August 9, 2012 in WoW
Some of Blizzards servers were broken into. Blizzard has issued a press release. Here it is, in full, links have been removed. See the source pages for Bliz links. Credit cards and other important data do not seem to have been compromised.
Players and Friends,
Even when you are in the business of fun, not every week ends up being fun. This week, our security team found an unauthorized and illegal access into our internal network here at Blizzard. We quickly took steps to close off this access and began working with law enforcement and security experts to investigate what happened.
At this time, we’ve found no evidence that financial information such as credit cards, billing addresses, or real names were compromised. Our investigation is ongoing, but so far nothing suggests that these pieces of information have been accessed.
Some data was illegally accessed, including a list of email addresses for global Battle.net users, outside of China. For players on North American servers (which generally includes players from North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia) the answer to the personal security question, and information relating to Mobile and Dial-In Authenticators were also accessed. Based on what we currently know, this information alone is NOT enough for anyone to gain access to Battle.net accounts.
We also know that cryptographically scrambled versions of Battle.net passwords (not actual passwords) for players on North American servers were taken. We use Secure Remote Password protocol (SRP) to protect these passwords, which is designed to make it extremely difficult to extract the actual password, and also means that each password would have to be deciphered individually. As a precaution, however, we recommend that players on North American servers change their password. Please click this link to change your password. Moreover, if you have used the same or similar passwords for other purposes, you may want to consider changing those passwords as well.
In the coming days, we’ll be prompting players on North American servers to change their secret questions and answers through an automated process. Additionally, we’ll prompt mobile authenticator users to update their authenticator software. As a reminder, phishing emails will ask you for password or login information. Blizzard Entertainment emails will never ask for your password. We deeply regret the inconvenience to all of you and understand you may have questions. Please find additional information here.
We take the security of your personal information very seriously, and we are truly sorry that this has happened.
May 17, 2012 in Other Games
I’m fairly certain almost everyone knows that the successor to a famous, perhaps even legendary, game was released just a few days ago. While I admit that this post has next to nothing to do with World of Warcraft, it is another game by the same developer and therefore I figured it reasonable to post some of my thoughts on this game and perhaps even recommend it to you assuming you haven’t purchased the game already.
As I mentioned above, Diablo 3 has incredibly high expectations to fulfill given the success of its predecessor, expectations which it fulfills to varying degrees. As far as the gameplay goes, it’s very much a Diablo game in spite of some changes that seem distinctly similar to World of Waracraft such as the inclusion of ‘Fury’ for Barbarians which is charged, as you might expect, by dealing damage and is used to fuel a number of abilities most of which are carried over from Diablo 2 in one form or another.
Diablo 3 is a more streamlined experience than its predecessor, disallowing some of the character customization offered in D2 in favor of allowing you access to all abilities although you are only allowed to ‘equip’ a limited number at any one time. Whichever abilities you choose can be freely swapped out for alternatives at any time. What this does is make each character more versatile and prevent you from accidentally destroying your character by misplacing skill points in the wrong ability, but also somewhat diminishes individual creativity and decision making.
Ultimately I would consider it a net positive, and the addition of Skill Runes to each ability which augment the effect in various ways from adding damage or stun effects to changing the creature summoned by a spell allow you to distinguish yourself from others of the same class.
While every class aside from the Barbarian is technically new, you can easily see the influence of now removed classes in their design as each of the new classes seems to be something of a mixture of the older ones, the newly added Demon Hunter’s abilities resembling those of the Amazon and Assassin for example.
The mercenaries of the old game return as the Templar, Scoundrel, and Enchantress, now thankfully reviving themselves rather than costing you a potential fortune each time they die, which can be fairly often as I’m sure veterans of Diablo 2 will remember.
I should note that they are designed solely for the single player experience as the companions are unavailable when one or more players join your game, something I find unfortunate as even if his actual effectiveness is much lower than that of a player character I rather enjoy the banter the scoundrel provides. You can have one companion at a time and each companion wears different forms of equipment, which you’re able to customize along with their abilities.
The actual launch of the game has unfortunately been marred by a number of server issues which, due to the design of the game making it mandatory to be online even for the single player, is more troubling that it might have been otherwise. However, these issues are quickly clearing up, and I think that the gameplay more than makes up for a few launch day problems, most of which are a result of the massive number of people seeking to log on and play the game.
Some new features worth noting are the crafting system, a welcome addition, and a region wide Auction House with the real money auction house scheduled to open soon.
All in all I think that Diablo 3 will be a satisfying experience for players experienced wtih Diablo 2 as well as for people looking to try a Diablo game for the first time and I would recommend taking a look at the game if you haven’t already. If you’re looking to maximize your Diablo 3 experience I recommend taking a look at this Diablo 3 guide.
December 19, 2011 in WoW
Can you write well enough to impress Blizzard?
The idea is that you put all you buffs on (Mtn. Dew, Pizza, etc.) and find a cozy, quiet dungeon where you can be undisturbed. For awhile.
What you would be doing is writing epic prose that will be submitted to Blizzard for consideration in their writing contest. Can you write well enough to impress them?
These are the rules and while it’s too late for 2011, save that page and enter for 2012. There’s no reason that you can’t start your efforts now.
Who knows? It might be the start of your path to fame and glory.
Here’s the announcement for the 2011 winners:
The wayward plans concocted by judges of the 2009 and 2010 Global Writing Contests have been foiled, and the Ocunomicon has been cast back into the howling Sightless Abyss whence it came. This victory would not have been possible without you, the writers, bravely wielding the ink-drenched Quills of a Thousand Truths! Even with two years’ worth of ocular fortitude strengthening their retinal acumen, the judges were unable to withstand the sheer number and magnificent quality of this year’s entries…
… especially considering that an entire mountain of short stories was airdropped on top of them.
With the smoke cleared and the errant judges corralled and subdued, the victors of the 2011 Global Writing Contest have emerged. Behold now, your champions!
And the winners are here => 2011 Global Writing Contest Winners
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