Tag Archives: World of Warcraft

Running of the Trolls Raised Money for The Trevor Project



The third annual Running of the Trolls took place on June 10, 2017. The event takes place inside World of Warcraft. The purpose is to raise money for a good cause – The Trevor Project. It’s always awesome when people who play video games get together in an effort to help others.

The Running of the Trolls was inspired by another event that takes place inside of World of Warcraft – the Running of the Gnomes (which raises awareness and money for breast cancer treatment.) Both events are run by Dravie.  That being said, Blizzard Entertainment is going to turn the Running of the Gnomes into an in-game micro-holiday this October.

Trolls, and Gnomes, are two of the races that a player can choose in World of Warcraft. Trolls are part of the Horde, and Gnomes are part of the Alliance. Anyone can roll a brand new, level one, Troll (or Gnome – depending on which event is taking place) and participate.

All players gather in a specific place and attempt to run from there to another location within the game. This is difficult, because low level player characters will get attacked along the way by non-player characters (animals, monsters, humanoids, etc.) that are a higher level.

This year, the goal for Running of the Trolls 2017 was to raise $2,000 for the Trevor Project. The event raised $2,692 from a total of 107 donations. They beat their goal!

The Trevor Project was founded in 1988. It is the leading organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.


Blizzard Updated the World of Warcraft Profile Site



Blizzard announced that they have updated the World of Warcraft profile site. It now contains a lot of information that wasn’t included in the previous version of the Profile site. The changes make it easier for players to quickly view specific information about each of their World of Warcraft characters.

The main character screen mirrors what players see in game, so the information you see about your character’s gear makes logical sense when switching from in-game to the Profile site. Players can view the enchants, transmog info, gems, enhancements, and stats of their gear at a glance.

The Profile page now shows the Achievements that each of your characters has earned. The Profile page dashboard shows how close you are to earning 100% on any area of Achievements. Those areas include: General, Quests, Exploration, Player vs. Player, Dungeons & Raids, Reputation, World Events, Pet Battles, Collections, Class Hall, Scenarios, Legacy, and Feats of Strength.

It is now possible to see your full pet collection on the Profile page. There is a section at the top of the page that shows the Pets that are currently in your Battle Pet Slots. The rest of the pets are in order by favorites, and then by level. You can also view your Mounts from the Profile page. They are listed in order of rarity.


Blizzard Takes Action Against Real-Money Raid Clears



Blizzard Entertainment does not want World of Warcraft players to require other players to give them real-world currency in exchange for assistance with a dungeon or raid. Doing so breaks the World of Warcraft Terms of Use – and Blizzard has taken action against players that were doing this.

To be clear, it is perfectly acceptable for one player to help another player to get through a part of the game. People join guilds for the purpose of having lots of other players that they can do raids or dungeons with. Any player, running through Azeroth, who wants to randomly heal a player in need, is perfectly welcome to do that.

All of that is fine. World of Warcraft is the type of game that works best with a helpful community of players. Parts of the game require players to get a group together because some of the content is impossible to complete without help.

Asking another player to pay you real-word currency for that help, however, is not okay. In a Forum Post Community Manager Ornyx stated the following:

We’ve recently taken action against a number of accounts that were actively participating in and/or advertising the sale of in-game raid or dungeon clears in exchange for real-world currency. Such behavior is a clear violation of the World of Warcraft Terms of Use.

Ornyx continued to point out that many of the people who were doing that were members of top raiding guilds. Ornyx also made it clear that the players Blizzard took action against “had illustrated full knowledge and intent to violate the Terms of Use”. The Forum Post doesn’t include information about what specific action was taken against those players.

Doing a “gold run” – where a player offers to help another player through content in exchange for a certain amount of in-game gold – is perfectly acceptable. Ornyx states that it is fine to sell assistance with obtaining items, achievements, PVP rating, or other in-game benefits in exchange for in-game gold.

Blizzard wants players to report people who are advertising that they will help another player in exchange for real-world money. The Forum Post lists some common warning signs:

  • A “broker” is offering to match buyers with service-providers. Commonly, a broker will collect real-word currency from a buyer while offering gold to a guild or group that will actually provide the service.
  • Someone offering a service is unwilling to discuss terms of payment via in-game tells, and insists on using a non-Blizzard application to communicate.

In short – helping another player get through content in World of Warcraft is absolutely ok to do. Offering to help a player get through content in exchange for in-game gold is fine. Offering to help another player get through content in exchange for real-world currency breaks the World of Warcraft Terms of Use and will result in action taken against you.


Play Heroes of the Storm and Get a World of Warcraft Mount



Blizzard Entertainment announced that the Primal Flamesaber Mount is now available. It is a mount that can only be used in World of Warcraft. In order to get this new mount, a player must play Heroes of the Storm (another one of Blizzard’s games).

Mounts are very useful in World of Warcraft because they can help your character get from one place to another very quickly. It is possible for players to earn several mounts just by playing World of Warcraft. Other mounts can be purchased from the Blizzard Store. Once in a while, Blizzard offers a World of Warcraft mount that players cannot get unless they play a different Blizzard game.

Such is the case with the Primal Flamesaber mount.  To get this mount, players need to leave Azeroth and venture into the Nexus. Play 15 Heroes of the Storm matches with a friend from your Battle.net friends list between now and March 13, 2017. Both you, and your friend, have to play Heroes that originated in World of Warcraft.

In addition, players who complete that goal will also get a Judgment Charger mount, and a 10-day Stimpack, that they can use in Heroes of the Storm.

This offer is great for players who already play both of those Blizzard games and who have at least one friend on their Battle.net friends list who plays Heroes of the Storm.

This is not the first time that Blizzard has offered a special mount to World of Warcraft players who spend some time playing one of Blizzard’s other games. In 2014, players who won three games in Hearthstone earned themselves a Hearthsteed to use in World of Warcraft.


The WoW Token Can Now be Exchanged for Battle.net Balance



Blizzard Entertainment created the WoW Token in 2015. In my opinion, the purpose was to give players a safe and secure way to buy in-game gold directly from Blizzard (and not from a disreputable gold seller). Today, Blizzard Entertainment expanded the potential uses for a WoW Token. Players can now exchange a WoW Token for Battle.net Balance.

Previously, the WoW Token had two purposes. A player who wanted to buy in-game gold could log in to World of Warcraft and spend real world currency on a WoW Token. After buying one, that player would put the WoW Token onto the World of Warcraft in-game Auction House. The player would get a quote that confirmed how much gold they would receive whenever their WoW Token sold.

Another player, who wanted to buy game-time, but did not have the real world currency to spend on it, could use their in-game gold to buy a WoW Token from the World of Warcraft in-game Auction House. That player would spend their in-game gold and use the WoW Token to pay for a month of game-time.

Today, Blizzard Entertainment has added a new option. World of Warcraft players who want to add to their Battle.net account can visit the World of Warcraft in-game Auction House, buy a WoW Token, and choose to redeem it for Battle.net Balance. In short, this gives players a new way to add to their Battle.net Balance without having to use real world currency.

The cool thing is that a player can spend the money in their Battle.net Balance on World of Warcraft Pets and Mounts. Or, they can spend it on items from other Blizzard Entertainment games like Overwatch or Heroes of the Storm. This gives more options to World of Warcraft players who also play other Blizzard Entertainment games.


Blizzard Launches WoW Legion Companion App



World of Warcraft Legion Companion AppBlizzard Entertainment has launched the WoW Legion Companion App. It is for players of World of Warcraft who have the recently released Legion expansion. The app can be downloaded for free from either the App Store or Google Play.

The WoW Legion Companion App can be used by players to keep track of their progress in game. It is not a substitution for the World of Warcraft game (or the Legion expansion). In other words, the app lets you do certain in-game things through your mobile device, but you still need to use your computer to play WoW.

Players can use the app to:

Track World Quests – View your active world quests and emissary bounties from the app. You can check on rewards and figure out which quests to do once you’re in-game.

Mission Control – See which missions are available to you in your Class Order Hall and get them started through the app. You can complete missions, collect rewards, manage your followers, upgrade their gear, and recruit troops for future missions.

Order Hall Progress – Conduct research and track the status of your Order Hall tech tree to maintain the momentum of your in-game progression.

The app requires players to have an active World of Warcraft subscription, the World of Warcraft Legion expansion, and at least one character that is at the appropriate level. Some things do not unlock until after your character reaches certain levels.

In November of 2015, Blizzard Entertainment acquired King Digital Entertainment. Since then, there has been much speculation that the result would be an app that connected to at least one of Blizzard’s games. The WoW Legion Companion app appears to be that result.


Blizzard is Adding a Silence Penalty to World of Warcraft



Blizzard Entertainment logoBlizzard Entertainment is adding a new silence penalty to World of Warcraft. It is designed to enable players to report those who cannot play nice with others. This new silence penalty for World of Warcraft has some similarities to the one Blizzard added to Heroes of the Storm in 2015.

The silence penalty will be implemented with the pre-expansion patch for Legion (World of Warcraft’s newest expansion that will be released on August 30, 2016.) The pre-expansion patch will appear sometime before that date.

The silence penalty will enable players to report other players who are engaging in spam, abusive chat, or other inappropriate chat behaviors. An investigation will be done.

Reported players who, after an investigation, were found to be engaging in bad behavior or chat will receive an account-wide silence penalty. That means they can’t switch from their character that got silenced to an alt in the hopes of being able to get around the penalty.

Silenced Players are Unable to:

*Talk in Instance Chat (Raid, Party, and Battlegrounds)

*Talk in global channels that are autojoined (such as General or Trade)

* Create Calendar Invites/Events

* Send in-game mail

* Send Party invitations

* Send War Game invitations

* Send invitations to Duel

* Update a Premade Group Listing

* Create a New List for a Premade Group

Silenced Players are Able to:

* Whisper to friends (both World of Warcraft and Battle.net friends)

* Reply to Whispers from non-friends

* Party/Raid Chat (with Invited Players)

* Create Parties and Raids

* Talk in Global Channels that have a moderator

* Share Quests

* Sign up for a pre-made group

The first time a player is silenced, their chat will be restricted for 24 hours. The silence penalty restriction will double for each silence penalty received after the first and there is no maximum.


Banned WoW Player Posts Petition on WhiteHouse.Gov



We the People logo at WhiteHouse.gov petition websiteIt is not unheard of for players who have been banned from playing a video game, due to their own bad actions, to get online and complain about it. Blizzard Entertainment, maker of World of Warcraft (WoW) recently banned players who were using bots. One of those players felt the need to post a petition at WhiteHouse.gov about it.

It is against the Terms of Use of World of Warcraft for players to use bots. A bot can be described as “third-party programs that automate gameplay.” In short, players who don’t actually want to spend time playing a video game sometimes choose to use a bot that plays it for them. Or, a player might choose to use a bot in order to make certain aspects of the game easier for them. The reason doesn’t actually matter since the use of bots breaks the Terms of Use.

Blizzard Community Manager Lore posted some information about the ban on the World of Warcraft forums. The title of the forum post was “Recent Actions Against Botting in WoW”. It said (in part):

We’ve recently taken action against a large number of World of Warcraft accounts that were found to be using third-party programs that automate gameplay, known as “bots”. We’re committed to providing an equal and fair playing field for everyone in World of Warcraft, and will continue to take action against those found in violation of our Terms of Use. Cheating of any form will not be tolerated.

As I mentioned, it is common for players who have been banned to go online and complain about it. Many will claim they were innocent and that Blizzard should reverse the ban. Others will insist that the ban was “unfair”. This is a fairly typical response.

This time, someone decided to take things a step farther and create a petition on WhiteHouse.Gov about the WoW ban. The petition is titled: “Today on 5/13/2015 The World of Warcraft Population demands unbanning their toon and to change the terms so we can play.” The “toon” they are referring to is the character they use when they play World of Warcraft.

The wording of the petition says: Today over half the pvp community that did not use their fingers to play have been banned. The other half were people who would use a program called T-Morph to do stupid things…Anyways we are demanding Blizzard to change their terms of service and fix this game so we can play again. WE do not want to see any lives lost due to A ban.

Please help us change this

Blizzard you are ruining everything

The rest of the petition is composed of a “ban list so far”. The creator of the petition is listed as “B.P.” who is from Fort Worth, Texas. In order to create a petition on the WhiteHouse.Gov “We the People” website, a person must be an American citizen. Those who sign the petition also have to be American citizens.

WoW petition at WhiteHouse.gov

I find it interesting that the banned players who created or signed the petition think that this is a situation that the Obama Administration should step into. The creator of the petition connected it to the following issues: Economy, Human Rights, Technology and Telecommunications.

I’m fairly certain that being banned from a video game, for using a “bot”, is not actually an infringement upon one’s human rights. The wording of the petition can be read as an admission that the players who were banned did, in fact, use a “bot”, including one called T-Morph.

Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me that the creator of the petition failed to follow the Terms of Participation required by those who post petitions. For example, part of it reads “You also agree not to post threats of unlawful violence or harm to any individual or group”. One could interpret the part of the petition that says “WE do not want to see any lives lost due to A ban” to be a threat of unlawful violence that could occur if Blizzard doesn’t reverse the ban.

In order for a petition to be searchable at WhiteHouse.gov, a petition must reach 150 signatures within 30 days. At the time I am writing this blog, the petition has 58 signatures. In order for a petition to receive a response from the Obama Administration, it must reach 100,000 signatures within 30 days.


Blizzard Fights Gold Sellers with WoW Token



Blizzard GoldBlizzard Entertainment is about to enable World of Warcraft players to securely purchase gold and to use their gold to buy game time. Something new, called a WoW Token, will make it harder for the illegal gold sellers to find people to scam. Why bother with gold sellers when the WoW Token will safely enable a player to purchase gold?

The concept behind the WoW Token is not new. Eve Online uses a similar system called PLEX. Wildstar uses a similar system called C.R.E.D.D.. However, this is the first time that something like this will be available to World of Warcraft players.

How does the WoW Token work? A player that needs more gold will be able to buy a WoW Token from the in game shop. That person can then sell the WoW Token in a special portion of the in game Auction House for gold. The player will get a quote of how much gold they will receive if another player buys that WoW Token.

Need game time, but don’t have enough real-world currency to purchase it? A player in that situation can buy a WoW Token from a special portion of the in game Auction House. The player can then redeem the WoW Token for 30 days of game time.

The cost of the WoW Token is going to be set by Blizzard Entertainment based on an algorithm that considers supply and demand. That means that players won’t have to bid for a WoW Token (like they can for other Auction House items). It also means that individual players won’t be able to set the price for the WoW Token they want to sell on the Auction House.

Best of all, the WoW Tokens, once purchased, cannot be sold directly to another player. They will be account bound. This makes it impossible for third-party illegal gold sellers to buy up all the WoW Tokens on the Auction House in an attempt to make money from them.


World of Warcraft Servers Coming to Australia



Blizzard GoldBlizzard Entertainment has announced an upcoming deployment of infrastructure that will support World of Warcraft players in Australia and New Zealand. These new servers are going to be hosted in Australia and will support the Oceanic realms.

This is huge news for people who live in Australia or New Zealand and who play World of Warcraft (WoW). The more localized servers will reduce the latency that many have experienced when they had to play WoW on the servers that were located in North America. In other words, this change should reduce the lag. Nobody likes lag, so this change should make a lot of people happy.

The only thing that people might not be so happy about is that the maintenance period for World of Warcraft will very likely be at the same time. It takes place on Tuesday in the wee hours of the morning when most players who live in North America are asleep. That same maintenance period falls into a part of the day in which many AU players would like to be able to get into the game.

I like that Blizzard Entertainment is starting to make an effort to reach out to players who are outside of North America. This week, they did a Launch Event for their upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion in Australia. Previous to this, Blizzard had local game servers for Diablo III. They also have local game servers for the players who are in the Technical Alpha of their upcoming Heroes of the Storm game.