If you're a serious Hunter, chances are you've heard of Cheeky's Spreadsheet, and probably used it. If you haven't heard of it, it's an amazing Hunter resource that allows you to plug your personal spec, gear, pet data, and shot rotation into a handy spreadsheet and figure out your DPS and other vital statistics. You can then swap in different gear, talents, and shot rotations to decide what upgrades to shoot for or just to see if you can squeeze out a bit more DPS from your Hunter.
Unfortunately, Cheeky has just released her final version, and is retiring from the spreadsheet business (along with cohort and fellow spreadsheet maintainer Lactose), leaving a rather large hole in the raiding Hunter community for sure (You may also remember them as the authors of the rather insightful look at Hunter DPS from a while back).
Cheeky has unlocked the spreadsheet, so we can that some other theorycrafting-minded Hunter will step up and maintain it going forward in WotLK, especially with all the new changes Hunters are seeing that may drastically change the way they play. However, whether that happens or not, Cheeky's retirement is sure to leave a hole in the Hunter Community, and she and Lactose will both be missed. Good luck and good hunting to both of them.
This is the perfect hefty loot item -- it's easy enough for almost anyone to get, but relatively secret enough that most people don't know exactly where it is. When I came across it leveling up my Hunter this week, I knew it belonged right here.
Transforms you into a helpless Blackwhelp dragon for up to 15 minutes. You can't attack or cast spells while transformed.
In fact, it's pretty limiting -- you can't even take damage while in this form. You can use self-buff abilities and drink potions and such (rumor is that Winterfall Firewater looks funny while the Orb is on), but the disguise is pretty fragile.
And Wyrmcultists will see right through you in this disguise, as will any other mobs. We'll get to why that's important in a second.
Oh, and coincidentally, Blizzard's item ID number for this item is 31337. Cute.
How to Get It: Up in Blade's Edge, in the Wyrmcultist chain of quests leading out of Evergrove, you'll eventually find your way to Blackwing Coven, a cave west of the Grishna Arrakoa settlement (through the Wyrmskull Tunnel). There's a quest called "Meeting at Blackwing Coven," that requires you to kill Wyrmcultists, get "Costume Scraps" from them, and then use five of those to make a costume that will make you look like one of them.
The actual quest has you meeting with an NPC and then leaving, but if you hurry (the costume only lasts three minutes), you can run over and also chat with another NPC on the opposite side of the cavern from the quest target. The NPC is called the "Wyrmcult Provisioner," and if you're in costume, he'll be friendly, and act as an actual vendor. Among a few other general goods (I stocked up on bullets while there), he also sells this item for a mere 2g 50s.
And the good news is that even if you've done the quest already, you can go back, murder more Wyrmcultists for more Costume Scraps, and go visit the provisioner again. So even if you didn't catch this the first time around, it's still waiting for you in Blade's Edge.
The Provisioner also sells the Wyrmcultist's Cloak, which is a nice Fire Resistance cloak, especially since it's so easy to get.
Getting Rid of It: It's only got 3 charges, so use those and it's out of your life forever. You could also sell it back for 62s 50c, but unfortunately it's BoP so no auction house profits off of this one.
With the release date of BlizzCon 2008 coming ever closer, it should be near time for the floodgates of information to open. One of the questions that's always on everybody's lips about BlizzCons: What's in the goody bag? Blizzard gave us a sneak peak today.
First, they confirmed that the goggled bear mount with a Murloc passenger MMO-Champion discovered a few days ago is in fact the BlizzCon in-game pet. That's right, just head to BlizzCon, and you too could be among the first to own a "multi-passenger" WoW mount.
As for the next item, those of you who are annoyed at the prospect of any old Arthas-killing schlub getting their hands on Frostmourne may want to brace yourselves: now, any BlizzCon-attending schlub can get Frostmourne too: Namely, a 48" inflatable version of the sword. However, only half the bags will have that. The other half will have an inflatable Divine Shield ball, complete with hearthing paladin.
Of course, that won't be all. Blizzard is also promising stuff like "zerg creep," Pandaren Brewmaster bottle openers, Diablo health and mana stress balls, and much more.
With stuff like that, I'd say it may be worth buying a ticket on August 11th for the goody bag alone. But if you can't, don't worry. We'll be sure to have pictures of all the swag for you to drool over come BlizzCon itself, as well as all the coverage you could want on all things BlizzCon, both during the con and in the days leading up to it!
First off, some news that may be good, may be bad: Paralysis is going away. As we remember, Paralysis was the deep elemental talent that added bonus spell damage and a chance to paralyze to your lightning and chain lightning. At this time, I have no idea what they're replacing it with or why it's being taken out: Since there's a deliberate change to the coefficient on lightning spells in Wrath as well, described as being there to balance out new abilities that provide a nature school debuff (whereas previously LB and CL had a higher coefficient because there weren't many such abilities), I find myself wondering if Paralysis simply wasn't scaling well enough to be of use. Since I can't test this (curse you, Beta gods) I'll just have to take it on faith that Paralysis' removal is a good thing.
Obviously this isn't a huge deal... it's beta, stuff gets changed... but it does have me thinking about how leveling from 70 to 80 is going to feel. To a degree, leveling a shaman is like being starving at an all you can eat buffet: you have so many choices that you might end up not being able to choose at all. Even as someone who really, really enjoying leveling enhancement (so much so that I did it twice) the pull of trying out a restoration spec under the new spell power rules has its appeal, or just ouright committing to the pew pew of elemental combat. (Part of it is that I just like typing elemental combat. In my head it's like the theme song from the Mortal Kombat movie, only with Neptulon and Ragnaros instead of Sub-Zero and Johnny Cage.)
WeGame.com recently announced a machinima contest with $5000 USD in prizes. To participate, you must make a movie from any game during the month of August, upload it, and submit it to the contest group. Oxhorn, as well as other WeGame staff, will be judging the submissions based on a number of factors including creativity, story, humor, and execution.
Some of the prizes include:
Grand Prize: Area-51 Alienware desktop
Second, Third, and Fourth place winners choose from a varying amount of the following: Sennheiser HD-280 headphones, a 500GB external hard drive, a professional microphone, a GeForce 8600GT 512mb video card, speakers, an AMD processor, a gaming mouse, and some other really cool items
Eight Honorable Mentions get WeGame schwag and a $25 USD gift certificate to ThinkGeek
This isn't the first time we've heard about putting a built-in threat meter in the standard World of Warcraft interface. The idea came up back at Blizzcon 07, and Neth confirmed plans to include such a meter in February '08. But there's not been much discussion about the idea since then. Today, Bornakk confirmed they're still working on it, but there's obviously no details to be shared yet. ("Soon," and all that.) So, while we don't know that we'll be seeing the threat meter with the release of Wrath of the Lich King, at least we know it's probably still coming eventually.
Threat meters are almost entirely a mandatory requirement for most raids. The two big ones are KTM and Omen, of course. It lets your DPS know when to let off the gas a bit, before they pull aggro off the tank. Or, maybe, tells the tanks they need to push the petal harder and build up more of their own threat instead of limiting the DPS. I can't imagine raiding without one, and if that's the state of things for enough players, I expect Blizzard will take it over themselves soon enough.
Keen-eyed and oddly-gearedDwarf Priest noticed somone a little odd hanging out at the World's End Tavern in Shattrath. Lounging about, sizing up the likes of bag-meister Haris Pilton, the Eye of Divinity let Dwarf Priest see a spectre lurking, lurking at the Tavern's floor. Not a Raven, ever more, but Ricole Nichie.
Ms. Nichie has been lurking there for a little while, but you can (apparantly) only see her if you happen to have the Eye of Divinity equipped. And since that comes from the Cache of the Firelord from old Molten Core -- it's not like you're going to see a lot of those flooding the game any time soon.
This kind of thing just goes to show how richWorld of Warcraft can be, riddled with many easter eggs and sideswipe pop culture references. This one's pretty obscure, even if it's been around for a while -- you have to be wearing a Priest-only item that's not really that useful in current content. Still, it'll keep inspiring the intrepid among us to peer a little closer at the World of Warcraft around us.
Yes, you can have a Night Elf mohawk. That's the biggest thing you should take away from the new files uncovered by Andrige, a WoW fan artist. They show some of the new hairstyle options for various races showing up soon in a Barber Shop near you. He sent the files off to our own Big Bear Butt Blogger and to Phaelia of Resto4life. The Male hairstyles can be found at Big Bear Butt, while the female hairstyles can be found at Resto4Life.
Right now, it looks like they've mostly swapped hairstyles between races -- male Gnomes have the Forsaken male hairstyles for example, while Night Elves seem to have taken a page from the Blood Elf book. Still, there are a few seemingly new unique hairstyles, such as the aforementioned Night Elf mohawk and new horn types for Tauren.
of course, most of these new hairstyles aren't even immediately usable in the Beta barbershop yet, either, but it's likely that we'll see them in a future build. Also, I would imagine that we will see more hairstyles (hopefully more new and unique ones, specifically) coming as the Beta continues, but it's nice to get a sneak peak at what we have so far.
[1.Local] serves up a smattering of reader comments from the past week, from the sublime to the ridiculous.
This week at WoW Insider, readers pulled up a keyboard to chat about a fairly wide-ranging selection of topics. They dreamed up WoW comics they'd most be interested in reading. They groused about the upcoming expansion's anticipated new travel hub. They debated the reasoning behind Wrath's restrictions on chain-potting.
For some truly entertaining comments, check out some of the replies to our Winter's Veil In July contest -- so many different angles we couldn't share just one. And finally, we wrap up this look back at the week's comments say with a standing O for one reader's reply to a post speculating on recent spottings of Varian Wrynn -- an applause-worthy thread-stopper, indeed.
Join us after the break for this week's meatiest reader comments here at WoW Insider. Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts - unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.
When I wrote about the WarcraftmoviesSynergy contest for machinima three days ago, I had no idea just how close of a fight it would be. The results are in and it was literally a battle to the death. Baron Soosdon and Pinkhair beat Martin Falch by a whopping three votes, with final scores of 299 to 296. Over the next few days, we'll be looking at the winners and giving requested feedback to some of the ones that didn't place.
Try to keep in mind that neither script was good, so the contenders didn't have a lot to work with in the way of variation. Now that it's over, I hope that Warcraftmovies will use a different method for their contest next time!
It's Consortium gem day! - Fri, 01 Aug 2008 11:30:00 EST Yes folks, it's the first of the month and it is time for your trek to Aeris Landing in western Nagrand. Gezhe will hook you up with a loot bag containing random gems, some of which are quite profitable. Of course, being the swindlers that they are, they don't give out something for nothing.
What you get depends partly on chance, and partly on how much they love you. Here's the breakdown:
The higher your freebie is on the scale, the more likely it is to contain valuable rare quality gems that will help offset the cost of gemming your gear, or contribute to your epic flying mount fund. Get out there and get your gems!
Welcome back to another edition of Ask A Beta Tester! I've stolen the reins from Elizabeth and Alex for a day, so let's get into last week's comments and get some questions answered.
Multiple people had lots of questions about Death Knights, so I'm just going to list a bunch of them and then delve into what's going on: How Customizable are Death Knights? Do they get unique skintones, or unique racials?
As to Death Knight Customization, the big difference they have right now are glowing blue eyes for every race. You can see that in action in our Death Knight racial gallery. Unfortunately, I think the Blue Eyes look sort of pasted on for most races, so I'm hoping they keep tweaking that to make them look more natural. We've also been promised different sounding emotes -- every Death Knight will have a deeper, sepulchral voice.
The good thing about being a pet class is that you always have a friend. Hunters have bears, wolves and cats. Warlocks have stolid voidwalkers, capricious imps or sexy succubi. And death knights have ... this ... this thing. Um. Is it too late to take it back to the SPCA and exchange it for a kitten?
Reader Exanimo of Aszune-EU, who also writes Full Time WoW Addict, sent us this image straight from the Wrath of the Lich King beta -- and we'd love to have your beta screenshots, too! If you have anything our readers might like, sharing it 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. And, please, no more sunsets! Unless it's a sunset over Arthas's grave.
Unfortunately, all of the realms are a little much -- I'd kind of rather choose a couple of pertinent realms to me and only see those on the page. And notification of when a realm goes up or down might be nice, too, not to mention that the app is currently US realms only. But as an app that tells you whether realms are up or down, WarcraftStat does its job. It's on the App Store right now, and available for a free download.
Breakfast Topic: What glyphs would you like to see for your class? - Fri, 01 Aug 2008 08:00:00 EST We don't know a ton about the specifics of Inscription and the Glyphs it supplies since the Wrath beta doesn't have very many of them yet, but we at least know what they are. If you don't know what they are, glyphs are almost like enchantments, but for your spells instead of your armor and weapons. Their effects are usually a little more substantial, even if they don't change combat very much. You're allowed up to six glyphs, split amongst the varying strengths of glyphs in a configuration that may or may not be the same come retail.
We got a litlte preview of glyphs via some Druid glyphs that were posted on MMO Champion a few days ago, and they do some pretty neat things. Things like "your Swipe ability now hits 1 additional target" and "changes the appearance of your bear and dire bear forms to that of a polar bear" are both pretty big effects! That's only really the beginning of them, too.
Pulling a little inspiration from our friend Matticus, why don't we take a minute and make a few guesses at what types of glyphs our classes will get? Heck, even if it's unlikely we'll get it, what type of glyph would you like to get? Personally, I'm holding out for "Glyph of It's About Time - Increases the range on Mind Flay to 30 yards" for my Shadow Priest. A guy can hope, eh?
Every once in a while we do nice things for other players out of the goodness of our hearts. More often we do things in game in exchange for gold or other necessary services. Feevah of Shattered Hand is unhappy that he was given a two silver tip for a portal.He feels that the acronym "WTB" implies that the tip for the service will be at least enough to cover the cost of materials.Thus defining the distinction between a purchase and a gratuity, which is usually given to members of the service sector above the advertised price.
Some suggested that the tip was mistyped in either the wrong coin slot or missing a digit.Others suggested that Feevah should have immediately disbanded his group so that the penny pincher could simply stare at the portal without being able to use it.Perhaps the poster was unaware of the material cost of the spell, or maybe he was just a jerk.
In an uncharacteristic display of candor, Blizzard CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime confirmed during a conference call that the much-anticipated Wrath of the Lich King expansion will be released between October to December of this year. Shacknews quotes Morhaime saying, "we have said that it will be coming out this year," referring to earlier speculation stemming from a Vivendi press release. "I can tell you it's not coming in the July to September quarter," Morhaime states, and mentions that Beta testing "is going very well".
The confirmation of any release date is uncommon practice for Blizzard, whose common response to such questions is "when it's ready." Apparently, Blizzard is confident that Wrath of the Lich King will be ready within the year. From the polish that can be seen in the current Beta, this doesn't seem far from the truth. In the same conference call, Morhaime also discussed competing MMOs, the status of ongoing development (that is to say, very little information), and how World of Warcraft has been refined as a game over the past four years.
Hunters are getting quite a few changes in Wrath of the Lich King, but so far haven't covered them all. Today I'd like to go through the newest abilities and discuss them in greater detail.
New Baseline Hunter Abilities:
Nope, no Camouflage. We talked about this before, but it looks like the devs read our article, "Do hunters need Camouflage?" and decided the answer was no. So, instead we have a couple other new abilities to look forward to:
Kill Shot: This is the new level 80 hunter ability, and it provides us with a bit of utility that help us to stand out and perform better in various situations:
Let's face it, PVP can definitely have an adverse affect on one's physical approachability. Have you ever had the unfortunate opportunity to smell a hardcore PVPer? Do yourself and your fellow raid members a favor and practice some good hygiene with this Halaa Battle Token soap. Here is what you will need:
Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week (except for last week, sorry guys!) Alex Ziebart brings you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm. Have suggestions for future KYL topics? E-mail us! Or, if you have a question for our sister column Ask a Lore Nerd, e-mail us those, too!
Malygos the Spellweaver, Lord of Magic, is the fourth Dragon Aspect that we'll be looking at in Know Your Lore's series on the great dragons. Malygos was empowered by the TitanNorgannon, charged with guarding all magic and arcane knowledge. He calls the Nexus in Northrend, his home.
The Aspect of the Blue was one of the more wise of the Dragonflights, and described as the most friendly of them. He was close to his 'siblings' back before the War of the Ancients, especially Neltharion of the Black. You know, before Neltharion went loco.