At one point his guild brought in an outside raid leader and raiders from a more progressed guild, and he noticed that the leader was much more willing to hold people accountable for mistakes contributing to their wipes, like healers healing the wrong targets and a tank's inability to pick up Lord Sanguinar (people who have done Kael before will recognize an initial mistake on the writer's part referencing the untankable Thaladred the Darkener -- he catches it in the comments). "I was impressed by their professionalism, their commitment to high standards, and their leader's willingness to call people out when they made mistakes," Golub writes, "but most of my guildmates didn't feel that way when we chatted after the raid in our online guild chat." The outside raiders weren't invited back, Golub's guild never killed Kael, and he started to wonder if the guild's desire to avoid embarrassment over personal mistakes was really a better outcome than all of the fruitless, demoralizing wipes on the boss with no result.
Any WoW player who's raided for any length of time will immediately recognize the classic dilemma; it's difficult to motivate individuals to perform well when criticism is badly phrased or there's just too much of it, but it's a lot harder to motivate 10 or 25 people to hang around for pointless wipes when individuals aren't held responsible for their performance. Golub calls making people uncomfortable over their mistakes "the human price of success." Your friendly neighborhood raid leader probably calls it "If you move during Flame Wreath again, you're out of the raid."
Scourge Invasion comes to a close - Tue, 04 Nov 2008 18:35:00 EST As of 3PM PDT (6 PM by WoW Insider's clock) the Scourge are retreating from Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms on most servers, and the Scourge Invasion has come to a close... for now. In each of the capital cities there is still an Argent Dawn Champion handing out their Stamina consumables, as well as Argent Quartermaster so you can spend the last of your Necrotic Runes. The necropoleis, however, are all gone.
I fully expect we'll see something else crop up in the next week, not only because Tigole said so, but because it'd be really weird if the final week leading to Northrend is completely barren. There are also things we know are coming but aren't here yet... but those are spoilers, so we won't go into detail.
If anything happens, we'll make sure you hear about it, so keep an eye out. I doubt anything will happen this evening, but I've been wrong before.
The elders spoke of a day when great, sweeping changes would come to us Shamans. A day when our command of the elements would become unsurpassed and we would harness power like never seen on Azeroth (kind of like Retadins). Today, my friends, is not that day. In fact, today may well be any other day for Shamans because Patch 3.0.3 is about as underwhelming as it gets with regards to changes to the class.
Let's see... we have a Lava Burst damage increase, which means jack to us because we only train for the spell at Level 75. Speaking of which, Storm Reach was renamed to Elemental Reach because it now affects... Lava Burst. Also in the Elemental tree, Improved Fire Nova totem was reworked to increase the damage done by Fire Nova Totem by 20% instead of a quicker detonation and now stuns opponents caught in the blast for 2 seconds instead of ensnaring them.
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.
Most of us know guildmates who are related: brothers, or cousins, or even husband and wife. With the widespread popularity of gaming today, playing with family members has become commonplace. (Nightmare couples politics between the GM and incompetent DPS player #496, anyone?) But TomWolf of Sporeggar-EU (PvP-RP) isn't content to play with a mere one or two family members - he networks three generations of relatives together in an nexus of gaming and long-distance communications.
The family that plays together, stays together - even across the miles. When TomWolf and his wife Seriny flew from their home in Sweden to the Dominican Republic for their (real life) wedding, TomWolf's mother was unable to attend. She was, however, "very, very happy to attend the virtual version" in World of Warcraft ... a win/win for the entire family.
Overall, it's buff time in Rogueville, as it seems to be for nearly everyone else. The Combat Potency change is essentially a bug fix. FoK's cooldown was cut by two thirds, and you can't argue with a prettier effect. I'm not really sure what to think about Killing Spree's change. I guess it means you can still take damage, if the opponent can manage to target you, but I don't see it as a big deal. And I hear many players are still not particularly impressed with Shadow Dance, but I would expect Ambush's numbers to add up pretty quickly. Have any beta players played with this new version?
Update: missed one: Glyph of Shiv replaced with Glyph of Vigor, which gives 10 more extra energy if you have Vigor.
Realms are up - Tue, 04 Nov 2008 17:25:00 EST The realms, they're back to workin'. After you've download patch 3.0.3, which is only 20 megs, you can log into the game and play around with some of the new features. We are not expecting very many realm problems tonight, since this was mainly a bug patch which fixed several outstanding issues.
However if there are connection problems tonight, we'll keep you updated with all the latest news from Blizzard.
So as long as you're able to get in and play, you'll quickly notice that the best part of the realms being up is that everyone and their cousin Niko is sporting the new Hallow's End title, "the Hallowed." If you weren't able to finish off everything necessary to get the achievement and accompanying title you'll need to wait until next year.
Of course you could always start worshiping the Ori. I hear they're pretty hallowed as well.
Mage changes in patch 3.0.3 - Tue, 04 Nov 2008 17:00:00 EST Mages, don't worry, you weren't left out of the love light this patch. Not at all. The number of bug fixes in your section of the patch notes does outweigh the number of substantive changes, but one of the substantive changes is very significant. Let's start with a bang:
That could practically read "reduced the mana cost of mages." Great stuff. Looking at the numbers from the last beta build, the reduction seems to be on the order of 10%, which is quite noticeable when applied to your staple spells.
Living Bomb: Mana cost reduced to be the same as Arcane Explosion; no longer causes the caster to stand up when the final explosion occurs, and it is now possible for each mage to have a Living Bomb active on a target.
Frost mages, I'm sorry, but there's a herd of small nerfs (nerflings?) for you in this patch:
Bonus armor on items (rings, necklaces, trinkets, and cloaks) will no longer be multiplied by bear forms. So while leather leg armor with 253 armor will still give us about 1190, a ring with 100 bonus armor will only give us 100 (not about 470, as now). Feral staves will no longer have armor. However, armor modifiers will be adjusted as necessary so our net mitigation does not go down.
An as-yet undecided deep Feral talent (such as Primal Tenacity) will gain the added effect of reducing the cost of shifting to Cat and Bear by 50%, stacking with Natural Shapeshifter for a total cost reduction of 80%. This will help PvP druids shift cheaper if they want to.
Protector of the Pack's group requirement has been dropped. It now simply increases attack power by 2/4/6% and reduces damage taken by 4/8/12%, whenever you're in bear form.
These changes will not be going live with Wrath of the Lich King; instead, they will come in a patch before the 3.1 content patch that introduces Ulduar. Call it 3.0.4 for now.
Win a WotLK CE from WoW Macros - Tue, 04 Nov 2008 16:00:00 EST Macros are awesome. I may not use them all that extensively, but the ones I have, I love. And I'm always on the lookout for more good macros to simplify my action bars. WoW Macros, a site that's been around quite a long time and has the laudable mission of listing handy macros for all classes, has just undergone a complete redesign, and they're having a contest to celebrate, with some pretty sweet Wrath-related prizes. Up for grabs are:
As well as ten copies of Derek's WotLK Guide, a normally-paid Wrath leveling guide. If you want my opinion, though, just go for Jame's guides; they're free and very high-quality. Jame's guides will be released in the week ahead on WoW Pro.
At any rate, there are some very cool prizes here. And what do you have to do to participate? Just head on over to the WoW Macros site and submit a new macro, or suggest an improvement to one that's already on the site (be sure to use a valid email). Every valid submission gives you a "ticket" to the contest, and shortly after midnight on November 12, the day before Wrath, sixteen winners will be drawn randomly and emailed. You can't win more than one prize, but submitting more macros does give you a greater chance to win something. Now get coding -- that collector's edition isn't going to win itself.
Is it Christmas already? It sure seemed that way when I opened up Patch 3.0.3 and saw so much Hunter love coming out from the box. Sure it's not all good, but it's mostly good. Sort of like Westley only being mostly dead. Let's get right to it... first off, we have Barrage and Improved Barrage now affecting Aimed Shot. This is an awesome buff because let's face it, ever since Steady Shot showed up at the party, nobody's asked Aimed Shot to dance. This also makes all three talents a hell of a lot more attractive, so they're now like some sort of hot mean girls triple play that's come to kick Steady Shot to the curb. Or something like that. I mean, come on, +12% crit to Aimed Shot.
Aspects are now off the Global Cooldown and have a shared 1-second cooldown, which is excellent if you're on the ball with aspect switching. It will no longer interfere with rotations, although the only aspect we really switch up when we're sniping away is the, um, rebalanced Aspect of the Viper. The mana returned per shot is lower by 50%, but it now grants a passive regeneration of 4% of total mana every 3 seconds. Mana is also returned with melee attacks, which means we now actually have a sweet aspect to put up when a Warrior is Whirlwinding our butt.
Blizzard's holding official launches across the world, various retailers in all sorts of places are planning out midnight launches, and we here at WoW Insider are no different -- we'll be covering the release all across the world, and we're inviting you readers to come out and join us wherever we are.
We've got a full list of meetup locations after the break -- I'll be in Chicago, co-lead Dan O'Halloran will be at the Fry's in Anaheim covering the Blizzard event there (Chase Christian will be in Santa Barbara, also in CA), and Elizabeth Harper will be in Austin, where Blizzard devs will be meeting and greeting as well. We've also got reader meetups planned in North Carolina and Minnesota (where BBB will be passing out buttons), and our own Jennie Lees will be picking up Wrath in Edinburgh, Scotland. And if you're in Orlando, BRK and Mania from Petopia are holding their own event down there.
Stay tuned to this post for more updates (if we've missed anyone on the team, they'll add their information here), and feel free to organize your own meetups and events in the comments. The second expansion launches next week -- let's party!
Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester on this Maintenance Day Tuesday. Let's get started right away with webrunner's question...
Have you seen any interesting/fun usable gear with cool procs or use abilities, or is it just stats, stats, stats till the Tauren come home?
There are plenty of trinkets with this sort of thing, but not weapons or robes or anything like that. Trinkets are much more common as quest rewards in Wrath than they were before, and you get a pretty wide range of effects. On weapons, it's all stats of various flavors.
Maintenance extended by two hours - Tue, 04 Nov 2008 14:15:00 EST Maintenance has been extended by two hours today. The realms are scheduled to come up at 1:00 p.m. PST, or 4:00 p.m. EST. The opening in game announcement told us about this, and is accompanied with the message that they've experienced some issues while maintaining things.
But never fear! WoW Insider has you covered for this downtime with all the latest patch 3.0.3 information:
Yeah, yeah, I know. You're sick of reading about Paladins. Don't shoot the messenger, I'm just here bearing some news and a couple of opinions. You can always skip down to the the next post, anyway. For those Paladin lovers (and even loathers), Patch 3.0.3 brings about some pretty interesting changes to the class. We got a lot more changes than other classes, but then again we've been getting a lot of attention lately, haven't we?
First, the bad news. We knew most of the nerfs since they showed up in the Beta a while back. Well, most of those nerfs made it live to Patch 3.0.3, so let's get this over with quickly so we can move on to the good news. Yes, there's actually good news for Paladins this patch. Seals all get nerfed to varying degrees, the general idea being that they no longer deal as much damage either as a Seal or as a Judgement. Don't ask me for the math, you can check out Boubouille's detailed notes on MMO Champion for the details. All Seals have been nerfed, period. Ouch.
[UPDATE: Thanks to Turkeyspit who reminded me about the change to Judgement of Light, which now awesomely affects spells and not just melee attacks. I told you this was a good Patch for us.]
Patch 3.0.3 is here, and it's almost certainly the last patch before Wrath is released next Thursday. Unlike the other eight classes, we've gotten all our talent points refunded, which makes this a good opportunity to switch up your spec if you want to, maybe to whatever you'll be leveling with in Wrath. This isn't really because we got huge changes so much as it is because two of our talents were reduced in the number of ranks [edited for correctness]:
Earth and Moon is now 3 ranks for 4/9/13% increased spell damage taken, and increases your spell damage by 1/2/3% (old: 5 ranks for 3/5/8/10/13% increased damage taken from Arcane, Fire, Frost, Nature and Shadow, and increases your spell damage by 1/2/3/4/5%)
Moonfury is now 3 ranks for 3/6/10% benefit (was 5 ranks for 2/4/6/8/10%)
Hard to make a change like that without refunding talent points. Further Balance changes:
Eclipse's buff duration was raised to 15 seconds and its bonuses doubled, but the cooldown raised from 30 to 40 seconds. Overall a buff to what I still think is an inspired talent. (Although some of this seems to have already been live in 3.0.2? Boomkin, help me out.)
Apparently Moonkin were getting way too much mana back from Hurricane, so Moonkin form now only gives mana back from single-target spells.
Prior to patch 3.0.3 Titan's Grip had a 15% miss penalty. That penalty has been reduced to an astounding 5%. What does this mean? It means that you're pretty much going to hit 10% more then what you used to when you have Titan's Grip talented.
10% more means 10% more crits and 10% more yellow damage. Of course, these numbers end up being a bit different in practice than in theory crafting (and some will even correctly say that 10% more chances for damage is an oversimplification - and they would be right, and that's another article), but they're still a good base to look at when talking theoretically about the class.
The simple jist of it is Titan's Grip just became a whole lot sexier.
Continue reading on after the break for more changes to the Warrior class in 3.0.3.
20 quests you shouldn't miss - Tue, 04 Nov 2008 12:30:00 EST Our friend Lassirra over at Hunter's Mark has a good post up featuring 20 quests you shouldn't miss in the game. If you're looking for something to do in-game between now and next week's expansion, it's probably a great time to go back and check out some of the best quest content in the game.
Unfortunately, her number one quest has been gutted already, but there are a lot of good quests on the list for sure. And quite a few of them have some great rewards as well -- the Barov Peasant Caller is great, I'm still wearing the cloak from Bring me the Egg, and the Divination quests in SMV will let you pick up some nice consumables and gear as well, not to mention a good bit of cash. And some of them are just plain awesome -- Ivus the Forest Lord, I agree, is something people almost never do any more, but once you've done it, the reward of having a big treant kicking ass for you is just too fun.
If you need more quests to do, you can check out our writeups on the top lore-based quests in the game, and don't miss the must-see quests at 70, either. Whether you're looking for a time-filler or want to know which quests to start on when the XP starts flowing again, odds are there are quite a few great quests you missed the first time through.
Today's machinima scored second place in WarcraftMovie's Shrieking Shorties contest. Kilh Machinima created Forgotten as the trailer to a movie that will never be made. While the author had a much fuller story and script in mind, he had to basically toss that aside and start from scratch due to the contest's time limit.
This trailer, like the Orchard, makes very good use of horror tropes. Tense scenes are filmed through short, jarring cuts. Since the viewer (presumably) is accustomed to WoW's graphics, slight alterations and surreal shots of the scenery provide a disjointed feel to what you're seeing. And, of course, the creator uses first-person perspective at the end to help provide the trailer's "shock."
The story didn't really compel me, though I was definitely impressed by the visuals. But that's kind of how horror trailers work anyway, and I think Kilh did a great job using that style to compel the viewer.
Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft. This week's round up will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on the site from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed.
Patch 3.0.3 isn't a hefty patch by any means, but it did bring some pretty nice changes for Warlocks. Some were simple bug fixes but others were outright improvements. As we reported, the Dreadsteed spell will become trainable to all Warlocks at Level 61. Players no longer need to do the quest line, which opens up at Level 60. The character must have Journeyman riding skill and the Felsteed spell learned.
Despite this welcome change, I implore all Warlocks to do the quest. It is one of the best and most flavor-rich quest lines in the game, and any Warlock worth her salt will have fun keeping up the Bell, the Wheel, and the Candle. The cost of materials are trivial in the new economy, so there really shouldn't be any excuse not to do the quest now. High level friends can and should (we're Warlocks, after all) be bribed to chaperone Level 60 Warlocks with the Dire Maul Achievement.
[UPDATE: Thanks to our industrious readers, I needed to change my shorts (I'm sending you my dry cleaning bill, Augustus) when I read about this change... the coefficients to Corruption and Immolate were significantly buffed to 20%. That's just... wait, let me change my shorts again (blast you, Augustus!). Oh, and apparently Ritual of Doom is actually cool now. It no longer kills a party member, the Doom Guard lasts for 15 minutes and just disappears afterwards like a zit to Oxy afterwards. How polite. So wow, yeah. Bdew, you can split my dry cleaning bill with Augustus.]