Sep 1 Blindsight's How to Choose a Server Guide [Originally posted by Blindsight-Spirestone on the old Warcraft forums--it's my understanding he no longer posts, but this is a valuable and informative guide] Since it's a frequently asked question on these boards, I've thrown together a quick guide for how to pick a server. Server Datacentre Location - New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles First and foremost: Limit your search to servers that are as close to you (physically) as possible. Closer servers will have better latency, and thus deliver a better play experience. WoWWiki has a great list by datacentre: http://www.wowwiki.com/US_realm_list_by_datacenter Realm Type - PvP, PvE, RP, RP-PvP Now that you know which servers to look at, the next most important question is if you want to play on a PvE, PvP, RP, or RP-PvP server. RP vs. non-RP servers should be a simple choice: when interacting with other players, do you want to act "in character" replying to other players like they're living inside the world of Azeroth, or would you rather just play WoW like any other video game treating everyone else like a player at a keyboard? If you want to play on an RP server with active RPers: "Wyrmrest Accord and Moon Guard are very popular, but Moon Guard is very over populated." -Nok PvE vs. PvP is a bit of a tougher decision. On a PvP server, once you get to about lvl 20, in just about every questing zone you go to you can be attacked at any time by any player of the opposite faction (Horde vs. Alliance). If you like the idea of jumping other players while they're running around killing mobs/questing, this may be for you. If you don't like the idea of a max lvl player killing you in 1 shot when they ride by, then you may want to stick to PvE servers. Some people feel that PvP servers have a slightly more mature community since most children and/or immature players can't stand being killed randomly. Other people feel that PvP servers have a less mature community since it's full of teenagers who like to grief other players while they're just trying to quest. YMMV. Realm population - New, Low, Medium, High, Full The next major consideration for choosing a realm is the realms' population, both the total number of players and the Alliance / Horde ratio. This is a bit more complicated, and there are different ways of looking at the data. First, WarcraftRealms.com has a tool for taking a "census" of various realms, but it relies on data uploads from players on the server. Its data is only as accurate as the data it receives from player uploads, but it gives a pretty good baseline idea: http://www.warcraftrealms.com/realmstats.php?sort=Total Another useful way to look at population data is in terms of server age. Older servers tend to have higher populations. WoWWiki has a list of all US realms' creation dates: http://www.wowwiki.com/Timeline_of_the_creation_of_US_realms So that's great, but what does it mean? How does population affect the game? Here are a few points to consider: Empty servers: By far the easiest way of ruining the MMO experience is to have nobody to play with. Avoid servers with very low population. Queues: Very high population realms often have queue times. This could mean waiting for half an hour every time you want to play during prime time. During prime time (weekday evenings and weekends), check the realm status page to see if the server is listed as full: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/realmstatus/ Economy: Higher population realms have more robust economies. This means the auction house will have many more items listed and will be much more competitive. 10/25 Man Raid PuGs: Higher population => more things happening => more groups going all the time. Pick up Groups will form more frequently and will fill faster, meaning you can play more and sit in town waiting for groups less. This also, however, means (on some servers) that PuGs can be more picky in who they take along since anyone can be replaced quickly. A/H ratio: Depending on how you like to play, you may want an even ratio so that everything that involves opposite faction interaction (like world PvP) are more fair, or you may want to be on the advantage side of an imbalanced ratio so that your side is usually winning. The only disadvantage with being on the plus side of a wildly imbalanced population is that soon, world PvP zones (i.e. Wintergrasp) will only allow the same number of players (beyond a minimum level of 20 players) from each faction in at the same time, so if nobody from the other side shows up, only 20 from your side can get in.Frejya117 Sep 1
Related to this, we’ve seen a lot of questions about the general invite process and want to clarify a few things. The method in which people are invited from the opt-in pool is not on a first-come-first-served basis, but instead we look at a variety of factors such as the age of the account. That said, the amount of closed beta invites that we’re sending out is rapidly decreasing as we have met our current population needs for testing. We’ll regularly reevaluate the need for additional invites as we go through the testing process.
Rank Source Major Power Desc Minor Power Desc Major Power Actual Minor Power Actual 1 Claim a weekly PVP War Chest in Season 3 or later. Conflict Strife Conflict Strife 2 Reach 1000+ rating then claim your next weekly PVP War Chest in Season 3 or later. Conflict Strife Conflict Strife 3 Collect Burgeoning Battlefield Furor from your weekly War Chest. Conflict Strife Conflict Strife 4 Reach the rank of Elite in the week then claim your next weekly PVP War Chest in Season 3 or later. Conflict Strife Conflict Strife We datamined the following PvP talents related to Conflict and Strife in the latest 8.2 PTR build:
It seems the first stress test didn't quite do the job yet, as Blizzard are scheduling a second one next week, due to more issues with the first one than were anticipated (mainly of the login screen variety). Everyone that was invited to the first one will also be invited to the second, the level cap will be raised to 10 and it will also be available for a full day, starting at 2pm PDT on Wednesday, May 29th.
If you’re eager to claim your character name in WoW Classic, take note: we’ll be opening character creation on Tuesday, August 13.** Players with an active subscription or game time on their account will be able to create up to three characters per World of Warcraft account. We’ll have more information on realm names closer to launch, but rest assured—you’ll have plenty of time to figure out your plans for realm domination!

All of this is keeping with the spirit of vanilla, which I think is more important than that a specific number be 11 instead of 12. And it would help to "resize the swing" by making the game harder to the more experienced community, and forcing people to re-discover the game rather than simply looking up whatever they want to know on a spreadsheet somewhere.

Balance: Moonkin Aura - Starsurge grants 4% spell critical strike chance to 8 allies within 40 yards for 18 sec, stacking up to 3 times. Feral: Leader of the Pack - While in Cat Form, you increase the melee and ranged critical chance of raid members within 40 yards by 5%. Leader of the Pack also causes affected targets to heal themselves for 4% of their maximum health when they critically hit with a melee or ranged attack. The healing effect cannot occur more than once every 6 sec. Guardian: Sharpened Claws - Maul increases the damage done by your Swipe and Thrash by 25% for 6 sec. Restoration: Overgrowth - Instantly applies Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, Wild Growth, and Regrowth's heal over time effect to the target. Hunter
Swim Speed Potions (used especially at lvl 37 for Faldir's Cove in Arathi Highlands and lvl 57 in WPL).  Try to get multiple stacks of these.  I also recommend keeping a stack of these always in your bags.  You will frequently pass rivers and lakes and can use these potions to pass them faster through out the guide.  Please note that these potions do not stack with Druid's Aquatic Form and Glyph of Aquatic Form.
Blizzard have announced that the invites for today's stress test have all gone out, with a reminder there are more tests coming, as well as clarified how exactly the general invite process works. Also, unfortunately for everyone that doesn't have one yet, they're also sending out fewer and fewer beta invites, as they're nearing their goals for current testing. 
If you’re eager to claim your character name in WoW Classic, take note: we’ll be opening character creation on Tuesday, August 13.** Players with an active subscription or game time on their account will be able to create up to three characters per World of Warcraft account. We’ll have more information on realm names closer to launch, but rest assured—you’ll have plenty of time to figure out your plans for realm domination!
Each pet has 3 abilities it can use during a battle, but a total of 6 to choose from. They will also have a total of 3 active spell slots that show which abilities can be used during a Pet Battle. The first spell slot will already be unlocked, but the second and third will only become available once the companion has reached a certain level. Other spells will also unlock after reaching higher levels.
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