Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.
When you can't log in to World of Warcraft, do you get your fix from game sites instead? Gamers on the Street visited with two chatty young players from Zul'jin this morning about their WoW reading and research habits. Deathrowcame (70 Undead Warlock) and Docevil (70 Undead Rogue) were both on alts when we met up, but both popped over to Orgrimmar on their 70s to finish our conversation and take a group shot, as well as to share a few tidbits about life on Zul'Jin.
Be sure to drop by the comments at the end of the article and share your own favorite sites and sources.
Gamers on the Street: Hi guys, thanks for sharing. We're curious about people who like to read and research their characters and game info a lot. Are you both the studious type? Deathrowcame: Yeah, I am. I got a 70 'lock that I bought, so I have to research it - no, I'm joking,. LOL Docevil: I read up on what abilities I can get and what the easiest specialization is to use to level. Deathrowcame: I surf wowhead and thottbot daily to research gear for my level and class and what quest my class should do.
We want your guild apps! - Mon, 05 May 2008 18:00:00 EST No, I'm not trying to poach your applicants. I don't play that way, even though we all know people who do. What I'm after are your actual applications.
I'm working on compiling a smorgasbord of guild application questions for an upcoming article, and I need your help! What I need from you, oh dear and faithful readers, are copies of what your guild uses as application questions. You can post the ones that you think are unique, funny, and insightful in the comments here. Better yet, you can copy and paste your application and send it to me in its entirety to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your application is easily accessible on the web, shoot me a link to your guild's website and I can check it out there too.
What's the benefit of helping me in my quest to write this article? How about fame and my never-ending appreciation. Also a credit at the end for your help. And who doesn't like seeing their name in virtual-print?
The cast and crew of The Guild got invited by Blizzard to come take a tour of the new facilities the other week, and they have a writeup on their website right now (written by Jeff Lewis, who plays Vork on the show) of their trip. Sounds like a lot of fun -- they got to tour the place, obviously, checking out the Hall of Fame, the gym and cafeteria (including the official "Blizzard Trays" area -- that sign makes me laugh), and the main offices. They also got to sit down and each lunch with Mike Morhaime, and then got to play both Starcraft 2 and some Rock Band with the staff. No Wrath?
Blizzard sent them home with lots of swag, too. I was under the impression, especially given the comments on our last Guild post, that we weren't really sure that the game these guys were playing was World of Warcraft -- they've never said the name, as far as I know, and we've never seen any character shots. But Blizzard disagrees, apparently -- they've very sure The Guild is playing WoW, and they gave them a super nice tour for being a part of the game and the community.
It does sound interesting, though, and it might be fun to see something in the books that's a result of player actions. In other WoW graphic novel news, there is another book planned as well, called Warcraft: Legends, that will have two stories in it. One will be called "Fallen," about a Tauren Hunter who's been featured before in The Sunwell Trilogy, and another story called "How to Win Friends and Influence People," written by Dan Jolley about a Gnome of some kind (who knew they were important enough to write about?).
Legends is due a little sooner than Dragons of Outland -- Blizzplanet says it's expected in August of this year. So WoW graphic novel fans have a lot to look forward to.
My choice for a kill has already been done (Die, Fandral Staghelm!), but there are all kinds of great requests in the thread -- unfortunately, due to the code of the assassin, Kre can't kill the little kid who stole that dolly in Stormwind, as children are not viable targets. But even Drysc has been sent to meet his maker by these guys. Hilarious. If an NPC has been giving you trouble lately, they'll make sure there are no more problems, if you know what we mean.
Not all the war in Warcraft can be fought on the battlefield -- some of it has to be fought in the back alleys and in the shadows. Glad to see that Kre and his crew (Aelas has pulled off some excellent kills here, too) are going a little guerilla in the constant fight against NPCs.
Nethaera tells us that the development is coming along really well, which we've all heard before. However in her typical witty fashion she also gives us this gem of a line, in response to people calling WotLK vapor-ware:
"The great thing about vapor is that at some point it condenses and becomes rain. The rain then falls and nourishes that which it falls on. It takes time for it to happen, but it does happen. Signs point to clouds forming in the sky, but you never can tell when they will let loose the rain..."
Take that for what you will, but I read it pretty squarely as "Some major WotLK news is on its way." And that is news in and of itself.
PTR is closed - Mon, 05 May 2008 15:00:00 EST Hortus just posted that the PTR server for patch 2.4.2 has been taken down, and that the PTR phase for the patch has ended. This is a strong indicator that patch 2.4.2 is on its way soon, perhaps during some expected maintenance tomorrow.
Take a look at the official and un-official notes for a comprehensive look at what will change. Nothing in the patch is game-breaking, in my opinion, but there are some nice changes. Some of the major highlights include:
And "Rocky," as they call him, is a lot more helpful than the noncombat version in Azeroth -- apparently by using the robot squirrel to mimic real-life squirrel behavior, they can "decode" what squirrels are saying. And supposedly that will help them figure out the same behavior (or at least parallels) in humans.
Their mechanical squirrel looks a little more realistic than ours -- they must have added some wool in with the Malachite and the Copper Modulator. But if science can do this with a mechanical squirrel, just think what could be accomplished with an exploding sheep!
Blizzard developers are out there - Mon, 05 May 2008 14:00:00 EST An interesting discussion went on in the Community Service forums yesterday concerning the role Blizzard developers play in those very forums. A poster was obviously attempting to troll and start some argument, asking if the Blizzard devs actually do read what people write or pay attention to the community at large. Kisirani, a Blizzard developer, responded that indeed they do.
A few interesting things came from subsequent blue posts that help outline the roles of the developers and community managers. First, it is the job of the community managers (CMs as we call them) to do just what their title says: manage the community. This includes the forums and everything that goes on in there. Kisirani tells us that they regularly collect feedback and suggestions and pass them along to the developers. Kisirani makes it a point to say that they don't have enough time to read everything themselves, and if they were to read everything the game itself would not be developed - and again, this is where the community managers come into play.
Also, if you're not level 58 yet, don't despair, you can still join in the fun. A Mage can teleport you to Shattrath City any time, so if you can bribe or convince them to open a portal for you, you can still make it over.
BRK says that they made 200 purple shirts, which were apparently gone four hours before the race even started. The 500 person guild they formed filled up quickly, and estimates say that at peak, there were probably about 630 people on for the event, double the number of Horde on there most of the time. The winner of the race, Slokoshka, picked up a game card for their troubles, and then, not content with leaving hoof marks across half of Azeroth, the Tauren decided to raid Ironforge and made quite a mess of things there, too.
Seems like a lot of fun, and it all went for a good cause, too -- not only did everybody /moo for Sharvan, BRK and Ratshag's friend who passed away recently, but they also raised over $500 for Sharvan's family, who we're told also attended the race and were completely touched by how generous the WoW community can be. Very awesome.
Hot off my month-long, four-feature dissertation on casual raiding, I've decided to answer some e-mails that relate to it. This week's e-mail is about a subject that comes up quite often in casual raiding guilds: When someone is generous, helpful, and an all-around great member, but who just isn't getting the job done in raids, what do you do about it?
I'm an officer/co-GM of a humble, little raiding guild, looking to have fun, grow and progress with our members. . . . We take raiding seriously enough that we're not wasting our time (everyone is on time and comes prepared), but we also have a lot of giggling and laughing in vent during raids, even when we wipe.
All would be fantastical and perfect . . . except my guild is in sort of a predicament with a certain guild member. He's been with us for a while now -- long enough to not be considered a new member. He's a friend of mine, as well as a friend of our other co-GM. He's a healer and quite well geared. Probably the best geared in the guild. . . . Along with all the effort he's put into improving his character, he's also a decent guy. Whenever someone in the guild needs help, whether it be for a quest or for an empty raid spot, he won't hesitate to stop what he's doing to come help out. . . .
So, he seems like a top notch guild member. Well geared, puts effort into his character, and is a nice guy. Problem? He knows he's well geared, but he doesn't know he SUCKS at healing.
When you're an adventurer, you have to take sleep whenever you can get it, particularly since our characters appear to be homeless nomadic murderers. Swampy of Moonrunner decided to catch some Zs in a rocky shelter near Tempest Keep. His pal, Sleepy Willy, also felt the call of the sandman and joined his nap. Too bad that Swampy's hunter pet can't sleep; Swampy had to put him away, lest he grow bored and eat the both of them.
If you missed it the other day, Around Azeroth is running another user submission challenge: Grand Theft Azeroth! Send us pics of you (or your friends, we're not picky) committing your most nefarious deeds in the style of the GTA series. Mount-jackings, thefts, murders, muggings, cruelty to animals and critters, picking up blood elf ladies of the night -- let your darkest side out. Send your screenshots to email@example.com by noon EST on Thursday, May 8, and please use the phrase "GTA" somewhere in your e-mail title.
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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. Too tired ... for the sun ...
Introducing Gaeowyn, The first Rogue to tank Mother Shahraz, the harem mistress of Black Temple. Notes Nihilum's news site, she pulled it off by stacking massive amounts of agility, while keeping enough expertise to cause adequate threat to keep the boss' attention. Raid buffed, she had 76.31% dodge, 12.16% parry, and 14.16% chance to be missed, meaning that she had 102.63% avoidance - just enough to take physical damage out of the equation.
If nothing else, that alone makes me wonder if I could pull that off on my Druid tank - It certainly would make tanking Prince Malchezaar's phase 2 easier. Of course, Bears cannot parry, alas, so I'd have to make up some major ground somewhere.
The video is a fun watch, especially at the end where it looks like Gaeowyn tries her hand at tanking Illidan. Is this a sign that we can expect Rogues to be fighting with Paladins, Druids, Warriors, and Death Knights for tanking spots come WoTLK?
Just a reminder that Mother's Day is coming up on Sunday, May 11.If you're planning on sending a gift, flowers, or a card, it's about time to get them in the mail.For the record, I have never met a Mom that didn't treasure a pretty bracelet given to her by her son.All of these things are positively fantastic for a traditional Mom, but we've got a lot of WoW Moms that might like something a little different.
Even as I get older, I've found that my Mom, and other Moms around me still enjoy homemade gifts.Our Thursday column, World of Warcrafts, has given us some excellent ideas on some very special gifts.Last week Shelbi showed us how to make a lovely Basket of Flowers.I'm also fond of her wonderful guide for making Super potions.I'm pretty sure my Mom would like these (even more than the paperclip necklace she treasured for years.)
You may also consider World of Warcraft T-shirts, or even paid play time.If you don't have a lot of money to dedicate to Mother's Day Shopping, you can give your WoW Mom the gift of playtime or even something special in-game.For those of you with less fantasy-oriented Mom's, here are some easy links to get gifts online:
Remember, you only get one Mom (ok, so in modern families, you may have 2 or 3), and Mother's Day only comes once a year.Make it count!What's your plan for your mom?(I can't tell you, my mom reads WoW Insider.)
* This public service announcement was brought to you by gamers who love their moms.
New M'uru items datamined - Sun, 04 May 2008 20:00:00 EST In the wake of SK-Gaming's world-first kill of the Sunwell Plateau boss M'uru, World of Raids has checked out the data files and found some other items that they're pretty sure are on M'uru's loot table. You can also see information on these items, and other new items as they are discovered, on Wowhead's new additions page, a handy resource. Pictured is the one-handed sword Muramasa, which looks pretty bad-ass if you ask me.
For this and the rest of the items, I've made a gallery containing the tooltips with all the stats, and the item models when appropriate. However, M'uru's loot table seems to consist mostly of rings and trinkets, so there's not much to show for those besides the tooltips themselves. I don't mind -- I'll drool just as much over stats as over an item's appearance. Click on, fellow stat geeks!
Switching specs, switching roles - Sun, 04 May 2008 19:00:00 EST Now, there's some classes (mostly pure DPS) that have a special advantage when it comes to respeccing: When they decide to change specs, they can mostly get away with using the same set of gear. They may want to regem a bit toward one stat or another, or switchweapons, but for the most part, they can change their spec and settle right into their new role with relative ease, not having to wait for certain gear to come along before they make a "final" plunge. Even if they do need to make a bigger stat change, their old gear can usually mostly suffice until they get a few more drops.
I've noticed this because I'm strongly considering switching two of my hybrids to another role full time soon, and it's been a lot more complicated, because gear enters the equation in a much larger way.
Your character is like an arrow. He was launched from the birthplace of your imagination with the aim of creating spontaneous stories with other creative people. Your character's personality is the particular direction he travels in, and his background story is the bow which set him on his way.
The bow-string tension that gives a good backstory its momentum is its lack of resolution. The desire to find resolution propels your character forward into the game, but it doesn't predict with certainty where your he or she will end up. Realizing this can free you of a great burden: your story doesn't have to make the New York Times Bestseller List. In fact, the whole idea here is to purposely leave your backstory unfinished, ready to be resolved through roleplaying. Too much emphasis on a dramatic background leaves you with not enough room for an interesting foreground, and little else to contribute other than the saga of your epic past.
Obviously, people aren't logging into WoW to read your miniature novel. They generally won't want to hear your backstory unless they specifically ask you about it (which they might!), but even then they'll care less for its narrative value and more for its ultimate impact on your character as a person. It's best to think of it less as a story in itself (e.g. "How I got to be this way"), and more as a prologue to the story you want to roleplay (e.g. "How do I get out of this mess?"). Its purpose is to set up challenges for your character to overcome with other people, and it should establish a direct line to your character's desires and aspirations.
It caught my attention because it made me think a little about future itemization. Most of the trinkets in Magisters' Terrace and the Sunwell Plateau have little effects that basically do the same things as other items, but they're done in slightly more interesting ways. There are a few that are almost entirely unique of course, but overall, they're just new ways to do old things. Personally, I adore it and can't wait to see Wrath trinkets and rings.
The Shifting Naaru Sliver in particular caught my attention, because the way it's phrased is so different from other On Use trinkets. It implies that only the caster of the buff gets that buff, so overall, it's the same as something like the Icon of the Silver Crescent. The spell is pretty unique though, so it might be an indication of more widespread applications of this sort of thing later. Being able to flesh out your spell/buff repertoire via a necklace or a ring would be pretty interesting! I suppose LeatherworkingDrums do something similar, but this excites me a little more for some reason. Perhaps in Wrath raiding, we'll see people gearing up to complement their party's damage as well as their own moreso than we see currently, thanks to item buffs like these. We'll just have to wait and see.