60-day cards for $20 at Circuit City - Mon, 12 May 2008 19:00:00 EST Back in the day, you could get 60 day playtime cards for $20 at Amazon, all the time. This appears to be the resurrection of that deal: the same cards are currently available for $20 at Circuit City. This is, as they say, a $30 value, assuming you normally pay the single-month rate of $15 per month. The cards are sold out online, but available for in-store pickup; click over to the site and enter your ZIP code to see if they're available in your store.
Personally, I'm not going for it, because the closest Circuit City is about 15 minutes away, and also because I like to pay for a month at a time and then cancel my account. That way, if I happen not to be able to play for some amount of time after my subscription is up, it doesn't renew until I need it and go renew it manually (which takes all of two minutes), and so I save a few bucks. But for those with more regular play schedules, this looks like a good deal. [via the Bronze Kettle]
My wife's fortunes started off with shirts. It was her passion in the game, making shirts as a tailor and advertising them with creative sales pitches on the Trade channel. On our original server, she made a name for herself selling shirts and proceeded to the same thing when we re-rolled. Eventually, she peddled her wares enough and with such charm that she eventually dominated the market to the point where people bought her shirts (and tuxedos, of course) even though they were priced a little higher than other shirts on the Auction House. As our server's Scarab Lord once put it while asking her to craft a shirt, "I want something branded, none of this <his original shirt's crafter's name> sh**."
Although my wife hasn't made shirts in a long while since re-rolling a JewelcraftingWarlock, she's still sometimes surprised by strangers who greet her when she comes online or talks over Trade. Total strangers would say things like, "if you don't have a <my wife's toon> shirt you fail at life" or "I would rather be naked than not wear <my wife's toon>". One even creepily asked her how our 6-month old daughter was doing (apparently he had heard it through an old guildie). It's amusing to see that my wife has carved her own little niche on our server and I realized just how we can get a little fame in the game through the little things we do.
We don't know for sure yet if patch 2.4.2 is hitting the live servers tomorrow, but there's a few clues that may suggest we're going to see it soon. First is that maintenance tomorrow morning will be extended, from 3am-11am PST. Extended maintenance doesn't always mean a patch, sometimes it's for hardware upgrades or other reasons. However, if there's patch, there is generally extended maintenance.
But there is one other sign that could be a harbinger of 2.4.2. Tipster Phillip pointed out to us that the PTR servers are currently down. There's hasn't been an official notice posted on the US PTR Forums as of this writing, but there is an official notice of the end of testing on the European forums. Certainly, Blizzard's already had one false stop on the 2.4.2 PTR, but it could be that the second time is a charm.
Alright, so much for Wrath of the Lich King. Everything looks cool so far and it's shaping up to be one heck of an expansion. Maybe somewhere in between Levels 70 and 80, Blizzard will throw in more creative Seals, Blessings, and Auras for the Paladin to play with. With the revelation that Death Knights will be sporting a Paladin-like ability called Presence, it's time for us to take a look at the Paladin's third core ability, the Aura. In many respects, Auras are the most defining ability of a Paladin because it's something that cannot be taken away from them. It is a Holy spell applied as a Physical buff, so it cannot be dispelled or stolen. Only the ridiculously overpowered Cyclone (you can quote me on that) removes it temporarily (it used to be permanent prior to Patch 2.2). But more on that later.
Auras are an important part of a Paladin's arsenal but are also the most underrated. If I had 1 Copper for each Paladin I've seen rush headlong into battle with Crusader Aura on, I would probably have enough Gold to train for Artisan Riding all over again. Auras are passive area-of-effect buffs that affect the Paladin and her party and cost nothing to cast. Because it is a party-wide buff, it helps to get the Holy talent Aura Mastery for more group utility. Auras can also be toggled in between eating and drinking or while mounted, but not while casting spells. As good as Auras are, however, it suffers from one major shortcoming: it activates the Global Cooldown.
Some more information on Wrath has bubbled to the surface. This is like Christmas every day for me! I'm very excited. New bits in today's installment of Facts of the Lich King:
Some Wrath mounts will be able to take passengers (!), and ground passenger mounts will work in the old world as well! This sounds awesome -- although it might be boring to be the one who's not driving, it could also let you take a break. And being able to cart around lower-level characters in the old world will really speed up those instance runs.
Trainers and AH will stay in the old world. Not surprising, but incredibly irritating. At best, it's a minor inconvenience and burns your Hearthstone timer. At worst, you're stuck in Stormwind for an hour when you could be doing much more interesting things, all because you wanted to respec or buy some mats. Not to mention the leveling-up process -- going back to the old world every level to train was obnoxious in BC, and it'll almost certainly be obnoxious in Wrath.
No one is against Blizzard's goal of trying to stop cheaters. But the way Blizzard is going about it puts their stance in jeopardy -- they're saying that cheating in their MMO is a violation of copyright, and that is a completely different issue. Even Bartle himsef says this is an "ends justify the means" argument -- Blizzard is just using the copyright issue to get the judge to say that cheating is bad. As we posted the other day, Public Knowledge believes that any decision that says "yes, Glider breaks copyright law," could then be used as a precedent for calling any EULA violation a copyright violation.
Adam Hyland, in the Terra Nova thread, has the breakdown of outcomes: either a judge rules completely in favor of MDY/Glider (thus leaving every software maker open to EULA violations -- very unlikely), or a judge rules either narrowly in favor of Blizzard (saying that yes, cheating is wrong, but it's not a copyright issue), or wholly in favor of Blizzard (which Public Knowledge fears the most -- if breaking the EULA is a copyright violation, everyone who names their character XXNoobz0rXX is breaking copyright law). We'll have to see what comes out of this case, and hope that it's for the best for both Blizzard and their players.
A little earlier today, Blizzard has made a new addition to the official Wrath of the Lich King site. They've added The Nexus to the dungeons listing! The Nexus seems to be made up of three wings. The Nexus and The Oculus will be 5 man dungeons, and there will also be a 10 and 25 man raid zone that seems to be currently unnamed. It, most likely, houses Malygos himself.
The description of the zone gives a little more insight into the situation between Malygos and the Kirin Tor, and tells us of something called the Arcanomicon. It is a map of Azeroth's ley lines, which the Blue Dragonflight is using to redirect magic away from those he believes are abusing it. The Nexus will be found in the Borean Tundra, one of the first zones in Wrath of the Lich King. I expect one of the five mans will accompany one of Utgarde Keep's wings as the 'first' dungeons of Wrath.
Tigole just posted in the official forums that upon Wrath's release, the bear will be replaced with "a very good, epic item," basically to preserve the prestige of having gotten the bear at its intended difficult level. He says they plan on doing a similar thing with the "Hand of A'dal" and "Champion of the Naaru" titles as well. I can understand this move -- it would probably be trivial to get the bear with a raid full of level 80s. And there is still a fair amount of time before Wrath comes out.
However, it makes me sad to see something become impossible to get. I think it would be a better solution if they made it so the bear could only be attained by a raid containing no members above level 70, personally. As Zach pointed out to me, the change that they're proposing now means that no Death Knight will ever be on a bear mount, and that's just sad. Unless, that is, they introduce a polar bear mount in Northrend -- did somebody say panserbjørne?
The science of snagging a tag - Mon, 12 May 2008 14:00:00 EST WoWWiki defines the tag as damaging a mob, thereby reserving the monster or NPC for you and your party so that only you may loot or gain XP from it. It also turns the status bar of the mob gray to other players to indicate that it has been tagged by another player. Rufushonkeriv asks an interesting question over at LiveJournal, however, about kill stealing and how it can happen in World of Warcraft. The tagging mechanism, which isn't present in more than a few MMOs, is supposed to prevent kill stealing in the game.
However, the poster asks how a mob he has tagged is sometimes tagged away from him and explains how, when attempting the same thing, he only ends up killing a grayed-out mob faster. It is quite possible that the poster uses a DoT spell to get a mob's aggro, only to lose it to another player who deals damage with an instant cast spell. Lag can also sometimes explain how a player might think she damaged a mob first, only to have it turn gray when another player hits it.
Technically, the first player to damage a mob tags it -- it isn't the player who has aggro or the player who first cast a non-damaging spell on the mob (such as Mana Tap or Hunter's Mark). There is some confusion as to the amount of damage needed to secure the tag. For example, if a player damages a mob for 1 point and a second later another player hits it for 1,000... who tags the mob? In theory, it should be the player who hit the mob for 1, because she damaged the mob first. The mechanic is pretty straightforward but in some cases players are confuddled through a mix of lag, lack of understanding about the tagging rules, and just plain old bad luck. As a rule of thumb, when tagging, hit it fast and hit it hard!
The perils of questing as a healer - Mon, 12 May 2008 13:00:00 EST Stitchedlamb on WoW LJ wants to know: how do you do any questing as a healer? One reason WoW is such a popular game is that no matter your spec or role, Blizzard has done their best to make sure every class can play solo. But if you've ever played a Prot Warrior or a Holy Priest, you know for sure that some classes solo a little easier than others. Before the itemization changes hit in 2.3 and 2.4, healers had it pretty bad, and even after, it's tough to push out quests when all you've got is a bunch of +healing and no Shadowform to speak of.
I rolled my Shaman to 60 as Enhancement (Windfury while leveling is one of the great pleasures of Azeroth), but when I hit 60 way back when, I switched to Resto -- I like playing in groups, and being a healer makes sure you have groups whenever you want them. But when Burning Crusade came out, I still wanted to play instances, so I leveled from 60-70 as Resto.
Ask and ye shall receive, young warlock! First of all, we'll start with the premise. He solicits questions on his blog and then answers them in video format. Ask a Warlock is obviously a WoW knockoff of Ask a Ninja, which is a much better production. Maybe you're trying to emulate Ask a Chola, who isn't even a real chola, but the point is that you'll need to improve your schtick. For a much better example, see Ian Beckman's Ask an Assassin.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.
A few weeks ago, my first and most important suggestion for casual raiding guilds was to find a committed raid leader. These days, however, good raid leaders are even rarer than good tanks. The author of this week's e-mail asks, What do you do if your guild doesn't have anyone willing to be the RL?
[. . .] My guild, Winding Path, came to be during the MMORPG, Asheron's Call, and has been in existence since February of 2000 (3 months after the retail release of AC). We're a family and friends based guild of roughly 85 casual, playing members whose core belief is friends>lewtz. We've gradually worked our way through Kara and are *finally* <whew> making some progress through ZA (slowly, but surely). We have some amazingly talented players, intelligent people, kids as young as 10 who make the adults look like n00bsauce sometimes, and more belly laughs than you can shake a stick at. We may never see Sunwell Plateau until a 4th or 5th expansion ;) , but the points you make in regards to the fun being of the utmost importance was something that I have hammered home in the eight years my guild has entrusted me with the leadership of our family. I thank you for sharing that with the rest of the WoW community, as I fear it is heard far too little.
My greatest issue, however, is one that even after all this time, not even I have been able to resolve. A few months ago, we were forced to terminate the Raid Leader for our guild for several reasons. The biggest issue, though, is that on multiple occasions, he failed to show up for raids without notice, which we forgave and ignored. Unfortunately, the last time this happened, we learned he had actually been playing his Horde character on another server, running Kara with his other guild. Quite a slap in the face, and well--to me, a definite expression of his disinterest in his position as our RL.
IT ... IS ... TIME! Nearly two thousand of you voted in our Grand Theft Azeroth competition, and the results are in. Nyxilyn of <Departed> on Norgannon is the clear-cut winner, receiving just shy of half the votes. Runner-up goes to Sorro of <Panda Attack> on Dark Iron, who left his blood elf orphan at the mercy of Archimonde and got slightly less than a quarter of all votes.
As you may recall, Nyxilyn chose to emulate the Grand Theft Auto Series by getting a group to kite the Pit Commander to Shattrath. This resulted in much lag, many deaths, and a warning from a GM before the combined forces of the sanctuary city's NPCs brought it down. Congratulations, Nyxilyn, and wear your title of <Grand Theft Azeroth Champion> with pride!
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 or win trading. Grats to all who participated in Grand Theft Azeroth, and we'll see you at the next competition!
Welcome to today's edition of Ask WoW Insider, in which we publish your questions for dissection by the peanut gallery -- now with extra snark and commentary by one of our writers. This week Nick writes in:
Hello to all the writers/columnists at WoWinsider! My name is Nick and I would greatly appreciate for your help/advice. My problem is that my PC, runs on windows XP home edition, is very VERY slow. I believe that it is because of an infestation of viruses, even though I run AVG free edition, Avast, and Spyhunter. I scan once a week and nothing comes up. My gameplay in WoW is very...laggy. If I am lucky enough, I'll get maybe, 10-20fps in Azeroth and 7-9fps in outlands/isle of quel'danas. It has been like this for a long time. I play a 70 bloodelf Mage, Evolves, on Lightbringer-US while I live in the east coast, even though its a west coast server. I understand that brings my latency up but still not as bad as 1fps EVERYTIME in shatt. I need some help to speed up my computer and maximize efficiency, any ideas/advice? Anything would help me because I'm desperate and am considering quitting WoW if this continues... :'( Sincerely, Nick
New talents solidly won the poll last time around (and unfortunately, it one of the thing we haven't heard much about yet -- besides the Warlock hints, Blizzard hasn't said much about what classes will be able to do in the next ten levels), but surely the 10/25 man news (that we've been talking about all weekend) will get some more folks excited about the raids. And personally, I'm much more excited about siege engines than I was before Friday -- I previously thought it would only be a few quests in Lake Wintergrasp, but from what we heard, siege engines and multi-person mounts are going to become a big part of life all over Azeroth.
So how's your outlook on Wrath of the Lich King looking now? Are you still waiting to hear about those new talents, or did all that news on Friday pique your interest in something else? What are you most excited about for the next expansion?
Our Priest column is back! Every Sunday, 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 this week he's written different "If" statements to follow.
Summer is almost upon us and I hear Mount Hyjal is lovely this time of year! Honestly, I believe everyone playing right now needs to go in at least once and just experience the place. It is essentially the successor instance to Black Morass with multiple incoming waves consisting of various Undead trash. Not since Karazhan have we Priests needed to utilize our Shackle Undead extensively in another raid environment.
The latest patch has opened the raiding doors wider and allowed more players to experience some of the most complex encounters in the game. This week, I'll help walk you through Mount Hyjal and offer some advice and tips in what I consider the most punishing raid instance devised.
We already know that Blizzard is tweaking arena rules to make it much tougher to artificially inflate your rating by win trading or buying high ranked teams in Season 4, but it looks like they're starting to take it one step further, by cracking down on people who indulge in it.
Reports are coming in from the official forums and from other spots around the web of people getting bans or suspensions (generally 72 hours in length) and having their Season 3 arena gear stripped. The bans are even permanent in some cases, such as that of Sinther of Stormscale, whose account was permanently banned when his friend used it to do some win-trading, with the win trading given as the specific reason for his banning. You can read many of these stories and reports in this forum thread.
Sean is diving, sunning himself and trying to drink all the cervezas in Cozumel this week, so don't feel bad if he doesn't respond to emails and comments. He'll be back in action next week, fresh and ready to re-join the Addon Army's battle for the perfect User Interface!
Welcome to this installment of Addon Spotlight! Today, we're going to take a look at another of Tekkub's addons. I've being singing his praises for weeks now, but don't worry, he's not paying me to do this. I enjoy his addons as they are simple, sleek and highly functional. Besides, eventually I will have written about all of his work, or perhaps not.
So, today we're talking about Steal Your Carbon, a reagent stocking addon. Here is how to get started; open the config window by using this command:
Once you're in the window, drag an item from your inventory into the little box. Then use the arrows to tell the addon what amount of said item you would like to stock. I use the "Overstock Items" option to make sure I always have enough of whatever item I am stocking. There is also a great feature that enables the addon to upgrade water automatically. For example, if you've been restocking Moonberry Juice, Steal Your Carbon will automatically update and stock Morning Glory Dew when you ding 45. This is a simple matter of selecting the "Upgrade water" option.
There's a couple more features, come on in the check them out.
All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening. Except for this week, when it is more like the early afternoon.
Your usual AtWaS columnist, David Bowers, has found himself a tad busy this weekend. Due to this, I'll be nosing in on his territory for a day. Don't worry ladies and gentlemen, I'll take good care of you. Just yesterday we discussed a little about RP descriptions. That is, the physical descriptions you can give your character via addons such as FlagRSP2 or MyRoleplay. David seemed to think this was a pretty good topic, so we're going to go a little more in depth into the right and wrong way of writing these.
Right and wrong in this case is naturally up to the individual, but in general there are some pretty solid guidelines you should keep in mind. The first and most obvious is that you should always proofread your writing. In general, roleplayers gravitate towards people with at least some grasp of the English language. A sloppily written description is the first thing someone will see, and it's going to set off alarms in the heads of other people.