We've already talked about what was said in the latest Blizzcast: mainly profession details and music, as well as a few snippets on dungeons and raids from Kaplan (and some Starcraft II stuff). But there were some interesting pieces of information given away in an image linked on the podcast transcript page that were not discussed in the podcast, in the way of new crafted items. The image is replicated above; click for a bigger version. My favorite is definitely the Magnificent Flying Carpet. Yes, it's a flying mount for tailors, and I am pretty certain that it will be awesome.
Here's everything I found in that image that I don't remember having seen elsewhere:
Magnificent Flying Carpet: Requires level 70, tailoring (450). Use: Calls forth and dismisses a flying carpet. This is a very fast rug. This mount can only be summoned in Outland and Northrend. Requires artisan riding skill or higher to use.
Floral Foundations: Encrypted, requires inscription (50). A small collection of rare herbs. [No, I have no idea what this is, aside from something to do with Inscription.]
Spring Loaded Cloak Expander: requires engineering (425). Use: permanently modifies a cloak so it can be activated by a skilled engineer, causing them to fall slowly for 10 sec. The effect can only be activated every 5 min.
This last item ties in to what Jon LeCraft (WoW's lead profession designer) was saying about engineering having items to give effects to gear, as opposed to replacing gear outright like the Parachute Cloak. Engineered enchants, basically. Overall, I continue to be more and more excited about professions in Wrath.
Ask WoW Insider: An early disappointment? - Mon, 11 Aug 2008 18:00:00 EST With all the Wrath news dropping, there's been a ton of hype around the next World of Warcraft expansion. Lots of players are very excited (including yours truly), but Charles S isn't so much. He actually stopped playing the game in March of this past year (before that, he raided as a Warlock), and he is using today's Ask WoW Insider column to ask you, our readers, if anyone else isn't so hot on what they've seen so far: I've been reading your site and the news about the expansion and my question is, is it too early to be disappointed in what I am seeing for this expansion?
Unfortunately he doesn't expound much more beyond that, and I'd like to know what else he wants to see from the expansion -- we're going to get Death Knights, siege vehicles, and we're going to get to meet the Lich freakin' King, more than once. I don't know what more a Warcraft fan would want. But maybe you do -- think it's too early for Charles to be disappointed, or should he wait and see if Wrath will bring him back to the game?
And if you have a question you want to ask our readers, feel free to send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org, and you might see it up here next week for everyone else to answer.
Note to Blizzard and SwagDog: feel free to send the royalty checks over to me whenever you want. The bad news is that they've eschewed the idea of "t-shirt as tabard", and instead it looks like they're making a custom-printed shirt for everyone, so it'll have not just your tabard on their shirt, but your guild's name, and your character's name and realm, race, class and faction as well.
As neat as these are, I think I'd like something a little more subtle -- all that text and the icons muddy it up a bit. But otherwise, definitely seems like (assuming the prices and shirt quality are respectable) a fun way to show off a little guild and toon pride.
Upper Deck releases WoW Minis "demo" - Mon, 11 Aug 2008 17:00:00 EST The WoW Minis game is picking up steam towards a release later this year, and after a first play chance at the ComicCon last week, Upper Deck has posted a downloadable demo of the game on their website. In this case, a "downloadable demo" actually means a printable PDF, complete with little figurines to cut out and assemble into a game board. Not exactly the most quality experience, but a DIY demo is a pretty interesting way to test and see how you like the game mechanics.
And inside the PDF, you can find a coupon that you can redeem at Gen Con this coming weekend for a chance to play in a preview event, and walk away with some real product from the game. If you can't be at Gen Con, don't worry, Upper Deck is planning some WoW Minis events for BlizzCon later this year as well.
And if you don't have the cash or the time to be flying all over the country and visiting huge groups of nerds enjoying their favorite pasttimes in packs, no big deal either -- the WoW Minis game itself is set for release sometime this Fall. So pretty soon you'll be able to play it yourself in your own nerdy way.
Blizzcast episode 4 is now live and available for listening, and with it, of course, has come a wealth of new World of Warcraft Information. Some of it is stuff we've gotten wind for before, but there's some interesting insights into the whole game. You can listen to it here and read the transcript here, or join us after the break for a breakdown of the juiciest information from the Interviews
Fortunately, this "mY Generation" show from Australian TV is a little more fair with WoW than the last bit we saw. Though the stereotyping of an entire generation and the video effects grate after a while, it's a generally better look at what it's like to be a World of Warcraft player. It would be nice to see, for example, these kids going out to a movie occasionally or interacting with other people (since most of WoW's population actually does that), and it would have been good to hear from more than just that scientific woman talking about the average playtime -- why all the focus on how many hours /played these people have and not what it feels like to play during those hours? But as far as mainstream reporting goes, it starts out as a pretty good description of what it's like to be a WoW player.
Part 2 and part 3 start to fall down, though, and by the time an intervention rolls around, the show gets a little more biased. I have to say, it would be fun to see a documentary done in this way for someone who watches TV 20 hours a week -- "We wanted to hang out with her, but she said the season finale of Top Model was on. She's a completely different person now!" Somehow, staring at a screen and doing nothing is still socially acceptable, but according to television itself, staring at a screen and interacting with other human beings isn't.
MMO-Champion has just discovered 3 interesting new tailoring patterns in the Wrath Beta files. Rather than things you can sell, however, these are soulbound cloak embroideries, and at least at first glance, they seem very nice indeed.
Lightweave Embroidery: Embroiders a subtle pattern of light into your cloak, giving you a chance to cause an additional 800 to 1000 Holy damage when you damage an enemy with a spell. You can only embroider your own cloak and embroidering your cloak will cause it to become soulbound.
Pushback has always been the bane of spellcasters and Hunters everywhere, be it in PvP or PvE. The slightest bit of damage, even the environmental kind, can make a quick 1 second cast somehow stretch into eternity. However, as of the latest Beta build, the eternal cast time may be a thing of the past thanks to some new spell pushback rules.
When you're casting a spell, the first two hits will add .5 seconds each to the cast time. Every other cast will have no effect. For channeled spells, the first 2 hits will take 25% each off the total duration, while all subsequent hits will have no effect.
This sounds like it should be a pretty awesome change overall, especially for solo or small group PVE, where one who has drawn aggro or otherwise lost control of their target can rest assured that it will take them only a single second longer to get off a heal or cast a crowd control spell. Here's hoping this is one change that makes it to the live servers.
Of course, it's probably still worth taking that pushback protection talent if you can. There's no use tempting fate, and that 1 extra second can be a surprisingly long time when you're under pressure.
When World of Warcraft launched, a guild was a chat channel, a tabard, and some very basic UI features like ranks and the message of the day. It's nearly four years later, and very little thus far has been added to the game to help guilds. So far we've gotten one major feature: guild banks. It was almost absurd that banks weren't part of the feature set for guilds when the game went live, and the hoops guilds jumped through to stash and distribute their important items were equally absurd. So while banks were a welcome addition, I wouldn't call their implementation a step forward so much as a step to catch up with what's adequate.
Now we're getting calendars -- yet another essential feature that should have been part of the UI since Day 1. I don't want to sound unappreciative. I'm hopeful that this feature will be sound enough to use and I'll be thrilled if we can dump Guild Event Manager or Group Calendar for something that's built into the software (with a grateful farewell /salute to the makers of those mods!).
But in terms of running a guild using in-game features, we're still in bare-bones territory here. Is it possible that Blizzard has more surprises up their sleeve for officers in Wrath? Here's what I'd love to see them implement:
It's been a while since we've written about Chronicle of the Annoying Quest, but honestly, after two years and 26 episodes, we're still not sure what's going on. This seems to be a series that you either love, or hate. Still, you can't fault Bakasavant Productions for being so dedicated to something. Their large fan base certainly doesn't.
See what I go through to get you the juiciest beta information? That's three sharks I'm fighting off, all for you! Those things are vicious... but they were clearly have not been reading the beta forums, because they had no idea how overpowered Paladins are right now. But enough chatter: time for your questions! Hoops asked....
How much gold roughly would you get from questing 70-77 (until you unlock the flying mount)? I was wondering if it would it be worth farming money beforehand or would the money from questing be enough.
I'm not 77 yet, so I can't exactly address the question as asked, but I can tell you that I've made about 400g leveling from 70 to 72. That's just from questing, vendoring trash & unneeded greens -- and it includes some stupid deaths, plenty of repair bills(I blame Dalaran for many of them!) , and training a couple of professions (35g to train a primary profession to the next skill level and 100g to train a secondary profession to the next skill level).
For more on money-making in Wrath -- and other questions! -- read on! 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.
Say what you will about the addition of blood elves to the Horde, but they've certainly opened up some interesting dating possibilities. Alisha left her blood elf bank alt sitting on a bench in Silvermoon City while she went AFK. On her return, she found that her banker had been befriended by an ambitious orc in her absence. Alisha managed to snap a quick pic before her embarassed paramour ran away. He might have been more successful in a tux with some flowers -- I doubt that blood elf girls are attracted by bearskin outfits. Then again, as a troll with a tauren boyfriend, I can't really judge.
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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more sunsets or pointless geopolitical spam in Trade Chat.
It's Monday, August 11th, and that means that BlizzCon tickets are on sale. Except, they're really not. Blizzard's new Blizzard Store site is epic fail broken -- all most people are seeing is the "error has occured" screen above.
Hopefully this isn't a preview of things to come. and hopefully Blizzard will figure out a fair way to get these tickets out (because right now, the site certainly isn't working). Expect more updates to this post as the process goes along.
Update: Seems like a lot of people are making it to the credit card verification screen before things go bad, so it seems (seems) the fault may be with the credit card approvals, not necessarily Blizzard's site. Also, one big change from last year is that not only do you specify your WoW character during checkout, but they ask you to say your favorite Blizzard franchise, as well.
Update 2: Alex here, seems the entire site is FUBAR pretty much. Definitely not a credit card thing. It won't even let me shop for books to add onto my order.
We're liveblogging our quest for BlizzCon tickets -- lots more updates after the jump.
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.
Ferocity Pets! These are the face-rippers, the squishie-killers, the pets that make us proud to be a Beastmaster hunter! Cats, Devilsaurs, Raptors, Wolves! Yeeha!
Some of my fondest memories in WoW are things that never really should have ever happened. I don't mean random happenstance taking the wheel of life from me, nothing like that. I mean glitches, bugs and things that the Blizzard devs really never intended to happen. Sure, some bugs are not so fun, like losing equipment you worked hard for or getting blocked in a raid because a boss isn't working right, but there have been a lot of really awesome ones, too.
Take, for example, the screenshot above. It probably doesn't count because it happened on the Wrath beta and of course there are bugs there, but it was the beginning of a night that made me laugh for hours. If you can't tell what's going on... I'm piloting an airplane, my buddy tried to hop in with me but his chair is floating a few feet over my head for some reason, and someone decided to park their siege tank twenty feet up a wall, inside of the wall. That pretty much sums up the current state of Lake Wintergrasp, in case you were wondering.
If that doesn't count, there's the time a few years back when some friends and I ran Zul'Farrak, and a basilisk we aggro'd threw us twenty feet backwards for some reason, into another basilisk that threw us right back. We cried tears of laughter through about twenty minutes of the two basilisks playing catch with our flailing bodies before we were coherent enough to try and figure out what the heck was going on.
Do you guys have any memories like this? Do you ever wish you could go out and do them again for the nostalgia of it all, or are you pretty content keeping it a one time thing?
Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is now Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. Matt scored a beta key and busied himself speccing and respeccing his Priest multiple times and decided to test the new talents in a healing party environment.
After getting a beta key, I was absolutely excited with all the Priest changes and additions made. Several of the other WoW Insider bloggers wanted to get into Utgarde Keep and the Nexus in order to experience both places. The objective was to try out our new toys, of course. The party composition determined the talents I picked up. All in all, it I had a blast tearing through both instances and learned more about the new Discipline talents intimately.
All the World's a Stage: Sacrificing spells for the story - Sun, 10 Aug 2008 23:00:00 EST All the World's a Stage returns today to shine a brutal but loving eye on the intricacies of roleplay. We do this by looking at the craft of roleplay itself, and the people who love it. We might not be ready for Jerry Springer, but we're pretty sure this week's column is going to have a little debate behind it. Michael Gray fills in this week for David Bowers, and talks about letting roleplay exclude some other forms of play in the World of Warcraft.
We're not a big Guild. All told, we probably have about twenty to twenty five people who come online at various times to talk, chat, and play together. We have some structure, but we're mostly a motley of friends who hang out. Our raiding effort takes place because our raid leaders woke up one day and said "By Wrath of the Lich King, we're going to be able to progress in ten man content."
We're also a roleplay-ish kind of Guild. I say "ish" because we're not full immersion players. We have some light story notions. For example, I have the vague idea that our raid's main healer is the son of our raid's main tank -- that's mostly because they're the same human model, but one has light blonde hair, and the other has old, graying hair.
So, when we come across folks into the roleplay and immersion a little more than we are, we're sometimes not quite sure what to make of it.
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 a set of 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.