A little while ago, Drysc said in a post that "a prot warrior or shadow priest or what have you should though be able to jump into a battleground or arena and be able to do something with some small amount of success." This hasn't gone over well with many shadow priests. Even with Drysc trying to correct himself in multiple threads and insist that he doesn't mean that the class will never get more viable, a lot of shadow priests are up in arms.
It's probably pretty understandable. After all, before Burning Crusade, a Shadow Priest was pretty much universally feared upon the field of battle. They seemed to take almost no damage in Shadowform, and their DoTs tore through you with ease. Even in the early days of the Arenas, you saw quite a few Warlock/Shadow Priest teams tearing up the charts. These days, Shadowform doesn't really absorb damage like it used to, Psychic Scream doesn't really cut it as CC, and resilience makes sure that their DoTs are blunted quite handily. So what DO you do when you chose a class and spec to PvP, only to have that spec suddenly become lackluster in PvP? This isn't like Protection Warriors, who have known from the start they'd be good as tanks, and tanks alone.
We all generally have a good idea these days of what we roll a class and choose a spec to do. A Protection Paladin expects to tank. A Mage expects to DPS. But it's the divide between which specs are good at PvE and which at PvP that seems to be getting a little thorny lately. Should a player be able to count on their spec always being viable at the same aspects of the game? If so, should Shadow Priests expect PvP buffs sooner rather than later? Or should they accept that their age of PvP dominance was in the Battlegrounds and the pre-70 era, and resign themselves to speccing Discipline if they want to succeed in Arenas?
Between Arenas, V'Ming spends his time as a lock laughing ominously in AV, tanking Olm with his own minions and pondering troll fashion from Zul'Aman. He's recently started to plumb the depths of SSC with his 0/21/40 build and bragging about 8k shadow bolts.
One of the most enduring and fiercest rivalries in WoW is the bitterness between mages and warlocks. I'll like to characterize my relationship with Mage friends to be one of friendly, respectful rivalry. In fact, Christian Belt - our Mage columnist - will be my guest here today to offer his side of the story in beautiful italics.
By now, many mage players would have dabbled in at least a little warlocky DoT-slinging, and the converse is probably true. If you haven't, go on - roll a Mage or a Warlock, I'll wait.
So there really isn't any grounds for misconceptions when it comes to the abilities of both classes, and we should all live in contented peace. Or is there?
WoW Insider Show live on WoW Radio tomorrow - Fri, 14 Mar 2008 17:00:00 EST Yes, indeed, after a short trip away from the podcast, I will be back on tomorrow afternoon, live on WoW Radio at 3:30pm EST. Turpster is supposed to be there as well, and both John Petricelli (the Big Bear Butt blogger) and Matthew Rossi (who, I hear, once wrestled a bear and won) will be on the show with us. It'll be a rip-roaring adventure as, I'm sure, we'll chat about all the recent changes in patch 2.4, as well as all the kerfluffle over tanking and protection specs, and why Blizzard is banning a famous Arena hunter. We'll also hit on when patch 2.4 might go live, and of course we'll be reading listener email (which you can send to us at email@example.com).
Should be fun, and I don't know about the rest of the guys, but since I'm in Chicago, I'll likely be celebrating St. Patrick's Day, so I'll bring green beer along (for everyone of age, of course). Tune in to WoW Radio tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm EST to join us for the WoW Insider Show, the best bear-related WoW podcast you'll ever find.
Addon updating made easy - Fri, 14 Mar 2008 16:30:00 EST With 2.4 looming, many of you are on the verge of an addon crisis. With most major content patches comes the horror of watching your lovingly crafted UI crumble into out-of-date obscurity. Amidst the chaos, some crusade to protect us addon pilgrims on our journey to updated bliss .
These brave souls have developed addons that automate the updating process, and they just save your soul in the coming weeks when we face the Sunwell. Many of you already use programs to manage this process, but for those of you doing it addon-by-addon there are some other options.
The developer of UI Central 4.0 was kind enough to tip us off to the new version of this software package. Stop! Before my fellow Mac users sigh and move on, this one will work with OS X Leopard, so there may yet be hope for your salvation. However, you must have an Intel-based Mac, as I sadly discovered.
Cross-faction inspecting now available on the PTR - Fri, 14 Mar 2008 16:00:00 EST Great news for compulsive /inspect-ors from the new patch -- Hortus confirms that in neutral areas and out of combat, players will be able to do a little cross-faction inspecting. No more will you have to wonder what kind of helmet that dirty Human Warrior is wearing around Shattrath -- you'll be able to pull them right up and check out all of their gear.
The sky, as you may have noticed, didn't fall when Inspect changed back in patch 2.3 to let anyone see anyone else's gear and talents, and it won't fall again when this change is introduced (trust me). It is interesting to consider how much the Armory has changed the game, though -- odds are that if you'd suggested that we should be able to check the other faction's gear and talents to a developer at the launch of vanilla WoW, they'd have said that, like limiting cross-faction communication, it wasn't right for the feel of the game they wanted to make.
But now that the Armory is up and showing off everyone's secret gear of shame, there's no reason to hide it any more in the game either.
Behold Frostmourne! - Fri, 14 Mar 2008 15:30:00 EST No, seriously, behold Frostmourne! (Block of ice trapping the undead soul of Ner'zhul sold separately.) Now, I generally don't collect mechandise. I ignored the t-shirts, I didn't get the toys, I only read the comic book because I'm a lore geek.
But look at it.
It's Frostmourne. It's a 47 inch replica of the greatest, most evil runesword yet seen in game! This thing is aimed directly at my wallet. It's actually a huge mistake on my part to even post this because my wife reads the site and now she'll know what she's getting for our anniversary.
I'm just kidding, this baby's all mine.
I do wonder if it will be disappointing if I get it and it doesn't tear away my soul and drive me onward to serve the malevolent will of the Lich King. I mean, that's part of the draw, right? I mean, just check out the stats for this thing! (Warning, stats are a joke from Blizzcon.)
It's apparently being sold and also there's an auction if you want to try and get a special, low numbered edition. Sadly, I'll have to miss that, I like being able to pay rent and eat too much. But if you have the money to spare, and you want to have a chunk of decorative metal in the form of a licensed copy of the dread runeblade, now's your chance!
Wednesday's TTR stress test was far, far more calm than Sunday's test. Lower Blizzard activity and the population levels seemed vastly lower than before. The lag was minimal, maybe nonexistent. Definite improvement from Sunday, but that probably has something to do with the much lower population.
I have no fantastic tales of speaking to Nethaera or private photoshoots with GMs, but I actually got quite a few arena games in. The WoW Insider gang didn't have a 5th for 5v5s, so I decided to let Adam, Zach and Amanda M. have the Hordeside fun in the 3v3 bracket, and I'd make waves on the Alliance-side. Many lamented my departure when I logged off of my Tauren Warrior, but the Alliance needed love, too! Sorry guys!
This week, The Care and Feeding of Warriors tells you warriors that you are awesome. Matthew Rossi has a Tauren, Orc, Human, Draenei and Night Elf warrior at level 70. So you know he means it. Seriously, the dude loves the warrior class. Don't make the mistake of mentioning it around him, because that guy will latch onto you like a facehugger and he won't stop until love for the warrior class has burst out of your chest and sprayed the acid blood of its delight all over the room.
He's also incredibly, incredibly bad at metaphors.
As we've seen a couple of times this week, I am an unabashed cheerleader for the warrior class.
Objectivity is a good thing, of course, and like sincerity if you can fake it you've got it made. Quipping aside, however, objectivity has its time and its place, but there's no way you could bring yourself to read (nor me to write) 38 columns about warriors written with total objectivity. In my admittedly, gloriously biased view, each class column here on WoW Insider should be written with a love for that class, aiming to promote it, to praise it, to help point out where it needs love and otherwise champion the women and men who play it. This is made easier for me because, frankly, I'm nearly totally insane when it comes to warriors.
I remember, after struggling to 30 or so on my first toon, rerolling warrior back in December of ought four. He was an orc, made mainly to test out the class. After five minutes and the arrival of level four, I was hooked. You see, you get an ability called Charge. It doesn't sound like much when you describe it... you zip over and stun a target for a second. Big whoop. But oh my word, does charge make a difference when you're actually playing that low level warrior! You feel like a god! At least until the first time you charge into six mobs and are promptly annihilated. It was in those first moments of play that my adoration for this class became manifest, and has kept me rolling along in WoW ever since. Some people feel more favoritism towards a specific class than others... some of my best friends in game like them all fairly equally, and while I was leveling five warriors and two shamans to 70, they were out there leveling a useful assortment of varying classes and gaining a very broad knowledge of the game.
Unfortunately, there's no more details than that on what got fixed, but it's good news, we're sure, for anyone dealing with technical problems. If our readers are right, you've only got a few more days to wait -- patch 2.4 ahoy!
If you have ever rolled a druid, rogue, shaman or hunter, it is quite likely that you ended up choosing leatherworking as one of your professions. Because it can be a valuable source of gear for the leather and mail-wearers, it is a common choice. If this is the case, you are going to want to hit 375 skill in order to make your end-game epics.
If however, you chose leatherworking as a companion to skinning in order to make money, you will only need to reach about 325. Once there, you will be able to convert any type of skin into its available higher form in order to maximize your profits.
Still, leatherworking, like any profession, can be an extremely costly skill to cap. This week, Insider Trader will be taking an in-depth look at some of the best ways to reach 375 from 300. Hop through the break for tips and analysis.
WoW Moviewatch: Crank Dat OP Rogue - Fri, 14 Mar 2008 12:00:00 EST [UPDATE: Apparently I don't play well with others. The creator of the video not only removed the video from Filefront, but totally eliminated it from Warcraftmovies. I apologize for the inconvenience.]
While I generally subscribe to the "happiness and puppies" method of blogging, certain videos send me into a homicidal rage. Crank Dat OP Rogue is one of them. As the one commenter on the WCM page noted, this video is a "bag of fail."
I don't know why people are so crazy about this Soulja Boy song. I'd rather hear Linkin Park than the billionth variation of this. The other bits are just too easy to pick on. His microphone is horrible and the video work isn't that great either.
The thing is, in better hands, it might be an awesome music video. However, given the subject and the song, does anyone really want to? Won't someone think of the kittens?
Like our own Amanda Dean, J. Allen Brack, senior producer over at Blizzard Entertainment, plays World of Warcraft with one of his parents. Unlike Amanda Dean, his relationship is paternal. Brack relocated to California from Texas two and a half years ago to take his position at Blizzard, moving away from his family. Interested in the work his son had taken up, Brack's father began playing the game himself, having never been a gamer prior to that. Now they use the game as a way to spend quality time together, half a country apart.
Player Gloop of the Silent Minority guild on the Hakkar server has a devious plan to surprise his opponent. Hiding in an open grave at Sorrow Hill, he waits until the run by, then pops out to ambush them. Guess it's not a secret anymore.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because 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. This means you. I'm not kidding, yours is not the exception. No, really. Sigh.
If you've read the official page, you'll know a little bit about the zone and what's going on there. It's a Dragon Graveyard, and rumored to be the place that the Dragon Aspects were originally granted their powers by the Titans. Specifically, that place would be Wyrmrest Keep. Apparently the Scourge are after Wyrmrest Keep and the five accompanying shrines, which are tied to each of the Dragonflights. Why would they be after these shrines? To create their own dragons, of course.
Breakfast Topic: NPCs, our supporting cast - Fri, 14 Mar 2008 08:00:00 EST In the World of Warcraft, there are heroes -- that's us, supposedly -- and then there are the bit players. These are the vendors, the quest givers, or even the random mobs or raid bosses who are really only there for us, the heroes, to kill and loot. We don't pay them too much attention. In fact, there are very few NPCs whose names we remember. Do any of you Horde players know who Kaja is? I'm willing to bet very few can answer the question but at the same time I can assure you you've visited her more than a few times -- she's the Guns & Ammunition merchant in the hut beside the Auction House in Orgrimmar, and every Hordie has gone to her for repairs.
Who doesn't know Griftah and his dubious wares? How about Haris Pilton in the tavern in Shattrath? Some NPCs are more famous than others, of course... l mean, there's Thrall. Let this breakfast topic be an homage to our silent (and sometimes not so silent -- that Cro Threadstrong is always yelling!) friends who make our experience in the World of Warcraft more interesting. Who's your favorite NPC? For the sake of discussion, let's try leaving out the dungeon bosses. Those guys get too much press, anyway. Is there an NPC that's memorable to you in some way? I always like queueing from Yula the Fair because she's just so goshdarned purty. Then there's Lady Liadrin, whom we all know is destined for big things (I like my girls all Blood Knight-y). Any NPC out there stand out for you in some way? Their name, their scripted actions, or even the way they look. Who do you think deserves the best supporting character award?
This has been one of the most-requested Know Your Lore subjects over the months we've had this feature, but I've held off because until recently there just wasn't that much information about the Grimtotems. With the new Dustwallow Marsh content in 2.4 and the revelations in the WoW comic book, it's finally time to explore one of the most mysterious factions in the game -- Magatha Grimtotem and her tribe of tauren outcasts.
Who: The Grimtotem Clan.
What: 1,430 members of a powerful tauren clan.
History: Way, way back before Cairne Bloodhoof met Thrall and created a new tauren homeland in Mulgore, the tauren were organized into clans, each with their own leader. The Grimtotem were NOT one of these clans. Instead, the Grimtotem name passed down through generations of survival in other clans, until the Tauren were unified under Cairne. Then the Grimtotem banded together as, basically, an opposition party, defined by their distrust of Cairne's alliance with the orcs and trolls.
Hi folks, it's me again. Somehow, Liz's computer got unplugged from the Light at the last minute and wiped her draft for this week clean. The task has fallen upon me once to swing the Light and wreak havoc upon these pages with blood and fury. Or something like that. In the wake of the admittedly lackluster (what, no giant GMs or gnome-transfigurations or demons run amuck?) second take on the TTR stress test, I've decided to write up the experience about making your own Paladin on the Tournament Test Realm, aka the TTRadin. If you haven't logged on to the TTR, now's a good time to download the PTR client and get yourself started. Paladin without the pain If you've never played a Paladin before, the TTR is an excellent way to experience some Paladin goodness without having to go through the entire leveling experience -- some parts of which even self-confessed altaholic and column co-writer Chris Jahosky admits to having a dislike for. Of course, leveling is part of the education process, so don't expect to know all the abilities and talents a Paladin -- or any class you make, for that matter -- right off the bat if you don't have a max-level character of that class on the live servers. That said, making a character on the TTR is well worth the effort and is definitely something any player can use to explore their options. Getting a taste of a max-level character, in our case a Paladin (this is a Paladin column, after all), is something players can learn from.
So where do we start? We have the usual racial choices: Human, Dwarf, or Draenei for the Alliance; and Blood Elf for the Horde. Because it isn't a PvP server by definition, you can make an Alliance and a Horde character. The tournament server also isn't like the live realms in that there are no quests or NPCs aside from the trainers, vendors, and arena representatives. I haven't explored the tournament realm completely, but it's safe to assume that it's a barren world. The NPCs are all Goblins, by the way, which is a bit unsettling and bizarre. There are few things stranger than seeing little green men and women in full Tier 2.
If you want to hear a sad song about a lack of bag space, just talk to a hybrid or tank-capable class. Those guys are lugging around three or more sets of gear, plus variations - it's enough to bust a Foror's Crate of Endless Resist Gear Storage wide open. (Yeah, we know you wish you had one of those; we do, too.) We talked with a player who definitely has storage issues, but from a little different perspective: Rattleshirt of Uldaman, who displays her finery not in raid instances or battlegrounds but on the catwalk.
Some players think vanity gear is a ridiculous waste of bank and bag space. Not Rattleshirt. When Rattleshirt decided to transfer realms not too long ago, she had to pare down to five full packs - yes, that's five full packs - from her existing 90-something ensembles. She had so many outfits that she began giving impromptu fashion shows in Orgrimmar every night before logging out, complete with audience requests for particular rare robes. We snagged a backstage visit with Rattleshirt to find out, well, what all the rattle is behind her many shirts.
Each week, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time. Well, it used to be weekly and it will be again, starting today.
When last I wrote, which was ages ago, I promised to answer some reader mail about getting groups quickly. And then I vanished for a bit. I'm sorry about the interruption in this column and I will get to the reader mail, but not this week. With the new patch getting closer to release, I think I need to talk about some of the changes that will affect those of us with limited playtime.
First of all, our coverage of Patch 2.4 is very extensive and perhaps a bit overwhelming. I do recommend, however, spending some free time that you have access to WoW Insider catching up with the changes for your class, professions and playstyle. You don't want to spend your precious WoW session discovering unexpected changes after the new patch comes out.
Drysc talks about Battlegrounds and class balance in PvP - Thu, 13 Mar 2008 18:30:00 EST In a thread started by quitting player whose final rants include issues such as class balance and the limited number of Battlegrounds, Drysc responds with a rare, long explanation. He mentions that Blizzard understands that not all classes and specs are as viable in PvP, particularly in the extremely competitive Arena environment, and concedes that they are trying to make at least all classes contributive in some way. Protection Warriors, for example, should be able to jump into Battlegrounds or Arenas and "be able to do something with some small amount of success." The 'small amount' comes from the fact that he also unequivocally states that it is Blizzard's philosophy that they have to be ok with all specs not being as viable as others.
He also explains that the dearth of new Battlegrounds or Battleground maps is not due to queue times (they have little to do with each other), but that each Battleground requires a fair amount of work on Blizzard's end and that most of their developmental focus lies in the expansion Wrath of the Lich King. He says that playtesting, balancing, and other efforts are extremely labor intensive. Oddly, Drysc mentions Warsong Gulch, the smallest of all the Battlegrounds, has "terrain issues here and there." Hopefully this isn't indicative of what Blizzard sees as the problems with WSG, as the game suffers from more than just some terrain issues. It's a good thing that Patch 2.4 promises changes to WSG, but it's even better that Drysc has been more vocal on the forums as of late.