Each week, Arcane Brilliance gains 5,000 reputation with the Kirin Tor by writing a column about Mages. That's right, I said 5,000. Are you reading this, Kirin Tor? I'm declaring myself exalted. Give me my dagger already, you selfish jerks.
I may have mentioned this before, but I'm an Arcane Mage.
I wasn't always. I spent my initial leveling days as a pure Fire Mage, and loved it. I spent a good chunk of time PvPing as a Frost Mage, and had a glorious time. But now I'm all Arcane, all the time, and I'm as pleased with it as it is possible for an unapologetic cynic like myself to be pleased with a thing.
And so, as you can imagine, I look at the PTR 3.0.8 patch notes as Blizzard's Christmas gift to me personally. It's as if they decided, "yes, we would like to keep taking money from your credit card, Christian, and so make our product better specifically for you." Actually, that's probably exactly what they decided, only substituting the names of every person ever for my own. The difference is that for me specifically, they've actually been successful. Anytime you give me a patch that buffs my spec of choice specifically and also fails to nerf it in any way, your "give him what he wants and he will give us money for it" business model has been successful.
Follow me after the break and we'll discuss what will hereafter be referred to as patch 3.KeepChristianHappy.8 (ok, maybe not...that's incredibly cumbersome), and all that it will change for Mages, especially those of the Arcane persuasion.
At around this time, a good bunch of us should have hit 80 by now. A fortunate few will already be raiding, while others will slowly be gearing up for them. I've put together a quick guide to the gear that Paladins of all specs should be looking forward to. With blue, or rare, gear easily attainable through several sources, it should be extremely easy to gear up in preparation for ten- or even twenty-five man raids.
Of course, before we get all our gear, we have to have a clear idea of what we want from them considering Blizzard has seen fit to load some Plate with Haste and others with Crit. Protection Paladins have no problem because as soon as you see a Defense value, we'll know it's meant for us. Holy and Retribution don't have it as easy, and must often choose between Crit and Haste. Don't worry about Tier 7 and other raid epics -- they're loaded with both. There are benefits to both, so we'll examine those are after the break.
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.
Hello, everyone! Did you all grieve for me yesterday when The Queue never showed up? Yes, I apologize. My internet connection going down for 14 hours sort of caused some problems. But I'm back and better than ever! Well, I'm back at least. That second part is still up for debate.
Spoonman asked... I have been hearing that the price for epic flying mount is going to drop to around 2500g, have you heard anything about this?
New Dalaran rings on the PTR - Sat, 13 Dec 2008 15:00:00 EST There are two new rings that the Kirin Tor are offering to us all on the PTR (Public Test Realm). They are called the "Loop of the Kirin Tor" and the "Ring of the Kirin Tor."
These rings were added, one can assume, over a lot of protest and QQing by tanks and healers. While the two rings currently in the game can be used by both roles in some situations, they are by no means what healers or tanks would be looking for.
As a Protection Warrior I'm looking forward to this change going live. I'll have to fork over another 8,000g or so, but such is the price of epics.
A closer look at the rings and their stats after the break.
In the product catalog that comes with Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard misspells Arthas as "Arthus" on page six. It's pictured above for those of you not digging through your stuff to grab the catalog and see for yourself.
I'm not going to criticize the folks at Blizzard for making a spelling mistake. God only knows that I've made a number of them myself. But usually I do them without an editor or reviewer. But that's just me. I don't know enough about the situation at Blizzard to really comment otherwise.
None the less there it is, and you're free to make whatever assumptions you may make about it.
Thanks to Knuxx and Taeous for the picture and tip.
Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime.
Patch 3.0.8 is on the horizon and there are a lot of interesting changes coming our way. Leveling will become even more convenient, some fundamental gameplay changes are being made and classes are being adjusted... again. While these changes affect everyone, I'll be going over the ones that will particularly matter to those of us with limited playtime.
(Edited to add:) What you won't see here is Dual Specs. They are scheduled for Patch 3.1.
Although this info is currently on the PTR (or Public Test Realm for those of you not into acronyms), this does not mean that it is final. A lot of things could change before this patch goes live, but as things stand, here is a list of changes to be ready for.
Now available for adoption at HordesMart: One three-month-old tauren calf. He answers to the name of Omaku Wildhorn. He has already learned several complete sentences, mostly involving a search for a tank or healer. Omaku has shown great kinship with the local animals, possibly foreshadowing a future career as a hunter, druid, or creepy obsessive vanity pet collector. If you adopt now, we'll throw in his blanket for free. It was knit by one of our Forsaken foster mothers. Ignore the skeletal arms -- they got tangled up in the yarn and she had to leave them there.
(Thanks to Luke for the screenshot!)
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. 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.
I don't know which is funnier, watching people in Trade Chat trying to figure out what to call someone with the Inscription profession or watching the people who get upset by it. "Inscriptionator" versus "It's SCRIBE, you morons!!" -- they are both pretty funny.
Trade Chat, as you know, includes a lot of things besides Trade chatter: Guild recruitment, LFG, general help, gold spam and, of course, every topic under the sun. It also includes a lot of typos and grammar errors. Some of them are pretty benign, but others are so bad it's hard to decipher the meaning. And then there are the pet peeves.
You're a literate bunch. Do you correct people in Trade Chat? If not, do you mind or care when people do? And doesn't it take longer to type "ne1" than it does to type "anyone"? I know it does for me.
The Northrend Gourmet made possible in patch 3.0.8 - Fri, 12 Dec 2008 23:30:00 EST The Northrend Gourmet has been a hot topic achievement since Northrend hit live realms, because it simply wasn't possible. Four of the required recipes were completely missing. As of the current PTR build, that's no longer true. Two of the recipes have been re-added to the game, and two recipes have been wiped out of existence. Not added to the game, but no longer an achievement requirement either.
However once you download the version above, run the installer, and then run the game you'll be presented with the requirement to download another patch. This patch will bring you up to the latest 3.0.8 version of PTR client.
To put it another way: the version you get from the official download page will be updated upon installation. Just because it's old doesn't mean it's wrong.
This took Alex Ziebart and I a bit to realize, and we wanted to be sure that we shared this with you right away. Enjoy your PTRing! We should note that the server names are a bit odd right now, but Alex is on the 3.0.8 PTR with his character he copied over earlier. Edit: Pukka clears up the situation a bit more for us nicely: "Unless you were in the beta, you will not be able to access any WotLK content (or characters above 70 for that matter). Also, on the copy page, PvE lands you on a Spanish PvP server, and PvP lands you on a US English PvE server."
[1. Local]: He broke out the mad baby pic - Fri, 12 Dec 2008 20:00:00 EST Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week. 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.
The great Hunter nerf of 2008 We knew this week was off to a rousing start when our mailbox began filling up with "ZOMG!!11! Hunter nerf!!1!" e-mails. Just how big a nerf it was began to sink in when Adam Holisky capped his post on the topic with the image of a face that has launched a thousand QQs. "Oh boy, you guys broke out the mad baby pic!" exclaimed InsaneAssault. "This is serious business. Haven't seen that guy since the honor carryover article."
Even those who weren't familiar with Mad Baby realized the gravity of his presence. "Where is the mad baby picture from originally? Does anyone know what happened to that kid?" wondered Frijona. Who nerfed that poor Mad Baby? Readers suggested a few theories - but we'll leave it to you to dig those theories out of the comments for yourself.
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 email@example.com. 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.