Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.
Summertime means big changes for many guilds. The kids are home, so players who are parents can get pulled into more family activities. As for the kids, many are looking for new things to get into while they have a little more free time. Gamers on the Street decided to duck onto the Cairne realm to see what high school- and college-aged players were planning for their short months of freedom. Alliance players seemed friendly enough but didn't have much to say about their summer plans. We did visit with several Cairne Hordies, however, who shared what's ahead for their summer and fall WoW time.
Taming Zul'Aman bears (or not) - Mon, 02 Jun 2008 18:00:00 EST Mania wants to know (and so do we): can you train the bears in Zul'Aman or not? We at WoW Insider also heard a rumor over the weekend that the bears in Zul'Aman were trainable again (we heard that when the trolls riding bears split up, you had a short period of time to pick up the bear as a Hunter pet). But alas, all reports since then tell us that's not the case -- even if bears were trainable for a short period of time, they aren't now.
Which isn't too surprising -- Hunters have a relationship to wild animals, not trained ones, so the fact that you can't steal bears from the trolls falls in line with Hunter lore (although, if you wanted to make the case that the bears were actually pre-trained and that it would make them easier to train, you probably could, even if Blizzard didn't listen). And it's not like there aren't other bears to get in the game. Blizzard should definitely have some fun pets to get like this (as long as there's no huge gameplay bonus to be gained), but apparently Zul'Aman bears aren't one of them.
The first manga story line he wrote about Warcraft revolved around the events leading up to patch 2.4 in the Sunwell Plateau. I picked up all three of the books in a archived version over Christmas, and it was quite a good read. I'm definitely looking forward to picking this one up, and according to a Blizzplanet page, the release date is scheduled for August 1st, 2008.
The artwork pictured to the right (click for a higher resolution image) looks pretty cool, and appears to be an OrcRogue. Since the book is called Legends, we can assume it's about some legendary figures in Warcraft. I would take a wild guess that the Orc pictured is Thrall, but I could be wrong, and feel free to disagree with me.
Extended downtime for some servers this Tuesday morning - Mon, 02 Jun 2008 16:30:00 EST Tuesday morning maintenance has been announced, and most of us can breathe easy -- we're only getting a one hour downtime, from 5am PST to 6am PST. However, there are 72 servers that will be getting a larger amount of downtime, from 5am PST to 11am PST, though there's no word on why. Check after the break to see if your server's going down for a bit.
The list of the servers scheduled for a longer maintenance are as follows:
It's a subtle change, but a definite one -- and it's one that not everyone seems to be able to see. However, at least for some folks, portions of the official forums have started to switch over to the new Wrath of the Lich Kingtheme. Mostly, it's the menu and organizational pages showing the new theme for certain viewers.
This may be a bit of Internet turbulence -- it could be something that Blizzard hadn't really intended to release yet. There was quite a bit of spotty login troubles earlier this morning, and several people reported having difficulty reaching the forums. This hint of what's-to-come could be an error, or some kind of forum glitch. But, at least for now, we can get a sneak preview of what our forums are going to look like while we face the Wrath of the Lich King.
Edit: Within 20 minutes of the theme being visible, it looks like it may already have been reverted. We hope you got a chance to see it!
Forum drama leads to legal threats - Mon, 02 Jun 2008 16:00:00 EST Thanks to tipster Rick for sending us a bit of strange forum drama that deserves some attention. A user over on the Anvilmar-US server, Demetreus, was accused of stealing from the guild bank and gquitting (along with his friend Morph). Zaknafaine, a member of his former guild HaVoK, said in a post "its just a game...its not like one of us are going to show up at your doorstep and throw you a beatin." [sic]
Demetreus took this as a threat, and claims to have contacted his lawyer. Of course, his lawyer agrees with him, and he's now posted as much as he tries to defend himself.
Who knows who is right and who is wrong with regards to the bank stealing, that's not what's interesting here per se. What I find out of the ordinary here is that Demetreus took what someone said as a threat and felt it necessary to call an attorney. In my opinion, it wasn't. The alleged threat was actually just the opposite - a statement that none of this mattered - that it was just a game.
I am amazed at some of the creeps who play this game, and Morgon Jones definitely falls into that category. 27 years old and running off with a 14 year old girl he met through the game. It's time for him to get outside and enjoy life while he still can, since hopefully there'll be some good ol' prison time coming his way.
Reader Basic sent us the tip for this story posted on the KTVB.com website, and you can read the full article over there. There is an error in the article however, where the author says WoW is a science fiction based game, when it is actually a fantasy game (unless the author was making a critique on Outlands being too SciFi for the game, but that's highly doubtful and not given at all in the context of the article).
Then patch 2.3 came, and with it, a whole new series of quests, and even a new hub in Dustwallow Marsh. Midlevel players finally got what they wanted, and for a while, the requests for new things for midlevel players to do were quelled.
To tell the truth I'm kind of surprised this happened so quickly -- apparently The9, who runs World of Warcraft in China, were able to drop the Sunwell Plateau patch pretty soon after it came out in the US and Europe. Burning Crusade, we know, took a long time to release over there (it came out months after it did on this side of the world), but either The9 is responding to pressure to release content closer, or patch updates are much easier to localize and distribute.
Either way, grats to The Seven and all of the other guilds worldwide able to topple The Deceiver. Next up, Northrend!
When you look at games like World of Warcraft versus games like Dungeons and Dragons, you can see that in some ways they are just the same, while in others they are vastly different. Thematically, they're both about romping through a fantasy world having adventures, and depending on the kind of activity you enjoy most in your games, the actual content of either one can be very similar. The difference lies in the user interface: WoW takes over your computers screen and presents you with intensive graphics, while D&D relies on paper, dice, and your imagination.
While WoW is obviously a child of the early 21st century, all the practical tools used in D&D have existed for thousands of years. One might well wonder: "why didn't Plato (or any other suitably wise old figure out of history) ever think of putting together a dungeon adventure?" A recent Escapist magazine article asks that very question, and then provides us with a bunch of theories about what roleplaying is and why people do it. All these are interesting in themselves, but they leave me wondering "but wait... why didn't Plato ever think of it?" The answer I think the article is trying to give is that roleplaying is actually a form of social innovation that couldn't have existed before, because the culture and ideas to give it form hadn't developed until the '60s.
So tonight when you get home and log into WoW, especially if you are logging in to roleplay your character, remember that you are participating in an activity that is on the growing edge of human civilization. Just as, all those hundreds of years ago, it was a great innovation for the Greek playwright Aeschylus to bring two actors onto the stage at once as opposed to letting one actor and a chorus carry the show -- in our own era, the way players get together today to collaboratively create worlds, characters and stories with one another is a new and exciting innovation that never existed before. Roleplaying itself is one of many brilliant and beautiful examples of how society and culture continue to evolve and progress well into the the future... and beyond.
WoW on Zazoox stations - Mon, 02 Jun 2008 13:30:00 EST Soley saw something strange at the airport in Denver: a console with PC games on it, including none other than World of Warcraft. Apparently there was a kiosk with a bunch of different games installed on it, and for a small fee, you could jump in and play any number of games, from Valve's FPSes (including Portal!) to our own big MMORPG.
The company doing this is called Zazoox -- they have a site that shows off all of their different consoles and offers them (for a price and a service charge) to vendors who can then put them up in public places. World of Warcraft isn't actually on their games list yet, so apparently it's just being tested in Denver and other places. Apparently, the price is 25 cents a minute, but as some of the commenters to Soley's post say, if you're entering your WoW password on what is basically a public computer and something goes wrong, it could cost you a lot more than that.
Of course, overseas in Asia, this kind of thing is common -- the vast majority of WoW players there play in public cafes and Internet houses, and in fact the pricing scheme of the game itself there is per hour, not per month like it is here. But for some reason, this kind of ubiquitous public gaming has never taken off in the West -- maybe Zazoox's consoles will get people playing out in public.
Blood Sport: Yup, still broken - Mon, 02 Jun 2008 13:00:00 EST PvP in its purest form is a beautiful thing. Amanda Dean, always obsessed with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat brings you news you can use in the Arena.
The World (of Warcraft) seems to be full of arena lovers and arena haters.I suppose somewhere out there you might find some folks that are completely indifferent to the arena.The recent changes to the Personal Rating system seems to have brought out a furor in both camps. Suince the dawn of the Burning Crusade Blizzard has made many attempts to balance the arenas, now I find that the arenas are still broken, just broken differently.
In a sarcastically titled thread "New PR system is cool" Camelvendor of Korgath explained his situation.He played on his 2200 rated team with his old partner, who obviously had a lower rating for 33 games.Boasting a record of 29 wins and 4 losses for the day, the end result was a rating change of 56 points lost.Since the team rating was considerably higher than one of the personal ratings on the team, they found themselves playing in the 1500 bracket.
In Gnomechewer's fantasy world, there is a sect of the Scarlet Crusade, Our Lady of the Sacred Flame, from which a further subset of women are recruited into, called The Crimson Sisters of the Scarlet Flame. Headed by High Inquisitor Whitemane, the Sisters answer to no one but her. Their tasks are typical Order fare, except they deal with them more intensely.
Gnomechewer did a great job on this machinima that dates back to January 2008. However, the text was a bit hard to read, so it could benefit from larger subtitles, or voice acting.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
No, this column isn't about one of the most annoying Horde-side quests ever. Seriously, who actually goes back to Badlands -- the farthest possible point in Azeroth away from any Horde zeppelin or portal -- at level 50 to do this one stupid quest with subpar rewards? Does any quest in the game out-level its zone more than this one? OK, so maybe the beginning of this column was about that quest. The rest of it, however, is going to be about ending your alliance with another guild, because that's what this week's e-mail is asking about.
Your Officers' Quarters: Dark pacts [columns] helped our guild a lot. I am an officer of an progressing casual guild. We currently have enough signups that we no longer need an alliance. The alliance guild helped us somewhat in progressing so it's hard to tell them to simply go away since we have enough guild members to fill the raid.
My question is how should we approach the alliance guild to peacefully break the alliance and make most if not all the people happy?
Looks like this Iron Maiden and its heavy metal has had more than a couple of hits. Ho ho ho! You see, torture is considered funny when you make puns about it. Maybe we should add that to the CIA's interrogation manual. Anyway, Kellhus of Auchindoun noticed this torture chamber -- and its unfortunate victims -- while visiting Akama in the Warden's Cage. He notes that scenes like this "bring an edgier flavor to the environment that is not common in WoW, but seems to pop up and create a different atmosphere." It sort of reminds me of the Upside-Down Sinners room, which is still by far the creepiest place in the game. The tears of blood from the eyes of the Maidens here are a nice touch, though.
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 prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. And please, no sunsets or WotLK pictures that tantalize us with their beautiful forbiddeness. Forbiddenness? Forboding? There is no word!
Wowhead releases Mac OS X download client - Mon, 02 Jun 2008 09:00:00 EST Wowhead announced today that it has released a download client for Mac OS X. Now the denizens of the cult of Mac can contribute to the collective WoW knowledge base that so deliciously feeds our need for data on lewtz. Just like the Windows version, the new OS X client installs Wowhead Looter, an addon which tallies up information in the background as you play and populates the Wowhead database with stats the game's items, drop rates, quests, and all sorts of other goodness.
Just remember that you need a Wowhead account before the Looter can upload information back to the database. Otherwise, you've just got yourself an addon that's all dressed up with no place to go.
According to Nihilum, Blizzard has now sent out the first round of emails to the qualifying teams for the North American regional finals for the 3v3 arena tournament. They'll be barred for competing in ranked matches for the second qualifying rounds, but will be allowed to fight skirmish matches to pratice their skills. The following teams, according to Nihilum and the official ladder page, made it to the next round:
Dude I got it on FRAPS at 2,182 points. Their team consisted of 2 Warlocks, a Shaman, a Druid, A Priest, and a Hunter.
My guild, and my realm in general, has a tank shortage. This is neither new nor unusual; in my experience, tanks have always been the most in demand on most servers (although that may be colored by the fact that my main is a healer). So I've decided to level a tank. The problem is, I've decided that a few times now, which means I currently have one of each tanking class languishing in the level 40 range somewhere: a paladin, a druid, and a warrior. And I just can't decide which one to work on, or even if I should bother as opposed to just waiting until Wrath of the Lich King comes out and I can get an instantly-level-55 Death Knight for a tank.
What do you guys think? What's funnest to level? What makes the best tank for heroics/early raiding? Which one should I drag out of Stranglethorn, kicking and screaming, ultimately into Outland and beyond?
If you're not a big fan of PvP, chances are you probably rolled on a PvE server! But for the rest of us Priests who have rolled on PvP servers, Priests have a long and illustrious history of being the first to get targeted and the first to get taken down. Seeing as we don't do anything much other than healing and supporting our mates, it's a given that we come under heavy fire first. Outside of battlegrounds and arenas, world PvP is still an integral part of the game, so travelling outside the sanctuary of Shattrath City has become a dangerous place. When your raiding guild is being deployed to Serpentshrine Cavern, Caverns of Time, Tempest Keep or any other places, you just might find yourself having to defend the Summoning Stone due to a lack of neutral guards. After all, the guild that possesses the stone has the ability to summon reinforcements quickly. Although Warlocks can now summon stragglers inside instances, it still pays for a Priest to know how to defend themselves in open combat. Today, we'll start with the basics: talents and gear.
Gearing a Holy priest for Karazhan, part one - Sun, 01 Jun 2008 19:30:00 EST Hello, fellow Holy priests! Are you interested in Karazhan, but have never gone yet? Maybe you want some Badges, maybe you want some nice epics, or maybe you just want to hang out with nine other folks and have some fun. But what to wear?
Well, the good news is you don't need amazing gear to start KZ. In fact, healing KZ can be easier than healing many heroics, in my experience, if only because you have another healer or two there to help you out. Of course, the better your gear is, the better your performance will be, but there are many easy-to-reach pieces of gear that will perform fine, and several that will perform amazingly, for Karazhan. Join me as I step through some recommended options.