As much as we enjoyed watching what is arguably the most phenomenally fun bug ever, it should come as no surprise to anyone that exploiting it is a very bad thing. In particular, GMs have been alerted to the bug and are on a keen watch for players who attempt to do it. After Elizabeth Harper's experimentation -- all done in the name of journalistic investigation, we promise -- resident killer RogueChase Christian attempted it, too. He was very swiftly messaged by a Game Master informing him that he would be banned if he ever did it again.
The boys over at DeathKnight.info confirm the same thing, not only because it is under close watch by GMs, but because it has serious repercussions for players who are 'pulled' into the wormhole. Players with the temerity to try it out have reported getting stuck in limbo and had to submit tickets to get their characters unstuck. No doubt a deluge of tickets describing suspiciously similar circumstances was more than enough to raise alarms over at Blizzard. So while we enjoyed showing that video of the Death Grip bug, we hope you didn't follow such bad examples. I mean, you didn't, right? Of course not. Good boys and girls.
The Battleground weekend is just about over, but here's a little guide to help players get Master of Strand of the Ancients, one of the requirements for the Battlemaster meta-Achievement. Because it's a new Battleground with no faction associated with it, obtaining this Achievement is relatively easier than the others. Games are guaranteed to end within twenty minutes or less, and players won't need to concern themselves with any reputation gains. Here's what players need to do:
Strand of the Ancients Veteran Win 100 games. As with all the Battleground veteran Achievements, this is just a matter of time and takes little effort, but a lot of perseverance. Difficulty: Moderate Steady Hands Disarm 5 Massive Seaforium Charges in a single battle. This necessitates that enemy players plant the explosives, which they don't always do. Some offense rely purely on the power of siege vehicles to break down gates. It is a two second channel to dismantle one, and is easily broken by any attack except periodic damage. Players must have a keen eye for the charges, which can be easily obfuscated by smoke and siege vehicle debris. Players must also disarm the charge themselves, so having to compete with teammates makes the Achievement much more difficult. Done on defense. Difficulty: Hard
Man arrested for assaulting girl he met in World of Warcraft - Mon, 09 Feb 2009 17:00:00 EST Here's an unfortunate World of Warcraft mention in the news: a man has been arrested and charged with all sorts of terrible things for having a relationship with a 14-year-old girl that he originally met in Azeroth. Daniel Joseph Czelusniak is 23 and from North Royalton, Ohio, and is being held by Pennsylvania State Police after having a relationship with the girl last year, meeting at a hotel and her house. He originally met her four years ago (when she was 10 but apparently claimed she was 14) while they were both playing World of Warcraft.
Of course, this is hardly the game's fault: parents of young children need to closely supervise their activity online while they're doing anything, be it browsing the Internet or fighting dragons in Northrend. WoW itself is rated T by the ESRB, which means no children under the age of 13 should really be playing it without parental supervision anyway, and the added online component of the game should be even more of a red flag for anyone overseeing younger children. This is a great game (and you couldn't find a nicer community of people who play it), but there are the same dangers in this environment as anywhere else your child might go online.
The plot is that a group of guild mates get together and work to get their friend back in the game. They're having a real life WoW Intervention. They go through some comedic moves and the protagonist is eventually presented with the choice between a romantic rendezvous with his girlfriend and WoW, well... he decided to go with something. /facepalm.
You'll have to watch it for yourself. It's moderately safe for work, although don't watch it in a meeting.
If lovin' chip widgets is wrong, then I don't wanna be right.
This is your brain on PvP - Mon, 09 Feb 2009 15:00:00 EST Ars Technica has news of a new study that isn't directly World of Warcraft-related, but that does have some pretty obvious applications in Azeroth. By studying the way we play when we believe we're competing against a human and a computer opponent (PvP vs. PvE, in WoW terms), scientists have determined that different parts of the brain are more active when we think we're playing against a human opponent. They call this extra activity "mind-reading," but it's not that supernatural: when we think we're playing a human, we try to put ourselves in their place, and think what they're thinking.
It gets deeper: they even throw gender into the mix, and discovered that male brains seem to be working harder to do this kind of "mind-reading" of the other side. Their conclusion says that that's because women are naturally more empathetic, and thus don't have to work as hard to figure out what another person is thinking. That seems a little general -- it could also mean that the males care more about competition, and thus are working harder to "mind-read," or it could even just be a wrinkle of the way this data was gathered. More research is probably needed on that one -- if women are so great at figuring out their opponents, why aren't we seeing all-female teams winning Arena tournaments?
It would be interesting to know, too, whether there's increased activity in other areas, say pattern recognition or cause-effect centers of the brain, when we're playing against opponents that we know are computers. But this does tell us that there are definitely different skillsets at work when playing PvP or PvE, and why some people might very clearly enjoy one over the other.
Blizzplanet did a terrific job of covering all of the Blizzard action at the New York Comic Convention last week (none of us, unfortunately, were able to go). The best place to start is probably Medievaldragon's big roundup -- he was able to meet both Mickey Neilson as well as the man himself, Chris Metzen, and talk to them about the lore of Blizzard's various universes. He also learned more about that upcoming Arthas book, and visited the DC folks to see what's new on their front: namely an upcoming King Wrynn figure, as well as a new Night Elf Hunter and even a Ghoul figure.
And there's a nice little hint at what's next in Warcraft: Malfurion Stormrage is the next big focus of the lore books, so that might tell you a little bit about what might happen in the game's next expansion. Big thanks to Medievaldragon for covering the NYCC -- even though we weren't able to go, it was nice to have him on site there for the whole community.
Matthew Rossi'striumphant tale about his wife's taming of the elusive Loque'nahak, otherwise known as the Death Star pet, reminded me of a similar scenario that happened with a guildie. This time, it was nowhere near as peaceful, nowhere near as innocent, but every bit as triumphant. See, my guildie, a Shadow Priest, had been looking for the Time-Lost Proto Drake in the Storm Peaks for almost a month. Every day, he'd log on and spend a few hours circling the rare mob's known path hoping to get the Reins of the Time-Lost Proto Drake. As the mob is guaranteed to drop the mount, he wasn't the only one on the hunt.
One day, though, he got lucky and finally spotted the fantastic creature... except that it was already tagged by a Gnome Death Knight. Instinctively, he did what any red-blooded member of the Horde would do. He Mind Controlled the Gnome, used him to tank the drake, and when the drake was low on life, tossed the Death Knight off the edge of a cliff. One Shadow Word: Death and a hearthstone later, the priest was in Krasus' Landing sitting atop his pretty green drake.
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. Adam Holisky will be your host today.
Mounts. Everyone is talking about them. Everyone has one. Everyone wants more. More! Moar!
Me? I prefer to mount up and press the / key, walking around Azeroth at the slowest speed I can stand. The tells I get from people as I walk through Elwynn Forest on a lazy Sunday afternoon are priceless. "Zomg noob u knw u can g0 fastor? rit3?"
Kill me now god... Kill me now...
"Has there been any word on when mount-vehicles that prevent riders from taking falling damage will behave like regular mounts?"
In the WoW universe, a guild can change practically overnight. Someone quits or a new person joins, and the guild is never the same again. Logging off for a while can feel like traveling through time when you finally return. You take a modest break, do some important real-life stuff, and then you come back to an entirely different landscape. This week, one reader wants to know how to readjust to a guild that's nothing like the one he logged out of just a short time ago.
I am a fairly casual player [. . .]. As such, I am a part of a fairly casual guild without strict raiding rules that was founded by a group of friends wanting to do end game content together during the BC days. [. . . M]y two friends eventually quit WoW altogether for different reasons, and I was left as a senior member to a pretty awesome and friendly guild! I don't mind saying that i was a sort of "character" in the guild, and got along with everyone and entertained with my antics and helped with my knowledge and well-geared toon. Especially through WotLK and its patches I proved myself to be very reliable as an officer and a functional part of our core raiding group (I was about 3rd or 4th highest DPS in guild for awhile).
Well, I had to take a trip to visit an old friend of mine for awhile, and informed my guildies I'd be gone for a week or so. Well . . . That week turned into nearly a month, as when I returned home my computer decided to explode and fry its motherboard. So i shipped the computer off, hoping to get it back soon so i could continue to play with my WoW buddies and get the guild further along!
We're getting this week off to a great start with something unusual. William Wallace created The Paladin's Way of William. He has some language barriers, being originally from the Chinese servers. However, the simple and beautiful images he's created easily transcend language, and I think has something to appeal to everyone.
The first half of the movie is hand illustrated, and that's the part that really knocked my socks off. The simple and elegant drawings, painting, and purity of movement does a great job of telling a hopeful and melancholy tale. At it's heart, the story of a cheese vendor who dreams of being a Paladin. I'm not sure I would have gotten that without being told, but the story of common-man-dreaming-to-be-more is clear and obvious.
The last half of the movie involves in-game graphics. I can understand why that happens, and how it portrays important pieces of the story. (Not to mention, qualifies the "Paladin's Way" as being machinima.) Still, the manual art was so beautiful, I found the transition a little jarring.
Overall, this was a great piece, and a wonderful way to start the week.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
WoW Insider Show Episode 76: All the bests - Mon, 09 Feb 2009 11:30:00 EST We had a really fun (and longer than usual) time on the WoW Insider Show this past week -- Turpster and Michael Sacco joined me to talk about all of the patch 3.1 class changes, from Druids to Death Knights, and we answered lots and lots of reader email, including what to do if your guild is too small to raid, whether to go PvP or PvE, and the lore and quests of the current endgame (or lack thereof, as the case may be).
Lots of great chat in there about classes in general -- we were pretty one-topic-minded this week but we basically cover a state-of-the-game of class balance, and talk about what's up and what's down for each class in 3.1. And last but not least, we updated everyone on our big Facebook quest -- we've got over 3600 fans so far, and if we hit 4000, Turpster will premiere a new song on our show. And we had the winner of our Authenticator contest send us pictures of what Turpster sent to him -- find the full versions after the break below (and feel free to color/remix them as you see fit).
Was a lot of fun -- hopefully you'll enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it. We'll see you next week.
Get the podcast: [iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes. [Ustream] Listen to the unedited recording in Ustream. [RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator. [MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
World of Warcraft allows all of us an unprecedented ability to modify our user interface to meet our needs. Each week WoW Insider will bring you a fresh and detailed look at reader submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send it, along with your character name and server, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Reader UI of the Week feature has been on ice for a while now, but is back by popular demand. To make up for lost time, today we're going to feature three, count 'em, three different UIs followers of our Twitter feed sent in. Though there's plenty we might say about each UI, we're just going to toss out the raw data for your consideration. Is there more to say? Let us know in the comments! We'll get started with the above from Byron, who tells us, "This is a modified and customized version of DaedhirUI, which you featured a couple months ago. The main addons I use are Dominos, Pitbull, and Healbot." He's using Ampere, Atlas, AtlasLoot, Buffalo, Chatter, Class Timer, CowTip 3.0, Deadly Boss Mods, Decursive, Dominos, eePanels2, EnhTooltip, Fubar 3.5, Good Damage Font 2.0, Healbot, Informant, Omen3, OmniCC, Pitbull 3.0, Portfolio, Postal, Quartz, Rating Buster, Red Range, Scrolling Combat Text, Sexy Map, and Stubby.
Two more UIs -- and your comments -- are still to come, so read on!
In the fast and furious world of Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard delivers a new patch hot on the heels of the less-than-stellar Patch 3.0.8. According to MMO Champion, Patch 3.0.9 will be going live this week, likely after Tuesday's weekly maintenance. It's a relatively minor patch but will have some significant changes for some classes and encounters. Notable changes include:
Paladin seals now last 30 minutes and are no longer dispellable
The Divine Plea nerf is pushing through, with the heal penalty raised to 50% but no longer dispellable
Today's submitter, Fangorus of <Second Life> on Durotan, has written his own explanation for this screenshot. Trust me, it's worth reading.
"It's common knowledge that teaching ghouls, or home ghouling, is part of a Death Knight's daily routine. Teach a ghoul, you say? They are dumber than a bag of hammers, how difficult can it be? You are about to find out. Here I am about to teach my sidekick some of the finer points of etiquette in polite company. I.E. - Don't push visitors off of the edge of Dalaran. Unless you want him to."
Another day with a load of Northrend questions! I like those sorts of questions, because they're relevant right now, but don't be afraid to ask about older stuff, too! We're going to jump right in today, though. gearwhizz asked...
The Scarlets have a new class of Raven Priests who carry Terrok's Shadowstaff, cast shadowy magic and are accompanied by flocks of birds; is there any other connections between them and the Skettis, is it a red herring or should I wait and see?
Breakfast Topic: Bugging out - Mon, 09 Feb 2009 08:00:00 EST There are bad bugs, and there are good bugs. Bugs like Wintergrasp crashing the continent every time someone wins? That's bad. Bugs like Death Grip giving players a psychedelic free trip around the world? That's good. Well, as good as bugs go, anyway. I know, Blizzard's developers would probably freak out at the mention of 'bugs' and 'good' in the same sentence, but there are just some fun ones that have popped up over the years.
At WoW Insider, we try to make it a point not to report on exploitable bugs that can break the game or give players an unfair advantage over other players. But I have to confess that there are just some bugs that are too fun to ignore. There was once this bug in Shattrath involving potions and vanity pets that probably put an unnecessary strain on the server -- but I thought it was cool that there was at least one way to have all your pets out at once.
In your time playing the game, what kind of bugs have you encountered or seen that struck you as more fun than flawed? Small orc shoulders were certainly not fun for all the orc players, but I can just imagine Alliance having a good laugh at their expense. Oh, and for the sake of not getting ourselves banned and all that, let's talk about bugs that are no longer in the game. Except, well, for the best bug ever. Don't do it! But man... it's just too darn cool.
Many of the most famous rogues outside of the Warcraft setting have been nuanced and exciting characters. Bilbo Baggins, the Prince of Persia, and James Bond, could all be reimagined as rogues if they had existed in Azeroth instead of their own settings.
As an Alliance rogue, you have a certain amount of freedom to borrow from other settings, or from the real world, since the Alliance races tend to be more similar to heroes of other stories we've heard before. To a certain extent, Blizzard has already based its Alliance rogue guilds on stories from other settings, and left some aspects of these institutions rather vague. There is certainly enough room for roleplayers to fill in a bit of the blanks with their own creative inspiration. The only danger is that it could be easy to overdo it and descending into Mary-Sueism: one ought to feel free to reach for a bit of the flavor of James Bond, for instance, without ever believing your character is the single best secret agent Stormwind could ever have.
As an addendum to the recent Arena system FAQ posted on the forums, Kalgan addresses several concerns about the gear, the system, and questions of skill vs. gear. In a very forthcoming and transparent post, Kalgan admits that Blizzard "botched the ilvls" of the current Deadly Gladiator weapons by making them a full tier below the items from Kel'thuzad in heroic Naxxramas. At the time they designed them, Blizzard didn't account for how easily accessible Kel'thuzad would be.
He promises they won't make the same mistake in Season 6, and that the new Furious Gladiator weapons would be equivalent to the items in Ulduar. Kalgan explains that the aim is to balance the accessibility of the items so that the number of raiders who have access to the best raid weapons is roughly the same as the number of Arena players with access to the best PvP weapons. He even goes so far as to say that Blizzard will make two tiers of PvP weapons if necessary. This might have been in the original plan as Hateful Gladiator weapons are in the game files but not available in the game.
A plea for Divine Plea - Sun, 08 Feb 2009 20:00:00 EST Blizzard is going to swing the nerf bat and it's going to hit Divine Plea. With the intended changes to mana regeneration mechanics in Patch 3.1, where Spirit will be nerfed to curb mana replenishment in raid scenarios, Paladins stand to be unfazed. Spirit isn't a useful stat for Paladins, so Blizzard is looking into raising the healing penalty that comes with Divine Plea, a spell intended to help Protection and Retribution Paladins recover mana. Even with the 20% healing penalty, Divine Plea gives Paladins such phenomenal mana recovery that they don't think twice about using it. Used in conjunction with Avenging Wrath, the penalty isn't even an issue. See, that's a problem.
Blizzard wants the decision to use Divine Plea to be a tough one for Holy Paladins, not a no-brainer. Needless to say, Retribution Paladins and their 5k mana pool use it every time it's up. But when a Holy Paladin with 20k mana can recover 25% of their mana every minute, it's kind of an obscenity. So Blizzard is going to nerf Divine Plea by raising the healing penalty to 50%. Some people think this won't be enough to stop Holy Paladins from using the spell every time it's up, though. Rohan over at Blessing of Kings thinks the spell should not have a healing penalty but be canceled when the Paladin casts a healing spell.
We received the above video from tipster Jimmynorden (better quality video on Vimeo here) about an absolutely amazing bug with the Death Knight ability Death Grip. If you initiate a duel with a Death Knight who's aboard the ship in Booty Bay while you're standing on the dock, Death Grip will pull you -- not to the ship itself, but all the way across and through the world. Elizabeth Harper has just tried this on live servers ("You get PvP flagged from flying through the arena in Stranglethorn!") and her character finally landed on a random ship in what the map insists is the Alterac Mountains, southeast of where Dalaran used to be.
Death Grip is described as harnessing the unholy energy that surrounds and binds all matter. They certainly got that part right. I don't have a Death Knight online in my guild right now and I'm really curious to see if this just works in Booty Bay, or if it works wherever there's a ship or zeppelin docked. I'm assuming it's the latter; from my admittedly limited understanding of the game's plumbing, once you're on a ship you're not actually where the map "thinks" you are but rather in some nebulous area without real coordinates before the ship transfers you between servers.
UPDATE: A few guildies and I tried this; you'll find additional results and notes behind the cut.
Elizabeth had time to take a few screenshots, which you'll see below: