MonthApril 2014

Should I stay or should I go?

Dark Lady by Jill-Wan

" What a Nice Cache You Have

D3 Community Manager Nevalistis posts an amazingly helpful list of Torment-only and bounty-only legendaries.

' If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…

“Last week reminded me that not everyone is comfortable when someone is different. Being uncomfortable is ok. In fact, it’s often a healthy response to a new situation. Discomfort is your mind pausing when it encounters something unfamiliar in order to ascertain the appropriate response. The key is how you respond.” Varranis, like many of us in the gaming community, has experienced bullying first hand. And from within the same community that we all call home. It has to stop.

% Dark Lady

Jill-Wan on DeviantArt creates gorgeous, whimsical fan art. Her Lady Sylvanas portrait is featured in this week’s header.

+ Blizzard Art Director Samwise Didier just joined DeviantArt. Go for the Warcraft stuff, stay for the death metal art.

' A Diamond in the Rough

WoW expansions come and go and we move along with them to the newest content. But what about the old cities, the Shattraths and Silvermoons of the game? “Without other players to distract you by dancing naked or generally bustling around the screen, a visitor can admire details like self-sweeping brooms and golems on patrol. These are the sights that make the place beautiful and magical—and slightly ominous. It’s sad that so few people seem to appreciate its features, but the upshot is a welcome solitude.” Samantha Nelson finds the beauty in our abandoned cities.

" Love and Loss

“I write this today because yesterday was the first day that I logged in and managed to actually play for a bit. It was a big day for me.” Secrasanct posts an open letter to the WoW community. I’m not crying; it’s just been raining on my face.

' Playing Outside the Box

Games Radar asks Blizzard Entertainment writer Alex Ackerman for the wackiest Diablo 3 builds. If I had a Witch Doctor I’d give the Doom Chicken build a shot, but I’m too obsessed with shooting laser beams on my Wizard.

+ Grimiku announces several quality of life changes coming to D3, including scaling the number of blood shards dropped by Rift Guardians and reducing the cost of unsocketing top tier gems.

! Should I stay or should I go?

Cynwise asks the community why we should stay subscribed to the game. WoD is pretty far off at this point, but the community’s responses are all over the board.

' Lookin’ Good

With character model revamps coming in Warlords, Perculia picked the perfect time to put together a helpful Wowhead modelviewer tutorial. She goes over modelviewer basics, animations, how to view your character with the updated models and more.

" Grounded

“Our goal is not to make travel time consuming or painful, and with players on ground mounts we know we’ll have to do more to try to ensure people can get to where they want to go quickly… BUT being able to lift off and fly over content compromises many of our goals in how the game world is approached, how it’s played, how it’s consumed, and how the content is designed to account for those factors.” Bashiok weighs in on flying in Warlords.

+ The Godmother shares her view on flying in Warlords and why we should focus on what we’re gaining versus what we’re losing.

' I Call B.S.

“You’d think I’d love this show, because it’s got two things I really like; World of Warcraft and Orange County Choppers… oh wait, I mean Paul Jr’s custom bike builds. Thing is, I don’t like it. It’s not even okay, it’s annoying as hell.” I’ve read a lot about Azeroth Choppers lately and opinions vary wildly. Does the web series make sense for Blizzard? Why all the manufactured drama? Big Bear Butt gets real.

With a Little Help from My Friends

Echeyakee, the Whitemist

! Is that a Sunwell in your pocket?

Celestalon revealed that the devs are working on revamping spell visuals to improve player FPS. Which is good because I’m exhausted from conjuring the Sunwell every time I crit.


' The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Mists of Pandaria is probably my favorite expansion after The Burning Crusade. Between the scenery, quality of life improvements, and varied content, MoP has kept me engaged. But looking at the possibility of six more months of this expansion isn’t exactly exciting. Jasyla breaks down the good, the bad, and the ugly of MoP.

" With a Little Help from My Friends

Do plans count as legendaries in the cooldown timer? How do the mechanics of Armor and All Resist differ? The Diablo subreddit hosts a weekly help desk for players with questions about the game and for members of the community willing to answer them.

' Only the Boring Get Bored?

“The thing about a themepark MMO like WoW is that it has no discrete finish line, and anyone you ask will have a different definition of what it means to ‘finish’ the game.” If someone complains about the lack of content at this point in WoD, do you point them to Heroic Garrosh? Thing is, finishing off the game is different for everyone. The “finish line” doesn’t have to be the final Heroic boss of an expansion. 0utofBeta talks about how, to some, content that’s effectively out of a player’s reach due to time or skill constraints isn’t really “content” at all.

% Whitemist

6kart’s “Echeyakee, the Whitemist” is a stunning piece of fan art, featured in this issue’s header.

' I Want to Be the Very Best

Ashunera created a fantastic raiding guide for those of us who don’t find several hours of reading and digging through guides to be appealing.

& Let the Games Begin

“I think a major part of the tournament is also people not only wanting to see their favorite party win, but also parties they happen to dislike lose.” In 2010, Swedish politician Jonathan Rieder Lundkvist brought PolitikerStarcraft – an eSports event for Swedish political parties – to life as a way to increase awareness of eSports in politics, and of politics among gamers.

" Grab the Popcorn

The Reddit community is often known for its… passion. A few folks in the Hearthstone subreddit community noticed that Hearthpwn links were getting an abnormal amount of upvotes, even when linked to re-hosted Blizzard posts. Turns out, the moderator of that subreddit is an employee of the Curse network of sites. Sketchy stuff ensued.

+ VP of Content at Curse responded to the situation.

' Grumbles About Garrisons

Blizzard is releasing bits and pieces of information on the new Garrison feature coming to Warlords, but there are still so many unanswered questions. How will Garrisons be integrated into our daily play? How “required” will they be? Erinys discusses her desire for themed buildings, concerns over how important Garrisons will be, and more.

' Draenor Rock City

“The problem with nerd culture and the belief that only men are considered creators is that it reinforces that the only stories worth caring about are for men, by men, and in a way that is cool to other men. It’s a rigid set of interests that tends to not consider much else outside of it.” Apple Cider Mage and Tzufit break down the exclusionary nature of nerd cool and how WoD isn’t exactly the most diverse and welcoming expansion in Blizzard history.

That’s for the Juggernaut

crusader_cosplay

' Are we there yet?

“While in recent years Blizzard’s been in the habit of announcing BlizzCon in the first quarter, we haven’t yet reached two of the dates on that list, and we’re not far past March 25th. So really, just under half of all BlizzCon announcements happened right around this point in the year.” Blizzard has yet to announce the dates for this year’s BlizzCon and people are getting antsy. And hey, there may not even be a BlizzCon this year. Elepheagle gives a rundown of BlizzCon yearly announcements so I can worry about other stuff, for now.

% Will the real daughter of Argus please stand up?

Senior Art Director Chris Robinson revealed the team’s current progress on the new Draenei model. Thank goodness, because I don’t know how much longer we could have waited after that whole April Fool’s thing.

+ “On a certain level, how you move in the game is one of the most important things you experience as a player. It’s your main interaction with the world around you. For Warlords of Draenor, we wanted to improve the locomotion of WoW’s player characters with brand new rigs.” Steve Aguilar, lead animator for the World of Warcraft team, introduced the new male Tauren model and delved into the animation process.

' Golden

Esoth is embarking on an impressive journey: To complete the gold wave in Proving Grounds for all 31 specs in the game. He discusses his goals, what he looks for in a spec-agnostic UI, and how he plans on tackling this monumental task.

! But what about me?

Along with news of new heroes and legendary cards, Blizzard released Warlords of Draenor beta keys into the wild at PAX East. Given to attendees who play WoD, HotS, and Hearthstone demos, the keys grant a guaranteed spot in a later phase of the expansion’s development. But what about the rest of us? No love for the folks who attended BlizzCon? According to CM Lore, there will be other ways to get into the beta.


' Mo’ Money

The devs revealed that Engineering items like Nitro Boosts and MOLL-E would have BoE versions in the expansion. I’ll spare you my feelings on that here, but what about the effects for players in general? Phat Lewts discusses the implications and viability of Engineering as a gold-making profession in WoD.

" Mo’ Loot

“Loot is an incredibly important aspect of Diablo games and we will continue to keep a very close eye on it. If more problems arise we will continue striving to address them. It isn’t our goal to take loot away from people, we just want to make sure they are having as much fun as possible while finding it and these changes all support that goal.” Game Designer Travis Day revealed a hotfix in which the bonus legendary drop rate for rifts was increased from 25% to 100% and unique monsters will drop fewer items.

+ Grimiku posted about future quality of life improvements based on community feedback.

% Mo’ Awesome

The folks at Blizzard know how to get down. To celebrate the release of Reaper of Souls in Korea, the team put together an epic release party including awesome Diablo cosplay from the Spiral Cats cosplay team. Tasha’s fantastic Crusader cosplay is featured in this issue’s header.

' Make It Last

“We are creating an experience where a team has a chance to do a few things before people start dying.” Dustin Browder talks hero lethality in Heroes of the Storm. What, still think every battle should be 10 seconds long?

# That’s for the Juggernaut

Heroic Siegecrafter Blackfuse is a clusterfu… complicated fight with a ton of moving parts. But when you learn where you fit in to the encounter as a player, everything falls into place. The belt assignment can be intimidating as it’s a key assignment in the encounter. Reesi demystifies the belt team with her 10-man Heroic SCBF belt guide:

' Mathematical!

“None of that discussion addressed what would eventually be a crucial (and in the case of our beta test results, deciding) factor: what makes a good metric?” Theck and Meloree created the TMI metric with the goal of calculating the threat of spike damage to a tank. Using Simulationcraft, it’s relatively easy to determine the effectiveness of a healer during a boss encounter, but not as easy when it comes to assessing a tank’s survivability. Theck recaps the process of (re)-building the TMI metric in two parts.

Warlords of Draenor Alpha Resource Guide

Community Powered Patch Notes! Alpha info dump crits you for over 9000! Welcome to Blizzlist’s Warlords of Draenor Alpha resource guide. This is a special issue focused on all things Alpha and will be added to over time, so be sure to check back in for updates.

UPDATE, April 20, 2014: All newly added resources will be shown in green!
UPDATE, July 24, 2014: The Alpha turned into the Beta a while back, so look for major updates to this guide soon!

general_press

professions

General
Engineering
Enchanting

classes

General
Death Knight
Druid
Hunter
Mage
Monk
Paladin
Priest
Rogue
Shaman
Warlock
Warrior

garrisons

dungeons_raids

zones_world

pet_battles

gear_items

Friend Request Accepted

Hi there! So, this issue doesn’t include news from the recent Warlords info dump. I will release a special mid-week issue of Blizzlist dedicated to all things Alpha!

bulky_murloc

' See Ems

“Countless adventurers continue to brave the most trying versions of Mists of Pandaria dungeons, but the clock is ticking. This “season” of Challenge Modes will be coming to an end with the upcoming release of a patch prior to the expansion’s release.” Blizzard announced the end of this round of CMs not too long ago, but it wasn’t clear what would happen for Warlords. The good news: “The Undaunted” title and Phoenix mounts become account-wide. The bad news: Players lose their realm-best titles.

+ Watcher expands on why the realm-best Challenge titles are being removed.

" Ask Me Anything

What’s the difference between teleportation and portal creation? Can worgen reproduce naturally? What is the original Naaru name of the ship the orcs named Oshu’gun? The community’s most burning questions answered by Blizzard historian Sean Copeland in a new round of Ask Creative Development.

! Ch-ch-changes

Classes often see fundamental changes when an expansion is released. An additional resource to manage, a complete reworking of spells, or a change to the overall feel of a class can cause players to reroll. “U NERFED US!1!!” is a common argument, too. Matthew Rossi asked his followers about it:


% Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

“As the days drew ever-closer for the release of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls™, artisans from around the world rallied the tools of their trade in order to portray the Heroes of Sanctuary or Malthael preparing for the coming conflict. There were over $11,000 worth of prizes and a two-night trip to Blizzard HQ in Irvine, California up for grabs, so the competition was sure to be as fierce as any battle within Sanctuary!” Indeed it was. The Diablo team announced the winners of their fan art contest.

+ Mr–Jack on DeviantArt created a set of fantastic Heroes of the Storm paintovers.

+ TyphonArt’s “Bulky Murloc” is this week’s featured header.

" The Management

WoW offers guild masters tools to manage their guild easily – viewable “last online” information, various rank options, and more. But the new D3 clan system isn’t as leader friendly. TheFennec on Reddit discusses current clan management issues.

& Friend Request Accepted

If you leave your Battle.net desktop client open all the time, you’ll discover the new chat feature available to the app when someone messages you in the middle of watching Netflix. Oh, that’s just me? Well, Blizzard just released Battle.net chat through the desktop app. Now where’s my “invisible” status so I can hide from everyone?

+ In the interest of privacy, Strumpet101 goes over a key setting for Battle.net users: Friends of friends.

" Clicker

“Back then, I heard about people insulting those who clicked, referring to them as ‘noobs’ as a more common word.” There’s no “right” way to interact with the UI in WoW. Some of us are clickers, some of us are keybinders, and some of us fall somewhere in between. Community members of The Inconspicuous Bear forum talk about clicking and how to transition to the world of keybinding.

! Mount Runs, Here I Come

Last week, Watcher discussed the instance cap and considered adding a timer to assist players in tracking a reset. This week, he revealed that they’re easing the cap:


& Secret Cow Level

Bonus loot alert! Those who purchased Diablo III: Reaper of Souls can claim an Expert Card Pack (or Packs) in Hearthstone. Depending on the version you have you can expect one or three packs.

+ “The iPad version of Hearthstone brings all of the features and excitement of deck-building and dueling your friends that’s currently available for PC right to your fingertips.” Hearthstone for iPad was released in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Everyone else: You’re out of luck! (For now.)

! Throwback

Every Thursday, Twitter is flooded with visions of days past in the form of cute babies and parachute pants. A few folks at Blizzard have joined the #ThrowbackThursday trend with their own posts of old school dungeon diagrams and class design notes. I can get on board with that!

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