Among the many fine things that can be bought with Badges of Justice in this post-2.4 world of ours are epic gems, the same kind that drop in the Black Temple and the Sunwell Plateau. They are sold by Shaani, who appears once your realm reaches phase four, and the uncut, un-BoP gems sell for 15 Badges of Justice each. Or at least, that's what we thought. Sharp-eyed tipster Herid noticed that according to the Armory (screenshot above), the price of the gems is 10 Badges of Justice -- a 33% reduction in price before they even go on sale yet!
Of course, this could just be an Armory bug, so I did my level best to check it out for myself, by logging on to Proudmoore, the only server yet to have reached phase four. However, I learned that although Shaani spawns when phase four is activated, she doesn't sell gems until the Alchemy Lab is completed, much like Smith Hauthaa and the Anvil. So I can't confirm this with anything more than the Armory data at the moment. Proudmooreans, get going on Discovering your Roots, so we can uncover the truth of this gem-price-drop rumor.
If it's true, Badges of Justice might be worth more gold than we thought, depending on what the price of these epic gems stabilizes at.
So by now, I'm sure a lot of people have seen it: A Hunter accompanied by what looks to be a pet on steroids, with a huge size and an elite target frame. No, Hunters have not gained the ability to become even more imba, it appears to be a display bug. Since 2.4, elite and rare (aka silver elite) pets aren't quite registering properly once tamed, as they appear to keep their size and show up as elite in status (though apparently not in stats) until the hunter logs off. As a result, you may have seen Gutrippertearing up Blood Elves in Dawnblade Village, or King Bangalash frolicking around Booty Bay. Rest assured (or be disappointed) that you probably won't see them that way for long, and a hotfix is on the way.
Mania speculates that the bug may have something to do with the implementation of Papa Hummel's Pet Biscuits, which seems very possible. Maybe when they messed with the coding to allow pets to grow larger, much like the PTR bug where non-combat pets grew giant, it caused elite pets to grow a bit larger too, or at least not shrink like they should. Either way, enjoy your new massive pets while you can, Hunters, I'd imagine a hotfix will come either this Tuesday or the next.
Congratulations to Proudmoore on continuing your streak. Be sure to check out our Phase 4 daily guides for all the information you'll need to finish strong. The rest of you, check out our Phase 2 and Phase 3 daily guides to get the edge you need to power up to Phase 4 yourself.
Many people don't realize it, but every time you put your fingers to the keyboard to spell out some words, that's the same writing skill that authors and poets take years and years to practice and master. Of course there's a big difference between a simple text message and an epic fantasy novel, but any form of writing shares many of the same the fundamental skills - skills which one must then adapt to suit the particular medium you are using to communicate.
As a roleplayer, in particular, one can benefit a great deal from many of the basic principles any writer uses when putting their ideas down on paper, especially principles of good communication within a storytelling medium.
Today, we'll explore a particular aspect of the writing craft as applied in roleplaying: Writing what you know vs. writing what seems cool.
That's what we're going to try and find out in an interview with Antiarc, which will be coming soon to WoW Insider! Here's the special part, though: I'll be taking many of the questions from you, the readers. If there's something you want to ask the author of one of the most widely used mods in WoW, just submit it in a comment at the bottom of this post.
I'll comb through them and pick out the best questions to present to Antiarc in addition to my own questions, and we'll see what he has to say. Have you ever been curious about the modding community or the development process of Omen? Want to know a little about the man behind the mod? This is your chance!
Here's the situation: Many people are experiencing problems with Oceanic realms being offline, having heavy lag, or just general stability issues. These issues have principally appeared after patch 2.4 hit, and are a major pain for those playing over there. Players cannot loot items in a timely manner, they lag out during raids, and playing the new content (or any instance) is sometimes impossible.
Players have, for the most part, provided excellent documentation to Blizzard concerning the stability. They have done so in a massive thread over on the Customer Service Forums, and it is actively being monitored and commented on by Syndri, a Blizzard representative. The thread was started on March 31st, with the issues appearing a couple weeks before that, and is still active today.
The analysis: There is a lot of Blizzard hate going around about this issue. We've received numerous emails on the subject, and taking a look around the internet and the official forums show the same feelings. This is, in my opinion, unfounded.
Blizzard has came out and said that they know the issue is happening, that they're looking into it, isolating it, and attempting to fix it. They're well aware that people are having issues playing the game - and they want to fix that. It's in their best interest as a business, and as good people (the folks working there are good people, remember). However the acknowledgement by Blizzard doesn't seem to stop a horde of people from saying they're being ignored: they're not. Syndri even makes an appeal to the masses: "By all means, vent your concerns and experiences herein; that's what this thread is here for. But don't-and I do ask this sincerely-ignore the attention that this matter has truly received."
She doesn't actually say what character she's playing, obviously, but based on her quiz answers, we'll guess she's Alliance, probably a level 25-30 Human priest. Culkin shows up later in the interview, and he knows a lot more -- Complex jokes that he's "Home Alone", but while there are plenty of those in the game, none of them are level 70 paladins.
But pretty sweet. Maybe Blizzard can get wind of this and ask her to bring a more feminine touch to those ads.
Macro Anatomy: Polymorphing with the Focus Target - Sun, 13 Apr 2008 14:00:00 EST Using your focus target has been the topic of much discussion in the past few days here at WoW Insider. Mike mentioned his interest in using macros to utilize the focus functionality built into the default UI. Tekkub's Control Freak was profiled, which basically automates the process of using crowd control abilities through the use of macros.
WoW Insider reader Aaron provided a very good macro for those of you wanting to make use of your focus target to maintain Polymorph on a focus target.
Here's the macro, ready to be copied and pasted into your macro interface: #show Polymorph /clearfocus [modifier:shift] /focus [target=focus,noexists]; [target=focus,dead] /clearfocus [target=focus,help] /stopcasting /cast [target=focus,exists,harm] Polymorph; Polymorph
Come on back after the break for an explanation of what this macro does.
Prat has been a fan favorite as far as chat mods go for quite awhile now, with the ability to change just about whatever you want with your chat frame plus some added features like item links in custom channels.
Now, from the author of Omen comes Chatter. Built with the intent of making a chat mod with less bloat and is lighter on overall system resources, it manages to do that quite well. All I ever used in Prat was the module to allow links in custom channels, so I decided to give Chatter a try. The switch over wouldn't be too hard, right? Just turn off all of the modules I don't want, leave item links on.
I was pleasantly surprised with how easily Chatter was configured. I had decent looking, functional chat windows ready to go in about ten minutes. I'll fully admit that most other chat mods probably shouldn't take me much longer than that, but things that drastically alter my UI are my kryptonite. I think that says something about how simple this mod is to configure.
There's not much to say about this video other than it's beautiful. Robgee did an excellent job with his footage and color filters. While Shipwreked is technically a music video, we would say that it's a work of art.
Robgee filmed this machinima in multiple locations, including Stranglethorn Vale, Feralas, Desolace, and Nagrand. However, he manages to make them look like they're real areas, although you'll only see but a tiny glimpse of a person. For a first effort, we think he did a fine job, and look forward to his next movie!
Today, the 13th of April, is the final day to check out the Darkmoon Faire this month over in beautiful Mulgore. Remember, if you're planning on getting some material rewards out of your trip there, you may want to check out our guides to find out how. I really do recommend stopping in, even if you're not after any fancy loot. Standing around and drinking fake beer and eating fake food can be a lot more fun than it sounds!
If you weren't able to visit the Faire this time around, don't worry! For one, it'll be back on May 5th. For two, we've immortalized the Darkmoon Faire in the gallery below! Peek inside for thrills, chills, and really drunk Tauren.
Pity the poor non-combat pets of WoW. They're bought from a vendor, shoved into a cage in a very crowded bag, made to travel into dangerous places, and forced to watch their owner die over and over and over again, unable to help. Mirnkaya, of Aggramar-EU, took her pet parrot for an underwater swim. Unfortunately, the parrot has no aquatic form and will soon expire. How cruel! She should have done it with one of the orphans from Children's Week instead. Those kids are overly needy and sort of creepy.
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. They make us pine for the fjords.
Apparently, the Burning Legion is either as deadly and implacable as the army they are named for, or as false and tricky. Us.gorgonnash.info is now reporting them as having come from behind to unlock Phase 4 the first of all servers. Given that they are a PvP server, this would be an especially amazing show of determination and server togetherness.
However, given that, until only a few hours ago, they were only 37% according to the site, according to Trade chat on the Burning Legion server (Thanks, Zulama), and according to a poster on this thread, it seems more likely that someone tampered with their upload file to fool the site.
It's honestly rather disappointing that someone has decided to tamper with a trustworthy group effort like the gorgonnash.info website. I know we're all better than that. So to all of you who've been faithfully uploading legitimate info to the site, and to all of you who have been working hard to help your servers unlock each phase, I say congratulations, and thank you. Hopefully, one jerk from the Burning Legion server doesn't dampen our spirits.
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?