That said, your guess is as good as ours as to how long the current stock might last. (Read: probably not long if history is any indication.) So if you forgot to pick up a present for that WoW player in your life and are looking for a way out of the post-holiday doghouse (or just need one for yourself) head on over to the Blizzard store and get your authenticator ordered - quickly.
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You're madly in love with your new character. You've polished off the early zones and boast a couple of handfuls of talent points. Your professions are coming along nicely, and you've been spending a little time poking around on various WoW web sites to learn more about your class and the game. Yet you're still feeling a little insecure around other players. Shouldn't you be running instances with groups by now? How are you supposed to know what to do?
If groping towards grouping leaves you feeling a little intimidated - we've got your back. How to get into a group, what to do once you're in one, and how to conduct yourself (and what to expect from others) to make lasting friends who'll want to group up again and again ... after the break.
Miners will now only hit the node once to get all the ore and associated loot.
This change might seem mundane but it actually carries some significant weight. Farmers regularly fly or run around zones, stopping at every node they see. Under the current system most nodes required between two and four hits to extract all the ore, sometimes even more for the rich nodes. An ore farmer would spend a portion of his time ensuring the mobs were cleared around the node enough so that he would be able to hit it multiple times, and then actually spend the minute sitting on the node farming it.
With the one hit method that is now being implemented in 3.0.8, the process becomes significantly easier. Point, click, wait a second, fly off to the other destination, profit. There's no "???" in there, just a pure and easy way to make money.
Tips for Strand of the Ancients and how to win it - Wed, 07 Jan 2009 16:00:00 EST Eye for an Eye has a great set of tips up for the Strand of the Ancients battleground. Their tips are aimed towards Ret Pallies, but they're useful for almost anyone, and especially any melee-based classes. And the general idea -- focus on the relic and getting to it, not the players attacking you or other teammates -- is great for anyone to know.
I don't know what it is about Strand and Wintergrasp that has pulled new players into PvP, but there's something new there -- DanO also has found himself PvPing in those places when he never guessed he would. It seems like the objective is a big part of it; the goals in Strand and Wintergrasp just seem more epic than the skirmishes in Warsong and Arathi Basin (and they come with none of the major issues in Alterac Valley).
Still, while most of the tips are common sense, some of them are worth listening to if you haven't though of them yet (I liked the tip about sniffing out Rogues around the tanks -- whenever I've played Strand, I've always headed for the walls, but protecting the tanks is a great tactic, too). If you haven't tried either of the new PvP areas yet, give them a look, and bring these tips along with you.
The value of questing after level 80 - Wed, 07 Jan 2009 15:01:00 EST I'm always amazed when people hit 80 and then start wondering how to make gold. Sure, there are all kinds of money tricks floating around (playing the AH is always fun, and everyone has their own tips they've picked up), but quite frankly, the easiest and most reliable way to pick up a ton of money at level 80 is just to do what you've been doing: go quest. Blizzard has made it so that there's no way you've hit all the quests in Northrend when you've reached the highest level, so odds are that you've got at least one (if not two or three) untouched zones of quests to do. And as folks have discovered on the forums, there's a ton of money to be made there.
Given that after level 80, experience turns into gold, the return on time invested with leftover questing is awesome. You can pick up over three thousand gold easily just by clearing out the zones you haven't hit hard, and by vendoring off the quest rewards that you get for completing the quests, you can pick up even more. Sure, some folks will have AH schemes that will bring in more money, but Blizzard has done their darndest to make sure there's money in them there questgivers, so if you're slouching around at 80 wondering what to do, go finish up your quests.
And of course if you really have finished up all of the quests in the game (and seen all the amazing storylines and character development that go along with doing so), then there's always daily quests to work on. While they won't pay out quite as much as one-time quests, when you break down the time you invest versus the gold you get out of it, they're often the best way to cash in your playtime as well.
Blizzard has released some launch night video from the Wrath of the Lich King release over on their EU site, and it looks like things were pretty crazy across the pond. There were costumes aplenty, and there were crowds in London, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. Plus, the video even has a nice appearance by the man/demon himself, as you can see above.
Unfortunately, the US site hasn't posted any such video yet, so while you can definitely read here on this site about all of the crowds and chaos that went down on this side of the world, there's no video to compare. My guess is that while the EU folks were definitely excited, over there it was more contained to the big events and the big cities, while over here in the US even small towns had lines outside the gaming stores.
But it was definitely a night to remember for WoW fans, no matter where you were.
Personally, while I'll often have a podcast or a movie on while playing solo or sometimes running five mans (if I'm feeling particularly awake), I tend to have to focus while raiding, so I usually turn the background noise off and listen to Vent or just the audio queues ingame. Any more than that an I get distracted. But there are all kinds of answers in the thread, from trance to pop to metal (Dragonforce FTW!), and pretty much across every genre that you can think of. What might be most interesting about all of this is that the music apparently has no effect on gameplay, though it'd be interesting to see the raiding performance of people who listen to music while playing against people who don't.
Maybe an enterprising raiding group can do an experiment and figure that out. I'd guess it's just personal taste, but it does seem to me that even if you say your attention isn't divided, the music has to be a little distraction. Maybe it's just me. What kind of music do you raid with?
I usually stay away from videos that are centered around topical, timely issues like whether Warlocks need some love or buffs right now. They're just not the kind of thing I dig, personally, and they're usually not incredibly well done. Buff My Warlock, however, kind of got my attention. It's basically a protest video, created by author Illustrious for fun and amusement. She feels she can no longer play her Warlock effectively in PvP, and is hoping for a little love from the developers.
The singing isn't the best, and I have to admit the audio made me wince a few times. I'm trying to chalk that up to a bad recording or compression, however, since I think the lyrics are actually okay. The ideas were great, and I have vast appreciation for the fact that the message was relatively personable despite being featured in what some would call a "QQ Video."
Hopefully, Illustrious can have fun with her chosen character, and maybe keep advancing her machinima skills going forward. I wouldn't hate seeing the next video be "I love my Warlock."
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Hunters. Does any other class provoke such a strong response of malice from a Rogue? They're not necessarily our counter-class, Warriors fill that role quite nicely (curse you Overpower!). I always think of Hunters as a parallel to us; Rogues at a distance. Regardless of how you classify them, one thing stays the same: Rogues hate Hunters.
The next question would be: but Chase, why do you keep inviting all these Hunters to your Naxxramas raids? At first I wanted to remain nonchalant and pass my decision off as charity. We need someone to soak up all the mail gear that drops. But after constant prodding from my healers as to why I am wasting their infinite talent on mere pets, I had to finally give up the goose. I needed the Hunters to feed my CP addiction. I am just another HaT Rogue stacking the raid to power my Eviscerate engine. We're having an intervention tomorrow. I'm so ashamed.
Poor, poor Nozdormu. First his Dragonflight needs a group of adventurers to do all his dirty work inside Ahn'Qiraj. Then to preserve the timeline, they have to settle for sending five poorly-geared PUGgers back through Azeroth's history, knowing full well that half of them would probably kill their own grandfather in the Caverns of Time if it meant a chance at epic loot. And now their forces in Dragonblight are being captured and imprisoned in what appear to be giant soap bubbles. Guess you should have picked a side in the Third War, hmm, O Timeless One? (Thanks to frequent contributor Ben!)
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Nothing in the patch notes is that shocking that I can see, it's mostly just the changes we've heard about and maybe a more robust bug fix listing. It's just nice to see all of the additional changes that have come along gathered in one spot, instead of hunting around to make sure we're not crazy when trying to remember something. The patch notes on the EU website have been updated, but as far as we can see, neither the US forums or website have been. So if you're somewhere that you can't access the forums or official sites (work, school), we have them right here for you. Just click through the cut below!
World of Warcraft seems to pull in players from the very young, to the fairly old. While the younger ones are generally pretty vociferous about themselves, a lot of the older players don't run about advertising it. (Note: I'm not making a judgement call on play-styles. I've met adults who can't spell to save their butt and younger folks who are not only eloquent, but highly-intelligent theorycrafters.) So when we got a mail recently from Pamela who told us she'd be turning 50 later this month, she wondered who the oldest people we knew were. There were a few writers who chimed in....
This is such a great idea -- Hearthstone of EU Eonar put together their own guild calendar, made out of desktop-sized photos of themselves in game. There's a lot of creativity there -- this shot, of one of them fishing in armor, is a good one, but it's interesting which settings and gear they all chose to be pictured in. Some went swimsuit, some went seasonal, and of course the Hunter had to show off his Spirit Beast. Very cool.
Lots more guild news (including some much more frustrating drama) right after the jump below -- not so much downed news this week, so if your guild has been working through the endgame lately, be sure to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you'll see your news here next week.
Server issues abounds this evening - Tue, 06 Jan 2009 22:50:00 EST Servers seem to be having all sorts of problems actually staying up tonight. A fair portion of the population is experiencing chronic server crashes, including my home server. A few of my guildmates canceled their 10-man raids as a result of players' inability to stay online. Even when the server isn't down, it's a real pain staying connected.
We don't really have any information as far as clear upcoming fixes or how long the issue will last, but we here at WoW Insider most definitely know how you feel. Consider this a show of solidarity. It's lame, and hopefully it will go away soon. If you're just sitting down now to dig into your playtime for the night, expect some interruptions.
What we do have is a little bit of information about possible upcoming realm transfers that will be opening up in the near future. Free transfers, of course. You can find Zarhym's list behind the cut below.
Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your Restoration Druid at 80 - Tue, 06 Jan 2009 19:00:00 EST Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we take a look at how to gear a PvE Restoration Druid at level 80, in the hopes of preventing other trees from suffering our fate during our first 10-man Naxx run, which -- no, no, it's too painful even to think about.Pass the schnapps.
Greetings readers, and welcome to Wrath Gear-A-Palooza 2009. We'll be running one of these for each Druid spec.
I'm not going to "rank" gear numerically, because I think that's a fairly unhelpful means of organizing items when your access to all of them as a fresh 80 may be very limited. Generally you're going to have access to quest rewards and faction gear before you get access to badge pieces or oft-uncooperative heroic drops, so I've organized the list by where you can get particular drops. It's generally safe to assume that a heroic drop is better than a blue you're using from an Icecrown quest, but not always. If you're starting to move into higher levels of gear, I found the following links to be incredibly helpful, and I hope you do too:
Otherwise, assuming a proper spec, gems, and enchants, you can successfully heal any of the game's 5-man or raid content (10-man or 25-man) with a healing set derived from the following list. That's a promise. This list assumes that you do not have access to 10- or 25-man raids for the time being and are gearing up primarily through questing, 5-mans, and heroics.
If you thought that Logitech was onto something good when they launched the WoW-ready G13 gameboard, the bigwigs at Logitech tuned into your brainwaves and decided to expand their gaming line. Engadget reports that Logitech is set to launch a slew of gaming peripherals to complement the success of their gaming pad.
The first of these is the $199 G19 keyboard, which has a GamePanel LCD, a 320x420 color monitor that displays "valuable in-game information" for over sixty games including -- ahem -- World of Warcraft. Aside from macro-bound buttons, the keyboard also has a switch for disabling the Windows button, so players don't accidentally lock themselves out of their game when they nerd rage.
There's also the G35 (I don't really know where they pull the number suffixes from), a $129 headset with 7.1 Dolby surround-sound capability and a "voice-morphing" option that allows players to disguise their voice or -- as the Logitech press release states -- "sound like (their) World of Warcraft character". With three different, swappable headbands, the headset seems configurable in more ways than you can shake a Snufflenose Command Stick at.
Finally, there's the equally configurable G9x mouse, a $99 variant of the award-winning G9 mouse and should give the Steelseries World of Warcraft mouse a run for its money. Or your money, since that's almost a full hundred smackers for interchangeable snap-on grips, five ready-to-play profiles, and on-the-fly adjustable dpi. The keyboard and headset will be available by the end of the first quarter, and the mouse soon to follow.
15 Minutes of Fame: Anthropologist digs into WoW - Tue, 06 Jan 2009 17:00:00 EST 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.
While we've written before about academics who are researching WoW from within, we're not sure that we've seen anyone whose primary fieldwork is the PvE raiding experience. Meet Alex Golub, Ph.D., an anthropology professor at the University of Hawaii. Golub plays a Resto Shaman in a Wrath-era raiding guild who's researching what he calls the culture of raiding -- "why people do something as crazy as run 25-mans four days a week."
"There is a lot of research on WoW, actually, but most of is based either on crunching Armory data to produce statistical analysis of game play, or it is more 'cultural studies' where people play the game a little and then write something beautiful about it," he explains to 15 Minutes of Fame. "My unique angle is that I am doing anthropological fieldwork in WoW, living and playing with a raiding guild and putting in 20+ hours a week keeping them healed and decursed."
The main themes of Golub's research (ahem): "American cultures of self-control, efficiency, masculinity and success amongst players of WoW." We asked him to boil that down for us. "I study how guys behave badly in Vent, and how/why people become emo and/or talk about why other people are emo," he explains. "I'm interested in how you get a group of 25 people to keep calm and collected as they try to do something really emotionally important to them, which requires relying on other people when its difficult to see them face to face."
It seems much more unlikely than last year: last year, we were looking down the barrel of Age of Conan and Warhammer Online, and wondering if either one of those might cause a road bump in WoW's traffic. Age of Conanwas called the steak to our game's McDonald's, but in the end, WoW players didn't do much more than give it a cursory glance. And while Warhammer seemed like a good contender to the throne, it hasn't come close to taking a bite out of Azeroth. This year, it doesn't even seem like there will be any MMO contenders. GameDaily cites Bioware's Star Wars MMO, but that's not coming out in 2009, and while The Agency and DC Universe Online might be getting close to finished, it's unlikely we'll see them on the shelves this year either.
This might be a year of recuperation, for both Blizzard and their competitors. Lord of the Rings Online is doing well, so their big task is just to keep the content moving, and unlike last year, Blizzard has no real impetus this year to really push their playerbase to stick with the game. As with everything, we'll have to see what happens, but I'd expect a much more subdued year this go-around for the MMO market. When the MMOs in progress now come to fruition in 2010, then things will likely get more interesting.
It's Tuesday, which means The Guild is back yet again with more wacky hijinx. Episode six is out on MSN Video now (and on Xbox Live and Zune soon), and there's some blowback from the "eruption" at the end of the last episode. Clara continues her campaign of corruption, and Zaboo does something you should never, ever do to another player.
This episode seems long for some reason, but at the same time, it's kind of a breather for what we're sure will be an interesting episode next week. Felicia twittered the other week that they're working on editing down just the last two episodes, so the hard work for them is almost over, even though we're only halfway through the season so far.
And finally, The Guild got a tribute song last week, a video and tune put together by a fan. They're pretty excited about it, but we'll let you judge whether you like it or not. We will say that it is a nice effort, and it's good to see that there are fans of The Guild out there willing to put in the time and energy to do something like that. Rock on!
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.
I'm bored of hearing about Pandas and Pandaren, so I am declaring today 'pandas aren't real' day. If you think about pandas at any point throughout the day, you must throw yourself out of a window. No, I'm not going to defenestrate myself for writing this, because I made the holiday so I make the rules. However, I will not think about pandas starting.... now! Kevin Gass asked...
Is there a way (be it a mod or not) to alert me whenever a cooldown is done. For example, as a Shaman whenever Maelstrom is ready, a bright and noticeable pop up says it's ready. I would love something to tell me whenever Ghost Wolf and Shamanistic Rage are ready. I would use them more often! Thanks in advance!