When The Queue discussed healing mods a couple of months ago, one of the fairly widespread opinions is that things like Grid had a far too complicated configuration process. Personally, I just use Grid out-of-the-box and it works pretty well for me, but a lot of raiders like customizing those things thoroughly. While the process might be long and complicated, it's totally worth it.
A member from the guild Inevitable of Feathermoon sent us a link to this video made by a member of their guild, made to make the complicated process much, much more simple and easy to understand. It shows how to configure the mod and tinker with all of the cool little things that it can do for a Healer. It's a long video, nearly 10 minutes, but that's a testament to how robust the mod can be. The creator of the video goes through a lot of steps to customize Grid's UI, and I think it will turn out to be a great resource for those who've never used Grid previously.
This ring is actually more notable for what it isn't than what it is. It's more or less the final reward in the Missing Diplomat questline, which spans ten Alliance levels from 28 to 38. And yet, after traversing half the world and uncovering a gigantic mystery, all you get is some XP, a nice chunk of reputation, and this little ring. Unfortunately, most players are of the opinion (with good reason, if you ask me), that a piddly little ring like this probably isn't worth all of the trouble. This is probably one of the quests Jeff Kaplan would probably say wasn't quite done correctly.
In yesterday's intro, I mentioned WoW Insider's April Fool's joke. Sillily (it's a word now), I didn't actually include a link to it, and there were people writing that they had no idea that we even did a joke and couldn't find it. Well, here it is! Now, let's begin, shall we? Sorano asked...
"In the Argent Tournament, is it possible to champion other cities than the ones attached to your race and faction? Could my Tauren Warrior try and earn the favor of Gnomeregan to obtain a sweet Mechano Strider? I've always wanted one of those for my tauren warrior."
It looks like Noblegarden started a trend: the Equipment Manager, Blizzard's answer to Outfitter et al., is being delayed and will not be included as part of the upcoming patch 3.1. The cited reason is that "certain issues were encountered...that could not be resolved in time" to be included with the patch, and they would rather delay to "ensure that this feature meets our standard of quality." Does this mean the patch is coming pretty soon? One can only hope.
This is especially disappointing with dual spec coming as a major feature in the patch, and with Outfitter's author pulling the mod from distribution; people will be needing ways to switch sets quickly more than ever. Fortunately, Addon Spotlight has you covered - come on over and read all about some alternatives to Outfitter.
You can download the full list of finalists over on the MI6 site -- the rest of the nominations are kind off all over the place, though the marketing for Fallout 3 is in there quite a bit, including up against Blizzard for best writing, and best overall marketing campaign. The awards are going down in San Francisco on April 8th -- good luck to Blizzard on all of their hard work.
We still do have one request though: for the next ad, can we maybe get a girl who plays WoW? Sure, a Gnome in the cinematics would be nice, too, but so far, on the TV commercials, it's been all dudes.
Fan-made Draenei Barbie - Fri, 03 Apr 2009 13:00:00 EST Reader Amanda S sent us this picture of a Draenei Barbie (that is a Draenei, right? Not a Night Elf? Oh yeah -- check the hooves) she says she and a friend made when they were bored. It's not the most involved craft we've ever seen, but it looks pretty good and it's an interesting idea: make Warcraft characters out of existing dolls, rather than completely from scratch. GI Joe would probably be perfect for putting together a figure of the new King Wrynn.
But we do like the dress and the shoulders -- nice job. Whenever Blizzard figures out how to do player housing, we can put her in a dream house as well.
Got a WoW-related craft that you'd like to share? We'd love to see it -- send us a tip through the tipline and we'll check it out.
The love of Buddhist's life (his soulmate, if you will) has been damaged by a rival rogue, Ming. Now, Buddhist and his 3v3 team must fight through Ming's merciless minions to regain Cel's power, and prove who is the true Rogue Hokage.
This video is parody of the PvP genre, and sticks its tongue firmly in cheek at the majority of rogue and PvP culture. It's steeped with references and odd quirks, so it helps to have some knowledge of who's who. Ming, for example, is actually a very well known blogger in "rogue society." Serennia is a prominent Arena fighter, and was once hailed as the "best warrior in the world." And if the dialogue from Ming seems funny after her initial confrontation with Buddhist's crew, check this video out about Swarm.
The video made me laugh. The stream could use a little better quality, but overall, I enjoyed this new installment. Mileage is going to vary, of course, but I enjoyed the irreverent, self-aware humor.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com. Previously on Moviewatch ..
Learning to dance with WoW - Fri, 03 Apr 2009 11:00:00 EST I'm learning to dance. By which I mean, I'm learning various semi-ballroom or formal dances that are not characteristic of my native and well-honed ability to flop around on the dance floor like a seizing fish out of water. My fundamental problem with dancing is that I don't have any rhythm. None, nada, zip, zilch. I can notice a "beat" if it's being hammered on a drum, without any distracting vocals or "music" being played on top of it. But if that beat disappears for a millisecond, I instantly return to trampling my partner's feet.
As a result, learning to dance has been a challenge. It's a little crazy, actually. There I was, struggling with the box-steps for a Waltz when a subtle inspiration hit me and my Draenei fiancee. For the box step, you kind of move around in a box. (It's not just a clever name.) But it's done on a three count. Very similarly to how you might call out Heigan's Safety Dance.
And, blushing fiercely as possible, I realized I had the steps. Yup, nailed 'em perfect every time, just by chanting that "Section 3 . . . Section 4 . . . Back to 3 . . . " The beat really was about exactly the same, and I didn't have any trouble after that.
Things didn't get any better for me when we had to do "hesitation" side-steps. Basically, you take two or three steps with the beat, then omg hurry up and take two steps for one beat! And, in the grand tradition of dorks everywhere, I was struggling to do it gracefully. And then my Draenei fiancee impishly started muttering "omigod adds. . . amigod adds. . . omigod adds. . . amigod adds. . ." (Think Noth or Kel'Thuzad.)
Yup, nailed the step right away again. So, while this may not be a direct buff from the Great Crab of Blue, Naxxramas may have helped me get my ballroom dancing right. I guess raiding makes dance steps more accessible?
I will admit, though. I'm probably not ready for the Dance Battle.
We've received several additional pictures of last night's chaos on Spirestone. Nick, Failicus, and Chimmychummy all sent in shots of the madly spawning mammoth vendors Mojodishu, Drix Blackwrench, Hakmud of Argus, and Gnimo. A quick visit to the Spirestone forums shows that the vendors were not despawning when people dismounted from their mammoths. A poster on the Customer Service Forum suggests that as Spirestone had been having server issues all day, this may have been a deliberate attempt by a few people to crash them and force a restart. Or, of course, it could have just been an unintentionally hilarious bug result. More pics below the cut!
I've installed the software on my first-generation iPhone and have been using it for a little while now. And while it's not much more than barebones -- if you're expecting anything other than an application that periodically gives you numbers, you'll be disappointed -- it's definitely a worthwhile substitute to buying a dedicated Authenticator.
There's short walkthrough of the program after the break, and you can check out a few screens of the app below. It's available right now on the App Store for your iPhone or iPod touch.
Breakfast Topic: Ignoring achievements for roleplay reasons - Fri, 03 Apr 2009 08:00:00 EST This is Bedrock. He is what many might call "Achievement obsessed." (Yes, I know, there's a slightly different word most folks use, but this is a family blog.) He's the kind of chap who's run Stratholme about five million times, desperately hoping for the Baron's horse to drop. And yeah -- he's even on his way to the "Insane" title.
But among Mr. Rock's tour of Azeroth, there's one achievement that he just can't bring himself to do. Yes, my friends, Bedrock is not yet DEHTA'S Little PEHTA.
Bedrock is a Hunter on a roleplay server. He likes to roleplay, even if he doesn't spend every moment of every day full of "yea verily" and "thee" and "thou." But he identifies with his character, and generally tries to achieve some level of immersion. And whether the DEHTA crowd is a joke or not, he just can't bring himself to do war against his personal idol. Mr. Nesingwary is somewhat a hero for Bedrock, and collecting the ears of Hemet's friends just doesn't seem right.
So, for roleplay reasons, Bedrock has ignored the DEHTA achievement, even though he's also one of the Achievement hounds. What about you? Is there any quest out there you refuse to do, because it just doesn't seem to line up with your character?
Just another day in Azeroth... or not. Updated 12:55 a.m. EDT: We've received some odd reports of the letters "FU" appearing outside of Violet Hold in Dalaran on some severs, and of pictures like this. Quite odd. There's a possible story developing here, or it could just be very wacky server behavior. Blizzard is apparently aware of the picture linked (and many like it), and is working towards a solution.
Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be looking at talent builds for your pets as you level.
At level 10, every Hunter completes a series of quests that will teach them to tame the beasts they encounter in the wilds to serve as their constant friend and comrade. Whether your chosen companion is of the Cunning, Ferocity or Tenacity persuasion, your pet will grow in strength as you both progress through levels, and at level 20 your pet begins to learn their first talents (and receives an additional talent point every 4 levels from then on) to improve their skills and their ability to lend a hand during your joint adventures. There are many options available to you in the choice of your pet's talents as you level, and today I'd like to present you with a few options to help you along.
The talents your pet will have available to it are determined by the family of pet you've chosen to tame. Cunning pets are considered more "balanced" than their Ferocity or Tenacity counterparts and can be great for leveling when your pet's ability to simultaneously tank mobs and deal damage is an important consideration.
There are a wide variety of Cunning pets available in the game even at low levels, so finding one that's both functional and aesthetically pleasing shouldn't be too difficult. From levels 1 to 20 you'll find a variety of Bats, Birds of Prey, Dragonhawks, Ravagers, Serpents, Spiders and Wind Serpents to choose from if a Cunning pet is what you're after.
Tenacity pets are also an excellent choice for leveling as their ability to take damage is significantly better than other types of pets, and many Tenacity pets have unique abilities that make dealing with multiple mobs simultaneously extremely easy which in turn speeds up the leveling process. Like their Cunning peers, there are a multitude of Tenacity pets available at low levels, such as Bears, Boars, Crabs, Crocolisks, Scorpids and Turtles.
Trying something different - Thu, 02 Apr 2009 20:00:00 EST Mania's got an excellent, if longer-than-usual post up about an issue I'm dealing with as well: the need to play, but confusion about just what to do in the game. I've pretty much done everything I want to do on my Hunter -- after a very lucky night the other week, I'm decked out in all the gear I want, I've topped off my professions, and while I do have some reps to grind out yet (I still want a few rep mounts), most everything I want just depends on dailies, and those I can finish in just a few minutes a day. But just like Mania I've still got that itch to play, to explore and advance and progress, with nowhere to go.
For Mania, the answer turned out to be going to a Death Knight -- she may discover that she's opened up a whole new world in choosing to level with a completely different class. An alt was also the answer for me, but I have a few different reasons, the first of which is Engineering -- I thought for a while, after hitting 450 Leatherworking on my (also Skinning) Hunter that I would switch to Engie and just buy all the mats, but I think it'll be more fun (and profitable) leveling up a Mining/Engineering alt. And he can always make the BoE chopper for any of my characters as well.
But while an alt is sometimes the answer, there are lots of things you can dive into to find a completely new area in the game -- try Arenas for the first time, do a Wintergrasp grind, seek out an old world reputation or title that you've always wanted. We're very lucky, in a game like this, to have lots and lots of new things to try even when it seems like we've done everything we want.
Relic beats Activision-Blizzard in developer showdown - Thu, 02 Apr 2009 19:00:00 EST Here's an update, albeit slightly unexpected, from The Escapist's big "March Mayhem" tournament that we reported on a little while ago. They were pitting Relic Entertainment up against Activision-Blizzard in a developer vote-down, and apparently, after a tie and a little ballot box stuffing, Relic, not Blizzard, has emerged out on top. Quite an upset in a number of ways -- Relic was seeded #12 in the bracket, and Activision-Blizzard was seeded as number one (the bracket also included Harmonix, Infinity Ward, and another big MMO developer, Mythic). In fact, Relic also went on to beat Harmonix, and is now facing Bioware for a spot in the final matchup.
Is it fair to say, then, that the mighty have fallen? Blizzard was (and still is, for the most part) held in high esteem as a developer -- most of the games they've released in their vast history aren't just hits, they're classics. But even commenters here on our site felt that the "Activision" on the front of the dev's name was distasteful: Blizzard's new owners don't demand as much respect as the studio itself does. And Blizzard has definitely changed lately. Some might say that the developer that allowed Diablo 2 players to play for free on Battle.net (which, to be fair, has had its own issues) isn't the same company that's planning to sell Starcraft II three different times.
And let's not forget that, ballot-stuffing or not, Relic has moved on to beat Harmonix, and still has a chance to win it all, so it could just be that they have a much bigger fan following than anyone expected. But does a loss like this mean Blizzard has fallen from their fans' grace?
Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.
Got adds? This week's Two Bosses Enter has minions a-plenty. Welcome to the ring Ichoron of Violet Hold and Ionar of the Halls of Lightning - and all their summoned minions.
The usual rules apply: assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools and damage output. Take note that these bosses will face off neutral territory; there'll be no magic prison wall switches to throw in this battle. Both bosses will be allowed to summon their minions in their usual manner. Focus your debate on the three S's: Style, Story and Scale. Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what players might do in each encounter. Consider the flavor each villainous gladiator brings to bear, then cast your vote for who you think would come out on top.
Okay, when we last left off with the talents and abilities shamans leveling from 70 to 80 will experience, we didn't cover the new spells shamans get: Lava Burst and Hex.
These two spells helped build the new foundation for shamans going forward in Wrath. Lava Burst helped change the way Elemental works (by being able to change the way the class procs its clearcasting and other on critical abilities) and Hex was (and can be argued still is) the long-await Shaman CC ability. We discussed shamans in PvP last week in the upcoming patch 3.1, and I think it's safe to say that both of these abilities (especially Lava Burst) helped prod the class into its new directions, along with the enhancement specific Maelstrom Weapon.
It's surprising to think that they've created all the backstory, throughout Azeroth, in just 511 characters at a time. But even Kaplan said the limit is a good thing: it means Blizzard has to show story to the player rather than tell it.
Still, doesn't seem easy to
Crap. Out of room -- that's 511 characters. Of course, they can fudge things a bit by having those "story quests" where characters can use multiple pages to build up their background, and the 511-character limit doesn't apply to all of the dialogue -- some of the later quests have pages and pages of dialogue as the quest goes on. But squeezing enough information to keep a player interested in just 511 characters is quite a feat.
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.
Good afternoon, everybody! I apologize for missing yesterday's edition of The Queue, I sort of forgot about it in my rush to get our April Fool's joke pieced together. The entire team got together to bring that little joke to life. Getting it all put together was like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. Fun, but it took awhile! Hopefully you guys enjoyed it. If not, oh well! We had a good time bringing it to life.
I don't think you want to listen to me ramble about that, though. Onto the Q&A!
"Why would the Argent Tournament set up camp in Icecrown, at the back end of the glacier? This makes absolutely no sense to me. Crystal Song seems way better: no quests there, plenty of space, and much better weather!"