Now, I do enjoy Naxxramas, especially in 25 man (the place feels very empty in 10 man) I have to admit that I despise certain fights, depending on how my connection is holding up. Some nights it's fine, and some nights I'm trying to do the Heigan dance with 1800 MS latency. I've wept, swore dire oaths, and of course died to a wave of green crap that was nowhere near me on my screen. It can be baffling because one day we'll be doing three drake Sarth and I dodge every lava wave and avoid all the void zones, and the next day I'm in stutter hell, no obvious reason for why it varied. And on fights like Thaddius, one person lagging can kill 10 in a second.
Over at The Many Relms of Relmstein, Relmstein discusses how Naxxramas was originally created to be the hardest of the hardcore 40 man raids and how what was then not as much an issue (namely, extreme latency causing issues) for the very few at the top is now somewhat more obvious. Since Blizzard designs raids to take buffs like Replenishment into account, should they go that one step further and assume there's going to be some latency? Some players report unusual latency in the raids that seems to have nothing to do with their internect connection (an issue that was supposed to be fixed in patch 3.0.8) so should lag just be considered a fact of life? And would we lose interesting mechanics (Relmstein himself mentions the Thaddius fight as one that would be hard to do with latency in mind) like the combined three drakes and their abilities?
Obviously I don't know, but I think a little thought placed into making lag less lethal for an entire raid would be a good thing, at least as long as it's out of the players hands like it seems to be now.
This is pretty silly, but we do have to give them credit: Bay Area NBC may have done a report on how incomprehensible our game's jargon is, but at least it's not a report about how WoW breaks up marriages or ruins the lives of children. But yeah, portraying WoW players as aliens with a foreign language all their own is a little far out -- the game's got jargon just like everything else, and what they don't do in this report, unfortunately, is show the etymology of all of these words ("QQ" means to cry because it looks like eyes crying, and "kek," as you know if you've ever been Alliance facing the Horde, is what "lol" translates into from Orcish). Not to mention that it's too bad she comes so close to the "I'm a girl, I don't get videogames" stereotype -- maybe if she sat down in the starting area for 20 minutes she'd know a little bit more about how it all works.
But maybe we're asking too much. Let's not forget that this is the media showing World of Warcraft played by a normal dude with a reporter girlfriend and a nice apartment. Sure, they're didn't spell "pwnz0r" quite right, and the guy isn't exactly "top 10 out of 12 million" -- he does have Ashes of Al'ar, but his guild is actually number 11 on the Greymane server -- but at least they're telling the story instead of trying to write it for us.
Setting up your audio just right - Mon, 02 Feb 2009 18:00:00 EST Kestrel's has an interesting post up about how he deals with audio while playing -- he listens to game audio (or music, apparently) through his computer's speakers, and pipes Vent audio in through his headset. The headset is hooked up via USB (so the sound signal can be different from the speaker signal), and of course the speakers are hooked up to the regular sound card. I'd have thought the way most of us do it (though we do know that some players don't listen to game audio at all, instead choosing music or even a movie over any of the sounds from the game), but apparently Kestrel had some people ask him about it, so maybe it's not that widespread.
Personally, I play with a laptop next to me, so I run Vent on that, and let the WoW sounds play on my desktop computer. But there are probably lots of people out there who use just one computer, so must alt-tab out to run Vent, and thus have their game sound and Vent sound coming through the same speakers. And there may even be a better way to do it -- maybe it would help things to have Vent coming out of a different speaker instead of through the headset, like from the surround sound speakers behind you.
In fact, it's too bad the in-game voice chat (remember that?) isn't a little more imaginative in how it plays the sound out -- it would be interesting to have players' voices positioned in 3D space around you, much like the game sounds already are. Vent is more or less necessary for raiding in big groups, but it's too bad that extra audio can sometimes break the illusion of the game.
Our inbox has been absolutely flooded with reports of this mysterious twink, Aigni of Ner'zhul, that appeared on the official forums in the last 24 hours. If you look closely at his Armory, you'll notice some pretty big oddities. For one, the character is wielding a weapon he really shouldn't be able to have. Two, the character has some other items equipped that are normally far out of the reach of a level 10, such as the Violet Badge. Three, he has the achievement for downing Gruul the Dragonslayer.
A lot of people have called 'hax' on it, but how it went down was probably more innocent than that. Not completely, entirely innocent, but more innocent than hacking Blizzard's Gibson. Our first instinct when looking at the items is that he must have simply completed a few bugged quests that had no minimum level requirement. Looking at his achievements killed that theory pretty quickly, though. The sword he's wielding, the Combatant Greatsword, is from a quest in the Borean Tundra. According to his achievements, he's never been to the Borean Tundra.
Blizzard to attend E3 - Mon, 02 Feb 2009 17:00:00 EST Activision-Blizzard (or is it Blizzard-Activision?) will be attending E3 this year from June 2nd to June 4th. E3 is also called the Electronic Entertainment Expo and features a wide variety of companies and their products. The expo is being held at the LA convention center, so it's right outside Blizzard's Irvine offices.
Activision-Blizzard didn't attend the 2008 E3. No one really knows why. But this year their attendance will be welcomed for all those going. And if you're thinking about going, you probably won't be able to - unless you work in the industry. But fear not, the Joystiq network always sends a crew out there to cover it. Our own Dan O'Halloran should be in attendance as well.
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.
Starting this week, we have a little change coming to The Queue. Adam Holisky and I will be tag-teaming the column, taking turns writing it each day. Today is me, Alex. Tomorrow is Adam. The day after is me. The day after that is him. I think you get the picture. It'll let both of us do a lot more work on the site as a whole, while still keeping The Queue fresh and awesome. I think it'll work out well! Ezzy asked...
Did they remove the ability to buy Ruby Shades from Haris Pilton? I camped them for a while and the never spawned.
This is awesome -- Jason Babler (who apparently works as a Creative Director at a videogame company during the day and sculpts for Mantle Studios at night) is putting together a sculpture of everyone's second favorite baddie, Illidan (Arthas is number one, right?), and as you can see above, it's coming along nicely. He started using a material called ProClay, but found it wasn't hard enough, so he's now using a wax called FUSE. It sounds like it's been quite a journey -- he says that he's resculpted every part of the figure at least twice. That's a lot of work.
But it does look good. As professional as his site looks, this is just a hobby for him, so unfortunately we probably won't get a chance to someday get a copy of this. But then again, you can really tell that Jason is doing this just because he loves it so much. The finished product will probably turn out great, but you can tell he's more interested in doing it the way he wants to rather than getting it done fast.
Tank Spot offers great community with forums, videos, and guides to virtually every aspect of tanking. The folks that frequent the site are quick to offer sound advice, and can often be seen on the official forums providing key discussion within the greater tanking community.
WoW Achievements is a relatively new site, and offers great information on all the achievements in-game and the players who earn them. One of the more interesting things on the site is a listing of the top players worldwide who've earned achievement points. If you're curious, the top player right now is Beelsebub over on Azuremyst EU. He's got 7630 achievement points, which is quite amazing. If you're interested as to why WoW Insider is not part of the fansite program, you can check out an article by Mike Schramm back in August of last year.
Take a look after the break for our complete rundown of all the February events. And remember to check your in-game calendar to see what times these events begin on your sever, and then compensate for the time zone you live in.
Of course throughout all this month we'll keep you abreast on the latest news!
Sometimes a little stripping can be useful in a raid. I used to do it myself when I tanked with my paladin. Trash just never hit me hard enough to allow me to keep up my mana. I'd remove some gear so I'd actually take some damage and let Spiritual Attunement do its thing. But as a DPS class, you'd not doing anyone a favor by taking gear off. And then you're really not helping your case if you get angry about being "dressed down" over voice chat.
In this story lies an important lesson for all of us raid leaders -- but first, the naked truth:
Here's a long one that maybe you or the readers on WoW Insider can help me with. [. . .] We are a relatively casual raiding guild, only doing 25-man raids once or twice a week, and 10-mans whenever we have the people wanting to go. [. . .] We never force people to go to raids or to spec a certain way. Our guild rules are fairly simple, and basically amount to "don't be a jerk." This has worked out for us pretty well. [. . .]
With all of this, we were completely surprised at what happened last night while we were doing our weekly 25-man Naxx run. Throughout the night, one of our best members (highest non-officer rank, part of our hardcore 10-man groups, had been around forever) was goofing off a little bit and constantly taking off his gear and wanting to fight naked. This was mostly on trash, and as the raid leader and one of the officers, I would tell him to put his (very good) equipment back on so we could continue. He grumbled a little bit and put it back on, and I figured everything would be fine. And indeed, everything seemed fine through Loatheb, until when we downed him, our member gloated loudly on vent that he had done the fight completely naked. He had used Noggenfogger to become a skeleton so we wouldn't notice what he was doing. I was completely shocked.
Eric/Crender puts It's a Hard Gnome Life up over at WarcraftMovies. To sum up, it's a comedy piece about the long, trouble-filled life of a gnome named Gnomeosaurus. The protagonist is the child of Mamagnome and Papagnome, and later goes on to himself parent Gnomejr. Your mileage on this video is going to vary widely.
This is not a movie for dazzling special effects or high end sountracks. All of the graphics are fairly straightforward gameplay footage, including a view of the user's mouse zipping about the screen. But you know what? That's cool for this. Nothing about this movie is intended as anything except an exceedingly tongue-in-cheek joke. The whole thing is obviously not meant for anything but sarcastic fun. C'mon. It's about a character named Gnomeosaurus.
The best joke in it, in my opinion, is the gag about Devilsaur-shaped cookies with a gnome head on top. The MS-Paint jokes, the sloppy cut-overs. . .the whole thing is just about goofy puns and giggles. My only complaint about it, though, is that the piece runs a little long for its style. Clocking in a little over six minutes, I'm not sure its humor can be sustained for the whole length.
We're a day late here, but that's alright. February's Brew of the Month, Izzard's Ever Flavor has hit vendors, and you know what that means. More jokes about bodily functions! This time around, burping! The video above displays how it works pretty well, though I can't claim credit for it. Credit for that goes to LostShard on Wowhead (or YouTube, I suppose).
This month's brew works a bit like last month's in that it uses a buff, and when the buff expires it triggers another effect. Drinking the brew will sometimes proc Gassy, and when Gassy expires (or you click it off), you belch. When you do that, anybody in front of you will be a little unhappy.
Can't say I'm a fan of the brew this time around, at least not as much as last month's Wild Winter Pilsner. It got a chuckle out of me, but I probably won't carry a stack around at all times like I did with the last one. Definitely does not topple BigRedPriestess.
WoW Insider Show Episode 75: The Meat of the Show - Mon, 02 Feb 2009 10:30:00 EST Wacky times on the podcast this past week -- along with BRK and Turpster, we were able to welcome our good friends Shawn Coons and Patrick Beja of the How I WoW podcast. They talked with us about themselves, including Shawn's recent move, and Patrick's ongoing campaign to get his parents to play videogames, and we talked a whole lot of World of Warcraft, too. We answered emails about the correct pronounciation of "Fah-jord", how Blizzard can get more players on the PTR, and what to do to get into a good guild, and during the show we broke down the latest bugfix patch, talked about the Lunar Festival (and why we weren't interested in it), a little bit about group management and how best to do it, and we ran down exactly how we WoW, too.
Also, we've got some great fan audio in the show as well -- an excellent intro, and perhaps the best thing we've ever played on the song ever: a "Meat of the Show" intro by listener Sammy T. Seriously, give this thing a listen -- we played part of it during the show, but you can hear the whole thing afterwards, and it's great. If you'd like to send us an intro or just a note about something you've heard on the show or want us to answer, the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org -- just drop an mp3 attachment in there or speak your mind, and you might hear it on next week's show.
Remember, we do this live every Saturday at 3:30pm Eastern over on the Ustream page, so if you're around next Saturday, be sure to stop by and say hi. We'll see you next week -- enjoy the show.
Get the podcast: [iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes. [Ustream] Listen to the unedited recording in Ustream. [RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator. [MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
Is this the end result when one of those flying fighters in Icecrown takes down an Abomination on the ramparts of a wrathgate? Do the armies fighting below get showered in guts and green slime? Actually, no. This is a screenshot of an acid spray taken in Shadowmoon Valley by Hellander of <Oceanic Guardians> on Shadow Council. If you recall, all the water in SMV is a eye-searing shade of neon green; it's probably infected by whatever hideous algae defaced the sewers of Undercity. Maybe some of the Forsaken jumped in the rivers without taking a shower first. Or perhaps Illidan stole his top-secret evil plan for Outland from Garland. Mmm ... giant vat of Mountain Dew.
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. 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.
I knew I couldn't be the only quirky person in WoW. Talonhunter of EU-Tarren Mill's thread on the general forums helps me feel a little bit better. He asked what people's "ticks" are, citing "Every time I engage a mob, I strafe a few steps to either side," and "When I have done a brief dismount, to gather something or likewise, I always run a few steps before I get back on my mount again."
There are some things that seem odd, but actually appear to be common. Some examples include jumping when charging or when summoning a flying mount, obsession with repairing gear, and checking out what every linked item looks like. I have some of the habits mentioned in the thread, and a few others:
We're so close to getting Twilight Vanquisher, I can almost taste it. A lot of my guild mates would love to have the title, and I'm sure when we down Sartharion with three drakes this week -- fingers crossed... -- a lot of them will be sporting it in Dalaran. I'm not too keen on it myself. I couldn't actually care less. It's cool and all, but what I really want is Battlemaster. I'm just one or two Achievements short on every Battleground to get Master in each one. Even if I had the skill to obtain Arena Master (and I admittedly don't, seeing as how I've never broken 2200 on any bracket in any Season), it's not a title I'd display, either. I just like the sound of Battlemaster. That, for me, is the title I want the most.
I know our Guild Master is five Exalted reputations away from being The Exalted. I personally think that's awesome and we're going to help him in any way we can. All my wife wanted for her leveling Priest was to be a Chef, only to meet a roadblock when she found out she couldn't do the Kungaloosh quest yet (she's only Level 74). We came close several times to getting The Undying, even getting past Heigan, so I'm sure that's in the cards pretty soon. There are so many awesome titles now it's interesting to find out what people like.
David asked in his Livejournal what people thought the most prestigious title was. Readers chimed in to say what they thought were the tough titles to get. Salty got a few mentions, as well as the obviously insane Immortal. Today, though, I'm not interested in finding out what the most prestigious title is. I'm more curious to know what titles you've already obtained and what you choose to display. Some of you guys probably have a lot of titles to choose from. What makes you choose the title you display? Maybe you chose the incredibly simple Explorer for your character named Dora? Or keeping the old world PvP title of General for a toon named Anaesthesia? Some choose humor, some choose prestige, and others... well, some just like how a title sounds. How about you?
Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly dose of Death Knight discussion.
Now that we've covered most standard pemutations of gear gathering in past Lichborne columns, I figured this week would be a good time to start talking about taking the extra steps to really trick out your gear. This week, will focus on gems. Not only will this help you take your gear to the next level, but it gives me a good excuse to talk about some new discoveries and discussions going on as we try to figure out the best ways to squeeze the most DPS out of a Death Knight. So to start, let's talk about which statistics you'll want to focus on when you gem.
I mentioned it the last time, but more than ever, it's a good time to be a Paladin. We're not perfect yet, and indeed the class needs a little more tweaking, but it's incredibly playable right now and is a lot of fun. We've always had traditional roles of tanking and healing for Paladins, but in this day and age, Retribution Paladins are a more than welcome addition to any party or raid. So for today, we'll talk about that. I know a lot of Paladins have specced for Retribution or have a spare Retribution set in their banks, and the spec is more popular than ever. Considering that Replenishment is considered a mandatory raid buff, a Retribution Paladin's raiding slot is pretty secure.
Next week we'll talk about gearing your tank up for raiding, and after that we'll see how Holy Paladins are a beacon of light in this dark age. Alright, it's not such a dark age, but Holy Paladins are downright awesome anyway. Today, however, is a day of Retribution. So pick up that 2-hander and head on over to Naxxramas or beat down on those big bad dragons. First, we'll take a look at a good raiding build after the jump.
Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. Some requests were made recently to help newer Priests figure out what secondary stats are important and what to aim for. Matticus shall help!
I know when I started playing World of Warcraft, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to secondary stats. To be fair, stats like Hit didn't exist back in the day. This post is meant for newer Priests who aren't quite sure what these secondary stats do or what they mean. Just to be clear, primary stats are base attributes like stamina and intellect. Secondary stats are things like haste and critical strike rating.
Any class needs its role models. Rogues don't have all that many great heroes from lore, but the ones they do have stand out, especially for the prominence of women in this class.
Garona Halforcen is probably the most famous of rogue protagonists, one of the main characters of the original Warcraft I storyline that launched the whole Warcraft series. She's been strangely missing ever since the end of the First War, actually, but it seems that she is finally making her comeback to the story in the World of Warcraft Comic Book. Her full story is best left for others to tell (such as the immensely talented Elizabeth Wachowski, or the mysterious collective mind known as WoWWiki), but for now, suffice it to say that she represents a lot of what makes rogues who and what they are. Here's a few reasons why:
She's incredibly cool.
She doesn't talk about how incredibly cool she is.
She has conflicted loyalties, neither all good nor all bad.
There's so much we don't know about her, and so much we want to discover.
She's something of a lone wolf, extremely independent and active.
Her skill with words was just as important as her skill with weapons.
She has a great wealth of complicated emotions and ideas that drive her deeper into the story.