Here's a question I'm sure a lot of players have asked themselves when faced against those dreaded Death Knights. Critical QQ wrote an interesting post in his blog theorizing that the side with the most number of Death Knights will win. Think Ret Paladin during the first week or so of Patch 3.0. He posits that Death Knights are such a powerful PvP class that they tend to turn the tide of a battle. To a degree, it's actually true. The very first Arena Master was a Death Knight.
The blog post plays out several scenarios where Death Knights make a difference but doesn't get into too much detail. But the point he makes is clear, and some of you might have actually felt it whenever you played some Battlegrounds -- whichever side has the most Death Knights wins. I've never actually stopped to figure out the ratio of Death Knights in all my Battlegrounds games, but there's no question a Death Knight is a force to be reckoned with in PvP. But are they unbeatable?
Doesn't that picture take you back? It's a piece of concept art Blizzard did for The Burning Crusade expansion, and if you think it's impressive in 2d, we're here to tell you that it's equally impressive in 3d. Sideshow Collectibles has re-created this image as a 3d diorama, hand-painted and measuring 18" tall.
And though we at WoW Insider have enjoyed having this impressive work of art adorning the office, in the spirit of this holiday season (if you hadn't heard, love is in the air) we'd like to celebrate by giving it away to one lucky reader! After all, what better way to celebrate your love for your fellow players than with the Blood Elf Rogue vs. Draenei Paladin diorama showing two mortal enemies locked in deadly combat? (We can only think of one better way to celebrate this festive season, and it involves PvP. Or maybe achievements. It's hard to keep track.) However, unlike other in-game entertainment, this diorama may be enjoyed without the need for an active internet connection -- and it can be yours all for the trouble of leaving a comment on this post!
Here's the details: to enter, leave a comment on this post before Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 at 6PM EST. One winner will be chosen randomly and will receive a Blood Elf Rogue vs. Draenei Paladin Polystone Diorama (valued at $299.99). You must be at least 18 to enter and a legal resident of the United States or non-Quebec resident of Canada. You may enter as often as once per day for the duration of the contest. Click here for complete Official Rules.
15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.
Facebookers love apps. Oh sure, there are those who are somewhat less than thrilled, but most enthusiastic users of Facebook love to hook up goodies like Top Friends and Super Poke. So when we got wind of several Facebook apps for WoW players that are building their own followings, we decided to track down their creators. Last week, we interviewed WoW player and I Play WoW creator Nick Gerakines; this week, we take a whole different spin on the topic with Chris Nolan of Hearthstone.
Just as Korale/Nick Gerakines and his wife Carolyn are the team behind I Play WoW, Tego (aka Chris Nolan) and his wife Jen have teamed up to bring Facebooking WoW fans the Hearthstone app. We visited with Tego to find out where he and his family keep their own hearthstone, and why.
Every week The OverAchiever gives advice, walkthroughs and guides on completing your latest Achievement obsession. This week we offer a second installment out of unconditional love.
This year's short-lived Valentine's event, Love is in the Air, comes with its own meta-achievement, A Fool For Love (A/H). Though this event may not be your idea of a good time since it's mostly RP related, it's still necessary if you are trying to complete What A Long Strange Trip It's Been (A/H) for a Violet proto-drake. You only have five days to complete the meta-achievement starting tomorrow, so let's get to it.
The Basics Head to an Innkeeper in any capital city with a heart over his head and purchase Love Tokens as well as a Perfume Bottle if you want to attract male NPCs or a Cologne Bottle if you want to attract female NPCs. Douse yourself with the stink water and talk to the NPCs in the city with hearts over their head. Give them a Love Token and they may give you a Pledge of Adoration or a Gift of Adoration along with the Adored debuff which will prevent you from doing this again for another hour.
Last year's arena tournament was a lot of fun. Prior to the 2008 tournament Blizzard has a Tournament Test Realm open for everyone to log on and play with. The test realm let them get the mechanics for the real tournament realm ready before hand, allowing Blizzard to work all the kinks out.
We had a lot of coverage of the event, and some of it is pretty interesting to go back and read.
There were two main tests, called stress tests. These were where as many people as possible logged on and attempted to play. You can check out our coverage of Stress Test I and Stress Test II.
And of course, the highlights of the stress test were the GMs that came and spawned all sorts of terrible creations.
Tips from the manual - Tue, 10 Feb 2009 15:00:00 EST Guynumber from Area 52 brings up a good point: why did Blizzard even bother putting game information in their original manual? Surely, they must have known that they'd be changing the game quickly, and while of course they'd have had no more idea than we had that some things so big would change (no ammunition, anyone?), they could have at least kept in mind that patches were coming.
Curious, I pulled out my old original manual. Here's some tips straight from the original release of World of Warcraft, when Magister's Terrace was a twinkle in a dev's eye, and Icecrown was just a level in Warcraft III, that aren't applicable any more:
Pallies are only available to Alliance races and Shamans are Horde only.
As Guymember points out, the manual says you will lose significant experience on death (but not so much as to lose a level).
Only the Priests, Shamans and Paladins have resurrection spells.
Attack Rating increases your chance of hitting a target with a weapon.
As a first level priest, your maximum skill level in holy magic is five. As you cast holy spells, your holy skill will max out until you level up and the cap increases.
It's throw down time around The Guild this week, in the second to last episode of the second season. Codex gets it on in a back room at the party, and Bladezz gets screwed (though not quite in the way that he'd hoped). Zaboo finally gets a chance to show how much of a man he's become, with a little support from the rest of the guys. And things are set right up for the season finale next week. The show's available on MSN and Xbox Live right now, so go check it out.
Inner Fire less annoying in patch 3.0.9 - Tue, 10 Feb 2009 14:00:00 EST I've been out of the office more than I've been in this week due to moving into a new place, so I haven't had a chance to gush about this yet: Holy crap, they actually made Inner Fire unable to be dispelled. Moreover, it has a 30 minute duration! That's just beautiful, even if it still has the Charges mechanic.
Inner Fire is pretty great, and it does its job well. Usually. The big issue with the spell was that it had so many hooks and drawbacks. Short duration, limited charges, and able to be dispelled. That's about two hooks too many. I don't mind keeping the Charges around because the spell supplies a massive amount of armor (for a cloth class.) I'm okay with making a Priest be careful about keeping it up at all times in PvP. In PvE, the 10 minute duration is just a nuisance and in PvP some random melee will burn away the charges in less than its full duration anyway. It was just an annoyance all around and a very unnecessary hook.
Inner Fire probably should have been unable to be dispelled right from the point they did it for Mages and Warlocks, but better late than never. That Enhancement Shaman will just need to swing his weapons a little longer to get rid of your Inner Fire, instead of just spam Purge to shut you down. To me, this is a good thing. To the Shaman... perhaps not so good.
Maintenance extended until 1PM PST - Tue, 10 Feb 2009 13:50:00 EST Unsurprisingly, today's maintenance has been extended an extra two hours. It's somewhat expected, with today being a patch day.
All of us can cope with the little extension, I'm sure. If anything more comes out of this, we'll be sure to let you know. Whether it be further extensions or issues, or even the servers coming up earlier than expected, we'll be here to keep you informed!
The tournament realm will open up next week on February 17th. The global tournament will have cash prizes over $200,000.
The tournament realms will have level 80 characters in the latest epic gear from Wrath of the Lich King. We don't know exactly what the gear is yet, but we'll let you know as soon as we have it figured out.
And perhaps the best part?
The top teams will contend for the "Vanquisher" title for their live characters.
All participants "can earn" an Armored Murloc in-game pet for their live characters.
Updated 1:54 p.m. EST: Armored Murloc pet picture is now up.
Big Download has mirrored patch 3.0.9 for everyone. We've got localizations up for the EU WoW as well (English, German, Spanish, French, and Russian). Remember that you need to have WoW updated to patch 3.0.8a in order to install patch 3.0.9. Big Download also has those files available.
According to Ancilorn, they "still fully intend to move forward with this change when the additional functionality becomes available." To me that means Blizzard needs to do some serious recoding to make the change work, and it's cool that they're letting us know they're still going to do it.
Ancilorn also lets us know the following points:
Patch 3.1 will remove the need for pouches/quivers
Arrows and Bullets will have their stack size greatly increased.
Haste bonuses from pouches/quivers will be preserved in another fashion.
We have no additional information other than what's been said above, but we're anxiously on the lookout now for the patch 3.1 PTR.
Angry baby called. He wants his change back!Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.
Hey! Do you want to feel so energetic? Try Powerthirst! Energy drinks for people who need gratuitous amounts of energy!
You're gonna be uncomfortably energetic!
So the video above, by Thesoultorn, leaves a bit to be desired in the animation department, but in reality it's just a mock advertisement for a World of Warcraft in-game energy drink, Powerthirst. The video gets its jobs done quite well, because I now want to go and grab some Powerthirst.
The video reminds me of the (alcoholic) energy drinks high I had during my powerleveling trip I took when Wrath released. I made plans with The Girlfriend for some rather extended and uninterrupted playtime, and I managed to get to 80 in a few days. Of course to accompany me on my journey I had two cases of Red Bull, a one-seven-five of Grey Goose, and an ample supply of tumblers.
I want more Gnomergy! Edit: The video is a parody of the original Powerthirst by Picnicface.
And I don't know if I'm being foolish, don't know if I'm being wise. But it's something I must believe in, and it's there when I look in your eyes.
Tomorrow will mark the start of the Love is in the Air season event. Theoretically, from past events, it should start around 4:00 a.m. sever time. But whether or not that ends up being true, you'll have to check for yourself.
You'll need to get finish the achievement Fool for Love in order to get the ultimate seasonal achievement What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been. The thing is... you only have a few days to get Fool For Love, so hurry up. The seasonal event ends early next Monday morning.
Ideally you'll want to set aside some time tomorrow night; you don't want to be waiting until Saturday evening to do this. Unless, you know, you and your significant other are into that sort of thing. (I'm talking about playing WoW together. Jeeze... get your mind out of the gutter. You don't think I'm just going to sit here and make gratuitous Valentine's Day jokes for the rest of the week, do you?)
Remember, kids, attempting to re-create real life events in Azeroth often ends in disappointment. The Alterac Valley reenactment of Napoleon's invasion of Russia lost its historical veracity when half the French troops got thrown off the bridge by other French troops with snowballs. The magnitude of the first successful nuclear bomb test cannot be recreated by a couple of bored gnomes playing around with Flamestrike and Hellfire. And, as Eskel of <Absolution> on Argent Dawn-EU discovered, dragons are a bit less buoyant than certain jet airliners when landed on the water.
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. 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.
An interesting post popped up on the forums, mourning the passing of racial mounts, which apparently nobody uses anymore. The poster pointed out that most people now using bears or mammoths, every Death Knight using their cool Deathchargers, and a rare few actually still using their faction mounts. This sparked a flurry of responses and even had Eyonix chime in with his thoughts (and enviable epeen stroking when he casually dropped his Spectral Tiger in the conversation).
I'm actually guilty of not riding my faction mount, the closest I ever got being the Swift Warstrider. I currently use the very awesome but all-too-common Black War Bear (every day, it's like 40 more people pop up with the mount), and for flying I use the not-so-common but also not-very-awesome Albino Drake. On my engineer I'm enjoying the Turbo-Charged Flying Machine and I plan to get a motorcycle when he dings 80. If I could afford Salvaged Iron Golem Parts and everything else, that is. There are really quite a lot of mounts to choose from, which is probably why the easily acquired, 'vanilla' mounts aren't as popular.
Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
The World outside Warcraft Blizzard's fantasy title World of Warcraft is everywhere these days, perhaps the only title to really pierce the veil between MMOs and mainstream media. For some massively multiplayer online gamers, WoW is the end-all be-all of titles out there. Can over 11 million people be wrong?
Is World of Warcraft a religion? Just when you thought you had heard it all, MMO gamers are now being called religious zealots. According to Theo Zijderveld, a grad student at the University of Colorado, gamers who experience online worlds "like World of Warcraft and Second Life" are doing so to transcend their physical bodies and "realize a new identity in cyberspace".
Scott Jennings puts a cap on the whole "Fixing MMOs" thing Tom Chick pointed out five things that are broken with MMOs (interesting because he doesn't really like MMOs). Scott Jennings responded by saying not all MMOs are WoW. Tim Dean then supported Tom's original statements, offering ten ways to fix MMOs.
WAR population numbers revealed, but what do they mean? When Mythic Entertainment released Warhammer Online on September 18, 2008, it quickly became the fastest selling MMORPG ever. A month after release, they announced WAR had registered 750,000 players and people were buzzing that it may actually make a noticeable dent in World of Warcraft's armor. But as the expression goes: good things usually don't last.
Bell over at 4 Haelz made an interesting post about gear and skill. She relates several experiences where, looking for group, players ask for her 'stats' and grill her further upon finding out that she's on the low end of the spectrum numbers-wise. Sometimes, those players don't invite her or, worse, log off from their party without even giving her a chance to prove herself. But there's a flip side, too, and Bell tells of running Heroic Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom with a tank who gave her a chance. That story ends well and a Druid in less-than-stellar gear earns some new friends along the way (and hopefully loot, although she didn't mention that).
This is an old and valid argument. In many cases, some raids or instances just require a certain level of gear in order to beat it. Take Archavon, for example. He's the easiest raid boss in the game, but players will need to bring a minimum DPS in order to kill him before he enrages. It's a simple fight, and players don't need much skill to do it (step out of the clouds), but there's just a modicum of gear required to pump out enough DPS to beat him. No matter how good you are, weapons and gear scale your DPS upwards or downwards and there's a ceiling you just won't be able to break.
Love is almost in the air, but the Lunar Festival isn't over yet. Have you gotten your Elder title yet? The Lunar Festival is technically the first world event of the year, although I'm pretty sure some of you already have your Hallowed and Merrymaker titles. Some of us got a head start on this latest event, like myself. I found out I'd completed the continents when I did them last year, when I hoarded Festival Dumplings. This made it considerably easier for me to complete this Achievement.
Don't forget that the event is about to end, so if you plan on going after that nice mount, you're going to have to complete this Achievement because at 6am server time this Thursday. I always wished that the Outlands had this, too, but I guess alien continents don't celebrate Chinese New Year the Lunar Fesitval. Have you completed the Achievement? Did you even bother? Some of you probably even finished it on multiple characters. Anything interesting happen this year? What did you buy with your coins? I certainly had fun getting the Elders of the Alliance. I'm sure Alliance characters had fun doing Elders of the Horde, too, even if only to visit Thunder Bluff's newest elder. Let's bid the Lunar Festival a fond farewell with our experiences thus far.
So here we are. It looks like we're getting a patch 3.0.9 today with no PTR and no major advanced warning, if the extended maintenance has anything to say about it. On the good side, maybe this means they're working hard to get 3.1 out, and didn't want to spare the time on a 3.0.9 PTR. Then again, the patch is so small it seems sort of strange to me that they needed a new version number for it and not that other little patch just after 3.0.8 proper. Then again, maybe that is why I am a writer instead of a software engineer.
Anyhow, since we're looking at 8 hours of downtime, you're going to need something to occupy your time. So, as usual, let me recommend some articles from the past week that you have missed the first time around.