[1.Local]: No one plays WoW because of clams - Fri, 09 Jan 2009 19:00:00 EST Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.
My city of ruins We suspect that reader Vektorix may have a bright future as a developer. Confronted with the state of Quel'danas today, he offers an idea that meets with resounding approval from other readers: "I really think that after all the work that was put in to taking and holding the Isle, killing Kael'thas and banishing Kil'jaeden, Blizzard should declare the war won and Quel'danas should become WoW's first resort. Beautiful golden sun, pleasant environment, no mobs -- it'd be the perfect sanctuary for weary adventurers. Who would hang out in Dalaran or Shattrath when there's a beach!!?"
Insider Trader: Patch 3.0.8 - Fri, 09 Jan 2009 17:30:00 EST Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.
The upcoming patch, 3.0.8, is poised to make some real changes to professions. In the majority of cases, these are positive changes that will help you level, craft, and save on money or materials.
In some cases, you may even want to consider halting the production of certain items, and focus on hoarding the materials instead. Many things are getting cheaper, and there is little point in wasting materials unnecessarily now, unless you absolutely have to.
As a special note to Blacksmiths, I recommend making your epic frost resistance gear for you or your guild before the patch! Read on to see why.
World of Warcraft listed as one of the 30 most offensive games - Fri, 09 Jan 2009 17:00:00 EST The conservative Christian investment firm, the Timothy Plan, has released a list of the 30 most offensive games on the market (Warning: link is to a PDF file). This list details the areas of sex, nudity, gay / lesbian, violence, cartoon violence, language, comic mischief, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, demonic, and game addiction as things that are against any "morally responsible" mutual fund to invest in.
In other words they don't want you to invest, like they don't, in companies that make games which deal with any of the above areas.
World of Warcraft is on the list. It has an overall score of a 9, which means it is half as offensive as Grand Theft Auto IV. According to the Timothy Plan, WoW is morally deficient in sex, violence, language, alcohol, and game addiction.
Some investors will take this advice, and that's their right to do so.
After the break we'll examine areas in which WoW is morally deficient, according to the Timothy Plan.
One of the more annoying things that has come about in Wrath of the Lich King is the ease at which you can be saved to an instance. It used to be that you were saved to a heroic or raid instance whenever you killed a boss or got loot.
Now if you more or less step in the place, you end up being saved to it.
This can cause a problem if someone in your group forgot that they already ran the instance or raid during the lockout period (a day for heroic instances, a week for all current raids). That person loads an already completed version of the instance. The place has all the trash, all the quirks, except for the bosses. You'll spend a half hour clearing to the first boss, only to discover that he's not there - he's already been killed. And oops, you're saved to the instance too.
"Epic fail," as has been yelled out on my vent when this happens.
Authentication server and official forums down [UPDATED x10] - Fri, 09 Jan 2009 16:15:00 EST As of 4 PM EST (WoW Insider's timezone), it seems that the authentication servers are down for the count. It's very likely this is related to the midday rolling restarts they were planning for many realms, but we don't know for sure at this point. Along with the login servers, the official forums are down as well. That's pretty expected, as the two generally go hand in hand.
How long will these two stay down? We don't really know, but hopefully it won't be terrible long. We're coming dangerously close to primetime, so I suspect that things might get worse before they get better if the authentication server doesn't come up within the next hour or so. Hopefully it will be solved much more quickly, though.
Keep an eye on this spot, and we'll let you know if we learn anymore. All updates will be behind the cut below.
If you're paying attention to the saga of Warriors and patch 3.0.8 on the PTR, you saw the following exciting patch notes, which I will reproduce in their entirety from here.
Bloodthirst: Charges have been decreased to 3, but the effect has been raised to 1% per charge.
Fury: Bloodsurge: Now has a chance to trigger from any hit with Heroic Strike, Bloodthirst, or Whirlwind.
Fury:Titan's Grip: The hit chance penalty has been removed.
Taunt: Range increased to 30 yards.
While these are not a lot of changes, on the whole they seem fairly positive, yes? Well, what's not in the patch notes is of some concern to DPS warriors. Namely, the incoming nerfs to Deep Wounds and Sudden Death, two warrior talents in the arms tree. The Deep Wounds nerf is aimed at balancing fury warriors since their damage should be going up with the change to Bloodsurge and Titan's Grip. Since there hasn't been an announcement of how much Deep Wounds is going to be changed, all we know is that the DPS will decrease. The Sudden Death change, however, is at least simple enough, in that when a Sudden Death execute lights up, it will only use up to 30 rage.
There's no achievement for this (as far as we know, though if Blizzard is listening, maybe we'll see it in the next patch), but it's still awesome. A guild called You Are So Dead on Kael'thas decided to run the first annual Obsidian Sanctum Death Derby, in which they tried to make it around Obsidian Sanctum on mounts without dying. As you can see, it's quite a run -- they didn't aggro the middle boss until the very last lap, and the max run around without dying was about four laps (Paladins obviously had the speed and plate bonus, though a Warrior and a Mage also ended up among the winners, who all got 100g each).
Unfortunately, the video above was made with a cheap version of FRAPS, so as atomic645 says, you get all of the starts and almost none of the spectacular deaths. But they do plan to do the death race again (and maybe this is something you can try with your guild on the next OS run), so expect more video soon.
WoW's EULA and Blizzard's OS support - Fri, 09 Jan 2009 13:00:00 EST Cory Doctorow posted on Boing Boing the other day about WoW's EULA being unreadable when installing the game on Linux. And obviously he's right -- Linux doesn't always have the font that Blizzard's installer uses, and so when you try to run it on Linux, you get gibberish, at least during installation. But there's more to this story here -- running WoW on Linux is actually unsupported by Blizzard: you can do it, and it's not against the EULA or ToS (in fact, Blizzard actually worked with the WINE guys to make sure the game ran correctly), but obviously any issues you have are an "at your own risk" kind of situation. So Doctorow's pretty much out of luck (or in luck as the case may be -- it's unlikely a EULA could be enforced on an unsupported system).
And Linux isn't the only unsupported major OS out there -- Microsoft will release the beta of Windows 7, the new version of Windows, into the wild on January 10th, and Blizzard has made it clear that they won't support that, either, at least until it gets out of beta and into a release state. Of course, Microsoft has an interest in making sure old versions of Windows software work with the new OS, but if you only have one computer and absolutely need to play WoW on it, you should stay away from Windows 7 until the bugs are ironed out.
Winter Weapons is by Selserene, the same author who created the In for a Penny pieces. The movie is apparently based on an old war story told by Selserene's grandfather. I'm not going to spoil it here, since the story is well-conveyed by the characters in the movie. There's a recap and explanation at the end to help make sense of what's going on, in case you don't entirely get it.
The movie was satisfying, like all of Selserene's work. An impatient chap, I could have gone with slightly faster pacing, as it took me a little time to figure out what was going on. I want to draw attention to the amount of emotion Selserene manages to convey via her human soldier's face. We're seeing more manipulation of the face model in machinima nowadays, and Selserene makes strong use of that. Angles, slight distortions, and careful shots really help convey the consternation of the soldier.
Thanks to Anastriana for the tip!
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Zarhym has come out and said there are no PvE realms under populated, and that's the reason why Blizzard has introduced a new PvE realm, and not a new PvP realm. He goes on to point out that while some PvE realms are not having queues, they are only a few hundred people away from having to suffer through them every evening.
And while there are PvP realms that have queues, there are "several PvP realms that are a little too under populated."
What do Santa's elves do after their Christmas duties are done for the year? Ride around on a motorcycle and pick up gnomish babes, that's what. What did you expect them to do with the naughty list? Shred it? These particular elves are also known as dualboxing tauren (?) hunters (!?!) Sys and Tem of Stormrage, photographed on their wild joyride by Chao.
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, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Update: This post is incorrect. Sorry about that. As mentioned in the comments, the actual change is one EoV for one EoH, which makes a lot more sense.
In the latest PTR build, updated tonight, the Emblem of Valor quartermaster will sell you Emblems of Valor (the 25-man raid, ilvl 213 emblems) for the price of ten Emblems of Heroism (10-man/ilvl 200). This is something we talked about way back last summer, when they introduced the idea of having multiple levels of badges; this way, 10-man raiders can eventually get the 25-man gear, it just takes a very long time. One EoV can not be traded back for ten EoHs, by the way.
I do think that exchange rate might be a bit high. The cheapest items (rings and cloaks) cost 25 EoVs, which would be 250 EoHs if you paid for it entirely that way. That's (just under) 16 weeks of full Naxxramas clears. If you've been clearing Naxxramas for 16 weeks, you're probably pretty bored of it and ready to move on to Ulduar (which will hopefully be released by then), at which point any EoH-EoV trade-up is meaningless, because you're not getting EoHs anymore.
Once upon a time, way back in vanilla WoW, it was common knowledge that rogues and hunters were the most common classes. Raids would regularly refuse to take more of them, and it was almost assumed that all hunters were noobs. Well, at least on my realm, half of that is true: hunters are still extremely popular. However, there's hardly a rogue to be found; it seems that druids (of all classes) have taken their place. My guild, for instance, has zero level 80 rogues.
Druids were once one of the least played classes, but I see them all over the place now. I also see quite a few death knights, of course, and more shamans than I would expect (given that I play Alliance). I've also never been able to swing a stick on my realm without hitting a paladin. Warlocks are probably the next rarest class I see, after rogues. I'm aware that this varies realm-to-realm, though - what's the least popular class on your realm, according to your experience?
There is now a time limit of 45 minutes for all arenas. If neither team has achieved a victory, both teams will lose 16 arena rating points.
This is posted in the general discussion forums, and we can safely assume that this change is active on live realms.
Bornakk goes on further to say that matches that go on for 45 minutes are currently showing up as a draw and not displaying a loss of arena points. However, the point loss still happens. This means that you can apparently see it when you look at your honor page and you'll notice that your rating has gone down by 16 points
We've covered some very long arena matches in the past. A 13 hour match between a Druid/Warrior and Warlock/Paladin, won by the Warlock/Paladin, and a 10 hour arena match (the classes were not reported on).
Why healing meters suck - Thu, 08 Jan 2009 21:00:00 EST Matticus also has a guest blogger on his site (I posted about Phaelia's guest blogger earlier today), and he's got a great post up too, about healing meters and why they just aren't helpful to anyone. Damage meters are well known to be disliked by many players -- while they can often show some DPSers where they fit in the general rankings, they're usually still not a great indicator of performance (and when DPS gets really involved in beating the meters, then things go bad quickly).
But healing meters are even worse. Given all of the crazy mechanics in the game (from armor and self-heals to situational abilities and AoE heals), they are very rarely (if ever) a valid interpretation of who's doing the healing and whether they're doing it right or wrong. And as guest blogger Ulkesshern says, more healing doesn't make a better healer anyway -- overhealing and spamming big heals do not mean you're a good healer, though they may get you higher on the healing meters.
There is one good word for healing meters, and that's to give the healer an ego boost after you show off the DPS meters at the end of the instance (usually they're on the bottom of DPS, and so when you switch over to healing, they're happy to be back on top again). But Ulkesshern makes a good point: for anything worth tabulating or tracking, healing meters are not to be trusted or followed.
Now this is a fun bug. Between patch 2.4.3 and patch 3.0.3 (which was the big pre-Wrath patch), the talent trees for all classes changed a lot. Among other things, this involved removing some talents. And apparently, when these talents were removed from the game, some players there were specced into them got to keep them, even though all their other talents were reset. The affected talents were as follows:
So if you think you've been critting more than you should with fist weapons, or your succubus has been Lash of Paining more than seems right, that's probably why. This bug has now been hot-fixed out, and players will no longer gain benefits from these talents.
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 Oracles have some nice stuff for hunters, the least of which is a pretty trinket, the Oracle Talisman of Ablution. But there's more to the Oralces than loot and a cool hipster named Lafoo. (Don't mention Moodle to us; he's a cad and very ungentlemanly.)
You are invited to download the full-sized version (82MB) of this movie here.
As always, a great big Thank You to the WoW Insider editors for allowing us to publish this movie both here and on our little blog at the same time!
Nobody covers raid Hunters like BRK. Looking for more Hunter goodness? Check out our non-raid Hunter column, Scattered Shots or the WoW Insider Directory of Hunter Guides.