I'm not sure what I think about adding a cooldown to CoH as a solution to this, though. Initially, I hated it; it looked like Blizzard brute-forcing us to play the way they want us to, instead of making it more attractive by buffing other spells or pushing less AoE damage on us. On the other hand, there is talk of reducing AoE damage necessary. And the more I think about it, the more I think a cooldown might actaully feel good. I do sort of miss my other spells; I don't think I used Greater Heal more than a dozen times the fist raid I did after getting Circle. With a cooldown I could save Circle for when I really needed it. I do like the skill involved in selecting the right spell from our arsenal to deal with the incoming damage - it helps keep me awake during those late raids, and it brings an element of strategy that is missing when I'm just spamming CoH three out of every four GCDs.
Sharp-eyed tipster Fontane sent us this very interesting screenshot today. This is a picture of a book open on the table by the Argent Dawn emmisaries currently set up in Shattrath. What does that look like in the circled area? To me, it looks like a map of Azeroth: Northrend at the top, Kalimdor at left, Eastern Kingdoms at right, and the Maelstrom in the middle. But what's that at the bottom? Could it be a new continent?
Sure, it might be a bit early to speculate about the third expansion, given that the second isn't even out yet (five days!). But I'm going to do it anyway; we do know they've got more planned.
Has 20 slots, holds your stuff. You might laugh that we're including a bag in phat loot, but let this be a lesson to you: the bigger the bags you can get, the better your character will do. The more you can hold, the more money you can make, and the more money you have, the better items you'll have overall, which means your character will be better. The best thing you can do for a character in terms of making money is get bags as big as possible, period.
It looks like Blizzard is topping off the bag space around 20, too -- while there are a few 22-slot bags floating around in Wrath, and there are a few other 20 slot bags just like this one to get, we're not seeing the huge increase in bag space than we saw near the end of the Burning Crusade. Then again, once Wrath has a content patch or two under its belt, maybe we'll see bag slots jump up again.
Plus, if you haven't run Zul'Aman yet, you should, it's a great instance.
Today, we will continue from skill level 100 to hit 200, which will place you partway through what a level 20 is capable of training. When herbs are mentioned, clicking on any of the links will take you to a Wowhead page showing you where you can find them.
If you feel you need more background information on inscription tools, milling, or research, check out last week's column to brush up on the fundamentals. Otherwise, pass on through the break!
If there's anything you were intending to do that you haven't done yet for one reason or another... killing Kil'Jaeden, perhaps, or maybe something simple like finally picking up that Shard of Contempt that's been refusing to drop for you... you've got six days before Wrath of the Lich King effectively ends the current expansion's life cycle. The content will all be there, sure... eventually you'll see videos of groups of players blasting through Black Temple in fifteen minutes or what have you, but the zones will cease to matter in the same way that all the original raiding content did: fun for a trip back, but not relevant anymore.
As a result of this impending wave of change coming to wash away all the raids I've gotten so accustomed to, I've gone and respecced my human and tauren warriors to fury for the final week of their TBC lives. I've tanked my way through content up to Sunwell itself, now it's time to sit back and enjoy what I never really got to see before due to my intense focus on where someone's giant crotch is at the moment. Seriously, tanking Illidan is all grunts and his ten foot high crotch hanging threateningly above my head, it's quite disturbing if you think about it too much. So the past few days, I have been dual wielding two hand weapons like I always dreamed I would.
Professions have undergone a lot of changes since WoW began. Most recently, in Burning Crusade, crafting professions were typically a good way to obtain surprisingly high-quality items that you couldn't get any other way, such as Stormherald or the Frozen Shadoweave set. So far we haven't seen any evidence of directly parallel itemization in Wrath of the Lich King, and according to a couple of recent posts by Verimonde, we're not going to.
Specifically, Verimonde said that "There will not be a Stormherald type weapon 'high level crafter only,'" although there are, for instance, several BoE epic smithed weapons in Wrath. In his second post he explains the reasoning a little more: Blizzard didn't like that many people were picking professions based on what would make them the most powerful, as opposed to what they enjoyed.
As it stands, you can get the Collector's Edition for $129.79 right now. That's up $59.80 from what you could get it for a few days ago. The price hike can easily be contributed to the demand for the Collector's Edition.
Wrath of the Lich King will be released next week at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, November 13th. Amazon and other online retailers are "guaranteeing" that they'll deliver Wrath to you during the day of the 13th.
The regular edition of Wrath is going for $39.99. We have previously covered the contents of the Collector's Edition. Edit: You can also order the Collector's Edition online at Walmart at the price of $69.82, however your mileage may vary.
Newegg has the game available for the low price of $36.99 with free shipping, which is a couple bucks cheaper than Amazon. (thanks, Lîlîth of Crushridge!)
Reader Tyler G tell us that Gametraders, a chain in Australia, will be selling the game with a 60 day timecard and poster for AU$79.95. Usually the game is AU$60 and the timecard is AU$40, so it's a deal.
Commenter Rey tells us that Canada's Futureshop is offering 40% off if you trade-in two games. We don't see that on their site (there is a $100 costume contest though and a free hat!), but we'll take his word for it. A free hat!
Our weekly podcast (we're working on a new graphic for the new theme, don't worry) goes live again as usual tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern over on Ustream, and this week we are thrilled to welcome one of our favorite bloggers: Phaelia of Resto4Life. Listeners have requested some Resto talk, so we invited everyone's favorite tree Druid to come and let us know what things are like from the healer's perspective. And speaking of healers, we also invited a Priest and a Paladin along: Matt "Matticus" Low from World of Matticus (and our own Spritual Guidance column) will be on as a man of the cloth, and our producer Elizabeth Harper will be aboard as a woman of the plate. Looks like I'll have to rep Resto Shammy so we can get all the healers in the mix.
Additionally, we'll be talking about patch 3.0.3, and all the chaos in the runup to the expansion, including where we're going to get our copies, and what we're going to do right after install. And we'll take a look back at the beta, and see if there's anything else we'd like to say about it one last time before we step into the same place on the live realms. If you've got questions or comments for the show, feel free to drop us an email at theshow at wowinsider dot com, and you might even hear it on the air.
And of course you're welcome to join us during the recording for the live chat, our in-show polls, or a (hopefully not shortened this week) aftershow session with the guests. We'll be live at 3:30pm Eastern (time zone calc) on the Ustream page, or you can just join us right back here -- there's an embedded stream right after the break. See you then!
Have you heard anything about ghosts being able to go through mountains in WotLK, so they can reach their destinations faster? My friend told me that is what is going to happen, and I hope that it will go live!
Nope, that's not the case, sorry. However, in some zones (Icecrown, Storm Peaks) you get to ride a ghostly gryphon when you're dead, so you can fly to your corpse. Both of those zones have a huge emphasis on mountainside base camps and tall cliffs and places you can only get by flying, so the gryphon is very nice. No running through mountains though.
Personally, I think we've already seen proof of just how easy the endgame is now, but I've never done the Kael fight, so maybe this is even more of a feat. Dissonance on Alleria finished off Kael'thas Sunstrider (the 25-man version, not the 5-man fight in Magisters' Terrace) with just twelve people. Looks like kiting was a big technique, but otherwise, just seems like they were able to overpower everything else in the fight. They actually tried it with 10, they say (they dropped Al'ar, Void Reaver, and Solarian with 10 the week before), but the MCs in Phase 4 were a bit much, so they pulled in two more.
This is a Sunwell guild, so they've got pretty much the best gear you can walk around with in the game, and as we've said here before, these instances really got nerfed twice: once when Blizzard nerfed the actual bosses' HP and damage, and a second time when Blizz gave us all the 51-point talents before the expansion.
But it's definitely an achievement, toppling a 25-man boss with less than half the required group. Oh, how the mighty have fallen, sure, but don't fret, raiders seeking a real challenge -- we're sure Blizzard will make up the difficulty when we all step into the new endgame in Northrend.
To enter, leave a comment on this post before Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 6pm ET. One winner will be chosen randomly and will receive a World of Warcraft 60-day pre-paid game card (valued at $30). You must be at least 18 to enter and a legal resident of the United States or non-Quebec resident of Canada. You can only enter once. Click here for complete Official Rules.
This will be the last giveaway for today, but we have plenty more coming between now and the Wrath launch so be sure to check back at WoW Insider often!
You have good nights, bad nights, and then you have dang weird nights. In An Unusual Night, FireboltPro documents a dang weird night for his gnomish protagonist. He wakes up, the mood is dark and gloomy. And then, he begins suffering a rapid succession of Halloween cliches, most seemingly bent on squishing the little fella. This was an entry into the Halloween contest at WarcraftMovies.com.
Some of the encounters worked for me, others didn't. The giant monster made me laugh, though I'm not sure how that particular critter has become the token Halloween comedic appearance. As a commenter on the Myndflame site mentions, the movie was a little dark (probably due to compression), and that took away from some of the details that help get the short's tension across.
The ending was slightly predictable, entirely due to an ironic piece of dialogue. Still, if you're a gnome-hater, you'll find that ending satisfying. Overall, I enjoyed "An Unusual Night", and look forward to more from FireboltPro.
Zombies taking over Blizzard's offices now? Yesterday, as we uploaded our redesign, we joked that Zombies had attacked our site, but now it appears that the main World of Warcraft page is completely and totally down. We got a tip earlier today that part of the site had gone down, but now it appears the whole thing is out.
How do our WoW characters relax? Whenever we're on, we keep them running and fighting, pausing occcasionally to shop or eat. Then they stand around until the next time we log in. Do they never nap? Read a book? Watch some arena fights while eating Thrall's Hot-Poppin' Hot Pockets? Averon of <I R LEET> (...) on Auchindoun has found a way to give his character some much needed down time -- by soaking up the sunlight on an impromptu tanning bed in Maraudon. Either that or the flower is a cousin of Frostmourne and is sucking out his soul. I sort of prefer the latter.
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.
The big announcement has been made, and it's about what one might have expected. Season 5 for the Arena will begin on December 16th, when level 80 characters will begin rated play to compete for gear and end-of-season rewards.
This announcement came during a reminder that the "Limbo Season" will end this Tuesday. That means you're not going to get Arena points for any rated matches you're playing this week. There will be no rated Arenas again until December 16th, which is kind of a shame when you consider the two new Arenas in place.
A side effect of this announcement, of course, is that we now know for certain when Blizzard expects most of their players to reach level 80. Since you have to be 80 to get into the rated matches, you can guess the developers were waiting for a significant portion of the playerbase to be ready before starting the season. No doubt, high end Arena fighters will already have been storming the battlegrounds and collecting honor before the season starts.
WIth the gear changes and mechanics changes, it's going to be exciting to see the first season of Wrath. I'm definitely excited to see what new dynamic Death Knights bring. It's certainly going to be a different show. Good luck!
Forum post of the day: They know their lore - Fri, 07 Nov 2008 09:00:00 EST The Warcraft storyline has come a long way since Orcs and Humans. Bobbyjeh of Aman'Thul asked how Blizzard maintains their "seemingly endless lore and story arc. Nethaera responded that the company has a Historian on staff as well as an expanding department dedicated to lore. They cover all three of the major Blizzard universes. They help to keep continuity in the game and keeps things interesting for our resident Lore Nerd.
While I was doing the quest chain for my Swift Flight Form, I wondered to myself. What does someone who's been asleep for so long know about Outland? I've often wondered how it is that new Draenei characters all crashed "one month ago." As some pointed out, there has been some discontinuity in the Warcraft Universe. But Blizzard does a pretty good job of keeping their story straight. No stranger than C3PO saying, "Thank the maker," when technically, Darth Vader is the maker. We accept these plot holes and move on.
Pre-Order for in-store pickup: You can pre-order your copy and then pick it up when it is available. This works great if you are going to a Midnight Launch or you just want to make sure it is available when you are able to get to the store.
The Countdown to Wrath Giveaways continue. Today we are giving away not just any Authenticator, but the BlizzCon 2008 Special Edition Authenticator. And we have four to hand out to the winners.
To enter, leave a commenton this post before Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 12pm ET (noon). Four winners will be chosen randomly and each will receive a BlizzCon 2008 Special Edition Authenticator (valued at $6.50). You must be at least 18 to enter and a legal resident of the United States or non-Quebec resident of Canada. You can only enter once. Click here for complete Official Rules.
More giveaways are coming every day. Prizes include Upper Deck loot cards, more BlizzCon Polar Bear mounts, more Wrath Collector's edition boxes and a complete BlizzCon swag bag.
Lyonthri posts in German that Wrath of the Lich King will be available for download next Thursday.
I'm scratching my head here too. This was brought to my attention a short time ago, and has since showed up on MMO-Champion as well. So something is definitely up. We're paying attention to the Customer Service Forums tonight in hope of getting some more clarification from Blizzard.
The full German text of Lyonthri's post, along with a Google translation, appears after the break.
Update 4:40 a.m. EST: Claudiog has clarified his earlier point that he said there should be no expectation of a digital download being available on release day, not that there would not be one. Updated 3:17 p.m. EST: Lyonthri has since updated his post informing us that he is not saying there will be a digital download available on release. He apparently misspoke.