Don't expect PvE to PvP transfers anytime soon - Sat, 12 Apr 2008 21:00:00 EST One of the larger complaints about the ability to transfer servers is the lack of PvE to PvP transfers. You can transfer your character from a PvP server to a PvE server, but not the other way around. Some folks see this as discriminating against the PvP servers, while others see it as a good thing.
Blizzard is firmly on the side of those that see it as good. In a recent blue post Bornakk has came out and said that while the option is there, they have no plans to allow it. Apparently this has "been on the table" for the past two years.
Personally, I'm glad they won't be allowing this. The ability to transfer from PvP to PvE makes sense since you won't be disrupting the gearing balance. But think about what would happen if you could transfer from a PvE to a PvP server. Everyone would level their characters on a PvE server, and then transfer them to a PvP server at 70. This would make it nearly impossible to get a group or have any pre-70 game play on the PvP server. I know some of you are going to say that it already is impossible, but it would just become more difficult. So I'm with Blizzard on this one.
What do you think? Is it a good policy, or should Blizzard change their ways?
Last week we discussed the fact that raw DPS is not a good indicator of the strength of a hybrid. The quality of a hybrid, or a person that plays a hybrid, will not easily be seen by looking at traditional damage and/or healing meters the same way you would for 'pure' classes.
Before I go on, I'd like to reiterate my disclaimer on this topic: Just because your class or spec is not expected to top damage meters, that does not mean you should become complacent about your DPS or Healing effectivenessity(use it, love it) in a raid. You should always strive to be a better player and find ways to improve yourself. If you think you've hit the ceiling of what you can accomplish, work harder to break through it.
Arena tournament practice phase extended - Sat, 12 Apr 2008 20:00:00 EST Bornakk posted yesterday to let us know that the arena tournament practice phase has been extended until April 22nd. The practice phase is the part where you can get on with your team and learn how to play on the server, devise strategies, and generally get things sorted out before heading into the competition phase. During the competition phase, every win and loss with count for something, and will go towards you possible winning the area tournament!
Bornakk also has a blue post about the exact dates and rules of the tournament for each phase.
Of course, stay tuned to WoW Insider. We'll be carrying tournament news as it happens.
Last night, the WoW Insider arena team stepped into battle for the first time on the arena tournament realms, and it was immediately apparent that things were going to be quite different from our experiences on the tournament test realms.
For starters, there were way fewer people. I also noticed that, contrary to my expectations that everyone shelling out an extra $20 to play here would be a hardcore arena-goer, there were many people on just to have fun. General chat was full of people who didn't know where to go, how to allocate their talent points, and even people who hadn't formed teams yet!
Still, despite the fact the vendor areas had a drastically reduced population, the queues were amazingly short, as Adam points out. Often, I was reading that my team had joined the queue at the same time I was clicking to enter the battle.
First impressions of the Arena Tournament Server - Sat, 12 Apr 2008 18:00:00 EST Last night Amanda Dean, Amanda Miller, and I got together and fought a few arena battles. We were online and fighting between 10:00 p.m. CST and midnight (timed so I could watch the first showing of Battlestar Galactica, and Amanda D. could watch the second - we write for a computer game website, what do you expect?). The server itself was interesting, and the matches were a blast.
We've been at this before on the Tournament Test Realm server, which was the "beta" version of the Arena Server. There was only one server and everyone could make a character, so it was often crowded and slow. On the Arena Server, you have to register to enter the Arena Tournament, which costs $20. Only then can you get on the Arena Server. This makes things a bit more manageable in terms of population and server stability. There wasn't much lag or other issues.
One thing that I found was the queue times were very fast. We didn't have to wait more than 10 seconds to get in a game. We were playing 3v3 matches, so this might have had something to do with it; as I'm sure the queue times were higher for 5v5 or 2v2.
If you're wondering, and I'm sure you are, our team name is "WoW Insider" on server one, and we're named "insideradam", etc... How many matches did we win?
Every Saturday, Arcane Brilliance opens a portal to the wonderful world of Mages and encourages one and all to step through. This week, we'll be taking a hard look at Mage PvP in the Arena combat era, specifically two all-important questions. First, who can a Mage kill? And secondly, who can generally kill a Mage? The answer to the second one--and this may surprise you--is not "an AFK Warlock." Of course, I've never found an AFK Warlock to test that out on, even though I pray every single night that I will. Every...single...night.
In days of yore, before the Burning Crusade brought us Arenas and Blood Elves and approximately 974 new factions to grind reputation with, 1-on-1 match-ups (besides the occasional random ganking over a mining node) tended to only happen in meaningless duels outside Orgrimmar or in Goldshire. Back in those wild, crazy times, before diminishing returns and 41 point talents, most of the meaningful PvP took place in the Battlegrounds, and for Mages, it usually involved hiding behind a tree casting Blizzards down at the bridge in Alterac Valley. When a Rogue unstealthed behind us and planted a dagger in our backs, we died quietly, with a spell on our lips, and revenge in our hearts. Then we rezzed, ran back to our tree, and started the cycle over again.
When the expansion dropped Arena combat into our lives, everything changed. Suddenly, some of us found ourselves in a 2-man team with a Druid or a Shaman, facing off across Blade's Edge Arena against a Warrior and a Paladin. Dying in a blaze of flaming glory after three seconds of combat was no longer going to cut it. Mages adapted. We stacked on the new PvP gear, jacking up our stamina and resilience in the process. We fell in love with Blink, Ice Block, and Frost Nova. We respecced Frost. We learned how to survive, and soon found that we were living six, seven, and sometimes even eight seconds before dying quietly with a spell on our lips.
We also quickly learned that there were some classes we could consistently defeat, as well as several that made us curl up into the fetal position and rock back and forth, weeping softly. Several patches and multiple class-balancing tweaks later, some things have changed, but one thing still holds true: In Arena combat, it's all about the match-ups.
Join me after the break to find out who we can kill, and who we can't.
V'Ming has freed himself from the duct tape and still thinks that gnome warlocks need to be KOSed. He shares thoughts and ideas on becoming deadlier at the Arenas and dabbles in the dark arts in Blood Pact.
WoW players are ravenous. The dust of patch 2.4 has barely settled and we are already looking forward to the next thing on the WoW calendar before the expansion lands - Arena Season 4. If Blizzard thinks we'd ever be content with their content rollouts, they are seriously underestimating the appetite of 10 million subscribers.
Breaking News: Ethereals better than Goblins! - Sat, 12 Apr 2008 15:00:00 EST After looking back on my post about disliked races in WoW again and talking to some friends of mine, I can't help but notice one of my favorite races gets quite a bit of hate! Which is funny, because one of the races I greatly dislike(but didn't make my list) are sort of their 'competition' and get quite a bit of love!
There are a lot of similarities between the Ethereals(like) and the Goblins(dislike), which is rather neat! It's interesting to see the two races somewhat rubbing against one another. Competition is fun to watch. Even more fun are the differences, though. I imagine that's where the opinions are formed.
Read on to discuss the Barons of Bling and the Planar Princes!
While randomly browsing my realm forums last night I came across a guild that (surprise!) was looking for more members. I'm not really looking for a new guild (happy with the ones I'm in now), so I looked into this just to see what other guilds on the server were up to. They've started with 25 man content, have cleared Karazhan, and have done some of Zul'Aman. What caught my eye however was the guild recruitment video they had.
This got me thinking. Do other guilds have recruitment videos? I've heard of plenty of guilds putting together videos of each other running around and having a good time or downing a raid boss. I've been in a few of those myself. But an above average recruitment video? That I don't know.
The guild that started this thought process was Epic, on the realm Eldre'Thalas. I've done a pug or two with a few of their members before, and they're nice folks (although they don't know who I am, I'm sure). The video is very professionally done, has a noticeable 'plot' to it, and is of high quality. Props to Phytrion, a member of their guild, who put it together for them. One thing that I find is a little funny is that the character in the end has a complete Tier 4 protection Warrior armor set and is carrying the Bulwark of Azzinoth that drops off of Illidan. It's a cool shield, so I know why they used it, but the combination is a funny choice.
Do you have a guild recruitment video? Post a comment with a link and show off your stuff!
DKP('Dragon Kill Points' or 'Dungeon Kill Points') is a term that carries a lot of weight with it. Some people hate them, some people love them. Some people don't understand them, others can't live without them. My raid jokingly referred to them as 'HFP' or 'Happy Fun Points' before implementing them, simply because it was a term that had less of a negative spin on it. Amusingly enough, the term has stuck for the last two and a half years.
It only recently dawned on me that the World of Warcraft has its own built-in DKP system to some extent, based off of set item prices determined by the raid leader. They're called Badges of Justice. Blizzard is your Raid Leader. For every raid or heroic boss you kill, you get a Badge of Justice. How many badges you earn is roughly based on the difficulty of the encounter, from one to three badges.
While not everyone likes the Badge of Justice system, most people do. Being able to accumulate badges in new places for new rewards is exciting! When it comes down to it, they're just DKP. Instead of being tally marks on a chart somewhere, they're material possessions in your bags.
Naturally, there are many different DKP systems out there, as varied as the raids that use them. It's possible I'm the last person on Azeroth to realize it, but I simply found it interesting that even Blizzard has implemented pseudo-DKP.
Those of you out there that loathe the idea of DKP, do Badges of Justice make you feel any better about it? Worse?
Today is one of those days where I feel fail coming on. Warcraftmovies generally has accurate categorizing of the machinima that comes through there. However, I found a crit video in the storyline section yesterday, which makes it fair game. I'm sure that most of the readers will end up commenting on playing skill. He tried to score the highest unexploited crit that he could.
Unfortunately, there are issues with the video itself. There is too much text on the screen and it takes up most of the video. The black on black flashes between text is kind of pointless as well. People seem to like these types of videos, but I think that rating them based on gameplay versus video skill skews the entire system.
Can there be a happy mix of gameplay and machinima? What's the best example that you've seen?
Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Or wipe to them. Again. And again. And again... This week, we look at progression and what it means to you.
This week, we were going to present a column on Brutallus, in similar vein to our Kalecgos and Zul'Aman timed run walkthroughs. However, we'll be leaving you in suspense for another week, as disheartening 1% wipes prevent us from actually having killed him yet. So, until we manage to eke out that final drop of DPS, we present WoW Insider's handy guide to Progress Raiding and You.
There are two main 'classes' of raid, progress and farm; progress raids involve conquering new content, such as facing (and killing) a boss for the first time, whereas farm raids are easy rides through familiar territory, with clean kills and quick epics. Obviously, there's some middle ground, when you kill something for the second or third time -- but at some point the fight becomes repeatable, easy, and unlikely to warrant a second trash clear, earning it the title 'farm'.
It's eighty degrees here today, and this picture is a good representation of the hot summer nights we'll all soon be experiencing (except for Oceania players. Sorry -- just like Blizzard, we forgot about you.) Koschei of Ravenholdt decided to take a stroll along the shores of Booty Bay one night, and created his own lunar/solar eclipse. I cannot for the life of me tell whether that's the moon or the sun. The best detail here is what Koschei calls the "moody tree" on the right, which is clearly frowning at his shenanigans.
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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. This is treading the line as it is.
This freeware program purports to work not by blocking installation of keyloggers, but by preventing them from logging your keys once installed. Lifehacker tested it by loading a keylogger and reported that it seemed to work, at least in that case, as the keylogger's log file was completely empty.
Of course, you probably shouldn't just install this program and go off clicking strange links willy nilly, but it does look like it could be one more line of defense in the ever escalating battle to protect your computer and your account from those who would steal it. Plus, it's free, so that's even better.
What about you? I'm sure you've read up up on all our extensive new badge loot guides and already have a pretty good idea of what you're going to go for. If the vendor is open on your server, what did you buy first? If not, or if you're still saving up those last few badges, what's first on your list?
I must add, it's neat to see some of the old school sets in many of these first-kill shots. They're still way cool, but you can see Blizzard's trend of making things more and more over the top as WoW evolves. I can't honestly say I have a problem with that. As much as I adore Faith, Absolution blows it away as far as style and the smaller details.
On use, transforms the user into a Blood Elf. Lasts for five minutes with a 30 minute cooldown between uses.
Also drops on shapeshift of any kind.
One of the cool things about this trinket is that it keeps your equipment looking the same. Always wanted to see what a Blood Elf warrior looks like (since they don't exist in game)? Use this on your tank, and how they might appear.
Unfortunately, there is a catch: if you use this item on your Blood Elf, they won't change at all.
Lore note: "Sin'dorei" actually means "Children of the Blood" in Thalassian. Before the High Elves got all corrupted, they were the quel'dorei ("Children of Noble Birth") and then they split into the BEs and the Night Elves (who are also known as the kal'dorei -- "Children of the Stars"). Unfortunately, there still isn't a perlman'dorei in Azeroth (though that, of course, would be the "City of Lost Children").
Yeah, this orb thingy is kind of silly, but Blood Elves are, as the kids say, pretty hawt. Who wouldn't want to be one?
How to Get It: Drops from any of the bosses in Magisters' Terrace, but on Heroic Mode only. The drop rate is pretty low (about 1-2% per boss, but considering that you get a chance for it to drop every time you down a boss, this is actually a relatively common drop -- definitely moreso than, say, the Baron's mount).
And don't forget that to get into MrT Heroic, you've got to finish the quest to kill Kael first. Get that done, get Heroic Countenance, head on into Heroic MrT, and down bosses until you see this pop up.
Getting Rid of It: Sells to vendors for 46s 18c, and disenchants into an Arcane Dust, Lesser Planar Essence, or (very rarely) a Large Prismatic Shard. But I'd keep it if I was you -- you never know when you want someone's girlfriend to wish you were "hot... like... me."
Addon Spotlight: Control Freak - Fri, 11 Apr 2008 19:00:00 EST WoW Insider co-lead Mike Schramm brought up an interesting question for today's Breakfast Topic; how can players utilize the Focus Target feature in World of Warcraft? Macros are certainly a great way to manage your focus target and what is being done with it. I've yet to write a installment of Macro Anatomy that covers the topic, so where can one turn if you want to utilize this feature?
Bad boy developer Tekkub has created Control Freak for people wanting to have fun with the focus target and their crowd control abilities. Granted, there are a lot of other things you can do with this feature, but this addon very efficiently automates the process.
After I profiled Tekkub's ChatSettingsFix (2.4), I thought I should start looking into his other mods. As it turns out, Tekkub is a man with the unique ability to provide little fixes and additions that greatly enhance gameplay. I am quickly becoming a fan of his work, so you can expect to see more of the grizzly dev's work here at Addon Spotlight.
Enough of my professions of love for the guy's mods, read on for details about how to use Control Freak.
This early on, details are still scarce, and Blizzard has been reluctant to release any information about Wrath since Blizzcon 2007. More information will probably leak as the alpha progresses. However, I've put everything we have been able to find out about Death Knights in the gallery below, so come on in to learn what we know.
WoW Insiderreaders are a talkative bunch. All of us here at WI monitor our own posts for comments, but there's not always time to keep up with what's happening on all the other posts. And if those of us who hang around here all the time can't keep up, we wondered how much our readers were missing, too?
Enter [1.Local], our new roundup bringing you a smattering of the zingers that may have gotten buried in the peanut gallery. We'll serve up both the sublime and the ridiculous, the thought-provoking and the just plain silly -- definitely a cut above Barrens chat (although we do admit that "Barrens Chat" was a strong contender for the feature's title).
This week's reader comments ranged from thoughtful ruminations on gender and modern culture's definition of "beauty" to an ongoing tussle over what constitutes success for an MMO. Be sure to dive into the comments area and add your own thoughts - unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.
Warning: Some offensive language mentioned after the jump.