So one of the most exciting announcements from the recent flurry of news about WoTLK, at least from my point of view, is the that there will be 10-man and 25-man versions of every raid. Think about that for a moment. Yeah, that's right. That means that you and 9 other friends will be able to scale the heights of Icecrown Glacier and topple Arthas himself from his frigid throne.
Like the Dragonblight, we've learned a little more about the Grizzly Hills in the last few days. A few old friends make a comeback in this zone, and I'm willing to say here and now that it's going to be awesome. Read on to see what we know!
The Grizzly Hills will be a low to mid 70s zone. The setting is very much like a redwood forest, Warcraftified.
Home of the Grizzlemaw Furbolgs, one of the largest furbolg tribes in Azeroth. The furbolgs seem to be under attack on a few fronts. The first front being...
The Venture Co. This organization, founded by a bunch of jerk goblins, is working endlessly to clearcut the great Grizzly Hills forest. Second, the furbolgs are also having trouble with...
Corruption from the Old Gods. Or maybe just one Old God, we're not sure. I would be willing to guess this is the Old God in Azjol-Nerub.
Every week, Arcane Brilliance works its way into your spell-rotation, right between Fireball two and Fireball three. It has a zero second cast time, doesn't trigger the global cooldown, costs no mana, does ridiculous amounts of damage, creates no threat, and is entirely unresistable. Yes, I'm aware that's not a word. Yes, I understand that "irresistible" is the grammatically correct alternative. Yes, I like to make up words. Also, apparently Arcane Brilliance is the greatest spell ever, and should probably make up your entire spell rotation, and not just a part of it. The good news? I just saved you space on your action bars.
If forced, at gunpoint, to identify the most daunting aspect of the World of Warcraft experience, I know exactly what I'd say. It wouldn't be starting the game, as Blizzard has done a wonderful job of making entry into the game itself incredibly user-friendly. It wouldn't be beginning to raid, as hopefully when you go into your first raid, your guild will be fully aware that it is your first raid and won't expect too much of you, so you can participate without pressure.
No, I'd have to say the single most daunting part of the game happens at a very specific point, and that point is the moment you ding level 70.
Perhaps you don't realize it at that exact instant. For most, the moment of realization comes later. Perhaps it happens when you hop into your first Arena match and die two-and-a-half seconds later. Perhaps it happens when you get thrown into a Karazhan pick-up-group and notice half of your spells are being resisted by Attumen the Huntsman. Perhaps it happens while walking around Shattrath, and you notice a GnomeMage, ostensibly at the same level as you, wandering around in full tier 6 gear, sporting a mana pool twice as large as yours and around a kajillion spell damage. Perhaps it happens when your guild leader tells you no, you can't come help on Gruul, because you have no spell hit rating, and you don't even know what that means.
So what are you to do? How do you turn your mismatched greens and quest-reward blues into gear that will get you a raid spot? Read on after the jump, and find out how to start down the road to becoming epic.
I've examined the Dragonblight before when Blizzard first gave us the preview of the zone, but some other news about the region has come into the spotlight in the last few days. I'm sure you've noticed, the Wrath news is everywhere, especially here on WoW Insider. Below I have a little breakdown of what we know so far.
The Dragonblight is both the beginning and the end of the dragon life cycle. The Titans granted the Dragonflights their powers here, and this is also where dragons go to die.
This zone contains a shrine for each of the Flights which surround Wyrmrest Temple. These shrines are under siege by the Scourge.
Alexstrasza herself is lending a hand in recruiting for the war effort in the Dragonblight.
The Scourge has been twisting the remains of fallen dragons into Frost Wyrms and potentially other monstrosities.
The Scarlet Crusade returns in this zone, renamed the Scarlet Onslaught.
Personally, I like to keep my descriptions short and sweet. Lengthy ones certainly have their place, I just prefer being brief. A short physical overview- height, build, hair, that sort of thing. Then I plug in a few baubles or unique pieces of clothing people may notice. A tabard, medals, jewelry, something that could spark a conversation. Things that someone might walk up and ask, "Where did you get that?"
On my main, my human priestess, most of those things are pins on the collar of her robes that signify organizations she's involved with or support. For example: Her guild, the Argent Dawn, and the Aldor. All in all, her description is about a paragraph long to paint a picture of her and give some conversation inspiration.
Now, here's my request for all of you. Show me your descriptions! Copy-paste them straight from FlagRSP or make one from scratch, it's up to you. Long or short, tame or ridiculous, I'm interested in them all. We might even learn a thing or two from those posted. A little style goes a long way.
If you haven't finished your decks yet, you'll be waiting quite awhile for another opportunity to do so. The Darkmoon Faire will return on June 9th and no earlier. As always, if you haven't been able to visit the Faire in person for one reason or another, you can always check out our image gallery below!
Baron Soosdon has been threatening to make a plotline machinima for quite some time, so it's good to see that he followed through with it! Kake Buk Island: Episode 1 - "You Damn Beach" is about an orc, Thok, that wakes up on a strange island. While exploring the island, he befriends two girls, Noki and Jiki, that need his help rescuing their pig from the sinister gnome, Sergei Gnum. All is not as it seems on Kake Buk Island, but I guess we'll have to wait for Episode 2 to find out!
KBI: YDB has an incredible line-up of special guests, including Drewbie, Olibith, and Baron himself, but I'm not sure what was up with some of the dialogue. Nevertheless, the cross-blend of World of Warcraft and Unreal Tournament 2004 made for a surreal set for Baron to weave his magic. As always, if you enjoyed the machinima, download the high quality version!
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
A matter of dedication - Sat, 10 May 2008 11:00:00 EST Oftentimes when raiding or applying to a raid/guild is mentioned, many people get up in arms about the fact that games shouldn't require commitment on that level. That kind of opinion is understandable, I suppose, but I certainly can't say I agree with it.
Applying to a raid isn't applying to enter an instance. Applying to a raid is applying to a team. Joining a steady raid group isn't signing your soul away to WoW, it isn't declaring your dedication to the game itself. Your application is to the people, a statement that you want to join a team. This doesn't just apply to WoW, either. It doesn't just apply to this game, it isn't a flaw in World of Warcraft.
Real life has these same situations. Can you go bowling by yourself? Certainly. However, if you want to bowl competitively in the team brackets, there's a level of dedication required. It is a game, but you're also asking to be a member of a team. That team can be your friends playing for giggles, sure. If you want a very active team capable of competing, you'll need to prove your worth. You need to show up at the appropriate times on a regular basis or you are not a desirable team member. Bowling is a social activity. So is an MMO. If dedication to your teammates is a flaw in WoW, then life itself is flawed. If being able to commit to others is an unimaginable task, well... there are other problems at work.
High-end raiding in World of Warcraft is much the same. Your dedication is not to WoW. Your dedication is to the other players, to your teammates. If this makes you uncomfortable, find content that won't require this of you. Find people who will not mind a lack of dedication on that level. They exist. There's no reason to be smarmy about people asking you to be dedicated. You're not playing for you, you're playing for your team.
When you've lost your Parachute Cloak, you can get kind of desperate. Actually, this situation isn't nearly as dire as it appears; tankadin Atharey of Black Dragonflight was merely having a ball on the trampoline used for the "Bring Me The Egg" quest in Nagrand. Since she was already flying through the air, she figured Avenging Wrath would add a nice touch. Plus, is a paladin ever really in danger? That bubble is pretty much impenetrable, even when it comes to landing on rocks/trees/angry devilsaurs.
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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets, because the night time is the right time to be with the one you love.
Macro Anatomy: Fishing fun - Sat, 10 May 2008 09:00:00 EST 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 get the Macro train rollin' again!
For this week's Macro Anatomy, I thought I'd share a fun little fishing macro I found in the forums. Tomza wrote a great macro for those of us wanting to react quickly to enemy players while fishing. I've altered it a bit, as I prefer to use the SHIFT modifier rather than the ALT, but other than that it's pretty much verbatim.
This macro, when clicked will equip your fishing pole if it is not already equipped. If a fishing pole is equipped, it will cast your line. (Two clicks of this macro will equip a pole and cast.) Each subsequent click will cast your line. If you hold down the modifier key (in this case the SHIFT key), you will equip your weapon.
Until very recently, with patches 2.3 and 2.4, fishing was a skill mainly taken up by those players aching to relax. Casual questers who couldn't play for hours and be all business, or raiders looking to escape the pressure, took to their favorite remote and beautiful areas with a rod, some music, and a <DND> tag.
In my small and tight-knit guild, fishing often meant story time. While I was feeling Zen fishing from the Forgotten Coast, another guildmate was storming the shores along Stranglethorn Vale, and we would exchange anecdotes and gossip. We took pleasure in our secret source for cloth, leather, ore and greens, as well as fish for alchemy, and helped finance our level 40 mounts through fishing. Still, many players, if not most players, seemed to find fishing boring, slow and annoying. Fortunately, fishing has never been necessary for any character if it does not provide pleasure. Even cooks, who stood to benefit the most from fishing, could work around it, and push through any rough patches by buying small stashes of certain fish from other players.
Of course, now that fishing is more lucrative, its secrets more widely known, more people have shown an interest. As cooking became more important, so did fishing, not because you couldn't maximize cooking without it, but because some of the best buff foods are made with fish. Those who need a constant supply can't rely on the auction house.
Recently, Robin Torres wrote up some tips to leveling fishing at level 70, and this week, Insider Trader is taking an in-depth look at maximizing your fishing skill. For the inside scoop on reaching 375 as quickly as possible, or as profitably as possible, head on through the break.
Having had a few hours to sleep and then a few more to digest the new information on the Death Knights, I'm finally getting a clearer picture of what the Death Knight will be able to do and how they'll fit into the existing hierarchy of classes, and I have to say, I'm still just as excited. There's a lot of questions that have risen from a lot of corners, but new information has come to light that may answer at least a few of them.
First, let's look at some of the clarifications the CMs have been offering, and clear up some other questions from the comments of this morning's article about how creating a Death Knight will work:
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 Ms. Emrys, (aka SpaceLady) 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 email@example.com, 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.