I would hope that most of you have learned this lesson by now, but for those who came in late: there is currently no Wrath of the Lich King beta test going on. We've been getting a steady stream of tips about various scam sites, or questions along the lines of "is this invite I just got real?" No, that beta invite you got from "firstname.lastname@example.org" is not real. Wrath is in alpha, company-internally, maybe. Trust me, I want in at least as bad as you do, but any invite you get to a Wrath beta right now, unless you work at Blizzard, is fake.
When the beta does start (as it surely will eventually), and if you're lucky enough to get a real invite, it will point to a site at blizzard.com, worldofwarcraft.com, or (for our European chums) wow-europe.com. It will not, for instance, point to therealblizzard.net. The scammers have gotten pretty good at building convincing-looking sites (as pictured), but check the URL and don't be fooled. Do not enter your WoW account name and/or password anywhere other than the log-in screen of the game, blizzard.com, worldofwarcraft.com, or wow-europe.com. Oh, and use Firefox.
If you had a high level character Horde last year and did the Shattrath Orphan's Week quest, you know what I'm talking about. Salandria, your Blood ElfOrphan, is a somewhat snooty and stuck up girl who loves to stick her nose where it might not be safe (such as the fire elemental up at the Throne of Elements), but she seems mostly like a normal, if slightly precocious girl.
Personally, I do a mixture of both -- some icons, especially on the top rows, are easier to reach with the mouse than on the keyboard, so I click them. But most of the lower icons are easier to just reach up and click the number buttons on the keyboard, so that's what I do with those. Still Paul isn't really interested in the ways people do it -- he's interested in what's best. In Arena, getting abilities cast and out as fast as possible is often more important than anything else, so it definitely seems like relying on the mouse for movement (and maybe even binding oft-used abilities to mouse keys) would be much faster than clicking on icons periodically. Of course, there's always the option to do both at the same time.
It would be interesting for sure to see what kind of schemes and setups winning Arena teams use -- I'd imagine that they'd have to play with default interfaces, so while keybindings and macros would probably work best, they wouldn't be able to go too overboard with customization. At the highest levels, is it faster to click and press or just use the mouse for movement?
One of the most confusing things about a hunter's repertoire of spells is the exact use of Auto Shot. This ability is unlike the abilities of any other class, quite different from a warrior's swing timer, or a caster's wand shooting. Auto Shot is like a metronome, and the music of hunter DPS requires that we play according to its beat.
We've discussed Auto Shot a little bit in last week's introduction to Shot Rotation, but Auto Shot is much more complex than is first apparent from simply reading the ability's tooltip. First of all, there is a discrepancy between what the interface shows you of Auto Shot and what is actually going on. If you don't use any hunter addons, you may have great difficulty getting a feeling for any of what this article is about, because Auto Shot doesn't have any representation in the default UI. If you use an addon like Quartz or ZHunterMod, however, you'll be presented with a timer that looks something like a regular casting bar -- and while this Auto Shot bar will help a great deal, it is still not complete. No matter what, your imagination and inner sense of timing are going to have to do a good bit of work in getting your shots timed right.
Slorkuz weasels his way out of a real answer by saying that this is already possible in game: places like the Gurubashi Arena do let whole groups of people fight each other however they like. He also says that Blizzard has no plans to add any features like this, but he's slightly wrong -- we did get told at Blizzcon that they were going to do more along the lines of Guild vs. Guild combat, if only in the existing BGs. This idea, along with guild housing, is still in the works somewhere, at least.
Of course, with any player interaction feature like this, there is always the opportunity for exploitation -- some players have probably refused enough duel invites in their day without having to worry about any more, and whenever you have someone "speaking" (as in, accepting or rejecting a duel) for a group in terms of PvP, you can run into trouble. But for those who really would like to know whether their guild could beat another guild, or just which raid is better than another one, a feature like this would definitely be welcomed.
If you've got the rep, just stop by Gezhe at Aeris Landing in Nagrand, and he'll hand you a bag of free gems, quality dependent on reputation level. You'll still need a Jewelcrafter to cut them up, but hey, free gems is free gems.
A young lady from YeditepeUniversity in asked for help in collecting data for her thesis on the WoW Europe forums.The researcher, Tugce Tosya seeks to find out learn more about presence in computer games, and has chosen World of Warcraft as her population of choice.You can find her brief questionnaire online.I found it took about five minutes to complete and checks out against possible keyloggers or spyware.Any questions you have about the survey can be directed to her academic supervisor or the Information Systems & Technologies department.
Good luck on your thesis Tugce, let me know if you need any help with analysis.We'd love to hear about other WoW-based projects.
Totem Talk: Resto questing - Thu, 01 May 2008 14:00:00 EST Totem Talk's Matthew Rossi has had a small Horde renaissance this week, and decided to take his slightly dusty Resto shaman out for a spin, healing a heroic MgT run and then running about the IoQD doing the dailies. Turns out he learned a few things in the process. He wrote a little song about it, like to hear it? Here it goes.
Okay, I apologize, but there will be no singing. Tell you what, if enough people demand it, I'll belt one out on the next WoW Insider Show I'm on.
I've posted in the past about how to quest, grind and otherwise solo on a Restoration shaman, but I didn't go sufficiently into detail as the post ended up being about the odd things people think about shamans. So this week, we'll go more into detail. There are basically two ways you can go about doing this, thanks to the recent changes Blizzard made to healing gear: you can go out and quest in your regular healing set or you can also have a set of DPS gear. Unlike a priest and more like fellow hybrids like druids, you have a choice of what kind of DPS gear to wear. You could have a set of Enhancement mail and a big 2h weapon (since Resto shammies can't dual wield but can use 2h's now) and run around hitting stuff, or you could go for the spell damage gear and imagine that you're a powerful Elemental shaman.
My own personal preference (due to that fact that my shaman has a lot of Enhancement gear) is to go the whackity whackity route and Windfury up a 2h. But in the interests of experimentation I tried both spell damage gear and my normal healing setup, and I found that my personal preference is in fact the least effective of the three for the gear I happen to have. I'm sure no one is surprised.
At any rate, let's talk turkey. Isn't turkey delicious? Druids can turn into humanoid-turkey hybrids. None of this has anything to do with Shamans of any spec soloing anything, but I've always wondered about the phrase 'let's talk turkey' and how anyone could resist saying "yay, I love stuffing!" after it. I'll get a hold of myself now. Actual details of Shaman soloing behind the jump. Whee!
Children's Week begins today - Thu, 01 May 2008 13:30:00 EST Today's the first day of May, and that means that Children's Week has begun. All kinds of little snot-nosed orphans are out there begging for you to run them around Azeroth and show them the sights, and in return they'll give you one of the richest treasures in all of WoW -- a cute little noncombat pet. There's a nice Children's Week guide up over at WarcraftPets, and we've done our share of orphan touristing around here at WoW Insider. This year will be no exception -- stay tuned all week for posts about what may have changed in Azeroth for the holiday, and don't forget that this Sunday, our in-game guild on Zangarmarsh will be running around the orphans all together.
Of course, it may not be the best thing for Azerothian orphans to be running around with all you wacky player characters, but they've got to get out of the orphanage at some point, right? Go do it for the kids this week!
Well Fed Buff serves up tasty dishes to boost your HP, stats and appetite - with that special WoW twist, of course.
The calendar says that spring has spring, which means we should be out Bar B Queuing, but the Earth Mother seems to disagree.It has been unseasonably cold and windy in many areas, which gives us plenty of opportunities for hot chili, soup, and stew.This week we indulge in Runn Tum Tuber Surprise.
In game the recipe calls for Runn Tum Tubers and Soothing Spices.The tubers are found in Warpwood Pods in Dire Maul or drop from Pusillin, who also drops this recipe.This dish can be consumed by characters 45 and higher.It restores 1933 health over 27 seconds and increases your Intellect by ten for ten minutes.The real life version is relatively simple to make, and requires considerably less talent than the 275 Cooking skill required for the virtual version.
What's your main right now? This won't make me very popular, but I actually don't really play WoW. I did for a while after it came out, but I'm not a very good grinder and it just got lonely.
This is an outrage! How dare you write about WoW without playing it? That's actually a really good question. I got my start in machinima roughly two years ago when I was hired to promote it in Second Life, an oft-mocked virtual world. Through experimentation with machinima, as well as the education that I provided to others, I became known as one of the "It" people for machinima in SL.
After yesterday's subliminal debacle, we need some quality time in front of the television. lagspikefilm, previously known for his runaway hit, Crossing Over, has invited us into Thrall's Crib. This parody of MTV Cribs is so inspired by the real deal that I wouldn't be surprised if MTV sought permission to air it, or, alternatively, cease and desist it.
We're introduced to Thrall at the front of his pad, where he gives us a tour of his sweet rides, the room where the magic happens, and his unfortunate hair days. Fans of Cribs will notice every cut scene, musical choice, and even the sudden sped up footage. I wonder what a "house" like that costs?
Diablo3.com acquired by Blizzard - Thu, 01 May 2008 11:30:00 EST A few weeks ago, we posted about a countdown on the site that was going towards May 1st, and if you check your calendars, you can see that the day has come, and Diablo3.com is now redirecting to Diablofans.com. There is a post on the site saying that Blizzard contacted the site a few months ago to pick up the domain name, and while the owner (who also runs I-Mockery) wanted it to stay a fan site, he couldn't help but sell to Blizzard. We had speculated that it would mean an official takeover, and while it hasn't actually happened yet (right now the redirect is in place, and we're not sure how long that'll be the case), it looks like we were right.
The obvious conclusion here, of course, is that Blizzard is ramping up for a Diablo 3 announcement -- no doubt sweet, sweet candy to the ears of Blizzard fans everywhere. And that's not a huge assumption -- it's been rumored for a while, and what other reason would Blizzard have to start marking their territory? Of course, as the owners of the Diablo trademarks, Blizzard could probably have claimed the domain any time, though from the post on the new site, it sounds like they actually paid money for it -- how much, we're not sure. (they didn't -- see update)
At any rate, if you're going to be optimistic about there being a Diablo 3, the new date to mark on your calendars is Saturday, June 28th -- that's the date that the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational starts in Paris. Last year, they used the event to announce Starcraft 2, so who knows -- maybe this year we'll see Deckard Cain in a cinematic saying, "It's about time."
Update: Actually, the I-Mockery guys said they gave it to Blizzard for free, just because they were Blizzard fans, which is kind of cool. Also, the redirect will apparently last until June 1st, at which point, Blizzard will take over Diablo3.com. Our guess is that then it'll redirect to Blizzard.com (see diablo.com), at least until an announcement is made.
Mother's Day is just around the corner, and though your mom (or wife) may not know anything about a Badge of Justice or Super Potions, she will most likely appreciate a Basket of Flowers. This project is super easy and would be a great way to get the kids involved in making a special gift for mom. Here is what you will need:
Flower Bushes (a variety of artificial flowers should do)
The six stages of grief in WoW, courteously illustrated by Megane of <DreamWhisper> on Windrunner with the help of Illidan Stormrage:
Denial: "Huh? They can't be dead already!"
Anger: "What the hell were the healers doing, picking their noses?"
Bargaining: "Hey, Illidan, can't we just talk this one out? I'll give you a shiny silver if you let me go."
Depression: "I can't believe we got this far into the fight just to wipe. My repair bills are driving me into bankruptcy."
Acceptance: "At least I can stand tall and face my death like a warrior."
Shadow Blast To The Face: This one's kind of self-explanatory.
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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. It's May Day! The sun should be celebrated, not mourned! Also apparently there's something with communism.
I don't use many AddOns when I play. Cartographer, Auctioneer and Gatherer are pretty much it. I've tried tarting my UI up with some of the fancier mods, but I always come back to my minimalist setup. Because I don't use many, I don't have to upgrade very often and I always neglect to bookmark the appropriate download sites. I'm also a believer in convenience, so I make full use of my Firefox address bar to do my "searches". Firefox will either bring up a Google search for whatever I type in or it will bring up the closest webpage to what I have typed.
Our diligent friend Boubouille from MMO Champion has done it again -- we don't know how he does it, but he's done it again. He's tipped us to having managed to dig up files from Patch 2.4.2 and found a treasure trove of the items most people probably won't be able to get. The items are incredible upgrades from the previous season and look to be on par with Sunwell Plateau gear in terms of item points. [EDIT: Apparently, what Boubouille did was take the game files after the vendors on the PTR were unlocked and collated them -- still nothing to dismiss.]
Following the trend of Patch 2.4, two new spell haste weapons have appeared in the files -- the Brutal Gladiator's Blade of Alacrity and a hammer version called the Brutal Gladiator's Hammer of Swift Judgement. The hammer has slightly more Stamina but possesses no spell hit. The two weapons have no spell damage and healing bonuses but are, if they make it to live in their current form, the highest spell haste items in the game at a whopping 227. This translates to roughly 14.5% speed increase, the highest gain from a single item. From the looks of it, these weapons alone will be worth the 2200 2050 [EDIT: my bad! i wrote this post up in five minutes before rushing out to see Iron Man! That movie rocked, by the way, so go out and watch it!] rating required to get them. Read about every single Brutal Gladiator item -- from item sets to weapons -- over at MMO Champion.
Narayan is a Boomkin. So there is no way he should be looting the Seventh Ring of the Tirisfalen. Even if he were a Feral Druid, he still wouldn't need all of that shield stuff. But for a minute, most of the people in Tempest Keep seemed to forget that loot text is green and not orange. To say that the tank was a little miffed would be an understatement. But my guildies have a great sense of humor, so there will be no ensuing drama reported in Guildwatch.
Have you fallen for an emote practical joke? Or are you the emote joke perpetrator? What is your favorite /e humor?
David Bowers lightly ribbed me earlier about being too lazy to read quest text. Avid role-player that he is, he considered skipping quest text a capital offense. He went on to tell me about some folks that even made sure to read every readable book or object in the game, like A Steamy Romance Novel or those books lying around in Stratholme. Role-players pride themselves in immersing themselves in game lore and the environment. I don't think I could be so involved or keep in character so well for so long. I thought to myself just how hardcore that was. On the other hand, some people would probably consider my dropping 375 Mining to level up Enchanting just for the ring enchants for PvP to be hardcore. I certainly think what Nihilum did by having a majority of their raiding crew take up Leatherworking just for the Drums of Battle was incredibly hardcore.
The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that a lot of people are pretty hardcore in their own way. I mean, my wife continued to raid with us while she was pregnant, healing us through Serpentshrine Cavern while lying down on the bed. She would log on to fill our roster when we were short even though she was bedridden because of doctor's orders. One of her friends in-game who was also pregnant played a Druid and was actually tanking a Heroic 5-man when she felt contractions come on and had to excuse herself midway through the instance. It turned out to be a false alarm, but I think these women are pretty hardcore for playing in their condition.