And our question is: how is this going to work? Obviously the ghouls won't actually work as pets as in the way Hunter or Warlock pets work, but surely they'll have a little more control implemented than the Druid's treants or the Priest's shadowfiends, right? As far as I can remember, we've never actually controlled multiple pets before -- are we going to have one bar to control all three with, or will we mark a target as they're summoned? It would seem that with a tanking class like the Death Knight, more focused pets would be a necessity in some cases.
Or maybe our ghouls will be as mindless as ever, and after we hit a button to summon, they'll just head for the closest thing that looks like it might have brains to eat. Hopefully the Death Knight's ghouls will be a bit more interesting than that (there was a rumor a while back that you'd be able to raise your fallen group members as ghouls, though I don't see that spell in the hands on), and if not, I guess there's always other Hero classes to improve upon the pet mechanics.
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This has been an exciting week for World of Warcraft news and rumors.Blizzard has been hosting two major events Blizzcon and the World Wide Invitational.These events are a hotbed of information about WoW and other Blizzard Entertainment games.Here at WoW Insider we work hard to keep you on top of all of the latest developments in our beloved game.I'm sure you were aware, but this past weekend saw Blizzard's World Wide Invitational in Paris, France.Let's take a look at the kinds of information that we receive.
We did not get the piece of information that I was most hoping for: A release date for Wrath of the Lich King.Not even a beta date.Now there are a number of websites that have pre-order dates for Wrath, but none of them can be trusted as an actual estimation.We will get our new expansion "when it's ready."Blizzard is the only trustworthy source of this information.We will get that bit of information out as soon as it's available from the source.
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.
Are you spending Monday digging through the pile of Wrath of the Lich King news from this weekend's Worldwide Invitational in Paris -- or is today (and the remaining months leading up to the expansion's release) just another day in the World of Warcraft for you? We popped on to Warsong server this morning, where Stormwind was positively bristling with activity: guild and Arena team recruiting, a PuG for Zul'Aman forming, plenty of spam for various heroics, and a healthy number of twinks going about their Old World business.
I had expected to encounter a fair number of players who weren't aware of this weekend's deluge of Wrath news - or who plain didn't care - but instead, I was met with nothing but enthusiasm. So I pulled up my trusty 3-bubbles-of-xp, level 1 warrior to the steps of the bank to visit with Zidona, a Night Elf Rogue I'd noticed vigorously recruiting (in Spanish, from his home in Brazil) for fresh blood for his guild, Viral.
Reputation roundup for new players & new level 70s - Mon, 30 Jun 2008 17:30:00 EST Some of the best rewards in WoW can only be achieved if you have the appropriate level of reputation with a specific faction. Whether you're a brand new WoW player or a freshly-minted level 70 dipping your first toe into the endgame, you need to educate yourself about reputation (or "rep" as it's usually called). Fortunately, here at WoW Insider, we have a lot of tools that can help you find your way through the rep maze to the piece of loot you desire.
WoW Rookie: Azeroth Reputations This article is the next step in understanding rep and how it works for the world of Azeroth. Since you should start worrying about rep long before you hit level 40, this article shows you how to start preparing for getting your first mount -- especially if the one you hunger for is not your toon's racial mount.
WoW Rookie: Pre-Burning Crusade engame reputations This is a good primer on how rep worked prior to the release of The Burning Crusade expansion. Rep grinding in Azeroth after level 60 is not overly relevant now, but you may still be curious as to how it worked.
I actually enjoy grinding reputation simply because it gives me something simple and straightforward to do when I want to do something.... well, simple and straightforward. As much as I don't mind doing it, there still needs to be a sense of reward from it besides moving that little bar on the bottom of my screen upwards. I didn't grind out Kurenai simply because it wasn't rewarding. I got a Talbuk easier via Halaani PvP. I was lucky (or unlucky, depending on your view) as an enchanter, though. Our representation on faction vendors was quite high, and that only improved as The Burning Crusadeprogressed and the old AQ40 enchants made a comeback. I felt bad for my Engineering buddies that didn't really have much motivation to earn rep with anybody at all due to a complete lack of rewards.
The good news is that at the WWI's Raids and Dungeons panel, it was mentioned that a goal of theirs to be sure more tradeskills will be rewarded via factions, spread the love further, and just plain have more recipes. Again, as an Enchanter I had more than enough recipes to grind out all over Outland, but other tradeskills didn't quite receive that much love. It'll be nice to see my friends feel rewarded for their work in Wrath like I did throughout the leveling and gearing process in The Burning Crusade.
Then again, if you look at the timeframes, it's still a little soon -- the acclaimedBurning Crusade cinematic actually dropped on the Spike Videogame Awards in December of 2006 (just a month before BC was actually released in January of 2007), so since there's still some time until the Wrath release, there will still be some time until the cine shows.
In fact, it's looking more and more like BlizzCon 2008 might be the place to see it. With a rumored release date of sometime in November, Blizzard's big convention in October would probably be the perfect place to show off the next, undoubtedly beautiful chapter in the fall (and maybe even redemption?) of Arthas Menethil. Plus maybe they'll put a Gnome in there this time around.
Blizzard responds to Public Knowledge about WoW Glider - Mon, 30 Jun 2008 16:00:00 EST As we've been posting on WoW Insider, Blizzard is entangled in a lawsuit with the makers of WoW Glider, a bot program that is against WoW's terms of service. And there's been a wrinkle in the case -- an advocacy group called Public Knowledge has filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit arguing for Glider, and saying that if Blizzard wins this case, it could set a precedent for copyright law that would make any copying of a computer program (including the simple act of copying it for an install to the hard drive) be illegal at the IP owner's will. That's unacceptable, says Public Knowledge, so even though they agree that Glider may be against the ToS, they don't think Blizzard should win the case.
And now Blizzard has responded to Public Knowledge, and their argument isn't all that new. They claim that when you "buy" your WoW software, you don't actually own it -- you're just "licensing" it to use it on your computer. This is an argument that's long been used by copyright owners to claim that end users don't have the right to hack or otherwise modify their software, and it opens up a whole other can of worms, not least of which is that Blizzard is claiming if Glider wins this case, then all software "sales" ever really will give end users the ability to hack or modify it at will (something that a company like Microsoft, with their Windows OS, wouldn't want to happen).
As we've said before, there are a few ways this case could pan out, and it's likely that it won't end with either of the doomsday scenarios that Blizzard and Public Knowledge are describing -- the court could still rule narrowly in favor of Blizzard, stopping Glider but staying away from the other messes brought up here. Oral arguments in the case started this week -- we'll keep an eye on what happens next.
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Now before you go and tell your friends and family what really is important to you (because lets be honest, WotLK beta > 4th of July, right?) you need to consider that this is nothing more than a big ol' rumor.
This information came from Gnorog when he was at the World Wide Invitational in Paris this past weekend. I know that Gnorog exists and is a German community manager, but I can't confirm that he was at the WWI (although I'm sure he would have been). We get a good amount of beta and release rumors every day here at WoW Insider, and half the time they refer to people that aren't even real. So this rumor gets +10 for referring to a real person.
Reader Richie has done something genius -- he is a big fan of the Scarlet Crusade, having collected all of their armor and their tabard ingame. And when one of his guildies hit a birthday, he decided to take the design from the tabard, and put it on a T-shirt. You can see how well it turned out above, and there are pictures of the box (probably my favorite part of the whole thing -- he actually printed the "tooltip" for the t-shirt on the front, in the official WoW font, called Friz Quadrata), and the whole thing looks terrific.
More pics of the shirt, including the front of the box and a pic of the shirt in action, in the gallery below (hopefully we won't murder Richie's site, though it was loading slowly when I first pulled it up). This is a brilliant idea -- what other Tabards should be t-shirts? Forget Figureprints, Blizzard should let you print your own guild's tabard out as a T-shirt for sale on their site.
Welcome to today's edition of Ask WoW Insider, in which we publish your questions for dissection by the peanut gallery -- now with extra snark and commentary by one of our writers. This week Houldlum writes in:
I'm wondering if it's possible to hit level 70 before ever heading out to Outland. I've been working through every zone trying to hit every quest, even if it's grey (they do give a bit of XP). So far I've only skipped the dungeon quests and any group quest I can't solo. My goal is to hit 70 before Outland so I can maximize the gold return from those quests... and to see if I can do it.
I have managed to get to 63 on my Alliance Rogue before I hit Outland, but I skipped several Zones.
What are your thoughts?
Thanks, Houldlum (Falsehould, Fatherhould)
It was a light week on questions, so I'm going to dig down and use this one. Short answer: I'm pretty sure you can't. Long answser: Why the heck would you want to? Even if you got xp from anything in the Azeroth, even Cartman would think that grind was nuts.
So, anything out there -- at all -- that will give him or her xp until 70.
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.
Reader Oleg was kind enough to send along this Diablo III screenshot, which he found over on Blizzard's main site about the new game they announced this weekend. As you can see up in the corner, the game's internal code name apparently was Hydra, so that answers the question we posted way back in September of last year about someone overhearing the name "Hydra" being bounced around the Austin GDC.
And we also know now, of course, that Diablo III isn't an MMO, which means that Blizzard still has at least one secret project running: that next-gen MMO that we've been told about via job listings. Unfortunately, we probably won't hear much about it for a while -- unless Blizzard wants to ramp up their production, three titles at once is a lot for them to work on, and even at BlizzCon later this year, we don't really expect to see a new game announcement (although they might use the occasion, if Wrath really is released by then, to announce the next planned expansion).
Still, that's one mystery solved. Maybe we'll overhear another codename this year in Anaheim, and the rumor wheel can start spinning up yet again.
Raid Rx is designed to encapsulate and cure the shock and horror that is 25-man raid healing. Ok, so it's mostly horror... Anyways, if you're a big fan of X-TREME Whack-A-Mole (or are being forced into it against your will) this is the column for you. That above is the fun product of Wordle. I creatively call it "WoW WWS Healing". Click on it to give it a spin of your own.
So, if you've just randomly stumbled upon this multi-part saga on WWS meets healing, here's a lovely link to get you caught up. For the rest of you operating with mere short term memory lapses, this link right here will transport you to the example WWS we've been mulling about. But more on that after the jump.
Nyhm of Hard Like Heroic, Ni Hao and Pretty Fly for a Draenei is back with a rapping parody about that guy we all know. The guy who has nothing better to do than grief other players out of boredom. The one who spams trade channels with nonsense. As with most of Nyhm's work, some content may be NSFW!
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.
One of the primary struggles I face in a guild with no attendance policy is getting warm bodies to fill 25 raid slots for every raid. It seems like it doesn't matter how many people we recruit these days, we just can't seem to get enough people to make it happen all the time. As new players join us, old ones get burned out or stop playing altogether to wait for the next expansion. Based on this, you might already conclude that I can't really help the person who wrote this week's e-mail -- and maybe I can't! But I've learned that sometimes other factors can come into play, and this person might already be onto one of them.
I am in a raiding guild that usually runs about 3-4 raids a week and currently we are progressing through Black Temple as we have already cleared Mount Hyjal. [. . .] Recently we have had some issues with people showing up to raids and it seems to coincide with when our guild leader (raid leader) is not able to make it to the raid. If our raid leader doesn't log on we can't seem to fill out a 25 man raid but when he does log on we have no problem. Not really sure why this phenomenom happens but it seems to happen every time.
During the "PvP Game Systems" panel yesterday, game designers Tom Chilton and Corey Stockton made sure to include discussion about the new Battleground. We've known since last year that Blizzard wasn't going to release a new one until Wrath of the Lich King, so Battlegrounds enthusiasts -- and there are many out there -- have been hungry for any sort of information for a long time. Sadly, despite the many clues pointing towards a DotA-style Battleground, it was mere speculation. The new map seems more a Capture The Flag scenario with one side attacking and the other defending.
The new Battleground will have a Titan theme, with majestic architecture on an island located off the coast of Dragonblight. Because most of Northrend is based on Titan lore, the new Battleground capitalizes on the theme. Assaulting players will start the game on boats on the shore, while defenders will likely spawn from the uphill keep. Similar to Lake Wintergrasp, the Northrend Battleground will have destructible buildings and siege vehicles.
Considering our recent trend of repeatedlymocking the blood elves, it's high time we showcase some of the nice things our skinny, pointy, pale brethren do with their spare time. For example, instead of draining magic from helpless wyrms or cooking up tauren burgers, At'naed of Sporeggar-EU spends her days hunting down places of spiritual significance.
At'naed's player wrote, "At'naed's life is one long pilgrimage in search of holy places. She may not worship Elune. She may not even believe in the existence of her enemy's deity. But the priestess acknowledges the spiritual significance of a moonwell, and will still stop by to meditate and partake of its spiritual power (after killing any Night Elves that might be beside it, of course)." This particular moonwell is in the poorly-defended town of Stonetalon Peak. Thanks for the submission, At'naed, and enjoy your RP!
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 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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no sunsets or shots of the Stormwind water glitch -- I've been getting one a day lately.
Faction frustrations eased in Wrath - Mon, 30 Jun 2008 09:30:00 EST If you've played a Feral Druid to 70, especially in the early days of The Burning Crusade, you probably remember grinding out Exalted with the Cenarion Expedition for your Earthwarden. Personally, my pet faction was Lower City. As a Shadow Priest, I drooled heavily all over the Gavel of Unearthed Secrets. I had hit level 70 before Karazhan raids were commonplace on my server, so I found myself in Shadow Labyrinth at every opportunity. Say what you will about the irritation of running Steamvault constantly, I think Shadow Labyrinth is just a little more frustrating. Admittedly, if I had waited a few weeks, I probably could've gotten a Nathrezim Mindblade pretty easily when Karazhan runs picked up, but what can you do?
To help avoid this irritation, Wrath of the Lich King will be introducing something currently called 'championing.'
One of the most anticipated features of the Worldwide Invitational for us here at WoW Insider was the promise of playable WoTLK demos, so you know our team was all over that as soon as they hit the convention floor. We got a chance to sit down at a Death Knight demo station for a while, and we're bringing you all the information we got from the experience on how WoW's new class is shaping up. Follow the links of a look at the gameplay, skills, and talents of the Death Knight:
If you missed the Worldwide Invitational in Paris, WoW Insider has you covered. Check out our complete roundup for articles covering every angle of all the new WoTLK news from the WWI, and check back with us for more features and analysis later today!
The Oculus itself is not quite an indoors dungeon, not quite an outdoors dungeon. It is actually a series of tiered, floating rings, which you can see in the picture to the right. Which means you need a way to get between the rings, right? Right! How will we do that? Partway into the dungeon, you acquire a drake that allows you to fly within the Oculus! These drakes come in a few different flavors: DPS, Tanking, and Healing. You're allowed to pick and choose between them, too! Give your healer a break, and let them fly around on the DPS drake! They'll need to start healing again as soon as they're on the ground, so it'll only be a brief reprieve.
The dungeon will be, as I mentioned, nonlinear. All of the bosses will likely need to be killed before the dungeon is 'complete' but you're allowed to pick and choose which order you want to do them in. The simple idea of actually having a choice in that is exciting to me, especially after The Burning Crusade's linear, railroad dungeons. This drake mechanic also makes me curious about what other new features we'll run into in dungeons. Will we see siege vehicles in 5 man instances, like we're seeing in Lake Wintergrasp and the new battleground? What other challenges could be waiting for us, besides Stratholme-esque timed runs?