Phat Loot Phriday: Staff of the Great Reptile - Fri, 05 Dec 2008 18:30:00 EST I tried to find some great caster/healing staves for you to work towards this weekend, but they're hard to come by, and strangely enough I couldn't find a single caster staff as a reputation reward -- Druids get all the good ones I found. This one's from an instance you can run this weekend, though, and it should hold you up until you hit 80 and head into the endgame.
Name: Staff of the Great Reptile (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDigger) Type: Rare Staff Damage/Speed: 148-269 / 2.10 (99.5 DPS) Abilities:
+81 Spirit, which has been becoming more and more useful lately. It's really still the domain of Warlocks and Shadow Priests, but depending on the talents and other gear you've got, Spirit, especially this much of it, can be more helpful than you'd think.
Improves haste rating by 66, which again, will depend on the other stats you've got to figure out just how much it'll help you. Haste gets more and more important as you head towards the endgame, but especially with the changes to Haste affecting global cooldowns, this could be really great for anybody casting instants as well.
And increases spell power by 271, which is a no brainer. You'll definitely be able to get more spell power by the time you hit 80, but for the level, this is a decent place to start.
And, I have to say, subjectively I admit, it's a badass-looking staff.
Blizzard legal targets private servers - Fri, 05 Dec 2008 17:30:00 EST Privately run WoW servers have been dropping like flies in the last day or so after receiving letters from Blizzard's lawyers under the DMCA. They've been shut down so quickly and rapidly that it's being heralded as "the end of private servers" by quite a few people. The biggest and most well known servers such as Toxic WoW and Ani-WoW are more or less all gone already, and it seems that it's only a matter of time before the smaller ones go down as well. Supposedly, this letter has a pretty long list of sites and servers that are to be taken down.
Some of these sites have just called it a day, shut down their servers and will move on with their lives, but a few others are already talking about starting them back up elsewhere, 'underground.' It's the internet, and at this point, that just seems silly. Blizzard is watching, and it seems this issue has moved up a notch on their priority list. My advice? Don't tempt fate.
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.
It's Friday, the second best day of the week, in stark contrast to Wednesday which was the worst day of the week. What is the number one best day of the week? Well, that's for me to know and you to find out! Or guess, or form your own opinions. You know, whatever.
Oh right, the questions! Canth asked...
As a Holy Paladin I picked up Engineering for the goggles. However, it seems that for level 72, they only have Ret and Prot versions of the epic goggles. Is there a Holy (something with int/SP on it) equivalent anywhere? Did Blizzard forget about us?
WoW Insider Show back live tomorrow afternoon - Fri, 05 Dec 2008 16:30:00 EST It seems like a long time since we've done our live podcast, and that's because it has been -- we talked to Felicia Day last week, but the interview was taped because of the holiday. So tomorrow afternoon, we're happy that we'll be back live over at Ustream to record our weekly podcast. On the docket tomorrow, we've invited Michael Zenke of our sister site Massively (it's like our site, but for all MMOs) -- he was kind enough to invite us on their podcast the other week, so we're returning the favor, and he'll be on to talk about what he thinks of Wrath so far (and we may even get in some MMO comparing, just in time for the gift season). Matthew Rossi will also be on board to talk about that Blacksmithing bug, and we'll have some good tips for reputation gear that all classes should be seeking out ASAP.
The show starts at 3:30pm Eastern (time zone converter) over on our Ustream page, or we've even embedded the feed right after the break, so just come back here and you'll be able to listen, chat, take part in our polls, and join in on all of the fun live. And if you have a question or comment for the show already, just email it to us: email@example.com is the address, and anything you send in, be they questions, comments, or whatever, might just end up on the show tomorrow afternoon.
If you can't make it, the new show will be out in iTunes and here on the site Monday morning, so you won't miss the show itself. But you might miss our aftershow -- we've been hanging out for a few minutes after we turn the recording off, so if you can tune in live, please do so, and you'll have an exclusive chance to talk to us directly after the broadcast. See you then!
More free EU character migrations - Fri, 05 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST Aren't you EU players just lucky lately? Here's some more free character moves for you to make -- apparently the population situation on the EU realms must be bad, because I think this is the third (at least) round of moves Blizzard has made in that region. Here are the latest ones, to be in effect now through the ninth:
A lot of these are the same transfers offered previously -- in fact, all of the realms Blizzard is transferring from have been offered transfers before, though the realms people are being transferred to are switched up a bit. Anyone out there who didn't transfer in the first go-round but is willing to transfer now?
If the issues continue, Blizzard might have to come up with a new way to control the realm populations -- there's always the option of splitting up a big realm, though neither Blizz or players will probably enjoy going through that. But they've got to get rid of the queues somehow, right?
The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Wrath specs for leveling Fury Warriors - Fri, 05 Dec 2008 15:00:00 EST And so this week we conclude our leveling specs discussion with talk of fury. When I started this discussion, I mentioned that I was respeccing quite frequently, and that hasn't changed. Since I hit level 80 I have respecced twice a day. Not out of any specific need so much as out of boredom and a desire to play around with different specs, as I tend to try learning by doing as much as possible. I'm also trying to decide which of my characters to level up next, as I have the Death Knight starting at me but also several warrior alts I'd like to roll through Northrend with. I'm interested in seeing the quests from the Horde perspective, and grinding up on a warrior is cake nowadays. Every spec is solid for leveling, with Protection combining good damage and ridiuclously high survivability, arms bringing a nice mix of proc based pain and AoE damage, and fury?
Fury is for killing and killing and killing while the world runs red in ruin around you.
Sorry, but while I am a tank and I love tanking, I've discovered two facts in the past week. I can tank pretty much any five man or group quest in my tanking gear as fury and holy heck I enjoy chopping things heads off. My warrior raided throughout vanilla WoW as a DPS build, switching between fury 2h slam and Arms, and it's been nice to get back to that as a Titan's Grip build. I often don't even tell people I'm fury when they ask me to tank, I just show up in the tanking gear and use a 2h weapon and a shield. What it lacks in AoE tanking capacity (no shockwave, no damage shield) it gains in pretty solid single target threat, thunderclap still hits multiple targets, and with the right talents you can even get some solid threat from Bloodthirst. This week we'll be talking about a fury build that allows for some tanking versatility: it's not a raiding DPS build but is oriented towards letting you grind and tank or offtank when needed. If there's room, we'll then discuss a pure DPS build for five mans and leveling if you have absolutely no desire to tank or offtank.
Here's the last (or at least we think it's the last, it's all that's mentioned on Blizzard's official page) round of television ads for World of Warcraft in 2008. The ads come from France this time, and they both feature Alexandre Astier, star and creator of an Arthurian comedy show called Kaamelott, as a Human Paladin. While the German ads seemed to focus on PvP, these are very PvE based -- in one, he and his group run from a rampaging Frost Wyrm, and in the second (after the break, and apparently it's a "web exclusive," maybe because you can't show a virtual pile of corpses on television), he shows off his rezzing powers, and, err -- their limits.
WorldofWar has translations for both of the ads. Is it me, or aren't these as funny as the others? I think Ozzy comes out the best in all of them -- not only is his ad hilarious (better than the Mr. T ad, my previous favorite), but he gets to co-star with the Lich King, and you can't really compete with that. But kudos to Blizzard's teams for putting all of these together. Maybe next year we'll actually get a female WoW player, or, you know, a whole new campaign.
That will ruffle a few feathers, and I should know, because I ruffled a few of the same feathers yesterday. But the stats back GC up -- it's true that most of the players in the game haven't gotten to 80 yet, and of course it doesn't mean that you're a no-life loser if you're 80; it just means that you're faster than the average player. Congrats.
But in the hopes of actually bringing this whole thing home to a place we can all agree on without flaming each other, let's take a look at the new way of doing the endgame: the regular, show up-and-fight PvE content is now for casual players. Ulduar will be harder than the current endgame, says GC, but it still won't be as hard as AQ40 and the original Naxx were in their day. And for the hardcore players, Blizzard is offering achievements and special runs -- have you finished Sartharion with three drakes yet, he asks? Have you finished all of the achievements yet (and if you have, let us know, because we'd love to post about you)? There are really hardcore, really challenging things to do in the game, still, and Blizzard is working on offering appropriate rewards for them, says GC. But the average endgame is no longer the domain of people who raid three times a week or more, and that's the way Blizzard wants it.
The other day, we talked about the Sons of Hodir and how to start gaining reputation with them. Rep gains are great and all, but there's actually another bonus you can start working on thanks to this quest chain: A Polar Bear mount! At one point during the Sons of Hodir chain, you're turned into one of the Hyldnir, the frost vrykul ladies that populate the Storm Peaks. While only a few of their quests are essential to moving the story ahead, they have other one-shot quests you have available if you so choose.
Completing these quests opens up a daily quest you can do when you return to Brunnhildar Village, though you don't get to do all of them every day. It seems only one or two of them are available per day, and which ones you get is random, like the Cooking daily quests. If they don't seem to be offering you a quest at all one day, you probably haven't unlocked the one that happens to be that day's quest. The following are the four quests you need to do first:
Blizzard's European A Very Warcraft Christmas Contest - Fri, 05 Dec 2008 13:00:00 EST Blizzard's European arm has partnered with Steelseries to offer some cool prizes this Christmas for folks that send in pictures of a World of Warcraft themed Christmas decoration. The contest is only available to a slew of countries in Europe, and there is no indication if there will be a US version of the contest (though I wouldn't be surprised).
They're offering some pretty cool prizes from custom WoW keyboards, to gaming mice, to mouse pads. You can browse through our gallery bellow to take a look at what you can win.
I'm most interested in the keyboard. I tried one like it at a convention a couple years ago, but never had any extended play time with it. I have to wonder what it would do for my prolific use of macros during raids and groups.
Check out after the break for some more contest rules from Blizzard, along with a list of exactly what countries are eligible.
Who's the Tank? is a classic bit of machinima. It's posted on YouTube by broncotv, but I'm not positive if that's the original author. If you know who the author was for sure, please mention it in the comments. They definitely deserve the kudos for this piece.
"Who's the Tank?" is obviously based off the old "Who's on First?" skit. Its fast-paced dialogue is launched from the confusion that happens when you use vague, unspecific terms for class roles. Given the newcomers to the game, I think it's as funny now as it ever has been.
The production values aren't through the roof, but are still more than adequate given that the movie's emphasis is on dialogue. I think it's worthwhile for everyone to see it at least once, since there's a lesson in the movie for all of us. Be specific when you're trying to communicate.
Thanks to Scott for the tip.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Don't level a profession right before a server restart.
I finally got around to creating a Death Knight yesterday, and after working through the starting zone I decided to stop off and level my herbalism a bit before heading to outland. I know the market for herbs is strong right now because of Inscriptions (which I'm also leveling), so that seemed like a good idea.
I was working my way through Elwynn Forest gathering up all the flowers I could. After I hit 75 herbalism I went back to train to the Journeyman level and pickup Apprentice Inscription. There was about 5 minutes left before the server restart, so I decided that I would sit there and mill some herbs and make some ink.
And you thought your boss was bad. Vloeken, of <Exiles of Azeroth> on Kirin Tor, gets in some quality bootlicking and groveling time as he's knighted by the Lich King in Acheron Hold. Rest easy, Vloeken. In twenty-five levels you'll get to fulfill every downtrodden worker's dream: killing your boss and stealing all his ill-gotten gains from his corpse. (Note to my editors: I do not plan on raiding you anytime soon.)
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.
It took a long time, but I finally made it to 80. How have you been working on your Warlock in Northrend? Unlike some Warlocks, it took me quite a while to get into that leveling groove. The good news is, it looks like Nymh proved that SL/SL isn't quite dead yet. The Frenchman used a variation of the spec to grind mobs in Grizzly Hills. Of course, he had a pocket healer just to make it work, but at least we know we can level with it. In fact, Nymh said it would have taken him 40 hours with SL/SL instead of 26. That would've been slacking.
The good thing about slow leveling is that we can actually look at blue upgrades for our Warlocks. Taking the time to level means we can actually go out of my way to look for items that I can use all the way to 80 instead of getting to 80 in a head-spinning two days in my Level 70 gear. If you're one of those who still haven't hit 80 yet, here's a short guide to good blue upgrades while leveling up. You'll encounter a lot of blue cloth gear while leveling, so I've compiled gear according to key statistics, particularly Haste and Crit, which will be two of the more interesting features we'll look for in our gear. Today we'll take a look at Haste, one of the best raiding stats for us in the game.
Loken the most dangerous mob in the game - Thu, 04 Dec 2008 20:00:00 EST The Top Lists on the official World of Warcraft website are endlessly interesting and fascinating. The last time we looked at them was well before Wrath launched, so we decided to take a look again now that we've been in Northrend for awhile.
The first list I looked at was, of course, the Most Dangerous Creatures. What's more fun than seeing what's destroying your fellow players? Nothing. Nothing at all. It looks like Loken of Halls of Lightning is topping the charts right now, followed by Sapphiron of Naxxramas. I can see that. Loken can be pretty deadly, especially on Heroic. Most players will probably wipe to him at least once their first time seeing him, assuming they don't know the strategy ahead of time. Sapphiron is just plain painful.
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.