New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.
Ding ... you're 80! So what are you going to be when you grow up? Don't get us wrong: levelling your first character to 80 (especially if this is your first massively multiplayer online game) is a not-insignificant accomplishment - but you're not quite ready for prime time yet. Hitting level 80 in WoW is less like being a graduating senior than it is being a new sophomore. You've finished WoW 101; now it's time to make sure you've covered all your core classes and start taking a stab at some electives and specialized coursework.
If you've just hit level 80, consider this basic checklist a graduation gift of sorts from WoW Rookie. It'll help pointed you in the right direction for whatever type of game play you're interested in pursuing. Your game's just beginning. Dig in!
Blizzard poster Slorkuz gave a lot of effort in a post made the other day discussing Warsong Gulch, one of the game's first Battlegrounds. In a long post, he details his experiences with common tactics such as flag room defense, 10-man offense, half and half (5 on offense and 5 on defense), and the most common tactic that all players are familiar with -- the "kill anything on sight" strategy.
It's a rather hefty post and should help a lot of players decide on what tactic to employ when running WSG premades (as you can't obviously expect PUG groups to follow any real strategy with coordination). Slorkuz explains that Warsong Gulch is a Battleground where team composition is critical, something that holds true here more than other Battlegrounds (or as in the case of Alterac Valley, not true at all). With such a small team, having no form of crowd control or healing can and usually ends in a loss.
But there are lots of issues -- at this point, agrees Zarhym, it's too easy to get saved to a raid. It's lame to jump in on a PuG where you do one boss and then the group breaks up for the rest of the week, and it's even lamer to have your raid ID ninja'ed by a few folks who decide they want to disband the group early. The mechanic is important to keep around, though -- if you think it's too easy to get endgame gear now, just think what things would be like if people could run Naxx or OS daily or even hourly.
But the actual saving is an issue, and one that the developers are working on -- they're planning on making it so that you would only be saved to an instanced when it's partially or even completely cleared (though that too would likely spread a little more loot around than wanted -- people would run the instance until the last boss and reset it to do it all over again). We'll have to see how this pans out.
The Ten Commandments for DPS - Wed, 11 Feb 2009 16:00:00 EST As you might expect, I tend to be on the lookout for sites that talk about DPSing as a warrior. My blog overlord recently pointed out DPS Plate to me. It's a solid site that for now seems to be arms warrior focused and is even looking for paladin and DK contributors to help expand what they talk about. Since I'm all for a one stop shop for DPS discussion among the plate wearing set, I figured I would mention that. Go send Weryl an email if you're interested.
The post that caught my attention first was this set of commandments for DPS. While it's clearly focused on melee, a lot of it can be useful for anyone just starting out in raids as a damage dealer. My personal favorites are:
III. Do not overtax your healers by taking undue raid damage. In this spirit, do not stand in front of the Big Nasty, nor should you stand in any nastiness the Big Nasty has strewn on the floor
VII. If you have a buff to share with melee, use it. This includes debuffs to the Big Nasty and anything that mitigates damage on the Tank. Though he is unintelligent and stands in front of the Big Nasty and probably smells a little funny, he is your melee brethren.
As I have been (and still am) unintelligent enough to slap on a shield and stand in front of the big nasty from time to time, I laughed. All in all it's a good basic primer for anyone starting out as DPS, things you should know after a few raids but it won't hurt you to be reminded of them either.
The Ice Stone has melted! - Wed, 11 Feb 2009 15:00:00 EST When The Love is in the Air started up this morning, a really curious bug cropped up that has even some Blizzard employees stumped. Every now and then, a server-wide emote (like the one you see when Eranikus is defeated in Moonglade) announces to the world that, 'The Ice Stone has melted!'
Nobody really knows what it is, or why it's announcing that. As I mentioned, even a few Blizzard employees have no idea what it is, though they're looking into it. The only 'ice stone' that crops up when Googling or Wowwiki'ing around to find this thing is the objects from the Midsummer Festival that we interacted with last year. It's possible that the team responsible for world events was working on an update to the Midsummer Fire Festival and crossed some wires somewhere. After all, if any of the holidays need an urgent update, it would be that one.
When would you become a ninja? - Wed, 11 Feb 2009 14:00:00 EST An interesting question was posed over on Less QQ, More PewPew: When would you become a ninja? It made for a pretty good read, the author lays out a few situations that might warrant an act of ninjery* that really made me think about the whole thing. Would I ninja in those situations? The situations that the author describes are situations that would certainly make me consider it, but they're also situations I don't ever put myself in.
The author lays out a scene: Your raid is in Sunwell (when it was still sexy), you have your regular Hunter, and you have a terrible PUG Hunter. You kill Kil'jaeden. Regular Hunter did great, but PUG Hunter was terrible and died almost instantly. You loot the boss and... Thori'dal drops! The two Hunters roll off, and the pickup Hunter wins the roll. Do you Master Loot the bow to your regular Hunter anyway? Or do you play nice and give it to the pickup?
Ambrosyne wrote an interesting post in her blog the other day, making a nice point about not yelling at healers. She addresses the point essentially to DPS classes who yell over vent that they need healing. She explains -- with the illustration above -- that she sees everyone's health bars and that "99% of the time, we know when you're dying." So don't yell.
She's actually polite enough not to tell her fellow raid members not to ask for heals. And nice enough not to reveal that if you really put off a healer, you won't get healed at all. I remember back in the days of Molten Core where we had this inept Hunter who refused to Feign Death because it "dropped his DPS". That same Hunter always asked for heals even though he wasn't supposed to be taking much damage sitting in the back of the raid, firing from afar. It got to the point where, on the healers' chat channel, we all agreed not to heal him. Sure enough, in the next pull, he steals aggro, refused to Feign Death, and dies. With a little help -- or lack of it.
That's the truth about healing, for the most part. Healers are already on their toes watching everybody's lives. That's their role. You don't often hear yelling at DPS to, well, DPS, do you? They're expected to DPS. Even when they fall below a certain DPS threshold, you won't hear the raid leader chew them out. Most of the time, at least. Ambrosyne points out that pretty much all she sees are feet. That's right, feet. Because healers play a little mini-game watching Grid and often miss out on the action. If you're dying, they know it. So as a public service announcement, we're reminding all of you not to yell at your healers. It just might mean you'll get healed.
In response to the success of the GLaDOS World of Warcraft infiltration program, I have taken it upon myself to further reinforce the importance of your best friend in the world, the Weighted Companion Cube.
You will find the cubes located in the entrances to all clandestine Aperture Science Enrichment Centers. An example of the Cubes I have deployed is displayed above. The cubes resemble the ones I had in place for you at the primary Aperture Science facility, as well as the cubes initially placed in our clandestine facilities one cycle ago.
Please ensure your continued observation and interaction with the cubes throughout the next five days. Since the Icestone has now melted, you have no excuse not to begin your duties immediately.
If you are able to successfully make use of them to further Aperture Science, I can assure you the cake will be quite real this time.
Jaja1 over at Machinima.com posted this WoW music video, titled Fun to be a Hunter. It's a brief kind of R&B video, featuring a lot of snippets of in-game footage. The words are wildly captioned in a variety of ways on the screen, which is handy because sometimes it can be hard to keep up with what's being spoken.
I don't know what to think about this piece. I totally dig WoW-themed music. I think I could be missing some coolness of the video due to my ignorance of this music's genre. In general, though, I liked the cadence and pop of the lyrics, and the way it generally sounded. Trying to make sense of the words in terms of actual gameplay, though, was sometimes a struggle to me.
The singer's voice was perfect for it, though I did feel like she was a little quiet at times. I'm a minimalist when it comes to music videos, so I found the montages and text-overs to be perfectly adequate. I don't know, maybe it could have used some more in the way of dancing Blood Elves, but we generally get enough of those. I definitely hope to see more from Jaja1, though, because I'd like to see what the next steps will be.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
But recently, Blizzard mentioned that they were aiming to release the content closer together, and this appears to be a result of that: it's still not simultaneous, obviously, but a few months is better than a year or so. Apparently 17173.com has heard that China will be getting Wrath of the Lich King next week, so if that does happen, we can look for the first Chinese level 80 and the first Chinese clears of Naxx and the other endgame raids soon after that.
I remember where I was at when I read the 3.0.9 patch notes when they were forwarded our way on the WoW Insider tip line. I was in line at the grocery store, picking up a gallon of milk and some sausage to make biscuits and gravy. Reading the tiny print on my iPhone, I scrolled down to the Brittle Yellowclass text that triggers an instant reaction from any fellow assassin: Rogue changes.
Just four tiny lines, yet our entry doubled that of nearly every other class. These short, simple sentences would set the blogging community and the Official Rogue (and General, and Damage Dealing, and Paladin...) Forums ablaze in riot. How could we keep believing in Blizzard? My first thought upon reading the now infamous Assassination nerf: "They're nerfing Mutilate by HOW much?"
Since Valentine's Day is this weekend, I've decided to spend a couple of days featuring V-day shots. Whether you're part of a happy couple, part of an unhappy couple, or a singleton who walks around mocking overly saccharine couples, feel free to submit your Valentine shots. This lovely bouquet of, er, roses comes to us from Ragnaron, GL of <Prophetic> on Malfurion, and his guildmates Sinoria, Ibeaturfunra, and Pottietang. While farming Coilfang Pens, they found that the slaughtered makrura made a pleasing pattern and decided to use their bodies to add a stem. Leave it to a warlock to come up with a bouquet of dead crabs for a Valentine's gift.
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. 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.
Although Warlock pets have been improved somewhat, their contribution to Affliction and Destruction DPS is marginal, at best. While these demons may not be buffed to the level of Hunter pets, their contribution to DPS and utility needs a little more tweaking, and the increased HP change in Patch 3.0.8 and modest DPS increase is a start. Eyonix gives absolutely no details about what improvements are on the table, but many Warlocks have had great input on the forums. We'll have to stay tuned.
The time for loving is finally here! Officially, that is. You can do your love thing any day. On the other hand, today is the start of Love is in the Air, the second world event of the year. If you're looking to get that Achievement, required for the meta-Achievement to get that Violet Proto-drake, the best place to start would be The OverAchiever, where Dan wrote up a handy guide to becoming a Love Fool.
Now that we all have an excuse to act like fools for love, I have to ask -- what's the most foolish thing you've done for love in-game? I know one guildie who's been busily farming the various drake pets and the Disgusting Oozling to give to his lady love in time for the season. The cheesiest I ever got was when my wife and I took off to have a nice picnic on one of the floating isles in Nagrand, complete with roses, picnic baskets, and formal wear. I don't have a lot of money in-game, so all the extravagant gifts come from my wife instead.
This time, though, I think I'm going to bake her a Delicious Chocolate Cake and maybe a Bouquet of Black Roses. I know, I'm sort of cheap and uncreative, but hey, I'd love to hear some suggestions! I can probably pick up some Achievements along the way, and I could always use some reputation gains with my wife, after all...
Ninjas and /gquitters beware: the Armory knows. It knows what achievements you've gotten and when, it knows what your gear is, and it knows what kind of raiding you've done and which reputations you've leveled. You can say anything you want on the forums: that you're an experienced raider, or that you've never even been in an OS raid, much less ninja'd gear from one, but the Armory will call you out, every time.
That drama and more in this week's Guildwatch, our weekly collection of guild updates from around the realms. To tell us your guild's story (or send us a great bit of drama you've seen elsewhere), just drop a note to email@example.com. This week's GW starts right after the cut.
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.
Alex is out loading up his backpacks with all his gear, hopping on his Traveler's Tundra Mammoth and walking across Azeroth for a couple days. So until he's back to us full time I'm going to take a few more days this week of "Da Queue." Be sure to leave us your questions as a comment, or if you want to remain anonymous (because really, besides "Why can't Paladins tank?" there is no such thing as a dumb question) you can send us a tip on our tip line. Enough talk! Let us Queue!
"Any word on when they're going to make engineers not useless in 3.1..."
Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we take a look at gearing your lolbaretank for the rigors of standing in front of raid bosses and screaming, "Is that the best you've got?"
My main spends most of her time tanking, so I have a little more experience with the gear on this list as opposed to others. Dan O'Halloran will be writing a guide to gearing a Cat Druid next week, and with that we'll be rounding up pre-raid gear for all 4 specs.
As with our entry on pre-raid Restoration gear at 80 and our entry on pre-raid Balance gear at 80, this guide assumes that you do not presently have access to either 10-man or 25-man raids, and if I miss any piece that you've found helpful, please drop a comment and I'll make sure it gets added. I should also add that this gear set presumes you are gearing your bear tank with an eye toward main-tanking in raids and/or tanking the more difficult heroics. If you're mostly DPSing or off-tanking, please feel free to swap in more DPS-oriented pieces prioritizing +hit and +crit over +expertise, +dodge, and stamina. Before we get any further, some helpful links:
Toskk's Bear Tank Time-To-Live Method, allowing you to look at upgrades from the context of your present set of gear and calculate how long you can go without healing assuming different talents and items.
ThinkTank on pre-raid gear: While I don't think that Kalon's been able to update this for patch 3.0.8 yet and he weights items a little differently than I do, this is a terrific list. He'll also give you a much better sense of just how good PvP gear is right now (much to my everlasting annoyance concerning arena).
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.