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The previously mentioned punitive measures have arrived for those that exploited the instance reset bug that was hotfixed today, and the suspensions are ranging from 1 month to permanent bans, presumably based on previous infractions, as well as all items gained from the exploit getting removed. We don't know the exact details of what criteria was used for the suspension, but Lore did come out and very clearly explained what is considered an exploit in this case and why it's different from similar situations (specifically the MC resetting bug), and as always, the key word is intent.
One of the suspension mails, posted on reddit.
You can check out the full explanation from Lore below and also read up on the various lengths of the suspensions in the reddit thread.
Exploit Clarification (source)
Soooooo since I’m seeing a lot of confusion (here and elsewhere), here’s some insight into how we draw the line between what makes something a punishable exploit versus a “happy little accident.”
The key factor here is intent. Did the player do something with the specific intention of causing a glitch to occur, and did they do it order to exploit said glitch for their own benefit?
This recent glitch makes a pretty clean example. The players who were abusing it had to do some Very Weird Stuff to cause it to occur, and then did so repeatedly. No reasonable person would expect that this behavior was intended, and the players involved had to go out of their way to cause it. It’s obviously unintended, it’s obviously a glitch, and the people who abused it were obviously exploiting said glitch for their own benefit. That’s pretty open and shut.
Someone mentioned Esfand’s random MC reset in this thread, which is a pretty clean example of the other end of the spectrum. In that case, they just turned up to raid and the instance had been reset. They didn’t do anything intentional to cause it or go looking for reproduction steps so they could abuse it - in fact, they reported it to us and didn’t continue until they got confirmation that it was out of their control (and that we wouldn’t consider it an exploit if they cleared).
Side note for the curious: that was a completely separate bug that has existed since 2004, and actually happened several times back then, it just wasn’t being broadcast to thousands of viewers at the time.
Obviously, neither situation is ideal - we try our best to provide a fair playing field for everyone - but there’s a pretty massive difference between “the instance is reset and we don’t know why” and “if we do this One Weird Trick we can infinitely farm this dungeon boss.” That’s the key factor that turns something from an accident into an exploit.
This ended up being longer than I expected so I’ll wrap it up with one last caveat: there is a lot of context and nuance that goes into these situations, and they’re not usually as cut and dry as these two examples. We end up making a lot of judgement calls based on the specifics of each exploit as well as their overall impact on the game (the phrase “clever use of game mechanics” originally came from one such convoluted situation). These two cases just happen to be pretty obvious.
If you're playing WoW Classic, chances are you'll find it cumbersome to navigate through main cities which is why Blizzard posted a handy city guide, starting with Stormwind.
Tip: If you're having trouble finding trainers, vendors, weapon masters, and other NPCs, talk to a guard, pick whatever you're looking for and the location will be marked on your map ("M").
Navigating the capital cities in of Azeroth is a different affair in WoW® Classic. Finding the trainers and supplies you need can take a little extra time to adjust to, so we’ve put together a handy guide to point you in the right direction.
QUICK INDEX OF LOCATIONS
*Weapon Trainer: (20) Located in the Trade District, Weapon Master Woo Ping can train in crossbows, polearms, staves, and two-handed swords
Profession Trainers Class Trainers Alchemy- The Mage Quarter (3) Druid- The Park (10) Blacksmithing- The Dwarven District (15) Hunter- The Dwarven District (13) Engineering- The Dwarven District (12) Mage- The Mage Quarter (5) Enchanting- The Mage Quarter–Canal Side (24) Paladin- Cathedral Square (11a) Leatherworking- Old Town (19) Priest- The Park (10), Cathedral Square (11b) Tailoring- The Mage Quarter (2 and 6) Rogue- Old Town (18) Cooking- Old Town (16) Warlock- The Mage Quarter (4) First Aid- Cathedral Square (11c) Warrior- Old Town (17) Fishing- The Trade District–Canal Side (23) Poison Supplies- Old Town (18) Herbalism- The Mage Quarter (1 and 9) Reagents- Cathedral Square(11c), The Trade District (22) Mining- The Dwarven District (14) Stable Master- The Park (8), The Dwarven District (13) Skinning- Old Town (19) Tip: Don’t forget you can speak to one of the many guards located throughout the city to get directions. They can point you to the Auction House, Bank, Deeprun Tram, Inns, Gryphon Master, Guild Master, Mailboxes, Stable Masters, Weapons Trainer, Officers’ Lounge, Battlemasters, Class Trainers, and Profession Trainers. They’ll mark your map with a red flag to indicate where you need to go.
CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE FULL INDEX OF LOCATIONS
It seems some players have been abusing a bug and repeatedly re-clearing dungeon (or perhaps even raid?) encounters. It's unclear from the wording, but this either means that players have been doing more than the 5 resets of a dungeon per hour or maybe even repeatedly clearing raid bosses despite the weekly lockout. In any case, Blizzard will be applying a hotfix under 7 hours from now and will also be looking to punish those that abused this exploit. Many players on the official forums are already calling for permanent bans for the ones doing this.
Instance Reset Hotfix (source)
We’ve recently become aware of a bug that could be exploited to allow instanced encounters to be completed repeatedly. We have developed a fix for the issue, and we are in the process of deploying it worldwide.
Realm restarts are scheduled for 3:00 a.m. PDT (6:00 a.m. EDT) in order to apply this fix.
As soon as possible, we will identify those who knowingly abused this bug in exploitative manner. We will then take appropriate punitive measures.
As a reminder, Blizzard’s End User License Agreement defines cheats as “methods not expressly authorized by Blizzard, influencing and/or facilitating the gameplay, including exploits of any in-game bugs, and thereby granting you and/or any other user an advantage over other players not using such methods.”
As always, thank you for your feedback on this matter.
After we took a look at the state of DPS in WoW Classic, or more specifically the pre-raid geared rankings, it's time to go over the tanks and healers as well! As last time, the lists are to determine which class will be the best in a raid environment, with exclusively the best available pre-raid gear and consumables. As always, these tier lists aren't the be all and end all of determining which class is the best for everything, but it's a good indicator of the general power of each.
Definitely check out the full guides (Tank, Healer) , as they delve into the specifics for each class, as well as fully detail the reasons for the rankings and more.
Warrior (S-Tier) Druid (B-Tier) Paladin (D-Tier) Healers
Priest (S-Tier) Shaman (A-Tier) Paladin (A-Tier) Druid (B-Tier) The tanks and healers get a look this time around.
This is a very special fan art series that I've been following since the fist post over on the WoW reddit, with artist Vlad "Valdihr" Harabagiu creating some truly amazing animated series/cartoon style pieces of his own Classic journey. Before talking any more about the art and its style, let's just immediately take a look at the first piece in the "A Classic Journey" series, done in Photoshop:
I thought I would die out here with none to know of it. While I was hunting the scorpids of the Valley, I came across a particularly vicious-looking one. Hurling myself at it, I managed to inflict a massive blow to its claw before it closed around my leg. I wasn't ready for its stinger though, and it sliced down and into my chest, cutting into my flesh and letting my blood. Please, you must kill the scorpid for me! My honor must be upheld! I fought it up on the plateau to the south.
The first one immediately captures the WoW essence and truly looks like a still taken from a WoW Classic cartoon, making me really angry this isn't a real TV show (or animated movie at least). Each image is named after a quest and is linearly tracking Valdihr's journey through the quests of Classic, starting with the above. Some images also come with a short comment about the stage of the game itself, with the first one getting an intro for the whole series:
"Slaying the beast"
The primary task set upon me by our great Warchief is to root out the creatures responsible for infesting our lord's great city with demonic influence. The Burning Blade is one threat, but there are others; the Searing Blade for instance, who make their home in Ragefire Chasm, secretly attempting to subvert innocent members of the Horde. If they are to be stopped, then their leader must be slain--a Felguard named Taragaman the Hungerer. Kill him, and his heart will appease Thrall, of this I'm sure.
Each piece takes Valdhir around 6 hours to make over 2 days and he's been going very hard at this particular series, focusing on his work (and WoW, obviously) to get these done and follow his trip through Classic.
Whitemist, Echeyakee in the Tauren tongue, is the king of the savannah cats. He hunts with such stealth, they say he's like a thin, white mist on the earth. And he kills so fast his prey have no time for fear, or pain. The Tauren say he is both mercy and death. You will learn if that's true, for I now set you on the path to hunt Echeyakee. His lair is northeast of the Crossroads, among the bones of giant Kodo. Go. Blow this horn when you reach his lair. Blow the horn, and he will come.
As you can see he is playing Horde and following that story and quest line, and has actually swapped characters already, playing on Noggenfrogger EU. He started with a hunter and has since switched to an Undead warrior, at level 26 now.
"Lost in battle"
We battled in a small tauren camp when we were separated--she held three of the Bristlebacks off by herself. But the odds began to overwhelm us. I led some away only to see her overwhelmed by newcomers. In my rage, I turned to face my enemies, but they brought me down easily with their vast numbers.
I awoke to a tauren druid tending my wounds--he had come across me on the Gold Road as I fell.
Please, find some sign of my wife.
The iconic barrens "Mankirk's wife" quest, while memed about a lot, is actually pretty emotional and one of the highlights of the zone. The expression in Mankirk's face in the image really brings out the emotion, which is a very impressive feat for a still.
He was also asked about doing class specific quests:
The druids in the Wailing Caverns, the Druids of the Fang, are an aberration. They were part of an order of noble druids whose plan was to heal the Barrens, but now seek to remake that land to match their own, twisted dreams. The Druids of the Fang have four leaders, and each possesses a dream gem. Even now their faces haunt me! Defeat the leaders and bring me their gems, and the Barrens may again know peace. Go. You will find them lurking deep within the Wailing Caverns.
While the above isn't directly tied to a specific quest, the Leaders of the Fang is the main dungeon goal, so a quote from that seemed appropriate. And while not exactly very cinematic, perhaps an image of the entire party looking around and being lost would have been more appropriate, with several "never coming back here again" speech bubbles.
"Betrayal from Within"
Three of my tribe came out of the Kraul to lead the raids against the Horde. <snort> They are ruthless and cunning, and if you defeat them, then your Crossroads and even most of the Barrens will learn peace... <snort> at least from the Razormane tribe. <snort> Nak, Kuz, and Lok Orcbane are the ones you seek. They are far to the south of the Barrens. One is a spell caster, another a tracker, and their leader, the one called Orcbane, <snort> a warrior. Kill them, like they have killed me.
The series is planned to go on to level 60 and end with raids, and for those saddened by the horde focus, don't worry:
Shockingly, even something as amazing as this wasn't enough to bridge the Modern/Classic feud, as some users were upset the images were posted on the main WoW reddit, instead of the Classic one. But, the bright side is that we'll be seeing a lot more of these, as Vladhir has even started up a Patreon, and is also taking commissions, which bodes well for the future.
I simply cannot overstate how impressive and incredible these are, and how much they really make me yearn for an actual WoW cartoon series - especially with Castlevania and the upcoming Cuphead and Devil May Cry animated series being a thing. I rarely go into the "Blizzard, hire this man" type of thing, but, uhh, Blizzard? Hire this man.
Valdihr takes us on an incredible art journey through his own Classic experience.