Wrath Beta tester Tiwo came across a welcome change when logging into her account on a different computer from normal. The macros she wrote and saved on the original machine were now available on the second machine. She posted to the EU Beta forums in thanks, and Wryxian confirmed the change was real. Macros are now saved as part of your account information, and will be available across any machine you play in.
This is pretty awesome good news. Some playstyles can use a beastly number of macros, and I'm not sure I'd be a quarter as effective on my Hunter without the beloved shot rotation macro. I've been known to change my Arena macros on the fly, customizing what exactly I want to have happen according to bracket. Since I carry a laptop around, whenever I use that machine instead of my desktop, I have to rewrite and update everything. Usually, I end up playing without my beloved macros (or at least the current version of them). It might be a small quality of life upgrade, but it's one that I'm pretty happy to hear about.
World of Warcraft's success is 'exhausting' for Blizzard Frank Pearce, co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, sat down with GamesIndustry.biz for an interview during Games Convention a few weeks ago. He had a number of interesting things to say, with the piece's discussion ranging from StarCraft II's progress to the challenges of ...
I'm not the world's most sophisticated interface tinkerer. In comparison to people like Taeo, my UI looks like it was a low-bid government contract job by Oog & Sons. I'll grant that Taeo's UI probably isn't a fair comparison anyway (I maintain that it's hands-down the most beautiful UI we've ever run on Reader UI of the Week), but the point still stands. I download mods I need. After reading Addon Spotlight and getting curious, I often download mods I don't need. I get them up and running while trying to navigate an oft-bewildering number of options. If they're movable, they're irritably shoved around the screen depending on the job I'm doing in a raid or just ignored entirely (e.g. Decursive while tanking). Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Where'd my screen go?
Man, it's a cruel world out there for the lazy. But every so often you find offbeat but amazingly helpful mods that just work, and best of all, work unobtrusively without having to be diddled with every day or between characters and specs. For my part, I am completely ready to nominate OptiTaunt for whatever Total Slacker's Mod prize might exist. It's a tiny mod for tanks that tells your group, raid, and the player you're trying to taunt off of when a taunt is resisted or when the target is immune. It can also announce when you've had to blow mega-cooldown abilities like Challenging Roar, Shield Wall, and Frenzied Regeneration. Best of all, it whispers cute class-specific messages to the player who's pulled aggro (e.g. for Priests: "Warning! My Growl was resisted! Time for a final prayer!"). And you don't need to spend time worrying about settings between characters or specs as the mod will simply never activate on a toon that won't have to (or can't) taunt anything.
I love Titan, Cartographer is amazingly helpful, and we all depend on things like Omen, but OptiTaunt still wins the proverbial desert island contest for me. Sean could probably name dozen of mods like it off the top of his head, but I find any mod announcing a thinly-disguised version of "YOU'RE ALL SCREWED NOW!" pretty tough to beat. With that said, I'm trying to level some taunt-free classes to 70 before Wrath hits, so I'm on the lookout. Any suggestions for, say, a Shaman?
A few readers have emailed us recently asking just what kinds of things to expect in the Achievements releasing with Wrath of the Lich King later this year. There are going to be over 500 of them (with more added later), and while there are a few standard things you might expect (getting Exalted with all the reputations, exploring the world, and maxing out your character), there are lots more that are meant to do what Achievements do best: extend gameplay.
So we hunted through all the Achievements in the beta, and pulled out ten that we really liked. Not all of these are unique (for the Alterac Valley time limit one, there is actually one of those for every battleground in the game), but all of them are great examples of why you should be excited about Achievements when they hit the live realms. From the silly to the "requires a serious commitment," here are ten great Achievements we've seen in the beta.
Tier gear is a concept that has been with WoW since the beginning. In Molten Core, the very first WoW raid, each class had a set of gear that looked good together, could only be equipped by that class and that was, supposedly, specially tuned to that class's stat requirements. Priests had Prophecy, Warriors had Might, and so forth. This was called tier 1.
Classic WoW had three official raid tiers: tier 1 came from Molten Core, tier 2 from (mostly) Blackwing Lair, and tier 3 from Naxxramas. T3 is notable for a few reasons:
It was obtained via multi-class tokens. The bosses would drop, say, the belt token for Priest, Mage, and Warlock. You'd then have to take the token, some mats dropped by Naxx trash, and some crafting mats to an NPC to get the gear. This was useful because the boss drops became more flexible: if your priests all had their belt already, you could give the token to a mage or a warlock; if it had just been a straight drop of the priest T3 belt, you'd have to disenchant it.
T1 and T2 filled eight slots, while T3 filled nine, adding a ring. However, the highest bonus was for eight pieces, so you could choose which piece you wanted to leave out and still get the set bonus. This is continued in BC with five-piece sets, but only two- and four-piece bonuses.
When Wrath of the Lich King goes live (or possibly when patch 3.0.2 does) you will no longer be able to acquire T3. Naxxramas is being moved from its current location up to Northrend, where it will become the entry-level raid for level 80. Those who already have T3 will get to keep it.
The show was late on a Sunday night, so I was a little loopy by the end, but hopefully it turned out OK. I did share a few Auction House secrets that I haven't really posted here on the site (though if you're already an Auction House hawk, you'll know what they are already), and we talked a little bit about the behind the scenes on the WoW Insider Show that might be fun if you're a fan of that.
Was a great time -- thanks to the guys at Canoodle Strudel for having me on. It's always a pleasure to talk Warcraft, on the radio or anywhere else.
The Rogue class is going to be the target of a vast array of smaller and larger modifications in the LK beta. We saw a set of these changes already, and last night Gamnin came by the forums to post another set. The interesting changes (and there are a lot of them):
Cloak of Shadows cooldown down to 1.5 minutes, from 2 (1 in live). Elusiveness will now reduce the cooldown of CloS by 15/30 sec as well as its previous effect.
Tricks of the Trade confirmed; they note that "we'll need one type of solution or other to prevent the need for 5 rogue Trick rotations."
Vigor moved to tier 3. It's long been a sub-par talent, so this is sensible.
Relentless Strikes moved to Sublety tier 1, and raised to five ranks (from one) for the same effect (4/8/12/16/20%). Fair, but a little difficult to stomach too. This does somewhat achieve their stated goal of making it more accessible, but quintupling the cost and putting it in my least favorite tree is not what I had in mind.
New tier 7 talent that I assume is taking Vigor's place: Overkill: Abilities used while stealthed and for 6 seconds after breaking stealth cost 10 less energy. I'll need to play with this, but it looks pretty great.
Master Poisoner has been moved and redesigned. It's now in tier 9 and has three ranks, and instead of increasing chance for poisons to hit, it now increases everyone's crit chance against targets you've poisoned by 1/2/3% and lessens the duration of poisons on you by 17/34/50% [fixed, thanks].
On the left is a piece of art by the late Michael Turner, who passed away in June of this year. On the right is a submission in the Blizzard Fan Art Program, by Emiko Setsuna (or Dênakê). Tipster Ron pointed this out to us, figuring it was worth a mention. If you notice the two pictures look very similar, you're right. If you're not convinced, look very closely at the ladies' left hand, and how the fingers and thumb are placed.
I'm not ready to scream "plagiarism" here (or Laaaaaaaand!, if you're familiar with comics). The idea of "inspired art" and "homage" is very common, and there are only so many ways you can pose the humanoid body. The Blizzard Fan Art Program doesn't have a commentary feature, so it's possible Setsuna intended on crediting Michael Turner for the inspiration. If you consider the timing, especially, it's likely Setsuna was memorializing Turner, as he only passed away a few months ago.
Still, it does make me wish that the Fan Art section did have more information from the creator, so we could draw a conclusion more easily.
Blizzard reveals new Battle.net features - Wed, 03 Sep 2008 14:00:00 EST DIII.net has a great writeup of everything Blizzard has said so far about the new Battle.net features, and while most of the information applies more to Diablo III and Starcraft II, there's some good tidbits in there for WoW fans as well. Battle.net is Blizzard's oldest online service -- it predates WoW by a few years and was notably used to play Warcraft 3,Diablo 2 and Starcraft online. It's making a return with a revamp for the release of Starcraft II, and in addition to the previously mentioned ability Battle.net will give playes to track achievements across all Blizzard games, the system will have a much more social feel than the previous incarnation of the service.
Player accounts, avatars, icons, and friend lists are all planned, and odds are that services like the Armory and even the WoW sign in may be tied to your Battle.net account in some way. Tournaments and rankings will be included (though it remains to be seen how this might be implemented in World of Warcraft), and Battle.net will even offer players the ability to save and share replays of Starcraft II games, and other e-sport-like features.
That last feature would be a perfect fit for WoW's Arenas, of course, but as much as players would like to be able to spectate Arena matches, odds are that there would have to be a lot of behind-the-scenes coding done on Blizzard's side. Starcraft is being built from the ground up to record matches, of course, but WoW's Arena system doesn't have that ability built in, and putting it in might be more work than Blizzard wants to do on that one area of the game. No word yet on when we might get the new Battle.net (odds are it'll come out right around the Starcraft II release, whenever that is), but from the look of it, Blizzard has big plans to expand the social networks they've built into World of Warcraft towards all of their properties.
A new round of free character transfers announced - Wed, 03 Sep 2008 13:00:00 EST As of noon today, a new set of free character transfers are available from select realms due to their exceedingly high population. Bornakk says that these transfers will last until Wednesday, September 10th unless their transfer goal is met early. In that case, the character transfers will end early as well. Get in while you can, if you're on one of these realms!
Creating a great machinima involves a delicate balancing act. You must use equal parts voice acting or visual expression of emotion, plot devices such as humor or fight scenes, engaging story lines, and proper editing and sound design, wrapped together in a neat little package. Too much of one single element can destroy an entire production. Today's featured movie makes a valiant effort at being complete.
Wish upon a Gnome, Episode 1, is the first of three episodes centering around a wee gnome that stumbles upon a Genie that grants him three wishes. His first wish finds him craving the power he feels is long overdue. However, as he soon discovers, not everything goes as planned. Given how disastrous his newfound fame and glory turns out, I can't wait to see what he asks for in the next two episodes!
Mushanga may just be the dark horse of the WeGamemachinima contest. With only two unremarkable contest submissions prior to this entry, this is the first time he's involved voice actors, including Caruu and Jesse Cox, in his work. I found myself drawn into the story and rooting for the little guy, despite his flaws. If you get the chance, check out the higher quality versions of WuaG and give him some constructive feedback!
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, wherein WoW Insider's stable of beta testers answer as many of your Wrath Beta questions as possible! Today we'll start off with burton888's question...
Is there a "magic number" for Enchanting, in that you can disenchant everythng in the game (currently 275 for pre-WotLK content)?
My 375 Enchanter was able to start disenchanting blues as soon as I hit Northrend shores, so I can't say for sure what the minimum level is. However, we can take some guesses based on what we saw in The Burning Crusade. As a few readers said, to disenchant epics it actually requires 300 Enchanting. 300 was the profession cap in WoW Classic. Assuming that trend continues, you will need 375 Enchanting to disenchant everything in Wrath. In the expansion after Wrath, it will probably take 450. Getting to 375 is a pretty safe bet.
How is spell damage affecting a Paladin's Ret Aura? Is it reduced like a standard DoT tick or even further? What are the numbers looking like with tested spell damage?
Warrior Update Incoming - Wed, 03 Sep 2008 10:30:00 EST Blue poster Gamnin posted to the warrior forums a list of changes that either came in on the last patch or which are intended for an upcoming patch. Later in the thread he posted to answer questions and clarify a few things. We can assume that we will be seeing the effects of all this when patch 3.0 goes live.
Now, some of these changes are at least potentially very nice... I especially like where the designers are going with the talent Vigilance. I've always believed that warriors should have a form of threat transfer, so getting 10% of target threat with this ability is definitely a step in the right direction. Other changes, such as the ability Warbringer in the prot tree (the ability to charge in combat that's had us all scratching our heads) don't do much for me. Since it's only usable in Battle Stance, you still have to risk stance dancing over, losing a huge chunk of your rage, getting back some rage from the charge and then dumping most of it to switch back to defensive again... it's just an odd ability right now, very deep in prot for a minimal benefit. If you could use charge in defensive, then I'd be more exacted about it, but Gamnin confirmed in his clarification that they intended the current design and don't want charge used in defensive stance.
Arms had the new armor penetration effect of mace spec highlighted (totally on the fence about this, no idea if it's good or not), while Fury's big changes are the removal of the cooldown component of Improved Whirlwind (which is bad, in my opinion, Imp Whirlwind was used to make the ability more friendly to damage rotations, but with the greater number of possible abilities that's no longer as crucial) and the note that they believe Titan's Grip still needs a counterbalance but they haven't decided on one yet.
I'll admit to being mildly underwhelmed: I really feel like Prot has given away most of its best abilities to other classes (Last Stand, Shield Wall, Shield Slam) and hasn't gotten much of anything. The reworking of Enraged Assault to either include or become Enraged Regeneration is a nice step. but if we're going to have parity between tanking classes, then all four tanks need to be able to do the same jobs and that means more love to the prot tree, in my opinion. But go check it out for yourselves, you may love what you see.
Dear God. The only thing more terrifying than the knowledge that Astarri has somehow repeatedly dragged a post-Burning Crusade group through the horrors of Molten Core to garner at least two pieces of the Felheart set is the possibility that she only did it to match the garish Sin'dorei scenery. The pimp hat does fit quite well, though one wonders what exactly the Orb of Summoning is for. Is this the beginning of Outland's first red light district?
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A lot of people who read Ask a Beta Tester regularly have been asking about how easy Burning Crusade heroics will be at level 80. Can they be 3 manned? Can they be duo'd? This one's for you, guys. I decided it's worth a mention all on its own.
Three players, two Death Knights and a Priest, have recently trio'd almost the entirety of Karazhan, minus only Nightbane due to not having completed the quest needed to summon him. Admittedly both Death Knights were using a deep Unholy build which is tuned a little high now, but they're not wearing any high end gear, either. The spec that the tank used is a bit unusual for an Unholy Tanking build. They didn't take Bone Shield, and I suspect Magic Suppression being bugged had something to do with its exclusion, though that may have been fixed and I missed it. A fun little detail they discovered is that Gift of Arthas, which procs a disease, is counted as one of your diseases as a Death Knight and augments abilities that scale depending on how many diseases you have active such as Death Strike.
So there's your answer, ladies and gentlemen. Karazhan can be 3-manned before any raid gear is available, so Burning Crusade heroics will surely be able to be duo'd if you're still hoping and praying for Anzu come level 80.
Training dummies updated in the Wrath beta - Wed, 03 Sep 2008 09:00:00 EST In the most recent beta push, patch 8885, training dummies were added to the sewers of Dalaran (and many other places in the world as well, apparently) by popular request. They were requested to replace what Dr. Boom did for everyone in The Burning Crusade: A way to benchmark DPS and crunch other numbers while outside of a raid, on a mob that didn't die long before you hit your limit. These training dummies certainly helped, but there was only one problem. The dummies were level 1, so certain important stats were greatly inflated while hitting them, such as critical strike percentages.
Luckily, Kalgan has posted that the training dummies will be getting an upgrade in the next patch. The level 1 dummies will be replaced by level 80 dummies with typical level 80 stats, as well as 'boss level' dummies with boss stats. This will definitely provide much more accurate numbers for players trying to benchmark themselves. I, for one, look forward to testing the upcoming Shadow Priest changes on one of these as soon as it's all in place. I do not, however, look forward to searching for a dummy not already in use by someone else! They've been insanely popular on the beta realms in their level 1 state, and I think beta testers will love them even more at the proper levels.
Breakfast Topic: I like gold - Wed, 03 Sep 2008 08:00:00 EST If you're the type of player that always wants to be prepared, this pre-Wrath/3.0 period is a pretty good time to get started on that. The big thing most of these types are concerned with is gold. It's more or less been proven to be true that even if you're completely broke going into Wrath, you'll be just fine in the end regardless. Still, gold is on a lot of people's minds looking towards the future.
Everyone has a different opinion of how much gold is 'enough' gold. I tend to hang out with players that are pretty big on min-maxing, the people that are always prepared, so my sense of what's 'enough' is a bit inflated. I'm sitting on roughly 10,000 gold right now, and I only recently started feeling like it was 'enough.' I'll be hemorrhaging gold at level 80 leveling professions and getting my gear up to par, so I'm sure most of that will be gone in no time. I could also get the gold very, very easily once I've hit level 80, and not have any issues. I just had that urge to be extra prepared that wasn't sated until I hit 5 digits. It actually wasn't too hard to get. I just farmed herbs here and there, and it just sort of accumulated.
How much gold do you think is enough gold, especially when we're heading into an expansion? Are you content to sit down in the single digits, and go out and run a daily quest if you need to repair your armor? Do you gather up as much gold as possible and sit on it?
The above screenshot is a little hard to read, and for that we apologize. But it comes from Diablo of Stormscale -- apparently they had a healer who /afked in the middle of a raid for about 30 minutes, and when he got switched out of the raid for a Resto Shaman got a little testy. He says he's going to go do his dailies while he adds up the "pros and cons" of staying with the guild, and the GM solves his problem fast: "Here's the con." /gkick.
We have to admire that kind of quick decision making. After the break, more stories of guild drama and woe, and some good news, too -- downed reports and recruiting notices. Make sure to send in any guild news you see to firstname.lastname@example.org, and click the link to see this week's GW.
While I know a lot of folks already have their bear mounts, in my opinion, this change kind of sucks. I have a small raiding Guild who I've been working with to get our bear mounts (with a few bumps along the way). Since we knew the earliest we'd lose our opportunity would be November, all of our planning has been focused on getting the bears this month and next. And now, that's changed without enough warning to alter our plans. Heck, I can't even plan since all I know about when the patch is coming out is "soon."
To be clear about it, the problem isn't that the chance to obtain the bear is going away. That's fair -- the timed event would be stupid easy after level 70. The problem is that Blizzard set one expectation (when Wrath comes out), and has now vastly reduced the opportunity without warning. That's a problem for me.
Yes, this may be the third post I've made in a few days that mentions the Shadow Priest talent Misery. You got a problem with that? Previously on "Eliah talks about Misery:" Misery gets nerfed in the beta from +1/2/3/4/5% spell damage, where it is now, down to +1/2/3% spell hit. Eliah complains that this makes it either required or useless. OK, now that you're all caught up, let's move forward.
In the comments on my last post, several people made the helpful observation that Misery isn't the only debuff that gives +spell hit against the mob. Balance Druids' Improved Faerie Fire is now going to give the same effect of +1/2/3% spell hit (the +melee/ranged hit is getting removed). And of course, in the new raid buff/debuff system, these effects will not stack. So you only need one Shadow priest or one Balance druid to give that +3% spell hit.