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Chris Metzen Interview on Fan Toxicity, Dissatisfaction and More

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The Instance's Scott Johnson is back with another interview with now retired Blizzard story guru and chief world and story builder Chris Metzen. Their first interview was truly great and covered the circumstances surrounding Chrises departure, the pressure of working on Titan and eventual panic attacks and anxiety that caused.

This time around the focus is on negative fan reactions to various media, starting with the extreme nature of fan backlash against the Last Jedi. As you'd expect that leads into the criticism and laying of blame surrounding the very recent Sylvanas short/Teldrassil burning and how people targeted Christie Golden and the story team in general.

Unsurprisingly he isn't too happy about how the reactions played out and the manner in which fans reacted to the story, without having known how it all actually comes together, as well as the way in which they targeted the story team. Also he's totally team Saurfang and wants to see Sylvanas go down, but doesn't have any inside info on how the entire story plays out.

It's another really great interview and well worth a full listen for this veteran/legend's perspective on fan backlash to stories he didn't have anything to do with, so make sure you dedicate some time to it!

And here's the statue Blizzard made for him after he retired, just to remind us of what an amazing contribution the man had both in Blizzard and our own lives as well.

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While I agree that harrasing writers is clearly not ok, it' also unfair to lump genuine critics with toxic assholes. And let's face it, for every troll you at least get 10 people writing genuine criticism.

And as for the Last Jedi, the movie was absolute trash on every point. You can't ruin well established characters or bring up never before seen nonsense and expect people to take it. Calling actual fans who want the universe and its characters respected as nothing but trolls is just dishonest.

On a final note, while I dislike some parts of the BfA storyline, I'm hyped for other parts of it. As for the whole "toxic fandom", it's become an excuse that talentless hacks use for bad writing or plot, in most cases it is. 

cough*Marvel comics* cough

 

Edited by Dejo93
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46 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

While I agree that harrasing writers is clearly not ok, it' also unfair to lump genuine critics with toxic assholes. And let's face it, for every troll you at least get 10 people writing genuine criticism.

And as for the Last Jedi, the movie was absolute trash on every point. You can't ruin well established characters or bring up never before seen nonsense and expect people to take it. Calling actual fans who want the universe and its characters respected as nothing but trolls is just dishonest.

On a final note, while I dislike some parts of the BfA storyline, I'm hyped for other parts of it. As for the whole "toxic fandom", it's become an excuse that talentless hacks use for bad writing or plot, in most cases it is. 

cough*Marvel comics* cough

 

While I agree that the media uses toxicity to dismiss valid criticism and takes the slightest opportunity to grab onto anything remotely impolite to completely ignore all points of an argument, there are genuine assholes that basically ruin it for the rest of us. Personally I'm quite outspoken in my criticism but I don't take it to extremes or god forbid go yell at the actual authors, but the instant you say something even mildly negative about someone's favorite thing the discussion basically ends. So if you want to discuss and criticize something you have to use kitten mittens(TM) so as not to rile up overly sensitive idiots and actually have a conversation.

To me fan toxicity goes both ways, it's the genuine trolls and hateful people that yell at authors with no constructive criticism or goal in mind other than to say "I didn't like this, like, A LOT, now listen to me whine", BUT it's also fanboys who refuse to listen to genuine criticism and dismiss everything that doesn't fit into their little echo chamber as whining or haters. Basically it's become very difficult for normal people to discuss any product/piece of media that stirs up passion on people, because it simply devolves into a screaming match. And both sides fuel each other, the more people defend something other people hate and ignore criticism, the more aggressive the criticism will get, as it's frustrating to just hear "lalala I liked it lalala", and then the criticism gets out of hand and there's legitimate and well-earned backlash to the criticism/whining, which jut pisses the critics off more and round and round we go.

Now watch me dismantle the (imo) relatively calm and leveled arguments made above: Blizzard's writing team sucks and no amount of backtracking or ancillary novels and comics can redeem the hack writing of Sylvanas in the pre-expansion events.

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13 minutes ago, Starym said:

While I agree that the media uses toxicity to dismiss valid criticism and takes the slightest opportunity to grab onto anything remotely impolite to completely ignore all points of an argument, there are genuine assholes that basically ruin it for the rest of us. Personally I'm quite outspoken in my criticism but I don't take it to extremes or god forbid go yell at the actual authors, but the instant you say something even mildly negative about someone's favorite thing the discussion basically ends. So if you want to discuss and criticize something you have to use kitten mittens(TM) so as not to rile up overly sensitive idiots and actually have a conversation.

To me fan toxicity goes both ways, it's the genuine trolls and hateful people that yell at authors with no constructive criticism or goal in mind other than to say "I didn't like this, like, A LOT, now listen to me whine", BUT it's also fanboys who refuse to listen to genuine criticism and dismiss everything that doesn't fit into their little echo chamber as whining or haters. Basically it's become very difficult for normal people to discuss any product/piece of media that stirs up passion on people, because it simply devolves into a screaming match. And both sides fuel each other, the more people defend something other people hate and ignore criticism, the more aggressive the criticism will get, as it's frustrating to just hear "lalala I liked it lalala", and then the criticism gets out of hand and there's legitimate and well-earned backlash to the criticism/whining, which jut pisses the critics off more and round and round we go.

Now watch me dismantle the (imo) relatively calm and leveled arguments made above: Blizzard's writing team sucks and no amount of backtracking or ancillary novels and comics can redeem the hack writing of Sylvanas in the pre-expansion events.

Image result for well said goodsir

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Anyway, the big problem with the BFA stuff is the attempt to spread across several forms of media, and the fact that those different forms contradict each other to some degree. For instance, in game, Saurfang just walks off and disappears with Sylvanas after burning the tree. No "They'll come for us!!!!" line. In fact Sylvanas herself gives a little speech about the Alliance retaliating. But then you go and watch "Old Soldier" and Sylvanas is silent while Saurfang chews her out.

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I agree with both of you, @Dejo93 and @Starym, so much! I tried sharing my constructive criticism of BfA's story with arguments etc. and the first response was someone calling me a fool and three people liking his post. This attitude can really dishearten someone from voicing their opinion on the Internet, a supposedly free and open space. And all of this is because of toxic haters or toxic fans, as Starym said, both ends are equally toxic.

Let's face it: WoW's story (the MMO-RPG btw, not talking about the RTS games) has never been its strong suit. People have been complaining about it ever since TBC launched (perhaps earlier too, I wasn't playing). It's a convoluted mess with a lot of retcons, similarities to other Blizzard titles, stuff that don't make sense and a ton of what we call "game logic". It's also not very helpful that they spread the story in many different media, ie. the game, books, comics, manga, novellas, novels, cinematics. To reiterate something I said before: in the age of quick, "shock-value" entertainment, perhaps fans are expecting something Game-of-Thronesque (overrated series imo that butchered the books, but that's another conversation) out of WoW and from what I have seen from WoW's writers, I don't think it is in their capabilities or even in their interest tbh.

As much as I (and most other fans) like Chris Metzen's personality and I recognise his iconic role in Blizzard, he has also received quite a bit of criticism for the story direction of both WoW and Diablo 3. The fact that he's always been an Alliance supporter and now "team Saurfang" kinda worries me, but its "his" game - I can't do anything else than watch how it unfolds.

Still, I like WoW and I treat it as it is: it's not Dostoyevsky nor Tolkien, not G.R.R. Martin, it's not even *insert any "Top 10 Games with the Best Storylines*. It's just a freaking video game and people should chill out and lower their expectations about it or at least be more tolerant of other people's feedback.

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1 hour ago, Zadina said:

As much as I (and most other fans) like Chris Metzen's personality and I recognise his iconic role in Blizzard, he has also received quite a bit of criticism for the story direction of both WoW and Diablo 3. The fact that he's always been an Alliance supporter and now "team Saurfang" kinda worries me, but its "his" game - I can't do anything else than watch how it unfolds.

He mained an Alliance character in game but has always been accused of overly supporting the Horde.

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2 hours ago, dartbodman said:

Anyway, the big problem with the BFA stuff is the attempt to spread across several forms of media, and the fact that those different forms contradict each other to some degree. For instance, in game, Saurfang just walks off and disappears with Sylvanas after burning the tree. No "They'll come for us!!!!" line. In fact Sylvanas herself gives a little speech about the Alliance retaliating. But then you go and watch "Old Soldier" and Sylvanas is silent while Saurfang chews her out.

Indeed, it's now rather common problem and not the first time. WoD's story was messy due to time travel, alternate reality and cut content from game itself but for it to even make sense, people had to read War Crimes novel. Otherwise, there was just sudden invasion in Blasted Lands and players didn't know why.

Edited by Arcling
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2 hours ago, Zadina said:

As much as I (and most other fans) like Chris Metzen's personality and I recognise his iconic role in Blizzard, he has also received quite a bit of criticism for the story direction of both WoW and Diablo 3.

Presentation of story certainly has gotten better in WoW, as initially we barely had any voiced dialogues, cut scenes and longer storylines, usually mostly disjointed quests. To be fair, Metzen wasn't the only storywriter for Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3, so not all bad decisions were his, but people usually blame the one they know the most or just a "face" of a company. With WoW his last major involvement was Catalycsm (and just as before, he wasn't the only one writing), much of MoP already had different writers, including Christie Golden. Of course, plenty of his decisions were questionable, like Thrall's storyline in Cata.

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The story to me in WoW was always secondary when I played. 

There are two levels of extreme on Blizzard boards, for all of their games, the apologists that say Blizzard can do no wrong and get horribly defensive and abusive when confronted with facts.  Then the people that say they can’t do anything right and complain endlessly sometimes right, sometimes wrong.

Frankly the story for WoW didn’t need to be deep for me, I just cared enough about what a guy giving out quests wanted.  Everything beyond that was “Oh bad guy, kill him, get loot.”  I almost never cared about the why of raids.

To this day I don’t know where Sha came from or what they wanted beyond “everything”.

I don’t know why Ragnaros is a boss, why Kael’Thas is a bad guy or why Uludar is an Old God main boss.  Why?  Don’t care.

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6 minutes ago, Misuteri said:

To this day I don’t know where Sha came from or what they wanted beyond “everything”.

This one was actually explained in game, so you probably just click through quests and aren't paying attention to what is happening. For those who came from Warcraft 3, story is/was important, though I guess it's different for those who started with WoW, when they were continuing on many things from there (plus novels).

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40 minutes ago, Misuteri said:

Frankly the story for WoW didn’t need to be deep for me, I just cared enough about what a guy giving out quests wanted.  Everything beyond that was “Oh bad guy, kill him, get loot.”  I almost never cared about the why of raids.

i alwas was the same. But Blizzard is learning in this regard and features storytelling in more ways than just questtext. There is more and more popup npc-text and npcs that follow you on the quests you do. It's way more active, like they did with diablo3 (being able to continue playing, while npcs speak). And especially the quality of ingame cinematics. They get better with each expansion, and by now i dont want to miss any little bit of story they want to present me (in those ways). And that's how i came to enjoy Legion most, of all the expansions. (I am still totally ignoring Questtext though ...)

Edited by Lawrenz

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1 hour ago, Misuteri said:

I don’t know why Ragnaros is a boss, why Kael’Thas is a bad guy or why Uludar is an Old God main boss.  Why?  Don’t care.

These posts always make me giggle. You care so little about a huge portion of the game across its entirety, yet post on a forum in a topic about a somewhat specific thing you dont care about, really only to tell how little you care.

1 hour ago, Arcling said:

Of course, plenty of his decisions were questionable, like Thrall's storyline in Cata.

See!  I missed last half of cata-almost all of MOP.  I have an idea what he did but I missed so much of his story I dont even know what took place with him.  Aggra... elements... Deathwing... thats about all ive gleaned.
 

5 hours ago, Starym said:

Blizzard's writing team sucks and no amount of backtracking or ancillary novels and comics can redeem the hack writing of Sylvanas in the pre-expansion events.

Unless there is some ridiculous retconning like she knew something so heinous, so insidious in that tree that the world would end if she didnt bbq some nelf kids, I cant find any reconcilliation other than maybe NOT being so bad.  I cant really ever LIKE her again.  

Same way with Illidan.  He was horrible.  But in the end he was a means to an end and after retconning his whole agenda as being anti-legion, it worked out so he wasnt so bad.  Still didnt LIKE him.  But at least there was a reason.

ETA: and most importantly the story worked.  I liked it.  
 

Edited by PatrickHenry
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WoW to me (I am no longer an active player.) was always about the hamster wheel and grinding/leveling alts or rotating characters in and out of PVP FOTM and twinking.  Secondary making enough gold to be able to splurge on trading card mounts on the AH or BMAH and mount collecting.

I only did enough raiding to make farming mats easy or to keep my “main” on track to be BIS from normal raiding, never heroic or mythic.

Since I was not a huge PVE progression player, never cared about server firsts but instead wanted 2200 ratings my focus was not on the story.

There are hundreds of types of way to play WoW “right” and it always depends on the player.  I knew a player that hit level cap then did nothing but get alts gold capped by dominating jewel crafting and never left Org.  They cared nothing about anything else in the game.  

My interest in story and raiding “Why are we fighting?” Questions is probably just as unimportant as the majority of players in high level RBG’s.

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3 hours ago, Arcling said:

Indeed, it's now rather common problem and not the first time. WoD's story was messy due to time travel, alternate reality and cut content from game itself but for it to even make sense, people had to read War Crimes novel. Otherwise, there was just sudden invasion in Blasted Lands and players didn't know why.

Ahhh, but that may be the very reason why.  It's an established franchise with a wide player-base and an even larger fan-base.  Spreading content around provides additional revinue streams.  Maybe they are making it confusing on purpose, to promote a boost in sales.  😄 (Being satirical)

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1 hour ago, PatrickHenry said:

Unless there is some ridiculous retconning like she knew something so heinous, so insidious in that tree that the world would end if she didnt bbq some nelf kids, I cant find any reconcilliation other than maybe NOT being so bad.  I cant really ever LIKE her again.  

Same way with Illidan.  He was horrible.  But in the end he was a means to an end and after retconning his whole agenda as being anti-legion, it worked out so he wasnt so bad.  Still didnt LIKE him.  But at least there was a reason.

That's the same thought I have with Sylvanas. There must be longer term goal then to just make her Warchief and "Garrosh" her later on. We still don't know the whole story of BfA yet, so I guess we are just in the dark until more information is presented.

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1 hour ago, Ancalagon said:

Ahhh, but that may be the very reason why.  It's an established franchise with a wide player-base and an even larger fan-base.  Spreading content around provides additional revinue streams.  Maybe they are making it confusing on purpose, to promote a boost in sales.  😄 (Being satirical)

I mean you're being satirical but I'm not sure that's wrong. Ofc a more competent team would just tease the stories from the novels in-game and share the basic infro from them, but I think it's naive to think that novel/comic etc sales aren't at least a small factor in the decision making there. Audience retention has now become WAY more than just "keep them playing", it's more of "keep them involved i the game at all times, even when they can't play", hence the digital comics etc, you should always be thinking about the game even if actually PLAYING it isn't as fun as it was (because it can't be by definition, all things wane).

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Completely agree with Mr. Metzen, "fans" are fucking horrible creatures, everything that happens in a story/universe that goes against what they want for the characters gets such a rough and unreasonable treatment that it is mindboggling.

When I read posts from "fans" chewing out the writers for hacknied writing or poor stories, they always come off as rambling lunatics who has no idea of what a good story or character development is, they just want the story to play out exactly like the dream it and anything else gets slaughtered.

I think the BfA story is ok so far, unfortunately there are some inconsistencies between the medias which gives the toxic trolls something to harp on about (and, for once, to be right about).

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2 hours ago, PatrickHenry said:

Same way with Illidan.  He was horrible.  But in the end he was a means to an end and after retconning his whole agenda as being anti-legion, it worked out so he wasnt so bad.  Still didnt LIKE him.  But at least there was a reason.


ETA: and most importantly the story worked.  I liked it.  
 

The thing with Illidan, IMO, is that you new his motivations from the beginning (or very early on) and could identify with it. You either agreed with his methods or not, but his goals were clear and correct. With Sylvanas it's just NOT like that, her vague talk of "war will eventually come, whether it's tomorrow or in 5 billion years" is just dumb (for me anyway), as she basically created the problem she's so afraid of herself. Anduin is probably the most peace-minded king ever so this was EXACTLY the time to try for a lasting peace, except that would mean having to share Azerite. Mutually assured destruction and all that. But no, she's a bad morally grey lady you see, ergo WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR. Bleh.

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What, didn't approve the comment where I refuted a talking point Scott Johnson pushed in the interview? It was a perfectly reasonable response, no personal attacks, no swearing...

 

If you don't want comments about that kind of topic, don't bring it up in the interviews.

Edited by dartbodman

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if they cant take criticism then they r in the wrong line of work verbal attacks or not grow up and take it or go move back with mommy and daddy ( pointed at ion , Christine and Chris ) bunch of thin skinned pansty 

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I walked out of The Last Jedi hating it. Saw it with my father, and the whole car ride back he had to listen to me complain about how awful it was.

What bothers me more is how Rotten/Fresh works, and how that percentage is used to manipulate audience goers.  It does not reflect the actual score a film has received. You have to look at a review in Desktop Mode to see the actual rating.

We're just getting peddled thumbs up/thumbs down content we don't enjoy. I'm convinced it's why the majority of Netflix users watch 'The Office' reruns. The thought of wading through content and wasting time sucks in comparison to watching a show we know we love, but I digress.

Edited by Abom

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13 hours ago, Starym said:

her vague talk of "war will eventually come, whether it's tomorrow or in 5 billion years" is just dumb (for me anyway), as she basically created the problem she's so afraid of herself. Anduin is probably the most peace-minded king ever so this was EXACTLY the time to try for a lasting peace,

war wasn't the problem sylvanas was afraid of it was the alliance would start secretly making azerite weapons to gain more power and putting the horde at a real disadvantage for when the war comes so the best course would be to start the war now and have the advantage cause peace with anduin will be only temporary but by starting a war and winning she can dismantle the alliance and guarantee lasting peace for the horde. basically only anduin is really the one who wants peace everyone goes along cause of respect for his father but there is to much hatred in the citizens and nobles of the alliance and for the factions of the horde, unless in time of anduins life both sides learn to love each other once hes gone war will defiantly come

Edited by verthus
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Thanks for linking this interview with Chris Metzen; doubt I would have been aware of it otherwise.  The guy is awesome and so are the worlds he helped create!  PS:  I liked "Last Jedi".  😜

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On 8/11/2018 at 1:56 AM, verthus said:

the best course would be to start the war now and have the advantage cause peace with anduin will be only temporary but by starting a war and winning she can dismantle the alliance and guarantee lasting peace for the horde.

This quote is pretty accurate, but logically comical.

"all alliances fall apart" was a line from the book (more or less), so even peace with The Alliance would fail.  OK, well then might as well go on to say that eventually the Horde itself would fail.  I mean they ALL fail, so that would include their own.

Might as well kill off the least helpful or most resistant races to her agenda now, or at the very latest after they own the alliance, because they'll be the first to turn on her.  Logically.

The only end game for it then is to kill everyone.  

Edited by PatrickHenry

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    • By Stan
      Patch 8.3 comes with a new Essence which allows you to borrow the currently slotted Essence of your target, even if it's not available to your current role. It doesn't work with passive Essences and requires coordination to ensure the cooldown incurred doesn’t interfere with whatever you're doing next.
      The Essence can be obtained from Ny'alotha, the Waking City. Blizzard explained how the targeting works and shared more information about the Essence. The Formless Void is a general Essence, meaning it's available to all specializations. Tanks, for instance, will be able to borrow Healer Essences, and so on.
      The Formless Void
      Rank 1
      Major Power: Replica of Knowledge - Replicate the energy in your target's Heart of Azeroth, gaining access to rank 1 of their currently slotted Major Essence for the next 15 sec. The Formless Void will go on cooldown for 50% longer than the base cooldown of the Essence you replicated. Does not work on passive Essences. Minor Power: Symbiotic Presence - Each time any ally within 40 yds uses an Azerite Essence, gain 89 pri for 20 sec. Unique: Corruption reduced by 10. Rank 2
      Major Power: Replica of Knowledge - Replica of Knowledge can now copy up to rank 2 of your target's current Major Essence, and the increased cooldown is lowered by 10%. Minor Power: Symbiotic Presence - pri bonus increased by 25%. Rank 3
      Major Power: Replica of Knowledge - Replica of Knowledge can now copy up to rank 3 of your target's current Major Essence, and the increased cooldown is lowered by 10%. Minor Power: Symbiotic Presence - When an ally within 40 yds uses an Azerite Essence, you and that ally gain 0 Haste for 20 sec. Check out our Patch 8.3 Content Hub to learn more about Visions of N'Zoth.
      Blizzard (Source)
      So, I guess the question is, what type of scenarios might unfold that would be appropriate for this essence?
      What would you consider the use case for it, and how will you react when its obviously either too strong or too weak for that use case?
      The Formless Void mostly exists for the purposes of flexibility, which is why all roles can use it. It requires a lot of planning, it requires you to coordinate and know who you plan on borrowing what Essence from, and for what situation, and make sure that the cooldown incurred doesn’t interfere with whatever the next situation you have to manage is.
      As a note, you can also borrow something from a player of the enemy faction. The targeting is very unrestricted other than the obvious - it has to be a player, they need to have an Essence currently slotted that is valid to copy (fully passives Major Essences are ineligible).
      Does the “Formless Void” essence require the correct role to copy an essence. For example, could you copy the tank Azshara raid essence as a dps to gain access to a defensive cooldown for a particularly nasty damage taken check, or could you copy a dps essence as a tank or a healer in order to push a particularly challenging dps check.
      You can borrow any eligible Essence, even if it is not normally available to your current role. For example, a Protection Paladin player can borrow a healer specific thing such as the new Spirit of Preservation, or a DPS specific thing such as Essence of the Focusing Iris.
    • By Starym
      It's back! The Recruit A Friend system has now officially returned, with many new features and goodies. You can get game time,an enchant, a pet and a mount and armor set! Blizzard have re-explained all the details below, but the big news is that it's live right now!
      Recruit A Friend (source)
      Ready to make memories with your friends and share fantastic adventures with them across Azeroth and beyond? The new Recruit A Friend program is the perfect way to show them the ropes.
      What’s New?
      The new-and-improved Recruit A Friend (RAF) program retains fan-favorite features, and it introduces a bounty of new rewards—because Azeroth is best experienced with friends at your side. Just like the previous program, you can teleport to each other with Friend-to-Friend Summoning (which works on a 30 minute cooldown) and receive 50% bonus experience when partied together.
      More Recruits, More Rewards
      The new Recruit A Friend program allows you to be linked with up to 10 friends, and earns game time and other unique rewards—like mounts, pets, and more—the longer they play. Players new to WoW and veteran players who have not purchased game time on their account in the past two years can be enlisted in this program. Each time one of your recruits adds game time to their account, you’ll earn progress toward a new reward. The more friends you invite, the faster you’ll earn the rewards, as one friend adding multiple months of game time earns the same rewards as multiple friends adding one month of game time each. See all the rewards you can get below!*
      Rikki - 1 Month Game Time – 2 Months Explorer’s Dunetrekker – 3 Months Title: Renowned Explorer – 4 Months Game Time – 5 Months Enchant: Stinging Sands – 6 Months Renowned Explorer’s Tabard – 7 Months Game Time – 8 Months Explorer’s Jungle Hopper – 9 Months Renowned Explorer’s Rucksack – 10 Months Game Time – 11 Months Renowned Explorer’s Attire – 12 Months Rewards shown from left to right: Renowned Explorer’s full set as shown (Attire, Tabard, and Rucksack), Rikki, Renowned Explorer’s Jungle Hopper, and Explorer’s Dunetrekker. Not pictured – Enchant: Stinging Sands. Rikki—This curious monkey is ready to see the world at your side. Explorer’s Dunetrekker—Traverse deserts, jungles, tundra, and beyond on this two-seater mount. Renowned Explorer Title—Distinguish yourself with a unique title. Enchant: Stinging Sands—Enhance the appearance of your weapons with swirling sands. Renowned Explorer’s Tabard—Don this rugged tabard to show off your adventurous streak. Explorer’s Jungle Hopper—Soar through Azeroth’s skies on this mount for two. Renowned Explorer’s Rucksack—Always be prepared for adventure with this bustling backpack. Renowned Explorer’s Attire—Look the part of a grizzled outdoorsperson with this rugged appearance. Game Time
      Every 3 months after your 12-month reward, you’ll get a game time reward.
      Hover or tap on the image above to see the Renowned Explorer’s Tabard and the Renowned Explorer’s Tabard Rucksack isolated from the Renowned Explorer's Attire. Go it Together
      Time flies when you’re having fun, and it goes even faster when you and your recruits play together. Conquer Azeroth alongside your friends and you’ll both receive a 50% bonus to experience for faster leveling when partied together. You can also summon each other once every 30 minutes. Furthermore, our new Party Sync feature makes it easier than ever to level with friends. When activated, everyone in the party becomes aligned to the same quest state and phase. You’ll also have access to a “replay quest” feature that allows players who’ve already completed certain quests to replay them with their friends for rewards that are appropriate to their current level, regardless of the quest’s original level. Quests can be replayed for rewards once per day.
      If you’d prefer to play with your friend using a current character rather than starting a new one, you now can. By using Party Sync, you can choose to have your level adjusted so you can quest and experience outdoor content with your friends as they level up. And, If you want to queue for instanced content (such as Battlegrounds and dungeons) in their level range, you can choose to join them by having your level scaled down.
      Lead with Confidence
      To help you help your friends, we’ve created a brand-new RAF panel in-game to help you know when to expect your next reward and given your access to Party Sync. The RAF panel also lists special activities available to players who participate in the program. Complete these in-game challenges with your recruits to earn even more rewards.
      Start Your Journey
      The new Recruit A Friend lets you generate a custom link in-game that you can send to your friends. This link will help you and your recruit connect in-game, and you’ll be able to see if they’ve purchased game time, which will lead to rewards for you! For each month your recruits have active game time, you’ll earn a new reward, such as unique pets, mounts, game time, and more. These rewards unlock each month and scale with the amount of time your recruits have subscribed for. And, of course, with Party Sync, you’ll be able to journey with your friends on any of your characters.
      Adventure Awaits
      Recruit A Friend returns to World of Warcraft in the next few months. When you’re ready to bring your friends to Azeroth, simply log in to WoW and generate an invite link through the Recruit A Friend interface, then send that link to your friends. Up to four friends can use it to link their accounts to yours. To recruit more friends, you’ll need to generate a new link, which you can do once every 30 days.
      *In-game rewards are available to use in World of Warcraft, but not in World of Warcraft® Classic. Free game time earned through Recruit A Friend provides access to both World of Warcraft and WoW Classic.
    • By Starym
      Here come today's BfA hotfixes, featuring the already announced raid nerfs (and the Palce opening to cross-realm groups on Mythic), with lady Ashvane and Queen Azshara getting significantly easier, mostly on Mythic. We also get a change to how the Battle of Nazjatar works, as it is no longer on a fixed delay, and we get some Mechagon quest and world changes as well.
      October 22 (source)
      Dungeons and Raids
      Azshara’s Eternal Palace The Eternal Palace is now available for cross-realm groups on Mythic difficulty. Lady Ashvane Lady Ashvane’s health reduced by 5% in Mythic difficulty. Rippling Wave damage reduced by 10% in Mythic difficulty. Waterlogged periodic damage reduced by 10% in Mythic difficulty. Queen Azshara The "Stand Together!" and "Stay!" decree combination is no longer possible in Heroic difficulty. Overzealous Hulk and Tidemistress health reduced by 10% in Mythic difficulty. Draining Azshara’s Ancient Ward now reduces its energy by an additional 5 points in all difficulties. Empowering a Ward of Power now increases its energy by an additional 5 points in all difficulties. Healer-specialization characters are now less likely to be targeted with decree combinations that include “March!” in all difficulties. Short Circuit now drains 10% less energy from the affected Ward in all difficulties. Essence of Azeroth now has an increased duration if there are fewer than 20 players in the raid in Normal and Heroic difficulties, and lasts 30 seconds (was 25 seconds) in Mythic difficulty. Developers’ note: These changes were made to smooth out the difficulty curve of the instance as we transition into the next raid tier, something we often do after all Mythic Raid Hall of Fame slots have been earned. Player versus Player
      The start time for the Battle of Nazjatar is no longer fixed to a 3-hour interval. The delay between events now has random variance. Developers’ note: As players have learned the timing of the event over the course of Rise of Azshara, increasingly the perceived optimal way to participate is to camp the control points in advance of the start time. By adding some variance (which still averages out to a 3-hour interval), we hope to make the Battle for Nazjatar more dynamic without reducing the overall frequency of the event. Quests
      "Energy Cells for Everyone " now resets daily (was weekly) and will be automatically removed from players’ quest logs with the daily reset. World
      The Charging Station construction project in Mechagon now appears significantly faster after the Charging Station is destroyed.
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