WOW Private Server

HI all I am new at this and I would like to create a private game server…..would someone be kind enough to tell me how to do it. I just installed the CD now I have version 1.2.3…..whats next? I also downloaded wowemu amd i can’t seem to get it to work properly. PLs any helpful hints or suggestions would be gratly appreciated….Thanks to all!

[WoW] About raiding

Saving comments from the developers from the official forums in the debate “hardcore Vs casual players” (first, second):

I think there are some very valid points in this thread. You’re touching on a very difficult issue. Many of the proposed solutions sound easy (and are easy in theory) but are very challenging in either implementation or execution. By implementation I mean, things such as a dungeon that dynamically scales in numbers and difficulty according to the number of people and level of those people (while certainly a very cool idea) is very complicated to do right (right being the key word here). Execution is another thing altogether. Execution refers to how and why we would do such things. Sometimes there are things that we can technically implement but make a concious design decision not to (for example, proxy bidding in the Auction House). So in terms of execution, I’m not confident at this point that some of the proposals are completely sound.

I’m a little disappointed that people criticize us as not doing things for the casual gamer. The whole basis of our design philosophy has been to create a game that appeals to players both casual and hardcore. The very fact that players who vehemently call themselves “casual” reach level 60 in our game (have max tradeskills, have epic mounts) seems like a testament to me that we achieved that goal (at least somewhat).

In fact, we often prioritized things in favor over the hardcore. For those of you who have been playing the game since release, you’ll remember that the game shipped with Onyxia and Molten Core as our only raid content. Rather than rushing to get Blackwing Lair, ZG or AQ done, we then focused our attention on Maraudon and Dire Maul. We prioritized those two dungeons OVER raid content even though we were lacking in the latter department, because we wanted to fully flesh out our casual experience first.

We need to strike a very challenging balance here. We want to provide for players who raid, players who solo, players who pvp, players who tradeskill, players who merchant, etc… and the list goes on. When we add content for a group that doesn’t include you, it shouldn’t be taken as an affront to your playstyle. We have a lot of people we need to keep happy, and we’re not going to forget about anyone.

Now the main thing we need to do is get The Burning Crusade out. Players at 60 who do not wish to raid want more of what they had in levels 1-59 which was Questing With a Purpose. When we can add a suite of new content and raise the level cap, we can give players the sense of progression they are looking for. They’ll get more of that WoW experience that they came to love. The Burning Crusade has a very balanced combination of solo/group/raid/pvp content. There will be brand new, non-max level dungeons. There will be max level 5 man dungeons. There will be a 10 man raid, something we’ve never done before (at least endorsed). We’re very aware of what people want and we’re going to deliver on those needs.

But it would simply be unfair to cut our current raid game short because people think it’s somehow hurting their play experience. It’s perfectly ok to NOT raid if that’s not your thing. But there are lots of WoW fans out there that thrive on getting together in large groups to conquer difficult content. And they want (and should be) to be rewarded for that effort.

When we put in a raid, we’re not making a decision to keep content from people. We’re trying to provide for an area of our game that we felt was previosly deficient.

We’re going to continue to patch this game and we’re going to try to make sure there’s something for everyone in each patch. Sometimes, however, there might be content that’s not your thing — i.e. solo/raid/group/pvp. But please remember, we haven’t forgotten about you. Making someone else’s idea of fun gameplay go away isn’t going to magically create more content for you. We need to provide for everyone. I can assure you, we’re working extremely hard to do that.

Why do you folks have to copy EQ so much? Why can’t you develop your own forms of end-game content?

I’d love to see Blackwing Lair and the bosses and things. I think that’s want most casuals want over items and things, just to do and see everything. One of my favorite moments in this game was fighting the Baron of Stratholme for the first time. Wow, a Death Knight! Here’s the “Warcraft” part of “World of Warcraft”

But you chose to make that extremely difficult to engage in due to an incredibly unimaginative gameplay design

Please stop copying other games, for the sake of innovation and allowing players to experience the world, not just “work” in it

I don’t think you’re being fair here. You yourself pointed out that we provide “epic” feeling content for non-raiding people in 5 man dungeons, citing Baron Rivendale. I’d go so far as to say the boss encoutners in Gnomeregan and Uldman are more epic than endgame content in other games. We provided an Honor System and Battlegrounds to provide other avenues of advancement for certain players. You can tradeskill Epic items without raiding…

You’re more likely to get your voice heard if you keep the posts more productive and less antagonistic. To be frank, part of the allure of Blackwing Lair to people is that it’s so difficult to even get to see the content in there. Could we make it a solo dungeon? Yes. It would take less than a day. Would it still have the same allure? The answer is no.

There have been a lot of good points and counter-points in this thread. I wanted to chip in my 2cp in terms of design intent and philosophy, so I am going to refrain from comment on the “man-hour/epic#” equation.

What I was going to comment on has been touched on in many respects by Shirokaze, so I shall quote partially (I suggest you read the full post if you haven’t) and comment. Much of what I wanted to say and even the approach is contained in his/her response (beat me to it :P)

The number of players in a run sets a bar on how much you have possible before you just run out of potential. For example, in a five man group, you usually have one tank, one healer, at least two DPS (rogue, hunter, mage, warlock, some combination of these) and then a swing character of some sort (additional DPS or off tank or secondary healer). After a certain point, the damage concievably taken by a single tank caps. The amount of healing that a single or even two healers can do caps. The fact that fewer healers are healing what even in 40 man groups can be ONE maintank for some events means aggro is generated faster. Likewise for DPS, the more they dish out the more they risk capping it out.

More importantly, many of the things that are DONE to 40 man groups simply don’t scale down to five. If you look at every 5-mannable run in the game as is, even UBRS, none of them employ anything terribly complex in the way of their encounters. There may be a reasonably high damage mob or a damage tick, but nothing like Shazzrah where a mob’s teleporting into your casters and AEing them or like Vael where he’s randomly popping off people while giving EVERYONE a unique buff that’s simulataniously killing them. You can’t lose people or afford to lose people in the same way with fewer people.

*snip, edit for length…*

The potential for varied encounters does increase with the number of players you add to the group/raid. This is not to say that you can’t have nuanced and exciting challenges to a 5-person dungeon, but they are going to be decidedly different than what can occur in a 40-person dungeon. With 5-person dungeons, there is no opportunity for elements such as healer rotations, tank rotations (to a lesser extent) or even large(r) parties of elite mobs. Certain abilities of raid bosses do not translate to 5-person groups. How does a Major Domo encounter translate into a 5-person group? Is everyone supposed to tank a minion? How do you design such a thing?

What makes a raid boss truly epic? I can tell you it is not simply a matter of HP. If we buffed Darkmaster Gandling’s HP to that of Ragnaros, he would simply become unbeatable. You could do that with the simplest trash mob and achieve the same results. A 5-person group would not have the stamina to beat it(npi).

Take Nefarion, for example. An ability that targets a specific class for punishment would wreak havoc on a 5-person group. With effectively no way to counter within a reasonable time, one person removed or killed from the group is a significant shift of power. The same cannot be said for Gandling, where a player’s removal from the fight does not certify a group’s doom.

The designers have sought a truly epic feel and play to these 40-person encounters. They continue to elaborate on encounters of this type in a way that is fun for players, but, in all honesty, fun for the devs, too. They are, after all, trying to develop imaginative ways in which to kill you. The nature of some of these raid encounters should convey that clearly.

When it comes down to it, a boss can be considered epic by their ability to crush legions of mortals before them. That is one way of looking at it. These bosses have powers and stature that merit epic rewards, regardless of how players are currently “trivializing” said content. And I use quotes rather facetiously.

As a whole, the designers are currently exploring many facets of what 40 and 20-person raid content can be. They would like to have many dungeons set up for players to select from. However, they would also like to explore the possibilities of content for smaller groups as well. There is definite interest in providing situations in which individual accomplishment stands out that much more. It is simply a matter of what is being explored, designed and implemented now/soon, as opposed to later.

But, I digress…

To answer directly the question posed in the subject line: No, it mustn’t, but it is more available/likely now due to the epic nature of encounters.

P.S.- Sorry for the rambling…

[WoW] Thoughts of a Grand Marshal (Honor System)

Saving a post on the official forums.

Author is: Grantham, Paladin on Argent Dawn server, Invictus Decora guild.

As of November 15th, 2005, I have successfully attained the rank of Grand Marshal (rank 14) on my Alliance Paladin. I have been PVPing, first part time then full time, since the honor system came out. I ramped up the amount of participation I had in the system as my rank advanced. I did stall at Knight-Captain (rank 8) for about six weeks after the battlegrounds came out as I focused more on Alterac Valley than the more honor rewarding Warsong Gulch.

It took a lot of things to get where I am. It took the cooperation of a good group, the understanding of players who were willing to scale back their earnings to allow me to surpass them, and the understanding / support of my guild. I would be the ‘success story’ of the PVP / Honor system it seems.

I can unequivocally state that I will never participate in the Honor system ever again. Even if the expansion does not reward former rank 14 players with the level 70 rewards, I will not compete to achieve new versions of the gear I have gained. The system itself is flawed, and in my opinion it is best if people do not get involved in it in. If I had known the real investment needed to advance when I started, I never would have gotten into it.

It is easy to sit back and criticize the choices that GM/HW characters have made when they talk about how much they have had to work to get where they are. The most common statement that the uninformed make is ‘it was your choice, and you should have just stopped,’ or some iteration thereof. I can state that it is not that easy.

There is something called the ‘Dollar Auction’ (sometimes called an ‘American Auction’), commonly used by charities, where when auctioning off an item (or, originally, simply a dollar bill) that the second place bidder must also pay what they bid, but do not receive anything in return. It is extremely common in auctions such as this for bidding to reach a rather silly level (an example is $20 for a standard $1 bill) due to whoever is currently in second place now having invested too much to lose what they are putting down on the table without getting something back. Psychological phenomena prevents the average human being from walking away when there is still a chance of receive some return on investment. Companies around the world continue to pour millions into failing divisions and projects due to the same psychological hurdle.

The honor system plays off this same affect, leaving those who don’t achieve the GM/HW titles with, literally, hundreds of man hours invested with no return. The frustration that this can cause leads to people pushing harder than is healthy to finally get something out of the system. This is where we hear the stories of people sleeping 4-5 hours a day, and then spending all day in the system taking breaks only to eat and use the restroom. Beyond even that, you have people who have their characters played in shifts so that they can have some semblance of a life.

I know people who have spent vacation days from their real life job in an effort to push hard for a next rank or complete the final weeks of the rank 13 to rank 14 transition. I have done it myself, taking four days off of work (November 7 – 10, 2005), so that I could guarantee myself the extra points so that I did not have to continue competing the week of November 15 – 21, 2005.

Even on a ‘soft’ server like Argent Dawn, where the competition is nowhere near as steep as the PVP servers such as Blackrock, Shattered Hand, or Archimonde, those that have achieved rank 14 have at times succumbed to exhaustion, psychological burnout, and general malaise in regards to the game. The system creates a burnout or shell shock affect in the players that participate in it, causing them to cut back on or cease playing the game entirely. In effect, this system can cost Blizzard customers just as constant overtime can cost a company an employee. Anecdotally, many different players on the Blizzard forums report that the rank 14s on their servers all but vanish after achieving their ranks.

There are many achievement oriented people that play MMORPGs, and that is precisely who the Honor system is attempting to hook into participating. Just as the game itself is potentially psychologically addicting (just like a gambler’s addiction, which is very real), the Honor system is even more so. The need to get to that next hurdle or accomplishment to prove to oneself that one is progressing can be extremely strong. This type of compulsion will not show up in everyone, but that is simply due to the fact that every person is different. What affects one person mentally is not guaranteed to work on another. This can lead to decisions that adversely affect the self, just like a gambling addict that sells his car for money to take to a casino.

In summary, I find that the Honor system is not something that is either healthy or constructive. Blizzard has created a system that people can abuse themselves with, and should make changes to it so that the intensive, consecutive time requirements currently in the system are no longer the case. This would be both to show care for their PVP oriented populace, and to retain the customers that often quit after either finishing or no longer wishing to participate in the system. Compete at your own risk.

[WoW] itemization formulas

I’ve been toying with the idea of how WoW items are balanced on creation for the last few weeks. Here is something I’ve come up with that seems to consistently represent things pretty well, and after posting it up for some guildies I decided to put it here as well.

Blizz Reps, please take a look at some sections of this, especially the part about the drape of benediction, so those poor souls can get it fixed or at least see what it really is. Also, if you have access to the actual balance formulae I‘d love to see how close my numbers are to the real thing. There will be some rounding errors due to trying to reverse engineer a system in which I have to take items as they are given. However the errors I point out aren’t off by just a few points, they are off by an entire quality lvl or 10+ ilvls.


Some people have been asking me about my work on these and I promised I’d put up something so here it is. So far these calculations only work reliably for armor, trinkets, rings, necks, shields, etc… Weapons are a different beast entirely and they sometimes modify innate dps in ways that defy logic (or at least I don’t have enough samples yet to get a reliable figure for), and scaling seems to be different for them. You can try to apply these scaling routines to weapons, but don’t be upset if they fall short on the high end things (they should work fine for most of the greens and blues below ilvl 65 though).

First, some basic concepts/terms

All numbers in this examination are in arbitrary units, they depend heavily on the values I give to each StatMod, and they aren’t pretty and round because I didn’t use the same absolute StatMods that blizzard does (they should all still be in the same ratios though).
So even though the numbers aren’t pretty, they should still give correct results.

Ilvl – the effective level of an item, this is intimately related to its stats bonuses, armor and dps. The minimum level to use an item is ilvl – 5. If that value is above 60, then the min level is 60.

ItemValue – the total value of stats on a given item, this value scales predictably based on item type, quality and ilvl. It is normalized to be linear with increasing ilvl for a given item type.

StatValue – the amount of a given stat on an item, if a ring has 12 int, then it has an int statvalue of 12.

StatMod – the weighting given to a specific stat, this is how stats are compared in value; in my system everything is compared to the base stat value of +healing, which is assigned a StatMod of 100. Really any value could be used and set to any standard; it is the ratios that are important, so if done properly any standardization should give the same overall results.

SlotMod – Weighting for predicting the value of an item based on equipment slot.

The Stats

Items have stats, sometimes many, sometimes few. Sometimes these stats are well thought out, other times they are absolutely worthless. All items share from the basic pool of stats, these are:

Strength, Agility, Stamina, Intellect, Spirit, DPS, Attack Power, Ranged Attack Power, +%To Hit, +%Crit, Armor, Defense, Damage Shield, +%Dodge, +%Parry, +%Block, +BlockValue, x/5 hp regen, x/5 mana regen, +%SpellCrit, +%SpellHit, +AllSpells, +Healing, +Fire, +Frost, +Shadow, +Arcane, +Nature, +Holy, Fire Resist, Frost Resist, Nature Resist, Arcane Resist and Shadow Resist.

There are other, less common stats that cannot be weighted, such as the chance to put an attacker to sleep, or of using the item to regain mana. While these don’t just out with an immediately obvious value this system can be used to see what the blizzard item designers think they are worth and translate them into a stat-equivalent format.

Armor Scaling

Armor values on item follow a simple linear scaling pattern within specific regimes. For example, mail armor scales linearly between certain ilvls, at which points the sloes of the linear increase change. One of these points is ilvl 45, above this point it scales more rapidly. Remember that an ilvl 45 item can be worn at lvl 40, and shamans and hunters get mail at 40. So they wanted mail to scale up fast for those classes just getting into it without raising the amour values of pre 40 warriors too high (don’t worry warriors, plate armor scales up even faster). An example of armor scaling is shown below.

Plate Chest Armor = (ilvl-44)*8.9+428

The values from this scaling are for green plate chests. The armor value of rare or epic pieces is also very easy to obtain using a simple multiplier. If you really want to go into detail, you will notice that there are plate chests with ilvls below 44. Due to their ilvl they should be equippable below lvl 40 (if any class could) and follow a different scaling equation (which is why jouster plate stuff has such pitiful armor values compared to many other starting plate item, their ilvls are all low).

For Items of the same armor type (cloth, leather, etc…) and the same ilvl

Rare Armor Value = Green Armor Value * 1.1
Epic Armor Value = Green Armor Value * 1.2

The exception to this is shields, which use a slightly different scaling

Rare Shield Armor Value = Green Shield Armor Value * 1.125
Epic Shield Armor Value = Green Shield Armor Value * 1.25

Now you are thinking, “But I’ve seen some items with much higher armor than others around that lvl!” And you are right, some items do have higher armor than these equations would predict. But those items are using that extra armor as an actual ‘stat’. Only this extra armor, above and beyond the predicted armor is considered in item weighting. So while the base armor level of an item is ‘free’, going higher will cost you other stats.

To find an expected armorvalue for a given item you will first need to know the scaling of that item type.

Do a search on thottbot for green items of that type, with lvl ranges of 44-46. Find the base armor they have. Then do the same for items of that slot at ilvl 61-63.

Then use

ArmorScaling = (highilvl – lowilvl)/(higharmor – lowamor)

this is the armor increase per ilvl for a green of that armor type.

Once you have that, do

ArmorValue = (Desiredilvl – highilvl)*ArmorScaling + higharmor

This will give the value of a green at that ilvl.

Then multiply it by 1.1 for a rare, or 1.2 for an epic.

Let’s try this on a stormrage helm, 183 armor, ilvl 76.

Green leather helms:
ilvl 45, armor 99
ilvl 64, armor 132

ArmorScaling = (132 – 99)/(64-45) = 1.74 armor/ilvl

(76 – 64) * 1.74 + 132 = 152.8

152.8 * 1.2 = 183.4 -> 183 armor

You can use this to find the ArmorScaling factor and expected armor for any item.

The Equation

Here is the result of testing many forms of equations to see what did the best job of representing the way WoW itemization was handled.

ItemValue = [(StatValueX*StatModX)^1.5+(StatValueY*StatModY)^1.5+ …]^(2/3)/100

There are a few things you should notice about this equation

1) It’s simple (I was dreading something ridiculously complex) but not so simple that it is just all the stats added together. This means that there isn’t some weird voodoo trick to balancing items, but it rather can be represented with a very simple value.

2) Each stat is taken to the 1.5 power. This isn’t too fast of a growth, but it does cause a single high stat to be weighted fairly heavily. For example, an item could have +29 to Str or +18/19 to Str/Stm, the ItemValue would be the roughly the same in either case (close enough to correspond to the same ilvl).

3) After summing the series of stats to the 1.5 power, the total sum it taken to the 2/3 power, this keeps the ItemValue from spiraling up and scaling with a power. After this modification the ItemValue scales linearly with ilvl.

Item Types

You’ve probably noticed that some item slots tend to have better stats than others. That is a helm for example will usually give a better benefit than a bracer. The stat value for each item corresponds not only to its ilvl, but also to the equipment slot in which it belongs. Below are the scaling factors by which the predicted ItemValue for any item of a given ilvl should be modified by to compare it to the actual ItemValue. That is, ItemValue = PredictedItemValue * SlotMod

SlotMod list

Head – 100%
Neck – 54%
Shoulder – 74%
Back – 54%
Chest – 100%
Wrist – 54%
Hands – 74%
Waist – 74%
Legs – 100%
Feet – 74%
Ring – 54%
Trinkets – 68%
Shield – 52%
Off-hand – 52%

These weapons aren’t guaranteed, but they are my preliminary numbers
1h Weapon – 42%
2h Weapon – 100%

The Weightings

After comparing thousands of items, these are some rough weightings I have obtained. Some, such as str, int, resists, +spell damage, etc… are pretty reliable since they occur on many items and in large values. Others, such as %crit, %tohit, %spellcrit and others are much rougher as they don’t appear much and then only in small values (1 or 2%). It is harder to get a solid value for them due to this. Also, items that have nothing else except for 1 or 2 of these less common stats sometimes wont fit in at exactly the ilvl you would expect because getting 1 more of that stat would push it far too high, or it was close and they just rounded when creating the item.

Another thing to consider, a few weightings seem to be different on different item types. This is certainly the case for weapons, but also some stats on rings and necks as well. For example, rings can get higher resist values than their ilvl would imply, so they have a slightly lower StatMod for resists. They have a higher StatMod for x/5 health regen though. There are a few scattered stats that are this way, but overall they make a relatively small impact.

Strength = Agility = Stamina = Intellect = Spirit = 230
Attack Power = 115
Ranged Attack Power = 92
+%To Hit = 2200
+%Crit = 3200
Armor = 22
Defense = 230
Damage Shield = 720
+%Dodge = 2500
+%Parry = 3600
+%Block =1300
+BlockValue = 150
x/5 hp regen = 650
x/5 mana regen = 550
+%SpellCrit = 2600
+%SpellHit = 2500
+AllSpells = 192
+Healing = 100
+Fire = +Frost = +Shadow = +Arcane = +Nature = 159
+Holy = 210
Fire Resist = Frost Resist = Nature Resist = Arcane Resist = Shadow Resist = 230

ItemValue Estimations

Now that we know how item values are figured, and having listed out hundred of items we know that they scale linearly with level, we should be able to predict them based on ilvl, item type and quality.

Green ItemValuePrediction = (ilvl * 1.21 – 9.8 ) * SlotMod
Blue ItemValuePrediction = (ilvl * 1.42 – 4.2) * SlotMod
Purple ItemValuePrediction = (ilvl * 1.64 + 11.2) * SlotMod

What does this tell us?

So now we have all the tools, let’s apply them.

First let’s try to see if we can predict an item’s ItemValue and then check it.

For this example we will use

Circle of Applied Force
Binds when picked up
Finger Miscellaneous
+12 Strength
+22 Agility
+9 Stamina
Requires Level 60

This item has an ilvl of 75.

If we do the prediction calc above we find that it should have an ItemValue of about 72.1. If we do the calculations with the stat numbers of the item we find that its actual ItemValue is 71.1. Now why is this a whole point below what it should be? That’s because if any of the 3 stats on the ring were increased by just 1 point it would go above 72.1 and wouldn’t be a valid ilvl 75 ring anymore (also I wouldn’t put it past rounding errors).

We can also try this on

Cloak of the Shrouded Mists
Binds when picked up
57 Armor
+22 Agility
+12 Stamina
+6 Fire Resistance
+6 Nature Resistance
Requires Level 60
Item Level 74

This case is a tigher fit, estimated value using this system comes to 71.8, while the actual ItemValue of the cloak is 71.7.

And just so you casters don’t think I’m forgetting you (I’m a healer too after all).

Shroud of Pure Thought
Binds when picked up
57 Armor
+10 Stamina
+11 Intellect
Requires Level 60
Equip: Increases healing done by spells and effects by up to 33.
Equip: Restores 6 mana every 5 sec.
Item Level 75

The estimated ItemValue of this cape is 72.7, while the actual value falls into the window well at 72.5.

You might be wondering why I keep showing capes. It’s because of my next example of mishaps in item creation.

Also, I am showing some high end items to demonstrate that this system works, but many of my values and the scaling groundwork were obtained examining low – med lvl green and blue scaling. So it typically works well across all ilvl ranges.

Item Creation Gone Wrong – Mislabelling

Let’s use this to examine a blizzard blooper.

Everyone probably knows of the Drape of Benediction (ilvl 67)

It is a cape that seems horribly underpowered for where you get it from, Azuregos. Let’s see how it shapes up using these tools.

When you work out the numbers, the actual ItemValue of the Drape is 48.3, but an ilvl 67 Epic cape should chime in at 65.3 so something seems amiss.

Maybe its ilvl was too high? Lets see at what ilvl an epic cape should have an ItemValue of 48.3. This works out to be ilvl 48, seems a little low and random, maybe we are missing something….

Let’s see what the ItemValue of a rare (blue) ilvl 67 cape would be, maybe that will tell us something. This value is 48.9 (with a lower bound of 48.2). The ItemValue of the drape of benediction falls right into this window.

So now we have the mysterious ilvl 67 rare (not epic) cape, drape of benediction. All of you who said it shouldn’t have been an epic are exactly right. It was designed as a rare and flagged as an epic (a mixup like the snowblind shoes that are epic but originally tagged as a rare, though they fixed those).

Items Valued with unnaturally high ItemValue

There are also items that have been tweaked or changed by blizz that have item values far above what they should (and if you look carefully for discrepancies you will be able to tell which they are). But I’m not going to go into specifics as I was asked by people who use them not to get them nerfed ;)

Tier 2 Sets

Many people have voiced opinions that tier 2 sets are not any better and in some cases worse than tier 1. In some cases of practicality for the needs of the class they are assigned to that may be true, but they were not balanced as worse. People also said that they were intentionally created to be even with tier 1 sets because people already got some in molten core, and that their stats would be raised after bwl comes out.

However, taking a look at item values for items in tier 2, they are exactly where they should be as ilvl 76 items compared to the tier 1 sets sitting at ilvl 66. The item designers just made choices on where to spend those stats that many people don’t agree with.

So don’t expect an across the board boost of tier 2 armor. The most they would do is move some of the allowed stats around, but they will likely stay ilvl 76.

[WoW] Hunter Shot Cooldown Explained!

Hi all, this motive, the lead QA tester for WoW. I have some information regarding the Hunter spell cooldown bug that will hopefully set the record straight once and for all. I will basically provide information regarding how the spell worked in 1.4.2 (and previously), how it worked in 0.5.0 (in its broken state) and how it is going to work now.

As you all undoubtedly know, the special Hunter shots all have cooldowns associated with them that are displayed in their tooltips. I will refer to this value as C below.
As you also undoubtedly know, every ranged weapon has a unique weapon speed. I will refer to this value as S below.

How cooldown was calculated and displayed in 1.4.2
In 1.4.2, the client displayed a different cooldown than the server actually enforces. This is a bug, and the calculations were as follows:

The client pulls its displayed cooldown as exactly C, the cooldown of the spell as listed in its tooltip.
The server calculates the actual enforced cooldown with the formula: (C + S) – 500ms. (The extra 500ms is subtracted from C + S to account for latency and is done with all spells, not just Hunter spells)

For Example, Aimed Shot with an advertised cooldown of 6 seconds using a 2.0 attack speed weapon was calculated as follows:

Client Displayed Cooldown = 6.0 seconds
Server Enforced Cooldown = 6.0 + 2.0 – 0.5 = 7.5 seconds

This may explain why a lot of people noticed that hunter shots used to sometimes display a “Spell not ready yet” error if they were attempted to be used again before this “invisible” 1.5 seconds of extra cooldown time had not passed on the server.

How cooldown was calculated and displayed in 0.5.0 (broken)
In 0.5.0, the client was told to match its cooldown display to what the server was actually enforcing:

The client calculates its displayed cooldown with the formula: C + S.
The server still calculates the actual enforced cooldown with the formula: C + S – 500ms.

For Example, Aimed Shot with an advertised cooldown of 6 seconds using a 2.0 attack speed weapon was calculated as follows:

Client Displayed Cooldown = 6.0 + 2.0 = 8.0 seconds
Server Enforced Cooldown = 6.0 + 2.0 – 0.5 = 7.5 seconds

The problem here was that even though the server did not actually enforce any change to the cooldown time, adding the weapon speed to the cooldown time caused the client to not allow the user to cast the spell again, even though, if it had, the server would have let them do so. Not only did this change make the cooldown timers FEEL a lot worse because they were now visible on the client instead of just server-side, on top of this, the lack of the 500ms latency grace period made Hunters actually fire slower than they should, and decreased DPS. This was obviously a bug that will be fixed in the following manner.

How cooldown will be calculated and displayed in 1.5.0 Release
We are fixing both issues described above. In short, we are removing the weapon speed addition to the cooldown on both the server and the client.

The client pulls its displayed cooldown as exactly C, the cooldown of the spell as listed in its tooltip.
The server calculates the actual enforced cooldown with the formula: C – 500ms.

For Example, Aimed Shot with an advertised cooldown of 6 seconds using a 2.0 attack speed weapon will be calculated as follows:

Client Displayed Cooldown = 6.0 seconds
Server Enforced Cooldown = 6.0 = 5.5 seconds

In other words, Hunter DPS will increase slightly as a result of the cooldowns of all of their special shots actually decreasing by their attack speed. The fact that weapon speed was added to these cooldowns was never intended behavior. We designed the abilities around the cooldown being what the tooltips have always claimed. The only spell that will still display the weapon speed in its cooldown is Auto Shot.

The last calculation above looks incorrect, but it is important to note that the fact that the server enforced cooldown is less than the client displayed cooldown is irrelevant. The user is still not able to actually cast the spell until the client-side cooldown has elapsed.

As an additional note, none of the information above takes quiver/ammo pouch weapon speed adjustment into consideration, but for those of you who want to know, that information is subtracted in the following manner (using the same terminology as above and assuming we’re still adding S to C in the original bugged system):

(C + S) * (1 – RangedHaste%)

Assuming a 6 second Arcane Shot cooldown, a 3.5 speed weapon and a 15% ranged haste quiver the cooldown would be:

(6.0 + 3.5) * (1.0 – 0.15) = 8.075

I hope this clears up any confusion that the last few days have caused. Feel free to post any questions you might have about anything that I have outlined above.

Vanguard – “From Brad to the catasses”, a game manifesto

I archive here the game “manifesto” that Brad McQuaid posted on FoH boards.

When we’re looking at revenue forecasts as well as when we’re designing the game we’re looking at long term customer retention with the realization that the majority of money made from MMOGs is from subscriptions not box sales. 250,000 I think is conservative… 500,000 would be just fine… both look pretty good though when doing the math and planning on players playing months and even years.

If the ‘core’ gamer is running out of things to do now (and I say ‘core’, not hard core, because I’m not just reading posts and talking to people who are part of that minority of gamers who play like madmen), then how much longer will the ‘casual’ gamer be entertained?

I’m not here to criticize Blizzard’s plan (nor am I even privy to it), but I can say what ours is, and it’s to keep the average MMOG gamer around for a long time. And we realize this likely means we won’t see sales in the millions. But we took EQ 1 up to 400,000+ for three years with very few cancellations, and I know the game continued with those numbers for quite a while after I left. And that’s the kind of success we’re looking for again with Vanguard.

I know the counter-argument, that those players won’t tolerate another EQ 1 and its advancement pace — that MMOGs have to be designed differently now, targeting the more casual gamer and also the gamer who allegedly has less time to play than he or she did in the past, or who just won’t tolerate anything even resembling a “grind”.

But I don’t buy it. Sure, some people are burned out. But we also hear from a LOT of old school MMOG gamers who want that longer term game again… who want a home again. And if we combine those people with even a small percentage of new MMOG gamers, who were probably exposed to persistent worlds by games like WoW, then it’s simply not that crazy to assume we can get the numbers I’m talking about for Vanguard.

Only time will tell, and I know people will disagree with me. But we really need to be right — not just for Vanguard, but for the genre in general. We can’t just give up, throw our hands into the air, and say EQ 1s were a fluke and that core gamers have somehow fundamentally changed since then such that they won’t or can’t subscribe for years ever again. Were that true, we’d never see the virtual worlds of the scope and scale we all dream about developed. Maybe we are old school, maybe past successes were a fluke, maybe we’re dinosaurs. But I’m betting not.

Btw, I just wanted to be extra clear here and state that I have nothing but respect for Blizzard. I am concerned that they might not be ready to put out new content fast enough, but time will tell.

My post was more to explain Vanguard’s plan and philosophy and how it differs from WoW’s. I think choices are good and am glad MMOG gamers have more choices now in terms of what style and pace of gameplay suits them.

I’m also very happy in a selfish way I suppose that Blizzard showed that the MMOG gamespace is far from saturated as many people were claiming before its release. And, as I alluded to, because of their name cache and their ability to attract gamers who probably would never have tried an MMOG (due to their other fine games and consistent quality they produce) they’ve done us all a huge favor.

Vanguard and WoW have different target audiences and different philosophies behind them, but I also think that a significant percentage of people who tried WoW as their first MMOG are going to finish playing it and find themselves wanting more… and that’s perfect for Vanguard. No, not every casual gamer is going to be converted into a core or hard core gamer, but IMHO enough will that when combined with the old school MMOG gamers Vanguard will have plenty of people interested in it.

Plus, this was a good opportunity to let everyone know that going after millions in the short term as a business strategy doesn’t mean that going after hundreds of thousands in the long term isn’t still viable.

I also think they had/have a vision too, and that they stuck with it (again, who their target audience was, their use of lower tech as opposed to pushing the limits of graphics cards, etc.) And while our vision is obviously different, they at least have one whereas I fear some other more recent games don’t know what they want or where they want to go… being reactive instead of proactive isn’t a good plan when making and maintaining an MMOG at this time.

[WoW] Kalgan on the warriors

This is a copy of the long comment about the warrior issues that Kalgan, one of the Blizzard’s devs, posted on the forums.


Very contructive post, deserves a read from the CMs/Devs.

First, Iâ