This is a slightly esoteric Death Knight issue, so those of you not yet converted might want to just move along. It is also an issue close to my own heart, as I am pretty enamored of my Unholy DPS DK. What am I talking about? Ebon Plague stacking, of course. The other two main DK diseases, Blood Plague and Frost Fever, stack just fine, but if you've got two UH DKs with the talent in your raid, only one of them at a time gets to have EP applied to the target. This lowers the DPS of any DKs that don't have it applied, since so many of our skills do damage based on the number of diseases we have applied to the target. Most sources estimate the DPS loss as not very high, but it's still annoying as heck.
Ghostcrawler has finally addressed this problem, and says they plan on fixing it by making EP count as a third disease for everyone that's talented for it, regardless of who cast it (if I'm reading correctly). But he does note that this fix is not top-priority, saying "our priority right now is making sure more DKs spec Frost or Blood, not how to reward groups that bring multiple Unholy DKs," going on to say that they nevertheless will fix this bug.
According to Armory Musings (thanks to the Scarlet Mathematician for pointing me to that site), Unholy does account for almost half of all Death Knights, so it makes sense that Blizz would be trying to up the market share of the other specs some. Still, I love the Unholy play style, so I hope they fix EP sooner rather than later.
How is Lunar Festival going for you? - Wed, 04 Feb 2009 18:30:00 EST Lunar Festival has been ongoing for awhile now, and still has about a week left. It's one of the longer holidays in Azeroth, so there's ample time to complete all of your achievements or just experience the seasonal content. Despite that... well, I haven't done any of it yet. All the time in the world, and I'll probably be running around trying to get it done the night before everything disappears until next year, just for completion's sake.
Achievements are all fine and good, but I'm having a hard time getting up and doing things with this holiday. It's unusual, because it was one of the first holidays that I was genuinely interested in back when they implemented it. It was fun hunting down all of the coins and getting the cool clothes and vanity items, but now? Not really diggin' it. Sure, the first time was fun, but the holiday hasn't really changed since then. There are some new Elders in Northrend, but that doesn't really count, does it?
How is the holiday going for all of you guys, though? I suspect some of you are in the same spot as me, but I know a lot of people are super excited about doing all of it as well. Have you finished your achievements? Working on them slow and steady? Not going to bother?
The Glider outcome and copyright law - Wed, 04 Feb 2009 18:00:00 EST Well, as you may have heard, Blizzard has all but finished off Glider -- pending one more appeal (which doesn't seem likely to win), Glider is getting shut down for good next week. Good news for Blizzard, but not so good for copyfighters? Blizzard used a controversial argument for copyright in its case -- they claimed that by circumventing the ToS, the Glider folks were actually breaking copyright law, and an interest group called Public Knowledge didn't take kindly to that. They argued that a decision for Blizzard would mean that any software developer could then prevent any customer from doing anything they didn't want to do, just by calling it a copyright infrigement. Blizzard responded that "buying" your WoW software was actually "licensing" it, but of course that didn't settle anyone down.
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.
What? Me lace a post title with jealousy? I would never do that! Never ever! Okay, okay, maybe there's some jealousy there. Can you blame me? Screw purps, I want me some orange. Orange is where it's at, cat. erogroth asked... I have a question about legendary items. Do we know what Legendary items are planned for WotLK? Are there currently any in the game? If not what are planned for the future or can we speculate? It sounds like Ashbringer will not be a item that a player will be able to get. Is that true? Also, what about upgrade quest for old world legendary items. It seems like so much work went into getting them (Thunderfury anyone?) that it seems a shame that they are worthless.
And the second contest starts right now: Medros wants your best WoW screenshot -- drop him an email (the address is on his site) with the screenshot attached, and they're choosing the best one to win a copy of all three soundtracks from the Collector's Editions of the game. Very cool -- this isn't that big soundtrack set, as we understand it. This is the actual soundtrack CDs from each of the Collector's Editions. Nice prize for sure.
You don't have to be listening to the show for that second prize, but if you're around next Monday night, be sure to tune in and give him a listen. Congrats to Medros and All Things Azeroth on the 100th episode of their show -- here's to many more!
In their continuing efforts to bring some faction balance to Magtheridon (EU), Blizzard has refreshed free character transfers off of the server for Horde, and onto the server for Alliance. These transfers are scheduled to run from today until Feburary 10:
Ragnaros, Shattered Hand -> Kor'gall, Shattered Halls
Argent Dawn -> Steamwheedle Cartel, The Sha'tar
These also are scheduled to run until the 10th of this month, and like all other transfers may close early if the desired population levels are reached.
Magtheridon players, have you noticed an improvement in the faction balance since they started pumping Alliance in and Horde out? WarcraftRealms is now showing a 1:16 population ratio overall on that server, which is much better than the 1:67 ratio it was showing when the transfers started (but still pretty bad).
"It's possible health in general is low for shamans" comes the response in a thread about Shamans in PvP. The dev's, we are told, are looking at elemental and enhancement shamans in 3.1, specifically in the area of their survivability in PvP. Is the culprit too much burst? Are shamans simply too squishy? We're not given any real specifics, but the fact that health is specifically mentioned as possibly the culprit is very interesting. To be honest, I'm not sure how you'd fix it. Putting more stam on Enhamcement mail would mean that Hunters would also go up in health, which to be honest I don't have a clue about. It seems more likely to me that shamans will simply get more benefit from the stamina already on their gear.
At any rate, PvP shamans, something is coming for 3.1, although we have no idea what as yet.
In addition to lowering warrior DPS (aimed at Fury Warriors, as the devs have said they intend arms to get a buff) this also could affect a lot of prot warriors who use deep wounds to help their TPS while tanking. If you're a protection spec warrior who has noticed a recent threat decrease, check your talents and see if you have Deep Wounds, it may be the culprit.
Forum post of the day: Friends in low places - Wed, 04 Feb 2009 15:00:00 EST How much can you determine about someone from their guild tag? Andrys of Arathor believes that she should be able to rely on someone's performance based on the guild they're in. She's disappointed that she invited a low DPS player because of a guild tag. She then checked the armory profile to see that the player was ranked 8 in the guild, presumably a friends and family rank. The post finished with "Boot your friends."
I've been watching this thread for a couple of days, and am surprised it hasn't gotten more attention. Klepsacovic of Zul'jin pointed out that guild ranks are listed on the armory, and the OP should have checked there. Some people are in the habit of checking the armory for any potential groupmates? I am not, then again, I don't check guild tag either when PUGging. To me bad players can come in many flavors, tanks that don't pay attention to mana, low DPS that are not interested in constructive feedback, loot ninjas, unpleasant people, and anyone who refuses to follow directions or kill order.
WoW minis wins Game Product of the Year - Wed, 04 Feb 2009 14:30:00 EST Diamond Comics, a big distributor of comics and collectables, has given out its Diamond Awards for 2008, and Upper Deck's WoW minis game is a winner. The game won Game Product of the Year -- Upper Deck says that "not only did it capture the hearts of World of Warcraft fans across the globe, it also redefined the entire miniatures category."
We'll have to take their word for it (as we haven't played that many minis games before), but the game was a lot of fun when we played a round of it at BlizzCon last year -- it's kind of a mix between turn-based strategy (in that you take turns moving your characters and attacking or defending) and Arena play (in that lots of the character abilities are borrowed straight from the ingame classes). We can speak to the quality of the game as well -- the little miniatures look great, and the game boards and cards were very colorful and well-done.
So grats to Upper Deck for picking up the Diamond Award for their new minis game (the company also nabbed a few other awards for their Marvel Masterpieces cards and their sports card lines). If you'd like to check the game out, you can pick up starter packs at most hobby and game stores, and Upper Deck periodically offers events around the country. Some of which we often post about here on WoW Insider, so stay tuned.
Incoming hot fixes and other bugs - Wed, 04 Feb 2009 14:00:00 EST There are a number of hot fixes and a couple notable bugs we wanted to bring to your attention. Ideally all these will be fixed soon, according to our standards and not according to Blizzard's definition of soon.
Daelo, the lead encounter designer, also came out today and said the following with regard to what they're looking at: "We're checking into the various issues noted here, including why his cone breath hits targets behind his centerpoint, issues with malygos deciding to attack in phase 2, and trying to make the defense bubble's protection work even if you enter the bubble in between the time a missile is launched and when it lands."
World of Warcraft no longer legally for sale in Australia - Wed, 04 Feb 2009 13:30:00 EST One of the major stories that is breaking today around the internet is the fact that in Australia a number of MMOs are no longer legally able to be sold. This is due to their lack of classification, things like M for Mature, PG, 18+, etc...
Our sister site Massively covered this extensively last week, and Tateru Nino's article on it has been picked up by the editors over at Slashdot. This is in particular interest to World of Warcraft folks in that WoW doesn't have a classification, and thus cannot be legally sold in Australia.
New Arena system: you suck more than you know - Wed, 04 Feb 2009 13:00:00 EST Well, the changes to the Arena system haven't made the game any more fun for people. Players are still reporting losses on winning records, and Slorkuz hops over to the official forums to explain things. The short version is: if you're winning games and dropping in ratings, it's because you suck. You do. The system has been tracking your level of suck and adjusting your wins to bring your team rating down to the appropriate level of fail. Of course, Slorkuz puts it more diplomatically than that.
He mentions that the new 'hidden rating' which determines the matchmaking process remembers your original ratings. Players who routinely dropped to 1200, for example, and reformed teams at 1500 are recognized by the system and are promptly put in their place -- even if they win. This is because the new system is correctly matching those players with others who suck equally. So, let me get this straight... because you're beating other players who don't have much skill to begin with, they're worth less points?
Warning: The language is not appropriate for work.
Keep Browsing is the freshman machinima effort of Swedish author Mozq. Mozq assures us that it's not going to be his last. It's a strong first video, and promises a lot of good things in the future. While the style reminds me somewhat of Wrath of a Couch Potato, the author does a good job of making the format meaningful for each tiny clip.
Like Seth Green's "Robot Chicken," this video features short moments of comedy. Each visual segment is set up and executed very quickly, mostly drawing on the audience's memes and knowledge about the mis en scene to skip any preliminaries. Of course, if you're not steeped in geek or internet culture, a lot of the jokes might buzz by you.
Mozq gives a shout out to machinima greats like Baron Soosdon, from whom he's apparently drawn some level of inspiration. I think this first effort comedy piece is pretty strong. I'm not sure if the micro-segment format is really my thing, but it definitely makes for a quick and easy watch.
Our good buddy Zarhym (is he our good buddy? I have no idea...) posted a list of free character transfers for several high population PvP realms.
These moves are currently open and will go until Tuesday, February 10th at 8:00 p.m. PST or until they've reached their internal quota, whichever comes first. You can initate the character transfers by going to your account management page on worldofwarcraft.com.
Please be sure to move early if you want to. With the high latency and login queues on the realms we've seen many of these free transfer offers shut down early lately. Take advantage of this soon and be sure to bring over all your characters.
Ask anyone; Rogues are an easy choice for the DPS component of almost any 2v2 arena team. We've got the cooldowns to tip short fights in our favor and we have the burst capacity to drop a target even with enemy healers furiously spamming Holy spells. I believe that as some of the truly overpowered spells are toned down (I'm looking at you Explosive Shot, Sacred Shield, and Chains of Ice) that Rogues will claim their stake as one of the top PvP classes worldwide.
Rogues have the luxury of being one of the most potent classes in small-scale PvP environments. While we often make little difference in a vast war scenario like Wintergrasp, we are the masters of isolated combat. Due to our flexibility in both offensive and defensive abilities, we can hold our own with or without a healer to support us. This allows us to choose from a vast range of partners and playstyles. Read on to see what team compositions (comps) work best to compliment a Rogue's abilities.
My God, even the Jormungar have dates for Valentine's Day this year? Folks, it might be time to take your mom up on that offer to set you up with that nice accountant friend of hers from work. Three hours of hearing about tax code changes is a small price to pay for the reassurance that you're at least as attractive as a festering, carnivorous worm. (Thanks to Kalam of <Athanatoi> on The Sha'tar-EU for this heart-shaped screenshot!)
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. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.
When 15 Minutes of Fame first heard from Nick Gerakines (Korale of Medivh-US), he was a WoW-playing Yahoo employee tipping us off to his company's proliferation of employee-centric WoW guilds. Today, he's moved on from Yahoo, wriggling deeper into gaming with two new projects: a spot at Electronic Arts (EA) working on Rupture.com, a social networking site for gamers of all stripes; and I Play WoW, a Facebook application for WoW players.
Intrigued by the comments to our recent news post about I Play WoW, we decided to track down its creator. While we were at it, we looked up the creators of Hearthstone, another popular WoW app for Facebook. What we discovered: two very different approaches to the idea of social networking among WoW players, from two very different creators. This week, we talk to Nick Gerakines about I Play WoW; come back next week for our visit with Chris Nolan of Hearthstone.
I have no idea what that phrase means, really. But I figure it's referring to some shiny new epics. This brings back memories. Do you remember your first epic? Back then -- well, even now come to think about it -- my friends had better luck at those epic drops than I did. My brother-in-law got a pair of BoE epics in one day while farming turtles in Tanaris. My first epic drop didn't come until much later, while grinding reputation on the Netherwing Ledge. But the first epic that I ever equipped came as a gift from my wife, a Precisely Calibrated Boomstick that she had bought for 100 Gold.
Back then, 100 Gold was a lot of money. Fast forward to today, where 100 Gold is nothing more than chump change. Things haven't changed much, though. That very same brother-in-law picked up a Super Simian Sphere and Je'tze's Bell while farming Nascent Valkyrs in Storm Peaks while my wife recently gave me a Nobles Deck which she had bought for... a lot more than 100 Gold. What about you guys? What was your first pair of purple pixels? Something from Molten Core, maybe? Or that rare axe from the tribute run in Dire Maul? If you can't remember what your first epic was, how about the most recent one?
Edhristwo just got /gkicked in the shot above -- he and a friend got caught playing around in the Arena on a raiding night, and the guild's GM didn't take kindly to it. Which is fine -- if you join a guild, they can ask you to be around for raids, and /gkick you when you do something else. But the "premier raiding guild" is the funny part -- they're up to one drake Sartharion, and they've appeared in our drama section before. Hey, if Ed wants to do Arena, we'd say take the Tier 7 and run.
That drama and more (including downed and recruiting notices from around the realms) in this week's GW, which starts right after the break.