We got an interesting email tip from Matthew Madinger that the quest The Air Stands Still is bugged in a really odd and unique way. Namely, it kills Shadow Priests who do it. Intrigued, I checked the WoWhead link and sure enough, several other shadow priests have reported the same bug. Without going into too much detail, our face melting priest friends are reporting that the death knight mobss who are supposed to help with the quest are instead coming over and killing them. In one case this means you get the honor of being killed by a very important Death Knight, if that's any consolation.
If you're a shadow priest, please be careful when taking this quest, and if you could report back on whether or not it bugged for you we'd appreciate it. I don't have a shadow priest myself, so I was unable to try and see if I got killed.
Each week Arcane Brilliance writes a column about the ins and outs of Magehood. Mostly, what's in a Mage's hood is the Mage's face (which may or may not have a lower jaw), and what's out of a Mage's hood is fiery death. Did you see what I did there? It's clever word-play, you see...ins and outs...Magehood...in a Mage's hood...out...get it? Oh, fine. You try to come up with something witty every week! It's hard! Stupid italicized introductory paragraphs...I should have just gone with some more Warlock-bashing.
I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, discretionary funds were rare and precious. There were so many toys to buy, and so little money with which to purchase them. If Grandma were to send me a card with five bucks in it for my birthday, that was a windfall of epic proportions. Each purchase had to be carefully planned, each dollar wrung for as much value as it could provide. Use the money now on a Storm Shadow action figure (with combat grip!), or save it to someday replace the NES controller that had died a premature death in the wake of a last second Tecmo Super Bowl loss to my little brother? Yes, my childhood was in many ways resource management training for later years spent playing games like Starcraft.
Believe it or Don't: Patch 3.1 notes leaked? - Sat, 31 Jan 2009 17:05:00 EST So a few minutes ago, a reader by the name of Mike -- if that is his real name -- sent us, without links or other proof, a copy of what he says are the official patch notes for 3.1 from an early internal build. So we've now been having a pretty robust discussion here at WoW Insider HQ over whether they're legit or not.
Me, I'm not so sure. The Hunter and Death Knight changes are a little overpowered (Don't et me wrong, I'd love the changes, I just recognize they're probably a bit on the overpowered side), and the whole Ruby Sanctum thing seems out of left field when the dungeon focus is supposed to be Ulduar.
On the other side, Adam is pretty insistent that these changes could just be an earlier test build that will get nerfed down, and the class changes are no worse than, say, patch 2.1 anyway. Alex and Matt Rossi are leaning toward fake too. So in the end, we just decided we better post these and let you judge for yourself. I'd recommend taking them with a big grain of salt myself, but read up after the break and let us know what you think.
Replenishment is mandatory and other buff discussion from Ghostcrawler - Sat, 31 Jan 2009 16:00:00 EST One of the major overhauls heading from Burning Crusade into Wrath of the Lich King was the consolidation of buffs and debuffs. In an attempt to keep raid groups from thinking they had to bring one specific class to get one specific buff or debuff, Blizzard switched some spells up, gave buffs to more classes, and made them unstackable, the result being that one can take one of a certain handful of class and specs to get the buff or debuff they desire, in theory giving a raid more choice about who they bring.
Still, the buffs and debuffs remain, and Ghostcrawler has been having some pretty interesting discussions about them in the past few days. To start with, he came out and said it pretty plainly: Replenishment is Mandatory. Blizzard will balance fights under the assumption you have Replenishment much as they do under the assumption you have a tank. In the short term, this means your raid is probably going to want to find a Shadow Priest, Retribution Paladin, or Survival Hunter if they haven't already.
So, here I am in Orgrimmar, all ready for today's It Came from the BlogLunar Festival event. The Spousal Unit is going to take The Spawn for ice cream so that I can focus on herding you cool cats from Elder to Elder. It looks like people (Hi Cowzilla!) have been getting their Death Knights through the initial quests and sanctioned by Thrall to be ready to hang with the lowbies today. I also have some emails (Hi Diahix!), but unfortunately, I can't ginvite via email. Here are the details:
When: 6PM Eastern Time today, January 31st. (That's 4PM server time, 3PM Pacific Time)
Where: Meet at the Bank in Orgrimmar, Zangarmarsh U.S. (PvE server, sorry ganker wannabes)
Who: Any Horde character at any level as long as you have 3 silver and Thrall has welcomed you to the Horde (I mean you, DKs)
What: We'll be doing the initial Lunar Festival quests and then running around picking up Ancient Coins as well as flightpaths for you non-Death Knights
Please be at the bank in Orgrimmar before 6PM so that we can get started on time. If you have a low level Tauren character, I will summon you, but otherwise everyone should be able to get there easily.
When Jackhammer of EU Frostwhisper first sent us this Alliance Northrend flight point gallery, I kind of shrugged it off. Flight points are the most traveled places in the game, by definition. Why would we be interested in something we see all the time. You take pictures on vacation, not at home. But after looking through it, I was struck by just how well-crafted these places are. From the Fizzcrank Airstrip to the heights of Icecrown, there's a lot of beauty to be found in these places as well, and not just on the back of a griffon.
It's a nice gallery, and it gives you a nice hint of just how varied Northrend is -- there are fires burning and flightmasters giving rides all over the continent, and by browsing through the pictures, you get a good look at what kinds of crevices the Alliance have inserted themselves into in Northrend. And if nothing else, it's some nice art to look through on a Saturday afternoon.
Update II: The folks behind MouseCloner have informed us that while the app did originally use "prerecorded x/y coordinates" (which is what Malkorix found a problem with), they have specifically recoded the app to use only mouse position, in order to stay away from questions about scripting. To our (and their) best knowledge, the app is safe to use, but as always, you use third-party programs with your client at your own risk. You can find more information and ask more questions on the Mousecloner forums.
Will the last person out of Orgrimmar please turn off the lights? Tjais, of <Less QQ Moar Pew Pew> (... sigh) of Shadow Council, has started a chain reaction among bored mages hanging around the overpopulated area between the bank and AH. If this reminds you of the ship escape scene from Spaceballs, please let me know so I don't feel like the only complete dork here.
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.
Breakfast Topic: So far, so good? - Sat, 31 Jan 2009 08:00:00 EST Wow. It's already the end of January. Time flies by so fast that one twelfth of 2009 is already finished. Now would probably a good time as any to ask how you've done so far in Wrath of the Lich King. I'm rather proud that our little guild has downed 25-man Malygos -- I should probably tell Mike to give us a shoutout on Guildwatch -- and that the only thing left for us to do right now is Sartharion with three drakes. Sure, we didn't finish it all in an unimaginable three days, but I'm very happy nonetheless. On a personal note, my wife gave me a Nobles Deck, so I'm looking forward to turning that in for my Darkmoon Card: Greatness this week. It should go rather well with a pretty little hacking thing I got last week.
On the other hand, I've neglected my Shaman, who's sitting lonely at Level 70 in Warsong Hold. The only nice thing is that his Engineering is almost maxed out, so I should have no problem learning that Schematic: Mechano-hog when the time comes. I just need to force my lazy butt to level him. My Hunter has yet to step foot in Northrend, and I don't think I've ever logged my Death Knight past the initial leveling experience. My Warlock finally got four pieces of Plagueheart, so I'll try out how that 4-piece bonus works out. Maybe on Loken later, since I've still got some backlogged quests with those happy little giants.
Overall, I guess it's been a pretty good start of the year. I've gotten a bit of gear on some characters, decent progression in the endgame, and even enjoyed some success in my favorite thing to do, PvP. How about you? It's the end of January, how's your game coming along so far? Have you leveled more than one character to 80? Ventured into Naxxramas? Any Achievement is notable, even for seasonal things like getting the Elder title. In a game that rewards all our varied playstyles, I'm curious to know how everyone's doing so far.
Leveling, questing, PvPing, raiding, Lunar Festival achievements... that's what the WoW Insider team is doing this weekend: a little bit of everything. And if you aren't up to anything Saturday afternoon, you could join us for some fun with our guild, It Came from the Blog, on Zangarmarsh (US), Horde-side, to hang out, collect some festival coins, and chat. But some of us, apparently, have been skipping Wrathgate, a quest-chain which is without question one of the most impressive in the game. Why would anyone do that to themselves?
Michael Gray explains it for us: Fishing up Old Crafty, so I can complete my Warthgate quest series. I really want to finish levelling my Paladin, but Old Crafty mocks me. In my sleep. In nightmares. Like some drooling, fanged monster.
And apparently Michael isn't the only one. Daniel chimed in to say "I leveled from 1 to 270 fishing in Instance Ogrimmar before finally giving up and finishing Wrathgate. Then I came back later and got Crafty on the second cast. Old Ironjaw in Ironforge still eludes me though." But, sadly, not all of us thought up this strategy in advance. Matt Rossi joined in with, "Wait, you're not finishing Wrathgate so you can go to the Org that's phased for Martial Law? Sneaky, I like it."
For the rest of the team -- and to add your own thoughts on skipping Wrathgate -- read on!
The folks over at CVG picked up an interesting note on our Activision-Blizzard overlords' 2008 fiscals. According to Arvind Bhatia, World of Warcraft probably generated 30 cents out of each 60 cents per share of earnings. Put another way, that's about $400 million for shares at the end of the fiscal year ending this past December.
Now, this is kind of the best guess of Mr. Bhatia, who works under the firm Sterne Agee. (And they certainly have a reputation that says we could probably believe them.) But even without Sterne Agee's reputation, a little back-of-the-envelope math shows that his analysis probably bears fruit. We already know that WoW has 11.5 million subscribers. At $15 dollars a popper month, you're already looking at $172 million each month. But we know that a lot of folks have discount plans, and the charge isn't the same across the globe. I can easily believe a $400 million yearly earning from subscriptions, and am actually surprised it's not higher.
Of course, Bhatia has recently lowered some of his other estimates for ATVI, and warns that the consensus estimates predicting $5.2 billion in revenue are probably too high. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, this does say that World of Warcraft is doing just fine. We can feel free to threaten to quit over the latest nerf, the lights're going to stay on while we're out the door.
[1.Local]: Of Baby Spice and free stuff from guys - Fri, 30 Jan 2009 18:00:00 EST Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.
(Baby) Spice, spice, baby Readers seem to have cooked up a satisfying solution to the problem of thoughtless creeps who park their mounts atop summoning stones, flight masters and other necessities, blocking them from use. "LOL, whenever I see a giant Tauren on his Humongous Impressive War Mammoth parked on the Dalaran flight master, it's Baby Spice to the rescue," giggles Euphronius. "Nothing more hilarious than seeing him reduced to the size of a Great Dane."
Insider Trader: Your bad self - Fri, 30 Jan 2009 17:30:00 EST Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.
In the World of Warcraft, as in life, we are constantly being faced with morally significant choices. Some players try their best to listen to the Angel on their shoulder, while others will do whatever suits them at the time. Proper etiquette is always in debate.
Of course, as this is a virtual world, the moral implications of our actions are on a much smaller scale. Hitting someone for being annoying could cause many problems in my personal and professional lives, yet blasting someone similar off of a cliff in-game can be almost therapeutic.
When it comes to gathering and crafting, greed crops up. There are many ways to get what you want, often at the expense of others. This week, Insider Trader will discuss the underhanded side of the professional world.
Before last week, I had assumed that folks were tired of hearing me talk about enhancement as a spec. I've been focusing more on elemental because in the past I've seen a lot of comments complaining that elemental was getting short shrift from me, and also because I found the way it had been released with Wrath to be worth discussing. Frankly, elemental now is a lot more fun and pushes more DPS than it had pre-3.0.8 and I was enjoying playing with the spec.
Well, in the comments to last weeks post you informed me that, in fact, I haven't been talking about enhancement enough. At this point I put my head down and I began silently to weep. Then great, wracking sobs, followed by a scream to the heavens. Enhancement, enhancement, why have you forsaken me!? I didn't, dumbass, I'm still right over here, you even have all the gear in your bags, just respec and we can go stormstrike things to death.
So yeah, I've respecced enhancement on my draenei. Never fear, orc boosters, I've started leveling my orc again and I'm aiming him at resto/elemental when dual specs come out. Since that bloody fist weapon in CoT won't drop for me, I had my warrior make up a Titansteel Bonecrusher for the MH and we're off to the races. Well, okay, these particular races involve hitting things in the back and setting them on fire a lot.
And of course as usual, we'll be answering your emails and chatting live with listeners during the show. It all starts up at 3:30pm Eastern tomorrow (and if you're a regular listener, you know I usually come on early to play some music, and we usually stay a little late for the aftershow) over on the Ustream page, or right here on this post -- there's a live feed embedded after the break.
It should be a great show, and I personally hope to finally find out just who won the How I WoW episode battle between Turpster and I -- last we checked, Turpster actually had more listens, but my episode of their show had been out for a much shorter time and was rising in listens fast. Tune in tomorrow to find out if I finally beat him or not.
Is that... Vork? Quite a few tipsters have spotted this Super Bowl ad for CareerBuilder.com, and about halfway through, what appears to be The Guild's Jeff Lewis in his skivvies jumps on screen (we've preserved the image in a quick screenshot above -- you can thank us later, ladies). We actually checked in with The Guild, and they confirmed that yes, that is everyone's favorite GM. Feel free to cheer/ swoon/ shudder appropriately.
Lewis met up with us (and the rest of The Guild's cast members) back at BlizzCon, and it's good to see his star is.. rising? (we kid!) Keep an eye on the rest of the ads for the big game this Sunday night as well -- it looks like Coke has an online gaming reference coming with their "Avatar" ad, and considering how gigantic World of Warcraft is on TV lately, we may see some other sly winks towards our favorite game. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.
Another day, another Queue! Let's jump right in, hm? meme asked... What's the situation about the aesthetic minor glyphs? Could we see them in a future? What's the last thing Blizzard told us about them? Are people in the official forums still demanding them?
Thundgot over on the EU forums announced today that there is a new EU PvE server opening named Saurfang. It will be an English based server in the Misery battlegroup.
As with most new servers, migration will not be allowed to it for the first 90 days. That means you can't transfer your characters there just yet. For now, Death Knight creation is only possible when you have a level 55 character on Saurfang itself. That restriction will be lifted after the 90 days pass.
The realm became open for play just a short time ago, so if you're in the EU and want some new server goodness, head over there now and get started.
Our intrepid YouTube adventurer Dan O'Halloran found this video posted back on the 5th of January this year detailing the Ulduar raid zone thus far. It was made using private server technology, and contains heavy spoilers. You've been warned.
When you watch the video you'll notice that much of it is incomplete. Large areas are nothing more than gray swaths with no content in them. This is intentional and normal - the areas just are not developed yet.
However there are areas which are vibrant and high quality. Parts of the place resemble (as expected) the ancient gods look to it. The place could (and will) be sitting right next to the Halls of Lightning.