WoW Patch 5.04: World of Warcraft Mist of Pandaria Highlights

Hello Mist of Pandaria! Hello Patch 5.04!

As promised in my previous WoW Patch 5.04 post I will do an update post if my Mist of Pandaria Patch 5.04 was successful.

I am glad to tell you that the World of Warcraft optimization for patch 5.04 was a success in my machine. Running the launcher for the first time will play the World of Warcraft Mist of Pandaria Opening Cinematic, then users will have the traditional EULA agree blah blah blah.

Lots of changes just like the patch update for WoW Cataclysm launch in 2010. I’m glad there is not much architectural remake/major changes for the main cities (Ogrimmar, not sure about Stormwind) like in Cata.

Let me give the highlights (or my favorites), quote official explanation from Blizzard, and give some personal comments (warning:  may be noob comments so please bear with me).

Mounts, Pets and Achievement Galore

Account-wide mounts, pets, and achievements! It’s finally here, and you’ll be able to enjoy just about every mount and pet you own on any character, and any license, under a single Battle.net account. You can also work on a wide variety of Achievements from multiple characters.

I love this change as my other toons can share the other toons (in the same account) achievement and pets. This includes achievement, achievement points, mounts, plethora of pets and even achievement title (e.g Jenkins)

We had difficulty finding the mounts and pets tab, so if you are having the same problem, just look for the horse head icon in the main toolbar (or press Shift-P)

Bye Bye Relics, Ranged and Thrown weapons

The ranged/relic/thrown item slot has been removed. All weapons should now be equipped in the weapon slot, and ranged weapons, including wands, have been adjusted to be more powerful.

Relics are useless. Sad patch day for the Inscription professionals. But they (Inscription profession) can create good weapons (staff), maybe I will try that out soon.

Bye Bye Conquest points

PvP Season 11 ends. As usual, we’ll be determining who is getting end-of-season awards, so stay put and don’t change realm if you think you’re eligible. Conquest points will also automatically convert to Honor points at this time.

Eligible? I wish!!! Got some extra honor points from the conversion and honor caps are gone now (maybe temporarily) so its good.

Unli Daily Quest

The Daily Quest cap is removed. While this will truly shine in Mists of Pandaria with far more robust daily quests, you can certainly take advantage of it before then.

I believe I never used up the (25) limit, I’m a casual player 🙂 but I guess this is a good change for those who like to lots of dailies.

AoE loot Galore

AoE looting! Round up a ton of enemies, nuke ‘em, and then pick up all of their loot with a single right click – bag space permitting.

I have not tried but this is promising for farming (ok for cloth farm, not sure for skinning/etc.)

Wow patch 5.04 Character Abilities Changes

Blizzard did some massive changes on the abilities. Too many to mention, and some are too difficult to understand, better read the full release notes for Wow patch 5.04.

But Blizzard WoW Team also highlighted the changes in each of the character class’ Spellbook and Abilities (press P) ( What has changed Tab) as well as give some quick guide on the key changes (affecting abilities, spells, rotations) (Core Abilities Tab)

Some of top of my mind classes and changes:

Wow patch 5.04 Druid Changes

The Feral specialization has been split into Feral (for Cat-focused druids) and Guardian (for Bear-focused druids) specializations. Each of the four specializations has a more distinct and different set of tools, but all of the spells available to the specialization are now useful. For example, Feral and Guardian druids can cast Healing Touch for a useful amount of healing, and Balance and Restoration druids can make better use of the Cat Form and Bear Form abilities they have

I’m curious to know more about the Guardian specialization. I noted some considerable changes on my feral druid action bar (some missing icon meaning the spell, and abilities are gone). But what is really interesting that Druids have a lot of specialization available Resto, Balance, Feral and Guardian).

Wow patch 5.04 Druid Travel Form Change
It seems that Druid Travel Form have some changes. Previously it was a cheetah but now it looks like a deer or reindeer? (will look for this one in the official patch release notes).

Wow patch 5.04 Priest Changes

Mana pools are fixed for all casters (more on this below). Chakras are now more similar to warrior stances. Changes have been made to Discipline to further support the damage absorption playstyle. Shadow priests now have Shadow Orbs as a resource, which can be generated by some of their basic spells, and spent on either strong damage or crowd control.

The use of shadow orb as resource may be similar to paladin and death knight resource usage, but getting used to this one may be a challenge (at least for me imho). I noted few changes on my shadow priest action bar abilities and spells (missing 1 or 2 only). For Healing, sorry I don’t like healing much so I haven’t check changes with the holy spec.

Noted on my priestess gear: PVP power – new terminology
Official explanation:

Spell Penetration has been replaced by PvP Power, and Resilience is now PvP Resilience

More descriptive now. Makes more sense to me.

Wow patch 5.04 Hunter Changes

There is no longer a minimum range for the class. The ranged weapon slot has been removed from the game; hunters now equip their ranged weapon in the main hand weapon slot. Hunters now benefit from Expertise as their ranged attacks can be dodged. Any type of pet can now choose any specialization (Ferocity, Tenacity, or Cunning).

Huntard Rule No. 1: Equip that bow or gun to main hand slot.

The removal of hunter minimum range will be a great changer for the huntard gameplay. Wow patch 5.04 Hunter Pet changes are kinda powerful and it looks very promising, but I am worried that it will be “nerfed to the ground” come next patch 🙂

That’s all for the Wow patch 5.04 class changes. Maybe I can try and post other classes changes over the weekend.


Some personal notes: Seriously, I think I’m getting too old now because I cannot understand all the changes in one sitting. Maybe I’ll try out with one toon first and focus on it. Then when I’m comfortable with the changes I will move on to the next toon/class combo changes.

Special thanks to Bashiok (and to Blizzard and WoW Dev Team) for coming up with the Wow patch 5.0.4 Survival Guide, it’s my source for the quoted text above.

For more details kindly visit:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/7045643/504_Survival_Guide-8_24_2012

For other World of Warcraft articles, kindly visit my other wow posts.

Pigs Are Awesome, Birds Stink!

Yes! Bad Piggies are awesome! Angry Birds stink!!!

I really love the Bad Piggies! When we won the Rovio PlushiePals contest I inquired I can choose this one

Image Credits: shop.angrybirds.com

but Rovio folks said that the plush toy prize should be one of the angry birds space plushies 🙂

But I still want to support the Bad Piggies in their (world and space domination) campaign, so a good way to show my appreciation for them will be publishing their official Press Release here at menardconnect.com

King Pig Office
Piggy Island

Press Release

Today-Piggy island

We haz Facebook and twitter

Y u no like?

We has new <nose mark here>

Gotta go

Moar later

K thanx bye

About Pigs
Pigs are awesome, Birds stink! OINK OINK! 4 more info check out facebook.com/badpiggies


Image Credits: www.rovio.com

Yup! You heard it right! Bad Piggies are awesome! Angry Birds stink!

Bad Piggies FTW!!!

I’m also following them at twitter and facebook. If you’re a Bad Piggies true fan you should follow them too!

For more details kindly visit them at www.rovio.com 🙂

Want more news about Angry Birds and the Bad Piggies kindly visit my Angry Birds Space Cheats post and my other Angry Birds posts

WoW Patch 5.04: World of Warcraft Mist of Pandaria Content Download Begins

In preparation for Mist of Pandaria Go Live date (September 25, 2012), Blizzard is updating the WoW content to include Mist of Pandaria in today’s weekly server maintenance!

Known as the Patch 5.04 (hashtag #patch504) today’s maintenance will be a full 8 hours as announced by Blizzard Customer Support via Twitter

Image Credit: Twitter.com

When World of Warcraft players will click on the World of Warcraft launcher, they will be prompted about the game update:

Confirming the update, WoW users will see that the World of Warcraft launcher now has the Mist of Pandaria logo instead on the previous Cataclysm.

The launcher explains that it is doing a World of Warcraft install optimization, a process that usually takes some 15-60 minutes. The text in the launcher explains that WoW runs this from time to time to improve game performance and reduce the WoW install files in user HDD. I understand that this means Blizzard will clean up those old huge MPQ files that are not needed by the new patch (good move if you ask my personal opinion).

Important note: The update/optimization process may be memory intensive; in my machine (a low end one) this one took half of my available CPU:


Process Explorer Image showing average of 50% CPU loading for Agent.exe, the Battle.net update agent

Image Credit: sysinternals.com

 So take note of this if ever you are also have other CPU intensive progs and apps in the background.

Because most of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft official resource websites and services are down in synch with the maintenance, Blizzard’s Battle.Net WoW page have the usual “We’ll be back soon! Contact Blizzard Customer Support via Twitter“… maybe 🙂

Aside from MoP content updates, I remember that Patch 5.04 will make all races available to all types of account (paid and free wow account) so this means Free WoW starter accounts can roll/choosee for Goblin and Worgen even if they got the free starter edition only (previous pre-req was Cata).

Another patch change that I remember was this Patch 5.04 will do the conversion of unused Valor and Conquest points… so bye bye bye Valor and Conquest (Not 100% sure of this one, but its ok for me personally as I don’t have much of these points anyway hehehe!)


So stay patient my fellow WoW Fans out there: Don’t panic if you see the Mist of Pandaria logo in the launcher, but don’t get too excited either OK? :-p While waiting I suggest you watch the World of Warcraft Mist of Pandaria Opening Cinematic first or read my other wow posts 🙂

Will try to create another blog post if the MoP content update will be successful in my machine….

Again: Be safe people, in WoW game and outside the game, online and offline!

[email protected] Spam Run and Aftermath

I receive an email from [email protected] (full text below). The email claims that they are looking for internet marketing assistants, VA’s, Web content writers, copywriters and are offering a substantial monthly salary. If this salary is Philippine Peso it’s ok for a start, but if the figures were in USD, it’s a big wow for me.

Before this incident, I have not heard anything about platehead.com, so I did the usual cyber-sleuthing. Saw some comments from other Bloggers inquiring about this email spam run. I asked Spiderham and he said that some of his blogger friends got the same email too and they are branding it as spam. I have my own conspiracy theory but I forgot to write about it until today.

I checked their website again and it seems they have an advisory already. They claim that a hacker/spammer got access to their email and send it out. While I don’t 100% like their message and their delivery, I will give them the benefit of the doubt, because:

  • This is BAD publicity for their site
  • Anybody (or any site) can be a victim of such type of attack
  • I want to focus on the possible implications to the community, more than put blame on affected website.

Some curious observations:

  • The email spam addressed me using my full name and not the name I have available publicly (in Twitter, Linkedin, and Google+). I used this name in two or three pinoy blogger events together with the email address the got the spam.
  • The email spam seems to be focused on Filipino Bloggers, checking posts and those who commented to the platehead.com advisory.

Given these two, I believe some distribution list of Filipino/Pinoy Bloggers got compromised.And our email addresses and names are out in the open…

And not surprisingly I am getting several other spammy mails (and I am investigating it on my free time). But that may be worth of another post in the future.

To platehead.com admin/staffs, thanks for the notice but I offer some unsolicited advice: in your message it will be better to add some assurance that it will not happen again. Also an about page is good so that the blogosphere will know your site and your writers more.

The full text of the email spam

Hello <full name>

We are looking for committed individuals to add to our team as internet marketing assistants/Virtual Assistants/Web content writers/copywriters

Job description:

You will be given a wide array of internet marketing related tasks and projects, especially search engine optimization work.

Tasks would include writing blog posts, publishing articles, web development, creating joint ventures with other websites, etc.

Skills required:

You must be fluent in written and conversant in the English language

You must be proficient with web-mailing, browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, etc.

Experience with building/managing websites and HTML,CSS,PHP, etc. are preferred.

Internet marketing experience preferred, but not required.

College degree preferred, but not required.

“Willingness to learn new skills useful for Internet marketing”

Pay:

13000-14000 per month starting pay.

How to apply:

Please submit atleast 1 article about “Information Security & Techonology” to [email protected]

This job is 3 hours a day and 5 days a week we offer high compensation for qualified employees.

Thanks

How about you? Did you receive this [email protected] Email Spam too?

I will try to update this article with other pinoy bloggers post/s about this issue.

World of Warcraft Mist of Pandaria Opening Cinematic: “Why do we fight?”

Now that the WoW Mist of Pandaria near its Go Live date (September 25, 2012) Blizz is all out fueling the excitement for Pandaria’s release. They recently released the Mist of Pandaria Opening Cinematic video:


Video credits: Youtube.com and Blizzard

Official Blizzard and Youtube video description intro:

You’ve ended Deathwing’s destructive rampage and saved the dragonflights from extinction. Now you must unlock the mysteries of the lost continent and discover the dark secrets of Pandaria’s past. Explore ancient kingdoms hidden since before the Sundering, plunder vast treasures from the depths of the forgotten vaults, and rise to defend Pandaria from the shadow of a long buried evil – before it’s too late.

The opening cinematic video reminds me of WoW Vanilla opening cinematic (as well as TBC opening cinematic too), where an Orc and a Human are fighting one-on-one and the additional new-featured race barges in and joins in the fun!!!

I really find the video cool, funny and cute. I’m smirking when the Orc and Human fighters in the cinematic seems to so clumsy against the Pandaren monk (maybe an encouragement to WoW peeps to roll out for a Pandaren Monk toon hehehe!).

The video ends with a good question from the Pandaren “What is worth fighting for?” and I am very hopeful that behind all these Pandarian excitement going around is a real and genuine depth for this WoW expansion.

For more World of Warcraft related post kindly visit my other WoW Posts.

And another WoW and Battle.net security friendly reminder: Kindly change your password if you have not done it yet recently.

Motorist Touches MMDA Scandal


Saw this video via twitter and youtube this evening. And since its such a long time since I last featured a scandal here at menardconnect.com, why not add some flavor to the blog and add one? 🙂

The scandal video is about an irate motorist doing something bad to an MMDA Traffic enforcer. To the benefit of my non-Filipino readers MMDA is Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the government agency in charge the Philippine Capital (NCR/Manila) governance and urban development. MMDA are famous in the streets of the Metro because they do traffic management and enforce road discipline.

Going back to the MMDA and Motorist video.  I do not approve the conduct of the motorist so I’m making him famous in my blog via this Motorist Touches MMDA Scandal video


Video Credits: Youtube.com, News5Philippines and TV5

Some personal comments: I understand that MMDA enforcers are not that famous in the road, but we have to understand, they are just doing their jobs (Trabaho lang, walang personalan!). Yes motorists can contest violation, maybe if they are high with emotion they can do some verbal toooooooot, but what I find very very wrong here is the physical contact.

Plain and Simple: No touch, No Physical Contact, No Foul. The moment the motorist made physical contact with the traffic enforcer (and mind you the video shows that the contact was a very hard physical contact) thats foul and is worth some legal action.

I will not name the motorist (view the Youtube video and other social media sites to get some juicy information about him. Yup full name, company name, address and even linkedin account, and if the account is not available because it was deleted, kindly remember that Google Cache work wonders), but I’m NOT sorry for you Mr. Motorist aka Mr. Purple Guy, because you got very lucky… Ttt…Three times:

  • First, somebody got a camera and caught you doing the dirty scandalous act against the MMDA enforcer on video
  • Second, those people who caught the video are from respectable media organization
  • Third and last, those media people are connected with the TV5 and T3 TV Show, the notorious Tulfo Brothers show!

View the full T3 segment discussing the Motorist Touches MMDA Scandal snafu (or as they would call it the Motorist Mauls MMDA Enforcer video)

 Video Credits: Youtube.com, News5Philippines and TV5

Read more about this incident at interaksyon.com

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/40433/caught-on-video–motorist-mauls-mmda-enforcer

August 20, 2012: A Holiday in the Philippines

Yes! Another Good News: Malacañang declared August 20, 2012, a Monday, a regular holiday in Philippines!!!

So this means TWO long weekend holidays for the Philippines: August 20 plus August 21, 2012 (Tuesday) is Ninoy Aquino Day and August 27, 2012 (Monday), is National Heroes Day.

Quoting the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines

Proclamation No. 455, s. 2012
MALACAÑAN PALACE
MANILA

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

PROCLAMATION NO. 455

DECLARING MONDAY, 20 AUGUST 2012, AS A REGULAR HOLIDAY THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY IN OBSERVANCE OF EID’L FITR (FEAST OF RAMADHAN)

WHEREAS, Republic Act No 9177 declared Eid’l Fitr (Feast of Ramadhan) as a regular holiday throughout the country;

WHEREAS, Eid’l Fitr is celebrated by the Muslim World for three (3) days after the end of the month of fasting;

WHEREAS, to promote cultural understanding and integration, the entire Filipino nation should have the full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in the observance and celebration of Eid’l Fitr; and

WHEREAS, in order to bring the religious and cultural significance of the Eid’l Fitr to the fore of national consciousness, it is necessary to declare Monday, 20 August 2012, as a regular holiday throughout the country.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare Monday. 20 August 2012, as a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of Eid’l Fitr (Feast of Ramadhan).

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.

Done in the City of Manila, this 13th day of August, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Twelve.

(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III

By the President:
(Sgd.) PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.
Executive Secretary

For more details on the Proclamation No. 455, kindly visit Official Gazette post below:

http://www.gov.ph/2012/08/13/proclamation-no-455-s-2012/

For the full list of 2012 Holidays in the Philippines, kindly visit my List of 2012 Holidays in the Philippines post.

Blizzard Confirms Security Breach

Blizzard confirmed that there was a security breach inside their network. Mike Morhaime, Blizzard CEO confirmed the issue via a message entitled “Important Security Update” posted in their official blizzard.com website.

Image Credit: us.blizzard.com

Full message below (with some minor edits as I want to highlight important key points)

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.

Sincerely,
Mike Morhaime

I commend Blizzard‘s open communication and security mindset regarding this security breach. I blogged about some potential security issue with their password a few months ago (Blizzard’s Battle.Net Password: NOT Case-sensitive) and also noted that they have improved their overall security measures as compared to the previous years, in my recent post (Malware Blog – World of Warcraft Scams: Mist of Pandaria, Free Mounts and Phishing Galore).

I am heeding their call for the Battle.net password change request, and I am encouraging my fellow World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2 and Diablo III Fans, Players, Friends and readers to do the same, as a support to Blizzard‘s security campaign.

Be safe people, in game and outside the game, online and offline!

For more details, kindly visit

http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/securityupdate.html

For more World of Warcraft post kindly visit my other WoW posts and other Blizzard posts.

New Facebook Hoax 2012: Eating Pineapple Causes AIDS Hoax


We got hold of another recycled hoax for Facebook. This time its about a boy eating pineapple and surprise getting AIDS because of the pineapple 🙂

Read more:

FYI
GOOD INFORMATION TO SHARE…

A 10 year old boy had eaten pineapple about 15 days back, and fell sick from the day he had eaten. Later, when he had his Health check done… doctors diagnosed that he had AIDS. His parents couldn’t believe it…

Then the entire family underwent a Checkup… none of them suffered from Aids. So the doctors checked again with the boy if he had eaten out…The boy said “yes”. He had pineapple that evening. Immediately, a group from Mallya hospital went to the pineapple vendor to check.

They found the pineapple seller had a cut on his finger while cutting the pineapple, his blood had spread into the fruit.

When they had his blood checked… the guy was suffering from AIDS… but he himself was NOT aware.
Unfortunately, the boy is suffering from it now.

Please take care while u eat on the road side. And please SHARE this to your family and friends.
By: [name removed]

I remember that this hoax was the same one circulating via email some years ago. But I guess it was not a pineapple, I think it was a hamburger or maybe cheeseburger.

True enough here is some reliable links explaining the hoax

http://www.hoax-slayer.com/aids-burger.html

I advise my readers and friends to kindly STOP sharing these kinds of HOAX. Let’s make Facebook a better place OK 🙂