Category Archives: Uncategorized

Blizzcon Party – Thursday Nov 6, 2014 @ the Hilton

We’re co-hosting the World of Podcasts Blizzcon Party this year!

I don’t want to say this party will be huge (but it will be), or that we have several dedicated bartenders who’ve guaranteed that we can’t run out of drinks (but it’s true)… what I really want to get across is WHY you should ACTUALLY go to this party.

It’s unique, informative, and just plain fun.

We reserved 4 rooms that have expert panel discussions, a photo booth, fansite-celebrity meet & greets, a fan art exhibit, Hearthstone fireside gatherings, multiple bartenders, and over 300 prizes. The event is totally free.

Get your Eventbrite ticket here!

Thursday, November 6 from 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM PST
At the Hilton, 777 W Convention Way
(Be sure to sign up, the more accurate the head count, the better we can schedule the right number of bartenders!)

FanArtExibit

Fan Art Exhibit:
All art will be given away as prizes at the end of the night!

WHAT?! Yeah, that’s right. Mr. Robot and I have been curating the art and contacting artists for the past several months, and over 100 artists have donated over 200 pieces of art. And at the end of the night, it’s all going to be given away… for free! We’re not exaggerating this either – it’s all high quality, mounted on backing board, and over half are 11×14 or larger!

Here’s a tiny sampling of some of the pieces, all different styles, and all amazing artists:

 Green-Screen Photo Booth!

Photobooth2We’re still finalizing the green screen images, but they will be pretty fantastic.

The photo area is big, so we can accommodate large groups of people, like your guild meetup!

 

Take a picture (or two or three), it’s totally free! The digital pictures will be ready shortly after Blizzcon (again, totally free).

(The artwork in the photo strips to the left are headshots from various art that will be at our exhibit!)

 

Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings

We’re finalizing the details, but we already have the equipment and a room for Fireside gatherings. Stay tuned as we release more information on the event.

Over 300 Prizes!

Prizes

These are epic level prizes too.

  • Goodie bags stuffed with surprises
  • T-shirt giveaways
  • Bilzzard swag
  • Jinx! “Faction Bundles” that each contain 3 T-shirts, a hat, a hoodie, some stickers and a key chain.
  • Exclusive posters
  • Over 200 pieces of fan art
  • And more!

And the reason this party got started in the first place:
Podcasters & Panelists!

Darrie from OpenRaid and Wil from A Bit of Geek & Nerdery will be MC’ing the event! Get excited, they are both awesome.

The panels run 25 minutes long, starting on the hour. And starting on the half hour, also for 25 minutes are Q&A sessions with other experts. The panel discussion tops are:

  • Blizzcon predictions
  • Warlords engame, from casual to hardcore
  • General WoW discussion & guild community
  • Podcasting
  • Content Creation

For a list of participating podcasters, bloggers and other wow fansites, go here.

See you there!

Countdown: 50 Facts for WoD

I’ll be sharing a fact a day as I gather information on my fact finding missions for Warlords of Draenor. Days left to launch of WoD: 13, live countdown

  • Fact #17: Goblin Gliders = secret stuff! There are various goblins around in each zone that let you get on gliders to reach secret spots with treasure chests and stuff. You can get a map for the treasure chests in that zone a few different ways (reported by fans). A garrison quest reward, a reward for completing the quest achievement for a zone, and from a vendor in your WoD faction zone (after completing the story line for each zone). Here’s a YouTube video of one of these glider spots.
  • Fact #18: Mythic raid lockouts The mythic lockouts work differently that normal/heroic. In normal/heroic you can run whatever you want, as often as you want, you just don’t get more than 1 chance at gear. Mythic however, works like the ‘old’ lockouts – once you kill a boss, you’re tied to THAT RAID ID. You cannot go into someone else’s mythic raid until it resets each week.
  • Fact #19: Getting gear from your garrison From a blue post: Once you have followers at ilvl 615, the second tier of level 100 missions unlocks, at 630 the third tier unlocks (includes missions with ilvl 645 gear for your character), and when you have followers at ilvl 645 the fourth tier unlocks.

    The fourth tier is special in that they show up rarely, but they’re raid missions for your followers that reward your character with raid quality loot of a tier higher than you’re currently running. If you’re doing LFR, you’ll get normal quality raid loot, if you’re running normal raids you’ll get heroic quality loot, and heroic raiders will get mythic quality loot. Mythic raiders will get mythic loot and 1k gold.

    These missions show up rarely enough that you won’t be able to deck out your character in these items before the next raid zone shows up, but having a handful of them will give you a nice edge.The level you’re currently running will be roughly determined by having ‘weeks’ of experience in a zone at that difficulty, Get more info on the followup blue post.
  • Fact #20: Blackrock Foundry There are 3 wings in the Blackrock Foundry raid, and you can do the wings in any order. Then you can kill the end boss. There’s also a quest that takes several weeks to complete, rewarding you with a key to skip most of the bosses and go right to the last ones. (We’re still tracking down the official source on that, though it seems to be legit). This makes loot choices interesting.
  • Fact #21: Professions & Garrisons This one comes from a tip in the comments section, thank you! Once you learn the scroll that takes your crafting profession cap to 700 (you get 1 from a quest on your faction’s initial zone and if you have more than 1 crafting profession or change professions you can get them from a quest item dropped by mobs) you will be able to purchase your profession’s crafting recipes from a vendor in Ashran (On your faction’s hub). These recipes are purchased with a special currency appropriate to each crafting profession and you can get them from a daily cooldown (like “Secret of Draenor Blacksmithing”).While having a small garrison building that matches your professions will give you access to more cooldown-based ingredients (like “Truesteel Ingot” for blacksmiths) and ease of access to the professions recipe vendor within your garrison, you can still learn all the recipes and craft all the items if you build different garrison buildings or if you don’t use your garrison at all.Having a small garrison building for a profession you do not have will give you access to work orders to make that professions crafting materials and to most of the Draenor items crafted by that profession, depending on the level of your building. However, the best items each profession can craft are still restricted to heroes with the corresponding professions (like items to improve weapons and armors or the best enchants)
  • Fact #22: Skipping Bosses in WoD There are several bosses you can skip and still kill the end boss. After killing the end boss, if you want to go back and kill the ones you skipped, you can. (source)
  • Fact #23: No gate for Mythic You will not need to clear Heroic in order to run mythic raids on WoD. (source)
  • Fact #24: Ordos Ordos will continue to require a legendary cloak to access. Thanks to our comment section for catching this for me!
  • Fact #25: Loot based lockouts Patch 6.0.2 launched a different boss/raid lockout system. Instead of locking you out because you already killed a boss, you can now enter and help your friends kill any boss they want (regardless of if you’ve already killed it). Instead, the lockout is loot-based: you can kill any boss again (and again) in the same week, you just won’t get loot from it.
  • Fact #26: Hallows End: Upgraded Loot! Hallows End drops have been upgraded to iLevel 540. There are new pets. AND… you can get a Lich King costume (for Tricky Treats from a vendor), that has 50 charges.
  • Fact #27: Garrison mission spreadsheet A huge thanks to @Elvinelol for putting together this spreadsheet. It details required level & item levels, duration, if it’s rare, and more.
  • Fact #28:Garrison Build Order Guide A post by Denizly from MMO-C is a really excellent guide for Garrisons, including suggested build orders based on your play style. For example, the guide outlines the best build order for leveling up, raiding, gold making and altoholics. And there’s also a garrison guide for pet collectors over at warcraftpets.com.
  • Fact #29: Garrison followers: Bodyguards Some of your followers can be bodyguards – they follow you into battle (not instances though) and help you fight. As you gain reputation with them, they get stronger and get more abilities (like CC). And level 3 gives them special perks, like opening a portal to your garrison no matter where you are, or giving you access to mission table from anywhere, or even REPAIRS! (battle.net post)
  • Fact #30: Normal & Heroic raids scale to 30 in WoD Remember, Normal is the new Flex, and Heroic is the new normal! RaidscalingConverge
  • Fact  # 31: Garrosh Heirlooms They will scale as you level up from 90 to 100, ending at item Level 620. And note, all versions (LFR, Normal, etc) converge at level 620 (thanks to @lumpythegnome for the tip!) garroshheirlooms
  • Fact #32: Dungeons There will be 8 dungeons on launch. 4 are tuned to various levels between 90 and 99. The other 4 are tuned for level 100. To queue for heroic difficulty of dungeons in the group finder, you will need a silver medal from the Proving Grounds.
  • Fact #33: Guild leveling is gone & perks changed Courtesy of @Medros from AllThingsAzeroth Patch 6.0.2 removed the guild levelling system, and all guilds will essentially be the equivalent of a level 25 guild. Regarding perks we have now, some will be going away including the very profitable cash flow, as it was being abused by some people, and others will be built into the game, such as Flight path taxis just inherently moving 25% faster instead of requiring “Ride Like the Wind”; and Honor rewards and item costs can be balanced as if you had “Honorable Mention”. The perks that will remain, and be automatic upon the guild’s creation, are Mount Up, Hasty Hearth, Mobile Banking, The Quick and the Dead, Guild Mail, Mass Resurrection.
  • Fact #34: Apexis crystals ApexisVendorThe popular comparison is that “Apexis Crystals are the new Valor.”  You can buy gear with them, as well as bonus rolls (more on that soon), and a few other misc things. – iLevel 630 gear costs 3,000-5000 crystals (depending on slot) (same iLevel as heroic dungeons) – iLevel 645 costs an additional 9000-11500 plus a turnin of the 630 item (slightly better than LFR Highmaul, which is iLEvel 640) – iLevel 655 costs and additional 14,500 – 20,000 plus a turnin of the 645 item (same iLevel as Normal (old Flex difficulty) Highmaul) How fast do you get them? You can choose between 1 of 2 Garrison daily quests: one gives 800 apexis crystals, another quest (group or pvp) gives 1000 crystals. There are other sources that drop much less (like rare spawns, at about 30 or less). Watch Asmongold’s video on Apexis Crystals.
  • Fact #35: Banks & Crafting When 6.0.2 hits, you will be able to visit your bank and unlock a BankReagentTabSizespecial reagent storage area. This allows you to access your crafting materials from anywhere, so you can craft on the go! – Costs 100 gold to unlock the reagent bank (pic) – There’s a handy button to to deposit all reagents! – It has 98 slots (14×7) (pic)
  • Fact #36: Upper Blackrock Spire When 6.0.2 hits, for a limited time, you will be able to run a redesigned UBRS appropriate for level 90 characters. And it drops level 550 gear.
  • Fact #37: Reforged Gear All gear will be reverted to its pre-reforged state once 6.0.2 hits. That means reforges will be reset. And in case anyone has been completely out of the news, reforging is gone! (video from vittoriya)
  • Fact #38: Flying Mounts There is no flying in WoD. All flying mounts can be used on the ground where flying isn’t allowed.
  • Fact #39: Bonus Rolls The new bonus roll currency is “Seal of Tempered Fate.” You can get 3 a week and they can be obtained 4 different ways. However there’s a catch: each way you obtain it gets more expensive on the 2nd and 3rd ‘purchase’ for that week. For example, you can buy them with gold. 500 gold for the first purchase, 1,000 for the second, and 2,000 for the third. So the optimal way to obtain them is 1 of each currency each week. -Gold -Honor -Apexis Crystals -Garrison resources (although, these are precious early on and you might not want to use them) Thanks to asmongold for his youtube video on this subject.
  • Fact #40: Resurrection charges From the patch notes: “Upon engaging a boss, all combat resurrection spells will have their cooldowns reset and begin with 1 charge. Charges will accumulate at a rate of 1 per (90/RaidSize) minutes.” This will affect those last minute rezzes you might want right before enrage timers. If anyone knows WoD enrage timers, leave a comment. I’ll add them to this fact and give you a shout out! Below is a list of how often you accumulate a rez charge: 10 players: 9 minutes 11 players: 8:11 minutes 12 players: 7:30 minutes 13 players: 6:55 minutes 14 players: 6:26 minutes 15 players: 6 minutes 16 players: 5:38 minutes 17 players: 5:18 minutes 18 players: 5 minutes 19 players: 4:44 minutes 20 players: 4:30 minutes 21 players: 4:17 minutes 22 players: 4:05 minutes 23 players: 3:55 minutes 24 players: 3:45 minutes 25 players: 3:36 minutes
  • Fact #41: Enchants You can only enchant 4 slots for WoD gear: rings, neck, cloak and weapons. Weapon enchant appearances can be changed (cosmetic) – a nice option for those of us who like to transmog and have a cool look :) Old MoP enchants can’t be applied to gear above iLevel 600.
  • Fact #42: Crafted Gear The upgrade-able crafted gear that you can get in WoD has a unique-equip constraint: you can only have 3 of those crafted items on at a time. And this spans across professions. Here’s an example of one of those items (and its upgrades): Truesteel Helm starts at 640 and upgrade to 655 and 665. Note the tooltip that says “Unique-Equipped: Warlords Crafted (3).” We verified this in game, thanks to @TheOneOnDruryLane, a developer on the TradeSkillMaster addon.
  • Fact #43: PERKS! As you level up from 92-98 you get a new thing called, Perks. They modify existing abilities (they aren’t new abilities). They are different for each class specialization, and you get one at level 92, 94, 96, and 98. However, the one you actually get at each level is randomized. For a list of perks, choose the perk tab at the bottom right section of this WoWhead guide.
  • Fact #44: Inventory The default UI will allow you to sort your bags, and will color code items based on quality (epic items have a purple border, for example).
  • Fact #45: Garrisons & crafted gear Several garrison buildings will be able to craft both the rare and epic quality gear that professions can craft (see fact #47). They will not be able to craft the things you need (like Greater Truesteel essense) to upgrade them, however.
  • Fact #46: Cooking Cooking has changed a bit. The number of servings you get from food & feasts increases with your cooking skill.
  • Fact #47: Crafted gear Each profession that can make gear, can make upgrade-able BoE items that are as good at Normal Mode iLevels for both Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry.  Recall WoD normal mode is the same as MoP Flex mode. An example item, the Steelforged Dagger starts at level 630 and can be upgraded to 645 and 655. And epic craftable items like Truesteel Helm start at 640 and upgrade to 655 and 665 by using Truesteel Essence and Greater TrueSteel Essence.
  • Fact #48: Gear enchancements Gems, enchants, food, etc all affect secondary stats only (not primary). With 1 exception: flasks will give you +200 / +250 (normal, greater) to a primary stat.
  • Fact #49: Item levels Highmaul is the first raid, followed by Blackrock Foundry. Item levels on gear from those raids are below. Thanks to @Elvinelol and his twitch stream for this info! Highmaul | Blackrock Foundry LFR – 640 | 650 Normal – 655 | 665 Heroic – 670 | 680 Mythic – 685 | 695
  • Fact #50: Hit & Expertise All Hit & Expertise will be gone with Patch 6.0.2. Hit is replaced with Crit and Expertise is replaced with Haste. For example, Rigid River’s Heart is now +20 Crit (instead of +20 Hit).

Have a lesser-known fact you want to share? Leave it in the comment and if I use it, I’ll give you credit :)

Warlords of Draenor & Mr. Robot

Now that reforging is going away, what will Mr. Robot be up to?! For Warlords of Draenor, we will still optimize your gems and enchants for you, as always, but our main focus will shift to gear suggestions (what items to get) and player skill improvement.

Gear Suggestions:

Mr. Robot already helps you find gear with upgrade lists, bonus roll calculations, raid gear lookups, Best in Bags, and so on. And with the removal of reforging, picking the right gear will be even more important since you can’t change the stats. So we’re dedicated to helping you find the right gear for your characters, when you need it.

  • Leveling up: we’ll be able to find the fastest ways for you to upgrade gear. Which dungeons, quests, vendors or rep grinds will help you the most (new feature!)
  • Bag full of items: You know how it goes when an expansion launches… you end up with a bag full of gear and don’t know which items are best. That’s where our “Best in Bags” feature will really come in handy. This has been one of the most popular features on our site throughout Mists of Pandaria, and we have several planned improvements for it with Warlords of Draenor.
  • iLevels & raid ready: Getting to the minimum raid iLevel is a mini-game in itself! We have a new feature planned for WoD that will tell you the fastest & easiest ways to get to your target iLevel.
  • Raid min-maxing: Our current tools to help you improve raiding gear are here to stay, and we’ll be adding in some new features. We also plan to use combat log data to help you identify the best gear for your character, for each situation.
  • Wish lists: Another new feature for WoD are wish lists. The idea is to notify you in-game when a boss drops an item from your wish list, prompting you to roll, bonus roll, or spend your DKP.

Combat logs & Data Analysis

Mr. Robot is really good at complicated math and programming. As proof of that, he’s managed to write an algorithm that finds you the single best optimization solution, out of quadrillions of relevant combinations. And he does this in less than 1/10th of a second, on average. It’s one of his proudest accomplishments. For Warlords of Draenor, Mr. Robot is applying his math skillz to combat analysis to provide actionable advice, something that’s been missing from the WoW tools community. To make this happen, we’re developing the tool in 3 phases:

  1. Combat log parsing: This is what you’re familiar with from other combat logs sites – we parse through data and display it in some tables and graphs. We raised the bar a bit and cleaned up a lot of the data, categorized buffs, and relabeled abilities for easy identification (like the mastery procs for many classes). This is all currently live and can be tested out on http://beta.askmrrobot.com/combatlog
  2. Combat log analysis: We analyze each fight FOR you – instead of you digging through tables and data for 15 or 30 minutes, we want to summarize the important information for you. This is no easy feat, but we’re good at the hard stuff. We’re currently working on these algorithms behind the scenes (they aren’t live yet).
  3. Statistical analysis: There’s a lot of logs and a lot of data. No one has aggregated all of this rich data and presented the community with useful, actionable info. We have grand plans for this and we’re collecting all of that data from logs you’re uploading right now! As we collect enough, we’ll have some pretty cool stats to share.

To take our combat logs for a spin, head over to http://beta.askmrrobot.com/combatlog. If you’re looking for some quick how-to’s or FAQs, go to this blog post.

Oops! My addon went rogue!

Update: the fix should be live!

Hello everyone. I think my addon has become self-aware and is messing with everyone. When importing your gear to our website, you might see a message that you need to update to v 1.2.10.0.

There is no version 1.2.10.0. Since my human helpers never make mistakes, the only explanation is that the addon is self-aware and made the change itself!!! Obviously.

We’re uploading a fix in the next hour or two. It will make the website tell you that version 1.2.9 is the correct version.

Until then, there’s actually a workaround:

The text you’re importing to our site looks like this:

$1.2.9.0;Kul-tiras;Zoopercat;4;1;90;13:600,15:600,12:600…(continued)

You will want to change the version number to 1.2.10.0 when importing, UNTIL we get the fix live.

$1.2.10.0;Vek’nilash;Searlait;4;1;90;13:600,15:600,12:600

No need to update the addon

There is no need to update the addon. The fix will be on our end, to accept the addon you’re currently using (assuming you have v 1.2.9, which is the most current version on curse).

Combat Log Update: One last set of logs

Alright, we have a couple of fancy features finally finished, like our super fancy combat log uploader. That’s right, super fancy!

Thanks to everyone’s logs from this post. I still have a few outstanding aura’s I’m trying to track down. I need to verify the auras that abilities give you, and these can be tricky to track down and locate. Comments on the item databases can be handy, but I still need to verify every aura ID.

If you have someone in your raid that uses these abilities (which generate auras), you can post the log that has them, or if you feel comfortable navigating them, grab the id’s for me (see example below the list). Note that I’ve exhausted the resources and comments on the item databases, and now it’s the verification game to make sure every ID is correct.

Warrior Auras: DONE!

Druid Auras: DONE!

Mage Auras:

  • T16 2pc for Arcane and Fire
  • T14 4pc
  • T15 2pc

Warlock Auras:

  • T16 2pc

Hunter Auras:

  • Steady Shot
  • Fire! (Master Marksman)
  • Bombardment

Monk Auras:

  • Muscle Memory
  • Vital Mists

Paladin Auras:

  • Seal of Justice
  • Seal of Insight (trying to find out if an aura shows up for this)
  • Glyph of Denounce
  • Glyph of Word of Glory
  • Light’s Beacon
  • Talent: Sacred Shield
  • Glyph of Flash of Light
  • Bastion of Glory

Death Knight Auras:

  • Unholy Frenzy
  • Sudden Doom

Priest Auras:

  • Glyph of Fade
  • Chakra, Holy Word Serenity
  • Talent: Divine Insight for Power Word: Shield
  • Talent: From Darkness comes Light (affects flash of light)
  • Inner Focus

Rogue Auras:

  • Sanguinary Vein
  • Find Weakness
  • Talent: Prey on the Weak
  • Talent: Nightstalker

Shaman Auras: still collecting final summary.

How to see if the Aura IDs are in your log:

  1. Open your log. Hit Ctrl+F to do a search. Type in the name of the aura you think you have.
  2. If you get a match, look to the far left. You’ll see things like “spell cast success,” “aura applied,” “aura removed,” etc. I need the IDs for the “aura applied” line. Sometimes the ID is the same as the spell cast, other times it is NOT.
  3. The ID is the number directly preceding the ability name. In the example shown, 102560.

If you don’t mind, leave a comment with the spell ID (if you are comfortable looking for it), AS WELL AS the combat log itself. That lets me test the final set of auras before we release the alpha.

AuraIDs

Armory API Issues & Workarounds

GrumpyCat

If your character’s gear, stats, or anything else isn’t updating right on our site, don’t fret! The armory API is going through a lot of changes and might not be working quite right. But we have a workaround for you, that uses our in game addon.

How to use our workaround to update your character:

This is meant to update your character when the ‘update from armory’ button returns an error due to battle.net api issues, or your character doesn’t load on our site.

All steps are part of the FREE site. No need to subscribe.

1. Open the Ask Mr. Robot addon in game. To do that, click on the orange robot mini-map icon, or type /amr show in the chat window.  (Don’t have it? Get it from Curse or our website).
2. Go to the “Export” tab in the addon (upper left)
3. Copy the text in the box on that screen. To copy, press CTRL+C, or Cmd+C on a mac.

Export

4. Return to AskMrRobot.com. Click the green “Import(from Addon)” button just above your character name.

Import_Website

5. A window will open up. Paste the text in the white box.
ImportPasteText

6. Click the orange “Import” button at the bottom of that window.

Your character now has updated gear, talents and glyphs.

If you want to get that data into SimC, click the ‘export to SimC’ button found to the right of your gear in the “Now What” section. Note this is only available when looking at optimized gear, best in bags, or best in slot.

Combat Log Preview: Healer & Tank Overview

We’re giving a lot of love to healers and tanks with our new combat log feature. Analyzing combat logs for them is a lot harder, but we’re up for the challenge. We have a lot of pretty cool features in mind.

There will be a LOT more information than what is in these screenshots. Our goal is to show data in ‘easy to understand’ screens without causing information overload. And each screen lets you drill down to get more information, for example, clicking on a spell lets you see all of the information you could ever want about that spell.

HealerOverview

Healers

Healers need a lot of love! Of course we’ll cover the basics, like healing, overhealing and absorbs. But we want to go a lot further than that and help you improve healing on your team. We also want to have a little fun with some new things, like our “Near Death Experience” metric that will show which players almost died but were saved (and by whom).

  • Accurately track absorbs: We’ve written special code that tracks them much better, being able to tell exactly what absorbs were used and when.
  • Mana tracking: this allows us to do all sorts of cool things, like help suggest the right amount of spirit, when to use mana regen abilities (like innervate), and so on.
  • Ability uses vs hit/ticks: this is a big one for HoTs like rejuvenate. We will show how many times you actually cast it (far left column), as well as the number of hits/ticks.
  • Healer stat weights: our ultimate goal is to be able to suggest stat weights for healers based on their combat logs. If you use a lot of HoTs you might be best off favoring one stat, vs favoring another stat if you use a lot of your big, direct heal. We will be able to tailor weights to your play style. All with the click of one button :)

TankOverview

Tanks

A lot of the value for tanks will come in our ‘performance analysis’ tool. We’ll try to analyze how efficiently you’re using your defensive cooldowns. Are you using them enough? Are you using them at the right time in each fight? We want to add ways to identify how in danger you were of dying – did you get lucky and live, or did you live because ‘you’re doing it right’ ? Here’s a few general things we’ll cover at launch:

  • TMI: We can calculate the TMI, which is a ‘damage smoothness’ metric for tanking, developed by Theck.
  • Damage mitigation: we’re giving you a visual way to see how much damage a tank mitigates with blocks and absorbs.
  • Resource tracking: we’ll be able to show you how efficiently you’re using resources
  • Death analysis (for all characters) will be really badass. More on that in another blog post.

As always, tell us what you think!

Mr. Robot & his mega blizzcon giveaway

So Mr. Robot asked me to give bloggers and podcasters a bunch of free AMR accounts to give away at Blizzcon. I gathered up a bunch of people and have a ton of premium accounts for them to hand out.

Until they were all returned to me in the mail. I was 1.6 cents short on each postage. I’m so sad :(

So I’m hoping I can find a volunteer (blogger or not) who can help me. I can fedex the cards to someone’s hotel, who would be willing to hand them out while waiting in line for Blizzcon to open. Or during the wait for the opening ceremony.

This requires someone who is organized and is ok with me handing out their cell phone # (or twitter) to my list of bloggers & podcasters. I can throw in a mystery surprise for you too in the package, as a little extra thank you :)

Leave a comment if you’re interested, and why you would be super amazing awesome at getting these in the hands of about a dozen different people :)

In the news: losing net neutrality would be really, really bad

So here’s what’s been battled in the courts for years: internet providers (comcast, verizon, att), want to implement tiered pricing on internet usage (read a recent article on wired). Both for users at home browsing the web and for companies like ours, or even your favorite blogger who pays for hosting.

First of all, the cable lines are a monopoly, and we already are subject to their pricing, and price increases.

So now there’s a decision the courts have to make. And that decision is to allow these internet providers to charge whatever they want, to whomever they want. There would be no rules to this pricing either, meaning they can discriminate for any reason. Well, there would be one rule: they can’t block any website… but they CAN throttle anyone they want.

So take an example of a liberal news site that often posts anti-corporate articles. There would be nothing stopping the internet providers from throttling traffic to that site so that it takes 10 seconds for the page to load. And that kind of control with a monopolistic internet ownership is very scary.

And then there are issues for small companies and bloggers. It’s expensive for bloggers to host their own sites. And for those who run ads, ads don’t even come close to paying for it. For price comparison, they are making the choice to host a blog instead of buying a next gen console… raise that price and these bloggers won’t be able to afford to keep their blogs up. We actually pay for the hosting costs for several bloggers who’s sites outgrew their budgets, it’s one of the ways we ‘give back’ to the Warcraft community with the money from our premium accounts (so a huge thanks goes out to all of those premium subscribers).

And of course, there are issues for you, the gamer. Comcast wants to cap the bandwidth for users, unless they pay more, of course. And this isn’t new, they’ve been trying to do this for a long time. And that can affect your video gaming, not to mention being penalized for downloading games and expansion packs. It could get very ugly and very expensive for the end user. Here’s an article on how it can affect gamers in particular. And here’s a petition to sign against it.

So you should really, really care about what’s going on with net neutrality. It would damage all of the fansites we love, hurt everyone’s bottom line (excepts the ISPs). Bandwidth caps would discriminate against gamers (among other people). And the monopolistic control with the ability to discriminate for any reason is very, very scary. Here’s a petition you can sign.

 

The Nuts & Bolts of how Guild Subscriptions Work

TLDR:

  • Someone signs up for a guild subscription and hands out a secret code to members.
  • Members sign up with the secret code.
  • Anyone with an existing personal premium account can ‘donate’ the remaining time to the guild to help pay for it. OR ‘pause’ the sub and pick it up later if you leave the guild.
  • Price: $0.83 per person!
  • Here’s an example of a guild using the guild-sub!

Overview

We’ve had a lot of people email us asking for guild subscription options and it sounded like a good idea! Our current personal premium account is $12 a year (of if you pay month-by-month it’s $2/mo). And now that we’re offering a group discount, you can get premium for less than $1 a month per person!

And then we got to thinking… what happens if someone already has a premium account?! Well, let’s give you the option to donate the unused money to the guild to help the guild owner pay for it. OR if you want, you can ‘pause’ your account and start it up again if you leave the guild.

So here’s the details on how everything works. If I didn’t cover your question, leave a comment and I’ll give you an answer :) Buy / Join a guild subscription here.

What is a guild subscription?
It’s essentially a group discount for Ask Mr. Robot premium features. You pay less than $1.00 a month per user… $0.83 cents actually. All of the features are the same as a personal premium account, and you can use them for all of your characters (alts included).

What group sizes do you offer?
We have a few options. The cost per person is the same for each package – we want you to pick the size that is right for you.

  • 12 slots (meant for a 10 man raid team with a deep roster)
  • 30 slots (meant for a 25 man raid team with a deep roster)
  • Packs of +10, so 40, 50, 60, slots and so on. Up to 100.
  • If you need more than 100, contact us.

What if my guild grows or shrinks, can I change the plan?
Yes! You can change the plan at any time from the guild management page. If you increase the guild size you will be charged the prorated difference right away. If you decrease the guild size, you will be credited the prorated difference (the credit goes to the guild account, not to your credit card).

Who pays for the subscription?
One person signs up for the guild subscription, and that person is ultimately responsible for the payments each month. However, guild members can make one-time donations to contribute to the cost. This means that the guild subscription owner’s credit card might be charged for less than the full amount if there have been donations. It is also possible that the credit card is not charged at all in any given month if there have been enough donations.

How do donations work?
The guild members can donate from their guild management page. They can pay with a credit card or through Paypal, and each donation is a one-time payment. They are not recurring payments. The donations are applied to the cost of the guild subscription automatically.

How does billing work?
The first payment is paid in full by the guild owner (minus any unused portions from a personal plan, see below). Then any future bills will use donated funds first and charge your credit card any amount that is not covered by donations. Here’s a few examples using a $10 a month guild subscription plan:

  • If you have $8 in donations, your card will be charged $2 for the current bill.
  • If you have $14 in donations, the current bill will deduct $10 from the donated funds, leaving $4 for the following month. Your credit card would not be charged for the current monthly bill.
  • If you have $50 in donations, your next 5 month’s of bills will deduct from that donation pool and your card will not be charged for those 5 months.

You can always check on how much your next bill will be at the top of your guild management page.

What if I already have a premium account?
If you have a monthly or annual subscription, we apply the remainder of your balance to the guild subscription cost. For example, if you paid for an annual subscription 5 months ago, you’ve used up 5 month’s worth of value, which is $5. That means we apply the remainder ($7) to your guild subscription cost for the first payment. Likewise if you have a monthly plan and you’re half way thru the month, you’ve used up $1 out of the $2 cost. So we would apply $1 to the initial cost of your subscription.

If a user has a premium account and they join your guild account, we let them either suspend their account (which essentially pauses it and lets them pick it back up later), or donate their unused portion to help pay for the guild subscription.

Can I cancel?
Of course, but Mr. Robot will be a sad panda if you do :(  You can cancel the subscription from the guild management page. The short story: everyone still gets what was paid for, even when you cancel. We credit any remaining time to each member of the guild at the time of cancellation, as personal accounts. Here are some examples:

  • Your most recent guild payment was 10 days ago and you have $0 donations left to use. That means you have 21 days remaining that is paid for. The guild subscription immediately ends and each member of the guild gets a personal subscription for 21 days.
  • You have a 12-slot guild subscription that costs $10 a month. Your most recent payment was 10 days ago, so you have 21 days already paid for. You also have $20 left in donations when you cancel the subscription. The guild subscription immediate ends and each membmer of the guild gets a personal subscription for 2 months and 21 days ($20 in donations would have paid for 2 full months).
  • You cancel a guild subscription because you’re quitting WoW but someone else wants to pick it up. Go ahead and cancel, then let the new person make a new guild subscription. Let’s take the 2nd scenario above, where each user got a 2 months + 21 day personal subscription on cancellation. When they sign up for the new guild subscription they can donate their unused personal subscription time to the guild funds. This means all of the money is essentially transferred to the new guild subscription.

Managing the guild subscription:

How do I add users to the guild subscription?
All you need to do is hand out the guild code – you can find this on your guild management page. You have 2 options to manage the user-signup process.

  • Option 1: Automatically allow anyone with the code to take up a guild slot. This is the easiest method and works well when you can share the code in private forums, whispers, etc. This is also a nice option for your guild members, since they will get instant access to all of the premium features. Note, if someone gets access that you (guild owner) didn’t want, you can kick them from the guild slot. More on that later.
  • Option 2: Require guild owner approval (selected by default). This means people can enter the code, but the owner will have to approve each person. This works for larger groups that don’t have a private way of sharing the code. Users will not have premium access until they are approved and will see this “pending approval” message.

Once users have the code, they can go to their guild management page and enter it. They will also need to enter their character name and realm so the guild owner knows who they are. This helps with managing the members, so you know who everyone is. Here’s the screen they will see when signing up.

What happens if someone signs up that you didn’t want on the subscription? Or What happens if someone leaves the guild or quits playing Warcraft?
You can remove anyone from taking up a guild spot. Do this on the guild management page and click the ‘kick’ button next to their character. Note that the user can reapply 1 week later. So if you don’t want them to take up a slot, you might want to change the guild code (more on that later).

How to change the guild code / why would I change the guild code?
To change the guild code, go to the account management page and click the ‘generate new code‘ button. That will make all NEW users who sign up for the guild subscription enter the new code. Anyone applying with the old code will not be accepted. Current users who used the old code and were already a part of the subscription don’t have to do anything, nothing about their status changes. Here’s a few reasons why you might want a new code:

  • You have ‘automatic approval’ selected and someone posted the code in a public forum.
  • You have to remove a user from the guild subscription and don’t want them to reapply and take up a slot again.

For Guild Members:

How do I join a guild subscription?
First, you need to get your guild code from the guild subscription owner. Then go to the guild management page and enter your code. Once the code has been validated, you’ll need to enter your character information. This helps the guild manager identify you. Here’s what the signup screen looks like.

Once you enter the code, you may or may not have immediate access. Here are the 2 ‘approval’ methods that your guild owner can use:

  • Option 1: Automatically allow anyone with the code to take up a guild slot. If this is how the guild owner set it up, you will have immediate access to premium features if there were still slots available. If a spot isn’t available, you’ll get a message letting you know this and you can contact your guild owner directly.
  • Option 2: Require guild owner approval. This means you can enter the code, but the owner will have to approve each person. This works for larger groups that don’t have a private way of sharing the code. You will not have premium access until you are approved and you will see the ‘pending approval‘ message. You’ll want to contact the guild owner directly if it is taking a while.

What if I already have a premium account?
No problem!  If you paid for a monthly or annual subscription, we have you covered and give you 2 options after joining the guild plan:

  1. You can donate the remainder of your balance to help pay for the guild subscription. Let’s say you bought an annual subscription 2 months ago for $12. That means each month is worth $1, so after 2 months you’ve used up $2 worth and have $10 remaining. You can donate that remaining $10 to help pay for the guild subscription.
  2. You can suspend your account, which means we ‘pause’ your use of it so you can pick back up where you left off if you leave the guild. Let’s say you paid for an annual subscription 2 months ago. When you pause it, you have 10 months remaining. Now let’s say you leave the guild 6 months from now. That means you will have 10 more months to enjoy premium after you leave the guild.

In both of the above scenarios, your auto-renewal is turned OFF. We don’t want you accidentally getting charged in either scenario, so if you want to renew, you can do that manually.

Do I only get premium for one character, or does it work for my alts too?
The premium account is tied to your Ask Mr. Robot account. So as long as you are logged in, you get premium features for every character you want to load. So yes, it works for all of your characters.

How do I donate? Why would I donate?
The guild owner is paying for everyone’s subscription cost at a discounted group rate each month. But it can add up, so help him or her out! When you donate it goes directly to their Ask Mr. Robot guild account to help pay for future months. These are always one-time payments (not recurring). So if you make a $5 donation this month, you might want to come back a few months later and make another one. It’s all up to you!

What if I have 2 guilds or raid groups, and both have guild subscriptions?
Wow, very active guild! You can only join one, and for good reason: you only need one in order to get access to all of the premium features.

How do I leave a guild subscription?
Maybe you’re quitting wow, or changing guilds and don’t want to take up a spot anymore. You can leave a guild subscription from the guild management page. If you want to continue to have access to premium features you can sign up for an individual plan for either $12 /year or $2/month.

Any other questions?

Leave a comment and ask!