We've covered this type of thing before, but Blizzard has a long way to go in making their data open to any players who want to use it. Just recently another MMO named Dungeon Runnersdecided to break open their player data, into a form that almost anyone could use, and we know that Blizzard has the ability to share lots of data online, but they still haven't opened it up yet. 2.4 is giving us a lot of different ways to view our combat data, and almost every day the Armory adds new features, but none of them have yet been aimed at getting the data out of there and doing cool stuff with it elsewhere.
Maybe the reason for this is that they're planning to do it themselves. At any rate, there is a ton of information on Blizzard's servers that players would love get their hands on, and there are plenty of things on the other end to do with it. All that's required is for Blizzard to give us some hooks in, and then real WoW mashups can begin.
We've written about Totemus before here on WoW Insider-- even though it does a lot more than just time your totems as a Shaman, that's mainly what I used it for. Not only did it provide me with a visual representation of what my current totem situation was like, it also gave me a heads up whenever my totems were failing, reminding me to put them down again. But of course since that's mostly what I used it for, I may not have a need for it after patch 2.4-- along with the other UI changes, Blizzard is going to be putting a totem timer into the default UI.
It's not the first time they've "stolen" addon functionality, and it definitely won't be the last. And while a few reports are coming in from the PTR, it remains to be seen whether this change will actually replace more complicated addons (my guess is no, considering how simple Blizzard's timer looks).
But expect more of this in the patches to come-- everyone heard that Blizzard wants to implement a threatmeter into the default UI, and a "DamageMeters" type of tool would likely be appropriate for the default UI as well. Blizzard has always had the luxury of a great and hardworking addon community, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them start taking advantage of that luxury more often.
Sure, there's a new zone, including a 5-man dungeon, a raid, and a truckload of loot in patch 2.4. But what about the important stuff? It turns out we're in for a few UI changes as well. Every time Blizzard improves their interface it builds my admiration for them more, because the truth is they don't have to -- we have some fantastic Add-On developers in the community. However, incorporating must-have changes into the default UI is good for all players, and I'm glad they do it.
Here's a little something to brighten up your Monday. Sharp-eyed tipster Aikiwoce spotted this dead ringer for a certain object that rhymes with "freighted D'Artagnan noob" outside the Stormwind gates, presumably as part of the "Love Is in the Air" holiday that kicked off today. I love Blizzard and their cultural references. Has anyone else seen something interesting?
With patch 2.4, there's a lot of eager eyes cast towards the Isle of Quel'danas and the Sunwell. But what about elsewhere? Silvermoon City is not the only place to see some big shakeups. There's a new flavor to Shattrath City as well, as the Aldor and the Scryer begin to work together to take down Kil'jaedan the Deceiver.
A lot of familiar faces, as promised, have shed their former Aldor and Scryer ties to join the Shattered Sun Offensive, and it's bought some new activity to the capital of Outland that you'll want to check out before you go running back to Azeroth to look for a Magister's Terrace group.
Yes indeed, odds are that if you talked to a Shaman this weekend about patch 2.4, you got pretty much the same feeling that the video above conveys: Shamans, especially enhancement Shamans, aren't really thrilled about what we got out of the patch. We've been hoping for (finally) buffs, including an update on how Blizzard is going to deal with our totem and mana problems. We were hoping for shields to get reinvigorated and redesigned. We were hoping to see big changes to the class, and instead we got... a new Stormstrike icon, and a totem timer?
The biggest Shaman change is the one to Earth Shield (which only affects Resto, since they're the only ones that can use it-- it costs less mana, and lasts for six charges instead of 10 (not great for raiders, but not bad for PvPers), and there was a small buff to Healing Grace (now gives a chance to avoid dispells). There is one Elemental change-- Call of Thunder now gives 5% crit rather than crit only to Lightning spells. But those changes do nothing to alleviate Shaman concerns (and you might have heard that there were many), and the rest of the changes are bugfixes and UI updates almost no one was asking for.
Yes, yes, QQ more and all that, but the story here is that Shamans have been basically ignored yet again, even while Blizzard admits that there are problems with the class. So when are the fixes coming? Blizzard has already said they're not making sweeping changes to any classes in these content patches-- maybe our chance as Shamans will finally come with the expansion.
Have you ever wondered what to do with your spare battleground marks?You've got all the PvP mounts and are well stocked up on potions.It looks like in patch 2.4 you will be able tot urn them in for honor.Our friends at MMO Champion posted a screenshot of the new repeatable battleground quest.To complete the quest, just bring the quest giver a mark of honor from each of the four battlegrounds and they hand you honor.The first time you complete the quest you also get about twelve gold along with the honor.Each subsequent turn-in is worth 319 honor, no gold.
Blizzard today announced their fourth annual Worldwide Invitational tournament, featuring competition in all their current major games: Warcraft III, Starcraft, and of course WoW. It'll be held in Paris on June 28th and 29th. This is the first European engagement for the ongoing series. There will also be the usual excitement for a Blizz even, including developer panels, music, and "hands-on play" of both Starcraft II and Wrath of the Lich King.
Wait, what? Hands-on of Wrath? I may be reading too much into this, but that really makes it look like the expansion won't be released until after the tournament. Why would they have a hands-on demo of something that had already come out? So it looks like we're going to be waiting until July at least to get our Wrath on. Edit: Yes, I know we didn't really expect it before Q3 or Q4. But I like to hope. Suddenly releasing another raid doesn't seem like such a bad idea. More information on the WWI is available at Blizzard Europe.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges of being a gamer girl is learning to deal with rampant sexism, without becoming defensive.Just like racism, sexism should not be tolerated, but how do you address it without making the problem worse?Smurphy from Burning Blade brought this up in the forums.Nethaera's response was to shut the thread down before a dialog could really begin on the subject.
Although the majority of WoW players are men, there are a number or women who do enjoy the game.Women are often important contributing members of guilds and raids.Perhaps a little known fact about gamer girls is many of us don't like to be hit on or given special favors like spots in raids.Nor do we like to be called honey, baby, or sweetie by complete strangers.We would very much like the same treatment given to our male counterparts.Women do truly enjoy the game, and should be able to feel safe and comfortable in the online environment.
Kalecgos! Spoilers! Movie! - Mon, 11 Feb 2008 12:15:00 EST If you, like me, are willing to spoil the living heck out of patches before they drop, just generally like watching boss fights to try and work out what they're doing, or are in any way intrigued by a dragon hitting a bear in the face, this is the video for you.
Without spoiling, all I can really say is it looks like a really interesting fight, and the lore nerd in me is itching to see how this inclusion of out-game media (the Sunwell Trilogy manga) into WoW proper will continue once things like the movie hit. Will we see characters from the comic book?
Seriously, here there be spoilers. Thanks to World of Raids for the video link..
I'm not kidding. If you don't like spoilers, do not pass go, as I promise you there's no chance you'll collect $200.
Valentine's Day is coming on February 14th, and I'm in the mood for love -- machinima love, that is! Over the next few days, I'll be showcasing Valentines and love-themed machinima. If you've created a video ode to that special NPC in your life, let us know!
The first video, released on Valentine's Day in 2007, actually comes from the World of Warcraft staff. It is a parody of those cheesy jewelry commercials on television. Ladies of WoW, what is your ideal gift? Men, what do you plan on getting your significant other?
The past 12 months have been some of the toughest for raiding guilds since WoW went live. When The Burning Crusade launched, the PvE path was riddled with speed bumps: lengthy, complex attunements; massive consumables requirements; subpar loot rewards; fast, punishing trash respawns; luck-based encounters . . . I could go on and on. In comparison, the PvP path was smooth sailing: get your 10 Arena games in and you'll eventually get all the loot you want with no additional farming to cover consumables or repair costs. Run the battlegrounds for the other slots at your leisure and convenience. As a result, raiding guilds have taken a beating as more and more players have thrown in the towel. Gradually, Blizzard has undone most of those speed bumps (while making some of the top-end PvP a little more exclusive). Now, in patch 2.4, it looks like they're really getting serious about bringing guilds back into the 25-player dungeons. They're increasing the amount of gold and loot tokens bosses drop and lifting the attunements for Mount Hyjal and Black Temple. If that wasn't enough, they're also bringing Heroic badge rewards up to par with Black Temple/Season 3 Arena gear.
I've got a backlog of e-mails, so I thought this week I'd address two. Both officers are having problems motivating their guilds to give raiding a try. It seems like they have to drag their guildmates into Karazhan kicking and screaming. So maybe the changes in 2.4 will help them out. Let's see if we can, too.
Support a wish with the Epic Head - Mon, 11 Feb 2008 10:40:00 EST Whether it's through donations of money or items, taking to the streets with your running shoes, shaving off your hair, or purchasing items at a markup or from fair trade companies, almost everyone contributes to charities in one way or another.
Here at WoW Insider, we like to highlight the efforts of gamers everywhere who choose to support their charities in creative new ways, allowing them to reach out to the gaming community to engender participation.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because 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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. No, really. Ok, only if it's a sunrise in new Patch 2.4 lands. We'll take those anytime.
Character copy is up! - Mon, 11 Feb 2008 09:00:00 EST After a wild night of server issues, I decided to log onto my account page and try to copy my warrior over to the PvE test server. Lo-and-behold, after a few tries, the copy request went through! Horray!
Of course, it says that the queue is 4 days long. I seriously doubt this, as this is often wrong. Hopefully later today many more of us will be happy little World of Warcraft campers with shiny new Sunwell toys.
Update 12:22 p.m. EST: My character was copied over, in less than 12 hours. Some players are still reporting that they cannot get the copy screen to work, so it looks like Blizzard might have taken it down again. However if you're really itching to get on the PTR, it might be a good idea to check back every 15 minutes or so.
We've known for a while thanks to screenshots and data from World of Raids that M'uru was the long-expected Dark Naaru boss of the Sunwell. As a lore fanatic and Blood Elf fan, I wondered how they'd explain his disappearance from Silvermoon and his reappearance at the Sunwell, so when tipster James let me know something was up in Silvermoon on the test server, I had to head out immediately and see for myself. He was right: M'uru is no longer in the not-so-secret chamber below the Paladin's guild headquarters in Farstrider Square in Silvermoon City, nor is Lady Liadrin, the founder and matriarch of the order.
Instead, I found the Blood Elf Magisters who had formerly contained the Naaru kneeling or sitting on the floor, or standing in a woozy, stunned daze. Magister Astalor Bloodsworn was the only one who talked, cursing Kael'thas and his Felblood troops for stealing away M'uru, and saying that Lady Liadrin had gone to look for a new source of power for the order.
And yes, she does show up elsewhere to claim that new source.
With all the buzz about patch 2.4 notes and the public test realm it's time to start gearing up for the Sunwell Plateau.Those brave enough to enter the newest high end raid will be getting a shot at some pretty awesome loot.Many players are chomping at the bit to see the new end-game content and add to their repertoire of daily quests.
The patch will feature a brand-spanking-new 25-person instance that finishes off the Burning Crusade raid progression.The new instance will prove more challenging than the Black Temple. Players should be adorned in Tier 6 gear, and can expect better drops including the legendary Thor'idal, the Stars' Fury. Even after the patch goes live, it will take some time for guilds to unlock the final bosses.The first three bosses will be available to all adventurers, but players will have to perform daily quests for Shattered Sun reputation before the last three bosses become available.
Are you ready for the new challenge?If you're interested in seeing the end game content, but not in a raiding guild, be sure to check WoW Insider's GuildWatch. Our Mike Schramm regularly serves up information on guild progression and recruiting. If you're currently in a raiding guild how is your guild preparing for the new raid content?
Love is in the air - Mon, 11 Feb 2008 07:30:00 EST It's that time of year again: Love is in the Air in the capital cities of Azeroth. From now until the 15th, that sweet and sinister holiday where you show your affection to your fellow citizens and your faction leaders is upon us. Be sure to visit your local Innkeeper for a supply of perfume, cologne, and Love Tokens, and see if you can finally capture Qwee Q. Peddlefeet this year, or at least get that dress you've always wanted.
Lots of connectivity issues tonight [Updated] - Sun, 10 Feb 2008 23:21:00 EST The world server is apparently going up and down, and many servers are experiencing connectivity issues. Blizzard lists the realms that are not working well at the start up screen. But as I'm finding out over on Anvilmar, the problem has spread there too.
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!