We’ve already heard this, of course, from closer to home, and we’ve also seen this in the 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.3 release cycle. More frequent updates are par for the course, now.
The top echelon of consumers, those that burn through it with only one goal – the endgame raiding experience1 – can keep up with this.
People that have less time to spend or want a more complete experience of each patch, however, are going to have a hard time keeping up. The so-called "lapsed players" will have a choice between being behind the curve as they play catch-up, or will have to skip entire swathes of material to catch up with their friends / guilds.
Will this virtual firehose have the desired effect of bringing people back, or will it discourage them even further? I don’t know.
What I do know is how it affects me. Having "lapsed" for close to two months, I have the choice between being way behind my guild, or skipping content. At this point, Shieldwall and Isle of Thunder are getting shoved to the back. Flora will hit the latter to get the book for her green fire quest, but that’s about it, until content slows down a bit.
So, is there no way out of this vicious circle for Blizz? Which side of the "more frequent" line shows more subscribers? Do they lose no matter what?
Unlike some, I don’t see the death of WoW or even the grinding to a halt of it – it’s a money machine, plain and simple. Even at a million subscribers, that’s fifteen MILLION dollars of guaranteed income PER MONTH. I doubt OpEx costs come even close to that, so consider that there’s a big profit to be had for quite some time.
But, regardless of their ownership of every byte of data that hits the servers, the analysis tools that we mere mortals do not have, and an allegedly deep understanding of subscribers’ habits, Blizz keeps hitting one off note after another. There are times that it seems that they succeed in spite of themselves.
One can’t help but wonder.
And I suspect as a result that 5.3 will be very unpopular with the top raiding crowd, and thus (since they’re loudest) 5.3 will be largely considered a failure. [↩]
Today, patch 5.3 drops, in which things ramp up towards an ultimate confrontation with the Big Bad in 5.4 or later. This is the first patch day I will have missed since Vanilla, in that I am using a tethered cell phone for network, and my game time is currently zero’d (no point in paying for something I don’t use).
I had barely gotten into 5.2, which my experience thus far leads me to regard it as a vary bad idea1. All signs point to 5.3 being more of the same, with a different location.
Well, I won’t pan it until I’ve tried it, which will be in a week or two, depending on how our move goes this weekend.
Those that wanted more frequent updates, well, they’re getting what they asked for. I feel a little rushed, though – I barely had time to explore the 5.1 story line before 5.2 dropped, and I didn’t have a change of location to blame for that one. I was still getting caught up with 5.0 things!
The question remains: does the increased frequency in patches also carry over to an increased frequency in expansions? I’m thinking not likely … Blizzcon is the most likely time to announce it, and if they wait until then, the next expansion will be out on approximately the same schedule as the past ones have.
I am NOT one with the doomsayers that say that the last two quarters’ numbers indicate that WoW will be dead by 1Q15. First of all, two datapoints is a stupid wrong way to draw a trendline. As an example, if you take the past THREE datapoints, WoW ends 1Q14 – a whole year earlier – instead. Even they aren’t being that bold, possibly on purpose. One should only choose the data that supports one’s foregone conclusions, after all.
The one valid point of the we’re-doomed crowd is this: if the next two quarters don’t look better, or at least level off, Activision will likely try to pull the plug. I realize that the ultimate optimists at Blizz’s core management team claim that Activition would NEVER have that level of control, but I assert that Bobby Kotick’s an assertive enough asshole that he’d make it happen by coup. Never underestimate the power of a determined asshole.
A final question I have – a hypothetical – is how far Pandaria goes? Is 5.4 the end, or will there be one more? 5.4 is rumored to be the one where we settle Garrosh’s hash – and who doesn’t like that – but what we don’t know is if that is the end of the matters as far as Pandaria is concerned. I’m not sure it is.
Well, happy patch day to you. I’m off to replace a heating element in my new place’s water heater.
I am quickly joining the camp of people that think that dailies are a lazy, uncreative way to fill players’ time so that they’ll keep paying, rather than other more satisfying approaches. [↩]
Today, Blizzard released two trailers for our enjoyment. The first, for WoW Patch 5.2.
I wanna make one observation. The voice of the narrator is the same horrid, insulting mock-Chinese that we’ve heard elsewhere.
Yeah, that’s them.
So George Lucas gets all sorts of hate and grief for using these stupid racial stereotypes, but Blizzard gets s free pass? Guys?
Can we move on from this crap?
Maybe this guy can report it for you when it happens.
The other trailer is for Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
So, can someone tell me why Sarah Kerrigan still wears high heels into battle? Can somebody explain to me why her mutated Zerg form also has high heels? Can somebody explain to me why all the guys are wearing tank-grade armor while she’s in form-fitting catsuit armor?
At first I was amused. Well, of course Blizz claims the case has no merit! The suing lawfirm could have pictures of Metzen on the Grassy Knoll with a rifle in his hand, and they’d say that. So, SHOCK, right?
Then you look at the suit itself and things start to pop out.
After reviewing it, I have come to the careful conclusion that Carney Williams Bates Pulliam & Bowman are, collectively and individually, full of shit.
Now, this is notwithstanding Blizz’s own response, which pretty much sums up a fair response on the topic of their response to the data breach earlier this year. I also love this bit:
"…and we will vigorously defend ourselves through the appropriate legal channels."
Heh. In other words, CWBBPB are a bunch of grandstanding losers that are trying to run this case through the press in the hopes of getting some sort of useful publicity.
But in case anyone out there feels like a "victim" and think that CWBBPB make a good point about "forcing" you to use an authenticator, let’s put the record straight.
Blizzard’s login security does not require an authenticator.
It requires two things – an email address, and a password. This is the same thing you get from Twitter, Facebook, Google (who also recommend two-part security, FWIW), MSN, and so forth.
Maintenance of that password is your responsibility.
The same as it is with Twitter, Facebook, Google, MSN, and so forth.
Maintenance of your own security is your responsibility.
The same as it is with Twitter, Facebook, Google, MSN, and so forth.
The need for an authenticator is dependent on your own security, not Blizzard’s
As far as I can tell, we’ve had exactly one breach of the account servers since WoW’s inception, and that was in August of this year1.
No, authenticators are designed to mitigate (not solve) problems with users not following proper security protocols.
Using the same password for all your accounts everywhere. All it takes is some bozo to hack Twitter – and Twitter to not inform you – for that bozo to get your WoW password as well.
Not using antivirus software. Come on. If you’re on Windows, it’s free, even for XP. Microsoft’s "Defender" software is highly recommended, it’s lightweight and fairly unobtrusive, and it’s completely free of charge. There is no excuse. And don’t tell me you have nothing to fear from viruses. Just don’t.
Visiting website of questionable reputation. I’m not talking about porn here, or torrent sites, or zero-days, or anything like that. Well, okay, I am, but only in as much as purveyors of Trojan viruses will use the porn, torrents, and warez to get you to click something and then hit YES when the dialog comes up. This is probably the greatest threat out there, and anti-virus software can only warn you. If you don’t listen, and grant some crusty software from a porn site full access to your system, you’re getting pwned, and now. Say hello to my little friend "keylogger".
Not using multi-user security on a multi-user system. Sure, it’s a family computer. But Microsoft provides many tools for keeping YOUR stuff out Junior’s hands. Oh, sure, he’s an angel. And he’s not downloading "free" software, surely. (insert sarcasm emotes here)
I’m just scratching the surface here.
Point is, the vast, vast, vast majority of account breaches are because you, the user, did not follow protocol, or got some bug somewhere, without knowing it. The authenticator is as much protection against YOU as it is the bad guys.
All this is to say
If this lawsuit has given rise to a nice, warm sense of entitlement, I want you to reach out, put your hands around its neck, and choke it in its sleep. It’s not for real. It’s like one of those pod people in that movie. It will consume you and return nothing back.
Nobody is forcing you to use an authenticator. Nobody. Well, maybe your GM wisely requires an authenticator for access to the guild bank. But that’s the GM being properly cautious since she can’t control where everyone sticks their noses, as it were.
But the authenticator is not intended as a replacement for Blizzard’s security or your own. It’s a safeguard against YOU at your worse. If you have impeccable security practices online, never have virus issues, use strong security all the time, you could probably get away with not having one. I, however, am not that good, and am glad for the extra bit of protection.
Searching Google for this sort of thing generally fills your page with PSN server breach info, unless you restrict the search to this year, because they generally haven’t had problems in that realm and seem to take it pretty seriously. [↩]
The only official response, from Bashiok, is startlingly familiar:
We’ve extensively tested for false positive situations, including replicating system setups for those who have posted claiming they were banned unfairly. We’ve not found any situations that could produce a false positive, have found that the circumstances for which they were banned were clear and accurate, and we are extremely confident in our findings.
Playing the game on Linux, although not officially supported, will not get you banned – cheating will.
I can almost guarantee that they won’t provide any useful feedback to the banned users that could help them nail it down.
So, any EA/Bioshock haters, be sure to wash your hands before helping yourself to a plateful of crow, if you for some reason thought this wouldn’t happen in the fair lands of the Blizzard.
No shoving, plenty for everyone.
I am excluding the infamous Logitech keyboard ban, perhaps unjustly. [↩]
I love the commenters saying there might be "legal issues" in disclosing what the telltales were. What a crock of kodo droppings. [↩]
This week’s big SWWTTOR fiasco is … well, it’s like a menu, so much to choose from and no idea what you’re in the mood for. But the one that I am most interested in is not the server merges or fear, loathing, and angst associated with that (depending on your venue). What concerns me is the now-resolved story of Battle Chicken’s abrupt, unexplained ban from SWTOR (Start HERE. Continue HERE. Conclusion HERE.).
If you haven’t the patience to read that much (and if not, how do you put up with MY blatherings?) then here is a précis:
Battle Chicken (henceforth known as BC) gets banned from STWOR for hacking.
BC professes undying hatred of hacking and complete innocence.
Mail droid responds, "We’re pretty sure you’re a hacker, go away for a week."
She responds "Can you tell me what might be causing this false positive?"
Mail droid responds, "We’re pretty sure you’re a hacker, go away for a week."
She responds "Can I at least talk to a human being in order to resolve this to my satisfaction?"
Mail droid responds, "We’re pretty sure you’re a hacker, go away for a week. By the way, please take this survey to tell us how well we resolved your issue. Hacker.1"
After a few days of this, impassioned blog posts, cries of outrage from the bloggerati, and possibly one or two droid uprisings (squelched, of course), she gets a real response.
BIOWARE HUMAN: "HURR, OUR BAD. SORRREEEE. Please to be making the evil internet demons go away now?"
The contributing factor to this is that known "hacker signatures" are guarded as if they were made from gold. If you tell someone you know they were hacking the system due to such and such a pattern in memory, for example, a hacker could use that information. "I must make my program not look like that", he muses, as he twirls his mustache.2
Thus, customer service, even if it were capable of conveying that level of information accurately (which I have my doubts about, no matter what company), is told not to because it would give the bad guys a leg up in the arms race that is MMO client security.
Thus, "you are a hacker, we won’t tell you how we know, but we’re right and you’re wrong, even if we can’t write a game client that won’t crash on a bog standard NVIDIA chipset motherboard, we’re always right."
Guilty until proven innocent, as she said, but in this case – you don’t even get the chance to prove your innocence. Case closed. Talk to the droid.
Her experience is a wakeup call. It’s also an outlier. For every case that resolves this way, I bet you a dollar and a bag of lutefisk that there are at least ten that ended badly for the customer.
This is not just on BioWare or EA, though. Light knows they’ve been drug through the mud over this, but they are not exceptions in an otherwise excellent customer service experience in the general world of MMOs.
I’m looking at YOU, Blizzard.
If I put to puter every case I am personally aware of, you’d be here all night. For example:
One of our guildies lost ALL of his toons on one account to a botting banhammer. Did he get told why? No, he did not. Did the other two accounts he had on the SAME COMPUTER get banned? No.
Don’t name your pet fox "Fawkes". It will get renamed to "Fox" and you won’t be allowed to change it back, nor told why. And you’ll be asked to take a survey to express your satisfaction with how the ticket was handled 3.
Back in Vanilla, people were getting banned for having specific keyboard drivers because the "Warden" program determined it was a bot.
In fact, I think bringing up "Warden" on the forums would get you banned at one point, no explanation. In Soviet Russia …
Change "Blizzard" or "WoW" out for "BioWare" and I’m sure it would fit right in. Change BC’s issues with BioWare into a WoW case, and, again, it would play out exactly the same.
Bioware’s wakeup call is Blizzard’s, as well, though Blizz has already gotten plenty of them. I’m not sure they’re doing more than hitting the snooze button, though. Time and time again they’ve shown a tone deafness to customer support and common-sense human relations issues. They’ve previously shown a paranoid, no-quarter-given attitude on account bans. I wonder how long before Battle Chicken’s tale finds its own counterpart in WoW?
I guess what I’m saying here is, for once, EA isn’t any more at fault than any other paranoid MMO Customer Service organization. Light knows I wanna hate on them – they stole away several friends of mine, after all – but I prefer my hating to be honest hating.
In closing, I’d just like to say that I’m very happy that Battle Chicken’s ordeal ended on a positive note. A much welcome change from business as usual, yes?
After less than a month of play, the shine has worn off of the new toy and I’m pretty sure I can say that I’m over any infatuation I may have had with the title. I’ll still play from time to time, but the epic journey of Grillex the wizard has turned more into an episodic sitcom at this point.
(hints of spoilers abound)
What went right
The Gameplay is spot on for the successor to the previous two entries in the franchise. Everything feels right. It’s like visiting an old friend and staying up all night talking about good times.
The Skill System – Every time you level, it’s like a present from Santa – whether a new skill, or a new glyph rune. You get a chance to adjust your combat accordingly. This pushes a lot of buttons in the reward center of the brain.
The Story – I’m sure someone’s putting on the hipster glasses and sneering, but I did not see the end of Act III coming1. I like that Blizz took some risks and "went there." And I loved the cinematic at the end of Act I. Tyrael’s entrance was also pretty groovy, but enough clues are around that that was only a minor surprise.
What went wrong
Connectivity – I cannot emphasize this enough; Diablo and Diablo II were offline games. They were the kind of game you could fire up idly at a moment’s notice and go kill some hellspawn just because, well, hellspawn. D3 changes all that by requiring you to login. And authenticate. And show a birth certificate. And … aw, screw it. I got other things to do.
Moar Connectivity – I cannot emphasize this enough; forcing this kind of game into an online mode is an atrocity in gaming terms. I didn’t buy this game for the social aspects or other online aspects. I bought it to go kill hellspawn. Only, if the servers are getting laggy, or my local data center has issues … I keep reappearing twenty feet behind where I thought I was. The online element takes this from a walk with an old friend to a heart-exploding sprint for the door to the closes mall as your old friend pounds on your heels keening "braiiiinnnssss….". It’s wretched. There is no amount of gameplay features to make up for that. This is not an MMO. It’s a real-time shooter. And servers don’t do "real-time".
The Auction House – Again, nobody really asked for this except Blizzard2. Most of us, ten years ago, were content in single player mode and didn’t care for battle.net, networking, or other players, because we were a universe unto ourselves, and we liked it that way. The Auction House forces you into a social mode that is, for me, completely unwelcome. It has no place in the lore of the game, it has no place in the setting of the game (there is no actual auction house in the game itself). It gives those that would rather be doing something OTHER than playing the game the means to gear up without having to actually play the game more than needed to collect gold. Which brings us to
The Real Money Auction House (RMAH) – So if you wanna trade in Blizzard Bongo Bucks3 instead of gold, you an flip a switch and do so. Here’s the way to gear your toons without actually having to play the game AT ALL. It’s a rich being’s game if price is no object. Now, if I cared about other players in this game – which I don’t – I might have some angst towards those fortunate sons and daughters. But since I intend to stay isolate and blissfully ignorant of what passes for online culture in D3, they are more objects of abstract amusement.
I must admit, the less abstract point of amusement is how many so-called auction house "experts" didn’t see the behavior of the RMAH in the first days coming. I mean, really? If you’ve spent as many days on the auction house as I have, you know that these things have irrational patterns right off the bat, that that only behavior over long term matters. To have been crowned (or self-anointed) a goblin prince, and not understand this basic statistical precepts of any AH just reinforces my internal conclusion that these are the same people that can’t figure out why you don’t like it when they send you spam in your inbox.
The Overarching Conclusion
Diablo III is a wonderful continuation of the franchise that has been despoiled by its online requirements and the attendant AH shenanigans.
What amazes me is how wrong they got the online/social aspects … and yet, not amazed. I have yet to see Blizz execute an online launch smoothly. This is the only company that I know of that would call for a weekend of load testing and then completely fail to act on the results.
What further amazes me is that there is a perfect exemplar out there that shows how this sort of thing should be done, that being, of course, Steam.
I didn’t buy Civ V when it first came out because I was worried about the Steam thing. When I found that Steam had an offline mode, I was completely mollified – doubly so when I saw it at work.
It’s that simple; emulate Steam and Blizz can salvage this thing for those of us that don’t care to be online just to slay hellspawn. Otherwise, I’ve got some railroads to build.
I want to love this game so much … but I just can’t.
WoW is safe for now, I think.
And I dearly would like the image of #SexyDiabloWalk at the start of Act IV to fade away! [↩]
You can say those guys auctioning off epic weaps in D2 asked for it, but I guarantee they certainly did not. Blizzard wanted a piece of that action. [↩]
You can’t actually buy anything useful with this cash, such as a steak dinner, but you can buy things from Blizzard. Except for game time. Go figure. [↩]
When I signed up for the yearly pass, part of the reason was to get the free D3. Not so much for me, but for my kid, who is the world’s biggest Diablo fan. Unfortunately, it turns out, you can’t transfer licenses1. So I was left with a working copy of D3 and no real desire to check it out.
But when opening night came, I decided to see if it was worth all the hype, so I installed it and started it up.
I started out with a wizard (my D2 character had been more vanilla). The male wizard looks like a cross between Tom Hiddleston and Skrillex – so of course, I called him Grillex. I’m hoping eventually to make his arcane blasts go wubWubWubWub as they glide across the room, but first things first.
What I will say of this game thus far: the best way I can describe my experience is that of a long walk on the beach with an old friend. There is practically nothing that I don’t like. It’s a time machine taking us back to when we were playing D1 and D2 in almost an identical way.
Sure, there are gameplay elements that have changed, but the fundamentals have not. And that makes all the difference. Blizzard have hit the ball out of the park on this one. The "X" factor that made D1 and D2 such runaway hits is still all there.
The only downside to this game is the mandatory online aspect. You can’t just fire up a session on your laptop to kill an hour or whatnot. There are procedures. You Must log in, you Must authenticate, ergo you Must have a working network connection at all times.
The other downside to this is that any time you lose the network, whatever instance you were in is completely reset. If it’s a special one with special bosses with special loot, it might disappear altogether! This is a harsh price to pay for server instability from a company that has not once managed to launch a game without server instability. Now that they are pals with Valve, maybe they can switch to Steam deployment, and have that "work offline" option. I mean, Valve CAN make it work, after all.
Within the game, the only thing that isn’t my cup of tea so far is the witch doctor. I don’t get this class. It doesn’t belong. Unless you consider the "jungle" area with the pygmies2 in D1/2 to be the source of such – hello, negative stereotypes! Thanks for reaffirming Blizzard’s tone-deafness in matters of diversity. And ooga-booga to you, too.
Over all, though, it’s a glorious incarnation of an already legendary game, and I suspect this one will surpass the previous two in popularity.
Of course, some of the biggest Diablo fans in the world are playing WoW. Or, were, rather. All around the ‘sphere we’re hearing of dead cities, silent chat channels, even the ANAL guys have bailed to go play D3. Nothing has had such an impact before. Aion? Nothing. Rift? A pip. STWOR? Shaken, but not stirred. But D3 … it’s done what none of the "WoW killers" could do. Granted, it’s in the pre-expansion doldrums, but still.
Which confirms what I’ve said all along. Blizzard’s worst enemy is Blizzard themselves.
See you in a few days.
You couldn’t even prepay from Blizz then transfer. For shame! [↩]
Which also make an appearance in Uldum in WoW. [↩]
You may recall recently, a "blue" from "Blizzard" posted that he or she "had hopes" that "we" (warlocks) would be able to "run a quest" to "get green fire". And there was much rejoicing. Still, when someone that officially represents "Blizzard" uses words like "we hope to", it usually means that expectations should be set low.
After all, one must reason, an organization that can’t deliver on an ADVERTISED feature is very unlikely to deliver something that is described with such weasel-wording.
So we’ve obtained some additional insight about what exactly lies behind the use of the word “hope” in regard to our efforts to achieve green fire for warlocks.
"We’ve had our asses handed to us by Management for blurting out something that was totally unfounded, had no commitments, no timelines, no actual design in place, and no resources assigned to it – at all."
It’s fun to see the CM crowd portraying the Blizzard communications array as some sort of quest-like construct that they have to go through hoops to get anything out of, and occasionally getting the exactly wrong thing out.
Essentially, we want this updated information out so that we can better manage expectations, especially as the announcement created such a flurry of excitement.
"Please put the torches and pitchforks away. Also please stop talking about this."
Unfortunately, dear warlocks, those of you who retained a modicum of skepticism were right to, as it would seem that the chance of green fire for warlocks is even less as likely as the wording of the original information indicated.
"How many times does this have to happen until you just don’t believe us anymore?"
Since spell effects are not as simple to change around as — for example — druid forms are, we need some additional technology implemented in order to allow the use of red or green fire to be a player choice and not a permanent change that is put in place for all warlocks.
"Based on conversations overheard in the break room, we figured this was just an artwork change, and thought, ‘how hard could it be?‘ Turns out, there’s actual work to be done."
Also, technology aside, we want to do the introduction of something like green fire in the right way. Implementing it in “a quest” doesn’t really explain our stance here. We want something as substantial as this change to be an epic accomplishment for you.
"Nobody actually talked to the designers before blurting this out. And the designers had something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in mind."
So though we have definitely heard your thoughts on the matter, and we’ve explained what we want to do from our side, green fire will not be available with the launch of Mists of Pandaria. And we haven’t a timeframe to commit to, or communicate about, at this stage.
"Nobody’s even working on this."
It is with regret that we were unable to clarify these details more when we first mentioned our intent — “our hope” — and we wish we hadn’t caused such excitement and raised expectations for those that didn’t instantly take the news with an “I’ll believe it when I see it” pinch of salt.
"Seriously, if you saw how pissed the boss was, you’d understand: we REALLY wish we’d kept it to ourselves."
It seems, as many of us said at the time here and on Twitter and fansites, the proof of the (green fire) pudding really was in the eating.
"We will not be deterred from abusing every metaphor we can get our hands on."
Had this been handled properly on Day One, when the whole "Fel energy is actually green" thing started up (late Vanilla or early BC?), it would have been a simple artwork change and a few minor mea culpas. Instead, a series of flimsy excuses were used until it’s now blown up into a sort of Kabuki theatre dance between the CMs and the designers and the coders. Now, it’s got quests, options, and complications. And that’s before its implementation has even been formally designed.
It was actually easier, turns out, to add a new spell or two (Chaos Bold, Fel Flame) that used green fire than it was to suck it up and take responsibility for a lore inconsistency.
A simple suggestion: being straight about this sort of thing from the start will always work out the best. Blaming lore for one’s mistakes is going to come back and bite you in the ass. Trying to make the Warlock fire color a lore issue has just complicated matters so badly that at this point, three different departments within the WoW live team can’t figure out what the hell to say. Now you have some CMs that have been reprimanded by management for attempting to give someone else something to look forward to. We have the nugget of a design for a programming project to change something that could have been fixed with artwork.
And we have a forum full of confused and angry warlocks. I won’t mince words, here – that’s never pretty.
Not that it’s likely, but before hinting at giving Paladins anything they’ve been asking for, Blizz might consider the lesson of the Fel fire in future.
As you may or may not have noticed, the header image on this blog rotates among a collection of images.1 While most of these are screen shots from my own dalliance in the world of Azeroth, others are not.
It is these others that I wish to discuss.
As you may or may not be aware, Blizzard has an extensive art collection, which it posts on the community website. Some of it comes from Blizzard itself, such as concept art, drawings, and paintings. Others come from other Blizzard publications, such as the Trading Card Game. And a large number of them come from contributions to Blizzard by fans, which, as far as I can tell, are also claimed as copywritten by Blizzard.
Now, the Blizzard artwork seems to be generally seen as available under fair use for fan sites and sundry, which most WoW blogs could be classified as if one wished to classify such things. So I don’t have much in the way of qualms about using an especially striking concept landscape as part of the rotation.
Fan art, however, is actually created by someone other than Blizzard. Regardless of whether they claim copyright or not, I’m not sure fan artists realize that greedy dwarves such as myself will often come a-pillaging, and thus the works may propagate outside of that venue.
So, in the interest of fairness; if you are a fan artist that has contributed to Blizzard’s site and you see your work in my image headers, you have the option to ask me to take it down, or require me to provide a link back to your site in exchange. I will of course comply should an artist not wish his or her works be part of the header image rotation of a fairly obscure WoW blog.