Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Notes from the Blizzard Developer Q&A, No.3

The third round of Blizzard’s developer Q&A just finished, and most of the questions and answers this round focused on UI elements and usability changes. The questions and answers this time were really good for those folks who are passionate about the look and feel of World of Warcraft, and how players play and interact with the game. The full thread is here.

Here are a couple of the highlights, especially some of the questions and answers that I’m particularly enamored with, starting off with the “is it possible to raid without add-ons/are add-ons making the game too easy” question we hear all too often:

Q: Some Addons are so powerful they simplified the game content to a degree (e.g., boss fights). Do you think that when the majority are using these Addons, the original reasoning behind the game design is violated? And isn’t it unfair for players who don’t use Addons? – 冷影幽光 (Taiwan)

A: This really deserves a long answer. It sounds like a good topic for a future developer blog. To tide you over until then, we can say that some addons do a great job of providing information we really should be providing (and have long-term plans to provide).This includes information like threat, the distance you are from other players , when you have a killer debuff on you and things like that. On the other hand, when addons are too helpful, they are playing the game for you and you’re just doing what the addon tells you to do. When the mod tells you so much information about the fight that you don’t even really need to pay attention to what is happening in the world at all, then we feel that crosses the line. I don’t know that we could put the djinn back in the bottle at this point though. It would feel really harsh to prevent addons from tracking some of that information, and in some cases we’re not even sure how we would prevent it.

We continue to try and come up with new mechanics that ask players to pay attention to the fight itself instead of just pushing whatever button the addon tells them to push. You might be alerted to when Atramedes emits a Sonar Pulse, but you don’t know where it is going to be. Sinestra’s Twilight Slicer requires you to look at the battle field and not just your UI. To be fair, we are also trying to do a better job of telegraphing to players when bosses will use predictable abilities. The Conclave of Wind and Nefarian for example do their special abilities at predictable intervals along their resource or health bar.

It is a fine line to decide when an addon becomes mandatory. Ideally you could raid without any addons, and some players do. Information is often power in complex raid encounters though, and we agree that in some cases we don’t provide enough information yet. Does that mean Blizzard needs to replicate some of the screenshots produced by players who install thirty mods and completely overhaul their UI? Probably not. Our raid UI is a good example of what we are going for. It provides enough information for many players (and we have plans to add more to it overtime). It’s not going to incorporate the favorite feature of every raider out there, and for them, a very customizable third-party addon is a perfectly reasonable solution.

That’s fabulous – although unlike the devs, I don’t know anyone who raids without add-ons. In fact, I know more guilds who require them than that don’t, and the only people I know who raid without add-ons are the kind who are too stubborn to install them, simply don’t know how, or are perfectly okay skating along and letting other guild members carry them through raids and dungeons instead of contributing, but I’m sure there are some people out there who are more naturalist and prefer to simply play the game the way it was designed.

Q: Would you please implement a feature that allows players to change the order of their characters on the Character select screen? – 흑풍육손 (Korea), Fanahlia (North America/ANZ), Perle (Latin America)

A: Sure. Does 4.2 work for you? :)

And boom goes the dynamite!

That was the bulk of it – there are a couple of questions that I seriously can’t believe people asked, much less wanted: like the topic of being able to buy things directly from chat (an attempt to circumvent the limitations of mail/auction house location/player location in order to quickly buy things) and the whole “I’m tired of paging through mail to get items one at a time,” point.

I can identify a little more with the latter though, I understand how frustrating it can be, especially if you’re sending yourself items, to have to load up your bags and then mail items to yourself one at a time. At the same time though, there are add-ons (like Postal, for example) that allow you to streamline the process – and the people who know about those add-ons and use them are likely the ones who will get the most benefit: eg, the people who use the AH the most, or mail themselves lots of things frequently. Everyone else probably doesn’t care so much.

So what do you think? What would you ask the devs if you had an opportunity to ask them about user interface and gameplay questions?

Blizzard Unveils Remote Auction House Beta!

Have an iPhone or an iPod Touch? Looking for a way to keep tabs on your auctions and things when you’re away from your computer or you’re not logged in to WoW? Well Blizzard will have you covered…soon.

There’s been talk and discussion about a mobile app that would allow you to interact with the game and keep track of your auctions from your phone, but they’ve all been some measure of speculation and rumor up until now. Blizzard officially announced and opened the page for their Remote Auction House iPhone and iPod Touch app (and by proxy, likely the iPad although there may not be an higher-resolution version for it yet), and also announced that the app was already in beta. When it’s released, for the price of $2.99 you’ll be able to obsessively check your auctions from anywhere using items in your bank, bags, or mailbox, collect the gold from those auctions, bid on and buy out auctions up in the auction house.

I imagine the first groups of people to latch on to this app are the ones who make heavy use of the auction house, but I’ll bet the price point and availability of the app will encourage other, more casual auctioneers to use it as well – especially after a long night of raiding and killing trash, it’ll be a great way to head to the office in the morning, put all of your stuff up for auction, and not have to make yourself late in the morning by logging in “just to check the AH.”

I’m being completely selfish here, but here’s hoping for an Android app soon as well! Many thanks to for the tipoff, and they have an amazing gallery full of images from the mobile app as well!

Today’s the Day: Patch 3.3.3 is Live!

Today’s the day that patch 3.3.3 goes live; bringing us delicious content after the fall of the Lich King, including the end of honor tokens (which can now be traded in for honor), greed-only rolls on Frozen Orbs, a new Random Battleground system, and tons of other changes!

The full patch notes are here, but here are some of the bigger changes after the jump:


Gold Making Tips from a WoW Millionaire

Gold, gold, gold

Ah, gold. The main reason I hear from some of my guildmates that they haven’t picked up dual-specs? It costs 1000g. The main reason our my pally friend is tired of respecing between healing and tanking? Gold. Everyone needs it, not all of us have a good, solid way of getting it.

Have you ever wondered how people seem to play the auction house to make money? Have you ever wondered how you can take the economy on your server and turn it into a moneymaking machine without putting so much time into it that you’re distracted from actually playing the game? So have I! Which is why this post, Gold Making Tips from a WoW Millionaire over at WoW Economist piqued my interest.

In the first video, our tutor manages to make 1000g in 4 hours of /played time:


The post goes on into another video that outlines the narrator’s typical day of milking the auction house for all it’s worth – the best part is that this strategy doesn’t particularly rely on being brutal against other players and devastating the server economy in order to make a few extra copper – it’s just playing off the need for certain items and the willingness of many players to simply overpay for something because they want it. All of the videos are created by the writer of WoW Auction Mastery, where more videos and tutorials are promised soon.

A cap on capitalism

Seems the Blizzard developers don’t want you to have too much gold. You can only amass wealth of 2^31 copper pieces or 214,748 gold, 36 silver, 48 copper.

Sorry guys.

Anyone close to the limit? Ever?

[Via BoingBoing]

PWNED!!!! or at least rented…..

Mounted and MOUNTED! Follow up to this can be found after the jump.

Trading epic mounts for errrr…. epic mounts

I was going to write a story about this but I’m speechless.
5000 Gold for sex.
I wonder if this is a TOS violation.

“I play a level 70 night elf druid and would prefer someone who was into roleplaying (I have a costume!) boy honestly anyone will do, as long long as you have the gold. I would also be ok with a woman too, as long as you have the gold!”

The craiglist ad is after the jump.

Yet Another Reason to Play WoW on a Mac…

Because malicious hackers exploit a flaw in the way the Windows handles animated cursors to steal your login info and rape your account:

The flaw came to light in late March and lets attackers take over vulnerable PCs via booby-trapped websites. Warcraft players seem to be one of the targets because accounts for the game are potentially worth significant sums of money.

But the really interesting part is that the hack isn’t directly related to Warcraft. Instead, they’re using it gather WoW login info rather than credit card info because “the raw value of a WoW account is now higher than a credit card and its associated verification data.” How crazy is that?

Messing with Gold Farmers for Fun and Profit…

So, we’ve all gotten those lame-ass spam mails in our in-game mailbox with a 100g COD for something like a plain letter. They suck. They really trick people now and again, and it’s really lame. So, this happens to someone on the WOW Community on LJ, and he got his sweet, sweet revenge, complete with GMs laughing at the farmer for getting rooked by his own scam. The rooking? Netted the guy enough to buy his epic flying mount riding skill.

Brilliant. Just brilliant. Go read for all the laughs.

Looking for a new job? Need to hire someone?

Well, we now have some job boards here on Metroblogging Azeroth. Since they are all of 10 minutes old they are totally empty so they won’t be of any use to people looking for a job, but if you have a WoW related (or any kind of gaming) position available you can post it there and folks can check it out. That way you can more more cash to cover your monthly WoW fees.

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