Our spells are shiny and bright, well worth using in more than just combat situations! Last time we talked a bit about this idea, as well as how druids, hunters, and mages could use their spells to entertain their friends. Today we turn to the remaining classes: priests, paladins, rogues, shamans, warlocks and warriors.
Each roleplayer would do well to sit down and examine his or her action bar to pick out those spells which can be used outside of combat, and think of whatever opportunities imaginable to make good use of them. Chances are, if you put your mind to it, you can come up with some really creative ideas.
Buffing, for instance: You've got these beautiful abilities that can benefit anyone around you, no matter what class or level they are. If you're going to bless them with such a neat thing, why not say something about it while you do so? You can say, "<Deity Name> guide you, sir!" or, "you look pretty dumb -- have some extra intellect!" or whatever expression sounds right for your character.
The restriction on summoning in Netherstorm is going to be removed entirely! Hooray! While this change won't vastly alter gameplay, it's another nice little convenience thing. Those are usually the most enjoyable changes, I think. This far into the game, there really isn't much need to keep Tempest Keep restricted to those with flying mounts. Plus, as all of the level 68 Druids with their Flight Form have displayed, you don't need to be top level to do some damage in most of Tempest Keep either.
This seems like it might be another change with the intent of opening the game up to more players and speeding up the content to prepare for Wrath of the Lich King, but most people I know never liked the summoning restriction anyway. I, for one, am glad to see it go.
The Fear Ward change, like I mentioned in my last post, is primarily a convenience change for PvE. Reupping Fear Ward every 3 minutes when you need to keep putting Shadowform back on afterwards is annoying, and a large mana drain over long encounters. However, it wasn't crippling, so not a very big deal. What this will help the most is PvP, especially arenas. Having an arena match last longer than three minutes isn't unlikely, so you will probably want to put Fear Ward back up at some point throughout the match. Being required to drop Shadowform to do it is sort of a pain, considering both the loss of damage and the mitigation Shadowform supplies you with, arguably one of the Shadow Priest's strongest defenses.
The Spell Haste change is what has me a little excited. I'll admit right away, I haven't crunched any numbers. I'm notoriously bad at breaking down raw stats, I usually just eyeball my gear and take a guess. I'm right or pretty close more often than not but don't hate me too much if my guesses here are completely wrong. If you want to see some raw numbers, you can probably check them out over at the ShadowPriest.com forum.
What's in a name? - Sun, 03 Feb 2008 13:00:00 EST The names of equipment in the World of Warcraft are really hit or miss. You have a few that are absolutely amazing, some that are downright awful.
On the one hand, you have Crul'shorukh, Edge of Chaos. Stop reading for a second, and say that out loud. Crul'shorukh, Edge of Chaos. Roll it around on your tongue, savor the flavor. That name alone radiates manliness, and it helps that it was a darn good weapon in its day. If Bruce Lee and John Wayne had a child, I bet its name would be Crul'shorukh. This right here is the height of awesome.
And then... then, you come across the Wand of Happiness. Come on, really? The Wand of Happiness? When I spotted this in Nagrand, I completely forgot whether I was playing the World of Warcraft or Cuddly Pink Ponies in Dreamland. Am I supposed to be slaying orcs and dragons by the dozen or rolling dice to see if I get to wear the pretty tiara? Well... I guess I'm doing both, technically, but thats not the point. How about Wand of Blowing Stuff Up instead? Eh? Ehh? Yeah, that's what the World of Warcraft is really all about.
There has been such a positive response to the How to Paladin posts! I thought I'd take you back to where it all began. Shepiwot posted his first video in March 2007, shocking the community with what he described as "senseless uselessness."
Welcome to the beginning of the third bracket. It's been six months since we began this battle of the raid bosses and we are down from 32 to just 8 contenders for the title. Here's the line up for the next four weeks:
Today, we jump into the first of these titanic battles with the undead frost wyrm Sapphiron vs. the Troll god of Zul'Gurub, Hakkar the Soulflayer. Who shall fall and who shall emerge victorious? Read on to decide for yourself and cast your vote!
An unidentified reader sent us this ceiling shot of a hole in the last chamber of the Slave Pens. Who knew Quagmirran enjoyed a sunroof is his demense? Well, a water roof considering the whole thing is under Coilfang Reservoir. But wouldn't that flood the whole place? Oh well, it's scenic and that makes it the selection for today's Around Azeroth.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because 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.
Breakfast Topic: Your Super Bowl plans - Sun, 03 Feb 2008 08:00:00 EST Super Bowl XLII lands later today like expansion launch day for football fanatics. The New England Patriots are coming off a perfect 19-0 season and if they win today's game they will be the first team to have a perfect record for the season. The New York Giants, on the other hand, haven't had a chance at the brass ring in 8 years and are clearly the underdogs.
Confused? Let me translate: The Patriots are the Horde in Arathi Basin and the Giants are the Alliance. Ah, I see the light bulb above your head now.
For those of you who enjoy both WoW and American football, what are your plans today? Did you call off a raid to watch the game? Or are you logging in during Super Bowl hoping for a less crowded server? Let us know.
Wowhead evolves again - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 20:01:00 EST The best WoW database site (in my opinion) just got better. Several features have been added to Wowhead over the past couple days; as the site's "Adorable Bearcat Overlord" Miyari notes, they are perhaps not strictly essential (her term is "icing"), but nice to have anyway.
My favorite addition is that users' comments will now be annotated with the patch number that was in effect when the comment was made, so you can more easily spot information that might be outdated (see screenshot).
Alchemical recipes that are attained via discovery are now noted as such under the "source" tab, and the corresponded spells will state their provenance as well. Elixirs will now be annotated as to whether they are Battle or Guardian elixirs. Pet skills will now show which pets can learn the skill, as well as which mobs can teach the skill. And finally, tradeskill spells will show at what skill levels they change from orange to yellow, green, and gray.
I say well done, Wowhead folks! If you have any ideas for how Wowhead can improve, hit up the their Site Feeback forum.
The ups and downs of contributing to WoWWiki - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 19:00:00 EST Besides news here at WoW Insider, one of my favorite places on the web is over at WoWWiki. The site is a virtual treasure trove of World of Warcraft lore, class information, formulas, and strategies. Back in October the site passed 45,000 articles, and today it stands around 53,000 articles. That's A LOT of content, much more then anyone could possibly hope to read.
Where does all this come from?
The way community wiki's work (wikis like WoWWiki and Wikipedia) is that everyone who reads them can effectively edit anything in them. If you're looking at the strategy for Zul'Jin and see something that's not right, or that needs to be added, you can do it right on the spot. Of course you have to sign up for an account and make sure what you're putting in is correct, but that takes all of five minutes. User submitted content is critical to the success of a wiki, and WoWWiki is (as I'm sure most of our readers would agree) one of the most successful game wikis out there.
Last week, two bosses entered a neutral Arena, the Old God C'thun and the bane of the Black Dragonflight, Gruul. Which one survived and which one got slaughtered in this battle of the boss mobs?
Let's just say C'Thun and his eye laser of instant death means this Ahn'Qiraj raid mob has a shiny new Tier 4 Leggings token to turn in right about now with more than 75% of the vote. There was some rallying around Gruul's ability to withstand a beating, but most of his abilities were useless against a knockback resistant C'thun.
This battle finishes up the second bracket of battles. We are now down to the final eight. Next up on Two Bosses Enter, the first battle of the bracket: Sapphiron , the undead frost wyrm vs. the Troll god of Zul'Gurub, Hakkar the Soulflayer.
All fires are not the same - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 18:00:00 EST I've noticed lately while running around and doing my daily cooking quest that some flames are not the same as others. This seems rather silly to me. After all, a flame is a flame, right?
For those of you that don't cook in WoW, I'll fill you in. You need to find a cooking fire every time you want to cook something. Everyone has the ability to make a simple fire, but this requires reagents, and is not something that people normally waste space on. So instead of making your own fire, you can find a premade fire, stove, kettle, etc... and cook your food there. These heat sources are spread out all over major cities and out in the wild.
But, there are oddities. For example, take these two kettles - which are the exact same model.
It never really gets old speculating about what Blizzard has hidden away for the future, whether it be for the Sunwell Plateau, Wrath of the Lich King or something else entirely. The topic of Warlock pets comes up every now and then on the Wrath forums and while I don't play a Warlock, its an intriguing topic. Warlocks currently have six baseline demons, two of which have a slightly different summoning process. They can get another through being specced deep Demonology. If you count the Felguard as their level 70 addition in the Burning Crusade, they get one roughly every ten levels, so its safe to assume they have something coming in Wrath.
First thing to consider is what role the pet would play. Everything but healer has been done already, and I don't want to even think about a Warlock with a pet healer. The Felguard is essentially a direct upgrade to the Voidwalker, so something like that is more likely. Personally, I think a Shivarra would fit the next demon well, and act as a direct upgrade to the Succubus.
Second thing to consider is whether it would make sense from a lore point of view. As fun as it would be to summon a pet Pit Lord whenever you want, that seems unlikely. Same with the Nathrezim or the Eredar. Shivan or something we haven't seen yet seems the most likely choice.
The folks at WoWJutsu provide a great little competitive tool that ranks guilds according to the PvE raid content they've completed. The site is pretty popular, and a lot of guilds use it in their advertising over at the Guild Recruitment Forums. My guild has been known to pay pretty close attention to the number. I have to admit that about once a week I find myself checking our ranking against those of other guilds my friends are in.
This got me thinking... what good does basing your progress against other guilds do? Sure, there are the ultra competitive guilds like Death and Taxes and Nihilum. However they approach the game in a way that leads them to needing to care about how close the guild behind them is doing. For most of us, competing against other guilds is only going to lead to unforeseen frustrations. Most guilds have a boss or two that they get hung up on. Back in the days when BWL was hard, my guild spent a long time defeating Razorgore, and after he was gone the rest of the instance fell within a month. This kind of common hurdle in WoW is not reflected in WoWJutsu; all you get to know is that a guild is stuck on a boss, not that they're going to have amazing progress after it.
Happy Groundhog Day! - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 16:00:00 EST Today is Groundhog Day. I would recommend you all go watch the like-titled movie with Bill Murray in it while doing your dailies. A quick scan of my TV guide reveals its on just about every cable network. For those of you that haven't seen the movie, I'll give you a spoiler: Bill Murray repeats the same day, Groundhog Day, over and over again, somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,650 times.
While the game play itself can be very fun and exciting, no one can really argue that at times it's nothing more than a long grind. This is okay to some extent, but has the game moved too far into grind mode?
There's a lot of reasons to think that it has. First, we have the dailies that for most players are their primary source of income (in the game, we hope not in the real world). Every morning I wake up about an hour early just to hit the dailies on a couple alts to make my gold. It's really a necessity for me; there is no way that I could afford the two hundred plus a week in repair bills without it.
Gankbang pulls character stats from the Armory and compiles them into a fun little searchable tool. It gives you the option of breaking down your search by class, talent spec and specific stats. You can also choose to search by specific realms, factions and battlegroup. You don't have to pick through those things if you don't want to, a WoW-wide search works as well.
The most obvious use of this tool is to stroke your ego when you come up in the top ten of a search. I'm pretty sure everyone who's been to Gankbang before has done that at least once. Another good use of the tool is to find the players of your particular class who either know what they're doing, or at least are doing really well in the end-game. As a shadow priest, it was fun to do a few searches(shadow damage, spell haste) to see who's on top, and use their Armory profile to see what's available to me. If you're on a friendly, homely server, those people on top might have some good advice for you too, if you're in need of it.
It has a few issues, though. Due to Gankbang's update frequency and that of the Armory, your stats may not always be current if you have multiple sets of gear. In addition, while Gankbang strips most buffs when grabbing character data, there are a few things that slip through. For example, a search for melee crit on warriors has the number one warrior listed with 116% crit.
Oh, by the way, if you're not showing up on a search? You can add yourself manually by using the link at the top of the Gankbang website.
I just got back from my run to Nagrand to hit up Mr. Swirlybandages for my bag. I was particularly excited because I had just hit Honored with that faction. And you know what I got? An Azure Moonstone and a Shadow Draenite. Uh...okay. I guess I'll try not to spend the 40s I'm gonna get for these on the AH all in one place.