They're $9.99 apiece with free shipping, which is not too bad. And if that's too much and you want to try making them yourself, they've even got a tutorial on how it's done right there on the site. We do have one issue, though -- these pretty pendants and cute crafts are fine for the ladies and all, but what about us dudes? Maybe we can get some "pwned" or "woot" cufflinks?
Well, I had a long rant about the Mana Spring change and some more about the leveling process and then Blizzard chose to drop a new PTR build on us, so we'll be talking about that instead. Some of these changes are holdovers from previous PTR builds and some are totally new. We'll be covering them step by step here and discussing them all as they are the state of the art for what's coming for the class, but to avoid deluging anyone with information they'd prefer not to see yet (since it is all of course subject to change before going live) we'll do so behind the jump.
Wow. MMO Champion, long trusted to datamine anything that's not nailed down to the floor, brings us the complete (to date) list of Ulduar achievements added to the 3.1PTR, and yeah. It's long. Blizzard promised us some new achievements for Ulduar, but I wasn't expecting a list THIS long. Or this hilarious.
There are the expected "kill these bosses" achievements, the inevitable "kill these bosses while doing something hard" achievements, silly achievements you'll get without trying, and more. Bear in mind that many of these numbers, and even some achievement criteria, are either incorrect or placeholders. Don't freak out.
The full list is after the jump and is, of course, quite spoiler-heavy, so stay away if you want your Ulduar experience to be as pure as driven snow.
In order to get the job done this time around, Durante mentions in his thread on the official forums that he had to do some pretty significant Stamina stacking, and his DPS was quite nearly nonexistant with the spec and equipment that allowed this to happen. He did just over 900 DPS over the course of the encounter. The raid didn't seem to need to stack any extra healers for this, but the five that were there had to be on top of their game. One attempt was cut short when Bubbles ate a pretty hefty crit, and pets can't be crit immune. Threat was a little dicey at first, Durante says, DPS really needed to hold back for awhile. They managed it though, and that's really all that counts.
I wouldn't say that this is a sign of Hunter pets taking over as Tanks or anything like that, but it was probably incredibly fun for Durante and his guild. I have no idea where his guild (which is recruiting Healers, apparently) sits on the meter between "Casual" and "Hardcore" but even the most hardcore guilds need to have a little fun sometimes and I think this qualifies.
Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.
After The Puppy chewed up The Squeak Toy in last week's Two Bosses matchup, we move to a theoretically interesting pairing: Mal'Ganis from The Culling of Stratholme vs. Varos Cloudstrider of The Oculus. Readers will want to consider not only the fighting styles of the two combatants but the considerable power and lore behind Mal'Ganis as a character. Don't cop out or be too l33t to bother - let's see what you've got in some juicy comments!
The usual rules apply: assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools and damage output, and that they are fighting in neutral territory. While Arthas normally assists against Mal'Ganis in the Culling fight, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense that he should be here to butt in. Let's scoot Arthas out of the picture. However, we think the fact that Varos Cloudstrider summons Azure Ring Captains as an integral part of his battle plan serves as a decent counter to the sheer strength of Mal'Ganis' background. Let's work with it; no Arthas, but we'll allow for the summoned Captains. (And no, all you smarty-pants out there: Varos doesn't have to kill Mal'Ganis outright, simply wear him down to the point where he escapes.)
Remember, focus your debate on the three S's: Style, Story and Scale. Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what players might do in each encounter. Consider the flavor each villainous gladiator brings to bear, then cast your vote for who you think would come out on top.
Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be talking about how to effectively swap between aspects to improve your performance.
Pike from Aspect of the Hare published a post recently, "Aspect of the Viper and You", in which she describes what Aspect of the Viper is and when to use it. For raiding and leveling Hunters alike, Aspect of the Viper is a powerful tool to reduce downtime when mana is running low. Stopping to drink or popping mana potions is almost obsolete thanks to this great aspect, and Pike's article goes a long way in teaching newbies and veterans alike when it's time to put that aspect to use. Today, I'd like to take that idea further and discuss more ways to help put Aspect of the Viper to work for you.
For raiding Hunters, it's extremely easy to switch to Aspect of the Viper during a fight to regen mana and then forget to swap back to Aspect of the Dragonhawk once your mana bar is full again. I know in the past I've had less than stellar numbers on the meters simply because I forgot to switch aspects! Sure, swapping aspects should be a no-brainer, but simple mistakes are easy to make when you're dodging slimes, fire and big ol' dragons. For that reason, I started using ViperNotify. This add-on is very simple and light weight. All it does is notify you via pretty blue alert text that appears on your screen (similar to a raid alert) that your mana bar is full but Aspect of the Viper is still active. It also plays a quick little ding sound (which is, amazingly, not the slightest bit annoying) to catch your attention in case you missed the warning text. There are, of course, several other mods that behave similarly, but ViperNotify is the one I use. This one simple add-on makes it much easier to ensure the best possible performance from your two primary aspects.
Forum Post of the Day: Great Warrior literature - Thu, 12 Mar 2009 17:00:00 EST This thread, sent to us by reader Talmar (thanks!) is probably the best QQ thread I've ever read. Not because it's full of substantive criticism about the class, but just because it's got lots of references meant for literary nerds like me. The styles of Kafka, Shakespeare, Camus, Wilde, and Douglas Adams (who fits in that crowd, right?) all make appearances as players combine old literary quotes with the plight of Fury Warriors.
And when Pynchon shows up on page 3, then the rails really go off the tracks. But it is a lot of fun. Because if you're going to QQ, you might as well do it in style, right?
"Ghostcrawler believed in the perfect Fury build, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter -- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms our further... And one fine morning --
So we grind on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
Immortal is the toughest raiding achievement in the game - Thu, 12 Mar 2009 16:30:00 EST This is extremely interesting. Guildox is a site that tracks raiding progression solely based on earned raiding achievements -- they check the Armory entry of your guild, and then add them to a list of who's toppled which instances and when. But they recently sent us a note about some overall data, and it's fascinating. Below the pulldown bar of the achievement listings on their site, you'll find an "achievement rate" stat. That is the percentage of guilds who've completed the selected achievement as compared to the number of guilds in their system who've completed any of the 10 or 25-man raiding achievements.
Beast Masters around the world, rejoice! A new species of Spirit Beast has been tracked down on the Patch 3.1 PTR, which should alleviate the hunt around Sholazar Basin. This is a real Spirit Beast, by the way, and not the wooden (albeit wonderful) pull-toy that BRK has available through his site. The white tiger-skinned Gondria is a Level 77 rare elite that can be found in Zul'drak, presumably as difficult to pursue as the leopard-like Loque'nahak.
According to Beast Lore, Gondria will have Spirit Strike, the Moonfire-like ability unique to Spirit Beasts. Personally, I didn't care much for the spotted Loque'nahak, although I'm sure Matthew's wife disagrees vehemently. This ghostly (spectral?) white tiger looks much sexier, I think, and would go right along with the game's most expensive mount or its aspirational knock-off. So Hunters, you had all better get a lay of the land in Zul'drak, because as soon as Patch 3.1 comes out, the game will be afoot...
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.
Before I wrote six. Now I'm writing seven. And if you got the picture on six, you'll probably understand why Kara Thrace is the featured image for this article where I answer seven of your questions. And if you don't understand what I'm talking about, just know that my girlfriend bears a resemblance to Katie Sackhoff (beyond sharing the same first name), and that's worthy of a Queue introduction right there.
And mark my words, she is somehow related to the seventh Cylon. Starbuck, not my girlfriend (although...).
"Heirlooms and similar items are listed as "Bind on Account." Now wouldn't this make more sense if these BoA items actually did what their tooltip lists, and let us trade these throughout entire accounts, not just one server? I'd love for my Death Knight on my friend's server to have Murky and the Big Blizzard Bear."
Warsong Gulch. The game's oldest Battleground. I still remember those days when it was only possible to queue up in the Barrens (or in Ashenvale, if you were Alliance) and enemies made sport of players zoning out of the Battleground like so much sitting ducks. It's still going strong, as far as Battlegrounds go, even prompting Blizzard to share some thoughts on strategy while others even advertise that you just might find true love. It might not be the Battleground Holiday, but it's still worth the visit as Warsong Gulch remains the most combat-heavy Battleground of all. While you're at it, why not go for some Achievements?
Warsong Gulch Veteran Win 100 games. Just like all Battleground veteran Achievements, this is just a matter of time. Depending on your luck and your faction, this can breeze fast or painfully slow. If you're grinding for reputation, you're pretty much guaranteed to finish this Achievement before getting to Exalted. As fun as it is to engage in battle mid-field, just remember that the goal of the map is to capture the flag. Unlike other Battlegrounds, Warsong Gulch can drag on for a very, very long time if players don't keep focused on the goal or are too evenly matched. Difficulty: Moderate Capture the Flag Capture the flag. This is one of the easier Achievements in this meta, and it helps if you're a class with some mobility like a Druid, Shaman, or even a Rogue and Mage. That said, it shouldn't be too difficult to do this once out of all the many games you'll be playing. Difficulty: Easy
So basically, if patch 3.1 isn't done by Easter, we won't see the holiday ingame until it is done. And while it'll be a little strange to be looking for eggs in May (if it comes to that), we have to agree that's the right decision: we all know what happens when Blizzard releases a patch that isn't fully tested.
We can wait. Noblegarden might not match up with the real-life holiday this year (if the patch does come late -- Kisirani still says this is a plan, so maybe the patch will be done by April 12th), but hopefully when it does appear, it won't be broken.
The last couple days of Ulduar testing have been a wash, delays and cancellations cutting things short. As mentioned by the developers when they announced the cancellation of the EU's Auriaya testing, recent tweaks and retuning hadn't yet made it to the PTR, they were contained in a future build that hadn't hit those servers yet. Really, it would be rather pointless to test those bosses. Due to this, they've pushed back all testing and changed up the testing schedule. Testing is now on hold until tomorrow, which means that either this evening or tomorrow morning, we'll be seeing a new build on the PTR.
North American realms:
Friday, 3/13, 4PM PDT: Mimiron
Saturday, 3/14, 4PM PDT: Hodir
Sunday, 3/15, 11AM PDT: Flame Leviathan
Monday, 3/16, 4PM PDT: Ignis the Furnace Master
Tuesday, 3/17, 4PM PDT: XT-002 Deconstructor
Wednesday, 3/18, 4PM PDT: Kologarn
Friday, 3/13, 19:00 CET: Mimiron
Saturday, 3/14, 19:00 CET: Auriaya
Sunday, 3/15, 19:00 CET: Flame Leviathan
Monday, 3/16, 19:00 CET: General Vezax
Tuesday, 3/17, 19:00 CET: Thorim
Wednesday, 3/18, 19:00 CET: Freya
Again, this is the new testing schedule for the upcoming week, and the one that was passed around yesterday should be disregarded.
Unfortunately, it seems that implementing this is far from being in the works. Bornakk has confirmed that Achievement Points are "simply a marker of progression in the game" and that there are no current plans to work in a way to spend them.
How do you feel about this? Personally, I was hoping for the eventual vendor selling items like walking canes, pinwheel hats and walking-speed pogo sticks. Still, not being able to spend my points will not stop me from collecting them!
The language in this video isn't entirely safe for work. They curse a bit.
You probably remember last month when Nyhm teamed up with a trio of creative types as a final farewell to WoW videos. Their video, Pwnage Like Us, showcased three talents who I wouldn't exactly call new to the scene, but who are probably still relatively fresh to casual machinima viewers. Well, Gigi, Decision, Quixotica, and Abandonation are already back with a new music parody piece -- Guildy Conscience.
This music video is a take-off from Eminem and Dr. Dre's "Guilty Conscience." I admit, I'm not incredibly familiar with the original song, and I prefer it that way. It lets me enjoy the work on its own, though I will say that vocal styles are definitely spawned from Eminem's distinctive sound.
The song is a quick series of three parables about decisions everyone faces in World of Warcraft. Well, maybe not everyone, but they're common themes on Mr. Schramm's Guildwatch. First, an undead rogue encounters a gnome and has to decide whether to gank him. Second, a troll's got to resist the temptation to ninja gear from Malygos. And, lastly, a tauren wrestles with complexities of buying gold.
It's meant as comedy, but I actually greatly enjoy their commentary about these ethical issues in WoW. That being said, I'm really wearing out on the "I'm a bad ass Belf!" gig, and hope that Abandonation and Gigi explore other personality facets. Quixotica's work on the video is remarkable, and I really do believe these three could create some astounding work in the coming months.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com. Previously on Moviewatch ..
In 10-man Ulduar, GC expects that we'll want to bring three healers, and claims that they "intend for you to be able to take any 3 healers." This means that even smaller guilds with only enough players to form a 10-man group will be able to work with the healers they have, rather than feeling the need to recruit specific classes.
In 25-man Ulduar, Ghostcrawler mentions that there will be "more pressure to have every player in the role that most emphasizes their strengths" and that we'll "want a mix of healers."
This sounds like a fairly flexible plan, allowing for groups to recruit different healing classes, and allow healers to spec into different roles, such as group healing vs. single target. It also suggests that Blizzard is not planning at this time to homogenize the healing classes any further, unlike the tanking classes.
Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.
In a match-up that readers dubbed The Puppy vs. The Squeak Toy, Lavanthor chewed up Moragg for an easy victory. Dimmak posed an alternative scenario for the losing side: "Moragg has a small advantage in his powers and flying ability. Initially, Lavanthor has the advantage from his fire attacks, but Moragg will be chipping away his armor. The loss of healing won't have much effect, but Lavanthor's big failing is that he spits his fire on the ground.
"We have to assume Moragg and all his eyes will see the fire underneath him and will move out of it. This will reduce the damage of Lavanthor, who will be too stupid to realize his best attack isn't working. Moragg will win, but he is going to be real hurt."
Looks like putting the "draw" alternative at the top of the poll did change the results a bit. We'll try it again in the next matchup of this season's Two Bosses Enter ... One Boss Leaves, coming up this afternoon.
As the daughter of a tauren resto druid and an undead warlock, Kuawren always felt like she didn't belong anywhere. Luckily, <Evocati> of Cenarion Circle was short on two classes for their raid group, and decided to kill two birds with one stone. Soulstones AND battle rezzes? How can they lose? Now they just have to teach her to stop immediately decursing everyone she curses.
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We've already heard about some great spots for Leather and Chilled Meat farming in Northrend, but Just My Two Copper found a great Frostweave spot -- just to the right of Freya's Avatar over in Sholazar Basin, there's a spawning spot for Bonescythe Ravagers that just can't be cleared out no matter how fast you are. I went over there myself, and Markco is right: every time you down all of these guys, another one pops up, and they drop Frostweave and greens pretty often (in about five minutes of farming, I picked up about 10 Frostweave -- and I'm not even a Tailor -- and a lockbox, too).
He says nerf is incoming, and I believe it: there's supposed to be a little battle there going on between Freya's flowers and the undead, and that's probably why they all keep popping up so quickly. But until Blizzard decides to spoil the fun, if you need Frostweave, that appears to be the place to go.
Breakfast Topic: Good eats - Thu, 12 Mar 2009 08:00:00 EST Blizzard has generally done a tremendous job with in-game items. Aside from the mandatory epic gear, of course, they've also given great detail to even the most worthless (or seemingly worthless) items. One aspect of the game that they've put as much effort into are the food and drink. Some foods in game actually make me crave for the real thing, like the Delicious Chocolate Cake. I mean, I know eating it certainly make me very happy.
Most of us keep food that serve as raid or utility buffs, usually from Cooking. This is actually one area that Blizzard still needs to polish, with some foods harder to come by than others. That said, I pack some Dragonfin Filet for those dungeon runs, and a stack of Great Feasts for raids. I would love to bring Fish Feasts, but my Fishing is still at a deplorable 1 (I'm too poor to keep buying the fish off the Auction House).
However, my current favorite food these days are Blackened Worg Steaks, and I never go around without the tracking on. It's an extremely useful buff, specially on a PvP server, so I hardly get jumped and it's very easy for me to track down nasty gankers. I also keep stacks and stacks of Festival Dumplings for general use and because I just love Chinese food. Lastly, I have stacks of Star's Lament because it's the only drink you can take in Arenas.