One of the blogs I frequest most beyond our own WoW Insider is DeathKnight.info. They have a fun little community on their forums, and their front page highlights most of the really cool stuff that happens to come out of it. The bulk of it is, of course, Death Knight news, but it also shows off a lot of the really random things WoW players do.
Magtheridon, once one of the hardest raid encounters in the game (depending on who you talk to), has been 4-manned by an Unholy Death Knight (who you may have read about previously), a Retribution Paladin, a Restoration Druid and a Holy Priest. If you've done the fight before, you might be thinking to yourself, "That's not possible. You need more people than that just to click the cubes!" Apparently that is not the case. They didn't bother with the cubes, they just healed through the damage.
It's ok to admit it: WoW has sucked you in. You pop up WoWInsider in your browser during breaks at work. You replay your shining moment of glory from your Sunday night group's near-wipe over and over in your head as you sit in traffic. You drift off to sleep wishing you'd remembered to look up the proc rate on that new drop. You're hooked - and you're hungry for more knowledge, eager to pounce on all the insider information you sense is dangling somewhere just out of line of sight ...
Welcome to metagaming. Researching your WoW game - your crunchy bits -- can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of playing World of Warcraft. While some players relish tackling new content with no preparations and no spoilers, others enjoy digging up encounter strategies and mapping out intricate leveling, gear and crafting plans. We'll introduce you to some basic resources for "theorycrafting" to start your New Year in WoW off with a (quantifiable) bang!
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.
New Year's Eve! Hooray! Are you doing anything special tonight? I totally am. I'm going to play an alt. Gasp! Shock! No seriously, I have no idea what I'll be doing. Right now though, I'm answering questions! JLocke asked...
I know the next big patch to hit will have Uldar raid in it, but are there any other cool things attached to it that we know of?
I wasn't kidding the last time I wrote about the decline of Warlocks in the game. It's pretty palpable in major cities like Dalaran, walking around and seeing a glut of Death Knights crowding the mailbox and only the occasional Warlock summoning her Dreadsteed to cruise the cobblestone streets. It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy (or sulfuric and crackly, you know) whenever I read an emote from Necrosis. I think it should be a point of pride. The class has fallen off the radar, and the sad part is -- nobody misses us.
How did we get here, though? What happened between the class' popularity or should I say notoriety, from early this year to now? I mean, 3.0 happened, right? Blizzard buffed the class, with all three specs having a unique feel and playstyle. The class has never been more viable... on paper. I mean, Warlock DPS is competitive in PvE and that's the plain truth. It's a different game now. All classes can DPS in Wrath, and if they're played right, they'll do incredibly well. This means that playing a Warlock is now seriously hard work.
Bonkers of Vek'nilash, creator of the very useful Gear Wishlist that we posted about a while back, has sent along a new site he's been working on called Loot Council. Basically, you throw the names of every character in your instance group into the system along with the name of the instance you're running, and you get a quick list of all the loot available from the instance and which character it's best for, according to class, need, and spec. You can use various rankings for the item, but eventually, all you have to do to determine who needs the item is look it up on the list and then see who has the biggest improvement from what they're wearing.
Very useful, though this might not be quite as tough to figure out as getting gear for yourself: in most of my instance runs, it's usually pretty clear who gets/wants what. And if you do happen to be in a PuG where people don't understand why a certain stat is better for one class or spec than another, you're probably not going to get them to open up the webpage and follow what they see there.
But for a quick no-brainer loot solution while instancing with a group of friends (especially in 25mans, where it's often tough to see who really needs an upgrade), it seems helpful and works well. Another great app from Bonkers.
That year flew by really quick, didn't it? Last year, I remember I was working my way through Tempest Keep (Kael'Thas even). 2008 brought in a complete set of additions and changes for the Priest class across all 3 specs.
So, shall we get down to Priest class changes? Ranked in no particular order, we'll go over a few of the changes and the impact they had on the current game.
Yes it's the end of another year, and it's time to celebrate! Just in case you're not out and about partying this evening, Azeroth is enjoying New Year's Eve as well, and the good news is that you can drink all you want with no hangover at all! This evening in the capital cities, there'll be kegs and holiday food to eat, and fireworks will light up the sky every hour (starting around 6pm server time, if this year is the same as years past). Plus, all the guards in Booty Bay are taking their annual night off, so there'll be PvP aplenty down there. And there are two quests in the game, one for each faction.
Enjoy the holiday and stay safe, whether you're in the World of Warcraft or elsewhere tonight. From all of us at WoW Insider to all of you, thanks for making 2008 great, and here's to an even better 2009.
Account security mythbusting - Wed, 31 Dec 2008 13:00:00 EST So, you might have noticed the increased number of warnings and advice from Blizzard regarding account security lately. They've even popped up in the game itself, as a server message when you first log in. Needless to say, this has caused no dearth of consternation in the WoW community (read: people be trippin').
So, why the sudden notices? Has something changed? Has Blizzard lost their footing in the war against hackers and gold farmers? Is Blizzard in cahoots with them? What's this itchy pentagram-shaped rash I've developed?
Now, there's a lot I can't talk about regarding this stuff, and certainly not for any sinister reason. It's a selfish reason, though, that being that I really like not getting sued. I can, however, use my experience and knowledge to bust or confirm some common account security myths. Ready? I'm a trained professional. Don't try this at home!
You may remember when Irdeen was first reported on WoW Moviewatch about five months ago, featured with his opening machinima The Little Gnome. As feel good and uplifting as that piece was, Irdeen's back for this holiday season with Go Turbo Go. I think it is just as endearing as the first.
The story is about the same main character from "The Little Gnome." Notably, Irdeen created the soundtrack, in its entirety, for this piece. That's a pretty nice factiod, since I found the audio to be appropriate and satisfying. Irdeen relates on Myndflame that this was his first effort at creating music, so the results are even that more impressive. Also, the pet skunk seems to be showing up a lot this year, which is interesting from a meta-analysis standpoint. Kind of makes me wonder what next years machinima star is going to be -- so far, it's the skunk this year.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
During my regular readings of the Rogue forums, I often heard complaints regarding our Assassination 51-pointer (Hunger for Blood). The main issue is that people find with it comes from the fact that it takes our required button-pushing amounts from manageable to annoying. I was skeptical at first, as I had not been having much trouble with it in heroics and the odd Vault of Archavon run.
I initially figured Mutilate would be a more interesting rotation than the old Rupture/SnD spam that was TBC Combat Swords. With Mutilate generating way more Combo Points than Sinister Strike, and simply replacing SnD with Envenom in my raiding DPS rotation, I figured it would be business as usual. I trade off using Mutilate less than Sinister Strike by having to keep HfB up. Easy enough, right? Wrong.
Are all undead evil, soulless, plague-creating menaces? Shut up, paladins, we know what you think. Anyway, Tautau of Mal'Ganis looks positively despondent in this picture, taken at the cross of Hallow's End and the Scourge invasion event. Is he upset at the burning of Brill (repeated every fifteen minutes)? Or is it the imminent attack from his less fortunate undead brethren in the necropolis above that's making him sad? Nah. He's just noticed that he's about to be beaten to a pulp by a horde of Tuskarr looking for their bucket.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing email@example.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!
Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
BigRedKitty: Hunter-loot awards for 2008 - Wed, 31 Dec 2008 09:00:00 EST Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.
2008 was the first year of "no Azeroth-raiding". No Molten Core, no Blackwing Lair, just Karazhan and beyond. Then Wrath of the Lich King came and gave us, not necessarily a new universe like Burning Crusade did, but an expanded and enhanced version of that which we all already knew.
And the hunter-loot flowed.
Say it with a very long O. Flooooowed.
By definition, Hunter-loot is just about everything in the game, except maces and plate armor. And sometimes we'll try to ninja that stuff too, just out of ignorance/spite/revenge/insanity. But no matter how you look at it, Zin'rokh the Destroyer of Worlds and Axe of the Gronn Lords aren't in this hunter-loot wheel-house discussion, if you catch what we mean.
Please join us in a rundown of the best pieces of honest-to-Elune hunter-loot of 2008. The loot doesn't need to be epic or powerful to make the list, but it does have to have some Significance.
What defines Significance? For our purpose, we're going to define it as: How much the gear affected our -- i.e, all hunters' -- lives. For example, very few hunters obtained the legendary bow from Sunwell, but that thing affected us all, didn't it.
So let the arguing and scoffing commence; here's the BigRedKitty awards for 2008 Hunter-loot.
Today is the last day of 2008 and, consequently, the last Breakfast Topic of the year. The biggest thing to happen to World of Warcraft players this year is Wrath of the Lich King. Captain Obvious golfclaps. There were also some monumental patches and WWI and BlizzCon were pretty cool, too. But these were Blizzard's accomplishments. For the last day of the year, let's talk about what we, as players, accomplished and also what we didn't do this year, but wish we had... perhaps to prepare our in-game goals for the next year.
My biggest accomplishment in WoW was discovering the class in which I am having the most fun ever since playing the game in open beta: the Mage. I only wish I had discovered how much I love playing her much sooner, so that I could be farther along in the content on what is my new favorite character. Instead, I am 2 years behind, hanging out in the Outland with all the Death Knights.
Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author is completely spaced out on cold medication, and is somewhat concerned that her raid performance has improved under the circumstances.
The time has come (the Allie said) To talk of many things. Of Roots and Bash and Travel Form, And Strength (which scales with Kings). Why Tauren cat form sucks so hard, And whether trees have wings!
And, yes, before anyone asks, I'm tripping on too much cough syrup and ibuprofen after receiving a belated viral Christmas gift from a relative. So I'll just put this out there right now; this column's probably on the weird side. I took a long look at all three Druid specs over 2008 and saw a few sad things, a few happy things, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants, and now I'm channeling the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust," and that has to stop because I do not believe Mary Tyler Moore ever played a Druid.
If you're completely uninterested in reading an account of any spec that's not your own -- although that would make me weep into my little cup of generic label cough syrup -- here's a set of quick links to each:
Lots of guilds were off for the holidays, but we still had a surprising amount of news: lots of drama, plenty of downs to report, and a few more guilds recruiting for a serious run at the new endgame.
Hope your holidays were happy -- here at Guildwatch, we got exactly what we wanted: angry forum threads, tips from all over the realms, and even a few very offensive vent recordings. If you've got news of guild drama, downings, or recruitment, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. And hit the link below to see this week's GW.
Of course, that doesn't mean she didn't do any good at all. Your personal views may differ from hers depending on the topic, but she's generally pretty well regarded for her efforts when it comes to issues regarding children and their protection. Personally, I don't agree with the extreme 'think of the children!' mentality (or Tate's approach to it) that's become increasingly common, but again, my opinion doesn't represent a nation. A few out of line comments don't negate her efforts entirely.
One of our readers wrote in this morning with a followup, and it seems that everyone who had issues is being granted a 15-day playtime credit on their account to make up for it. Half a month across the board is a pretty substantial credit, especially considering many of the people we've heard from were only locked out of their characters for a couple of days. I'm sure we'd all prefer there was never a problem to begin with, but this is a pretty generous compensation if true. I was impressed when they gave everyone a three day credit awhile back.
Emkephalin from Terenas sent us this picture of a wonderful Christmas present created for him by his mother. As the story goes, Emkephalin introduced his mother WoW a few years ago, like so many other players who play with their family. She waited until she'd officially retired before starting the game, which probably was a wise move. In a few short days, she reached the limits of what you can do on a trial account, and immediately went out and picked up her full retail copy.
Flash forward to this Christmas season. Among WoW-playing and scuba diving, it turns out Emk's mother also creates tile mosaics. You can imagine his surprise when Emkephalin removed the wrapping paper from the top of this table to see the wonderful Horde pattern created on the right. Emk was obviously pleased enough to drop us a tip, as well as a picture link to see it for ourselves.
This is a continuation of how WoW has inspired people for the season. I can't wait to see what next year brings, and am probably going to invest my time between now and then to learn how to make something myself. It certainly would be awesome to enjoy coffee over such a distinctive table.
Vikings punter Chris Kluwe plays WoW - Tue, 30 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST Most Minnesota Vikings fans are saying that their punter, Chris Kluwe, is probably the best dropkicker to play for the team, and this profile in the Star Tribune reveals something else about the young (he's 27) football player: he also plays World of Warcraft. Not only is he breaking team records left and right, but he's an avid videogame player, and talks about his time in Azeroth so much that a local morning show has dubbed him "Chris Warcraft." His Wikipedia entry also says he once sent a signed Wrath mousepad to a fan in Canada, too. So while he might not be 80 yet (the Vikings have been busy winning my sorry Bears' division this year, and now they're headed to the playoffs), he has been around and playing lately.
Unfortunately, while there are quite a few notes about his game-playing around the 'net (he's also a big Guitar Hero fan, so Activision-Blizzard will probably appreciate that), we haven't seen his characters mentioned anywhere, so we have no idea what class or race he plays. For some reason, Mage jumps to mind as a complete guess, and so does Horde, but we'll probably have to ask Kluwe himself to find out.
Update: Internet detectives in the comments below say he's a Troll Rogue on Kil'jaeden. And that he's already hit 80 (isn't he supposed to be practicing for the playoffs?).
Update2: Kluwe got in touch with us and confirmed that yes, he's an 80 Rogue (so I'm 50/50 on the random guessing). He also says that he hasn't had too much time to play lately, since he and his wife just had a baby girl. And he says that if you really want to be amused at how he spends his time, check his achievements. Yes, he's a Merrymaker.
This week, Zaboo continues trying to become a man, with the usual creepy results, and Tink shows a new side of herself -- Felicia promised us a while ago that we'd see new relationships sprouting up between the characters, and that's exactly what we're getting. Plus, the stuntman, who seemed like he might fit right in with the gang, might not actually be on exactly the same page.
And this episode also shows off the show's bigger budget in a pretty exciting way (not to mention that the cinematography is looking really good lately). We almost can't keep up with all of The Guild coming out this year. Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?