Tag Archives: blizzard

Let’s talk gold

As a dwarf I have a certain affinity to the shiny metal.  As a guild leader I believe it’s my right, nay, it’s my duty to go skinny dipping in the guild reserves in a manner which is reminiscent of Scrooge McDuck.  Though the guild banker does mutter and curse about having to go in and polish all the coins after I’m done for the day.

Anyway it would appear from the complaining on trade, level 85’s begging for gold and so on that making gold is hard.  That amassing enough for basic survival within the game is highly difficult.

To all those who don’t have gold I say “Stop drinking in Ironforge“, surely everyone knows by now that the innkeepers charge everyone, except dwarves, higher rates for beer.

Anyway.  Ways to make piles of gold.

  1. Levelling
    It really is that simple, a recent experiment with power levelling a warrior, ignoring professions, ignoring gathering, nuking through the levels as fast as possible left me with a level 85 sat on his epic pony at epic speeds and 2k in the bank.If I had done some more work, had him gathering through the levels and clearing Northrend and the whole of Cataclysm the pile of gold would have been much higher.
  2. Sell everything
    BoE items, check the AH, and see what similar items go for.
    BoP items, where you don’t need the reward always select the most expensive
    Pick up and vendor all greys
    Vendor any potions you don’t use, they don’t sell on the AH
    Cloth, if you’re not using it, slap it on the AH
    It’s pretty clear to see the plan here, everything has a value, the coppers add up.
  3. Bags, invest in them
    Invest in at least 16 slot bags as soon as possible, carry the minimum of equipment and other stuff, clear out the junk every time you reach a vendor or mailbox.
  4. Banking Alt
    This is a key, no one wants to break their levelling to play the AH.  So ship everything off to the alt and bulk list at the start or end of the session.
  5. Dungeons
    At cap these are worth a decent amount of cash, particularly for tanks and healers who don’t have the queue times.
  6. Professions
    There are guides a-plenty out there on making gold from your professions, however remember that for certain gold making schemes various professions link very nicely together (mining / blacksmithing / enchanting for example).  Experiment, look at what’s needed on the AH and how that can be provided.  Spreadsheets are your friend.
  7. You don’t need to be a millionaire
    For most players having 20k or so is actually more than enough.  Raiders can burn through more and feed back into the economy by spending large wedges of cash on gear at the start of each patch grabbing BoE items.  Work out how much gold you need, put in that much effort and be happy.  Gold envy isn’t important, having enough so there’s no repair stress is.

Blizzard itself finally responds


Dear members of the Blizzard community,

I have read your feedback and comments about this year’s BlizzCon, and I have also read the feedback to the apology from Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain. I’d like to respond to some of your feedback here.

As president of Blizzard, I take full responsibility for everything that occurs at BlizzCon.

It was shortsighted and insensitive to use the video at all, even in censored form. The language used in the original version, including the slurs and use of sexual orientation as an insult, is not acceptable, period. We realize now that having even an edited version at the show was counter to the standards we try to maintain in our forums and in our games. Doing so was an error in judgment, and we regret it.

The bottom line is we deeply apologize for our mistakes and for hurting or offending anyone. We want you to have fun at our events, and we want everyone to feel welcome. We’re proud to be part of a huge and diverse community, and I am proud that so many aspects of the community are represented within Blizzard itself.

As a leader of Blizzard, and a member of the band, I truly hope you will accept my humblest apology.

– Mike Morhaime
President, Blizzard Entertainment

Firstly thanks to Mike for getting the apology out, while there will be some people who still want more I think this is a good response.  It’s a clear apology and it makes no bones about where the buck stops.

On the US forum there are still those wondering what it was about, complaining about people being oversensitive etc etc, however I strongly suspect those are the same muppets we see spamming [Anal] in trade.  I doubt whether any of them will change their attitudes or behaviour for a few more years, maybe when they’re old enough to vote, drive, drink, have kids, be responsible etc etc their views will settle down and spend less time proving themselves through abusing others.

Could they have handled this better, hell yes.  The blues could have not knee-jerked so much in their rush to dismiss it all as a bit of fun, nothing to worry about, L90ETC could have written an apology which did just that without trying to explain themselves.

Blizzard could have crushed this issue within 24 hours by doing what Mike did overnight.

So here’s to a new dawn and the hope that lessons have been learnt, understood and will be remembered next time.

As Ratshag says we have other things to discuss, such as Pandas.  Epic leveling experience or a good source of meat and leather for adventurers?

Message from Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain


Hey guys, we read and heard all the feedback from BlizzCon this year. The Corpsegrinder bit was never intended to be taken seriously. We are sorry that we offended anyone; everything at our shows is just meant in fun. Thank you all for speaking up. We’ll definitely keep this in mind for future shows.

Our humblest apologies,

Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain

I’m entirely happy with that response from L90ETC, in fact it’s better phrasing than we get from most companies and politicians who normally weasel with “We’re sorry you took offence”

Now.  Blizz.

They’re still dodging

Thank you everyone for your feedback regarding the closing night performance at BlizzCon. While we had some other messaging worked up we were going to post, the members of band wanted to instead address it themselves: – Bashiok

Blizz, admit you also have some culpability in this and accept you need to look to yourselves in how you setup the shows, agree with the performers on what’s go and what’s no-go.

Stop dodging.


Something I wasn’t aware of until I read Ratshag today


The closing ceremony had a performance by Blizzard’s own in house band, The Artist Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftains (TAFKL80ETC), who changed their name mid concert to Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftains (L90ETC). Foo Fighters performed afterward.

Which puts another spin on the whole thing, L90ETC are not some band Blizz can distance themselves from, nor can they claim that “they didn’t know”, because they are Blizzard in all the senses which matter.  In much the same way if I as a blogger put a trash piece against one of my employers competitors out on the company home page.

So Blizz, I say yet again, pull your heads out of your collective arses and accept you screwed up, and accept that as Blizzard not by shuffling it off trying to wash your hands of the affair as some in house company prank which went wrong.


So,Blizz. You certifiable, crack-brained, dumbkopfs…

Let’s open up with the uncensored version of the rant which was shown to all the attendees and virtual ticket viewers at this year’s Blizzcon, the bile begins to spew at around one minute in:


Now some commentary from a couple of other sites:

Piercing Shots & Huggywuggles

Now the Terms of Use Blizzard require us to abide by:

Section B
Rules Related to “Chat” and Interaction With Other Users. Communicating in-game with other Users and Blizzard representatives, whether by text, voice or any other method, is an integral part of the Game and the Service and is referred to here as “Chat.” When engaging in Chat, you may not:
(i) Transmit or post any content or language which, in the sole and absolute discretion of Blizzard, is deemed to be offensive, including without limitation content or language that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, hateful, sexually explicit, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable, nor may you use a misspelling or an alternative spelling to circumvent the content and language restrictions listed above;

(vi) Harass, threaten, stalk, embarrass or cause distress, unwanted attention or discomfort to any user of the Game;

Some blue responses to complaints regarding the broadcasting of the video:


Now apparently no one at Blizzard has seen the uncensored version before, all they’ve seen is the bleeped version used at Blizzcon.  To be honest I call bullshit.  Can anyone seriously believe the lawyers weren’t all over that? Well, thinking further about it, I actually can because they and the PR people should have looked at it prior to the broadcast and shouted loudly “this is a disaster waiting to explode in our faces”.  Given how much the mainstream media like to paint gaming companies in a bad light I’m surpised they’re not all over this (though given that it’s about some semi-celebrity using abusive, homophobic language and not cute girls wearing very little getting hit on by “nerds and geeks”, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised).

This isn’t about the inter-faction rivalry, though there is a whole other post there and how much responsibility Blizz has for behaviour outside the game (verbal attacks, physical abuse, spitting and the like).  Some morons will be morons and take things far too far, always.

Whether it’s Horde / Alliance; Rangers / Celtic; England / France; Ale drinkers / Lager drinkers.

Slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging, fuckwits will ever be the same.

However, large companies do have to weigh their actions because of the sheer numbers they broadcast to.  With Blizzcon 2011, it has been estimated at 26,000 attendees[1]. What we have is a company which, in it’s ToU, demands a certain level of behaviour from its customers, which is fair enough.  Then it goes and smashes their own Terms to pieces and implicitly endorses the levels of mindless thuggery and abusive crap seen day in, day out in the /trade and /general in-game chat channels.

So, Blizz, that was a first class move on your part. Do you have an encore?

It does reinforce the view that you are run by sub-25 year old males who’ve not yet got a relationship with anything that doesn’t have staples and are still fapping off to images of Jaina without her clothes on. The type that have to stress how masculine they are by putting [Anal] in trade and hitting on anything which appears to have boobs in the game.

I know you’re not a stupid company, stupid companies do not keep businesses of the scale of Blizzard running successfully for so many years.  However big companies can have their reputation trashed and, given the way – as I mentioned above – that the media likes to blame the evils of the world on computer games, I would have thought more business sense would have kicked in.

So…  Stop hiding, stop claiming “it’s a joke”, stop telling yourselves and others “it’s not serious” and start acting like you belong in the business world and not staring at dirty mags behind the bike sheds.

Edit: Online petition

Chaos Orbs

Finally we will be able to trade them as of patch 4.3, some good news.

Naturally a certain class of player has started to complain that anyone will be able to get hold of them and this will affect their profits.  Seriously guys get over the fact that you’ve had a monopoly on supply for approximately one year and been able to charge what you like.  With an artificial depression in supply thanks to those who have a pile in their bank they can’t use effectively.  Personally across the alts I’m sat on 40 of the damn things.

So yes, the price of orbs is going to tank relative to the /trade price.  This is nothing unexpected, you’ve made your gold from the closed market suck it up and deal with having to find a different source of income.  It’s not as if making gold in wow is hard these days.

I only have one request to Blizz, make them greed or need only, allowing need and greed will take us back two years to the hell of last bosses in wrath.

Authenticator change, let’s follow the money

Been pondering and I think I’ve come up with a reason for this apparently stupid change which has no visible driving reason, no screaming customers, no mega threads on the official forums (or indeed on blogs) about how terrible it is to keep entering the authenticator numbers.

Nothing which really explains why they’ve made the change.

So, let’s fall back to the standard in any business or political field and follow the money.

Authenticators, how they work

Authenticators are a third party product which are made and branded for Blizz by Vasco, functionally they’re pretty much the same as the RSA secureID system which many people will have encountered in a work environment or indeed to the systems which many banks are rolling out to their customers for online access security.

At the backend these systems tend to be the operators own authentication system, coupled with an API provided by the security vendor and hardware authentication boxes (HSM in my field, hardware security module) which do the heavy lifting of actually performing the security check on the supplied number.  Each of these machines as a finite capacity in terms of queries per second, usually some reasonably aggressive support contract response times (let’s face it having your auth system down is a bad thing) and often a license fee based on the number of queries over a set period (for example 90% of the peak value measured over the month).

All of which means $$$ to Blizzard, and the bad sort.  It’s money heading out to Vasco.

We have a trail.. let’s follow

The problem Blizzard face is controlling the costs incurred by the security system, something which is funded mostly out of reduced support costs (less compromises and clean up).  However that’s rather intangible and doesn’t keep the accountants happy.  From an opex point of view the authenticators are an overhead and one which is increasing with time, from a risk perspective there is a chance to reduce the load on the HSMs without significantly increasing the changes of a compromise.

If we look at the entire bnet customer base and extract information on accounts which have been compromised, then pull out the numbers for those compromised with authenticators and then further filter factoring in ‘location’ information based on IP.  Then I suggest that accounts which have an authenticator, log in from a ‘regular’ IP and have been compromised from that IP is a tiny fraction of the total.

Therefore altering the authentication mechanism such that it only checks for an authenticator value once ever “n weeks” or “z logins” when the auth is coming from a ‘regular’ location (defined as “the account has logged in from this location successfully using the authenticator Y times in the last P weeks”).  With some reset mechanics thrown in to drop back to full security checking when there has been suspicious attempts.  Then from the corporate point of view this is a good trade off.  It lowers the load on the HSMs, it cuts back the licensing / support costs without greatly increasing the support costs in dealing with a higher load of compromises.

Additionally we have Diablo 3 on the horizon which means fresh players, fresh authenticators and additional load on the system.  I have no doubt that the current bug which causes players to be kicked out when changing toons forcing a fresh login has also had some impact on their usage stats which might have triggered them making this live ahead of schedule.

Customer expectations

This is the big fail from Blizz, they’ve been banging the account security drum for ages, with good reason.  It’s bad PR for customer accounts to be hacked regularly, encourages criminal activity and generally annoys the paying customer.  Annoy them enough and they’ll go and get their MMO crack from somewhere else.

The biggest fail was rolling it out, letting the “good location” database populate and then stop asking for authenticators.  Which as any geek with an ounce of security sense would have told them will have normal players panicing.  The system changed, it changed in a way which the players have been told means an account compromise.

Stupid, massively predictable and stupid

If Blizzard needs to fix one thing it’s their internal processes and communication.

So… why bother?


In 4.0.6 an unannounced change landed which removed “Exalted” from anyone who had the original achievement, requiring that a total of 50 reps are now needed.

So, why bother grinding all those reputations to re-aquire a title which had been awarded before?

To be honest I cannot see a reason, in the history of stupid decisions by Blizzard this one appears to be setting a new standard.

Does age affect your gameplay?

Just in from the Melting Pot, does your age affect your ability to play the game?

My opinion, no.

I’m guessing a little expansion on my response might be called for, firstly a datapoint or three.  I know within the social guild I am not the oldest, I’m pretty sure I know who is but there’s no way I’m saying.  Both of us are definitely on the right hand side of the WoW age demographic, while I can claim my age is 21 that’s only been possible through some cheating by using a different base.  Within the raiding guild I’m pretty sure I’m the oldest, probably by 3-4 years.

My position?  Main tank, ie someone who’s job it is not to stand in the bad, react to things going wrong, grab the nasties going to munch on the clothies and so on.

Peashooter picks up on a very specific case where he things age is the issue, dodging the bad.

I disagree, the largest problem I see with players not getting out of the bad is because they are hyper-focused on something else, be it grid (there was a term within a previous guild for a problem some healers suffered from “gridlock”), keeping an eye on coolddowns / GCD or trying to get that last cast off before moving.  All of which are either issues with playstyle, everyone the meters aren’t everything

The other is situational awareness.

Many players do not seem to have the ability to track multiple things at the same time, or keep an eye out for something new to enter the event.  I’m permanently looking for the “something bad is coming after me” and being ready to pick it up / get out of it / kill it / run away.

Of course this might have something to do with how I am in real life, one of the most regular comments is that I can’t be crept up on.  No secret to it.  Position your chair to ensure that the only route to the desk is within my perphiral vision and don’t hyper focus on the screen.

Age can have an affect, as the human body ages reaction times can slow down, but it doesn’t have to affect game play, there are many other factors which have at least as large, if not a larger effect on playing computer games.


Love is in the bug report

This week the bundle of joy which is 4.0.6 lands on the servers, weighing in at 12,643 words (and that’s just the patch notes) it’s not a minor update.  There are many changes, every class has something to adjust to, heroics are getting nerfed, buffed and tweaked all over the place and so on.  I won’t go into the details of the patch there are more than enough articles out there already drilling into the numbers and what’s right, what’s wrong and what is a completely (un)acceptable nerf to our favourite / most hated class.

Combine this with not one but two buggy holiday events, it’s a bit of a giggle being told to have a chat to someone in the Park district in Stormwind, or as the locals have re-named it “The Crater”, but that the LFD foul up, the goblin vendor not working and the rest of the list of bugs (such as having to hand in a bracelet to dead or missing faction leaders) the overall picture is pretty sorry.

From a fault perspective Cataclysm is what it says on the tin, a complete worldwide disaster.

The problems

Prior to launch many many bugs were reported on the beta forums and via the in-game tool (when it wasn’t buggy itself).  I know my aim within the beta was to explore and level as much as I could and report the problems I found in as much technical detail as possible.

I found many of the problems in the live version of the game.

The first month of the new expansion was a story of hotfixes, many many hotfixes.

4.0.6, it’s a monster, some of the changes I’m not surprised about, tweaking instance difficulty and raids, but the sheer amount of changes on the classes is disturbing, remember the bulk of these changes have were in beta for 4 four months or so, in alpha for longer.  That they got the modelling so wrong hints at some major problems with their internal design and tooling.

How on earth did this happen?

Partly it’s just nature taking it’s course, with any large system which has so many internal and external variables it’s inevitable that the final beta happens when it’s released to the whole user base and statistical analysis of what’s happening becomes more accurate.  Just because the amount of data being collected gets larger.

They also took on a task which looked seriously sexy on paper, nothing less than completely remaking the game from the point of rolling the character to the final boss.  We know from the blues which have come out since launch that part of the original aspiration with this expansion was to revisit every questline in the game, including TBC and Wrath to reflect the world wrenching changes.  From an immersion point of view the game is broken, we now roll a toon who sees the world shattered by the arrivial of Deathwing, spends the next 58-60 levels fighting his minions and the opposing faction before being told “Get thee through the portal!”, and we don’t hear about the big dragon dude again until riding the ship back from Northrend and seeing the damage again where we are told “there’s been a cataclysm”.

Yes.  We know.  We did help out with the Twilight muppets wrecking the place, or have you been smoking stuff from the gnomes again while hitting the dwarven ale?

Oh and can someone explain why I’m being told to deal with Arthas when there’s a statue celebrating his defeat?

Where was I?

It’s simple enough they ran out of time.

Aspirations (known)

  • Rebuild Vanilla for flying, redo all questlines, work in DW
  • Rebuild TBC to fit with the timeline
  • Rebuild Wrath to fit with the timeline
  • Dance Studio (No I was never going to use it, but it serves to illustrate the point)
  • Improved models for the original races
  • New zones, dungeons etc etc
  • New water engine
  • Completely re-work stats
  • Fix up all gear to match the changes
  • Path of the Titans
  • Archeology


  • Rebuild Vanilla for flying, redo all questlines, work in DW
  • New zones, dungeons etc etc
  • New water engine
  • Completely re-work stats
  • Fix up all gear to match the changes
  • Archeology

Let’s be honest, what they managed to do was pretty solid, a massive amount of work.  However they reached too far and fell off the metaphorical ladder.

On launch Cataclysm was known to be buggy, this is not unusual but there are degrees to which this effect is seen in release code, which points at some internal structural issues.

Throw more programmers at it!

Nice idea, where from?  I know from experience that the people I want maintaining or supporting the software which is behind my day job all already work here, or they’ve left for pastures new.

“Hire more!” – Great in theory, however in practice this can only be a long term solution for the problem, typically it takes 2-3 months to get through internal red tape when hiring in any large company, get the advert out, review the CVs which come flying in, discard the obvious junk, interview and finally hire.  Then there is a 1-3 month delay before the new hire starts while they give notice and get out of the current gig.

That’s the quick bit.

The real problem behind “just hire” is that in any programming or support effort there is an absolute minimum 6 month period before the new hire has sufficient experience, training and exposure to the product to be nominally independant and realistially 12-18  months before you have a team member which can be pointed at a problem and told “sort it”.

Assuming there hasn’t been a foul up in the interview process and what you have is someone who really doesn’t fit / can’t do the job etc etc.  In which case go back to “Start” and try again.

So, why are the holidays so broken?

This is down to planning, the changes for the Winter & New year events were done during the Cataclysm development, simply because there would be zero time between launch and the events landing for anything to be done.

All other holidays could be put off.

In the lead up to Cata going gold the entire team would have been working on it, and in the ideal world planners work in as the product goes gold the team is split into those working on the outstanding issue, those working through the bug backlog and then the balance taken off the project completely to work on the other issues which need development (the next tier of raiding, new dungeons, planned features and.. the changes needed to the forthcoming holidays).

What I suspect happened is that the outstanding list of issues which needed fixing was just far far too large, too critical and the re-deployment of resource did not happen as planned and the holidays slipped massively and possibly slipped through the net and were forgotten.

The future

Regardless of the reason, whether my speculation is spot on or completely off, the problem is very real.  Blizzard are losing their reputation for releasing solid software, I do believe this is being driven by commercial pressures from Activision.  Whether this is due to Activision trying to milk Blizzard for maximum profit or bringing some much needed business control internally.  That’s open for debate.

However what they must do from now on is release a game which is not littered with bugs, it breaks the enjoyment and gives the impression that we’re just there to play the game, hand over our hard earned pennies but please shut the hell up about the bugs.

Patching fiasco

So, we are now in the happy happy place known as WoW 4.0.1, a land of new talent trees, glyph changes, earthquakes and the certain knowledge that a certain Dragon will be punching his way out to cause a fair bit of chaos across the whole of Azeroth.

On the major downside I spent last night patching and my system has decided tonight that it’s missing chunks from the middle of the final bit of the patch so I can’t play until those are grabbed.

I therefore have time to spend here bashing away trying to make sense of the latest round of daft bugs to hit the 12 million players which should and could have been avoided and what I think some of those bugs say about Blizzard and it’s attitude to us the playing and paying customer.

The usual suspects

Tooltips, odd graphics problems, some spells not quite firing as they should.  These I have a hard time understanding how they get through QA and testing, they’re simple to check, ok there are some issues around the nature of the interface making automating this sort of check difficult.  However this is something which should not be beyond the wit of a company with the resources of Blizzard to find a solution to.  Personally I would find these slipping through every single damm patch embarassing.

Warlock Pets

I can easily see how this one got through, on the PTR warlocks are expecting to have odd names for their pets, because they’re not the same characters.  So there is no way for the PTR players to spot it.  Similarly on the internal test systems the testers will be loading up test alts without any “history” behind them, random pet names are the order of business.  Nothing to see.  However where they really dropped the ball is in the handling of the issue.  On the US forums the message from the blues was very clear “this looks like a bug, we’re looking into it”.  WoW Insider is currently reporting that Bornakk has stated that it’ll be fixed in the next maintenance period.  The experience on the EU forums has been very different, starting with “working as intended”, “no we’re not going to fix”, “we’re going to fix for players who’ve not logged onto their warlock yet”.  I’m not sure if there is an official response yet which admits this is a bug and will be fixed.

As a customer facing response the EU handling was “poor” at the very best, it’s diabolical and sounds more like an internal rumour mill than a formal response from a central point which has some authority behind it.  The impression it gives to the players, is that Blizzard really couldn’t give a flying f*ck about the players and the attachment they have to their toons.  Remember even the most casual player with a level 80 has sat driving that toon for a period of time which is measured at the very least in days if not weeks, months or years.  The most hardcore of player from the launch will have daft amounts of time under their belt.  These people (and I admit to being at least part of the way there) have a serious attachment to their toons.  Ripping away what they consider a fundamental part of their game for no reason other than “we made a bug, lol, deal with it luser!” really doesn’t make for good customer relations or business.  Particularly when you’re hoping they will be shelling out anything from £25-£60 on the expansion in only a few weeks.

Is this seriously the best time to take away some of their emotional attachment to the game?


Ok, I understand what they’re trying to do here, they’re levelling the playing field, taking away some of the elitist shit the tanks can deal by claiming that they’re a special breed and always have higher repair bills.  However the way in which they’ve implemented it is terrible and again the communication sucks harder than an electrolux.

Item Durability Standardization

There has been some confusion over a change implemented with 4.0.1. In this patch, items that were not previously at 100/100 durability were all set to that maximum. In many cases this meant that if the item previously had, for example, a 60/60 durability it would now be at 60/100.

You did not actually lose durability in these cases, you gained it. In order to reach the new limit of 100/100 you will need to repair your gear but you should not have otherwise lost durability.

The Game Master department will be unable to provide repair cost or other compensation for this change.

Source (post 7)

So, this is simple enough the absolute value of your durability has not changed, if you had a durability of 59/60 before the patch you still have 59 now, however it’s now 59 of a larger durability pool.  So the relative position is a reduction in durability.  It also exposes some perception and other issues which I think Blizzard completely missed.  How many people here actually look at the Blizzard durability numbers on their gear, and how many of us look at the “how much is this costing me” or “$addon is reporting durability of xyz%”.  We, the players don’t actually look at the raw durability, we focus on “how much gold am I going to be handing over”, “I know that a wipe in ICC costs me 10%, I’ve got another 3 wipes before I really should repair”.

From the point of view of the player, aka the customer, what we’re seeing is “you’re hitting us with a repair bill when we’ve done nothing, gee thanks

Again the attitude of the blues leaves much to be desired, while the quoted blue above is entirely correct on a technical level.  It does nothing to address the legitimate concerns of the players or understand where they’re coming from.  It could also have been worked around very easily.  “We are increasing maximum durability on this item by 40, we shall increase the current durability by the same value”.  Done, no additional costs for any player, far far less complaints.  Alternatively reset all durability so that after the patch no one needs to repair.  Cost to Blizzard, nil, goodwill generated, truckloads.

A message to Blizzard

Something every company knows is that recurring subscriptions are a cash cow, keep the punters happy, be nice to them, be firm where needed but be clear, honest and respectful to them and they’ll keep handing over wads of the folding stuff.  Keep screwing them over and bullshitting, you’ll find players unsubbing and never coming back.  Not a good business model.