Once again for clarity: honor points and PvP tokens will not be reset when WotLK is released. According to a post by Zarhym today, Arena points and teams will still be wiped immediately prior to Wrath's release.
This is a very interesting change of policy. Blizzard announced last week that all honor points and tokens would be reset. Since that announcement, there has been significant outrage by many players that have saved up large amounts of honor and tokens. With this change players will be able to stockpile points and purchase level 80 PvP gear. However this gear will be "significantly more expensive" than current level 70 gear.
We'll bring you any updates that develop on this breaking news.
The realms are back up now, but we've all been through that wait before -- you've got things to do in Azeroth, but Blizzard is doing their updating, so you're stuck browsing around WoW Insider in Firefox. And here's a handy little tool to help you get back in the game as soon as possible -- the Realm Status Tool Firefox plugin will let you see the status of all the realms from right in the browser's toolbar, or even monitor a realm for you, and drop a note when its status changes.
Of course, if you just need to see what's up and down, the Realm Status page on Blizzard's site will do it for you, but the plugin will actually put up a popup when your selected realm is back up. So you can browse all you want, and know exactly the right time to log back into the game. It's been around for quite a while, though it's only at version .4, but I haven't had any problems with it yet. And it supports both US and EU realms, so no matter where you are, you can have it keep an eye on what your realm is up to.
The statement was met with mixed reactions among the playerbase, as many have agitated for an existing class to be cannibalized and its sweet innards redistributed in order to preserve raid balance in Wrath of the Lich King. Other, less pointless ranged DPS classes saw much debate concerning the issue. While Hunters could regrettably not be reached for comment as it was dinnertime and Mom was calling, the Warlock community, found at their collective den of iniquity, replied, "Nerfing us is not the answer. Buff other classes." When asked about Mages, they thought for a moment and said, "Classes worth buffing."
WoW Insider has thus far been unable to confirm with a developer that Mages will indeed remain in the game through patch 3.02. Reached at his office late Tuesday afternoon, Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan responded, "The what class?"
Disclaimer: the author of this post may possibly be bored and prone to making things up about expansion hysteria.
Just moments ago, Eyonix posted some great news for arena players. Expected news, but still great. Due to the sweeping changes coming in patch 3.0.2, they're going to take a snapshot of arena ratings and rankings on the day of the patch, and use that information for handing out title and rewards. As far as titles and Nether Drakes are concerned, that will be the end of the arena season.
The season will not completely end at that point, however. The Arenas will continue, and you will still be able to gain rating and arena points right up until the release of Wrath of the Lich King so you can finish getting whatever pieces of gear you'd like to take with you into Northrend.
I think we all knew they were going to do something along those lines. If they didn't, the entire season would essentially have been blown. Turning class balance upside down and adding a whole ton of new abilities to the game right at the end of a competition is just a poor move. I think this is the best compromise, too. Ending the season while still letting people gear up for Wrath is great. Raid zones aren't shutting down with 3.0.2, so it would be a little annoying for PvPers if the arena did.
The release of Wrath of the Lich King is still a long ways away, but Patch 3.0 could drop, technically, at any time.
With the announcement that today will see some hardware upgrades to the servers, it's unlikely it'll be now. But it might very well happen next Tuesday.
I've been holding off on any real discussion of the class changes that are coming, because things are liable to shift at any time.
Let's be honest, there are always some people that seem to have a tendency to panic at any change, and start calling anything new or anything unchanged a 'slap in the face', or 'the death of our tanking viability', or whatever. I would much prefer waiting until the situation stabilizes before opening the discussion up to rants.
But that's really not fair to all the Feral Druids that may not be following the Beta forums or PTR discussions closely, but have heard that with Patch 3.0 a lot will change for our class.
So I'm going to try to briefly hit the highlights of how our class will change, in terms of Feral Bear Tanking, since that is where the group dynamic is affected the most for Ferals.
Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, where for one glorious day, we don't have any passenger mount questions! But I know, deep down, there are a thousand more on the horizon.
Elmo asked... How are Enhancement Shamans shaping up? I heard silly things like Elemental gear is great for them or 2x fast weapons with Flametongue. Are we really gonna make that much of a turn around? In other words, is my hard earned gear all worthless? Not just the epic gems and Strength enchants.
Enhancement Shaman did hit a weird point where that was true, but I don't think it was ever intended that the 'final product' would look that way. There were some Windfury bugs and wonky unfinished tuning that caused that, but as another reader mentioned, the devs are working on getting everything fixed and proper. Things will be a little different from Burning Crusade, but not so much so that Enhancement Shaman are wearing Elemental gear to melee.
15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.
Last week, 15 Minutes of Fame visited with multiboxer Nixi of team Absolute Power-H of Archimonde to bring WoW Insider readers his 10-boxing strategy for Karazhan. This week, we'll step back for a look at Nixi's hardware setup, his top five tips for new multiboxers and a broader look at why he's a 'boxer.
If you're like me, you've been madly farming the elusive Great Brewfest Kodo since Brewfest began. Even when I was having a bit of hand trouble, my little dwarf found his way into Blackrock Depths to do beer-laden battle with the big, bad, belligerent brewmaster. But there's an important tip that you should remember while Brewfest continues.
The two spell trinkets are both useful to all spell casters (who don't out gear them) after the content patch unifies spell damage and spell healing into Spell Power. Right now, the Dark Iron Smoking Pipe is a spell damage trinket, and the Direbrew Hops is a healing trinket. But in the content patch, both will be turned to spell power -- the Pipe has 43 spell power and 155 on use, the Hops have 44 spell power, 153 on use.
Of course, this begs the question about how the Pipe and Hops will compare to other trinkets when the patch hits. Timbal's Focusing Crystal from Heroic Magister's packs 44 spell power. You'll have to decide whether you want an on-use bonus 154ish spell power from the brewfest trinkets, or Timbal's on-use proc for 285 to 475 extra damage. The Hex Shrunken Head from Zul'Aman is a clear upgrade from the Hops and Pipe, since it has more constant spell power and high on-use spell power.
Coren's dropped trinkets are equivalent to the 41-Badge trinkets purchaseable from G'eras. The Essence of the Martyr and Icon of the Silver Crescent are both slightly better than either Hops or Pipe since they have 44 spell power, and 158 spell power on use. But for 41 badges each, I'm probably not going to lose any sleep over 5 spell power every 2 minutes.
A new month ... a new start ... a new opportunity to pick the winner of this biweekly period's Caption This! contest. Members of the WoW Insider staff have chosen their favorite captions from the original post. Now you get to decide who goes home with a 60-day game card, an Eastvale Logging Camp or a Camp Taurajo ringer shirt from J!NX, or nothing but a sock full of tears. Just pick the best caption for the above picture. Voting closes tomorrow, Wednesday, October 1 at 11:59 PM EST, and winners will be informed shortly afterward by e-mail.
Remember, entrants must be U.S. or non-Quebec Canadians at least 13 years old. If you'd like to check out the contest's official rules, they can be found here. Happy voting!
Again, we have a couple of entries that don't fit into our polling software. Here they are! You can vote for them under "Syll's poem" and "Debricashi's lawsuit" above.
When the Flesh-Elbowed Sneetches had frankfurter roasts, or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts, they never invited the Plain-Elbowed Sneetches. Left them out cold in the dark of the beaches. Kept them away; never let them come near, and that's how they treated them year after year. -- Syll
"Good afternoon, gentlemen. I represent the citizens of Lordaeron you see behind me. I am here to inform you that we will be bringing a class action suit against you for malpractice regarding treatment of plague victims. Expect the documents in your office by Monday." -- Debricashi
The ever-helpful Ghostcrawler hit the forums late yesterday with a slew of changes to Death Knight tanking in the form of both bug fixes and buffs. The single biggest "buff" is actually a fairly significant bug fix; Death Knights had half the untalented, ungeared dodge of a Warrior or Paladin, and that was definitely never intended. Between that and a change to Blade Barrier (it's currently activated with all runes on cooldown; it's being changed to activate with only Blood runes on cooldown), Death Knights should see a significant improvement to their avoidance. Threat generation is also getting a nice boost, as Blizzard recognized that Death Knights suffered badly whenever key moves failed to land. Rune Strike is becoming a reactive ability like the Warrior's Revenge, and Frost Strike can no longer be dodged, blocked, or parried. Death and Decay has also been changed to be more competitive with Consecration and Thunder Clap, which is consistent with the overall trend toward AoE tanking effectiveness.
I've healed a number of Death Knight tanks in 5-mans now (you'll be hearing from my grumpy self about this soon) and recognized a few early versions of these issues, certainly in the form of Blade Barrier's often-spotty uptime. While I'm glad that DK's are getting more consistent threat generation, I have to admit that my real concern is the amount of burst they seem to take (something others have noticed as well), so I'm keeping an eye on the tweaks being made. Thanks to Doug for writing in!
It's been so long since Moviewatch took a look at the Chronicle of the Annoying Quest that two more episodes have come out since then. I've decided to feature Episode 28 instead of Episode 27 because I feel it's the much better of the two. The humor is better and the pacing is quicker. It's interesting, though, that Bakasavant starts off both episodes very slowly, taking a bit too long to get to the point. In Episode 27, there's some messing about with flying mounts that, although somewhat humorous, doesn't add much to the story. And with Episode 28, there is a long intro as a tribute to the late Richard Wright which probably should've gone at the end of the episode.
I disagree with the previous Moviewatch post on Episode 26 in that, if you've never watched an episode of Chronicle of the Annoying Quest, I don't think you need to watch the entire series to enjoy these last two episodes. (I haven't watched more than 8 of these episodes total.) The comedic timing alone in Episode 28 stands by itself. I think, also, that the series doesn't necessarily need an ending point. In that way it reminds me not only of an American soap opera, but also of WoW content in general. In fact, the title of the series itself suggests that its part of the reason the quest is annoying is due to its unending nature.
Bakasavant Productions says that Episode 31 will be the season finale. What the filmmakers mean by a "season," however, is beyond me. How long is a machinima "season"? How long will they be gone? Will they merely be taking time away from CotAQ to do other films or will they drop off the radar entirely? I hope it's not the latter.
Launcher updated again, 3.0.2 soon? - Tue, 30 Sep 2008 11:30:00 EST The Launcher "and its related tools" have gotten another upgrade today, even though the realms haven't come up yet, which tells us that the Background Downloader probably has more work to do, which itself means that we probably won't see 3.0.2 today. Not really a surprise -- it's early by anyone's predictions for sure -- but the Downloader has had a full patch out for a while, so the update is primed and almost ready.
Today's downtime is all about hardware upgrades, apparently, so Blizzard is definitely gearing up for Wrath. We saw lots of hardware upgrades in the months before the Burning Crusade launch (people who were playing back then will remember all of the horrible queues and population issues before servers got expanded), and while Wrath probably won't be as big a jump, Blizzard is still getting ready.
Yes, folks, it's almost October, and that means it's time to start making those big plans for BlizzCon. And when you do, don't forget to include us -- just like last year, we're having a blowout reader meetup right near the Convention Center in Anaheim. Save the date for the second annual WoW Insider BlizzCon Meetup: Thursday night, October 9, at 8pm PST in The Lost Bar near the Disneyland Hotel (1150 W. Magic Way, same place as last year). If Blizzard does things the same way they did last year, badges will be pick-up-able that Thursday, so we'll all be awash in our goodie bags and passes already, and excited about what the rest of the 'con holds.
Just like last time, we'll bring lots of prizes (and you may even get another round of trivia questions from me), plus you'll get the chance to meet and greet all your favorite WoW Insider bloggers (and commenters). And as you know if you were there last time, The Lost Bar has lots of great food and drink. And little boats to race!
So if you're headed out to BlizzCon and will be in town on Thursday night, October 9th, at 8pm (or are in town anyway and want to come say hi), definitely come by our second annual reader meetup. And stay tuned for more -- we're planning on having at least one more live event at BlizzCon (we have to record the WoW Insider Show sometime that weekend, right?), so we'll let you know more about our schedule there soon.
What's a nice undead like you doing all the way out in the Wetlands? Unless you're a warlock looking to get a succubus, or a level 60 acquiring your Onyxia key for some reason, the Horde has no reason to be there. Alazor of <Ubiquity> on Defias Brotherhood-EU describes his journey: "This screenshot shows Stilva, a forsaken rogue. He walks through the Wetlands following the rising dawn, seeing the new day as a new fate for him, as he considers the murderous deeds of his past. Who knows if he looks back at them in regret, or sinister joy?" Not sure, Stilva, but I'll note that "following the rising dawn" in the Wetlands is going to lead you into a big nest of angry elite dragons. I suppose that if one was an optimist, you could call that "a new fate." It's certainly some kind of fate.
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 strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards.
Ghostcrawler reveals warrior DPS changes - Tue, 30 Sep 2008 08:30:00 EST You remember a few days ago when Ghostcrawler revealed unto us changes for tanking warriors? Well, now she's back with the opening salvo of changes for DPS warriors. Many a tipster mentioned, as does Ghostcrawler, that this is but the first in a series of changes to the DPS warrior in Wrath. So what does this first post reveal? Well, while we'll once again post the complete text behind the jump for those of us who have a hard time seeing the forums, one change goes right into woah, really territory for me.
Sudden Death now grants 10 rage, so that following the Execute you have 10 rage left over. In the course of testing this, we also decided Execute by itself wasn't doing enough damage, so it got a buff too (could be around +15%), which will also help the talent.
Now this is very, very interesting to me. First off, not only does this make Sudden Death a lot easier to use, but the idea of Execute getting a 15% damage boost, and it's not clear to me if that is part of the talent, or just part of Execute now... I'm very interested indeed to see what happens here.
The rest of Ghost's post is behind the curtain. Think about it, won't you?
Breakfast Topic: The last week of Brewfest - Tue, 30 Sep 2008 08:00:00 EST Yes, counting today, there are just five more chances for you to down Coren Direbrew during the Brewfest holiday, so if you haven't gotten lucky and gotten a mount yet, better keep trying. And if you haven't started collecting tickets coins, better get to it -- odds are that you're out of luck for getting the ~550 you need for everything, but you can probably still get at least 200 to join the Brew of the Month club.
Don't know how to drop Coren or do a keg run? We've got you covered on both. Personally, I got everything I needed (picked up two epics from Coren and joined the BotM club) save for the mounts, but those are so rare (and finding a group as DPS is so tough on my server) that I'm probably not going to bother. Fortunately, I'm looking forward to that other popular holiday that is just around the corner...
How you doing on Brewfest? Finished early or just now realizing that the holiday ends on Saturday? Downed Coren every single day with no mount to show for it, or went in there once and are now riding around on a kodo?
The Tuesday Morning Post: Is it 3.0 time yet? - Tue, 30 Sep 2008 07:30:00 EST Good Tuesday morning, everyone! The servers will be down for a short maintenance today, from 5 AM to 11 AM PDT. During this time, Blizzard plans to upgrade some of their hardware to prepare for the Wrath of the Lich King. While some people are hoping for 3.0 in addition, there's no word of it as of this writing, and I wouldn't hold my breath. I don't think they'd want to patch and upgrade hardware at the same time, and if they did, they'd definitely have planned for a 3 AM to 11 AM extended downtime.
So I'm guessing we have at least another week before we see the patch. In the meantime, you can keep yourself occupied by reading up on all of our Wrath Beta and 3.0 PTR news. Here's some of the best stuff from the past week:
El's Extreme Anglin' recently posted a fun little video previewing Fishing in Wrath of the Lich King. Specifically, in Dalaran. I have no idea what draws people (including myself) to such a boring profession, but this video shows a bit of what Blizzard has done to make it more entertaining. I have a feeling this randomness is part of what keeps us anglers coming back to this or that lake. Dalaran especially has a lot of added fun things you can find with Fishing to mix it up.
My personal favorite thing that I came across was the fountain, as is displayed in the video and previously here on WoW Insider. Various lore characters that have been in Dalaran at one point or another have tossed coins in the wishing well, and they come with quotes from the characters. Characters from the games, the novels, everything, they're there. It's really pretty cool.
The more random things are fun, too. The Hungry Tuskarr buff makes me giggle, and the Wild Magic adds a little "Hrmm, what will happen this time?" to the experience. If you're a Fishing fiend, I definitely recommend hopping over to El's Anglin' and taking a look around. The site has pretty much everything you could possibly want as an angler in WoW.
And don't worry too much if you don't win -- the nice folks over there have also passed a few tabard codes over to WoW Insider that we'll be giving away here on the site very soon (or perhaps even at BlizzCon, so keep an eye out for us if you're going there as well). We told you -- there's no end to their generosity! Go enter WoWTCGLoot's contest right now, and stay tuned to WoW Insider to hear about more chances to pick up an ingame tabard of your own.
Sounds like fun. Here's a slideshow of student art scheduled to be in the show -- none of it looks to be strictly Warcraft-related, but there is a little Blizzard flavor in a few of them (especially this one, I think). It all looks well done -- maybe we'll see some of this stuff exhibited at BlizzCon as well. If you're in the area and you do go see it, make sure to tell us what you think.