There is an aerial gondola, a huge sea battle, and apparently an archeological expedition where you'll be able to fly planes
All five Dragonflights appear in Dragonblight, a huge graveyard for dragons
There's "a sister area to Un'goro," which means tropical rainforests. There are also lots of different areas within larger zones.
Worgen and the sons of Arugal are back, and the Scarlet Crusade is now called the Scarlet Onslaught. And one quest is based on a mission from Warcraft III.
Death Knight can turn dead teammates into ghouls -- "plenty of fun in the Arenas"
There are "vehicle" quests, where players drive a vehicle (planes, trucks, or even dragons) around to accomplish tasks
Unfortunately, the Gamespy folks aren't raiders, so there's not much information about the new instances and raids in Northrend. But just the mentions of some of this stuff -- the different vehicle quests (maybe Grand Theft Azeroth is realer than we thought) -- is enough to get us excited.
Breaking: Gamespy to release new Wrath info at 12:01 a.m. [UPDATED] - Fri, 09 May 2008 02:11:00 EST Many thanks to Tisen for tipping off the late night WoW Insider crew that Gamespy will be releasing new Wrath of the Lich King info in about an hour from now - at 12:01 a.m. PST. We'll get it reported to you as soon as we see it. Stay tuned for updates. Their entire announcement reads: You're going to want to stay tuned until the midnight here on GameSpy.com. At 12:01AM PST we'll be flooding the site with all-new World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King materials. New movies, media, a preview, a roundtable, two interviews and a look at the Death Knight. Enough for ya?
I have to admit, this is a little strange for it to be posted this late... but I've seen stranger things. More info as it comes in. Update 12:05 a.m. PDT: No info yet. Though their website still says it's "Thursday." We're expecting something soon.
Update 12:07 a.m. PDT: Bornakk is up late and posted " They aren't the only ones..." in response to WotLK info being released tonight. More to come apparently. Update 12:09 a.m. PDT: News is incoming, possibly from multiple sources, look for more posts soon.
Until now -- EA (yes, that EA) has ponied up a whopping $30 million to buy Rupture and all of its potential up. A move to put some social networking into play on their upcoming Warhammer Online title? Taking competition away from an upcoming official site covering all their games? Whatever EA is planning to do with Rupture, they're paying through the nose for it -- this makes the $1 million Wowhead buyout look like chump change.
Then again, if Rupture turns out to be the "Facebook for gamer"s that they hope to be, $30 million will look like a bargain. Either way, EA just put their money where their mouth is in the social networking MMO game.
You hear it pretty much all the time if you've ever slightly dipped into the world of Hunters. If you want to play in the big leagues, conventional wisdom says you're pretty much stuck with a select handful of pet types (also known as pet families): Ravagers, Cats, and Raptors for PvE, Scorpids for PvP.
But do you know why those pet families are so desired? What it really comes down to is Hunter roles and abilities.
Last Sunday, It came from the Blog gathered to run the Orgrimmar Children's Week quests together. Some weren't level 10 yet, but ran with us anyway. Because many of us didn't have the flightpaths (and because it was more fun) we ran together from objective to objective.
Our Orphans were very well behaved, even after we gave them ice cream. I hope they enjoyed their group field trip as much as I did.
Don't forget to join us this Sunday for the Revenge of the Orc-Moms. We'll be meeting at 6pm Eastern/Blog Time (4pm Server time, 3pm Pacific). Bring your female Orc with some form of "mother" in the name and your maternal sense of humor. I hope to see you there!
As the first guild to have killed M'uru, SK-Gaming has now released their video of the fight. You can see it above (if it's working; there seem to be some server issues on their end), or go to their site to download it in full-res glory. There are two different points of view: a BM hunter, and an enhancement shaman. I haven't been able to watch it yet because it's been down, but I'm sure it's an exciting fight.
The SK guild leaders also gave an interview a couple of days ago on their site. Here are some things they said that I find interesting:
SK is very impressed with the tuning on the fight, and think Kil'jaeden, the next fight, "might turn out to be the best encounter ever made."
Everyone gets to take an active role in the fight; for instance, there are adds that can only be killed by an offensive dispell, and melee gets to use stuns, mages get to polymorph, etc.
The viability of feral druids has been increased; they think Resto shaman is the "strongest overall class."
Most of the loot is pretty good, although they would have preferred a token system.
And of course they're looking forward to Kil'jaeden; who wouldn't be in that situation?
Ok, I'll be honest. I'm pretty fine with how we handle money now. Sure, back in Everquest, I needed to go deposit my money in my bank, because due to the encumbrance system, if I had kept all my platinum coins on me, I would have been glued to the spot, unable to walk. But in WoW, there's no encumbrance, and our coins take up no inventory space.
Still, I've seen a lot of people ask to be able to deposit money in the bank, so, being an equal time type of guy, I thought I'd sit back and try to figure out what the advantages would be.
LFG Armory uses Armory to match up characters and guilds - Thu, 08 May 2008 17:00:00 EST LFG Armory is a new site that's aiming to beat the official Armory at its own game. Blizzard's site, as complete as it is, is still occasionally buggy and slow, and LFG Armory is looking to give players an alternative. And it works fairly well -- while the FAQ claims that data may be a little behind (due to caching of Blizzard's information), both the guild and player profile pages look pretty good and load quickly (and if the site can stay up after we link to them here, that'll be a real sign that it's a stable server).
But the real feature that makes LFG Armory something more than Blizzard's official site is that it has a guild and arena team matching system built in. Once you register your name and your characters, you can do a search for guilds and arena teams and try to find one that matches what you want -- percentage of level 70s, class makeup, and number of members. On the guild side, you can set your guild as looking, and then when you hit a match, LFG will match you up.
It's an interesting system, but like all social networks, it all depends on participation -- when I looked for a guild for my Hunter on Cenarius (who could use a guild, by the way), nothing came up, because likely no one on the server was looking (for a Hunter at least). But as an alternative to the Armory, LFG is looking pretty good. If they can get people to the site and stay up, they might give Blizzard's official site a run for its money.
Blizzard has posted that the commercial for the Toyota truck that used WoW as a setting has won a People's Choice Webby award for online commercial. It was beaten out for the actual award by those Mac vs. PC online ads that spanned across some of the most popular websites online, but in the voting, the people decided that "I am the lawgivaaa!" was a little more exciting and creative. And as big a fan as I am of John Hodgman (and I am a big fan), I have to agree.
So rack up another award for using Blizzard's game in television media. Personally, I'm waiting until the networks figure out that they need to set a sitcom in Azeroth -- can't wait to see "The Thunderhorns," coming to NBC this fall.
New Nvidia beta drivers, and a fix for WoW in SLI mode - Thu, 08 May 2008 15:30:00 EST I have to admit, sometimes I dread it when new video card drivers come out. It always seems like something about them goes wrong, and one of my favorite games refuses to work well with them, and I end up having to roll back to some old drivers just to play what I want to play again. That said, sometimes they also work well, and your graphics run smoother, and life is good. As Alex said to me earlier, Azeroth is a whole lot prettier when it's at 90 fps instead of 10 fps.
But seriously, to the point. Here's a heads up to all our Nvidia card users who like living on the edge as far as upgrading goes. Nvidia has just released new beta drivers for their graphics cards. We repeat: these are beta drivers, so only install if you know what you're doing.
With Wrath of the Lich King and the return of the Scourge to the spotlight, an old friend comes back along with them. The Nerubians! We haven't seen much of them in the World of Warcraft yet beyond being undead lackies, they have a long, quite interesting backstory. We saw a little more in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, but their story goes even deeper. In the big picture of Warcraft, their ancestors predate all but the Trolls, and maybe even them.
In the beginning there were the Silithid. Insectoid horrors that crawled forth from the Well of Eternity just happened to grab the interest of the Old Gods. The most notable of them so far being C'Thun. C'Thun crafted avatars of war from the Silithid, twisting them into humanoid soldiers. These avatars became known as the Aqir. The Aqir are best described as 'evil' though that is always in the eye of the beholder.
The Aqir were one of three super powers in the world at the time, roughly 16,000 years prior to the Orcish invasion of Azeroth. The other two came in the form of the Troll Empires of the Gurubashi and the Amani. The three clashed repeatedly, and the Trolls only managed survival by forging a loose alliance between their empires. The Aqir civilization of Azj'Aqir held up quite well, their war lasting thousands of years, and no ultimate outcome ever came to fruition.
Word is going around that "unfair revenue distribution" is the actual charge in the arrest, but it sounds like they just had a financial disagreement, so we really have no idea what they'd be charged with. Unfortunately, China isn't exactly forthcoming with how its legal system actually works, so who knows what's really happening here.
Their operation also sounds interesting as well -- they had been going for about seven months, and had a crew of 20 PCs and 20 employees. There's little chance that an arrest like this will make much of an actual difference in the game (and there's no way an arrest in China will set a precedent in the US), but it is an interesting case that we'll follow if we can.
Totem Talk: The Arsenal - Thu, 08 May 2008 14:00:00 EST Totem Talk is the column for Shamans. Matthew Rossi has been rediscovering his restoration roots this week, so of course he's decided to write a column all about the offensive aspects of the shaman class. There's something seriously wrong with that boy.
Damage dealing. The next few columns will discuss just how shamans go about putting the hurt on people: this series (The Arsenal) is about totems, shocks and the two lightning bolt spells, the offensive arsenal of the shaman class. As you first start out playing a shaman, you quickly learn that there are a variety of ways to output damage as a shaman: offensive totems, instant-cast but short range shocks, and longer rage lightning bolt and chain lightning spells with a casting time. As time passes and you settle into either a melee role using weapons or a caster role (meaning that you don't want to be anywhere near the things you're killing) you'll change the way you use these abilities. There are effectively two 'play styles' for the shaman, which we'll call 'elemental' and 'enhancement' for the specs that make the optimum use of these styles: a restoration shaman can act like an elemental or an enhancement shaman as he or she chooses, but even in equivalent gear she'll of course be less effective at dealing damage than they are, since the restoration spec is optimized for healing.
This week we'll be primarily talking about totems in a direct offensive role.
Some totems, of the fire variety, deal direct damage, either through a directed fireball effect (Searing Totem) an area effect burst (Fire Nova Totem) or a continuing AoE pulse (Magma Totem). There are other totems that an enhancement or elemental playstyle benefits from dropping during combat (we all know about Windfury, Grace of Air, Wrath of Air, and Totem of Wrath by now I'd assume) but these are not direct damage totems and so this paragraph is the last time I'll be mentioning them. It's interesting to note that Totem of Wrath is a fire totem, and so you can't drop any of the direct damage totems if you use it, but by the time an elemental shaman has Totem of Wrath he or she probably prefers it for most situations anyway. A starting shaman will probably be dropping Searing Totem as much as possible, mana permitting, as it's one of the first offensive totems you'll get (level 10 vs Fire Nova at level 12 and Magma Totem at level 26).
Well Fed Buff serves up tasty dishes to boost your HP, stats and appetite - with that special WoW twist, of course.
The cool thing about food and drink in the World of Warcraft are all the little real-world and lore references you'll find tucked into the items: Cuergo's Gold and Cuergo's Gold with Worm (from one of the funnest puzzle quests in the game) never fail to bring a smile to my face when I encounter them in game. So it amazed me a bit when I realized I'd never noticed Moonbrook Riot Taffy, because I'm a huge fan of yummy noshes that kids can help make at home.
Rather than present you with a taffy recipe here, I'd like to point you to what I think is the coolest-of-the-cool taffy recipes at a coolest-of-the-cool web site (are you catching how cool I think this stuff is?): The Accidental Scientist Science of Cooking'sSaltwater Taffy recipe. If you've never visited the Accidental Scientist, you're in for a treat. They offer recipes, activities and webcasts that point out the science behind cooking. This taffy recipe, for example, poses questions (and answers) about what the corn starch does, what the glycerin does and what the pulling part of taffy-making is all about - topped off with a list of teasers designed to get you trying variations (and figuring out what makes them work or not work).
Back in Azeroth, you can buy Moonbrook Riot Taffy from Alowicious Czervik in Orgrimmar, Emmithue Smails in Stormwind City or seasonally from the Hallow's End candy vendors in Ironforge or Orgrimmar. Or make your own taffy at home -- it's a workout, science class and delicious treat all in one. You'll never look at Moonbrook Riot Taffy the same!
Submit your ownWarcraft-themed noshes for Well Fed Buff (subject line: Well Fed Buff) - we're always looking for a tasty stat boost!
The site's got a decidedly PC bent, which we're big fans of, obviously, and there's a news page which will cover PC and game file news from 1 to 100% downloaded. And with a feature called "My Tracker," you can sign in and every time there's a new file for a game you want (say, a certain 10 million player fantasy MMO that you just can't get enough of), they'll tell you right away.
Looks cool to us. The site is still in beta, as we said, so stay tuned for more updates and features all the time. And what's that you say? You want a place where you can get up-to-date, virus-free WoW addons, a place that never goes down and charges no fees and requires no registration to download from? Patience, my friends. In time, good things will come.
Over the next couple of days, we're going to dig deep into the archives of WoW machinima, thanks to our dear readers. I never thought I'd end up featuring anything with Kelly Clarkson music in the background, but this movie is in the same vein as Here Without You. Those that were around for that tearjerker may not be as impressed with Because of You, but it's still powerful nonetheless.
Where the former involved a man taking revenge for his woman, the latter has it the opposite way. Dating back to October 2006, this little story is about a lady that will go to the depths of hell to avenge her fallen man. This seems to be a popular format for machinima, as it's been repeated in almost every serious plotline movie out there in the last few years. However, if you're a big sap and enjoyed the movie like I did, check out the higher quality version.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Greetings fellow travelers of time and space! Welcome to the first official posting of Barrens Chat, a soon to be weekly implement of random craziness. Although I know I'm not the first comic strip, and likely I wont be the last to grace these glorious virtual pages, I invite you to take a romp with me, Megan, as I drag forth those silly comments people make that they hope no one noticed, and glorify them with fancy colors, and ever-changing art.
I will point out that although all of this is will all be incredibly funny to everyone who reads it, including me; it may end up being a "you had to be there" moment. In that case, come back next week! I'm sure it'll be funnier then. No really, it will.
Supremus has acquired a new target! Unlike our last victim of the Black Temple, Spellweave, of Kul Tiras-EU, is not standing around waiting to get smushed. But how fast can those little gnome legs take her from that giant abyssal? Especially wearing a pink tabard? That clashes ridiculously with the headpiece and shoulders? The effect is that of a stick of cotton candy dipped in rat skulls.
You have only two hours left to participate in AA's latest user submission challenge: Grand Theft Azeroth! Send us pics of you (or your friends, we're not picky) committing your most nefarious deeds in the style of the GTA series. Mount-jackings, thefts, murders, muggings, cruelty to animals and critters, picking up blood elf ladies of the night, punting gnomes -- let your wicked side out. Send your screenshots to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon EST on TODAY, Thursday, May 8, and please use the phrase "GTA" somewhere in your e-mail title.
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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets or gnomes in pink pigtails.
Being a mom of two boys, this is definitely a good recipe to have in my bag of tricks. Slime is ultimate fun, and the ingredients are super cheap. The secret to this ooze is clear glue and a small amount of Borax solution. Here is what you will need:
1/2 cup of clear Elmer's glue
1 cup of water
Borax Solution (1/4 cup of water + 1/4 teaspoon of Borax)
Breakfast Topic: Cooling off - Thu, 08 May 2008 08:00:00 EST I like starmixx's idea from WoW LJ: whenever she's driven nuts by something in game, she just steps away and does some baking. To tell the truth, I've gotten pretty good at avoiding my ingame annoyances -- I don't really PuG all that much anymore, and I mostly avoid group quests (or just stay patient enough until someone I know can help me finish them). But sooner or later, we're all going to hit our heads up against something that happens in game, and then it's a good time to walk away and... do what?
I personally find that going for a walk helps me clear my head -- nothing reminds me that "this is just a game" more than actually going out in the real world for a while. But I like that starmixx's plan is so productive -- you get de-stressed and get to have cupcakes? That's pretty win.
What do you do when the game drives you nuts? Some of the folks in the LJ thread don't even leave the game -- they log an alt or just go fishing for a while. What's your plan when something in Azeroth makes you crazy?