Players prove time and time again that WoW is an outlet for creativity in addition to being a game we all love. We have a number of columns here on WoW Insider that put that on display each and every week, and we get a number of submissions from readers that reinforce it.
Reader Sashimikitty, member of Crypt Friends, has sent us a couple of pictures of a neat little craft she made as a gift. The Bulwark of Azzinoth is, in my opinion, the absolute coolest looking shield in the game, and the Crypt Friends main tank is now quite prepared if Illidan happens to knock on his door IRL. Assuming, of course, Shield Block isn't on cooldown for Shear. Sashimikitty sent us both a shot of the front and the back of the miniature Bulwark, which is made of a polymer clay.
If they made Christmas Tree ornaments like this during the holidays, I would buy ten.
Each week Arcane Brilliance serves up a big slice of Mage-cake. Of course, Mages have a very different idea of what it means to "bake" and then "frost" something, so Mage-cake might not be quite what you're expecting. Unless of course you were expecting a blackened husk of indeterminate (vaguely Gnomish) origin frozen into a block of ice, in which case you'll get exactly what you thought you were getting.
I have to say, I expected some controversy, but nothing like that. My earlier column about how much I love being a Mage got 32 almost universally positive comments, which seemed quite respectable to me at the time. This one, in which I bemoaned what I perceive to be a very fixable problem with the class (the fact that our DPS doesn't balance out our incredibly poor survivability) is at 200 and counting. Reading through them over the course of this week, terrified to post any sort of response lest I be torn limb from limb and devoured, it seemed like there was no middle ground. Responses ranged from "Please consider discontinuing this article from here on" to "I think this is the most well written piece on this site that I've ever read." Of the 200 responses, I'd wager 150 or so were negative.
So what have I learned? You guys prefer optimism. Apparently.
This week, I went in search of things to feel good about. I do still love to play my Mage--much moreso than any other character I have--and I truly want to be optimistic about the direction we're headed as a class. Once I went actively searching for happy thoughts, I found they were out there, in abundance. In fact, many of them were suggested within those same 200 comments.
You see, as it turns out, Frostfire Bolt has the potential to be very, very nice. In fact, Frostfire Bolt could actually change everything. Come back after the jump to find out why.
When asked about perceptions of Frag Dominant, the Evil Genius responded that before the MLG San Diego tournament (which they won), the only really available basis for opinions was from the Tournament realm and other tournaments. But his real point is that since Frag Dominant could run multiple class compositions using the same players, they had a very good chance of winning -- their adaptability was higher than other teams'.
He reinforces that idea of composition flexibility at the end of the interview. The Genius says whether you like it or not, you need to be aware of WoW's metagame if you're going to compete seriously in the Arena. (This means each person on a competitive team should have experience with multiple classes, and how the dynamics between those classes change.)
I think this outlines an idea that many folks miss about the Arena. Arena competition isn't just about your character competing, but also the players behind the characters. I could be the best Hunter to ever tame a pet -- but I probably don't bring much to a team if I can't tell the difference between a Silence and an Interrupt. Your skill isn't just fast-twitch reflex or single-class knowledge: it's overall knowledge about the whole enchilada. In the midst of nerf-calling, we should keep in mind that player skill doesn't just mean "skill at my class."
First, earlier this week, I saw this nice little piece of fan fiction over on WoW Livejournal. I'm not usually a fan of fan fiction, but this one just explains so much. And I really do hate those things, too.
And then yesterday, swampers put together this terrific little Shakespearean parody in the World of Warcraft style. "To quit, perchance to /afk" -- that's great. "Out out, brief arena match -- life's but a walking Shadow Priest, a poor player, who struts and QQs while the tank goes down, and then runs OOM."
Great stuff. Literary humor is always fun, and mixing it in with WoW makes it even better. Laugh and enjoy.
A comparison table of all pet types, listing their modifiers to damage, health, and armor, abilities they can learn, levels at which they can be tamed, and diet. All columns are filterable and sortable, in case you really need to see a listing of the highest-armor pets that can Bite and eat cheese (it's boars, by the way).
A frankly amazing gallery of all the different skins for all the different pet types, with 3D models and links to tamable pets that use those skins.
Great stuff. And now I know that I have two ways to get this awesome spider: a common, but low level mob on Bloodmyst Isle, or a level 64 elite. At that rate, actually, I'll probably just stick with my boar - I doubt my level 55 hunter is up to taming a 64 elite, and bringing a pet up 40 levels doesn't sound too fun either. Oink!
As a female, what happens in this video is a regular occurance. Well, besides the end part. However, Blizzard must have felt it special enough to award it their top prizes for the machinima contest at the recent Worldwide Invitational. Olibith machinimated a short story, The Bountiful Chest, written by Vilaeryn and narrated by Shockdingo. Since it's not very long, I'll sum it up with the moral of the story being to look us in the eyes. You're not fooling anyone!
She also says that "guys need to be more accepting of women in game," and unfortunately she doesn't offer any solutions on how to make that happen, but it's good to hear someone say it -- just ask any girl who's been afraid to come on Ventrilo for fear that creepy guys will come out of the woodwork.
All in all, Jennicide sounds like she's got a good head on her shoulders (and she does actually win a few nerd points for playingThe Realm). Maybe she's right -- more high profile female players might help turn the image of gender in game a little more close to equal.
Man, that Cyrukh the Firelord is such a jerk. Geamo of <Twisted Knights> on Aszune-EU takes a flight all the way over to say hi, and Cyrukh just gets in his face. Geamo had a similar sad experience trying to talk to Golemagg, Landslide and Magmus. Those rock giants are clearly antisocial and deserve their constant attacks by raid groups. Luckily, they have goodtaste in accessories. That makes all the homicides worth it.
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. And by now, I'll be taking my EMT-I certification test. Wish me luck!
Activating the Authenticator - Sat, 12 Jul 2008 09:00:00 EST The Blizzard Authenticator is currently sold out on the Blizzard Store. I'm sure there will be plenty more to come, when they're ready. I bought one as soon as I heard they were available. Although my experience with the Blizzard Store was not great, it was certainly better than some others. After my order was placed, every time I checked on in, I what appeared to be a rag doll murloc who informed me that an error occurred on the page.
My authenticator has arrived. Thanks to the free shipping from the Blizzard online store, I saved $0.59 in United States Postal Service postage. To be honest, I'm just glad to have my security token. The token come with a single piece of documentation, which directs the user to the security token FAQ page.
I expected the authenticator to be slightly larger. It's approximately the same size as the clicker for my Mustang. I have not yet devised a tether for it, but the device will soon be leashed to my computer.
Still, though, it kind of feels like crafting in WoW is... empty. The tradeskills are useful now, but I'm a strange fellow. The tradeskills need heart. They need flavor. I like my tradeskills having a larger effect on how you play. Leatherworking is actually a good example of this, from a conceptual point of view. I love the idea of drums having an active effect on things. It isn't just a passive stat increase that you equip or cram in your mouth. It's something you need to be conscious of, something you need to actively use. I don't really know how you could do this for all tradeskills, but I'd love to see more of it. No, those crappy nets don't count.
Another thing I'd like to see expanded from The Burning Crusade is location-specific crafting. Making my Spellcloth, Primal Mooncloth and Shadowcloth every few days seemed like an adventure, if a tedious one. Spellcloth was especially fun! You had to arm and prepare yourself before you hit the 'create' button until your gear was good. Fishing before The Burning Crusade was not nearly as useful as it is now, but I liked time of day and season having an effect on things. Stocking up on Grilled Squid in the appropriate season and using it to negotiate deals with rogues and hunters was great fun, I think. I'd like to see that come back in some form in Wrath, though maybe not as extreme.
What would you like to see out of crafting in Wrath? Are you hoping for something more dynamic, or are you a (wo)man of simple pleasures and all you need is a great big sword to be happy?
MLG Orlando coverage begins on GotFrag TV - Sat, 12 Jul 2008 07:00:00 EST GotFrag's coverage of the MLG 3v3 Arena Tournament in Orlando begins at 9am Eastern, 6am Pacific today. If you didn't tune in at all last month, I definitely recommend doing so this time around. Generally, I'm not a PvP fan, but this was very fun to watch last time. WoW's impact as an eSport isn't really something you can witness in-game (which is a shame) but for me, tournaments like this give it a whole new dynamic. The emphasis is placed more on the players and the choices they make, and a little less on rock-paper-scissors and endless countercomping. It's an all weekend event, so if you're only interested in watching the finals, that'll be tomorrow.
Like Amanda Dean and GotFrag themselves detailed the other day, there are a lot of teams to keep an eye on this time around. Frag Dominant took the win last month, and there are plenty of other teams you may recognize. SK-Gaming, MoB, Got Game East/West, Pandemic, Fnatic, plenty more. If you don't keep an eye on the PvP scene on a regular basis you might not recognize those names, but they put on a good show last time.
To view the live stream, you will probably be prompted to install a codec if you don't have it yet. All of us WoW players are a little paranoid these days (with good reason), so don't be afraid to run a background check on anything you're asked to download. I'm pretty positive there's nothing to worry about in this case, but better safe than sorry, eh?
The economy in WoW has some interesting nuances. Players spend oodles of WoW gold on their crafting professions, and sometimes manage to turn a tidy profit.I'm often surprised to see some items that are strongly in-demand, like Light Feathers. Shrewd players use the auction house to build their bankrolls.Lomentari of EU-Draenor is exasperated with people who fail to use the auction house "properly."
She is angry that other crafters are selling the same product she creates for several gold lower than her preferred price.The items are placed on the auction house en masse at the low low rate, which the original poster blames on Leather Workers skilling up.She feels powerless to do anything about her "massive money loss."The original poster is willing to accept small cuts in pricing, but has a hard time deal with steep declines in prices.
As we mentioned the other day, The Hallow's End event is now live for testing on the 2.4.3 PTR. As seems to be the general case, Kisirani's world event team hasn't been resting on their laurels, but has been relatively steadily upgrading and fleshing out holidays as they come up. Hallow's End looks to be the latest holiday to get a change or two in the form of some new Headless Horseman loot, discovered by MMO-Champion.
Now this is a real offhand! The stats aren't so great, but wait until the next expansion -- surely the most disgusting item in the game will get a nice upgrade, right?
Name: Digested Hand of Power Type: Epic Offhand Hand (Ha! Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory) Damage/Speed: N/A Abilities:
+10 Stamina, +14 Intellect.
Restores 10 mana per 5 seconds. Which isn't great in this day and age, but was pretty nice back at 60, when this thing first came out. But don't worry -- considering that Naxx will be updated, chances are that either the stats will change or that we'll see another version of this one.
Looks like, well, a disembodied, digested hand. And considering who did the digesting, yeah -- that's pretty gross.
But here's what I'd like to know: whose hand is it?
How to Get It: Drops from Gluth, the Abomination boss in Naxxaramas. He's not very appetizing at all, though I don't think he's quite as disgusting as the Abominations in the Undead side of Stratholme -- those guys are really gross. Still, Gluth is no pushover.
And as you probably already know, Naxxaramas is being retooled to work as one of the first endgame dungeons in Wrath of the Lich King, which means Gluth will likely find new life, and hopefully his loot along with him. Right now, this offhand (Ha! again) gets dropped at around 15%, though of course we have no idea how the new version of the loot will work.
Getting Rid of It: Sells for 9g 13s 52c, and disenchants into a Nexus Crystal (remember those?). Here's hoping we'll see this baby again in the future -- in fact, let's shake on it.
Some of the best and worst times I've had in WoW have come from playing with people who were not anywhere near my own age. My very first WoW friend was 20 years younger than me and we had a blast. In fact, I ended up playing with her sister and her parents too. But just yesterday I was reminded that sometimes age does matter when I pugged with a bunch of, well, real doofuses (doofii?) whose every other comment was a poop joke. I have never before logged in mid-air while between flight paths, but that's how much they annoyed me. I'm sure that some of my comments that start with "Dude..." or contain the phrase "teh awesome" are just as annoying to other people. So, anyway, it got me to wondering about the game's age ranges. I think everyone assumes that most people who play the game fall into their own age group so I thought it might be fun to find out how the ranges really do break down -- at least for folks who read WoW Insider. So spill it! No one will know what you answered, but it should be interesting to see the results.
Do you know what's brewing in World of Warcraft this week?Come dish with us on the WoW Insider Show live on the air tomorrow.We've got reservations at 3:30 Eastern on WoW Radio.As always we'll be taking on some of the spiciest topics from the past week.We're still simmering in the wake of WWI announcements, so it's certain that we'll have plenty to talk about.
We'll also serve up some reader emails (firstname.lastname@example.org). And we'll cater to the live IRC crowd (at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel). Tune in tomorrow, the discussion should be delicious!
How to start your own WoW blog - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 16:00:00 EST I've been a blogger since before the term "blog" existed. (In the mid-90s, we called it a "diary" on our "zine.") I've been blogging about WoW for about a year now. For some reason, people really like to read and blog about WoW, which is the main reason WoW Insider even exists. WoW is a social game so it lends itself to group discussion. People want to share their experiences and their knowledge so much that there are literally thousands of WoW blogs out there. If you've been bitten by the blogging bug and want to start writing about your own game exploits, here's a 5-step mini-guide for you after the break.
WoW Radio fighting claims of malware - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 15:00:00 EST A few readers (thanks!) have sent us news that visiting the website of our good friends at WoW Radio has caused their Firefox browser to flag that there's malware present over there. I visited the site last Sunday, and my browser tossed up error messages aplenty at me. But after talking with Totalbiscuit and Duncor, I'll repeat their message here, so just so everyone knows: there is no malware problem with WoW Radio.
Totalbiscuit has posted a notice on their front page explaining what happened -- sometime last week, a hacker attempted to post some kind of malware nonsense on their forums, and was headed off at the pass. Unfortunately, Google just happened to catch one look at a possibly negative piece of code, and thus the site was flagged (strange that just one flag would cause the kinds of alerts that Firefox is spitting out, but that's a discussion for another day). But at this point, we know for certain that there is no malicious code on WoW Radio, and even Google admits that the one piece of code it saw was the fault of a third party, not the WoW Radio folks.
Both Totalbiscuit and Duncor tell me they're working with their ISP and Google as much as they can to get the warnings removed. But in the meantime, you've got nothing to worry about -- you can listen to our podcast (or any of the other podcasts over there) without worry.
It was a chatty week at WoW Insider this week. More than a few posts bristled with multiple pages of comments. [1.Local] looks back at not only the popular posts, but others that may have slipped beneath your radar: the need for a global chat channel, a popular list of common in-game annoyances, and a good, old-fashioned, rough-and-tumble debate over whether or not the Mage class needs buffing.
Join us after the break for this week's meatiest reader comments here at WoW Insider. Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts - unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.