V'Ming - who thinks that gnome warlocks are travesties of nature and need to be KOSed - shares thoughts and ideas on becoming deadlier at the Arenas. He also dabbles in the dark arts in Blood Pact.
This progressive patch is turning out to be quite an event in itself. We are seeing some pretty important changes in every PTR build and the community is watching every change with bated breath. One thing's for certain though: many of the changes are Arena-driven, as Blizzard tries to get the PvP aspect of the game in gear for the 3v3 tournament.
Haven't done an offhand in a while, so while this one isn't exactly at the top of the heap, it's a nice item for your newly-70 alt to pick up, and it has a fun nod to a guy who's been working hard lately. Also, have a suggestion for a piece of phat loot to cover? Share it in the comments below or drop us a note on the tipline.
The stamina on this says Warlock, but if there aren't any warlocks around, this wouldn't be a bad pickup for any damage caster (Elemental Shaman, anyone?), especially one looking to head into PvP. For most casters, odds are that even if you grab this, it'll be replaced pretty quickly with either a better offhand or a 2h weapon.
But on the other hand, it does look cool, and it's named after one of the most beloved CMs (if you can believe that CMs can be universally beloved) on the forums, the hypno-gnome Hortus. He's the bug guy, so many times (especially when a big PTR is being tested like this), he'll be the one to show up with answers to players asking about whether something is bugged or not.
And he's brilliant. Hence the seal.
How to Get It: It drops from the Fel Horde's Warchief, Kargath Bladefist. We've talked about him before on PLP, so suffice it to say that he's a mean SOB with blades for hands. No idea why he's carrying around Hortus' seal, but if you are able to grab it from the guy (it drops pretty often, in both normal and heroic modes) , you might want to see about getting it back to Hortus -- he'll probably need it for all the PTR testing going on.
Getting Rid of It: Sells to vendors for 2g 20s 45c, and disenchants into a Large Prismatic Shard.
Forbes.com writer looks into the future for Warcraft - Fri, 29 Feb 2008 18:00:00 EST Tipster Felwrathe forwarded an article to us the other day by Forbes.com writer Michael Noer entitled "The Future of Video Games." He puts Warcraft in this category as well - despite the fact that some would still call it a Computer game rather than a video game (or the more elegant term, vidcon). And while he does manage not to take potshots at the game as others have, he still makes a few somewhat surprising predictions about what the future holds.
The Care and Feeding of Warriors takes the time this week to discuss putting the hurt on things. Whether you are fury, arms, or even sometimes prot (stop laughing) there will be times when it's less important that you keep a mob occupied and more important that you bash it's head in, chop it's arms off, or otherwise bring the unpleasantness. Matthew Rossi has been bringing said unpleasantness for a long time now. Oh, right, yes, in game, certainly, what else did you think we meant?
Before we even get started, yes, that is a warrior in Tier 1 with a Terestrian's Stranglestaff equipped. For some odd reason the staff only drops if we have no druids on the run, so there you go. Why is he in Tier 1? Because Tier 1 still looks freaking awesome, that's why. And that's not the lookalike 70 blues, man, that's the old school set. You can tell by the coloring. (You know you've been playing a warrior for a very long time when you can look at a piece of gear and know by its color what it is.)
I've talked a lot about how I mostly tank nowadays, so it's kind of ironic that I'm talking about DPS today, considering that I mainly DPS'd for months and months and seemed always to be talking about tanking. Maybe I should start running around bandaging people. Or I could make a whole lot of food before the raid and pass it out to folks while making weird gestures beforehand.
Anyway, warriors as DPS are, as always, melee. We don't have much in the way of spell damage (no, Thunderclap doesn't count) and even our debuffs generally make for up close action. Basically, all warriors (be they tanks or DPS) hit and yell at things. That's about all we do, really, we hit things and we yell at them, either making them feel bad (Demoralising Shout) or good (Battle and Commanding Shout), and sometimes we break wind so powerfully that they can't attack us as fast (Thunderclap). Okay, so the tooltip doesn't actually say that we're flatulent when we use Thunderclap, but I've yet to see any other explanation as to why I can explode periodically for physical damage when I have no magic. Yes, it counts as a spell, and yes, it's mitigated by armor, so I'm totally in the dark as to what else it could possibly be.
The Care and Feeding of Warriors may just have had its first fart joke. I'm sure we're all very proud. Now that we've all gotten that out of our system, so to speak, let's get on to what a warrior DPSing is and isn't, and what they can and can't do. I'm not going to dwell too much on things like weapon speed or if dual wielding is superior to a 2h weapon because that will really ultimately depend on your build, and I won't know what that is. There are DPS builds in both arms and fury that use 2h weapons and dual wielding (although I have to admit that I don't understand a dual wielding DPS arms build very well) so such a talent choice will be up to you.
Playtime credit for some EU realms - Fri, 29 Feb 2008 17:00:00 EST Apparently there was some extra downtime (7 hours!) for some of the European realms on Wednseday. To compensate, Blizzard is giving a one-day playtime credit to anyone with an active character in the affected battlegroups: Crueldad, Hinterhalt, Némésis, and Nightfall. That's one of the things I like about Blizz -- they may mess up, but when they do, they try to fix it (except when it comes to Life Tap).
In case you're not sure what battlegroup you're in, here's the realm listings. If you have an active character on any of these European realms, you will be credited a day of playtime.
Crueldad: C'Thun, Dun Modr, Los Errantes, Minahonda, Shen'dralar, Tyrande, Uldum, Zul'Jin
Hinterhalt: Arygos, Der Mithrilorden, Dethecus, Forscherliga, Norgannon, Teldrassil, Todeswache, Un'Goro
Némésis: Arak-arahm, Confrérie du Thorium, Eitrigg, Garona, La Croisade écarlate, Medivh, Uldaman, Vol'jin
First off, there's high-quality ammo, reagents, bandages, poisons, food, and water. Boring enough. In case you feel the need to look really bad-ass, or to get from place to place faster, you can grab Reins of the Black War Tiger/Horn of the Black War Wolf. All that is fine, but what about actual gear? All the Season 2 Merciless Gladiator gear is available, and all the Tier 5 class sets. There are also selected other items from the tier 5 raids (SSC and TK), as well as some badge loot to fill in the gaps. I'm even seeing the odd T4 raid item, like the Eye of Magtheridon and of Gruul, and some Heroic drops like the Scarab of the Infinite Cycle (these seem to be limited to the accessories).
A brand new episode of our podcast, the WoW Insider Show, will be recorded live tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm on WoW Radio, and I can tell you right now that we'll be talking about Warlocks. The news about Lifetap changes topped the charts on WoW Insider this week, so myself, Duncor (Turpster is away this week, so the D is kindly stepping in), and John "BigBearButt" Petricelli (along with probably one more person from WoW Insider) will definitely be chatting about the most demonic class in the game.
But that's not all -- other topics of discussion will include what classes the CMs play, the worst quests in the game, and we'll also be asking the same question Nihilum did: are raiders becoming obsolete? Plus, we'll have reader mail (you can send it in right now at firstname.lastname@example.org), and we'll welcome anyone and everyone on the IRC channel (#wowradio on irc.mmoirc.com). It's all tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm EST -- see you then!
Once Patch 2.4 goes live, we will most likely be able to queue up for all of the major battlegrounds as premades.There will always be PUGs, since even the three battlegrounds that allow premade groups to play have them.Sideways of Korgath posted a thread on the official forums on the most annoying PUG player archetypes.The original list included:
The Aloof - This guy appears to be guarding a flag or, but the chickens at the farm in AB are actually doing a better job. It's hard to say whether he's AFK, chatting in vent, or just didn't get enough sleep last night, but a guy caps the flag behind him and he doesn't even notice. If he's in gulch and the enemy flag carrier runs by, he just keeps on doing whatever it is he's doing as if nothing happened.
The ADD - This type of player just can't live with less than continuous action. The concept of defending a flag is foreign and distasteful to him. Therefore if he is defending something and no enemies show up within 30 seconds, he moves on despite the fact that he is leaving the flag unguarded for a friendly neighborhood rogue to ninja.
The Instance Mob - This type of player makes you swear aggro generation applied to players. He simply cannot understand why he hasn't been able to kill anything despite the fact that he put forth his best damage attacks against the protection specced shield wearing warrior that had 2 priests, a paladin, and a druid healing him. Much like I expect Rend Blackhand or Nefarian would, he attributes his ineffectiveness to inferior gear.
What's up with Mortal Strike? And why is it, when Blizzard feels that a class or spec needs to be made viable in Arenas -- and let's face it, the game is all about Arenas now, isn't it? -- they give them a Mortal Strike-style debuff? When the developers were figuring out how to raise Hunters' representation in Arenas, they changed Aimed Shot in Patch 2.3 to give a heal-gimping debuff similar the the Arms Warrior's bread and butter ability.
While it's certainly a welcome change, considering that Shamans get so little love, frankly it's getting a little boring. Allie mentioned calls for putting the buff on every class (Mortal Sheep or Mortal Portal for Mages is a classic), so this begs the question... is a Mortal Strike-type ability the only way to make a class or spec viable in the Arenas? Aside from the fact that Mortal Strike Warriors are conceivably the most popular class & spec, healing debuffs are clearly one of the game-breaking abilities in Arenas. With Resilience making crit-based and burst damage specs less and less viable, is there really a need for another Mortal Strike? Can't Blizzard make another buff to make a spec Arena-viable without using the same old trick? What do you guys think? How much more creative can you be?
Hi WoW Insider! I need some good advice. About August I leveled a mage to 60 but due to my very crappy computer at the time I could barely play in Outland so I decided to quit. However, to stop the addiction pulling me back I sold all my gear to repay some old debts and deleted my characters.
Now it's December and my situation has changed, I (kindly) asked a GM to restore my Mage and now I'm back in the game. Only problem is that I'm completely naked with no money and no gear. What should I do?
There's a joke about what naked mages, sheep, and money we'll leave on the table.
As an aside, never delete your character. As WoW addicts we tend to treat quitting WoW with the same seriousness Gene Simmons takes monogamous relationships. Instead, have a spouse or friend do it for you, That way you have someone else to blame.
You haven't said what you've got for professions, so I'll assume you have none. What you're going to want to do is earn enough money to grab two gathering professions -- it's short money so don't sweat it. If you're lucky and have a few quests that just need you to chat with an NPC to complete, wrap those.
The lazy way is to level your gathering skills up enough to get some OK gear off the Auction House and then head to Outland to run quests. Outland's quests give decent gold and items as rewards. Heck, you can even try running a few as a naked level 60 and see what happens -- it's not like you need to worry about repair bills. Just expect some odd looks. Or tips.
The forward-thinking way is to level up your gathering professions and keep leveling them through 70. That way you'll pretty much guarantee you'll have enough gold for your flying mount.
How about you, oh wise peanut gallery: Any advice for the freshly-restored?
Got questions? Don't wait! Send them to us at ask AT wowinsider DOT com and your query could be up in lights here next week.
Our Guild had been going downhill for a while now. At the beginning of the year, key officers and members, cornerstones of our raiding team, quit the game for one reason or another. Some of our members got hacked, just like WoW Insider's Amanda Dean. This took the wind out from under our sails, despite great success in Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep. As 2007 closed, I envisioned us taking down Vashj and Kael within the first quarter of 2008. I was stoked. There were good times when we'd take down two new bosses a week. Of course, Murphy's Law happens. While key team members quit the game, others took extended (sometimes unannounced) leaves of absence, and with diminishing raid attendance and obviously performance, other members looked elsewhere for better raiding opportunities. And when it rains, it pours.
A little over a week ago our Guild bank was robbed. It was cleaned out -- so empty I could almost imagine the sound of flies buzzing about -- well, okay, it wasn't that empty. On the third tab, the robber was kind enough to leave us ten stacks of Roasted Clefthooves. At first it struck me as odd because we had fixed our Guild permissions somewhat after our GM left the game to take a shot at a relationship and play with his Nintendo Wii. In what order exactly, I can't be sure. He passed the mantle off to one officer who passed it to another officer who later passed it on to me. So for a while, I was GM of a Guild that wasn't quite doing anything but waiting on people to come back to the game. So imagine my shock (more like anesthetized indifference, to be honest) when I was going to deposit items into the Guild bank only to find that it had nothing. Well, nothing but those clefthooves.
Oskar Renlund is taking an interesting approach to machinima. The Blood Knight is his first movie, and he's leaving it up to his audience as to whether he should make any more. Like Macheath, he created the film in order to learn the editing programs, but for a first effort, it's not bad at all!
Oskar managed to pack the video with all sorts of exciting elements, like an overbearing father, a lost love, and an epic battle. So far, the audience is asking for it to be made into a longer film! Do you think that he should develop the storyline further?
From changes to old recipes and talents to the addition of novel recipes and reagents, you'll be able to easily find out what's new with your chosen professions. Where applicable, I will include updated information, including materials lists for the new crafted sets.
Of course, given that nothing has yet gone live, all of the details are subject to change. MMO-Champion has posted an updated materials list for many of the epic patterns that will be dropping in patch 2.4, and the mats lists I will be providing will be based on that, and not on what might be shown using the Wowhead tooltips. As information becomes set in stone, and Wowhead is updated, the mouse-overs will appear correctly.
For the detailed scoop on your characters' livelihoods, follow me through the break. For other news about patch 2.4, visit our Complete Guide.
Exodeus of Celestial Blade on Icecrown was there when his guild downed Kael'thas for the second time. And what should drop, but the Ashes of Al'ar which summons the coveted Phoenix mount, a server first for Icecrown. Appropriately, (at least in RP terms) a Holy Pally won the roll.
Exodeus considered the arrival of the fiery creature to be a good omen of things to come as his guild said goodbye to T5 content. Later that night, they not only walked into Hyjal for the first time and downed the first boss, but they also got attuned for the Black Temple. On to new beginnings, indeed.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because 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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. No, really. Ok, only if it's a sunrise in new Patch 2.4 lands. We'll take those anytime.
Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.
How young is too young to play WoW? We've discussed the ups and downs of grouping with kids quite a few times over the years, but the topic - like the kids themselves - just won't go away. Earlier this week, we interviewed an 11-year-old SSC raider and his mother. While most reader comments applauded the family for a disciplined, sensible approach to online gaming, a few readers seemed confused or even aghast that someone so young would be allowed to play World of Warcraft.
Gamers on the Street decided to pop in on Bloodscalp, a high-population PvP realm with what one supposes would be a correspondingly tough outlook on kiddie action. We surveyed several level 70 players at random, asking them about their own experiences with children in game. The consensus: Jerks come in all shapes, sizes and ages -- and children and teens are no better or worse than their adult counterparts. Hear out their reasoning, after the break.
Breakfast Topic: Instance for sale - Fri, 29 Feb 2008 08:00:00 EST Ixus sent us a question about hiring mercenaries in World of Warcraft: he's a level 20 Warlock who paid a level 57 a whopping 1g to run him through Deadmines since he couldn't find a group for it. We have mentioned this topic before, but it's usually in posts about beggars, and I don't know if we've actually considered what could be a cottage industry: actually setting rates and hiring out higher levels to complete various tasks for lowbies.
Is this an OK thing to do. I'll admit that I've run lowbies through instances before, but never for gold -- usually it's a friend of mine who just wants some extra gear from a certain instance. And I've been offered gold for an instance run, but I've never accepted it, and I'm not even sure what I would charge to actually run someone through an instance (I'd probably have pretty high terms: 5-10g and a portion of the drops, depending on what class was going through).
Have you? Do you think this is the kind of thing that's legit (and if so, should Blizzard maybe even implement a "looking for mercenaries" channel for lowbies to find their benefactors?), or should lowbies all go find their own groups like you had to and stop pestering you to run them through Wailing Caverns for their pittance?
The mind of the Engineer is an engine: always running, always in need of service. For the quizzical tinker, puzzles and games are the lubrication of that engine, allowing the Engineer to relax the gears in his head while employing their ceaseless motion upon diversions, that the mind's mainspring might be fully wound and its cogs sheened with oil when again the Engineer returns to the bench. Also, we like playing with toys.
As is often the case, Engineering's innovations in the field of toymakery and diversionology set us ahead of our counterparts in less distinguished professional fields. Herein, we will discuss two of Engineering's least appreciated and most rarefied devices: the combat robots.
There are two models of robot made by the Engineer whose sole purpose is the eradication of others of their kind. The Crashin' Thrashin' Robot and the Steam Tonk Controller are both popular choices, for those able to produce them. The Crashin' Thrashin' Robot operates on its own internal Decisionometer, so the Engineer has no capacity to control it. The Steam Tonk, however, is a tribute to the mastery not only of the crafter, but the skill of the Tonkateer who operates it.
World of WarCrafts: What would Thrall sleep in? - Thu, 28 Feb 2008 19:36:00 EST Even a Warchief has to sleep sometimes but his bedding has to be totally awesome for him to do so. I think that these sheets and blankets would certainly fit that bill and make even the mighty Thrall sleep well at night. Made by a girlfriend of a WoWer these sheets are any Hordey's dream. (Get it...dream, sheets?)
To make your own Horde sheet all you need are some acrylic or fabric paints, plain sheets a stencil you can make yourself and a sponge or sponge brush. Assuming you can find or create a picture of the Horde logo (is it called a logo?) you can pretty easily print out a template. There are some tips on making your own stencil later on in the comments.
The perils of progressive testing - Thu, 28 Feb 2008 19:04:00 EST After Skellum of Dalaran posts on the forums asking just where all these PTR changes are coming from, Nethaera sobers us all up about what the PTR is all about: progressive testing. She says that Blizzard has said from the beginning that there will be changes in the notes, and that things we thought were the end of the world in the beginning have changed or been completely removed. Welcome to the perilous world of progressive testing.
And it occurs to me that I've broken my own rule about patience on the PTRs. When those Shaman notes dropped with only a Stormstrike icon, it didn't occur to me (or almost any other players) that Blizzard wasn't done yet. And while the latest changes still aren't done (we're still waiting for an Elemental buff), things have been fixed somewhat since then.
But is this really just players doubting Blizzard? They posted the patch notes with just one small disclaimer -- would they have been able to quell the furor a bit more if they'd made it more clear that what's posted on the PTR notes has almost no connection to what will show up on the live realms? But then again, Neth never really answered the question of where these changes are coming from -- if Shamans hadn't QQ'd so much over the Elemental Mastery and Nature's Swiftness nerf, would it ever have been reverted? Blizzard seems to be simultaneously telling players to be patient and also give feedback. If players had been patient when the EM and NS nerf came down, and it hadn't caused such an uproar, would it have been changed back at all?
Sure, QQing can get old after a while, but as long as you do it creatively, a good whine is always welcomed. That's why this forum thread, offering up prayers in many religions for Warlocks after their troubles with Lifetap, is so funny. Yeah, it's Warlocks whining -- they've been doing that for a long time. But it's Warlocks whining in a creative and interesting way, so that makes it much better.
Who knows what deity might encourage Blizzard to lift the nerfs for good and bless us all with buffs aplenty? We don't know it's Jesus, St. St. Maximilian Mary Kolber (the patron saint of addicts), Jebus, Thor, Sargeras (for the Legion!), or Buddha, pretty much the only recourse left to save your class from debilitating nerfs is just to pray (or meditate, if you'd rather do that) as hard as you can.