While there's no definite word from a blue on whether it's working as intended or not, there's an interesting buff on the Beta servers at the moment: Everyone seems to have a much longer breath timer when swimming underwater. Whereas it took about 1 minute for breath to run out, now it seems to last for approximately 3 minutes.
In effect then, it's like everyone has gained the Underwater Breathing racial of the Forsaken. If it's a permanent buff and not just some crossed wires, it should make underwater questing (and there is some in Wrath) a bit easier!
Of course, I'm not giving up my Hydrocane just yet, either. It seems like a strange change to make out of the blue, and it does negate one of the Forsaken's racials, more or less.
I've run Utgarde Keep a few times on the Wrath beta using a couple of different characters now, and it's... not bad. I like the atmosphere, the mobs, the visuals and the bosses had decent flavor, but it was hard to take it seriously. It was really, really easy.
I guess that aspect of things is to be expected, it's an entry level dungeon that needs to be balanced for people in full green gear. Still, I wish it was a little more challenging. Even in level 70 blues you can completely brute force your way through the dungeon, slamming your face on your keyboard willy nilly while the bad guys fall over. I don't really want the trash mobs to be terribly difficult, but even in pulls of four and five giant hulking vrykul there's not much reason to use all of that brand new CC some classes are getting.
As some of you have correctly pointed out in my last article, most warlocks use rank 1 of Drain Soul to return a soul shard (I've covered this in tips and tricks). Thank you for your comments as this reinforces my point that the new Soul Siphon buff to Drain Soul is pretty much pointless.
Rank 6 of Drain Soul was used as an example to illustrate the fact that even at its highest rank, it's still a woefully inadequate spell to do damage with.
There are also some who insist that Green Fire is not an issue that "real, raiding" warlocks care about. Yes, I understand that raiding is serious business and endgame warlocks are supposed to be single-minded shadowbolt-spamming machines. To the real, raiding warlocks out there, I'll quote this from my favorite movie this summer: "Why so serious?"
Now that we've got that out of the way, some of you may have noticed that I didn't address the escape mechanism portion of the wishlist. I'd figured that this topic was intriguing enough to warrant its own article and a look at probably the most interesting ability - in terms of Warlock mechanics - that we'll get in the expansion: Demonic Circle.
All the World's a Stage returns today after a week off due to reasons beyond the comprehension of mortal man. Mysteries abound in World of Warcraft, and roleplayers are there to enjoy them.
In roleplaying, one's own character is never the center of the story -- this is true. But from another perspective, your character is always the center of the story -- and this is also true. It seems like a paradox, but it's actually a way of understanding your own relationship to the world.
In most stories, the main characters are usually the ones who have the most impact on the world around them: they are the heroes who save the day, fall in love, and make the choices that determine the ultimate outcome of the plot. In a way, the whole story circles around them, like planets around the sun. The structure of Warcraft lore is built with the stories of characters like this, whose choices made the World of Warcraft what it is today: Arthas, Thrall, Jaina Proudmoore and the like.
But the roleplaying community of imaginative characters is not such a centralized system. When immature roleplayers fail to understand this, they end up with a chaotic mess where everyone wants to steal the spotlight. But mature roleplaying environments are quite the opposite: they are cooperative rather than competitive, and quite unlike traditional storytelling patterns. Where traditional stories are like a solar system, with main characters around which all the other characters revolve, roleplaying in WoW it is like the expanding universe itself: a web of interconnected stories and characters in which the center appears to be nowhere and everywhere at the same time.
Mixology effect deemed not terrible - Sun, 03 Aug 2008 14:00:00 EST Recently in the Wrath of the Lich King beta, Alchemists were given a Passive ability called Alchemical Blood. More recently it was renamed to Mixology. Mixology's tooltip states, "You receive an increased effect when you drink any elixir or flask you are able to make."
Not bad! I mean, it sounds not bad. It doesn't really say what that effect is. A few guildmates and I decided to do a little bit of testing to figure it out, though. Using a few high-end Burning Crusade elixirs and low-end Wrath elixirs, we came to the conclusion that the bonus is around 25%. I would say 25% on the dot, but we ran into some conflicting numbers. Nearly 30% in one case, a little under 25% in another. That was probably the result of talents altering the outcome.
With the same 25% applying to flasks, that would add another +20 Damage to the Caster DPS flasks. Flask of Pure Death, for example, would now supply +100 Shadow, Fire and Frost damage. Not a bad deal, really. 20 damage doesn't quite match up to an Enchanter's ring enchants, but I think Wrath's Crazy Alchemist Potions will make up for that. Wild Magic, anyone?
Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.
We've chit-chatted about the new Spell Power mechanic off and on, but we've never gone into serious detail about it yet. Why? Well, we didn't really know how it worked. We knew what it does but very few of us had a real hands-on experience with it. That has since changed.
Spell Power has done very very good things for the Hybrid classes, pretty much across the board. Obviously it will not drastically change Feral, Enhancement or Retribution, but it actually does add to those last two as well to some extent. Primarily it changes the Healing and Caster specs of the Hybrid classes, obviously. It brings back a lot hybridiness* to classes that... really haven't felt that way in quite awhile.
However, Daniel's machinima deserves to be up there among them with his third place win. He employed a Broadway theme, which helped avoid some of the ridiculousness of the script. With curtains to signify the beginning and ending of acts, he set the stage where his characters would perform -- literally! Aside from being a little long and drawn out, I thoroughly enjoyed his version. I hope to see more like this.
It's that time again, ladies and gents. Alex here with today's round of answers to your Wrath Beta questions. Keep the questions coming, and we'll keep answering. To everyone that asked about Arena points: We don't know anything about that yet, and Blizzard doesn't either. As soon as they know, we'll know, and then you'll know. Gurluas asks...
How many high elves are there in Wrath, and what are their role now that they have thier own faction?
The High Elves actually have a pretty strong presence, which I'm rather excited about. The High Elves (and Blood Elves to a much lesser extent) are one of my favorite Warcraft races, and it makes me sad I can't play one. Alliance FTW. Dalaran, first of all, is packed full of them. Most of them are under the banner of the Silver Covenant, an Alliance-aligned faction of High Elves that aren't too happy about the Blood Elves being given a sizable section of Dalaran.
There are also High Elves scattered throughout the Alliance forces in Northrend. There are a few of them in the 7th Legion (no, they're not all High Elves), the Argent Crusade, and just the Alliance forces overall. The fellow in charge of the Alliance contingent helping the Red Dragonflight at the Red Dragonshrine is a High Elf. He's a total badass, by the way. Check him out up there. Ashkandi is Draconic for Awesome.
A reader that we will just refer to as Mark sent us this amazing screenshot from Wrath of the Lich King's revamp of Alterac Valley. No, no. These three aren't on defense, nor are they AFKing. No sir. In fact, they're the offense. It turns out in Wrath, you don't even need to leave home base to win. Drek'thar and Vanndar come to you. It's a little unbalanced though, Drek'thar isn't very good at crossing bridges.
Seriously though, Mark says him and a few buddies were taking a little break (and drinking a little ale) after defending Stonehearth from a few waves of Hordies and he decided to snap this picture. If you have any pictures our readers might like, sharing it 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 more sunsets! Unless it's a sunset full of delicious candy that I may eat to sate my undying hunger for flesh. I mean sugar.
Personally, I'm mostly optimistic. Being in the beta is very exciting, and let me tell ya, the zones and quests are blowing my mind. Unfortunately, my preferred class/spec is not turning out to be as grand as the changes originally made it sound. Heck, they changed their mind about giving Mind Flay a 30 yard range. The short range on that thing still doesn't make sense to, oh... anybody in the entire freaking world. That's alright though, I'm still having a ton of fun with my Shadow Priest and they're not done with class changes quite yet, nowhere close. I remain optimistic.
Honestly, with eye candy like this, I'm not sure how you can be completely down in the dumps about the upcoming expansion. There's way too many new things and far too much exciting content to throw a tantrum over pitfalls of my class right now. Maybe I'll do that later, but for now I'm pretty darn happy.
Decent healing is often a key factor in determining victory and defeat in a battle ground.Resto and Holy specced characters have quite the job set out for them.Druids, Paladins, Priests, and Shamans regularly face a healing quandary.Is it better to spend time and man healing another player or continuing to do as much damage as possible.Zanhart of Medivh believes that any character than can heal in the battlegrounds, should heal.He finds it particularly insulting when a player heals him or herself while comrades die around them.
Some agreed with him that anyone who can heal should, but most people dissented.There were several themes to the responses:
Paying a subscription fee allows any player the right to play however they like.
DPSers in substandard gear are a waste of heals and mana.
Each week Matthew Porter contributes The Creamy GUI Center, a column aimed at helping you enhance your WoW experience by offering an in depth guide to addons, macros and other tools we use to play WoW, along with commentary on issues that affect how we all play.
I'm back this week to finish our look at inventory manager addons. In the last twoparts we looked at addons that helped you organize and sort your inventory. Now we know exactly where to find that nifty new doodad you just got but how do you quickly equip it when you need it? We'll solve that question this week with a look at addons that help you swap equipment around in the thick of adventuring. With so many items that have a particular use,, the addons reviewed this week will hopefully take some of the hassle out of using them. And for those classes that have different sets of gear for different occasions, these addons will help you out the most. So let's get right into it with a look at outfit and gear managers.
Welcome to Lichborne, WoW Insider's newest class column. Every week in Lichborne, Daniel Whitcomb will explore the ins and outs of Blizzard's newest class, the Death Knight.
It's Wrath of the Lich King Beta time, and finally time to meet the new Death Knight class. Unfortunately, we can't really guarantee you'll be meeting the same class that you'll see in the live game, per se. It's not that the class isn't shaping up well or isn't quite distinctive, it's more that there's just so much that's changing.
The next build that's scheduled to hit the Beta servers is a perfect example. Not only will talent trees be changing extensively, with some talents becoming baseline and some baseline abilities becoming talents, some talents switching tiers, and others even switching trees, but the very way we inflict and stack diseases will be getting some tweaking as well. In addition, many of the Death Knight's baseline abilities, especially related to disease and damage rotations, are changing as well.
So with all these changes, what can you say about a class that's changing drastically on a weekly basis, and may look completely different from how it does now by the time Wrath goes live? Is it really possible to speak about an overarching unifying theory of Death Knights?
Well, let's try. Welcome to the first annual State of the Death Knight address.
As has become customary, a new build of the beta has rendered a lot of the Mage class changes I reported earlier today moot. Much of it is still relevant, but the new build has introduced some very substantial new talent re-workings. Blizzard continues to make good on their promise to "polish" the Mage class, and the results continue to be both good and bad, but always intriguing.
A full list of the newest changes and my thoughts on some of them follow after the jump.
Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below (or e-mail us!), ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer you in a future installment! Mizunie asks a couple of questions...
On the WotLK website, the designers talk about the "Scarlet Onslaught." Who are they and where did they come from?
The Scarlet Onslaught is the refounding of the Scarlet Crusade. Sometime after the events in Stratholme, Abbendis has taken complete command of the Crusade with a new band of lackies. She believes the Light has beckoned her to Northrend, so she rounds up every Crusader she has left and loads them on boats under the flag of the Scarlet Onslaught. There's other details to accompany this in Wrath, but they're way too cool for me to spoil this early.
Do we know anything on good ol' Deathwing?
Nope, not yet. I haven't seen much yet. It's possible we'll learn more in the Chamber of the Aspects raid zone coming in Wrath. It's been revealed that a Black Dragon is the boss inside there, though we don't know the details surrounding it yet.
After a brief hiatus, Insider Trader is back and ready to take on the faction world. As you progress through Outland as a leatherworker, it will be helpful to know the factions with which you will need to be in high favor.
Here's a quick summary:
Honored: Ashtongue Deathsworn, Sha'tar, Keepers of Time.
You may recall a few days back that we told you about new stable slots coming with Wrath of the Lich King. It looks like Blizzard wasn't just whistling dixie, because they're in. When I was switching from my level 65 devilsaur to my beefier level 70 dire raven for a Nexus run over on the Beta server, I noticed that the stable boy was offering me two more stable slots!
The stables slots costs 50 gold for the third one, and 150 gold for the fourth one, giving you a total of 4 slots. This means you have room for one pet from each talent tree, plus a spot for a specialized pet (such as a scorpid for PvP) or an exotic pet (and yes, devilsaurs will be exotic only) or two.
Combine this with the abolishing of the need to tame pets simply to learn skills and auto leveling, and it continues to look like pet management should be easier, funner, and more efficient in Wrath.
Edge talks Morhaime on Age of Conan - Sat, 02 Aug 2008 16:00:00 EST We made mention of Mike Morhaime's surprising words regarding Wrath's launch date during a recent conference call, but there's one thing we didn't really look at that Edge did. Mister Morhaime says Age of Conan's release a couple of months ago did manage to pull some subscribers away from WoW, but unsurprisingly, almost half of them came back pretty fast. Around 40% of them have come back so far.
This does not surprise me, really. That's usually how most MMO releases go, even if Age of Conan was the most heralded release since WoW. I'll admit, I haven't played it myself but I had ten or so guildmates of mine go and try it out. All of them ended up not playing the game after a month, saying that something was 'missing.' How delightfully vague, eh? They all came back.
A thriving, pre-existing community really helps a game's launch, and WoW had (and has) that in spades. You've gotta hand it to Age of Conan, though. For being a game that seems so niche in a market that has only moved out of nichedom in the last few years, they're putting up one hell of a fight. 40% of players have come back so far, sure, but 60% haven't. Yet.
If you're not completely holed up in a cave somewhere, you're probably aware that some big sports event called the Olympics is happening in August. Of course, August also marks the start of a new season for our friends over at WoW Radio, who are holding a contest to celebrate their onslaught of shows. In keeping with the Olympics, WoW Radio is calling their August contest "Pass the Torch", and are giving away twenty (!) Worldwide Invitational cards as prizes. Just in case you didn't know, those cards contain the codes for a key to the Wrath Beta and a mini-Tyrael pet.
How do you join? Simple. Listen to their radio shows! Starting August 8 (or what the Chinese consider to be the lucky 08/08/08), five of their radio shows will be their torch-bearers. During each show, there'll be an 'Olympic ring' -- you'll know them when you hear them, according to WoW Radio -- containing a secret word. The five secret words will form a phrase, which you should then send to their e-mail address to be entered in their grand prize draw. Winners will be announced on the 15th of August on Blue Plz! Head on over to WoW Radio now and keep an ear out for those secret words!