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Mists of Pandaria - Talent Calculator Update
Zarhym mentioned on Twitter that the devs have been working on updating the talent calculator on the main site.

Quote from: Zarhym (Source)
We're working on an update to the Mists web talent calculator. Things are still in flux, but we hope you enjoy the class design progress.


Blizzard vs Valve
Well, it appears the whole DotA thing is about to come to a head. Blizzard pretty much considers the name its own, based on its use throughout the life of Warcraft 3. Valve has tried to trademark it, and that seems to have let loose a bit of anger from Blizzard. Quoting Rob Pardo:

"The issue with that was, when we were talking with IceFrog originally, he wanted to build the sequel to DOTA. So the reason to call it Dota 2 is it actually does a pretty good job of communicating to gamers what it is the game is going to be. If a gamer looks at this game and you ask them, is that Dota 2? They're going to say yeah, that makes sense. That's a good name for it. That's really what's driving that. I haven't had any customers or gamers react negatively to it. They seem to be pretty comfortable with it."

Valve's only argument seems to be that the gaming community is fine with it. Gabe Newell said:

"The issue with that was, when we were talking with IceFrog originally, he wanted to build the sequel to DOTA. So the reason to call it Dota 2 is it actually does a pretty good job of communicating to gamers what it is the game is going to be. If a gamer looks at this game and you ask them, is that Dota 2? They're going to say yeah, that makes sense. That's a good name for it. That's really what's driving that. I haven't had any customers or gamers react negatively to it. They seem to be pretty comfortable with it."

The original developers of the Warcraft 3 addon DotA have already filed to block Valve's trademark application, which is still an ongoing case. In Blizzard's opposition filing, they state fairly bluntly that they've been using the term DotA for much of the long history of Warcraft 3, while Valve has never used it publicly with a product before.

"DOTA, that for more than seven years has been used exclusively by Blizzard and its fan community, under license from Blizzard. By virtue of that use, the DOTA mark has become firmly associated in the mind of consumers with Blizzard, including to signify a highly popular scenario or variant of one of Blizzard's best-selling computer games, Warcraft III...

In contrast to Blizzard, Applicant Valve Corporation ("Valve") has never used the mark DOTA in connection with any product or service that currently is available to the public. By attempting to register the mark DOTA, Valve seeks to appropriate the more than seven years of goodwill that Blizzard has developed in the mark DOTA and in its Warcraft III computer game and take for itself a name that has come to signify the product of years of time and energy expended by Blizzard and by fans of Warcraft III."

Blizzard then goes on to argue that the World Editor EULA requires Blizzard's prior written consent to use for any commercial purpose, which they have granted to various 3rd parties for the promotion of the DotA mod. Valve's response is a denial or lack of sufficient information claim of anything that mentions Blizzard's widespread and long standing use of the mark.

At this point, either the companies will come to some sort of out-of-court agreement, or the case will move on to trial, probably later this year.


Blue Posts
Quote from: Blizzard
World of Warcraft War College – Getting Geared
The battlefields of World of Warcraft are littered with the bones of those who have become casualties in the ongoing conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. You do not need to become one of them. One of the keys to victory is knowledge, and that is where the World of Warcraft War College enters the picture. In these discussions between players, you can learn and share strategies with other players to improve your tactics and improve your odds of emerging victorious from the field of battle.

Are you a veteran Gladiator with countless victories tallied? Are you new to World of Warcraft and striving to improve your PvP skills? In this weekly feature, we invite players of all skill levels to ask questions, share tips and tactics, and join a conversation dedicated to surviving and thriving in World of Warcraft PvP.

This week, the topic of discussion is:

Getting Geared – Whether getting ready to jump into PvP with a new character or preparing for a new PvP season, it’s important to get enough Resilience on your items to be competitive. What are the best techniques you've found to gear up fast?

Join the War College forum thread here. (Official Forums)

Bind on Account items
In terms of Bind on Account items, we believe that using the mail system to transfer heirlooms from one character to another is less than ideal. We’d like to work ourselves away from that sort of item distribution model, and have some design goals in mind that would change the mechanics of how heirlooms are distributed in-game.

We think it would be wonderful to simplify the system so that, for example, you might have a constant heirloom page across all your characters that you could peruse and select from at your leisure. Conceivably, we could do something similar for pets and mounts.

As always, these sorts of design ideas are constantly being evaluated. I just think it’s worth pointing out we’re not currently aiming to create a system that would allow players to mail heirlooms across realms or accounts. We believe that would be a sub-optimal design, and we have better solutions in mind for the future. (Official Forums)

Winning Multiple Items in LFR
Our patch note is wrong and we apologize for the confusion. We'll get it updated.

The way it currently works is you'll lose the Need+ roll bonus if you win an item that drops twice from the same boss, but you won't be made completely ineligible to win it twice. If no one else has the Need+ bonus or rolls Need on the item, you'd still win it.

We have updated the 4.3.2 patch notes to better describe the way this system change works.

Players no longer benefit from a role-based need bonus on the second of multiple copies of the same item on a single Raid Finder boss kill. For example, a player who chooses Need on two set piece tokens or two weapons (and wins the first) will only automatically roll 1-100 for the second from that particular boss. (Official Forums)

Low Population Realms
That thread is one that we are monitoring continuously for feedback, and those who wish to get their voice heard on this topic will certainly get their wish granted if they post in said thread.

We acknowledge that this is a very important topic for those of you playing on realms with low population, and it is an important topic for us as well. We are looking into ways to improve the situation, but as we mentioned in the thread linked to by Danellos above, there is no simple and easy fix to this. (Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator
Thank you for your feedback on the Warlock talents, however as you have mentioned the talents are not set in stone right now and may change. You have to remember that the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator was placed on the website towards the end of November last year and it has not been updated on the website since. During these past few months of development though, there would have been major changes that are not able to see yet.

We will probably not be updating the talent calculator until we're around about at the point of the friends and family alpha test. The reason for this is that it is not exactly useful or efficient for us to be continuously updating the calculator at this stage.

There have been no announcements for when an update to the Talent Calculator will be released. But I am sure we are all hoping for a more up-to-date talent calculator to be revealed, because I know everyone would like to see what has been done to refine and improve upon the ones we see now! (Official Forums)

Annual Pass and Diablo III Release Date
I've seen these threads before, and it’s concerning to me. I'm confused as to what people believed the Annual Pass provided when they signed up.

It's a year-long World of Warcraft contract for people who would be playing World of Warcraft for the next year, but who also want to play Diablo III. In those cases we say Ok, agree to pay through for that year, and you don't have to make the choice, we'll give you Diablo III for free, plus a bunch of other goodies just in case you're not totally sold.

I'm not sure how a Diablo III release date impacts your intent to continue playing and paying for World of Warcraft for a year. Or maybe a better question is, how does a free copy of Diablo III being released at any different point in time affect your intent to pay for World of Warcraft for a year?

Even if Diablo III was to release after your 1 year contract was up and paid off, you're saving the cost of a copy of Diablo III, and keeping all the extras. I don't see how that's a trick, or a scam, or otherwise a bad deal. Unless you were buying it, not intending to play WoW, believing it would get you Diablo III sooner than other people?

I sympathize with people excited about the game, and disappointed it’s not out, I want it to be finished as much as anyone, but I just have trouble understanding this point as I see it consistently made.

I know there was some wording on a website page somewhere saying 'early next year', but I'm not aware of the actual Annual Pass agreement having any release date schedule ever mentioned for Diablo III or the Mists beta.

In any case, assumptions that a contract was in any way changed aside, it doesn't change the value of the Annual Pass and the fact that you're getting Diablo III for free. (Official Forums)



WoW Monopoly and StarCraft Risk
Quote from: Blizzard (Source)
We’re pleased to announce a partnership with USAopoly to release fresh takes on two classic board games. Monopoly®: World of Warcraft® and RISK®: StarCraft® combine tried-and-true foundations with new designs and gameplay elements inspired by our popular gaming universes. Those who dare to engage will discover a new chance to claim supremacy, both over their friends and over the battle-torn lands of Azeroth and the Koprulu Sector.

These games will formally debut at the 109th annual Toy Fair this Sunday, February 12 in New York City.

We’re holding a poll on Facebook right now where you can vote on which player pieces will make it into the final Monopoly: World of Warcraft board game! Ten options, including Murky, Chen’s Keg, Mechagnome, and a Spellbook are present, and the six most popular pieces will be represented in the game when it launches this May. [...]



The MMO Report
I haven't posted one of these in a while, so why don't I just give you TWO? Yeah, who's the best web guy ever? Yeah, this guy... with the thumbs.



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