Talents like Grace in the new Discipline tree seem aimed at making Discipline priests very viable tank healers in Wrath, in addition to their current role as highly survivable in PvP. However, one of the problems inherent in the tree for a tank healer is that their shield based abilities, Reflective Shield and Divine Aegis, deprive tanks of rage and/or mana that they'd need for being healed. (Apparently it's also an issue for Runic Power for DK tanks.)
Redoubtable Blizzard poster Koraa comes to the rescue with words of reassurance: if rage/mana generation continues to be an issue with these spells (since they absorb damage and thus either prevent the tank from gaining rage via damage or mana via healing that damage) then there may well be changes to allow them to be less of a problem. We're warned that this would be a last resort fix, however.
I'd personally love it if a priest could shield me as I run in on a boss without being worried that I won't get enough initial rage to start generating threat. Perhaps (as some posters argue) the bosses will be hitting so fast that rage won't be an issue. We'll see what happens, of course, but the very idea of Power Word: Shield and its related talents not cheating me of my initial threat generation makes me giddy.
Kaplan reveals a stinky achievement - Tue, 05 Aug 2008 17:00:00 EST It was just a quick sentence that went by almost completely unnoticed, flew totally under the radar. But in an interview which WoW lead designer Jeff Kaplangave to WoW Vault, he mentioned a heretofore unknown achievement reward coming up in Wrath that will definitely pass the smell test.
Current Wrath beta testers may have been able to peruse the approximately 500 achievements in the current build, but Kaplan has indicated that by the final release there will be 600-700 achievements for players to attempt. One of these achievements, Kaplan said, can be acquired by collecting pets. It seems that if you collect all the available pets in the game -- and I'm not sure if he meant tameable pets or collectible/vanity pets or both -- you will be granted a unique pet in the form of a skunk called Stinker. For my two "scents," I do love me some cute vanity pets, but I'm really glad that WoW doesn't come in a scratch-n-sniff version or with smell-o-vision.
So now it's time for you to earn a WoW Insider achievement! Anyone under the age of thirty who can guess the name of the character in the picture will get this achievement: "Le kittee quel terriblay odeur!!"
There's a new splash screen on the WoW homepage, but instead of hinting at a new game, it is instead showing off Blizzard's new Recruit-a-Friend benefits. Looks like they found a place for that Zhevra mount we heard about a while back -- whenever you recruit a friend into the game (by convincing them to create an account with your name as a reference and having them pay for at least two months of game time), you can choose one of your characters to nab a Zhevra mount. Additionally, you can summon referred friends to your character, and when questing together, you can pick up triple experience until level 60, for both quests and monsters that you kill together.
More details on Blizzard's support page. Just yesterday, we heard Mike Morhaime saying Blizzard was aiming to bring tons of people into the game this holiday season, and it looks like the recruiting drive has started.
This week's round up of WoW-related posts on our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe dominated by World of Warcraft. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed.
A World of Warcraft player's guide to Guild Wars Guild Wars and World of Warcraft have been peacefully co-existing for several years now. Considering the fact that the Guild Wars development team over at ArenaNet is made up of ex-Blizzard folk ...
Blizzard: Yes, some players left for AoC Say whatever you will about Age of Conan, but it's been one of the only games to actually put a tangible dent in Blizzard's ten million ton monster truck of an MMO, World of Warcraft. The news came from Blizzard president Mike Morhaime who recently said on an Activision Blizzard earnings call ...
Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, continues to offer up some tips for new feral Druids that aspire to Karazhan greatness... or who at least want to have some idea of what they can expect.
Okay, enough of the preparation. It's time for some fun!
The first question often asked is, what will your main role in the raid be?
The typical answer; it varies, depending on your group.
Okay, enough of the safe answers, I'm going to actually make my own recommendations and give you my own opinions for playing a feral Druid in Karazhan.
As I haven't raided in content more difficult than Gruul and Magtheridon, I invite the more experienced Druids in the community to offer your own suggestions on this part in the comments. But as I am still weekly leading friends into Karazhan as a feral Druid (and a Shadow Priest), these are the things I have learned along the way.
So, what roles can you, the feral Druid, expect to play?
Over the course of one Karazhan run, you could expect to main tank, off-tank, melee DPS, AoE DPS and heal. Yes, all in the same run. Seriously.
So wipe that "I got a tank set, lols I is ready" thought out of your mind.
Authenticator failure revisited, Blizzard responds - Tue, 05 Aug 2008 14:30:00 EST We created a lot of waves with this post about Blizzard's Authenticator key allegedly failing -- as you know if you've been listening to the podcast, lots of people have emailed us with their own input on the situation, alternately thanking us for making it known that the Authenticator wasn't 100% secure, and lambasting us for being "ignorant" about how Blizzard's security token works. At the base of the story, there are two things we know are true: that someone was using the Authenticator on their account, and then was subsequently hacked. For that reason, we've stood by the "Authenticator fails" story -- while having an Authenticator on your account is a helpful line of defense, it, like all other computer security measures, isn't a 100% guarantee against getting hacked.
Most people agree on that. Where opinions differ are in how the account was hacked -- originally, we and a few other sources speculated that the Authenticator had been somehow removed from the account in question. But now Belfaire has responded (we believe to the incident in question, though a link to our story was removed from the original post), and says that as far as he can tell, the Authenticator was not removed from the account. In fact, after the password was changed back, the Authenticator's serial key was asked for and given, so the Authenticator remained attached to the account the whole time.
Of course, that just leaves the most important question: how did the account get hacked? We've heard all kinds of various insights as to how the Authenticator works (it only lasts for 60 seconds, supposedly each key can only be used once, so there's no way a keylogger could nab the Authenticator code and reuse it), but the fact remains that the person we're talking about was using the key, and still got hacked. One hack out of all the Authenticators sold so far is a terrific record, and could prove that, statistically, an Authenticator is good as 100% security. But the fact remains that this person got hacked while using the key (however it was done), and if security can be broken once, it will be broken again.
Miamoryax, an undead Mage from Blood Furnace, sent us these pictures of her new car and license plate -- she took along her Carrot-on-a-stick and Horde keychain (we'd like to see pictures of that) to the DMV and decided to pick up a vanity plate that was fitting of her Mage mentality (and car's red color). Looks great, but the car's probably got to worry about pulling aggro with all that visual DPS.
We've added her pics to our WoW license plate gallery, where you can see players of all specs and classes sharing their love for the World of Warcraft through their favorite mode of transportation. It's touching, really, although it does provide an interesting insight into the kinds of cars we drive around: cheap ones, by the look of it. Blizzard's got all of our car money, apparently.
And of course we answered your emails -- if you have a question, comment, or insight on the show, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you could even hear your email on the next show.
Which is going to be a good one, by the way -- as you may have noticed, next weekend is our 50th show, so we'll have to do something fun. More singing? Giveaways? Drinking by the host? You'll have to tune in and see. As always, enjoy the show and we'll see you next week.
I'm noticing a disturbing trend in perusing the Wrath blue posts. Well, disturbing for me, and possibly for any other warriors out there. All that awesome we seemed to be getting? It doesn't seem that the warriors are finding it quite so awesome. A case in point is Titan's Grip. The Wrath forums seem to indicate that's it's not all wine and roses. There is a lot of math going back and forth in that thread, so I'll simplify it (probably too much, but that's what comments are for): At present, the white damage of Titan's Grip does not exceed that of dual wielding one hand or off hand weapons. This means that the damage increase of the talent must come from specials such as Bloodsurge hasted Slams, Whirlwinds and Bloodthirsts. However, since Titan's Grip slows the weapons down considerably (fully talented, Titan's Grip means you swing 20% slower, so a 3.5 speed weapon can be over four seconds between swings) any miss streak can be crippling for rage generation. No rage generation means no rage to use those specials, so that you're dependent on white damage that's actually inferior to what it would be without the talent. It seems a little counter-intuitive that so evocative and exciting (on paper, anyway) a talent would actually lead to a DPS decrease.
I find myself wondering if the issue is not with the talent itself, however, but with the itemization of all 2h weapons in the 60 - 70 game.
If you play a melee or physical damage class or spec that is not a Feral Druid, you have probably experienced this most excruciating of mechanics that is the leveling of class weaponry skill.
We all know the tale: You find a spiffy new weapon, you go out and use it, and find that your damage is abysmal. Then you realize it. Your skill with this weapon is 1! Thus, you're forced to go trudge off to find some grey or green mobs to solo and thwack mindlessly for a few hours until you can finally get some decent damage out of the supposed "upgrade" that you were so pumped to get a few minutes prior.
One of the ways people have made this strange little grind somewhat bearable is by using the servants out in the Blasted Lands. Because they can't die from normal weapon strikes, you can simply set yourself in front of one and swing away. If you're max level or if you have a self-healing proc or ability, you can spend a long time just wailing away mindlessly at the guy, leaving one eye on the screen while you do other things. Some people have even been so ambitious as to drag one of them to Stormwind for a skilling up free-for-all in the trade district.
Unfortunately, it looks like the ride's over. People are reporting that the Servants are no longer giving skill ups, even after 10 minutes of wailing away on the mob. There's no blue post confirming or denying the change as of this writing, but if it's in, it would seem to be deliberate.
It happens from time to time. Players get tired. Whether it's from raiding or PvP or just playing the game in general, there comes a low point where you just feel like taking a break. Right now, I'm just about tired of Arenas. This comes after a long wait for Season 4 to start. It just doesn't feel as fun anymore and even a little stale. Nothing significant has changed from the last Season, with the biggest -- if it can be called that -- class balance change coming in the form of a nerf to Cheat Death. Class representation hasn't changed, with Druids, Rogues, and Warriors still generally on top of the 2v2 and 3v3 food chain.
I write this knowing that two classes I play -- Paladin and Shaman -- are bottom-feeders in the 2000+ range in 2v2 and 3v3 brackets (along with, you guessed it, Hunters). That's fine. I know my classes' places in the hierarchy of Arena viability. Pro player Serennia's poor and embarrassing use of the Paladin at MLG Orlando only further exposed the problems of the class in the 3v3 format. That's the reality, and I've dealt with it for the past seasons. I concentrate on our 5v5 where those classes are more viable, get my points, get my gear, and that's that. But therein lies the problem -- that's that. Nothing more.
Have questions about the Wrath of the Lich King beta? We're here to find the answers! Leave your questions in the comments of Ask a Beta Tester and every day we'll pick a few new questions to answer. To kick off today's Q&A, I'm going to start with a question that's been asked a few times but left unanswered.
For the last time, is the epic flying mount training the same price as on the live realms?
Yes, the costs look just like they do on the live realms. Wasn't that a boring answer? Epic flying mount training costs 5000g, ordinary flying mount training costs 800g, epic ground training costs 600g, and ordinary ground training costs 35g.
Blizzard really does seem to have finally realized that can give us a few more decent ways to save space without breaking anything or trivializing the game. The new vanity pet and mount skill system has done wonders to clear up bag space on my characters on Beta, and I just can't wait to be able to do it on live.
Of course, there's tons more stuff that a good, solid pack rat can keep in their bank to take up space, from cool looking quest rewards to old gear sets to tabards. Tabards are an especially massive space investment. Even with just the basic battleground and unique event tabards, we're talking at least half a good bag taken up in the bank, and that's with deleting all the easily re-obtainable tabards to save space.
Why is this unnamed Blade's Edge black dragon so angry-looking? Maybe he's the long-lost brother of Nefarian and Onyxia and just received notice of their deaths. Maybe he's tired of the corpses of his fellow dragons hanging around the gronn-controlled areas like so much cheap Urban Outfitters home decor. Or maybe he just doesn't like having his picture taken. Whatever the cause, Iro of <The Cookie Crisis> on Lightbringer wrote that this was a difficult screenshot to snap: "Let's just say out of 3 camera men, I only got the one picture...."
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 email@example.com 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 -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more sunsets -- but we would love some beta screenshots here.
Periodically WoW Insider presents Build Shop, which takes a look into one of the many talent specs available to players. This week, Matthew Porter examines a beast master Hunter talent specialization built around leveling.
Welcome readers to this week's Build Shop. I know you haven't seen this feature since the middle of last June, and that's because most viable talent specs have been covered for each class. Not a lot of additions or enhancements have been added since then but that will surely change when Wraith of the Lich King arrives. So this week I thought I would try a "theme" talent spec, one designed for a particular task, leveling a Hunter. Many people agree that the Hunter is one of the easier classes to level, but for fellow WoW Insider blogger Matthew Rossi and others, it's taking longer than expected. Let's see if this beast mastery spec can give him a boost!
[UPDATED] Tokyopop Warcraft Manga out today - Tue, 05 Aug 2008 09:00:00 EST Not to be confused with the World of Warcraft comics from DC Comics and Wildstorm Studios, Warcraft: Legends from Tokyopop hits the stands today. The four part graphic novel series is a compilation of stories featuring the talents of Richard Knaak and Jae Hwan-Kim -- the creative team behind the Sunwell Trilogy manga -- as well as other tales from Mike Wellman, Dan Jolley, Carlos Olivares, Troy Lewter, and Brian Yang. [UPDATE: Although Tokyopop's site says that the item is available now, clicking on the 'Buy Now' option leads to an Amazon page that says the title will be released on August 12.]
Each graphic novel will contain several stories told in parts across different volumes. Knaak and Kim bring an interesting twist to the saga of Trag Highmountain, a character introduced in Warcraft: Shadows of Ice, who returns as an Undead. Other tales include How to Win Friends and Influence People, about an odd Gnome engineer named Lazlo Grindwidget; and An Honest Trade, about Nori Blackfinger, a master weaponsmith who might have sold his wares to the wrong sort. A preview of the comic can be viewed at Tokyopop's site.
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.
/Gamequit threads from players who are leaving the game "for good" have become a fixture of MMO communities. Very few players stop playing without a peep. Those from smaller, tight-knit guilds say their goodbyes on their own guild forums and guildchat. Other players post more dramatic farewell threads on server and community forums (not all of which meet a warm, nostalgic reception). And some players go out with a BOOM!
The latter's the case for Boom of US Argent Dawn-H. After a long and illustrious career as a raider, roleplayer and eventually an Arena multi-boxer, real life got the better of Boom's play time. But the Argent Dawn fixture was determined to go out with the same generous spirit and panache that he had devoted to his years in the game. Boom styled a roleplaying event leading to his own execution in Stormwind, a mass event that awarded 5,000 gold to the player who landed the killing blow.
This week's 15 Minutes of Fame is the poignant tale of the lifespan of a WoW character and the friends who made WoW more than a simple video game pastime for the player behind the keyboard. Read on for the story of Boom.