It was a decision made harder by the glory of prot spec in its current form, but as Adam's post this week pointed out, fury is getting some nice changes that will make it even more viable, and when you come down to it, I have wanted to dual wield 2h weapons for years now. When an old friend of mine 'put the band back together', so to speak, and told me that the guild I'd raided all the 40 man original raid content with was back and that they were looking for a fury warrior for Wrath, it took a lot of time for me to decide what to do. Changing guilds was hard, as the guild I'd raided with in TBC was an excellent one and i know they'll have lots of success in Wrath, but in the end I felt like this was a move that would help keep the game fun and interesting for me.
+37 Strength, +60 Stamina, which is quite a bit of Stamina for a shield. And we know there's almost nothing tanks love better
Unless it's Defense rating, of which this shield gives 38. An exceptionally nice shield -- not the last one you'll ever get, but it's definitely a reason to check out the new Caverns of Time instance the second you hit 80.
And yes, like most of the stuff in CoT: Stratholme, there's a little lore behind this one. There's a shop in Stratholme called "Leeka's Shields and Maces," so it's a pretty good guess that this shield came from shieldmaker Leeka back during her human days. Why do we say human? Because Leeka turned undead, and then apparently turned Forsaken -- she's an auctioneer in Undercity now. It would be awesome if she commented on this shield whenever you showed up wearing it, but maybe she doesn't remember -- do the Undead have memories of their previous lives?
Plus, we'll be chatting live and answering emails as usual -- you can send us a note right now at firstname.lastname@example.org. The show goes live at 3:30pm Eastern (here's a time zone converter), but I'm usually on a little while before that, playing some music and chatting with people about what's new in the World of Warcraft, so if you want to come by a little early, feel free. And if you can stay late, do that, too: the aftershow seems to get better and better every week.
And of course we've placed the stream right on this post after the break again, so click the link below to head on down and meet some other listeners in the chat. See you tomorrow for the live show!
Blizzard releases Wrath Gate trailer in HD - Fri, 12 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST With the release of Wrath of the Lich King and its inclusion of world-changing phased events, Blizzard's stated goal of ramping up their dynamic storytelling seems more and more like a success, but it doesn't stop with quests alone. The in-game cinematic for the final legs of the epic Wrath Gate quest line really shows what Blizzard is capable of outside of CGI with the in-game engine and a bit of creative tinkering. Not to mention it's a huge lore explosion that fuels the story for the rest of the expansion!
Yes, yes, oldnews for some. For those of you among us who haven't yet experienced this particular quest line, of course, it's not to be missed. For those who've seen it in-game already or who just can't contain themselves, though, you can stream theincredibly spoiler-heavy cinematic in full HD on Blizzard's site now or download it directly from BigDownload. If you're into it, there's also a nice short story/summary of the momentous events directly under it.
We can hope for two things--that Blizzard continues to put these kinds of awesome scenes in the game, and that when they do, they give those of us with nice monitors/TVs the ability to watch them all pretty-like.
Real-money trading is one of the most debated aspects of MMO gaming at large -- some games don't actually charge a monthly fee, and instead what they do is sell ingame items for real world money. Want that hot sword for your character? Put in your credit card and pay up. Blizzard, obviously, has never really subscribed to the idea, since a lot of players think it's unfair to make how much money you have in the real world a part of the game you play. Nevertheless, there is a lot of money to be made in selling virtual items for real money, and Blizzard has come up with their own form of RMT in terms of server transfers, name changes, and now gender changes as well.
Blizzard has rules for their RMT, though, and Zarhym lays a few of them out: they won't charge for any item that means anything in game -- cosmetic items and looks are fair game, but actual gear or "integral services" (whatever that means exactly) is a no for them. They won't charge for anything that was free before, so creating up to 10 characters on a realm, for example, will always come with the subscription (though adding more may eventually be possible with an extra charge). And Blizzard's RMT comes as a game mechanic itself -- they choose to charge for things not just because there's a cost for them, but also to "curb their frequency," to keep all players from doing them all the time.
It's an interesting idea, and it's definitely a lot more player-friendly than charging for things like, say, horse armor. You could also argue, of course, that something like the WoW TCG is also a kind of RMT scheme, since you have to pay real money for real cards to get in-game items (even though Blizzard has made sure those items are cosmetic as well). But paying for transfers and changes is a little sneakier -- Blizzard is slowly wading into RMT, so far successfully dodging all the sharks in the water.
Some may be disappointed that items we worked so hard for are now pretty much useless, but as you probably know by now, that's the way of things when an expansion hits. The good news, obviously, is that people running through instances solo or with just a few people will be able to hit all the content they couldn't get to before. And if you happen to be running the content, you won't need to worry about whether you left the Mallet in the bank or forgot the Scepter on a Princess run.
And unfortunately, collectors will be left out as well -- most of the items will actually change form into weapons or other useless objects, so even if you have the old items, they won't be usable in the same way. Sure, the Mallet was a pain to get, but it'll be a little sad to see it disappear in the way we know it forever.
Zarhym weighed in Wolfbite of Chromaggus' thread in the general forums requesting class changes. Name and appearance changes are purely cosmetic, while allowing class changes would affect the overall dynamics of the game. Later in the thread Zarhym stated that this is partially to avoid creating a "flavor of the month" class, and would prefer to address player concerns. Rerolling was the most common prescription amongst posters to solve the original poster's issue.
The Spiritwolf created Apparently not capable of love a while ago for a Machinima.com contest. The movie was created by capturing still images from Model Viewer. Then, Spiritwolf animated the images in Flash. Add music from an unknown artist, and this music video is created. Spiritwolf warns in his Myndflame page that this video isn't premiere resolution, but I actually didn't find the quality bothersome at all.
I wasn't sure at first how I would feel about the animation style. Ultimately, I'm glad I took the risk. While I wouldn't want to see this animation style become a mainstay of production, I think it works very well for a one-off music video. The images provide a sort of artistic feel, and coupled with the kind of angsty lyrics to the song, gives the whole piece an overall funky kind of groove. Everything's fun to look at, and it has a kind of awesome, silly feel to it.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
While doing a quest in Storm Peaks that involves being transformed into a female Vrykul, Agrogorath of <Imperium> on Khadgar took a little time to go swimming. And ... that's about all I can think of for this picture, although it is quite pretty. Hmm. Well, to pass the time, here are some suprisingly depressing headers from the voluminous Around Azeroth Spam Folder:
People who respect themselves always buy decent watches.
Women don't love you for who you are, they love you for what you have.
God is missing.
Sometimes our watches live longer than their owners.
What are we going to do in this market?
ALHAJI FAROUQ SICK OF CANCER.
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. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Welcome to this week's slightly late edition of Scattered Shots. The author is hoping you will accept the excuse that he was almost too distraught over the nerfs to write quicker.
On the heels of last week's regular 5-man loot guide, I'd like to take a look this week at some of the heroic 5-man loot. If there's one thing I personally noticed right away when researching said loot, it's that there's a marked lack of hit rating. In recognition of that, I have often included some choices for each slot that are technically slightly worse than others except for a good amount of hit rating. In the end, to get to that magic 9% hit rating cap for raid bosses (Although some claim the new cap is somewhere around 8.1%), you'll need about 296 hit rating. To do that, you may end up needing to take both some of the loot from here and from last week's normal dungeon guide, and top it off with some choice enchantments and gems, but it's certainly doable.
But now, without further ado, let's see what heroics get you in Wrath of the Lich King.
Breakfast topic: The good old days - Fri, 12 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST I've been playing World of Warcraft for nearly three of it's four year run. It's kind of amazing to me to see how things have changed over time. Many of the adjustments have been by player suggestions, and most of them for the good. The folks I've been playing with lately don't have nearly as much time in the game. I find myself reminiscing and thinking about the way things were, and telling them how good they have it now. Some things I remember least fondly are:
Single-server battlegrounds, and sometimes waiting hours for a queue.
The old battleground ranking system, with one High Warlord per server.
40-man instances, if you think keeping 25 people in line is challenging, give this one a go.
Epic ground mounts for 1000 gold in a time when cash did not flow so freely.
Horde had no Paladins and Alliance had no Shamans.
Before the report feature, I got a whisper message from a gold spammer about every thirty seconds.
Many more limitations on where mounts were allowed.
Well, I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I'm certainly having fun playing my death knight. I can solo a lot of the more difficult quests in the game; my Blood self-healing along with my glyphed Death Strike keeps me topped off and out of danger almost all the time; and I bring desirable buffs to parties and raids.
I keep thinking to myself, "Something has to change! I can't have this much fun all the time!"
Well, guess what, WoW community? You've gone and done it. You've gotten us buffed. Great. Just great.
If you're looking to enhance your home away from Northrend, you might find these WoW-themed glass and brass garden sculptures to be right up your alley! Constructed with solid brass, these stakes are said to be wind and water proof.
FeralGlass offers a variety of punctuation, including yellow, gold and blue question and exclamation marks.
Continuing on from Grizzly Hills, we come a bit north to Zul'Drak, a zone that's apparently one giant troll city. I'm a big fan; some people don't seem to love it much, but presumably everyone needs to know how to get around, so let's get into the flight paths. All the hubs in Zul'Drak are neutral (generally Argent Crusade-aligned), meaning there's just one list for both Horde and Alliance.
Light's Breach is where you typically start in ZD. Danica Saint at 32,75 handles the air traffic there.
Ebon Breach is the starting point for what is (in my opinion) one of the best questlines in the zone. The flight master there is Baneflight, at 14,74. See what they did there? Baneflight? I assume that's hilarious if you're a ghoul or something.
Argent Stand is one of the two major hubs in the zone. Gurric is the flight master, at 42,65.
Rafae is at the small camp near Gundrak (71,23), providing easy access to that instance (which I haven't run more than once, still).
We're starting to get into zones where you're more and more likely to have your own flying mount, but I will press on through Sholazar, Storm Peaks, and Icecrown in the days ahead. Stay tuned! Previously posted: Howling Fjord, Borean Tundra, and Dragonblight (Horde/Alliance); Grizzly Hills.
Arthas awaits, and so do your questions. Find the answers you've been looking for to help you with your journey into Northrend and to level 80 with Wrath 101.
Although Wowhead has a blog now, and those of you who (like me) are huge fans of the site are probably reading it already and thus have already seen this news, I figure a good many Insider readers would be interested: Wowhead has released another round of new features.
Stat weighting presets are updated for Wrath. If you have any suggestions on how the new presets could be improved, please drop by the thread on Wowhead's forums.
Combat ratings (hit, crit, and haste) have been combined across melee, ranged, and spell, to reflect changes made in the 3.0 patch.
Filters have been reorganized to cut back on clutter and scrolling.
When using stat weightings, you can now group gear by slot (example). If the stat weightings are solid enough, this provides a much prettier (IMO) alternative to sites like Lootrank.
I like the "group by slot" especially, for quick access to gear lists. Another set of solid updates by the Wowhead team, making the best database even better. Thanks, folks!
As the newest member of the WoW Insider team, I thought it'd be a good idea to introduce myself before diving right into news, news, news. We might not be total strangers, though! I was the blue poster formerly known as Belfaire (the talbuk). A good number of youmay be familiarwith my workalready, and may have even wondered where I'd gone off to in the past two months. Now you know!
That's right--I've given up the animated avatar and moved on to greener pastures. I'm still the same incorrigible talbuk you knew, though, and my unique experiences make me a real...WoW insider.
With the obligatory terrible puns out of the way, let's talk shop, yeah?
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.
I'm sure The Queue is the last thing you're all interested in the day the PTR goes up, but too bad! You get it anyway! Let's get the Q&A started, eh? Velina asked...
I have a Shadow Priest I leveled to 34, then had her boosted to level 60 through Recruit-a-Friend level grants. She's now stuck in level 25-30-ish questing greens and SFK blues. I'm wondering what would be the best way to gear her. Would she be able to survive questing in Outland in her very low-level gear, or am I going to have to round up some gold for her?
GC on the Deterrence change and the future of Hunter melee - Thu, 11 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST When the Hunter changes dropped earlier this week, I understood the Volley change, and I even got the Kill Shot cooldown drop, but the one I really didn't understand was the Deterrence change. Like BRK said, it seemed pretty useless: sure, becoming immune to damage for five seconds helps survivability in the Arenas, but what's to stop people from just continuing the kill after that. And the directional effect was just perplexing as well.
Now, Ghostcrawler has provided some background on the change, and while it still doesn't make much sense, at least we have an idea of where Blizzard is coming from. First things last, the directional ability is still being tested and may not make it to the live game. But the ability itself is designed specifically for Arena, as we'd guessed. And even more strangely, he says the reason they wanted to change the spell was to make it different visually -- letting the Hunter see themselves parrying every single attack while their backup helps them out. That argument may not find much ground in the numbers-driven Arena crowd, but GC says lots of times, a strong visual can give what seems like a useless spell a lot of use. Interesting look into Blizzard's design philosophy -- they don't program the numbers, they program how it plays.
Finally, he says that Hunter melee damage is being looked at -- they are primarily a ranged class, but the problem now is that it's all or nothing. Either you're in a Hunter's barrage or you've closed to melee and they're not a threat. If they can put the sting back in melee, GC says (within a few patches -- this is long term), then they'll give them more viability "to flee or stand and fight." We'll have to see what Hunter's think about that one when we get more specifics.
Never mind that World of Warcraft, is a game, not an addiction, and never mind that most of those 11 million people play it and are completely healthy socially and financially, and never mind even that any evidence you'd find that World of Warcraft causes dropouts is anecdotal at best. Can you really blame a game for someone making the choice to leave college? We, as you might have guessed, think not.
And there's more: Tate's Wikipedia page says that not only has she spoken out strongly in favor of DRM, and not only has she taken talking points directly from Clear Channel in trying to work on the Sirus/XM merger (a government official speaking the words of a corporation, that's just what we need), but she has also blamed television for childhood obesity. Nice one. One more reason why we are thrilled to see that we may finally get some folks in the FCC who actually know what they're talking about when it comes to online gaming.