Ever since 2.3 went live, it's been a bit of a struggle to make the leap from the 260 cooking range to the 300 cooking range, as both my poor paladin and shaman can well attest. With recipes such as Tender Wolf Steak and Monster Omelet, once the mainstays of any aspiring chef's training, going green and gray much earlier than before (That is, gray at 275 rather than 300), It's been a bit of trouble getting the needed skill to start cooking up the buzzard and ravager meat that makes the mainstay of the early post-300 cooking grind.
Luckily, the developers heard the cries of horror from all the cooks who thought they might have to grind up fishing to get the materials they needed to skill up, and promised us new recipes.
And today, European CM Vaneras let us know the details. New cooks will need to head to Felwood and Western Plaguelands and start killing themselves a few bears. New meat drops from the bears will allow you to make either spell damage or attack power food, not only removing fishing as a requirement for skilling to 300 cooking, but also giving players in the level 45-60 range a nice stat boost while grinding, questing, or leveling. The recipes themselves will be purchasable from Bale of the Horde or Malygen of the Alliance, both in their respective outposts in Felwood.
So put down your fishing pole and pick up your frying pan again, cooks. Salvation is on the way!
Some older players might remember when all those empty huts and farms in The Barrens received a new infusion of life, with orc families inhabiting them and acting out stories both humorous (That poor kid being chased by a swarm of bees) and heartfelt (That poor kid waiting for his dad to come home from Warsong Gulch). A forum post by player Lalluna of the Darkspear server pointed out that, quite a few patches later, that liveliness may be spreading to other zones in Kalimdor!
Ever since patch 2.3, over in the far west of Ashenvale, just northwest of the Shrine of Aesinna, you'll find a rather lovely looking Night Elf abode, complete with a garden. Inhabiting it is the night elven Edune family: Benjari, Becanna, Elenna, and Aleanna. They seem to have visitors in the form of two humans, William and Sulan Dunadaire, a brother and sister. It's not just a silent tableau either, there's definitely stuff going on, as I'll show you after the break.
This week on Build Shop I've got another Paladin build for you all to digest -- Shockadin (aka 40/0/21)! I like this build because it's all purpose, allowing you to act as the main healer for an instance if necessary, but giving you the freedom to go grind or farm or what have you without needing to respec. It's also got the potential for some great burst damage, if used properly.
This build picks up most of its talents from the Holy tree, but goes into Retribution for some nice support talents, as well as Sanctity Aura, which is what you'll be using if you're in DPS mode.
Alright, let's dig into this build and see what's going on!
Last December we put out a call for new writers. Breaking news bloggers, weekend bloggers and a Mage columnist were all on our list of positions to fill. After reading the hundreds of excellent applications (and a few very strange ones), we've made our final decision.
The new WoW Insider staffers include Adam Holisky and Alex Ziebart who have both already hit the ground running to boost our weekend coverage. Daniel Whitcomb, Amanda Dean and Heath Milo will be starting this week to cover breaking news throughout the week and Allison Robert will be following soon after.
The decision to choose which applicant would be our new Mage columnist was a tough one. The applications for this position were very, very good. However, one not only informed, but entertained in such a manner that we couldn't say no. Very soon Arcane Brilliance will be returning under Christian Belt. Trust me, there's no one quite like him.
Finally, one applicant who applied as a general writer turned out to be a specialist. We liked him so much that we are in the process of hiring him to write news, tips and guides specifically for AddOns, UIs and macros. Look out for his work to start in the next month or so.
If you weren't chosen, there will always be a chance in the future to apply again. Until then, our sister site Massively, covering news for all MMOs, just put out their own call for bloggers today. Applications will be accepted until February 15th.
Oh Noes!!!1!1!1one: I've been hax0red! - Tue, 05 Feb 2008 17:30:00 EST On Saturday night I noticed a guildie acting strangely. He kept switching between characters and wouldn't respond to tells from even his closest friends in the guild. Concerned about him, we gave him a call... on the phone, to see what was up. You guessed it, he was nowhere near his computer at the time. He went to log in and found his password was changed. Unfortunately, he had also forgotten the correct response to his secret question "What is your favorite activity?"
The hacker kept running in and out of the Shadow Labyrinth. I checked the customer service forums and found that this was common behavior among hackers. Either there is an exploit in that instance, or hackers just really enjoy hanging out with Blackheart the Inciter. I'm leaning toward the latter.
This week I'm going to continue the class guide by talking about levels 41-50. This is the level range I dislike the most when playing most of my characters (more specifically, 45-50), but I'm going to include suggestions to help you get through it as fast as possible. Since you got your mount at 40, you'll notice a distinct drop in travel time, but please be careful when mounted -- enemy mobs can still hit you, potentially knocking you off your mount to make your escape on foot. You may have chosen to respec at 40 to Protection or Holy, but I'm continuing as Retribution for leveling purposes (though Prot grinding is also quite fun). As such, certain quests / areas may be harder for some specs than others, so I've tried to offer alternative zones when possible just in case you start having trouble.
If you missed the last two installments of the leveling guide, you can find 1-20 here, and 21-40 here. Before we get started on level 41, I have a couple of recommendations: First, make sure your First Aid skill is leveled up and you have a nice stock of bandages, as sometimes you'll be low on mana and a bubble/bandage can save your life. Second, always carry around a stack or two of the best water (and maybe food) you can get, and if you've leveled cooking, try to keep yourself food buffed as much as possible. Third, take a deep breath -- some of the zones you have to quest in at this level range are notorious ganking grounds on PvP servers, and many have tough mobs that may give you trouble (especially if they have a level or two on you). You will likely find yourself running back from the graveyard a lot, and that's always frustrating. Just keep on at it, and you'll get through it.
Now, most people may think that Horde doesn't have a base in Darkshore that can do under attack, but in fact, they do-- it's the Dancing Troll Village. So apparently some enterprising Alliance had found it and started killing. But here's the bigger question I got from crow's story: does anyone really pay attention to World Defense?
I know I don't. But then again, I play on a PvE server, so odds are that anyone attacking a lowbie level like that is just a level 70 on a rampage. But even on PvP servers, do blaring Defense channels really mean that anyone cares? People will protect their guildies, and of course they'll join the fight if they smell blood (or at least someone they can beat in a fight). But do the Local and World Defense channels really point the way to a good PvP clash the way the developers surely intended? Or do they just mean chat spam, and that there'll be trouble if you try to speak to NPCs in that area?
Twice a week, our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read moreAbout the Bloggers. What do you do for WoW Insider? I'm the Senior Editor on the Joystiq network, which means I do a little bit of writing and a lot of behind the scenes work on all of the Joystiq network sites, including WoW Insider. Until recently, I was the keeper of Around Azeroth and Two Bosses Enter, but these days I'm focusing my writing efforts on our Priest column, Spiritual Guidance. I've got a "Karazhan 101" idea floating around in my head right now, which will show up on the site one of these days, I'm sure.
Two big pieces of news today from Upper Deck about the WoW TCG-- first of all, they've announced details about their latest booster set, called Servants of the Betrayer, and available this coming April. The set will have new sub-factions, new ally types, and heretofore unreleased abilities for your deck. Additionally, the booster packs will continue the trend set in the last expansion, and contain 19 cards per pack, with those extra loot consumable cards showing up more often.
Second, Upper Deck has also revealed details of the Spectral Safari, a series of events at local card stores at which players will be able to win the Spectral Tiger Mount card. The contests will take place on March 1st at selected retail locations, and the winner of each contest will take home a Spectral Tiger Mount, while a Robotic Homing Chicken will be given away as a door prize, and Upper Deck will give out other prizes to winners as well.
So mark your calendars for March 1st if you plan to attend one of the tournaments, and look out for Servants of the Betrayer in stores in April (that's the booster set, not actual servants of Illidan).
Raid Rx is designed to encapsulate and cure the shock and horror that is 25-man raid healing. Ok, so it's mostly horror... Anyways, if you're a big fan of X-TREME Whack-A-Mole (or are being forced into it against your will) this is the column for you. I prefer to remember Tom Cruise as he was in Top Gun, crooked smile and no couch jumping.
This is Part 1 of a two-part series on reaching your full casting potential. Today we're going to cover how to get around inherent casting latency and next week I'll assault you with so much info on how haste rating affects healing, you'll come back here to hide.
First I'm going to give you a bit of background, so grab your blankie and settle in for a story of mystery and intrigue. Once upon a time, all of the Elitist Jerks healers prayed to the god of stopcasting. Me, being in SSC at the time, figured if all the cool kids were doing it, why not lemming along, too? So I did me some research.
This next machinima has a bit of everything. Spash is part battlegrounds, part raid, and part ... Shepiwot? The result is an entertaining blend of WoW gameplay.
Stefan Frameus did a good job for his first public effort. The soundtrack is interesting, to say the least. He went crazy on the pan and crop, but I think it's a rite of passage in the machinima community to use every plugin and effect when you start out. I'm looking forward to the next video!
I was looking through some of the career (class) descriptions over at Warhammer Online, EA Mythic's much-anticipated MMORPG which touts a rich PvP experience as one of its selling points, and happened to go over their description of the combat system. Listening to one of their amusing podcasts, I got the impression that some careers (classes) move faster than others. This struck me as odd, if only because I've grown accustomed to something we take for granted in World of Warcraft. In WoW, all classes and races move at the same speed. With the exception of enchants, spells, or talents, all characters move at exactly the same pace. Size changes that perception somewhat, with Tauren seeming to move at a plodding step and Gnomes waltzing around like Oompa-loompas hopped up on too much caffeine.
The martial arts is all about speed, about movement where there needs to be movement. More importantly, it is about freedom of movement. Speed is essential, but it can also be arbitrary because there are so many factors that affect it. Latency, computer power... all these things contribute to one's speed or reaction time -- or more accurately, how that reaction time translates into action within the game. That's another matter altogether. What we're going to look at today is movement. How we move, how fast we move, and how we can move better. When fighting a computer-controlled mob, with the exception of scripted events or certain boss phases, there is very little urgency to move. It's easy to kill most mobs by standing still and just attacking or casting spells. PvP, on the other hand, is all about movement. Standing still is tantamount to certain death.
Reader Jehoiakim of the Steamwheedle Cartel server snapped this shot in the Tempest Keep instance, the Arcatraz. His group had just finished off Zereketh the Unbound and was working their way to Wrath-Scryer Soccothrates when he made the mistake of looking down. All the way down.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because 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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. No, really.
The real question this year is if this holiday is going to upgrade the event like they did for Hallow's End. Will there be fireworks in Shattrath? Elders in Arcatraz? Revelers in Zul'Aman? Shouldn't a major celebration like this have Omen dropping some welfare epics, too? Recently they promised an older holiday would get a make over. Is this the one? We'll have until February 23 to find out.
Breakfast Topic: Does the RNG hate you? - Tue, 05 Feb 2008 08:00:00 EST It's your 20th run in Shadowlabs and just know Murmur is going to drop your Hallowed Garments so you can complete your Priest dungeon set. I mean, it's been 19 times already and you've sharded the Tidefury Kilt how many times? It's gonna drop this time, you feel it in your bones. Down he goes and the on his body you find...a Sonic Spear. You're guildies don't need to be on voice to hear your yelling.
It doesn't matter if you're waiting for a specific drop or rolling on sweet raid loot or prospecting ore for rare gems, the question remains: does the random number generator hate you?
Rolling restarts for most US realms this morning - Tue, 05 Feb 2008 03:00:00 EST It's Tuesday, and you know what that means: weekly maintenance! This week most realms are getting rolling restarts instead of a full maintenance -- which means the vast majority of US players won't notice a thing. (Sorry, Australian players, as the restarts still fall dead in your prime evening hours.) For rolling restarts, Blizzard brings down all of the realm servers for a quick reboot (no longer than 15 minutes of downtime) one by one. (The restarts no doubt follow some kind of pattern which we are not privy to.) The restarts will begin at 5:00 AM PST, and though your realm may not be restarted exactly at five, the whole thing should be over by six or so. A handful of US realms will have a brief maintenance: an hour of downtime between 5:00 AM PST and 6:00 AM PST. Sounds like a good time for an powernap for players on: Area 52, Auchindoun, Azuremyst, Blade's Edge, Blood Furnace, Coilfang, Exodar, Ghostlands, Shattered Halls, Terokkar, The Scryers, The Underbog, Velen, and Zangarmarsh.
There are quite a few WoW database sites out there. Thottbot was the first big one that I was aware of; other big sites include Allakhazam, the Goblin Workshop, and of course Wowhead. Then there are some lesser-known contenders (at least to me; it took me a bit to come up with them), like WoWd.org, WarCry (I use their news constantly, but never saw the database), GameAmp, WoW Guru, WoWDigger, and TenTonHammer (again, I know TTH for news, but didn't know they had a DB).
And now Curse, long one of the big names in Add-On and news sites, is throwing their hat into the ring with the very capitalized WOWDB, which appears to be in beta right now. It seems like a pretty complete database; it's got all the items, quests, NPCs, and so on that you would expect from a serious act like Curse. But hold on a minute, doesn't it looks a bit similar to a certain other WoW database site of which Curse doesn't seem to be too fond? (Update: Curse has contacted us to say that the linked article wasn't written by anyone on their staff-- instead, it was posted by a user of their site, and that they have no ill will towards Affinity Media or Wowhead). Ignore the Wrath of the Lich King-esque blues for a second, and...oh. Oh dear. Well, at least it's a good design they're copying from, I suppose. See the gallery below for more comparison screenshots. What do you guys think -- is this within the bounds of inspiration and homage, or a blatant rip-off?
If you've been following along with the podcast, you've heard of the Fandral Staghelm killshot thread over on WoW Radio-- it's a place where those who hate Fandral Staghelm, Archdruid of Darnassus and generally obnoxious jerk, can get their kicks seeing the guy dead on the ground. Originally, the thread was supposed to be a compendium for killshots, but Rembrant on the Moon Guard server has taken it to a whole new level-- he's created a Flash-based kill simulator of the Archdruid. Don't have a whole raid of Horde to go into Darnassus and take him down in game? Just click the "Die Staghelm!!" button, and you get a surprisingly satisfying animation of Staghelm's demise.
I love it (and wish I had seen it sooner-- looks like it was posted last week sometime). All day today I've been randomly killing Staghelm, and it has a relaxing effect. Bad day at work? Kill Staghelm. Fight with your girlfriend? Kill Staghelm! Couldn't get your raid to kill Staghelm? Kill Staghelm anyway!
I only hope the site survives the masses of people who will jump onto it to kill Staghelm. Because there certainly are a lot of them.
Update: Yup, looks like we burned it. Sorry, Rembrant, everybody hates Staghelm. Here's the new link to the simulator he gave us in the comments. Hope that holds up.
WoW Insider Show Episode 23: Mojo and other popular loot - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 18:00:00 EST This past weekend (before we knew the Pats couldn't go undefeated for a whole season-- that's what they get for beating my Rams in 2001), WoW Insider took to the airwaves of WoW Radio for the 23rd episode of our podcast, and the results are now live over on their site, and ready to assault your ears with a fine mix of insight and insanity. Turpster was out this week, but Duncor skillfully filled in alongside myself and WoW Insider's own Alex Ziebart. We talked for a minute about Groundhog Day, and then ducked into the email inbox (the address is email@example.com, if you've got something to tell us), and then we talked about the most popular posts of the past week:
Mojo the frog, and whether it was Blizzard's mistake or our exploit.
And we also tried breaking out some new "loot-names" for easy bosses: Loot Reaver, and the Loot Below. One I liked from an email that didn't get mentioned on the show this week: "The Chest Event" in Karazhan. Funny. Check out the show for more, and don't forget to tune in next week as well: same loot time, same loot channel.
Zami's Official WoW forum dictionary - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 17:00:00 EST Apparently this has been wandering around the forums for a while, but I haven't seen it before-- Zami the forum troll (and we mean that in a good way) has put together a dictionary of sorts for those browsing the forums. Not quite sure what people mean by QQ or "weaksauce"? Zami's got you covered. Well, he doesn't so much have you covered (we actually have a post for that), but at least he's entertaining.
"Watch out, the Lion King" was probably my favorite, but Taz'dingo was pretty informative too-- I never knew exactly what that meant. Zami's guide is definitely good for a laugh.