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Thread: PST - Episode 34

  1. #21
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    About the mount...

    I also agree that $25 is a bit much for a mount. But, there's something I take into consideration here. They do want nice mounts like this to be rare (not as rare as something like Invincible or the old ZG mounts, but still rare). At $25 there aren't many people likely to buy it, and I know there are a lot of people, probably including Blizzard, who are surprised at the amount of those sparkly lions they see flying around. But, imagine if it was $5 or even $10...everyone would have one. They would not be rare. They would have about the same prestige level as a Chestnut Mare. The pricetag keeps a bit of the prestige there.

    I have one question to pose the person who asked the mount question: Why do you assume that the money from the mounts doesn't go back into WoW? Maybe I missed the blue post or comment from Blizz where they said "the money from the Blizzard store goes directly to Titan/Rock and Roll Racing 2012/my candy fund." But, it would only seem logical to me that a pretty substantial percentage of the income from the Blizzard store, including the mounts, would be funneled back into pay for something to support WoW. Even if it's just paying for roach removal in the datacenter -- I'm willing to bet the money makes it's way back there somehow.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Skwish View Post
    Maybe I missed the blue post or comment from Blizz where they said "the money from the Blizzard store goes directly to Titan/Rock and Roll Racing 2012/my candy fund." But, it would only seem logical to me that a pretty substantial percentage of the income from the Blizzard store, including the mounts, would be funneled back into pay for something to support WoW. Even if it's just paying for roach removal in the datacenter -- I'm willing to bet the money makes it's way back there somehow.
    I seriously doubt much of the money goes back to WoW. Its a store item for a reason. The most we could be seeing go back to WoW would be paying the salary of the 1-2 people who designed that mount or pet. The store item has to at least pay for its own development. After that's been paid for, its pure profit. While I am sure that those artists don't only work on the one item in the course of their duties, I am pretty confident when I suggest that the most money that goes back to wow is to pay for the time they worked on the pet/mount/balloon/etc.

  3. #23
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    Right so I would like to admit that I do not have an extensive background in internet security and was probably "armchairing" it as Lore said. However, that shouldn't make my concern less valid. I think blizzard could have done more to explain what was going on to alleviate this confusion which causes people to get upset.

    A good friend of mine had a sit down with his Hospitals IT Director and had a 5 hour conversation about this issue. Below is their conclusions, which after having some time to digest, make sense to me.

    Again if only Blizzard would have done this in the first place.

    I was not a proponent of the change (In fact I was one of the initial vocal tirades that hit the forums), however, I did sit down with the IT Security Administrator of the hospital that I work at and discussed this with him yesterday for close to 5 hours (yes, unproductive time and I was paid for it woot!) (for the down-cryers, I will trust a hospital security admin before anyone else in the business simply due to the requirements of the federal HIPPA (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/) regulations in regards to patient information security) and what he showed me was that while it gives those of us with a enough security knowledge to be dangerous to ourselves the heebee-jeebees to not pushy-our-damned-button, it may actually provide a more secure method of logging in with regards to outside compromises (keyloggers, trojans, malware etc). It will do nothing for internal threats (mom, dad, sister, brother, pissed off spouse, pissed of girlfriend that found out about pissed off spouse, etc).

    Assuming that Blizzard knows what they are doing in regards to secure network communications (which I have no reason to doubt considering they were among the first public entities to implement hardware authentication before even most banks did) then we can reasonably assume that they are collecting much more than IP, Geolocation and MAC addresses.

    With their side loaded watchdog program (which runs each and every time WoW is active ... you agreed to it when you click accept on the ToU), Warden, they are able to gain access to the hardware GUIDs for each component of the computer system that it is running on now.

    So how this *MIGHT* work (I have no clue if it does, it's simply what we came up with after 5 hours of arguing yesterday) is that Warden collects CPUID, MoboID, Harddrive ID, current IP address, MAC address and Geolocation coordinates and runs them together in some way. After which Warden takes the resulting alphanumeric string and does some sort of SHA-2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHA-2) hashing of that long string to encrypt it and what you end up with is a 32 / 64-bit random set of alphanumerics that is pretty much close to impossible to decipher.

    The first time you login from your *safe* computer you have to authenticate. This shows Blizz that you are who you say you are because of what you know (password) and what you have (authentication code). When this is good Warden transfers that encrypted hash of location / hardware IDs to Blizz and they then save it in the database containing your account information. The next time you login, Warden again generates and sends it's hash to Blizz to compare. If they match exactly, you're free to go. If they don't then you are flagged to authenticate again. Change any of those things that Blizz has chosen to create this hash of your computer / location off of, and you're flagged to authenticate. I've almost convinced myself completely that Warden's been doing this already in this way for a couple years now because I've had to reset my PW on a couple of occasions where my account was attempted to be accessed from Europe (I'm in the bakcwoods of Montana).

    Before there's cries of OMG Warden's collecting personally identifiable information and Blizz is collecting it counter to what they've told us OMGWTFBBQLIES!!!!1! An SHA-2 hash cannot be reverse engineered (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHA-2) to find your ID-able information and therefore they are not collecting it, only a hash key of that data.

    This will actually increase security in regards to outside threats by limiting what is input via keyboard and sent to Blizz. However, I say outside threats, because as I've stated previously this will do nothing for internal threats such as your spouse who's mad cus she found your stash of midget pictures.

    After figuring this key aspect of the system out with him (as it's the only thing they can feasibly do while still keeping the claim of "As secure as") I came to the realization that while it might be more secure, I am a creature of habit and I take comfort from the fact that no matter what I do, pushing the button and entering my code means I'm secure. I enjoy pushing my buttons, it feels good. Don't take my ability to stroke my paranoid side into submission away. Let me push my button.

    Don't remove the change if this is truly how things work (location / hardware hash, completely impossible to spoof *ALL* of it and the hashes will never match) but give me the ability to force authentication each and every time I log in. In fact, meld the two if that hasn't already been put in place, and give me the option to push my button. It makes me feel special and pretty.
    There is something so appealing about backhanding someone across the face with a shield.

  4. #24
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    The thing is, Authenticators were never introduced to combat account access from spouses, family members and friends with access to your computer. They were introduced to stop people accessing your account from accidentally given away account information (through phishing, malware or that they shared the information willingly for levelling services). Ultimately it is your own responsibility to have an account password that only you know.

    I do understand the feeling of insecurity when suddenly after 2 or three years your computer no longer asks for authentication, but I think that this will dissipate fairly quickly. Remember how annoying it was to enter a number every time you logged in for the first month or two, but it has now become something you do automatically.

    Give it a month or two and I am sure the same thing will happen, you will get used to only authenticating once per day (I think most people will be on a dynamic IP address which changes every 24 hours so you will always need to type in the numbers at least once) and, who knows, maybe you will end up asking yourself how you could stand entering that 6 or 8 digit number every single time you (re)started the game.

  5. #25
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    Yeah I mean I agree with Lore about getting DC'd in the middle of a raid encounter and scrambling to get back in. I just think the option should be there if people want to have it turned on, would seem like a simple solution to keep all parties happy to me.
    There is something so appealing about backhanding someone across the face with a shield.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrea View Post
    , but I think that this will dissipate fairly quickly.
    I type in my password then hit "tab" every time I finish to start putting my authenticator code in, THEN END UP ERASING MY EMAIL BECAUSE THE AUTHENTICATOR WINDOW IS GONE!

    how long ago was that change?



  7. #27
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    Sorry, I just can't resist this, but please bear in mind it is completely "tongue-in-cheek"...

    Quote Originally Posted by Darksend View Post
    I type in my password then hit "tab" every time I finish to start putting my authenticator code in, THEN END UP ERASING MY EMAIL BECAUSE THE AUTHENTICATOR WINDOW IS GONE!

    how long ago was that change?
    Ummm, I think you answered yourself with your own signature... :P

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Darksend View Post
    I type in my password then hit "tab" every time I finish to start putting my authenticator code in, THEN END UP ERASING MY EMAIL BECAUSE THE AUTHENTICATOR WINDOW IS GONE!

    how long ago was that change?
    patch 4.1

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skwish View Post
    About the mount...

    I have one question to pose the person who asked the mount question: Why do you assume that the money from the mounts doesn't go back into WoW?
    Thanks Lore for using the question, it's always fun to listen to your views

    @Skwish. I have no hard evidence to prove that money does or doesn't get reinvested back into WoW. But I look at it like this: before expenses, they're pulling in say (conservatively) $120,000,000 per month from subscriptions. The paid-for services and premium items are maybe pulling in another 10% of that? I've no idea. But however you look at it they have vast turnover.

    Blizzard have great developers. I don't at all subscribe to this 'B team' viewpoint. So if they have vast amounts of money, and great staff, why has new cata content so far been a couple of re-skinned dungeons, one raid with a miserly number of bosses, and a quest hub? In seven months. You can look across the fence to competing games and see that a lot more can be done with a lot less a lot faster, without sacrificing quality.

    It's an old topic, but the general intent of my question to Lore wasn't so much about the mount, as why is there so little evidence of re-investment in WoW. It's still a great game with great potential, so I'd like to see a lot more content, but so far in Cata Blizz just aren't delivering.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrChumble View Post
    @Skwish. I have no hard evidence to prove that money does or doesn't get reinvested back into WoW. But I look at it like this: before expenses, they're pulling in say (conservatively) $120,000,000 per month from subscriptions. The paid-for services and premium items are maybe pulling in another 10% of that? I've no idea. But however you look at it they have vast turnover.
    I'd be interested in seeing what their infrustructure costs are - I realize that major corps get really cheap internet, but the scale of an 11 million subscriber base is going to make this huge.

    As well as you can double the salary of every employee to get their true cost to the company. If Blizz is paying an employee 60k a year (I actually have no clue), you can figure they have 120k in actual expenses toward salary and other compensation. 1000 employees averaging 60k (that's programmers to call center tecs to VPs to whatever) and you're looking at one month of revenue to recoup salaries. Depending on the number of employees... which I honestly don't know - there can be some wide varience here, I was pulling numbers out of my ass to give an idea of the scale and quickly it can grow.

    Now - is Blizzard hurting? Most certainly not. But it's not as easy as saying 120m *12 = boatload of cash not being put back into the game. Of course, you'd really have to start looking into corporate finances (amoritzation, which might be limited) and other ways to play games with $s - but the point is there. It's really easy to just look at revenue - and not see how there are costs there too.
    An introduction into WarTanking (no longer updated as I've retired from WoW - the concepts will still be mostly accurate but the numbers no longer will be.) - http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...101-The-Primer

  11. #31
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    AS far as money being re-invested into WoW, what you see, or believe you see and what actually happens are completely separate things. One must also remember that quantity and quality do not always go hand in hand. Blizz could easily make 10 patchwerk style encounters or make 2 or 3 much more complicated and enjoyable fights in the same time frame.

  12. #32
    Blizzard is not reinvesting into WoW. It's a fact from their financials.

    We continue to heavily invest in our franchises, in new potential franchises, and in our systems and capabilities to bring our products and services to new markets around the world. Yet, we are generating more cash than we can find good uses for. As a result, in 2010, we became the first company in our industry to issue a dividend and we repurchased nearly $1 billion of our stock, bringing our two-year share buyback total to approximately $2.2 billion.
    Blizzard makes ~$100 million in operating profit per month. You can look at that and other data collected in this post by Nils:

    http://nilsmmoblog.blogspot.com/2011...nblizzard.html

  13. #33
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    Thoughts on legendaries...
    I know they've all been weapons (and shield on kael) but, what if it wasn't a tanking weapon? What about a ring or trinket? or a "universal" throw/relic/etc slot.

    But it really... it should be a shield.

  14. #34
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    I think the answer for a tanking legendary is easy...a quest line with 3 items to choose from. Shield for pally and warrior, 2H sword or axe for DK and staff or polearm for druids. Seems simple to me. Why do things gotta be complicated? :P

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by redraven937 View Post
    Blizzard is not reinvesting into WoW. It's a fact from their financials.



    Blizzard makes ~$100 million in operating profit per month. You can look at that and other data collected in this post by Nils:

    http://nilsmmoblog.blogspot.com/2011...nblizzard.html
    Then I guess it's time to start investing in blizzard stock.

    The statement did not say that they are taking all money that WoW makes and reinvesting in other endeavors. This is normal business practice in growing and expanding a business. Store A starts to turn a profit so store B is bought. Even though store A is not getting all the glitz and glamor of store B, Store A will still be gaining from Store B in the way of new ideas, processes, and other ways of improving the store. So in terms of WoW. While blizz might be developing "WoW 2, the new ideas that come from WoW 2 will find their ways back into original WoW.

    Just because mommy and daddy have a new baby does not mean that they don't love you any more.

  16. #36
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    Activision came out with a statement today saying they aren't given enough credit for innovation (backlash from just adding new textures to a game and calling it "MW3"). But, anyways, it states right in there that WoW and COD are the two franchises that they give the most support to, since they make them the most money.

    "I think when you have a massive hit like Call of Duty or you have the kind of hit that Blizzard has in World of Warcraft, the first priority, of course, is to focus on and put every resource possible into keeping that leadership position. You’ve got an entire industry outside those doors trying to knock off the pedestal Call of Duty or World of Warcraft. We’ve got to put every resource we have into protecting our leadership position, so of course we’re doing that," he said."

    http://www.industrygamers.com/news/a...enough-credit/

    So the whole "Blizz doesn't put money back into WoW," are just people trying to find something, anything they can to complain about. Are they putting 100% of the money they make off of the game back into it. No...but that would be ridiculous. Especially for a game this profitable.


    Where does this $100 million per month figure come from? I could see ~$150 million per month in revenue but not profit. Activision|Blizzard as a whole, made just over $400 million in total profit off of everything they have, in the entire year of 2010. That's ~$35 million per month as an entire company. Blizzard is a small percentage of that pie, as well.

    You can find the 2010 Activision|Blizzard financial statements here: http://files.shareholder.com/downloa..._Final_PDF.pdf

    The actual figures should be around page 17 or 18. I'm not saying Blizzard is poor and we should except the level of content we are getting. But, I am saying it's not as bad as everyone says, and they don't make as much money as everyone says. They do make boatloads of cash, and probably have enough that it lines their mattresses. But, they certainly don't bring in $100 million in profit each and every month.
    Last edited by Skwish; 06-21-2011 at 03:40 PM.

  17. #37

    Thoughts on a tanking legendary

    If anyone has read David Edding's 'The Belgariad' (and I mean the full 13 books) they'll be familiar with the Orb of Aldur. The Orb was a super awsome magic gysmo that the hero of the story uses to slay a god because no mortal weapon could do it.

    The thing about the Orb and why its relevant to this topic is the way its used in relation to the weapon that it imbues. In 'Belgarath the Sorcerer' the Orb is taken and imbedded into a shield so that the shield could be used to defend against an incursion by this evil god. Later on its mounted on the pummel of a sword that is used to slay the god.

    When Lore was talking about having multiple quest lines for the same legendary that takes a different form it got me thinking that the legendary could be some like the Orb. Once players retrieve / rescue / some how aquire the orb they can go on a quest chain based on their class, so either Warriors / Paladins can embed the Orb in to a shield or Deathknights / Druids can mount it on a 2h Mace. The key element is that its the Orb that's the legendary and its being used to create an uber tanking weapon because of its amazing defensive qualities etc.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by fearmemortals View Post
    If anyone has read David Edding's 'The Belgariad' (and I mean the full 13 books) they'll be familiar with the Orb of Aldur. The Orb was a super awsome magic gysmo that the hero of the story uses to slay a god because no mortal weapon could do it.

    The thing about the Orb and why its relevant to this topic is the way its used in relation to the weapon that it imbues. In 'Belgarath the Sorcerer' the Orb is taken and imbedded into a shield so that the shield could be used to defend against an incursion by this evil god. Later on its mounted on the pummel of a sword that is used to slay the god.

    When Lore was talking about having multiple quest lines for the same legendary that takes a different form it got me thinking that the legendary could be some like the Orb. Once players retrieve / rescue / some how aquire the orb they can go on a quest chain based on their class, so either Warriors / Paladins can embed the Orb in to a shield or Deathknights / Druids can mount it on a 2h Mace. The key element is that its the Orb that's the legendary and its being used to create an uber tanking weapon because of its amazing defensive qualities etc.
    Have you considered...

    1. Say you have 397 mace and shield as a shield tank. You get a legendary item that upgrades your shield to 404 item level. Now say you have a 397 two handed mace and upgrade it to a 404 item level? The stat increase on the two hander is higher, thus your proposed solution creates a stat imbalance between the varying types of Legendary items. A 404 two hander is greater than a 404 in one hand and a 397 in the other.

    2. They make two handed maces with Agility still? They actually stopped doing this in Cataclysm because they wanted the items to be usable by hunters as well so they switched to staves only.

    3. A tanking legendary would likely have two secondary stats desirable to tanks. For three of those classes it would be Dodge and Parry because you would favor a true tanking stat over a less desirable Expertise or Hit. For the fourth tanking class however, they only have one tanking stat, Dodge. This forces them to use a DPS stat as the other secondary stat. If they make it so say all the items have Dodge and Expertise so they could all be balanced, if you are a tank with a 404 item that is Dodge/Expertise and a 397 item that is Dodge/Parry it creates a delema where the Legendary may not be your best option.

    There are a lot more problems with creating a tanking legendary that many people will often neglect. It isn't as simple as just put an item in a game that anyone can use because tanks have the widest spectrum of any other role, even to the point where the primary stat isn't even consistent.
    "In anything, if you want to go from just a beginner to a pro, you need a montage." /w TankSpot WTB Montage for Raiders.

  19. #39
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    Quinafoi

    1. Wouldn't the stats almost have to be dodge/mastery? Granted mastery isn't nearly as attractive for bears as for other tanks, at least currently.

    2. Designed correctly the legendary ability would override the lack of better stats quite clearly. 4pc sets for at least warriors are such that I have to choose hit as a stat for either my helm or my shoulders (not even expertise, crappy ass hit) already, due to the power of the 4pc for some fights.

    ****

    However, I agree with the premise, that tanking legendaries present unique problems that are more than skin deep. You have 4 tanks you're trying to build for:

    3 use Str, 1 uses Agility
    3 use parry, 1 doesn't
    3 use plate, 1 uses leather
    2 use shields, 2 do not
    3 have varrying levels of user-controlled self heals (DK > Pally > Bear), 1 sorta does (ER, 2min CD, worthless bloodcraze which is RNG)
    2 Use 1-H Str, 1 uses 2H str, 1 uses 2H Agi
    3 use relics, 1 uses range

    ****

    It's not like Shadowmorune, well all strength melee classes can use a 2h axe, or the Uldar mace, where all healers use spirit. There aren't really that many unifying slots.

    Some sort of godly trinket would probably be the best slot without excluding a single tank class with a choose your own legendary design.

    Although I guess maybe it could be a 2H mace or Sword + Shield as the reward? Still - pick your own legendary...

    ****

    And has anyone considered the implications of the ability to reforge a legendary? Oh hay! You know that metal that you wanted me to infuse with ore from the deepest of earth, that had to be forged of posion, blood, and flaming frost breath so it could be smelted together? Well, there's, uh... like 13 guys now that can just touch it with their hands and reconstitute it's abilities. Why didn't I just go to them to get everything forged in the first place? XD
    An introduction into WarTanking (no longer updated as I've retired from WoW - the concepts will still be mostly accurate but the numbers no longer will be.) - http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...101-The-Primer

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