Monthly Archives: July 2010

Forum changes: Now with more privacy

So, now that everything related to the Real ID fiasco has settled, I think it is time to evaluate the OTHER changes coming to the World of Warcraft forums. Some of these other changes are well overdue, and some of them should really help to make the WoW forums a better place to be. So, lets take a look at the goodies coming to the forums when Cataclysm hits.

First up, we’ll get to rate up and down people’s posts:

  • Players will have the ability to rate up or rate down posts so that great topics and replies stand out from the not-so-great; low-rated posts will appear dimmer to show that the community feels that they don’t contribute effectively to the conversation, and Blizzard’s community team will be able to quickly and easily locate highly rated posts to participate in or to highlight discussions that players find worthwhile.

I think this is a great change! There are many times when I wished a troll post would just go away so that we could focus on the real “meat” of a conversation. Gone are the days of having to tell trolls why their post is dumb. Instead, you get to just rate their post down into oblivion. This is something that wow.com introduced to their reply system at some point, and I really like the ability to rate people up and down based on the quality of their comment. This is a great change! It punishes trolls by making their posts less important.

  • In addition, individual topics will be threaded by context, meaning replies to specific posts will be grouped together, making it easier for players to keep track of multiple conversations within a thread.

This is also good. A lot of the time, you have multiple conversations going on, and it looks like this will work the way that it does on wow.com, where you can reply to specific replies.

  • We’re also adding a way for Blizzard posters to “broadcast” important messages forums-wide , to help communicate breaking news to the community in a clear and timely fashion.

I’m not really sure what this means, but I hate having to search through a dozen different forums to keep on top of the important breaking news, so if this works well, it can be a huge “quality of life” change for the forums.

  • Beyond that, we’re improving our forum search function to make locating interesting topics easier and help lower the number of redundant threads, and we have more planned as well.

The search function is often broken and has never really worked well. This change is very appealing to me, since people often have to use google to search for relevant forum threads, or they just post the same thing over and over again because the search function didn’t work for them.

And most importantly, we will not be forced to post using our real names! Instead, we’ll continue to use some version of character names, where we can keep our real life info private on the forums if we want to. With the above changes, however, we’ll already have a huge quality of life change without having to sacrifice our own personal information. We have made many friendships with other people just based on knowing each others’ character names, and I think that the forum changes will make it a better place to be, even when we can remain more anonymous if we want to be.

We won’t really know what this all looks like until they release the new Starcraft II forums in a couple weeks. I look forward to being able to continue posting on the WoW forums once Cataclysm hits. I’m glad that Blizzard decided to not have to make me choose between posting under real names or not posting at all. However, these other forum changes (now) look really great. I look forward to many more years of posting helpful feedback on the forums!

Note: I’m waiting for a new beta build to evaluate before I post more druid-related Cataclysm talent & ability feedback, since we know a lot is going to change “very soon”.

Posted in Cataclysm

Spoilers: Cata Beta Stormwind druid trainer

Warning: This post contains Cataclysm spoilers from the Beta. Stop reading now if you don’t want to read about Cataclysm.

SPOILERS

So, one day Deathwing got mad and decided to nuke the park district in Stormwind:

With this destruction came the loss of many of our dearest Night Elf friends, including the former druid trainers.  So, I went and asked one of the guards what happened to them, and what the plans are for a new druid trainer in Stormwind. This is what I found out from a trainer:

So, I went to visit Celestine just outside of the Dwarven District:

I found her in a small farmhouse outside the dwarven district, in the new expansion that was added onto Stormwind.

Looks like our new druid trainer is a human from Gilneas. Interesting.

Posted in Cataclysm

THANK YOU MIKE MORHAIME!

From: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25968987278&sid=1

Hello everyone,

I’d like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.

It’s important to note that we still remain committed to improving our forums. Our efforts are driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games. We will still move forward with new forum features such as conversation threading, the ability to rate posts up or down, improved search functionality, and more. However, when we launch the new StarCraft II forums that include these new features, you will be posting by your StarCraft II Battle.net character name + character code, not your real name. The upgraded World of Warcraft forums with these new features will launch close to the release of Cataclysm, and also will not require your real name.

I want to make sure it’s clear that our plans for the forums are completely separate from our plans for the optional in-game Real ID system now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games. And of course, you’ll still be able to keep your relationships at the anonymous, character level if you so choose when you communicate with other players in game. Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.

In closing, I want to point out that our connection with our community has always been and will always be extremely important to us. We strongly believe that Every Voice Matters, ( http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/mission.html ) and we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so passionately about our games. We will always appreciate the feedback and support of our players, which has been a key to Blizzard’s success from the beginning.

Mike Morhaime
CEO & Cofounder
Blizzard Entertainment

I will personally comment more on this at a later time once I’ve been able to digest the news. However, I wanted to post the whole thing for now so you all could see. -Lissanna

Posted in Cataclysm

We killed a purple dragon

Because this game is about killing dragons, not about who you are in real life. Shades of Gray had a great post about what world of warcraft is all about: Killing dragons on the internet.

So, today’s post is about how my guild, Conspiracy on a server called Elune, killed a dragon in-game last night. This dragon’s name was Halion, in a fantasy setting called Ruby Sanctum, with really pretty trees and scenery. We knocked the dents out of our gear when it was broken by the dragon’s talons, combined our strengths, worked together, listened, cooperated, and cheered when the mighty dragon finally fell to the ground!

25 people who (mostly) didn’t know each other’s real life names come together and work with each other as friends a couple nights every week, demonstrating how you don’t have to know someone’s real name to be part of a social community with them. It’s only people’s character names that matter, and plenty of friendships have been formed in this fantasy game, which has always been an escape from the hard, cold reality of our real personal lives. We just want to fight dragons together and have the choice of how much of our real life we have to reveal to our fantasy game friends. I enjoy being part of my in-game guild. I enjoy having choice over what information I reveal to them, and some of them are my real life family, but all of them I consider my friends. I like killing dragons with Conspiracy on Elune, and that is why I play this game.

I don’t have facebook because I don’t want to be part of a social networking community. Instead, I have a blog about fighting dragons in a fantasy roleplaying game, where I post under my character’s name that I have gone by ever since the game first came out many years ago. I just want to be Lissanna who fights dragons with my friends in Conspiracy who I care about very much. That is all.

Also, Conspiracy is always looking for more new friends! I may even be able to get in 1 more druid…

Posted in Achievements

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