Oh, don't worry, Alex. We don't fire people for playing other MMOs. Not often, anyway. But regardless of Alex's fate, for the rest of the team -- and to let us know what you're up to in-game this weekend (Warcraft or otherwise) -- keep reading!
That doesn't look like a sword. It just looks like a terrifying swath of death! We love it.
Name: Avool's Sword of Jin (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoW-Arsenal) Type: Epic One-hand Sword Damage/Speed: 150-280 / 1.50 (143.3 DPS) Abilities:
+38 Agility, +36 Stamina
Improves hit rating by 31 and attack power by 62
Great sword for Rogues or Hunters, though the method of obtaining it (see below) probably outweighs the actual stats of it, unless you really, really want one. The hit is great, the fact that it can be dual wielded is nice, and the attack power is just icing on the cake.
Plus, just look at it. If someone is running at you and holding that thing, it's pretty clear they don't want to give you a hug and take you out to dinner. It reminds me of the Kill-O-Zap guns from the Hitchhiker's Guide: "the designers of which decided to make it totally clear that it had a right end, and a wrong end, and if that meant sticking blacked and evil-looking devices and prongs all over the wrong end, so be it."
Hi, I'm Matthew Rossi, your host for The Care and Feeding of Warriors. Unfortunately for my plans to talk about Hit/Expertise for DPS warriors this week Blizzard went and dropped a huge mess of news on upcoming changes to every class in patch 3.1, including warriors. I analyzed the changes yesterday and I was more or less positive when I did so. After all, this is hardly all the changes incoming (they even say things like We are also adding increased damage to Arms, possibly through Overpower or Slam) so obviously not everything is finalized yet.
But in the cold light of day, I'm frustrated. Fair warning: this is not going to be a fair and balanced overview piece. This is an opinion, an editorial, of the way Blizzard keeps underestimating what the warrior class needs. Why is arms still broken in PvE months after the beta? Why is one of the biggest changes to warriors in this patch a change to the shielding mechanic we can't even choose to apply to ourselves?
Yeah, turns out it's not going to be happening after all.
While "Activision Blizzard" is going, only the Activison part will be showing up to smile for everyone. It appears the Blizzard part will be staying at home playing Wrath or tiddlywinks and sticking their tongue out at everyone, much like the girl in the picture (which I shamelessly have stolen from our sister site Joystiq who brings us this news).
But I can understand, because Blizzard really doesn't have anything to show at E3. I mean, it's not like they're making three of the hottest games on the planet or anything... Wrath? Diablo 3? StarCraft 2? Never heard of 'em.
Kalgan hopped on over to the forums to make a significant post that previews what can happen in Arena Season 6, the tiers of gear available, and what will happen to the Vault of Archavon. One of my fears going into the next Arena Season was that Archavon the Stone Watcher would lose his relevance, as he drops significantly lower tier gear a full season behind the current one. This would have greatly devalued control of Wintergrasp.
However, Kalgan reveals that a new boss in another wing of the Vault of Archavon will drop the Furious Gladiator pieces. He makes no mention of past season's gear, and says that the new boss' loot table will be structured slightly differently drom Archavon's. This could mean that the 10-man version can drop the Honor-bought non-set pieces rather than a lower tier of Arena gear and notes that the boss will not drop the chest piece. In the same post, he pegs the chest piece at a 1750 rating requirement, which should probably indicate that the boss will not drop items with a higher requirement (head, shoulder, weapon, etc.). This is an important announcement that ensures the relevance of Wintergrasp. The boss is also expected to drop Tier 8 pieces, making it equally appealing to PvE players.
We've had some rather...bumpy... patches as of late from Blizzard. In patch 3.0.2 the servers were down for what was nearly a day before hand, and when the patch finally did arrive not everything was as it should have been. It took a month's time for all the changes to make their way to the live server.
When Wrath of the Lich King was launched, there were countless servers inflicted with near game-ending lag and connection problems for people. And that's not to mention the hour long queues many of us faced (and still face to some degree).
So while we sit here with bated breath waiting for new information about patch 3.1, there is a little voice going on in the back of my head. "Do you really want this, Adam? Do you really want your email box to be flooded with tips about how buggy the patch is?"
But then I think of happier things, like clam stacking, and I smile.
I want to take a poll today. Do you think patch 3.1 will be a clamity or a cheering celebration?
Wow. Have you caught your breath yet? Patch 3.1 looks like it's going to be a massive one, with the promise of Ulduar and now a preview of some of the upcoming class changes. Things are to change quite a bit. While a lot of the changes apply to PvE, Blizzard seems to be sticking true to its lofty ambition of balancing both the PvE experience right along with PvP. Even the biggest change across the board, intended for PvE, will be felt in PvP.
The massive mana regeneration changes should have a palpable impact, particularly in Arenas, because once you get past the burst and Resilience begins to stack up, it becomes a healer's game. It becomes a game of endurance and a matter of burning through the opposing team's healers' mana pool. The nerf to Spirit's contribution to mana regeneration is huge -- one of the prominent trinkets in professional Arena play in 2008 was the Earring of Soulful Meditation because of its on-use Spirit bonus.
We'll have to see exactly how harsh the changes will be, but hopefully these changes are a step towards tuning down healer dominance in high rated Arena play. One proposed change is the increased heal penalty for Divine Plea, which is one of the tools that have propelled Holy Paladins to the top of Arena rankings. However, Blizzard notes that certain mana regeneration talents will be buffed, so these changes might balance out, anyway. Let's take a look at the impact of different class changes after the jump.
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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.
To kick things off today, I actually wanted to add something to one of Adam's responses yesterday. Spiraea was looking for a title that would fit their Priest. Adam suggested The Immortal, but me? I'm all about the Hallowed. You can't get it until October, which makes getting your hands on it tough... but it'll be worth the wait! It's my favorite title on my Priest. When I get a new raid title I switch to that for awhile, but always go back to Hallowed.
realt asked... I have a question regarding in-game voice chat (or Ventrilo). Our guild has never used voice-chat when raiding. So far we have done pretty well with clearing all 10man content, including Sartharion+1D, without it. Now we are progressing into 25man. At which point do we really need starting using voice chat you think or isn't required at all? I haven't been in many other raiding guilds besides this one so I am curious how others are handling their communication.
The Adventures of Thaddius Gallina - Part 1 had me at "Hello." Or, rather, it had me at its production swipe, emblazoned with the logo for "Drunken Dwarf Productions." You can't go wrong with that kind of production title. The six-minute movie is a teaser/introduction to sterivers's machinima film, "The Adventures of Thaddius Gallina."
The nominal hero barely shows up in this bit, since this is a prologue piece. It's setting the tone for Thaddius's world and genre, prepping us for the comedic film. In summary, the Horde were doing pretty well and in charge of things. Then, the Alliance got together, and through rigorous "Questing," have been driving back the Horde.
This prologue really sets up the Alliance to be a bunch of silly, jingoistic dorks. They show up to an Undead's cave to retrieve a stolen artifact. The Undead apologizes immediately, claiming he'd just bought the porch light from a Goblin. He even offered to give it back with no hard feelings. The Alliance completely ignore him, and hijinks ensue. I look forward to seeing the Gnome get punted after this behavior.
The next part should be out fairly soon, and hopefully it can continue the good work.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Ulduar will be 64 harder - Fri, 06 Feb 2009 11:30:00 EST Pushed by players to answer just how hard Ulduar really is, EU CM Wyrxian has an answer: 64. Apparently, the instance will be 64 harder than the current Wrath instances. In other news, the recent patch 3.1 changes will make playing the game about 75 more fun, and the ammunition change alone will put Hunters 23 higher than they've been in the past. More news as we get it.
Joking aside, obviously Wryxian says Ulduar will be harder, but it's not easy to put a number on difficulty. He says "it has to be experienced to understand." Blizzard has already said that they want to change things like mana regeneration to be less frantic and more strategic, so it'll be interesting to see just what kinds of mechanics appear in Ulduar -- odds are the difficulty probably won't be of the "Bosses that hit really, really hard" variety, but rather that we'll see more situations where the raid's attention is divided x number of ways. Maybe 64?
At any rate, the PTR should be up soon, if not tonight considering all of the reveals Blizzard has done this week, and then we'll have a better idea of what the next raid has in store for us.
This is rather surprising, because despite the recent class changes many of us weren't expecting the PTR until next week at the earliest. Perhaps this is a sign that it'll come earlier, or at least is in the "getting ready" stage for public release.
This PTR is going to be huge, on the scale of patch 2.4 when they released the Sunwell.
We'll have more up on WoW Insider the second we hear it, and don't forget to check out our coverage of Patch 3.1.
Update 12:45 p.m. EST: We're getting several reports that US/NA people can copy over characters to the US PTR now.
The real problem here, of course, isn't that Australia wants to ban these games, but that they're falling through the cracks of what seems to be an extremely lax rating system. There's really no rating assigned to these games, so according to the rules, they can't be sold. But the rules make no sense in this case: no one, as far as we've heard, actually wants to ban these games in the country, and no one cares whether they're being sold on store shelves or not.
Still, Massively does expect action, eventually, even if it's an apparently much-needed rejiggering of the ratings system to include these "unrated" games. Bottom line right now is that if you want to buy or sell World of Warcraft in Australia, no one's stopping you from doing so.
After Sheut and Macorgrim of <Malice> on Scarlet Crusade were late to Naxx one too many times, their guildmate Artema vowed to track them down. Their trail led her to Undercity, where she discovered their secret pasttime. "While the rest of us were hard at work, eating up our buffs, drinking elixirs, they were re-enacting Chippendales acts," Artema wrote. "Do you know if Blizzard covers brain bleach?" For their part, Macorgrim blamed a raging Insane Strength Potion addiction, while Sheut revealed that he never wanted to be a death knight. He wanted to be ... a lumberjack! Don't worry, guys -- it's a refreshing change to see male Hordies who aren't afraid to wear something other than massive, impractical armor covered with spikes and skulls.
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. 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, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Alternatives to WoWJutsu - Fri, 06 Feb 2009 09:00:00 EST It's very, very rare that pioneers are actually the best at what they do. They have great ideas, and those ideas revolutionize their field... but they're just ideas, concepts. It's not long before someone else improves those initial concepts and makes them the new standard. This more or less describes the situation around WoWJutsu.
WoWJutsu was once the number one guild ranking website, tracking progression, boss kills and all of that great stuff. Unfortunately, it hasn't kept up with the times. WoWJutsu's tracking relies on the Armory, crawling the whole thing and using gear that characters have equipped to determine progress. In order for your guild's Malygos kill to be marked down, members of your guild need to have Malygos drops on their Armory profile. This is the only way, as far as I know, that WoWJutsu will list your kill.
What does that mean? Well, it implies that guild progression isn't tracked properly at all. The first guild on a server to clear all of the content can easily come in third or fourth or twelfth on the ranking list. If your armory page doesn't update right away, that alone is going to throw your guild's progression record off. As minor as it may seem, it actually has some bad side effects, specifically when it comes to recruitment. If you claim your guild has cleared the hardest content in the game when you're looking for applicants, and people check WoWJutsu to make sure you're not making false claims... well, WoWJutsu's inaccuracies could imply that you're lying, when you're not at all. It's damaging.
And what is your reward? Why, more mounts, of course! The 50 Mount Achievement will net you an Albino Drake (and put you mount closer to the final achievement.) The 100 Mount Achievement is separated into Horde and Alliance rewards due to racial mounts making for different requirements. The Horde 100 reward is Red Dragonhawk Mount and the Alliance 100 reward is the Blue Dragonhawk Mount.
In fact, some of these changes were more unthinkable than the fake patch notes we had posted earlier. I mean, no more ammunition for Hunters? Wasn't that one of the most wished for wishes in the history of wishland? The closest thing Blizzard ever came to fulfilling this wish was with Thori'dal, the Star's Fury (which I hear is a Rogue weapon). Now, everyone and his uncle can have their own version of the legendary bow. Kind of.
Oh, and guess what? Blessing of Kings is baseline now. Take a moment to reflect on that a moment. It's freaking trainable! The best raid buff in the game is available to all Paladins now, regardless of spec. After years and years of the Paladin community whining asking for it, it might actually become reality. Blizzard seems to have a knack for turning our worlds upside down. I mean, I wouldn't actually be surprised anymore if BigRedKitty's *ahem* "patch notes" actually come true now. Alright, probably not that far out, but you know what I mean. What about Patch 3.1 has knocked your socks off so far? What other changes do you expect?
Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.
The announcements for Hunter-changes in 3.1 was published, but it's all rubbish and lies. Don't believe it! Seriously, who are you going to trust: Blizzard or BigRedKitty?
The BRK Department of Secrets, Lies, Inane Babble, and Outrageous Shenanigans are doing the voodoo that they do so well. While Blizzard is busy filling your head with deceit and false hope, we're going to give it to you straight.
We all know that Blizz has lately just been rolling a d20 for our class's specs and talents; it's either that or they're playing quarters and winning extremely frequently. But according to our spies, things are looking up! New talent points, reworked hunter-pets, and some general developer-love are on tap for us all.
BM-nerf got ya down? Explosive Shot tweaking freaking you out? Non-consumable ammo just not hitting your sweet-spot? That's OK, we've got the prescription!
For your reading pleasure, we present the totally true, honest to Elune, no way we'd make 'em up, Hunter Changes for 3.1.
The only major change that really came out in the last day was that there will be a replenishment like talent added, taking the place of Improved Water Elemental. The overall effect will be similar to what Shadow Priests do with their mana regen.
Some of the other things, which we are assuming have been intentionally left vague, include changes to make spirit a more "useful and interesting" statistic for Mages, and increasing a Fire Mage's survivability. There is also a blurb about giving Frost Mages an Ice Lance "Shatter Combo" in PvE encounters.
So if you're like everyone else and scratching your head, asking where are all the more detailed changes... don't panic! We're sure there's a ton more to come.
Or rather, ammo will be an item more like a relic or a wand that modifies our ranged weapon damage without being consumed. Engineers, that means you better make hay while the sun shines. Soon, we'll be buying our last crate of Mammoth Cutters ever.
This is far from the only changed announced tonight -- or this morning, depending on where you are. Let's look at them all one by one.
The next round of class changes for 3.1 has gone up, and Death Knights, of course, got a blurb of their own. The changes are probably slightly less sweeping than some other classes, but interesting all the same. Ghostcrawler's word on Death Knights lately has been that they're probably a bit high on DPS, and that they want to encourage more people to spec Blood and Frost over the overwhelmingly popular Unholy. I'm not sure these changes in particular did that, but one thing they did do is give a couple of nice potential buffs to Death Knight tanks. Let's look at them one by one.