A bug where Glyph of Backstab interacted with Dirty Deeds to cause the glyph to benefit attacks other than Backstab was, apparently, recently fixed. However, there was concern that this bug fix would hurt Subtlety DPS too hard, so the Sub talent Sinister Calling is being buffed to compensate - full Sinister Calling will now award a 10% damage bonus to Backstab and Hemorrhage, instead of 5%. This buff will go live with patch 3.1.
Rogues are in a place in PvE that I don't recall them ever being in before Wrath: all three trees have viable raid specs. Most rogues seem to be Mut right now, but Combat is still holding its own, and I'm told that HaT specs are quite strong depending on the particular group and fight. It seems like the glyph bug wouldn't really have been affecting PvE much, given that raid mobs aren't often stunned or incapacitated, so this change acts as a straight buff for raiding HaTters. In PvP, on the other hand, this should keep Sub from getting stomped on too hard. Buffs are always so nice to write about - I like bringing good news to you guys.
That woman is a man, man - Tue, 31 Mar 2009 18:00:00 EST Chromie, the little champion of the Bronze Dragonflight, is quite possibly one of the most polarizing figures in World of Warcraft. You love her or you hate her. She's either adorably awesome, or irritatingly stupid. I, for one, hate her because I had to do her quests in Andorhal before they completely redesigned that part of the zone to suck less. My girlfriend thinks Chromie is the greatest thing since sliced bread. There's something you should know, though. Chromie is a man. Well, probably.
How can I make such outlandish accusations? Well, have you run Caverns of Time: The Culling of Stratholme? At the very end, you'll see that Chromie's Dragon form sports a pretty thick beard. More importantly than that, Chromie's Draconic name is Chronormu. Following the naming scheme of the Bronze Dragonflight, names ending with -ormu are male, and -ormi are female. The exceptions being those ending with -os (male) and -a (female) which are general dragon naming schemes. Were Chromie indeed a female, her name would be Chronormi and not Chronormu.
Chromie is a man. A man, or a woman who had very cruel parents.
There is a great deal more so head on over if you're looking for guides, tips and suggestions on becoming a better Warlock. Submit a guide, post, podcast or resource for inclusion in TDQ and we'll consider it for a future post.
As you all probably noticed, there was no patch 3.1 today. Evidently they're not doing testing Ulduar yet - three more hard mode tests are scheduled for tonight and tomorrow night.
On the North American PTR:
Hodir (hard mode): tonight, 7 PM EDT
Iron Council (hard mode): tomorrow night, April 1, 7 PM EDT. Daelo specifies that they want Steelbreaker done last.
On the European PTR:
General Vezax (hard mode): tomorrow night, April 1, 7 PM CET
Shirts of Uber will once again be available to simulate the raid having Ulduar gear.
Do we conclude that they're more or less done testing normal-mode fights, and that therefore the patch is pretty close? Everyone seems to be thinking the patch will be here in the next few weeks. If I were to guess, I'd say two weeks from today.
I haven't been playing on the PTR much, so I don't know myself: how hard are these hard modes? If you were going to compare them in average difficulty with a pre-LK fight, what would it be?
Urgent authentication database maintenance underway - Tue, 31 Mar 2009 15:18:00 EST The opening announcement on the login screen has just let us know that there is urgent maintenance being performed on the authentication servers. The maintenance will continue until 1:00 p.m. PDT / 4:00 p.m. EDT.
During this time you may or may not be able to log into the game. Pretty much the luck of the draw and beyond your control.
Account management and posting on the forums will be offline during this time as well, so the troll's trolling will have to terrifically terminate 'till temporally soon.
We'll update this post when things are back to normal, or if there are additional issues.
Unfortunately, while the changes that are going in the game will be helpful. AbleGamers points out that the game isn't perfect for those with colorblindness yet -- mob levels are often shown to the player in a certain color, and there's no option yet for players to see that information in any other format. Additionally, Rogue combo points are shown by filing those little circles in with colors, and colorblind players who aren't able to see that color will have difficulty with that mechanic as well.
The good news is that, while Blizzard does want to make sure their core game is as accessible as possible, there's lots of room for addon authors to do more. Colorblindness is surprisingly prevalent, and everything coders can do to make the game easier to play will be welcomed by those who need it.
I would be excited if it didn't mean I would need to do a few rotating dailies every single day for the next few months, and I would be excited if the hat didn't completely remove my character's hair texture and make her bald like those Winter Hats did. Unfortunately, it does both of those things and thus looks really, really stupid.
I wish they would float these sorts of hats over/around the head, not clamp the hats to the scalp. I would quite like wearing this chef's hat if it was larger and went over the hair texture, rather than removing the hair texture and clamping right around the top of the head. Some of this stuff just looks awful on female models. Sure, a chef should keep their hair under their hat, but I don't know many that keep themselves shaved bald for it.
Oh, and there's an achievement for getting this thing. Have fun with that.
The Queue: Horsewhipping - Tue, 31 Mar 2009 13:00:00 EST 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.
Afternoon, ladies and gents. I have a follow up from yesterday's question regarding casinos, with further information straight from Ancilorn, a Community Representative over in the EU. Hopefully he doesn't end up getting horsewhipped for a fortnight over it like the last few Blue posters that decided to write to us!
Now we know! Thank you very much, Ancilorn. You are my hero.
"When the new Arena season arrives, will the arena points I have currently be reset?"
When we first featured Downside Up by Lex a few weeks ago, both myself and commenters were clear. For all that Lex said he didn't really have a point to his music video, the rest of us really liked it. You're allowed to eschew narrative focus in favor of laying down some cool images and great tunes. That's, like, totally art, man.
So, when I woke up this morning and hit my trusty Moviewatch ticker tape, I was pretty happy to come across Bending Reality By Lex. It's a fairly short piece, and follows a similar style to Downside Up. The images are pretty cool, but I wouldn't spend too much time trying to find a message or story.
I enjoyed the momentary shots of the game's UI interspersed with the more traditional, escapist scenes. True to the video's title, I felt it promoted a surreality to the imagery. You definitely got a sense of "character's point of view" versus the "player's point of view." Then, using some footage of model editing, you even got a third tier -- a "designer's point of view." Not to get too deep, but I definitely got the feeling like we were playing around with a character's reality.
It's a pretty neat piece, and I congratulate Lex on another fun video.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com. Previously on Moviewatch ..
In case you missed the memo, the short list of changes to the Engineering profession that have been posted for patch 3.1 are all you are going to get come patch day, like it or not. Bornakk confirmed that Blizzard feels that the "perks work out" compared to what other professions offer, and that they "have no changes planned at this time."
The relevant forum thread has grown to over 1300 replies and more than 50,000 views, suggesting that while Blizz might be satisfied, much of the Engineering community is not.
In fact, many are threatening to drop the profession and take up Jewelcrafting, which is something I hear about a lot. Of course, if your profession is really, honestly inferior to all others, then why is everyone trading up to the same one?
Pass through the break for a list of the upcoming changes, the major gripes, and a comparison of Engineering to other professions in order to put this all into perspective.
In Azeroth, players and mobs are reborn so many times that they have to eventually long for the final peace of the grave. Varsivius of <Warborne> on Moonglade-EU has discovered at least one way to put dead mobs to rest -- performing the "Blowing Hodir's Horn" daily and sending their souls to Valhalla.
Pop personality quiz, hotshots. If you looked at this picture and were reminded of how much of a pain in the butt grinding Hodir rep was, you have a normally-functioning mind. If you did not really look at the picture because you were giggling at the phrase "blowing Hodir's horn", you have a dirty mind. And if you were compelled to switch to a shotgun and fire a couple of blasts at the giants while they're being Lifted, you have a mind that has played too much Mass Effect.
Do you have any unusual, clever, or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Over the past week WoW Insider has received an increasing number of reports of phishing emails. This means that some industrious folks have decided that now is a good time to try to steal accounts from unsuspecting players, and thus we're thinking this is a great time to remind people about the dangers of these evil emails!
Most of the current phishing emails have been telling people that their account is under investigation for account trading, and directing them to a website in which they need to fill in their complete account information along with a CD key. Obviously this website is a phishing site, and is illegitimate.
There are several things you should look for in a legitimate (or illegitimate) email from Blizzard. After the break we'll take a look at these, as well as provide some places you can go for further information.
So I posted a couple days ago about the new Death Knight manga starring the Human Death Knight Thassarian, and it sparked some interesting conversation in the comments. Namely, people started talking about the type of hero they'd like to see in the Warcraft comics. Some complained that the Horde wasn't getting enough representation, some wanted specific races to get the spotlight. I thought it was at least fun to think about, so I thought I'd ask the question straight up: Who would you like to see get front billing in a Warcraft comic storyline or graphic novel?
Here we are, my old friend. You and I, waiting for downtime again. Yeah, we got a little spot of downtime coming our way again. I'd recommend you go check out Vin Diesel in the latest installation of the greastest series of cinematic triumph of our time, Fast & Furious, but that isn't coming out until Friday. Also, I am a little hurt that it was not named 4 Fast 4 Furious, as would only be proper. Also, I stumbled across a pretty heinous spoiler on IMDB that may have ruined the movie for me. Get this. Are you ready? Here's the big reveal: It has an ampersand in the title.
Yeah. But anyway, it doesn't come out til Friday, so I suppose you'll have to satisfy yourself with WoW news.
As usual, you can get your WoW information fix here while you can't play. We got a new build fresh up on the PTR, so expect news from that and a wide variety of other good stuff. In addition, you'll probably want to check out what's been happening in the last few days. As usual, I got a few things you might want to take a look at after the break.
The winds swept across the frozen plains making swirling geometric patterns in the snow laden prairie grass. This was a cold day in the northern land, both in weather and in heart. For it wasn't only the snow, but the chilled waters which were causing the kingdom concern; up and up they went, rising over the rivers banks. The land's people thought they could hold them at bay but none could be sure.
The engineers flew over the homesteads of their countrymen, working diligently in their flying machines to hold back the mighty waters. And while things were quiet now, it was predicted by those with foresight to not be quiet for much longer. More movement in the waters was coming, and it was something that no man wanted to see.
The kingdom was under the protection of the councilmen and councilwomen, yet they were impeded in their efforts at every turn by the maniacal Lich King, laughing and taunting them with his powers over the frozen wastes.
"Petty mortals, do you really think you can withstand the power of the mighty Scourge?" he chided the citizens who dared brave the cold north. Sitting atop his ice crowned citadel there was nothing he couldn't see, nothing he couldn't do. For the domain of the north was his and his alone.
Except upon this day the voice of the gods and the wizards of Dalaran opened up their mouths and spoke in unison.
You'd probably have to negotiate with her if you wanted something custom made, since these are definitely not coming off of a factory line. But even if you're willing to pay the money for a doll like this, they do look cool. We don't know what it is about Shamans and their little totems that seems to make them perfect for plushie form, but there must be something there. Somehow, we're not sure a plushie Warrior would cause the same fascination. But hey -- be sure to prove us wrong. If you catch any great WoW crafts around the net that we haven't seen yet, drop us a tip.
Many people have mentioned this before in conversation about Dual Specs - why not just allow triple specs? We've all speculated for a while that the technology is already there and is just a matter of further implementation.
Today Bornakk, a blue community poster, said that right now all Blizzard intentionally wants is to have two specs be available, but that they "...want to see how the system works out first," before considering triple specs. I think it's pretty safe to read between the lines here and take it to mean that it's possible and has at least been discussed by Blizzard to some extent if community people (and not a developer like Ghostcrawler) are already talking about it. Remember here that community folks usually don't talk about development related things without running it by or hearing it from a developer first.
Triple specs would offer even more flexibility to play the class in whatever way is possible. A druid would be able to switch between a healer, tank, and caster role in a single instance / raid. A paladin would have the same amazing flexibility. While each class right now has at least two specs that can really shine in specific situations, triple specs would allow three-role hybrids to become amazingly powerful characters.
Ulduar maps aplenty - Mon, 30 Mar 2009 18:00:00 EST Haven't loaded up the PTR and gone to check out Ulduar for yourself yet? The good news is you've got lots of ways to see it online -- in map form. Reader Evan B sent us the version in the picture to the right (click it for the full version, and it's big) -- he cut and pasted together the in-game map screenshots to make up a to-scale version of what the instance looks like. Our friend Stompalina also has a version, cut together from what looks like the minimap ingame, so you can get a little clearer idea of what the textures look like in each section of the instance.
And StratFu sent us an interactive map of the Titan city, with hover-over tooltips on each boss and click-through information for what we'll face inside. Strategies are still being fleshed out completely (and remember, this is the PTR, so everything is subject to change). But if you're looking for as much info as possible on what's waiting for you inside the brand new raid of Ulduar in patch 3.1, there's lots of places for you to find it.
The 8th episode of BlizzCast, the Blizzard Podcast, rolled out just a short while ago. If the only Blizzard game you're interested in is WoW, you'll probably be disappointed this time around, there's not much World of Warcraft discussion. The information is very, very heavily slanted toward Starcraft II and Diablo III.
The podcast kicks off with their usual Q&A portion. The World of Warcraft questions, answered by Tom Chilton, were aimed at Wintergrasp and the vehicle system (specifically the lack of aerial combat). That's the full extent of the WoW content here. That's all, folks. If WoW is all you care about, that's the end. For those of you that are Blizzard fans in general? Jay Wilson (Diablo III Game Director) and Dustin Browser (Starcraft II Lead Designer) cover the Q&A for their respective games.
The remainder of the podcast is a Diablo III interview with a pair of the game's developers, Julian Love (Lead Technical Artist) and Mike Nicholson (Senior Artist). If you intend to play Diablo III, it's worth a listen. It gives some insight into the developmental process of the game, and that's probably the most interesting part of these podcasts.
A big congrats to our friends over at The Guild, who picked up a trio of awards at Saturday night's Streamys Awards, honoring the best in web video over the past year. The show picked up Best Comedy Web Series, and Best Ensemble Cast, and Felicia Day was a big winner herself -- not only did she win Best Female Actor in a Comedy Web Series (beating out Lisa Kudrow, Megan Mullally and one of my favorites, Kristen Schaal), but that other little web series she was in, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, picked up a slew of awards on its own. And in other WoW Streamys news, as we said on the podcast post today, Alex Albrecht picked up an award for Best Web Series Host for his WoW video podcast, Project Lore.