Sean is diving, sunning himself and trying to drink all the cervezas in Cozumel this week, so don't feel bad if he doesn't respond to emails and comments. He'll be back in action next week, fresh and ready to join the Addon Army's battle for the perfect User Interface!
Today I'm going to feature an addon that I've been using for a long time, but often overlook because it's so simple. It's certainly one of those "fire and forget" addons that you can install and will start functioning right away. I originally downloaded this one on a whim, without suspecting its potential. OmniCC will add a text cooldown counter to item and spell icons. Simple, right? That's all it does really, nothing fancy, barely any memory use and the ability to have a very easy visual cue to manage your cooldowns. I find this especially helpful when I'm trying to manage cooldowns on my paladin, but having two level 70 paladins might make me biased.
Once you install this, you can access its options menu by using of two commands:
There are a number of options you can fidget with, from font size to colors and scaling. However, I have yet to mess with these, I find this addon works right out of the box.
Although there is a simple visual cue to cooldowns in the default UI, I found that having big numbers on the spell icon, counting down for me, helps to time things. Combined with the swing timer from Quartz, I rarely miss an opportunity to cast a spell or use a cooldown. (Except in the Arena, where I am apparently the food of choice for every class)
That's it folks, short and sweet, check out OmniCC for your cooldown needs. Dismissed!
First, go read Alex's post, because he makes some good points about recruiting for 25 man raids in Wrath of the Lich King. We now know that in the expansion, all raids will come with a 10 man and 25 man setting, effectively a 'normal' and 'heroic' mode for raiding. While I personally believe this to be awesome, I can understand the idea that this will adversely affect (not effect, I'm reminded) recruitment for 25 mans if people can see the exact same content by just running a 10 man. Sure, the gear won't be as good, but if the starter 10 man gear allows you to run the next stage 10 man, and so on until you finally reach a 10 man version of Arthas, guilds that run 25 man raid content might have a harder time recruiting people to run what is essentially the 'same' content with 24 other folks instead of 9 other folks.
The reason I don't think it will be a real issue (I do think it's worth considering, though, and I do believe it will have some effect on 25 man recruitment) is threefold. Unrelated to those reasons (which are coming up after the jump) I have to admit that this may vary by server: on Norgannon, if anything I'm seeing more new 25 man guilds recruiting and starting up the crawl through Gruul's and Magtheridon, so I may just be working from a glass half full through rose colored glasses state of ludicrous (and heavily over-metaphoric) optimism here.
With the barrage of Wrath of the Lich King news we've received recently, one little tidbit stuck out in the bad way. Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited about quite a bit of it, this one thing in particular just struck me as odd.
The mention of there being both 10 and 25 man versions of every raid zone is interesting, but makes me worry from a logistical point of view. I like the fact that it means more casual players can see the content, I like the fact that it means the content actually exists for the casual players.
I wonder, though, what it will do to 25 man raiding. I can't speak for all servers, but on my server(or more specifically my raid group) the gear that comes out of boss fights is just a way of progressing to the next boss. It is largely unimportant to us until we come across something like Brutallus, in which the gear is absolutely necessary to have to progress. Seeing the characters, bosses and the encounters is far and away the most important part of raiding.
No husky loot this week -- with a name like "the Great Apocalypse," this sword is nothing but badass.
Name: Jin'rohk, the Great Apocalypse (Wowhead, Thottbot, Wowdigger) Type: Epic Two-hand Sword Damage/Speed: 380-570 / 3.70 (128.4 DPS) Abilities:
Equip: Improves haste rating by 45, which will help a little bit with that low speed (but look at that damage range!), will bring the speed back to 3.60, which brings it up to 131.8 DPS
+49 Stamina, makes this a nice PvP two-hander
Equip: Increases attack power by 120, which also adds to attack damage. There are better high-end two handers in the game, but anyone who likes to swing a big sword should like this one.
Plus, look at it! And that name!
How to Get It: Drops from the troll himself, Zul'jin, in Zul'Aman. Interestingly enough, Zul'jin means "Leader of voodoo" and jin means "leader," So this sword is clearly a leader, but leader of what? Rohk, in the Zandali Troll language, actually means "end of worlds," or apocalypse. So if all the apocalypses you've ever seen in movies all got together (from Deep Impact to I Am Legend), one apocalypse would be standing above them all: Jin'rohk.
But yes, the sword drops from the last boss in Zul'Aman. Droprate is about 12%, so get to him, be someone who swings a two-hand sword and needs an upgrade, win the roll, and it's all yours. Just don't hurt yourself carrying it around. Getting Rid of It: Sells for a whopping 17g 81s 95c, and disenchants, as you might guess, into a Void Crystal. But the terrible effect that carrying the Leader of Apocalypses has on you for all time? Priceless.
WoW Insider Show: Mother's Day edition live tomorrow - Fri, 09 May 2008 15:31:00 EST For tomorrow's WoW Insider Show (which you can hear live at 3:30pm EST on WoW Radio), we're doing something a little special for Mother's Day: we've got mothers! Amanda Dean is actually bringing her mother on the show, and Mrs. Dean is a WoW player herself, so we'll chat with her about what it's like to come to games via World of Warcraft. Robin Torres will also be joining us, and she's got little ones of her own, so she'll tell us what it's like to be a WoW player while also running your own little "guild" in real life. And Turpster will return after his absence last week -- all we can say about him is that he's a bad mother... shut yo' mouth.
Plus, we definitely can't ignore all the Wrath of the Lich King info that dropped last night, so we'll definitely be talking about vehicles, Death Knights, the 10/25 man instances, and all of the other huge information that Blizzard dropped on us like a ton of level 80 bricks. And as usual (as if all that wasn't enough), we'll have reader mail, which you can send to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll be chatting in IRC as well at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel.
Whew! It's a mother of a show. Make sure to tune in tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, at 3:30pm EST over on WoW Radio. See you there.
Jinx puts WoW shirts on sale - Fri, 09 May 2008 15:00:00 EST This may not qualify as big news on a day when we learned more about Wrath of the Lich King than we have since Blizzcon, but in case you're in need of a new t-shirt or two, Jinx is having a sale on four WoW-themed designs. Each design, in men's, is available for $5, and they are:
Karazhan showed Blizzard that 10-man raids could work, and were good for more casual players; on the other hand, more hardcore raiding guilds were upset about having to break into 10-man groups. Thus Wrath's split 10-man/25-man raid system.
Naxx is going to have to be tuned way down, since it's now an entry-level raid instead of a top-level raid.
Class balance as we know it is going to change drastically with the new talents for every class (at least in their current, secret, developmental state).
WoW was always planned out with item inflation in mind, so don't worry about it too much.
There will be a Northrend kick-off event.
Kaplan would rather we did dailies for gold instead of farming primals, since it's less repetitive; on that note, he wants to make more of a varied experience, like the cooking daily or the daily dungeon with randomization built in.
(This video contain some language, so view with caution.)
TotalBiscuit, of WoW Radio, is probably the most notorious commenter in the WoW Moviewatch section, so we asked him to recommend something that he actually liked. He offered up Zalgradis Paladin PvP 3. While I absolutely hated it, he had some interesting things to say about it.
Before 1.9, Zalgradis was able to do incredible things that not many were able to do as a Paladin at that time. In the film, he combined a(horrible) metal soundtrack with action bits, while other sections had scripted comedy. Thank you, TB, for reminding me why I never feature PvP!
The Care and Feeding of Warriors takes a look at gear and the fury warrior this week. Matthew Rossi has been playing with fury on his tauren this week, when not forgetting to re-equip his shield on Kael'thas while playing his human. Sure, the Phaseshift Bulwark is nice, but if you leave the instance it goes away, which I really should have paid attention to. On the up side, it's hilarious to go down in two seconds to a trash mob because you forgot which button is your shield macro. Well, hilarious now. With distance. At the time it was less hilarious and more smashing my face into the keyboard.
Before we get rolling, you should take a look at this thread from the Elitist Jerks forums that gathers up a lot of information on warrior DPS specs and what to look for when gearing. One of the things to keep in mind is that it's not as straightforward as just piling on the stats that help you do damage... much like tanking, where you first stack defense until you reach the target (in the case of tanking you want 490 defense) when assembling fury gear you prioritize hit until you reach 9% chance to hit, and then start stacking crit, attack power and armor penetration.
So what's the hit cap? Well, in general a fury warrior with full precision should look to accumulate hit gear until roughly 96 hit rating, which should put you at about 9% actual bonus hit. Up until 9%, it's generally accepted that hit provides the greatest boost to your damage both from the damage that you actually do with your white hits and from the rage you generate by them, as well as reducing the chance of special attacks like Bloodthirst (not Bloodlust, you can tell I play my shammy too much) and Whirlwind to be missed, which is not only annoying but amazingly does not seem to hurt monsters. Not even their feelings.
First of all, I'd like to thank you all for your submissions to Grand Theft Azeroth. There were a lot of wonderful pictures, and I had trouble choosing the top five to put up for a vote here. We extended the contest a day because ... well, because I forgot what day the contest was supposed to end. Nevertheless, voting will take place Fri-Sun and a winner will be announced Monday. Now let's get to the five nominees, each with their own special category:
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.
Here's one more tidbit of WoTLK information for you, courtesy of Gamespy. They sat down for an interview with co-lead design J. Allen Brack. Most of the information is stuff we've heard in the past or have already posted on in this morning's massive flurry, but it's always nice to get a peek into the brain of the folks who bring us this amazing game.
Among some of the things discussed by J. Allen Brack and Gamespy:
Flying Mounts are gone until level 77, at which point you will either complete a quest or a visit a trainer to be able to use them again. You will still not be able to use the mounts in the old world, so even though Naxxramas is on Azeroth, your flying mount will not be able to cross back over the sea to visit the old stomping grounds. The Old World was designed using too many graphical shortcuts in places people were not meant to access to allow flying mounts.
They have recieved massive positive feedback so far about the return to Azeroth and the old traditional fantasy as opposed to the sci-fi feel of the Burning Crusade. In that same vein, they are bringing back many familiar sights and storylines from Old Azeroth. Sholozar Basin will be Un'goro 2.0, complete with crystals and pylons. No word on whether it will also contain more Land of the Lost and Nintendo references. It will also contain some of the flavors of Stranglethorn and the old Netherstorm biodomes, says J. Allen.
In a similar vein, we can expect to see more of the ever-popular Scarlet Crusade, this time in the form of the Scarlet Onslaught. The Worgen are back in homage to the Sons of Arugal and Shadowfang Keep.
While the city of Dalaran will be headed up to WoTLK, don't expect to see nothing but a hole in the ground where it used to be in Alterac. J. Allen reveals that they do have plans for the spot, and the concept drawings they have for it look very cool.
The Dragonblight, J. Allen Brack said, is probably his favorite new piece of content for the expansion. It is where the Dragons were born, where they recieved sentience from the Titans, and where they come to die, and where the Lich King has been twisting Dragon corpses to serve him as Frost Wyrms, so there's a lot of great lore and history there. It will include a raid instance called the Chamber of the Aspects, and while no bosses have been designed for it yet, it will probably have bosses representing each of the Dragonflights.
It sounds like the developers are nearly as excited about WoTLK as we are, which is usually a good sign of things to come. We hope you've enjoyed all this awesome new information we've found for you tonight. There may be more to come, so stay tuned as we scour all the latest news.
Via Gamespy and Worldofwar.net, we finally have a good idea of what rolling a Death Knight will be like. A lot of the rumors seem to have panned out, but others have not. All I know is that at this point, I am full speed ahead to make a Death Knight my new main come WoTLK. There's a lot of meaty info to dig into, so let's get to it after the break.
Both Jeff Kaplan and Tom Chilton presented, with Kaplan showing off the Death Knight class and Chilton showing off the work they've done on Northrend.
The Forsaken-designed starting town Vengeance Landing was shown off -- this was the same area we got to play back at Blizzcon, as well as Utgarde Keep
They also got to see Valliance Keep (the other Alliance starting area), and Warsong Hold, a huge gothic iron structure run by Garosh Hellscream that Kaplan apparently called the "new look " of the Horde
Horde players will be taking a Zepplin up to Northrend
The Nexus, in the Coldarra part of the Borean Tundra, is the first instance on the western side of Northrend from Utgarde Keep, and it's a three wing instance with a raid dungeon where players will meet Malygos.
The Badge of Justice system will continue in Northrend, but there will be new tokens to act as Badges and be returned for loot.
The 5-man instances are designed to not take more than an hour
The 5-man news really was expected, but the raid info is much more exciting:
All raid dungeons will have both 10-man and 25-man versions
The 10 and 25-man progressions will not depend on each other
There will be no attunements or keys necessary for any raid
The 25-man loot will be a tier higher than the 10-man loot
The 10 and 25-man versions of the same raid will be on different timers so that each can be attempted on the same day by the same people
It seems that Blizzard is trying to make both the hardcore and casual raiders happy with these changes. Those guilds who can only see the 10 man content will be able to see all of the endgame content, but those who can organize 25 person raids will reap the benefits of the most challenging content and best gear in the game. And group instances that only take an hour will be great for those of us with limited playtime.
There are several first looks at the new cities, zones, and architecture of Wrath of the Lich King that we haven't seen from Blizzcon. This also includes several mobs that have not been seen before. Zul'Drak is reminiscent of Zul'Gurub, and looks quite new and refreshing. Sholazar Basin is a cross between Stranglethorn Vale and Ungoro Crater, heavily influenced by Troll architecture.
We are also presented with vehicle combat in the Sholazar Basin video. This is simply amazing. The video shows a gnome flying machine contraption shooting missiles at other flying mounts, and then a gnome ejecting and floating down to safety in a parachute. Grand Theft Azeroth.
In the Borean Tundra video we see a beautiful look at the new cities for both Horde and Alliance players. There are also images of Dragon kind, similar to what players experience during the last leg of the Onyxia quest chain from pre-BC. Also included is a gnome city, much like Area-52.
Check it out now, and watch for more detailed analysis of the video and all the other news as the day goes on.
As we heard before, Death Knights will serve as a "Fury Warrior" type of tank -- damage based rather than protection based.
Blizzard hasn't determined exactly whether there will be faction differences in the epic class quests, but they won't be too different for races or factions, just because the stories, he says, should be the same
Finally, Kaplan clarifies again that Death Knights will be available to all races, and that Arthas himself became not Undead, but Scourge
In case, maybe, Arthas wants to come back? We'll let you read the rest into what Kaplan said -- he unfortunately didn't tell us too much new information, but he did clarify a few points we already knew about Death Knights. And the news about Blizzard's nonaction on raid bosses so far is interesting -- has Blizzard really not made any raid bosses yet, or are they just not ready to tell us about them?
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 (in this piece anyway -- we've got more dungeons and raids info coming out). 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.