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Last week, while I was talking about our dog, a World of Warcraft blogger named Starcunning received a reply to her open letter to Mike Morhaime, President of Blizzard Entertainment.

In his reply, Mr Morhaime apologized, stressing Blizzard's commitment to diversity and emphasizing that they listen to feedback from the community and take it seriously - something covered in Wow Insider's article on the subject.

Given Rob Pardo's recent and unannounced departure from Blizzard, it is possible that this is not just self-serving corporate bullshit.

On that note, on to the reports, starting with the Team Z report from Tvath:

It was a farm night for Team Z this week, with main tank Jantuk out with kidney stones (ouch!) and shaman Nztorg off watching Ringo Starr perform. Redentor and Swyftlyght graciously subbed in with us, new team member Callestina switched to his tank toon Taklok, and off we went to tackle General Nazgrim. It took us all night to do it, but we did manage to kill him despite the non-standard lineup, and learned some useful strategies so we'll have an easier time kicking him down in the future. Next week's plans depend on Jantuk's condition, but we'll hope to have him back in action quickly! Special recognition to Brumal, who easily stepped up to the main tank role and handled it with aplomb.
Next. we have the Team RubiPam report from Pamena:
Report from Team RubiPam:

I have no startling progress to report for us - Corwynn has been out of town (we hope for the last trip for a while) until today, and Voban is still working up his druid healing spec (quite splendidly, I should add), so we haven't felt like tackling any new heroics. Thanael will be out the next 3 raid nights, so we probably won't attempt any heroics again until the end of July. However, we're still running stuff - we had fun last Thursday with Rubi sitting in with us and a couple of folks helping out, farming the first 7 bosses in SoO. Monday we went a bit slower, but got some farming in on our mains. Starting tonight though, while Thanael is out, we're going to be doing alt runs, to take advantage of the Black Prince buff to drop rates for sigils/secrets/runestones for our alts working on the legendary cloak chain, and to just have some fun trying out different roles. Parsifale, Mainartin and Corwynn's bear tank may take turns at tanking, Xoff can try dps, Voban can heal, etc. - should be fun! Of course we know the only gear that will drop will be spirit plate, but still, will be fun.

I have also been thinking about what we want to do as a team before WOD drops, and for myself, I'll be happy if we can get one or two more heroic bosses down in Siege, but I'm not even that concerned about it. Thanael suggested we might go back and try to get heroic TOT, and open up that extra raid boss which I had totally forgotten about - a brand new fight might be fun to see at this juncture. We may try for some raid achievements in all the tiers, or other fun stuff. I think what's important to me is that we do what's fun, and not stress too much over it. We are closing in on the anniversary of losing Flintpaw to cancer last year, and I learned yesterday of a dear friend's diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease - both these things have made me step back and think about what's really important to me in this game. It's the people I play with, not the bosses I've killed (although I'm really, really, really glad we got Garrosh down for sure). So in the waning days of MOP, with the WOD beta in full swing, it's a good time to just play and enjoy each other's company while trying some fun stuff, along with a few heroic bosses.

Pamena also offers a Warlords of Draenor beta report. While there are no spoilers in the report, I was going to see if I could post it with a collapsible "Spoiler" button so that people could skip it or expand it as they desired. However, for this week at least, that kind of fancy-ass post formatting has failed me, and I'll have to ask you to utilize your arrow keys or scroll wheel if you do not wish to peruse it. Later WoD Beta reports will either be cleverly formatted to avoid spoilers, or will be at the end of the post.

At any rate, Wod Beta report from Pamena:

Beta report:

I thought it would be worth mentioning that a new wave of beta invites went out on the 15th, and I got one, along with Nina and Suluca (and probably others in the guild I'm not aware of). I'm not sure how the wave was targeted - a blue post said something about length and steadiness of play, so my obscenely high "/played" time may have been a factor. I think they want the garrisons feature tested, so they may have targeted folks like Suluca and me who are dedicated farmers and likely to want to try the garrisons out, or it may have been completely random. At any rate, I post no beta spoilers here or elsewhere, but I will say the little I've seen looks really dark and eerie, pretty cool. The best thing for me so far is that my level 90 pre-made toon ( I couldn't get the character copy feature to work) showed up in Stormwind (along with eleventy billion other female draenei mages lol) with many of the rare mounts in my mount tab, ones I wil probably never EVER get in live. So I may spend most of what time I spend in beta flying around Azeroth on Ashes of Al'ar instead of exploring Draenor!

I don't know enough about it to hazard a guess on what the state of the beta (still pretty raw from what most people say) predicts about a release date for the expansion, but they have said 2 or 3 more zones are "on deck" to be opening up soon, perhaps next week. I've also read raid testing may start in a couple of weeks, all of which sounds like real progress. Nonetheless, I think release before Blizzcon is still an optimistic guess, although if I were Blizz, I'd be hideously embarrassed to not have it out before then. We'll see.

Here's the Saturday Night Massacre report from Mageartin:
SNM: We steamrolled through Trial of the Grand Crusader, getting the kobold achieve that we had missed during Trial of the Crusader. This took all of 20 minutes, so I suggested a couple of quick Onyxia achieves and we got those.

This weekend: ICC grab bag, we will see what achieves people need and work on getting them.

And finally, the Team Kaels and Flex-o-rama report from Ninotchka:
Flex-o-rama decided to do something unusual this week and try wing 3 of Siege, since we hadn’t been there in a while. We brought a lot of alts along. It wasn’t so bad until we got to Thok, then it was kind of difficult and we wiped a couple of times. We finally killed him with just the tanks left alive.

Team Kaels will be dropping down to two nights per week, as the summer doldrums combine with end-of-expansion ennui to leech away our will to live. We managed to down our farm content this week, thanks to able assists from Tvath and Pamena. We’re getting to the point where the first few bosses don’t really have that many drops the raid as a whole can use, but each boss has something for someone. Sooner or later we’ll be able to skip those first two, and that will be a day we celebrate.

That's all I have this week. For the Horde!
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