Two bosses enter... but only one will get to leave in WoW Insider's series of fantasy deathmatches. We've scoured the instances of Azeroth and Outland looking for the most interesting bosses Blizzard has to offer us and picked out a group of 32 to pit against one another until we come out with a single winner in the end. And the best part -- you get to tell us who wins.
Today we're continuing our showdown between the final eight with a fight between Kel'Thuzad, the final boss in Naxxramas, and Ragnaros, the fiery raid target of Molten Core. Want to learn more about these two bosses and voice your opinion on who would win in a fight? Keep reading!
Here's something very new in Patch 2.4: what appears to be a cinematic cut-scene for the 5-man dungeon in Sunwell Plateau. I couldn't quite tell what was going on in it, but it's certainly an interesting idea with some potential. Will we only see it the first time we visit the dungeon? Can we skip it? How is it synchronized? What do we see while someone is watching the cinematic -- does it look like they just take forever to zone in? Will we see cinematics in Wrath, or maybe even retrofitted ones for BC and old-world dungeons? As you can see, I have more questions than facts here. At the moment, as you can see, this is a rather crude cutscene; something more cinematic, with dialog and such, might be nice. But this is cool as a sort of level overview, as seen in many other games (Mario Galaxy, why do you haunt me so?).
Despite my excitement over the new bag, I have to say that I am at least equally enthused about the new phoenix mini pet. There's just something magical about the fiery little guy that I can't resist. Similar to the elusive epic flying phoenix mount, I can't help but want one.
At this time, very little is known about where this pet drops or what the drop rate could be. In fact, it might turn out to be a faction reward, much like the Tiny Spore Bat.
When patch 2.4 hits, will you be out farming reputation or mobs for your very own phoenix, or are you more excited about other aspects of the patch?
Although they have no current information as to when the function will return, I imagine that this issue will not be the problem it could have been. After all, the queue was displaying as "full" and the estimated wait time was roughly four days. Then again, that could have been part of the problem.
Unfortunately, many people, including myself, have been chomping at the bit to get on the PTRs. If you were lucky enough to have already copied your characters over, and gained access, this announcement should not affect you.
The Lunar Festival has been with us for a few days now, and I can tell you as one living in China, the real life version of this holiday, the Chinese Spring Festival, is quite the treat. Everyone seems to walk around charged with a special happiness, traveling all around the country, glad to be reunited with family after spending months away. Shops are closed, streets have more people walking than driving, and nights ring loud with the sound of fireworks bursting from all around you.
The WoW version is a pale imitation, to be honest, but it does manage to capture a portion of the Spring Festival's spirit. While setting off fireworks is not the awesomest eye-candy, it's not that bad; also, traveling all over the world to visit the Elder ghosts scattered all around Azeroth is charming in its own way. The main thing that's missing, however, is a real understanding of what the holiday is all about.
Few Westerners realize that the annual attack of the monster "Nian" (on which the story of WoW's Omen is based) forms the mythological backstory for the Spring Festival -- sort of an equivalent of the Nativity story of Christmas. The Chinese words for "Celebrate the New Year," Guo Nian, could also be literally translated as "The passing of the Beast." If we look at the symbolism behind this Chinese myth, it can give the Lunar Festival new meaning for our characters in Azeroth as well.
WoW $10 at Circuit City - Sun, 10 Feb 2008 18:30:00 EST If you happen to need a copy of our favorite game, perhaps to get started multiboxing, here's a pretty cheap deal from Circuit City: order a copy of the original game online for in-store pickup, pay $10. The game is usually $20. On the other hand, picking up a copy of Burning Crusade to go with it, which one would generally want to do, will run you $30, whether you do it the physical way or as a download. And the Battle Chest is $40. So this is only a good deal if you for some reason need WoW without BC. Anyway, those of you who do need it, get to it.
We've recently featured several posts about player discontent with Warsong Gulch and AlteracValley battle grounds. It looks like Blizzard has been hard at work changing, if not fixing, some of the issues that players have been having in battlegrounds.
It sounds like Blizzard has been listening to the back and forth debate about which faction is favored most in Valley. In the test 2.4 they attempt to balance the distance and challenge of the faction captains. Hortus indicated that they want to focus on WSG first, so it will be a while before we can test out these changes.
Watch out for corruption of your World of Warcraft files if you use a Mac! This is a major issue for some people. Indeed yours truly would have been up the creek if I used my Mac's firewall feature (I've got a Linux firewall instead). All you Mac users: please, be careful!
When you rename a Hunter pet you get disconnected.
Looting Bind on Pickup items isn't working right. So watch out if you're starting to raid.
Shattrath wasn't copied over correctly. Many NPCs (besides those listed in the blue post) are missing.
Blues also have posted an update of sorts on the character copy queues. They've said we're all going to have to wait a couple days to get our characters copied over if they're not already. At least some news is better than no news.
As you all know by now, patch 2.4, currently up on the PTRs, is going to bring many changes (although not as many class changes as I would have liked, but what can you do). Here's one more: a new animation for fire! As seen in the YouTube video above, it currently seems to apply to outdoor, stand-in-one-place type fires, but we can only hope it will be applied to fire effects from spells as well. Mm, fire...
Spiritual Guidance: Holyform and lesser Holy talents - Sun, 10 Feb 2008 16:40:00 EST There are a few things that have been desired by the players ever since WoW began. Rideable pets for hunters, player housing, guild banks (now in the game! yay!), and additional classes (one coming in Wrath of the Lich King) are a few examples. Here's one more, close to my heart since I have a Holy priest main: Holyform. The dark side of the Priest talent tree has a form; why not the light side? It would supplement our legendarily bad 21/31/41-point talents with something that was truly compelling for the dedicated healer, and of course it would look awesome.
Well, Wowhead and WOWDB now have entries for a spell called, indeed, Holyform, as shown above right. It's hidden in the data files for the 2.4 patch; note that it is not currently trainable by priests on the PTRs. It could be there for any number of reasons: it could be an NPC spell, it could be an ability usable only during the Kil'Jaeden fight, like the Kael'Thas legendaries, or it could just be a cruel joke. The most compelling explanation I've seen is that Blizzard is distributing some of the Wrath patch files early, to lessen the initial download, and this is going to be the new 51-point Holy talent. Please let that be it.
Windshadow, a Feral-specced Druid on Kael'thas (US)
For the Horde or Glory to the Alliance?
Most of my characters are Alliance, although I have played both sides. Oh, and for the record... I personally see a ton of great folks, fun and mature, in both factions. And I also see the Trade channel full of idiots on both sides. If one side is 'more mature' than the other, I've never noticed. They feel like they share the same balance to me.
Favorite thing to do in Azeroth?
I love to log into guild chat, pump some background music into my headphones, pop into Flight Form, and go farm Herbs and Gas Clouds at Mach 280 while chatting with my guildies.
What's the best instance in the game?
I haven't played them all yet, since there are 'guild favorites' I keep going back into. But I'd have to say I enjoy the mix of pulls in Heroic Underbog as a tank the best.
What's the number one thing Blizzard could do better?
I'd have to say communication on a personal level to reported customer account issues. When an issue is reported that, for an example, is as devastating as a hacked account, I think Blizzard needs to drastically improve the response time and amount of communication they provide to the victim.
Druids' epic Flight Form. Without exception.
Favorite piece of loot?
Earthwarden, the epic mace for feral tanking Druids, available from the Cenarion Expedition at Exalted reputation.
What accomplishment in-game are you most proud of?
Taking down Talon King Ikiss in Heroic Sethekk Halls for my Druid Flight Form quest. It eventually took bringing in a a second Druid to provide the heals and keep the banished birds buffed, but we did it. And it felt like winning a major war, not just downing a single heroic level boss.
If you could add one touch of personal flair to your main, what would it be?
I'd love to be able to choose different models or options to enhance the look of my Druid in cat or bear form. Things such as being able to display armor pieces in Dire Bear form, or choose different colors or models in cat or bear, or even something as simple as being able to follow a long quest chain to learn different models of cat or bear would be wonderful. As much as I love my Druid, I'd love it even more if I had the power to choose to change into a Polar Bear instead of the standard, or a tan plains cat instead of the standard Night Elf purple.
And I think this should apply to other classes' abilities as well. Why should both male and female Warlocks get the same female model Succubi? Why not have female Warlock characters get the option of having a little beefcake instead? I'm just sayin'.
If you're unfamiliar with this sort of drop, a good example is the Hearts of Darkness from Mount Hyjal and Black Temple. They drop off of trash mobs in the raid instances, and are fairly common. The Hearts of Darkness in BT/Hyjal were used in resistance gear for Mother Shahraz as well, so we may still run into some of that in the Sunwell. However, if we don't, expect Sunmotes to be a little on the rarer side of the spectrum since we won't need quite as many.
Sunmotes don't seem to be Bind on Pickup either, so if you don't have a 25-man raid group, there's still a chance you can buy these from an established raid group once they have extras.
My thanks goes out to World of Raids for the information and screencap!
* Old value: Higher defense makes you harder to hit and makes monsters less likely to land a crushing blow.
* New value: Higher defense improves your chance to dodge, parry, and block attacks, makes you harder to hit, and makes monsters less likely to land a critical strike against you.
So what does this mean? They've added things that have always been part of the skill, but have not been explicitly mentioned on the defense tab before, but what's most intriguing is what they've taken away.
Blizzard's cinematic team deserves as many awards as they can get, in this writer's humble opinion. Even back in the Starcraft days, when graphics were 2D and it was all sprites and jumpy animation, the cinematics were exquisite. And now they've been nominated for yet another award-- Blizzard says their team has been nominated to receive honors from the Visual Effects Society's 6th Annual Awards for the Burning Crusade's cinematic seen above. And I don't disagree-- even more than a year (and a few runs through ten levels of Outland) after it's come out, Illidan's growl still rocks.
Shattered Sun Offensive reputation loot revealed - Sun, 10 Feb 2008 14:40:00 EST With the PTR up and running, information is pouring in faster than ever. The Shattered Sun Offensive's reputation vendor is ready for perusal, and World of Raids has already delivered a screenshot of the full loot list. The tabard looks like it's going to be a favorite for a lot of people, looking more elaborate than possibly any current player-wearable tabard.
But looking good aside, what about the loot? Will it make you better, harder, faster, stronger? Let's find out after the break.
Jewelcrafting: More than just gems in 2.4! - Sun, 10 Feb 2008 14:20:00 EST No, they didn't forget the Jewelers in the new crafted gear. Healers, casters and melee DPS all recieve both a ring and a necklace from Jewelcrafting in 2.4, and the recipes are likely drops in the Sunwell raid zone.
The necklaces(which are BoP) all come equipped with a gem slot for further customization, making them a pretty nice prize for end-game Jewelers. The materials on these rings and amulets are pretty hefty though, it won't be an easy task to make them. Everything from Primal Mights to Hardened Khorium Bars to gems from Mount Hyjal and Black Temple are needed to craft these beauties. And let's not forget the Sunmotes for the rings, and the Primal Nethers for the necklaces.
As you can see, you'll need to jump through some hoops to get your hands on these, but they seem worth it. If you want to see for yourself, check out the stats and materials after the jump. Thanks again, MMO Champ!
In this post, we'll be looking at both the old and new decks and listing some pros and cons of each deck so you can figure out if you want to spend the next month tracking down cards before the Faire shows up in Elwynn Forest in March, or even if you just want to blow your epic flying mount fund on getting a deck before it leaves for the month.
8-Piece Sets Return With Patch 2.4 (kind of...) - Sun, 10 Feb 2008 13:30:00 EST The frantic folk at MMO Champion are digging up major loot finds in the upcoming Patch 2.4, including what appears to be new Tier 6 pieces -- boots, bracers, and belts. These pieces can be obtained by exchanging tokens that likely drop from Sunwell Plateau. This marks an unexpected return to eight-piece sets hearkening back to the days of Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, and even Naxxramas (although Tier 3 was officially 9 pieces). Despite the additions, however, the item previews don't appear to show any new bonuses beyond the existing 4-piece bonuses for Tier 6. This comes as a moderate surprise considering Blizzard has said in the past that they liked the 5-piece set format. On the other hand, it's probably a good thing considering there is no official Tier 7, and these pieces cater to set completists as well as giving more flexibility in obtaining (or keeping) the set bonuses.
On an interesting note, the Tier 6 Lightbringer's Battlegear or the Paladin Retribution boots, bracers, and belt show hints of what the patch notes state as "Items intended for Retribution Paladins have had their stats adjusted. Retribution Paladins should see an increase in dps as a result." We can see from MMO Champion's screenshot that the raid set has scrapped Spell Damage -- similar to the Vengeful Gladiator's Vindication of Arena Season 3 -- in favor of Haste rating. If all other Tier 6 Retribution pieces -- or even better, all other Burning Crusade Tier set pieces -- will be retroactively changed to remove Spell Damage and add Haste rating, it means a massive DPS upgrade for Retribution Paladins as promised. After all, Retribution Paladin DPS is basically auto-attack plus.