A Friendly, Beta-Invite PSA

I’ve been waiting patiently (I mean anxiously, angrily, cynically) for a beta invite into Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, their new MOBA game, for quite some time. My several of my guild-mates have gotten invitations to that along with the recent World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor beta. But little ole me has been left to my own devices and release level games only. Then suddenly, my roommate announces his WoD beta invite! “Blast”, I think to myself, then congratulate him (I mean called him things that I shouldn’t repeat on here). But wait!

It was a phony!

And I saved him from clicking on the links in his email and doing who knows what to his computer and account. After reminding him to check his battle.net and Blizzard launcher directly… there was no WoD beta account ready.

So, a friendly reminder to all. If you think you have a beta invite for any of Blizzards games (or really any other emails of any sort) go to the source directly and don’t click on things in your email.

Changes to the Blog

Those who come here regularly (or perhaps followed a fixed link from elsewhere on the interwebs) will notice that this site is no longer called “15 Minutes of WoW”. Well, fine, as of this writing the actual link is still that, but not the name or the function of the blog. For both the reasons of my declining interest in World of Warcraft (in no small part due to the long, long time until new content will be released) but also because of my desire to play and blog about other games, I’ve decided to make the change to a gaming blog as opposed to specifically focusing on Wow. A quick review of recent posts would show that the less than adequate Elder Scrolls Online has been a big topic recently and some Wildstar should be showing up in the near future. There may be layout changes and even an actual address change coming, so keep your eyes peeled.

Warcraft Around the World

Blog MapI was looking at my site statistics recently and noticed a massive variety of views from different countries. Now, I have no illusions that this blog is something super popular – it isn’t, but if you look at that map above, it shows all of the countries with views on this blog. Not only is it personally interesting to me, but also shows how wide spread Warcraft really is. The world is a really small place. Continue along to see the full list of countries that have viewed this, you might be surprised to see how far Warcraft and interest in the game have spread. (more…)

Magni Bronzebeard Returns?

Magni

Last night Chris Metzen, the Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development with Blizzard, was blowing up twitter answering random “x or y” tweets (he didn’t get to my ninja turtles vs dungeon boss question, unfortunately). One of his responses (shown after the page break) may have incidentally revealed something larger than the community has realized so far. For those who are unaware, Magni Bronzebeard is the elder of the 3 Bronzebeard brothers and is the rightful King of  the Dwarves at Ironforge. Unfortunately, after messing around with some titan relics somewhere during patch 4.1 in Cataclysm, he has been turned entirely to diamond. This left a void for his estranged daughter, now leading the Dark Iron Dwarves (see: bad guys) to come take a place of power in Iron Forge. But, Chris Metzen’s tweet may have hinted that Magni is coming back.

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Patch 4.2: Firelands Raid and Dailies Preview!

 Blizzard, clearly wanting to keep us excited about patch content, just posted some trailers for the 4.2 patch include a preview of the Firelands raid and what they have titled “Patch 4.2 daily quest preview”. Could this be that Hyjal/firelands quest hub everyone has been waiting (but no longer needs the rep for because we’ve been exalted for months using tabards and dungeons) for? Check after the break for the other video.

Blizzards blog post with both vids can be found HERE. Still no release date for this content though.

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4.1: No Raid?

According to Eurogamer and their interview with Blizzard lead producer J. Allen Brack, the “players were not sufficiently advanced through the raid content that shipped with third expansion Cataclysm in December to handle the challenge of Firelands”. So myself  along many others falsely predicted this raid coming out in 4.1. The interview says they’ll probably release it with patch 4.2, but they’re also considering having smaller content patches instead of just big ones. Of course, we’re still getting the new Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub as 5 man heroic dungeons that will drop 353 item level loot.

4.1 Patch Notes

 

*Edit – Since this old post is getting a lot of attention from players looking for patch notes I wanted to link the current notes here – http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/patch-notes/ptr-patch-notes . – Feel free to let me know if you see a more recent set of notes on Blizzards site.*

Finally, the long-awaited patch notes for 4.1, the first major Cataclysm content patch, have been made available. In addition to the notes below, I’m pretty sure we’re going to get the Firelands raid to kill Ragnaros and probably another one – both dropping tier 12. In later posts I’ll probably go into some of these changes in more detail but for now here’s a few of my personal favorites from the patch:

Divine Storm now generates 1 point of Holy Power if it hits (i.e. successfully lands on) 4 or more targets. – Hurray for more Paladin AOE potential.

Stealth base cooldown has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 10, and the movement penalty from being in Stealth has been removed. – Non-rogues that PVP are crying right now… crying tears of blood in preparation for all the incoming deaths.

The Guild Perk, Cash Flow, no longer prints out text to the Chat Log. Instead, the daily amount deposited is shown in the Guild Vault Money Log. In addition, players can view the weekly contribution in a new window at the bottom of the Money Log. – Cause that was really annoying.

Continue on to see the patch notes in their entirety.

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Daily Thoughts: Dungeon Finder/Vote Kick Changes

Blizzard decide to make a couple significant changes to the Dungeon Finder system to help curb the rampant abuse that’s been going on recently. Personally, I’m a fan of some of these changes but one I really could do without.

The Good:

* Players who are outside a dungeon for more than a few minutes are now immediately able to be kicked.

Players going AFK or off doing some for an extended period out of the group should be able to be kicked without waiting for the cursory 15 minutes that had been opposed up to this point. I absolutely agree

* If queuing as a group with a tank or healer, and the tank or healer drops group (or is kicked) soon after joining, those that queued with them will also be removed from the dungeon.

A simple change that prevents the “wtb tank queue 50g” attitude that’s been plaguing a lot of groups. This way a tank cannot insta-queue a group and then leave, forcing the people who waited legitimately to wait longer for a tank who actually intends to run to join.

* If three or more players group queue with each other it will require an additional vote for them to kick anyone they did not group queue with.

This is also a great change to issue that 3 man guild groups can’t as easily “bully” other non-guild member, at least not without the support of the other non-guild member in the group. Typically if the 3 guild members AND the 4th pug want to kick the 5th pug, there’s a pretty good change he was a baddie and needed to go. Good choice blizzard.
* If someone initiates a vote kick for someone they group queued with they will not incur a penalty to their ability to initiate future kicks.

Nothing really significant here. You won’t get punished if your guild member DC’s and you have to kick him.
The Bad:

* If a group queue of 4 kicks the one person that they did not group queue with they will each receive a more severe penalty to their ability to initiate future kicks.

I have a little bit of a problem with this. If you join the Dungeon finder with a 4 man guild group and there’s a bad or inactive player you’ll get a significant mark against your ability to kick future bad or inactive players. This is a pretty unfortunate case of protecting the minority at the expense of the majority. Hopefully though, it still takes a few cases of this happening before it becomes a problem, otherwise getting a bad streak of AFK pugs joining your 4 man guild run could be detrimental to your ability to initiate legitimate kicks.

Overall, it’s a pretty good change. I imagine the penalty for 4 member queued groups kicking won’t end up too ridiculous so we should just have a little less douche-baggery in our overall Dungeon Finder experience.

The full text from blizzard can be found HERE.

Luck of the Draw Buffed

The buff we receive for being in groups with random party members through the dungeon finder system is getting buffed, says Ghostcrawler – the leader systems designer of Wow. Each party using the dungeon finder system will see a 5% buff to health, healing and damage for each random member up to 15% increase. This should make pugs a significantly easier process, at least in terms of gear, organization, and skill needed to complete them. In the post GC also comments that the 5% buff we should have been getting already was broken and only working in some dungeons. 4.0.6 is bringing all sorts of goodies. Check the full text out after the break. (more…)