Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week Alex Ziebart brings you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm. Have suggestions for future KYL topics? Leave a comment below!
Dalaran has been one of the most prominent nations in the Eastern Kingdoms since its founding, though it's actually quite small. A nation only thousands strong at its height has perhaps held more sway over world leaders in its time than any other nation, and has attracted the ire of some of the most powerful entities Azeroth has ever seen.
Dalaran, located in the heart of former Lordaeron territory, has been the center of Arcane knowledge since its creation, and could be considered the Humans' answer to Quel'Thalas, though the nation accepts Elves (and many others) in its ranks as well. Magic is Dalaran's lifeblood, and is even ruled through the strength and wisdom of its magi. Dalaran is a magocracy, a government ruled by a council of mages known as the Kirin Tor, elected by citizens of the nation. Their icon is the Violet Eye, with Violet being the motif used for the nation itself, and the color purple representing the Arcane as a whole in Warcraft (Arcane Missiles, Netherstorm).
The Feast of Winterveil is fast approaching. Along with the rest of the holiday fluff, the snowmen that loitered outside the banks in the capital cities are sure to make a return, only this time they will all be dancing with each other in Dalaran in an attempt to achieve A Frosty Shake.
With this craft, you can have your very own snowman friend. Guaranteed not melt under most conditions. Here is what you will need:
While this isn't a major issue to those of us at 80 as there are currently no top end weapons that require one of the three specializations, it not only prevents these leveling characters from making the epic weapons it could prevent a character who currently is an armorsmith from being able to trade specializations. It's certainly not the end of the world for most of us, just don't try and retrain until it's fixed, but it's got to be a bummer for the people who intended to have a fun new toy in Northrend and will instead be staring at a pile of mats they won't have any use for.
While he never does mention anything about their expectations for sales numbers (we know Wrathbroke a number of records), he does reiterate what other Blizzard higherups have said: that they'll be making expansions as long as people are interested in playing them. And he says that the biggest challenge for Blizzard in the next few years will be to balance what they're doing -- they've never had more on their plate before, and they've already gotten a harsh lesson with the splitting of Starcraft II into three games. It'll be interesting to see if they can keep up the quality and popularity even while trying to work on three AAA PC titles (not to mention the unannounced MMO) at the same time.
Poaching for skins - Thu, 04 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST I have to thank you, other players on my realm. If it wasn't for you, I probably wouldn't have reached 450 Skinning already. Yes, the garbage of dead mobs that you leave behind becomes my profit -- when you leave that worg corpse or the dead drakonid behind, I'm all too happy to run over, skin it, and clean up that little mess you've made, while sticking a little gold in my pocket as well. Matthew is right there with me -- he calls it poaching, though we're both referring not to stealing, but to simply skinning the leftover mobs of all those players before us.
Truth be told, I probably poached more than ever down in the mines of Netherwing Ledge -- there were always players killing down there, and what they didn't skin, I did, both for the quest skins and for my own Knothide. But in the expansion, things are even better -- everywhere I go, there are fields of leftover mobs, and even when someone is able to kill a mob before I get there, I hover over them to pick up the skin afterwards.
Matthew has put together a list of all the great places to pick up extra skins -- I'll agree that Coldarra is full of poaching options right now, as is Kamagua on the other side of the continent. Grizzly Hills, also, is not only full of creatures to skin, but lots of leftover corpses as people quest across the zone (though odds are that if you keep up on skinning, you'll be 450 by then anyway). Think of it as a service -- we're the garbagemen of the realms, cleaning up your kills so the next can spawn and the circle of loot can go on.
While Karazhan was one of the (if not the) most successful instances ever, it had one big problem: it killed guilds. It murdered progression. It was a roadblock after a roadblock, so much so that it took some guilds months to conquer, if they survived at all. Ten man Naxx obviously doesn't have that problem -- anyone with a little raiding experience who wants to beat bosses in there can do so, and Obsidian Sanctum is just as easy. The problem now, however, is that guilds like Ensidia and guilds who pushed through to Sunwell in the old endgame, are finishing the content already, and wondering what's next? They were 80 two weeks ago, and now, barely a month after the expansion's release, they've toppled every dungeon they can find.
Totem Talk: Wrath faction gear for Shamans - Thu, 04 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST One of the ways to gear up as you level and prepare for endgame in Wrath of the Lich King is by making use of the reputation gained via questing for various factions in Northrend. In addition to the main Alliance or Horde factions the Alliance Vanguard and Horde Expedition, there are a variety of other groups you can meet and ally with as you explore Northrend, often through daily quests, and these factions offer gear, head enchants and other items of interest to you as an up and coming shaman. Today, we'll go over what each group has to offer and which ones you might want to prioritize depending on your spec and interest.
One group to mention in particular is the Sons of Hodir: unlike other factions, they don't have a Tabard which you can wear in level 80 dungeons and heroics to gain reputation with them. However, they do have quite a few dailies to unlock as well as a long series of quests which will get you started, and in addition to the usual gearing reasons to unlock and progress in this reputation they also provide shoulder enchants that equal or exceed the best outland ones, so they're a group you'll eventually want to work on.
Blizzard makes deal with Massive for Battle.net ads - Thu, 04 Dec 2008 15:30:00 EST The AP is reporting that Microsoft's game advertising division (called Massive, Inc., not to be confused with Massively), has signed a deal with Blizzard to offer advertising on their upcoming Battle.net revamp, presumably to premiere with Starcraft II. This is apparently out-of-game advertising, i.e. the ads you'll see upon login to the service, not necessarily on in-game billboards or other nonsense like that. Battle.net is Blizzard's online service -- they've used it since way back in the Diablo days, and they've always had ads for their own products in it. But now they've contracted with this company Massive, Inc. to put other ads in there, and since they've been planning for a revamp for a while, you can probably expect to see the ads in right away when the new service launches.
How will this affect us as WoW players? It might not -- Blizzard may leave WoW on its own launcher, rather than having you go through a Battle.net launcher to sign in. On the other hand, WoW is clearly Blizzard's biggest online game, and we already know that Blizzard plans to include some WoW features (achievements, accounts) in the Battle.net revamp, so it could be that they're going to unify everything under one launcher (WoW, Starcraft II, Diablo III), in which case you'd see these ads when you sign in as well.
Which makes us wonder why exactly we'd be paying $15 a month to see more ads on login, but don't panic yet -- we'll cross that bridge when we actually know it exists (for now, Blizzard hasn't announced any official plans to change the way WoW works with Battle.net, other than the fact that one account will work across all games). We'll keep an eye out for any other new Battle.net news -- there's definitely something big in the works.
Reader Dave M. sent this little gag to us from Blizzard's "Account Cancel" page. He was leaving the game (and frankly, we're sorry to see him go), and he noticed that if you choose "other" as the reason for leaving your account behind, you get another list of more wacky options. And among them (right between "All of my friends quit playing" and "Offline play not available") is that constant point of QQ: "Will of the Forsaken nerf."
Pretty funny that in terms of game mechanics, that's really the only listed reason for quitting ("it takes too long to move between regions" is in there as well, though it seems like a strange complaint that the game is too big). You'd think that the Ret Pally nerfs or Shaman QQ would at least be listed in there somewhere. But no, apparently for all the players that are saying "That's it, I quit" in response to nerfs, only the ones angry about the WotF nerf are actually doing it.
First, he notes that they have internal numbers that the majority of players don't yet have a level 80 character. This might be a known or assumed fact by some, but for many of us it's interesting to hear Blizzard extrapolate on the issue.
Vaneras goes on to point out an important tidbit - don't assume just because all your friends are 80 that everyone else is as well. People that play all the time tend to gravitate towards other people that play all the time, and folks that only log on once or twice a week gravitate towards each other as well.
This means that just because everyone on your friends list is 80 doesn't mean the whole server is yet. I know that for myself nearly everyone's main is either 80 or high 70s now, and most have alts quickly getting up there in level too.
But then I'm reminded of my brother, who just dinged 77 a couple days ago.
This is also good to know as it means battlegrounds and Wintergrasp will be filling up more as a greater number of folks ding. That's only going to lead to more fun for everyone.
Your arena points will stay with you until you reach level 71 however.
But the end of Season 4 isn't the news.
Season 5 will begin on December 17th for those players that have reached level 80. That's just a few days away. For those that haven't, the skirmish brackets of 71-75 and 76-80 are available. The time is now to start organizing your arena teams and get them in gear for the upcoming events.
With all the changes in Wrath the next arena season promises to be interesting. Here's to bigger and better weapons! /cheers
Welcome to Scattered Shots, the weekly Hunter column where we could really use a plane to head back to Shattrath and pick up more ammo since we haven't bummed a teleport to Dalaran yet.
So. You've breezed past the early 70s. You've checked out the reputation gear for Hunters, and now you're ready to grind. So you've picked up your tabard, and you realize that you still have a question left to answer: Which dungeon should I run? What dungeon has the gear I need to get suited up and ready to run Heroics?
Scattered Shots is here to help. We're going to look at some of the best pre-Heroic drops for Hunters in Wrath, and hopefully give you some idea of what way to go when you look for your next dungeon, or at least what drops to cross your fingers for.
This guide will focus mostly on normal dungeon drops, although where a quest reward, reputation reward, or relatively easy to craft crafted item is a good option for the slot, we'll highlight it as well. By the end of this guide, the Hunter that didn't quite finish their Karazhan runs during Burning Crusade should hopefully have an idea of where to get a good outlay of gear to prepare them for heroics, and eventually for Naxxramas itself.
Good luck on the drops, and good luck winning the rolls over those enhancement shamans!
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.
I have an extra-special request for all of you! We've had a few people asking for recommendations on other class-specific blogs, and I think that's a good thing to light the Reader Signal for. So in addition to your questions and feedback, recommend class-centric blogs in the comments below! Personally, I read A Dwarf Priest and World of Matticus when I'm looking for something Priestly. Now, to the questions...
I have yet to get Wrath (I know, "PRAISE BE") although I am getting it this Thursday. I was wondering about the new raiding system. Which is harder, 10-man or 25-man? For example is the 10-man easier in the point that you need less players but harder as in they need to be more well geared? Or is the 25-man harder?
AFK Pl@yers over at Myndflame have created Wrath of a Couch Potato, inspired by Seth Green's acclaimed "Robot Chicken" series. The movie runs a little over 8 minutes in its entirety, and the experience is kind of intense. I suggest watching it somewhere you can really pay attention.
I hate to gush, but I really loved this movie. It's packed with laugh-out-loud moments, and each segment lasts only long enough to deliver a solid joke. The production values are through the roof. Each scene is well framed, and put together with an eye for detail. There's more than a few quotes in here that you can expect to permeat the Trade channel's zeitgeist for the next few months. So, to be fair, if you get annoyed by people endlessly quoting good machinima films, you might get annoyed from what comes out of "Wrath of a Couch Potato."
Kalu'ak reputation rewards - Thu, 04 Dec 2008 11:30:00 EST The only way to increase your faction standing with the Kalu'ak is to complete the numerous tasks at the various quest hubs in the Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, and Howling Fjord. After all those quests are done the only way to further increase your standing is to work on the various daily quests associated with the faction.
But what are some of the goodies you can get when you're exalted?
The hottest item is the Mastercraft Kalu'ak Fishing Pole that has the double whammy of allowing underwater breathing and increasing your fishing skill by 30. It's a must have for any master angler, and will come in handy as you fish off the cold icebergs of Northrend. You can get pole for just over 100 gold when you hit exalted.
Another must have is the pet penguin that you can get when you reach exalted. The little guy is cute and is someone that wants to sit next to you as you use that big purple fishing pole you got.
You can pick up these rewards from quartermasters in either Mora'ki Harbor in Dragonblight or in Kamagua in the Howling Fjord.
Read on after the break and see what you can grab from these fun loving Wilfred Brimley looking folks.
We've completed our first set of Wrath Dailies outlining ways to increase your reputation with the Kalu'ak faction. The three quests that you can do are all available to you when you hit Northrend, and are generally pretty easy to swing through if there's not a lot of other people around.
The best way to complete them all is to begin at one of the starting zones and work your way across Northrend. I usually start off in the Howling Fjord with The Way to His Heart since that's the least heavily farmed, then go Dragonblight for Planning for the Future, and finally end up in the Borean Tundra doing Preparing for the Worst.
Also known as "Camouflage: you're doing it surprisingly well." Boethia of <Gnome Pest Control Inc> on Laughing Skull-EU took this shot of her warlock, dressed in the polychromatic Malefic set, beside some matching flowers in Stranglethorn Vale. Is this a comment on how garish some of the set designs are? Or is she preparing to leap out of the foliage and gank some unwary level 35s?
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, "mounted mounts", or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
The things we do in the name of Science, right? The folks over at Kamikaze Cookery decided to take one for the team, and put to the test the soothing effects of Chamomile tea and other similar herbal relaxants. The first step is pretty obvious: get loaded up on several cups of tasty, relaxing chamomile. Step two? Fire up World of Warcraft battlegrounds, and see if you can remain cool, collected, and totally frosty through the unending slaughter.
Of course, the video does more than just bust the myth that nutraceutical sedatives will somehow turn a raging bull into a quiet kitten. The documentary also shows that the heart-pounding, migraine-inducing stress of trying to play team oriented PvP games in WoW can be universal. I guess the real drawback to the test is that we're now without the crutch of tea to talk us out of the trees. I truly laughed at their not-getting-sued version of playing the battlegrounds. It's funny because it's true, after all.
Ultimately, I'd argue that a small group of people conducting this kind of stress-test is no statistically significant sample size. But, even if chamomile is 150% effective, during the battlegrounds, I have to side with Rupert Giles. "Tea is soothing; I wish to be tense."
Some guilds can roll their face over the keyboard and kill something.
Others just have their cat play with the mouse and keyboard for a couple hours.
Still others are hiring 25 monkeys to sit in a room together clapping their hands while throwing feces at the screen. The occasional flick of their tail hits the keyboard and presses any of the numerous iWin buttons currently in game that automatically kills a level 83 mob. While the monkeys are doing this and other disgusting acts, they're also writing Shakespearian dramas, fixing the economy, bailing out the auto industry and homeowners, and ending all wars through creating world peace.
This is what 25-man raiding has become. It's so easy a caveman monkey could do it!
Do boss kills even count for anything anymore? Not really, no.
Wealth category removed from Armory statistics - Wed, 03 Dec 2008 20:00:00 EST The Armory was updated with achievement and statistic tracking last week to accompany the new game features introducted in patch 3.0.2, along with tools to compare your achievements and stats to other players on your realm. There was a lot of concern over someone the things displayed out in the open for all to see such as the Wealth stat. How much gold you've had, how much you have, things like that. Players felt it made them into targets of sorts, figuring hackers, scammers and phishing sites would focus fire a little more. Heck, some people were just plain uncomfortable with other players seeing their gold stores.
It looks like Blizzard actually agrees in this case. If they don't agree, at least they were feeling a little sympathy and wanted to calm some nerves. The Wealth category has been removed completely, and while you can still check up on other achievements and stats, you don't get a free look into someone's money bags anymore. I don't know that how much gold you have on display actually had an effect on who scammers target or not, but it's not like it was important information anyway and you might as well be more safe than sorry. Some stats are fun to see and compare, but I don't know that gold is one of those stats.