Sunday Morning Funnies: You violated my spirit - Sun, 10 Aug 2008 18:00:00 EST Well, it's not quite the morning. In fact, it is not even really the afternoon. Still, that's no reason to miss your weekly dose of chuckles. This week we have fun that is finger-lickin' awesome, so enjoy.
Addon Spotlight: Spellcraft - Sun, 10 Aug 2008 17:00:00 EST As expansion apathy sets in, and my friends and guildmates begin to lose interest in raiding, I have joined the ranks of the many players who have transitioned to playing their alts. To that end, I've had an opportunity to explore some new addons designed for specific classes. Spellcraft stands out as simple and useful for the mage about town.
This addon handles a few mage functions via a simple graphic interface and some more subtle features. With automated reagent restocking, polymorph warnings, Evocation weapon-swapping and a simple teleport and portal menu, Spellcraft offers much while asking little. (The memory footprint is minimal)
Granted, there are addons that provide similar functionality, and I've profiled a few of them, but Spellcraft is tailor-made for mages and their unique abiities.
Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below (or e-mail us!), ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer you in a future installment!
Let's jump right in with Tom's trio of questions...
We know what happens when a human and orc cross-breed, but what about elf/human intermingling? Is it possible for the other races on Azeroth to breed and are there any such results of that union?
Elf/Human crossbreeds are definitely supported by lore, as well as a whole mess of other combinations. Arator the Redeemer in Hellfire Peninsula is a Human/Elf Hybrid, for example, and there are plenty more around. Other combinations are valid as well. Rexxar is an Orc/Ogre Hybrid. Gross, I know, but oh well. There are a lot more examples you can add to those that are scattered around the world(s).
There are no hard rules in place dictating who can and cannot interbreed, but it's pretty safe to assume the races similar to one another are compatible. I would bet Dwarves and Gnomes can shack up and spawn, for example, but probably not a Gnome and a Tauren. That's just me talking, though. I could be wrong. Let's pray very, very hard that I'm not wrong.
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.
So you're wondering just how much of a tank the new Tenacity hunter-pets are going to deliver. Well, we're gonna try a few things and let you know.
We obtained a level 70 Warp Stalker and trained it up nicely. Welcome to Tanking Pet City, population, Us.
First on the agenda, we're going to hunt down a beastie that, when we first found him, required a party of five to eliminate: Uvuros in Shadowmoon Valley.
Uvuros is a 70 elite, has 69,000 health, and has a mean fire-breath spell. /hot!
Can a hunter with a Tenacity-pet solo Uvuros? Let's try!
You are invited to download the YouTube version (25MB) of this movie here, and the full-sized version (144MB) here.
As always, a great big Thank You to the WoW Insider editors for allowing us to publish this movie both here and on our little blog at the same time!
Which, I suppose, makes sense. It's cold up there.
If you've been playing a warrior for a long time, you've probably gotten used to the way your three big class abilities work. Presently, Shield Wall, Retaliation and Recklessness are linked abilities with a shared 30 minute cooldown. This means if you use one of them you can't use any of the other two in addition to the one you used for half an hour. Not only has this restriction kept warriors from using any of their big cooldowns in Arenas, it also serves as an inhibitor in raiding and soloing and questing. You don't pop Shield Wall unless you're absolutely sure you're going to die, because then you won't have it for possibly two or three boss attempts.
This will no longer be the case in Wrath. In a move that simultaneously nerfs and buffs these long-standing warrior abilities, the base effect of each has been reduced but their cooldown shortened to 5 minutes. The tooltips of eachability spell it out now. The duration of each has dropped to about 12 seconds (not a huge deal), Recklessness has lost its fear breaking ability, Shield Wall only reduces incoming damage by 50%, and Retaliation only hits 20 attacks now. Yes, these are all nerfs. But the upside of a 5 minute duration makes them far more friendly for use. You can pop shield wall on trash if needed and still have it for a boss. A fury warrior can use reck secure in the knowledge that he'll most likely have it back up by the time the boss hits execute range. And retaliation might even be viable for multi-mob tanking now! A little stance dancing and you don't have to fret that shield wall is gone for half an hour.
To me, this is an awesome change. It makes those abilities less restricted and thus, makes me more willing to use them.
Dalaran gets more shine and polish with ever beta patch, and the most recent is no exception. The Violet Citadel has had it's front doors opened, though it remains unpopulated. Many missing textures have been filled in, and a lot of the empty buildings have been put to use.
We've updated our Dalaran image gallery to reflect some of these updates, and added a new batch of pictures including things such as the Dalaran Sewers. Click the link or thumbnails below to check it out. As always, if you want to see a Hi Res version of the image you're looking at, the button is in the upper right.
It looks like Nyhm has a new competitor, Coma Niddy. Last month, he released an audio parody of NERD's Lapdance (Not safe for work), RFC for Free. Yesterday, he came out with the video, which does a pretty faithful job of representing the attitude of the song. Mystrana, the female voice in the chorus, submitted the video to us.
Yddin, the star of the video, laments about the fact that, since he's level 70, everyone wants him to run through Ragefire Chasm. While the editing is pretty good for his first video, some of the timing and delivery of the song itself feels off. I really enjoyed it, though!
[Thanks, Mystrana of Demon Soul!]
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
If you're on a coastline in the World of Warcraft, encountering hostile pirates is always a possibility -- and Northrend seems to be no exception. I'm not sure what this intrepid crew intends to plunder, but if you meet up with them on the open seas, watch out -- I was nearly swallowed by an Orca trying to swim to shore. But enough about me: let's get to your questions!
Does the game really look more crisp and detailed like people are saying?
Remember walking into The Exodar or Silvermoon City for the first time? I bet you immediately compared them to the other major cities in the game and suddenly all of those other cities looked a bit less impressive. Walking into Northrend is going to be just like that. Everything in Northrend looks so good that it makes previous parts of the world look a trifle dusty. Blizzard seems to be using textures in Wrath that have a lot more detail than anything they've done previously. And though I haven't gone and counted polygons, the architecture in Dalarn (especially the curvy tunnels of the sewers, which are much more pleasent than you'd imagine) looks like it might use more of 'em. And beyond the architecture of the place, the environment is tremendously detailed. For example, if you visit Dalaran's toy shop you'll find shelves packed with all manner of toy -- nearly all of which are constantly buzzing, whirring, or moving. There are reflections and real-time shadows. Everything looks fantastic. (Though I've seen some reports -- as recently as in the comments thread of the previous edition of Ask a Beta Tester -- of content outside of Northrend looking better, I can't say I'm seeing a difference, though it could be a hardware issue.)
For more on the game's video quality -- and other questions! -- keep reading! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving things away here and there.
I doubt murlocs get much sympathy in Azeroth these days. We've all spent a bit too much time running back to a corpse on some godforsaken beach because Murphy McMrrgggllton decided to take a vacation at 20% health and returned with four of his closest friends.
However, you've got to feel a little sorry for the mother murloc in this picture, taken by Mermuhanii of the beta server Lich King. Her murloclings have turned on her, and she's suffered the same fate as many adventurers before her. But what? Maybe she was an abusive mother, hitting her babies with that flaming trident. Or murlocs might devour their mother after they're born, like nematodes. Either way, there's one less murloc in the world (or four more murlocs, depending on how you look at it.)
This image came to us straight from the Wrath of the Lich King beta -- and we'd love to have your beta screenshots, too! If you have anything our readers might like, beta or not, sharing it 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 -- use alt-Z to remove it. And, please, no more sunsets! Unless it's a sunset over Arthas's grave.
With a new Beta Build on the test servers, Death Knights have received a massive amount of talent changes. Many of them have been hinted at on the test servers for eons, and I've covered much of them in last week's Lichborne. The new disease changes are in, as is the changing of Chains of Ice's Snare component to an undispellable physical effect. You can check out the full list of changes here.
Among the new changes is a very extensive revamp of the Unholy tree, which features quite a bit of talent consolidation and quite a few new and interesting mechanics and abilities. In fact, I'd have to say that the current build may very well mark the rise of the Unholy Tree, with the changes making it an amazing tree for grinding and PvP.
As a disclaimer, there's still lot of bugs in this build. Many abilities don't seem to be working quite right, especially Blood Caked Blade (which only hits for 1-4 damage based on the number of diseases instead of 60% weapon damage per disease), Raise Dead, and Night of the Dead. Because of that, it's often hard to say how or if an ability would be better or worse if it actually worked. Therefore, I'll be discussing the abilities based on if they actually did work, backed with some feel for them from Death Knight play on the Beta Servers.
Wrath is upon us, but who cares? Pssh. Expansions are silly anyhow. No, I don't mean that, but let's talk Burning Crusade for a minute. Everyone has favorite zones from WoW Classic, and I've already decided my favorite zones of Wrath of the Lich King. Not many people really talk about their favorites from The Burning Crusade.
I'll completely agree that a lot of the locations in The Burning Crusade don't match up to our favorites in WoW Classic, but there are places I enjoy. Zangarmarsh is by far my favorite zone. No contest. It's the only zone that really gives me the feeling of "I'm on an alien world." It's something I wouldn't see on Azeroth. The blue tones, the giant mushrooms, the strange marsh creatures. It blew me away my first time running through it. It really was a different world there.
Outland was a bit too heavy on the futuristic sci-fi, but I think Zangarmarsh hit the right tone. What did you all think of Outland? Do you have a favorite zone? We're all eager to move on to Northrend, but is there a zone you'll miss when we're all idling in the frozen north instead of on Draenor? What did you like about it?
The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into duelling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.
At the time of this article's posting, Passive Enemies is the #1 team in the 2v2 ladder on the Reckoning Battlegroup. SK Gaming's arena ranking tool reveals that they have third highest rating in the USA region. So, Passive Enemies is indisputably a strong team, with a powerful showing in the 2-person Arena. And this isn't their first season doing so -- Reflex carries the coveted "Vengeful Gladiator" title. WoW Insider was able to catch up with Reflex while he was rocking out in Warsong Gulch, and he was willing to take the time to answer some questions for The Colosseum. Take a look after the jump to see what he had to say.
Each week Matthew Porter contributes The Creamy GUI Center, a column aimed at helping you enhance your WoW experience by offering an in depth guide to addons, macros and other tools we use to play WoW, along with commentary on issues that affect how we all play.
I've been teasing you all with a surprise topic for a little while now, and here it is! OMG a hardware review in The Creamy GUI Center! That sound you're hearing are minds being blown across the planet! Ok, well maybe it's not that radical of a topic; keyboards, mice, and other peripherals are a vital and often overlooked part of the user interface. So this week I decided their time has come as we take a look at the Logitech G series keyboard. And who knows, maybe I'll sneak in an addon or two for good measure. I can't stray too far from my roots can I?
Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.
Before I start, while you read this remember that the Wrath beta does not currently allow you to hit the level cap. Everyone is level 77, and there's a lot that is unfinished. This is more anecdotal about the state of things, and not really analyzing how things will look in the end. You still with me? Good.
I decided to try out incredibly, insanely buggy Lake Wintergrasp when the beta realms went up yesterday, and later on I gave the new Battleground a whirl, too. Through all of this, there was one constant: Holy crap Ret Paladins are OP. No, really. I know, it blew my mind, too. Retribution Paladins. Overpowered. Hell has frozen over.
It was perhaps one of the most unexpected and controversial changes to hit Wrath Beta: Potion Sickness, the debuff that spelled the end of chain-chugging by allowing only one potion to be quaffed per combat and no more. Some people loved, since it would cut down on pre-raid farming and perhaps allow for bosses to be balanced more around classes and roles and less around Haste, Ironshield, and Destruction potions. Some saw it as a major nerf to Alchemists and to casters who were used to chaining mana pots to stay in the blue.
It's been said that Death Knights are supposed to be a specifically recognizable class, part of their heroic bearing coming in that distinctness. We've already seen some of it with the inclusion of glowing eyes, and now there's more implemented with these beta builds.
All Death Knight Races have the option of taking on a selection of darker skins and gaunt, undead, or angry looking faces. In addition, the Death Knight's glowing eyes now look more more integrated and natural on almost every race, in my opinion. The changes look better on some races. Humans, especially, look very much changed, to the point where Human females can look a lot like Forsaken females without the hunchback or protuding bones.
You can see some of the new looks in the Gallery below, courtesy of tipster Damir.
Death Knights also got another small cosmetic change in the form of new runes. The new runes are a bit bigger and more distinct, and I personally find them easier to keep track of. I'm glad to see the change. You can see the runes here (thanks to tipster chaud and wotlkwiki for that picture).
EDIT:There are no Forsaken pictures in the gallery because there do not seem to be any new looks for Forsaken Death Knights. This is understandable -- They're already dead, after all. You can check our older Death Knight gallery for Forsaken shots, if you wish.
Most of the big notable changes however, center around pets, and specifically Beast Mastery. The 51 point talent is now implemented, and 5 extra talent points work. Chimeras and Devilsaurs are now exotic only. In addition, two new exotic pet families have been found: Worms and Silithids.
You can tame both the Dredge Striker and Dredge Crusher type worms in Silithus and the Jormungar worms in Northrend. For Silithids, only one "warrior" skin seems tamable, while the worker, wasp, and heavy tank type silithids are not tamable. The worms are Tenacity pets who feed on bread, cheese, and fungus and have a family skill called Acid Spit that does nature damage and reduces, while the silithid is a Cunning pet who feeds on meat and fungus and have an ability called Venom Web Spray that roots the target for 4 seconds and does nature damage.
I've added some screenshots of the new pets and their abilities to the gallery above. Also, if you're not impressed with any of the new exotic pet families so far, take heart. We've been told they're still working on the pets themselves.
Unfortunately, the rest of the pet-related news is less than amazing.
While Northrend is a distant and strange land, there are a few friendly and familiar faces in Wrath to ease our pain. These range from joke appearances to lighten the mood, or more serious storylines being continued from WoW Classic and the Burning Crusade.
These familiar faces are spread all throughout Northrend, and we've collected a lot of them in a gallery for you to look through. A few of the returning characters are missing from the gallery for various reasons (like turning in an unfinished quest despawning all NPCs in the area) but we'll get those when we can, too. There's plenty of spoilers in this gallery, though not many of them are massive plot points. Still, if you want everything to remain a secret, I'd be careful.
Oh, before all of you spam the comments about it, no I did not forget 'the Scourge.' I thought that was a little obvious. Also, there are two massive zones and numerous dungeons not yet implemented. There are probably way, way more to come. We haven't seen Sylvanas yet.