This, of course, leaves the system fairly open to rampant fraud -- I know someone on another server who would often buy anything epic on the AH, day in and day out, and inflate the price an extra thousand gold. In many cases, the free market (which I'm pretty sure this is, right economists?) can usually correct itself -- you have to stay on top of a certain market if you plan to dominate it, since if anyone posts a lower price than you, you'll lose out on a sale. But in terms of a fraud -- the original poster in the thread claims that no one would ever have a serious reason to sell wool for 75g -- it's always "be careful what you click." Blizzard isn't completely laissez-faire when it comes to the economy, of course; they control the flow of gold in all kinds of ways. But when it comes to the auction house, you're on your own.
Right now, the address returns a "403 Forbidden" page, but obviously, someone at Blizzard HQ bothered to set up the "beta" subdomain and make it redirect to something. Any address on beta.worldofwarcraft.com seems to redirects to that "character-copy" page. Remember, a "forbidden" URL was our first real confirmation that Wrath of the Lich King was going to be the title of the expansion, so we've gotten information this way before. There's still no telling how long it'll take until a beta is available to us, as this page may well just apply to an interior beta, but this might be a clue that we're getting closer. Does this mean there won't be a patch 2.5?
But from what I can tell, you can't say much more about this study than that people aren't as excited before and after playing WoW as they are while playing it. And it doesn't really take you a behavioral scientist to figure that out -- there's no way that taking a quiz given by some scientist is as exciting as, say, traversing the wastelands of the Barrens, or flying around Netherstorm.
Some people have taken this as a sign that the game somehow lets you chill out or makes you less angry than other gamers or people, which may be true, but that's not what's being said here. As far as I can tell, they're just saying that you're not as excited after playing the game as you are during. Maybe this will lead to something else, but as a finding, that's not exactly a groundshaker.
It's now safe to go back to the forums -- the "lolcats," "lolwut"s, "lolz," and all of the other nonsense Blizzard put in players' posts have been deleted, finally. Blizzard hasn't given any hint why it took so long -- of course there's the chance that they just let the joke go on long enough (and trust me, you shouldn't be too angry at anyone who pushes an April Fool's Day joke longer than you think it should go), but it seems a little more likely that the folks in charge of the joke stumbled a little bit -- for a while there, it seemed like we might have "lolz" forever.
But no, things are back to normal, and all of the "lol wut"s that you see on the forums are players' own fault.
Finally, one documented non-change: The chat filtering problems that the notes claim were fixed are still present on live servers. Hortus confirmed that the fix had some bad side effects and was pulled at the last minute, but will hopefully reappear in a future patch.
We'll keep watching for any other changes to pop up, so keep it tuned here to WoW Insider.
No chests in MrT, and that's just fine with Blizz - Wed, 02 Apr 2008 16:00:00 EST Here's something that didn't really hit me on the first few times through Magisters' Terrace: there are no loot chests in the instance. Eleste of Frostwolf asks why, but Drysc only answers "why not" -- apparently Blizzard isn't too bothered that the only loot to be found in the instance is on dead mobs.
Which isn't exactly new -- not only are chests open to many exploits, but Blizzard has slowly been taking steps away from putting random caches of loot out there for anyone to grab. In the last patch, they even made it so that chest loot gets rolled on, so it's probably a fair guess to say that most loot chests are on their way out of the game.
They weren't in there for no reason -- Blizzard wanted to make it so that after toppling a group of mobs, you could be lucky enough to spot an extra stash of loot to grab all for yourself (not to mention that they give Rogues something else to do in instances). But apparently the problems of loot chests outweigh the positives, and it's probably true that MrT is a preview of Wrath -- loot chests are going to be rarer than ever.
Unfortunately, from what we're told, the answer is no. The changes, designed to cut off turtling and players who ran around with the flag without capturing it, first made the enemy flag carriers trackable after 45 seconds, and then gave a damage debuff to the flag carrier after ten minutes (which doubled at fifteen). But all the reports from players say that makes no difference -- people still turtle away, even with the tracking and debuff, and eventually both drop the flag and the whole thing resets.
So what's the solution? If you crib some notes from other capture the flag games, a match timer sounds like the best option, and indeed, that's what most people are suggesting. Blizzard would have to determine how long to tune it, but the idea would be that after a given amount of time, if there was no winner, the match would end in a draw, with both sides losing in terms of a reward. It doesn't seem like Blizzard can force players to fight, so the best option overall might be to just call it in a time limit, and keep the matches from going on for long amounts of time.
Are we the bad guys of Azeroth? - Wed, 02 Apr 2008 15:00:00 EST After publishing a recent Breakfast Topic on whether there should be a sense of personal honor in PvP, I wasn't really all that surprised to see a few comments echoing the sentiments of "If it's red, it's dead" and "Don't roll on a PvP server if you don't want to get ganked." These crop up in any discussion about PvP, and while there's an undeniable sense to them -- why would you roll on a PvP realm unless you wanted to, I dunno, PvP? -- I've always felt that they did actual PvP a disservice. You can't frame ganking as true PvP. There's no such thing as strategy, skill, or even combat when a player one-shots another, so I've never considered ganking to be defensible along the same lines that actual PvP is.
Nethaera's smack down - Wed, 02 Apr 2008 13:00:00 EST Nehthaera today wanted to let a lot of the naysayers out there know a thing or two about their April Fool's jokes and the issues with the servers. She tells us the obvious, more or less: the people who do the April Fool's work are completely separate from the people that do the server and development work.
So these elaborate and well done jokes have exactly zero impact on the servers. They don't have anything to do with maintenance, with patch 2.4, or with Wrath of the Lich King (well, unless you actually believe there'll be a bard class). This means they could have done nothing for April Fool's, and things still would have been as difficult as they were yesterday.
I want to give Nethaera two thumbs up for her post. I really enjoy it lately when GMs and CMs lay the smack down about issues like this, especially to whiney forum posters.
I dug out this gem from almost a year ago because Stormscape Creations is preparing to release the second chapter of The Thaenor Chronicles any day now! The story centers around Zemeth and Zalek Thaenor, the last living members of their family.
While the visuals are well done, the voice acting leaves something to be desired. I also have to wonder why he only released the high-quality version on archive.org. If you'd like to follow along on his progress with the movie, check out Stormscape's blog.
A few months back, I did a rogue column on how rogues can enhance their gear with enchantments, gems, armor kits and the like. Well, it's time for paladins to get a similar guide -- in three different forms! Yes, since paladins have three main specs for three different roles, they need some wildly different enchantments. Today, we'll look at above-the-belt enhancements for a regular ol' endgame healing paladin, soon to be followed by prot and ret recommendations. (Shockadins, just grab the caster junk like usual.)
Glyph of Renewal: This item, available for 90g once you get revered with Honor Hold or Thrallmar, gives you a one-time boost to your head item's healing and mp/5. Revered with HH/Thrall isn't too hard, and you need all the mp/5 you can get, so pick this up if you're planning on any serious healing. 10/10 PVE, 7/10 PVP.
Glyph of the Gladiator: On the other hand, if you're the arena type and find yourself a bit lacking in the two key PVP stats, you might want to pick up this stam/resil item from revered with Shattered Sun Offensive. It's pretty useless for PVE, though, so save it for your _____ Gladiator's set piece. 3/10 PVE, 9/10 PVP.
Entendu of Destromath-US was leveling up a nelf druid on Andorhal when he came to the cave above the main camp in Un'goro -- you know, the one that you always have to run through five times while fetching stuff for J.D. Collie at the back of it. Rather than throwing down his keyboard in frustration, Entendu decided to turn catform, sit down, and groove on the multicolored lights. However, he declined the next quest -- stealing one of those hookahs from Silvermoon City.
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. They harsh our mellow.
Bombing run nerfed - Wed, 02 Apr 2008 09:00:00 EST Yesterday, after the realms finally came back from the small 2.4.1 patch, I logged on for my usual round of dailies. The first thing I did was to group up with another player for Distraction at the Dead Scar, hoping to get it done in one try. And we succeded -- in fact, we got it done by about halfway through the first run! I've never finished that quest that soon, even in a full group of five. So I grew suspicious that perhaps the difficulty of this daily was reduced in the patch.
Welcome modifications indeed. The number of times I finished the run one Sorcerer short was starting to get annoying, and the flight time to and from the Dead Scar is irritatingly high if you have to go for repeat runs. This should be much more easily soloable now. Has it been made too easy? Maybe a bit, but bombing is fun regardless, and most of the dailies are of a similar level of difficulty.
This morning, Damian Olson writes in with a concern that not all of the major WoW cities are created equal. In fact, he goes as far as to suggest that perhaps the Horde "got the short end of the stick" in comparison to their Alliance counterparts.
For example, he points out that Ironforge has an impressive entrance and heroic theme-music, while Undercity is a broken, sad place. What do you guys think? Does the lore behind each major city justify the design, or should some of the cities have been given a little more development love?
Personally, Undercity is my favorite city in the entire game, and I find parts of the Alliance capitols to be a bit overly patriotic and proud. How do you feel about the major cities, and what would you change if you could? Where do you feel most at home, and why (the racial capitol of your main or first character, etc)?
After reading an announcement on the evening of March 31st, 2008 declaring that Nihilum, whom we recently interviewed, would be quitting the World of Warcraft forever, WoW Insider received quite a lot of mail surrounding the issue. Was it true, or simply another April Fools joke?
They even began disbanding their guild and joining others, and spoke of a plan to reappear together, perhaps in other games. There was an outpouring of love and concern from the community at large, and unlike the reaction to other jokes on April 1st, everyone was at least weary (ahem) wary that this one was not a joke.
Nihilum cited several reasons for their departure, including dissatisfaction with Blizzard's designs and methods, and an overall trend towards casual play while depleting much of the rewards, incentive and challenge for hardcore guilds, including changes made in patch 2.4.
At 12:01 a.m. on April 2nd, 2008, Nihilum confirmed that they were indeed yanking our chains, and even made a cheerful April Fools video. To quote, "Sorry for the scare everyone!" with a keen happy face at the end. We love you Nihilum!
Here at GW, we love even the small downs (heck, this week, we reported on a downing in the Stockades -- although it was by the Horde), but when other guilds are able to clear out the whole endgame in the time it takes you to go from one endgame boss to another, it's probably not the best idea to go on to the forums bragging how great your progression is.
That story and many others in this week's GW, which starts right after the break. Your tips fuel our column -- please send any and all tips about drama, downed, or recruiting guild news to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click the link below to read on.
As promised, we now announce the Supreme Leader of Azeroth.And the Winner is- Thrall!Thrall carried a lead throughout the election and ended the race with 55.3 percent of the both, more than either of the Alliance candidates combined.Lady Jaina Proudmore finished the race in second place with 34.3 percent of the vote.King Magni Bronzebeard was disappointed in his 10.4% share of the vote, and has promised a better showing in future elections.
Several CMsGMs are looking into the issue - but it is wide spread. This means that it is almost assuredly an issue with the Blizzard servers. Based on testing I've done it is not an issue with addons. After a disconnect, all addons were turned off, and the disconnects still happened.
Stay tuned to HKO Insider for the latest. Hopefully they'll hotfix this one right up.
Updated 11:00 p.m. EDT:Belfaire posted "We're gathering the appropriate info now. I have no ETA on a resolution, only that it'll be [fixed] ASAP." (April Fool's text removed for readability.) Updated 12:44 a.m. EDT:Belfaire also let us know that Q.A. is working on the problem, though no fix has been announced yet. Seems they are at work on it.
Updated 1:00 a.m. EDT:Potential solution from Belfaire: "Please have your entire raid delete or rename your Interface folder and let me know here if you encounter the issue again. [One] group said that they ran without mods, but if what I think's happening is actually happening, even if one person has [an addon], it can affect the raid."
Wowhead now knows NPC abilities - Tue, 01 Apr 2008 20:00:00 EST Wowhead has gone live with a few new updates to brighten up your April Fool's day, and help you get the pink residue of Hello Kitty out of your eyeballs with some of their tasteful black (just don't check their front page).
The new 3D system I wrote about previously has gone live, featuring improved quality, NPC models, armor models, and the ability to preview items on any race or gender character model.
Most NPCs now have a tab listing their abilities. A few NPCs are missing them due to a couple of reasons: no data has been collected on them yet (e.g. Techbot), or there are two (or more) mobs with the same name (e.g. Kael'Thas). This latter difficulty has been fixed, and NPCs affected by it should have abilities listed the next time Wowhead parses data.
This last one is what I'm most excited about. It's nice to be able to see what a boss (or just a random mob) can do ahead of time, or, in the inverse, to see what mobs use a given ability. If this had been around a while back, I wouldn't have gotten all excited about Holyform, since I would have been able to tell right away it was just used by some Sunwell trash mob.
WoW Investor helps you fund that potion habit - Tue, 01 Apr 2008 19:00:00 EST Will, one of the two bloggers behind this new site, sent us a tip early this morning hoping for a shout-out, and I'm glad to oblige. WoW Investor is a new blog that I've already added to my RSS reader. Their stated purpose is "to keep this blog updated with the latest strategies to increase your wealth using purely financial means," and so far they've been sticking to it.
What do they mean by "purely financial means"? You won't be finding advice on what mobs to grind or which daily quests are the most profitable. Instead, your WoW investment team Will and Jeff bring you ideas on what you can do to earn some gold without leaving the cozy confines of your favorite capitol city. Here are a couple of money-making opporunities they've posted already:
At the moment, low-priced Primal Nethers are flooding the AH, so you can make a tidy profit by crafting various Spellthreads. Even if you're not a tailor yourself, you should be able to find one who will make you the Spellthread for mats plus a tip, without killing your profit margin.