Wojtek sent us this thread in which he posted a long series of emails between him and Blizzard about the ninja of an Onyxia Drake. There’s a lot of back and forth, but eventually, the bottom line is that Blizzard was not able to help him, whether that’s because he didn’t have the information right, they couldn’t find what they needed in the chat logs, or they just didn’t want to. Later on, the thread is locked, and Wojtek is given the usual feedback address for the GM actions.
So what does all this mean? We’ve heard in the past that Blizzard will occasionally help with ninjas, and we’ve even heard unofficially that if you get the main looter in a PuG raid to state the looting conditions ahead of time, Blizzard can go back, look that up, and then reward loot based on who really deserves it. But of course, all of that is unofficial, and there are so many variations and issues in situations like these that there can’t really be a hard and fast rule — sometimes Blizzard can help, sometimes they can’t.
So basically, the one hard and fast rule that we’ve got is to watch your own back — make sure the rules are clearly stated, and only go raiding with people you trust. Blizzard will probably help when they can, but from GM to GM, their policies (and the way they feel that day — that seems to be what it boils down to sometimes) will likely differ. Ninjas happen — as long as there’s less loot to go around than people in the raid, they always will. And it’s important to remember that even if you do get some loot stolen from you, and even if Blizzard doesn’t help, there’ll always be another instance to conquer and another drop to get.
World of Warcraft
Wrath is almost all wrapped up, and while we didn’t know much about it before the expansion, we’ve all certainly experienced the token system that Blizzard implemented as they went along, where early instances drop one kind of badge/token, and then the newer instances offer up new tokens, which can then be exchanged back for the older ones and their rewards. Now that we see the big picture at the end of the expansion, it’s pretty ingenious, actually, and it even allows Blizzard to beef up other parts of the game, as they did with the rewards in the new Dungeon system.
Not that he needs to, but Bornakk steps up on the forums to justify exactly this kind of tiered system. Players complain that Ulduar is “useless” now that you can obtain its badges from lots of different places, but Bornakk says this system is definitely preferable to what Blizzard did in vanilla and BC, which was requiring new raiders to run through all of the old content before seeing the new and shiny stuff. They don’t want the old content to sit useless (and it’s not — lots of guilds are still running Ulduar and even Naxx for the hard modes and achievements), but after the high-end raiders have their fun, it’s important to get everyone else up to speed as well.
Bornakk admits it’s “a tough line to walk,” divining which of the two systems (straight raiding vs. badge earning) works better in which places. But Blizzard will never make everyone completely happy, and I think they’ve done a much better job this expansion in terms of balancing the need to show off all of their content against the need to get players working in their own ways towards gear rewards. In Cataclysm, it certainly seems like endgame won’t be as big a focus — in the beginning, anyway, we’ll all be looking at the old world and what’s changed back then. It’ll be interesting to see if they incorporate the tiered badge system in the rest of the game as well.
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I was just bemoaning that we haven’t gotten a chance to see patch 3.2′s new raid content yet. It looks like that chance will come sooner than I expected: tomorrow night!
Daelo has just posted a testing schedule for Trial of the Crusader (a.k.a. Crusader’s Coliseum).
North American realms: Lord Jaraxxus, Thursday, July 9, starting at 7 PM EDT
European realms: Eydis Darkbane and Fjola Lightbane, Thursday, July 9, starting at 19:00 CEST
Both of these fights will be available in normal mode (10 or 25) only, not heroic. The new 5-man, Trial of the Champion, will be open “later in the PTR cycle.”
He also notes that Koralon, the new Vault boss, will be up, and you’ll be able to access it if your side has Wintergrasp. Tanking and DPS Patchwerks will make a return. Unlike the patch 3.1 PTR tanking Patchwerk, this one just hits really hard (“as hard as Algalon”), all the time (instead of ramping his damage up over time).
Oh, and one more thing: there is, apparently, no trash at all in this raid. Woot?
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The Egotistical Priest has a good series of posts up attempting to somehow quantify whether Wrath has been an overall success or not. Of course, it’s definitely a financial success, but has the game’s second expansion delivered what both players and Blizzard expected it to? Vonya sets out to find out in what has turned into a three part post: you can find parts one and two on the site now, and part three is set to come out tomorrow.
So far, the answer is yes: while the area of Tradeskills is noted as less than a success (it seems to me, too, that tradeskills had more variety and options in Burning Crusade than their current state in Wrath, though that might be because we’re only partway through the expansion cycle), everything else is noted as a win for Blizzard: they’ve really beefed up questing, balance has been intriguing since Wrath (and even if one class has rubbed you wrong, consider how many players came running back with the expansion patch to re-try their class), and of course, Achievements have (predictably) brought the game to new levels of addiction and given players of all kinds new things to do.
Vonya still plans to tackle instancing and raiding as the other two criteria for Wrath’s success (and there are probably a few other ways you could test it — lore? setting?), but by the reasoning so far, Wrath is a win no matter how you slice it. Blizzard has outdone themselves with the second expansion — the only question is where they’ll go from here.
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MMO Champion has posted all of the in-game maps for the new Northrend dungeons. We’d heard a while back that they’d be added in, and though there was no mention of them in the 3.1 patch notes, sure enough, they’re out on the PTR.
They obviously use the same style as all of the other in-game maps, with labels of each area and concept art of the dungeon itself behind each layout. But here’s something we didn’t expect: each map has a skull placed where the bosses are, so with just a glance at the map you can see where the big bad guys are found. Right now, obviously, we know where they all are, but that will be interesting when maps of future instances become available.
And right now, on the world map, areas get drawn in as you discover them, but we’d guess that these maps will be opened up as soon as you enter the instance (you don’t discover parts of an instance, you discover the whole thing). It’ll be interesting to see, next time we explore some new instanced content, just how these maps can affect gameplay.
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