"2k rated <insert class here> looking for Arena team."
For once, that statement doesn't hold quite as much weight anymore. In Season 4, where new personal ratings requirements are in place, a 2000 rating doesn't amount to anything but bragging rights. Sometimes not even that. After two weeks of the new season, more than a few players are running around with their helm graphic on, proudly displaying the fact that they've hit the first benchmark of 1700 personal and team rating. An even more select few are standing around the major cities brandishing Brutal Gladiator armaments. This is where the new distinction lies.
With 2000 personal rating qualifying a player for nothing in Season 4, the more accurate statement for any sort of Arena self-validation is now "<insert class here> with S4 weapon looking for Arena team." Because the requirements are so strict -- necessitating both team and player ratings to be at the minimum upon purchase -- Arena gear has never been more indicative of skill. I know many of you will protest at this generalization, and you'd have a point. But now more than ever, the system has proven effective at weeding out the chaff from the grain.
When you decide to roleplay, a whole new world of imagination opens up to you -- soon you realize that all the World of Warcraft is a stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. Michael Gray fills in this week for David Bowers to talk about how you can flesh our your character, and help it leap from the screen into everyone's imagination.
Your background sets up your character's story. It's where your character comes from, and often describes what motives your character's actions. But it's infinitely helpful to define more about your character than just the time the Horde ravaged your family and wrecked the estate, and maybe talk about...how he feels about children, or the summer holidays.
Let's talk about how to flesh out a character, behind the cut...
We've talked before about using Wrath of the Lich King as an opportune time to switch mains. As Daniel mentioned in that post, I'm planning on switching from my human warrior to my draenei warrior once WotLK comes out. Now, one of the things I've noticed from reading forums, talking about it with my guild mates, and of course from you commenters here at WoW Insider is that there seems to be two or three camps of opinion on how to go about switching mains at the expansion.
Camp one we'll call the laissez faire approach. These people, although they intend to switch mains, aren't really doing much about it. They expect that the gear reset from Wrath will take care of any gearing inadequacies and that we're all going to be running around in clown clothes anyway for a while.
Addon Spotlight: Four for the Fourth - Sun, 06 Jul 2008 17:00:00 EST Welcome to another installment of Addon Spotlight. Today I thought I'd present you with four addons that make minor changes to your UI while providing little or no additional functionality. Call these vanity addons if you like, although you may find one or more of them actually useful.
In the spirit of the holiday weekend (for those of us in the U.S.), I thought I would start with some color-oriented addons. I use these almost entirely for the sheer joy of some more bright colors on the screen, but I as I always say, having a quick visual reference to information adheres to the simple but powerful UI philosophy that less is more.
oGlow is a very simple addon that does one thing, it lights up the icon border of an item with the color matching it's quality. As my paladin's character pane shows, epic items are brightly lit with a purple border, rare items are blue and green items are green. (Okay, no green items there, but you get the point.) I think I replaced that green item with my Medallion of the Horde last week, am I supposed to get a pen for being green-free or something? The only real use I have gotten from this, aside from a pretty glow, is being able to quickly assess another player's gear while inspecting them. I would like to think I am able to tell this by just looking at them, but I like to snoop anyway.
Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below, ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer you in a future installment!
I have questions about Kalimdor. How aware were the Alliance races of the continent before the events of Warcraft III? Was it completely unknown, known but unexplored, or frequented by the adventurous? The only Alliance settlement seems to be the recent Theramore, but at the same time, the goblins' trading network and cities seem to be well-established, so you'd think word of the continent must have gotten around. And there are pirate organizations that include humans and dwarves on the continent, too.
Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we look at an orc with some serious breath issues.
Continuing our journey through the Black Temple, the next boss we encounter is Gurtogg Bloodboil. A fel orc with an attitude problem, Bloodboil awaits after a room and a half of trash clearing; if you've killed Teron Gorefiend and the Reliquary of Souls, this is the final boss you need to defeat in order to open up the Den of Mortal Delights and make your way towards Mother Shahraz.
This fight depends heavily on two elements: output and execution. Your raid needs to be able to deal with some strenuous healing and threat requirements, as well as co-ordinated movement, so while learning you need to bring along players that can actually perform as well as multitask.
Each week or so, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time.
Last weekend, the World Wide Invitational rocked our world with tantalizing news about the next expansion... and of course Diablo III, but this column isn't called "Diablo, Casually" or "Blizzard Fangirl" so we'll just talk about Wrath of the Lich King. The amount of information we gleaned from the WWI is pretty overwhelming, so let's just go over the items that I think affect those of us with limited playtime.
First of all, I think the biggest news was for the individual classes, so check out the news from the Dev panel. As a Druid, my 5-man instance viability will improve with indoor Entangling Roots and the possibility of an out of combat res. Many of the changes will make it easier for us all to find groups faster which means we can get more done in the blocks of time we have to play.
If you live in Europe, you should be really concerned right about now. A small group of MEPs are trying to sneak in a law that could punish you even if you're innocent. When it goes through, if anyone in your household has been determined to be file-sharing by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) three times, they'll blacklist your IP for life!
A pretty substantial point of debate when it comes to Hybrids is their place in PvP. The thought that only one spec is viable per class is most problematic in the context of Hybrids for a couple of different reasons. Some argue against every spec being arena viable, some argue in favor of it.
The argument in favor of each spec being viable that I feel is the strongest is the fact that each Hybrid spec is vastly different from all of the others. In the arena, an Enhancement Shaman isn't doing the same thing as an Elemental Shaman. They are doing similar things like dropping totems and casting Shocks, but the role they play is different. Enhancement is in your face, Elemental throws lightning at your face, and Restoration is healing your face. This is not like Rogues in which all three specs are about hitting you until you fall down, just in different ways.
Why is it a problem that all three of them aren't viable? It essentially feels like a forced block on your chances at success. "Just spec Resto" isn't really a valid answer, because it means you are not able to play your preferred role. Someone who rolled a Shaman to Stormstrike people's faces off are told to go get some Elemental gear, and that isn't very fun. To be successful in the arena, they are more or less forced out of how they want to play the game.
At any sort of public event that includes fireworks, there's going to be a couple of people who suddenly stop in the middle of the street and stare upward, slack-jawed, at the pretty explosions. Zewee and Stabbage of <Battlestar> on Thunderhorn-EU filled that role during the Midsummer Festival fireworks, watching the display from Stormwind's main access road. Eventually they were run over by an elephant. (Not really. My kingdom for collision detection!)
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 -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no sunsets, and remember not to blow up your face with leftover fireworks!
Tipster Nigel sent in these curious-looking photos of what appears to be the packaging for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. We've already gotten wind of the possible packaging for a Collector's Edition, so why not the basic box? Apparently, the person who leaked the Collector's Edition photo is still working at the printing press and puts his cell phone camera back to work with these photos of the regular edition.
Could it be the real thing? I'm not so sure myself, but if they're fake, they're pretty good ones. The box design includes clever elements that I didn't consider were I to make a mock-up myself... such as a small disclaimer stating that the game requires The Burning Crusade. The layout of the box closely resembles that of the previous expansion, too, with the exact same font used for the words 'expansion set' and identical placement of logos. One of the most telling signs that point to its authenticity, however, was a printer's mark usually found on print material before they're cut (and made into a box). Nigel smartly states that he didn't take the pictures himself. Check out the pic of the inside flap with the telling printer's mark after the jump.
Breakfast Topic: If you could change one thing - Sun, 06 Jul 2008 08:00:00 EST Being a roleplayer, I spend a lot of time thinking about my characters in the context of the world, rather than just pumping their stats. Sometimes I regret making certain characters a certain class. Sometimes I wish I had picked a different race for them. Other times, I wish I could just display things on the character that we currently can't.
For example, I would probably give my Paladin a more 'angry' expression if I could go back and change it, rather than the more neutral, aloof expression they have now. I would change my Priest's hair to make it longer, since she's kind of grown out of the cutesy short hairstyle. It doesn't go very well with Absolution. One of my friends wishes their Human Mage was a Draenei instead.
The dance studio and barber shop in Wrath will help some of this, but there's still quite a bit of character customization that we don't have. And sometimes, you just plain feel like you made a mistake 30+ levels after you rolled your character, and you feel like it's too late to turn back. Have you ever felt this way? If you were given an opportunity to change one thing about your character, anything at all, what would it be?
Lolbubble of Ysera opened a discussion about how well Paladins fair as PvE healers.The thread continued with some of the pros and cons of holy heals.Pallies have the ability to bless their party members, which is always pleasant.They are also mana efficient, especially when there's a knowledgeable player behind the keyboard.They tend to be focused healers, falling short of Prayer of Mending or Chain Heal.This is not necessarily bad if the player is assigned a tank to heal, but not great for overall raid heals.Paladins also have a noticeable lack of reusable instant healing spells.
Each week Matthew Porter contributes The Creamy GUI Center, a column aimed at helping you enhance your WoW experience by offering an in depth guide to addons, macros and other tools we use to play WoW, along with commentary on issues that affect how we all play.
Welcome folks to this week's The Creamy GUI Center. This week I tackle one of the great suggestions left by you the reader in the comment's section. We're gunna examine bag replacements and inventory managers in a special two part series. This week we'll see how to organize your inventory with bag replacement addons. And in the following week we'll look at which addons help you change gear around for different situations. But let's not put the cart ahead of the horse, first we have to organize all that equipment, so let's get to it!
Wanna be friends with a murloc? - Sat, 05 Jul 2008 20:00:00 EST Who's yer buddy? Murloc's your buddy! At least now he can be since he has his very own MySpace page. Did you know that a murloc's heroes are Jay & Silent Bob? Of course you didn't but now you can learn even more fun facts about murlockind by following his blog. Although his posts are written in Nerglish (e.g., "glmrmrgrbaba! mrllgrmrmrgr grmrmrblmrllrlmrgrmlbllb" is one of his most recent comments), he's provided handy translations for us via an unnamed enslaved Troll. His writings offer insights into his budding filmmaking career and his ongoing feud with his nemesis, Aquaman.
Now I'm not much into MySpace, but this profile had me cracking up. Whoever is writing it has the Murloc mindset down cold and provides some funny roleplaying fodder. I don't think I'm alone in wishing Murlocs were a playable WoW class -- even though I know my wish is in vain. I haven't yet gone so far as to play the Murloc RPG, but it does pique my interest.
Oh, and ladies, he's single! Catch him while his current mood is "rockin" and before it changes back to "angry."
There's a new game in town, and Artirius of the Aerie Peak server has noticed it, and admittedly, so have I. With attunements gone, it is now possible for any level 70 to go in and see tier 5 and 6 content whenever they want. Of course, they don't generally have a prayer of actually downing bosses unless they have 20-24 well geared people to help them out.
That's where gold comes in. With a few thousand gold, you can buy your way into a tier 6 group that doesn't need the tier 6 armor and go along for the ride. A few hours later, you come out on the other end with Illidan dead and a few shiny new drops, even if you've never set foot in Karazhan.
It's not just people trying to buy these slots in the trade channel either. As Artirius observes, many raid groups are actively soliciting for buyers for their raid slots. On my own server, one Horde group is trading tier 6 runs for large quantities of certain herbs, promising that all but a few select drops will go to the people who buy their slots with stacks of Netherbloom and Ghost Mushrooms.
My guild is running two bear groups through Zul'Aman a few times a week, and many of us have our bear mounts now. Those that don't are going to get it quite soon. When this is done we have some different options. We can either run some of our alts and what not through and have a character in greens-galore with a bear mount, or we can sell one of the spots on our run.
This selling thing has got me thinking. While our guild doesn't need any more money for repairs and such (we have plenty in the coffers), we can definitely all go to have a few thousand more gold individually. If we ran one person through on a run for 20,000g we'd each make 2,000g for doing 45 minutes of farm content. That's not too bad.