail #399 – Emerald Hippogryph: Some feel that the Emerald Hippogryph is the most majestic of these noble creatures.
Even if one does not agree, they are certainly a striking sight nonetheless!
–Mei Francis – Exotic Mounts

New Icons

Recruit-A-Friend Updates Coming Soon

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
It’s been a while since we’ve updated the Recruit-A-Friend program, but the time has come once again to close the doors for a bit and do a little remodeling. On Tuesday, October 15, we’ll be temporarily shutting down new Recruit-a-Friend sign-ups. Don’t worry though—the program will be back (and better than ever) before you know it.
While we don’t have an official date to share regarding the release of the updated Recruit-A-Friend (RAF) program, those whose accounts are already linked are not affected by this, and any unclaimed rewards will be redeemable once the program starts up again. You’ll also be happy to learn that the current reward will still be available when the Recruit-A-Friend program returns—in fact, players who participate in the upcoming program will have even more reward options available to them. We’ll have more details for you at a future point in time.

Connected Realms Update

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As previously announced, we’ve been working toward connecting realms to increase the number of players on low-population realms, and since then have completed several connections. As a part of our ongoing communication, we wanted to provide you with an update that contains a list of completed realm connections, currently planned connections, and any additional future plans in one convenient location.
*Please note this list does not encompass all potential future connections.  Please check back for further updates.
Completed Connections
  • Aegwynn and Gurubashi
  • Anub’arak and Chromaggus/Garithos
  • Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
  • Balnazzar and Warsong
  • Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher
  • Blackwing Lair and Detheroc/Dethecus
  • Blood Furnace and Mannaroth
  • Burning Blade and Onyxia
  • Chromaggus and Garithos
  • Dalvengyr and  Dark Iron
  • Drak’Tharon and Firetree/Rivendare
  • Dunemaul, Maiev, Boulderfist and Bloodscalp
  • Hakkar and Aegwynn
  • Nesingwary and Vek’nilash
  • Rivendare and Firetree

Next Realm Connections Once determined, dates and times for the next round of realm connections will be provided in the General Forum and in-game breaking news.
Next Round

  • Haomarush and Detheroc/Dethecus/Blackwing Lair
  • Stonemaul and Bloodscalp/Maiev/Boulderfist/Dunemaul
  • Tortheldrin and Frostmane
  • Winterhoof and Kilrogg
  • Gul’dan and Skullcrusher/Black Dragonflight
  • Lightning’s Blade and Burning Blade

Plans for these connections may change at any time, but we’ll provide additional updates on specific dates for future connections here as we can. Please note that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.
For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Blue Posts

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Realm Population Issues Blizzard has currently done everything they can, pouring tons of resources and money into making a system that allowed cross realm, guilds and servers.
People are stuck on ether a dead server or a server with a queue of two hour. How to solve this you ask? Well here we go, this conclusion will blow your brains out, it took me years of thinking, but I think I finally know how it can be solved! Are you ready!?
Make paid character transfers free already.
The resources they put into making cross realm guilds would have been better if put into a creating a automated transfer system.
What do you guys think? would free char transfer solve these issue?
Actually, it might make matters worse.

Hypothetical situation: You’re on a nicely balanced realm with a healthy population. The next day a large portion of players from your faction decide to move to another realm for whatever reason, maybe to dominate the opposite faction there. With no cost involved, it would be an easy thing to up and move on the spur of the moment. Your realm would now be quieter and you’d be on the minority faction. You’d probably want to move as well after that. Would anyone from your faction ever roll a char or transfer willingly to that server once the faction balance was skewed like that?
Right now, if people could freely move to whatever server they wanted, what do you think would happen? I strongly suspect the busier realms would get busier and the quieter realms would get quieter. The horde-heavy realms would become horde-only and the same with Alliance.
But I’m genuinely interested in your opinion on this, what do you think would happen?
Oh yes what about connected realms ? It was suggestively due for 5.4 but right now it just looks like GMs’ little playground, where they seem to pick on a day basis what servers would be fun for them to connect, for example on the French side, Naxxramas and Temple noir who are both deserted, which must be useful… Connected Realms were designed specifically to tackle the issue of low population realms. We’ve begun with the process as mentioned here, and there are many more realms yet to be connected. It has been a long and careful process, selecting which realms to connect, and we’re pushing forward with it carefully but purposefully. Realms will continue to be connected with other realms until they have a healthy population, so please don’t assume that we’re done with the realms that have been involved so far if their population isn’t yet ideal.
As I said earlier, the ability to move for free, even with a cooldown, could potentially cause overnight faction/population fluctuations which the current costs somewhat prevent. However, we are always looking for ways to help with faction imbalance/population issues, so please continue with your feedback. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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Patch 5.4: Mists of Pandaria Reputation Guides and Shaohao Guide

Patch 5.4 had many reputation changes, as well as the daunting Emperor Shaohao reputation to grind, so  we’ve updated all of our popular Mists of Pandaria reputation guides! With the long weekend, it’s the perfect time to finish up some rep grinds for mounts or other fun vanity items.
Of particular note:

  • Valor Points gear now costs Justice Points, existing ilvl 458 gear is now 75% cheaper, and no gear purchasable with a currency requires reputation. You can still buy these items from quartermasters, but you don’t need any reputation to do so. Commander Lo Ping sells all the ilvl 458 Justice Point gear, and Commander Oxheart sells all the ilvl 489 Justice Point gear–a little confusing since he’s the Valor quartermaster.
  • Our Emperor Shaohao guide now explains the pros and cons to each rep farming area, lists all the mobs that grant reputation, and includes details on the unique vanity items for Going To Need A Bigger Bag that they drop.
  • Our Golden Lotus guide lists the handful of quests that haven’t been removed, describes new cooking recipes in the zone, new locations for rare elites, and other changes in the Vale.

All the guides linked below have been updated for 5.4.

#5-4, #blizzard, #changes, #game, #gaming, #guide, #mists-of-pandaria, #mop, #news, #notes, #pandaria, #patch, #patch-5-4, #patch-notes, #ptr, #reputation, #timeless, #updated, #videogames, #world-of-warcraft, #wow, #wowhead, #wownews

Blizzard Trademarks “Mists of Pandaria,” Next Expansion?

Put on your tinfoil hats–it looks like an April Fools’ joke may become a reality. Last week, Blizzard filed for a trademark for “Mists of Pandaria” under computer software. This is a common practice for the registration of expansion titles; for example, the Cataclysm was filed for trademark on June 26, 2009 and its domain was bought subsequently. Similarly, a Pandaria domain was also purchased last week.

This means that it’s possible that the next expansion will be announced at BlizzCon and that it will be Mists of Pandaria.

Let the speculation run wild–what do you guys think? Is this our future expansion or a false alarm? Will the pandarens be a playable race for both sides, a neutral faction even though Blizzard has said that they like factions to be identifiable and distinct for horde and alliance? Or maybe their role will be more of a lore one, focusing on them as quest hubs and a central conflict?

#blizzard, #expansion, #mists-of-pandaria, #rumors, #speculation, #world-of-warcraft, #wow