The9 has actually already paid for the game itself, having secured the Chinese licensing rights for a hefty fee back in April 2008. Add to that the upkeep cost of many of the most powerful supercomputers in China, and rumors that many Chinese WoW players have either quit or moved on to Taiwanese accounts for their Wrath fix, and it's easy to see why they're is getting a bit cash starved. If the9 goes under, it's difficult to say whether Wrath can be salvaged in China, but we'll keep you posted whatever happens.
If you've been keeping tabs on the Paladin changes lately, you might've noticed one thing that jumps out -- Spiritual Attunement will no longer be a skill but a talent deep in the Protection tree. Essentially a mechanic designed to help Paladin tanks keep their mana up, it was also key to Retribution Paladins' mana regeneration as it works synergistically with Seal of Blood / of the Martyr, the primary Retribution Seal.
Of course, if Spiritual Attunement being removed from trainers, the self-damage of Seal of Blood becomes little more than a gimmick and an inconvenience. It also tended to invalidate one glyph, which was the Glyph of Seal of Blood. If Spiritual Attunement is deep in the Protection tree, then the glyph becomes aimed at tanks... who don't use the seal. When players pointed this out on the forums, Dresorull replied to test it out in a future build (I still had Spiritual Attunement as a skill on the PTR) and locked the thread.
In a related post, Ghostcrawler lays out Blizzard's intentions for Paladin mana regeneration, saying that Spiritual Attunement is critical to Protection, but they "don't actually like Holy and Ret having (it)". He explains that such a mechanic depends too much on the encounter and gave Patchwerk as one example where SA won't return mana to anyone but a tank. He notes that Blizzard would still like to tune Paladin mana regeneration -- Holy through Illumination and Retribution through Judgements of the Wise.
[1.Local]: The word from the back room - Sat, 14 Mar 2009 18:00:00 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.
What 3.1 means for casual players What's the future of five-man instances, in the face of Patch 3.1? "I think the biggest news for casual players is what isn't in 3.1: more Emblem of Heroism gear," said dcisko. "Instead, we're getting Emblems of Conquest dropping in heroic Ulduar, with associated high-level gear. Unlike BC, there won't be much point to running heroic five-man instances after raiders move on, and even casuals will get everything they want before too long. I'm worried about what this means for the five-man game."
"I also worry about the future of the five-man," agreed yellow. "Leading a small guild of friends, we just cant get Naxx going with seven. In BC, we ran heroics to get badge loot and got through all of Kara and four bosses into ZA. No chance to do that this time. Raiders whined about us getting BT/Hyjal loot without putting in the time. Believe me, 300+ badges? We put in the time."
As expansions and patches march onward, how important is five-man progression to you?
Each week Arcane Brilliance runs out of mana halfway through a column about Mages. Seriously, Arcane Brilliance is terrible at managing its mana. And then every time it Evocates, Arcane Brilliance manages to get interrupted before it gets any mana back. It really sucks. Yep, Arcane Brilliance spends a lot of time wanding. To be honest, Arcane Brilliance is probably about one more wipe away from getting kicked out of its guild. LTP, Arcane Brilliance...LTP.
I tried my best to be optimistic last week, to look at the changes to Fiery Payback and Impact (especially Impact) as semi-good things. The Fiery Payback-disarm effect will be marginally positive, I told myself, and at the very least, Impact being triggered by Fire Blast will make the spell less random and more controllable, right? We Mages get such a reputation for being whiners that I try to steer clear of pessimism as much as a can just to avoid being lumped in with that lame generalization. I try, and most of the time I fail, but I award myself an "A" for effort.
The comments section set me straight last week. Fire Mages are not happy with Blizzard's attempt at improving their survivability in PvP. You guys were brutally frank in your comments, and I have to admit that I see your point. Nobody likes dying, but as a Fire Mage you sort of expect it, similar to the way nobody likes getting tackled, but as a football player you know it comes with the territory. All Fire Mages want is to be able to dish out an acceptable amount of pain before they explode. In fact, a lot of you proposed the idea of allowing Fire Mages to literally explode upon death, making killing one a dangerous proposition. Several of you commented that this was a Fire Mage's idea of survivability, to die, but leave a smoking crater behind. Seriously, this is an idea I can get behind.
Here's the thing, though: If you weren't happy with the changes last week, you really aren't going to like the latest PTR build. Follow me through the break and we'll talk ourselves through the changes. I'll try to keep the tears to a minimum.
One of the complaints heard from the Horde is that they have fewer buyable mounts than the Alliance side, making it intrinsically harder for them to gain the 100 mount achievement. 3.1 will see some steps taken to amend that gap, as the Horde will now be able to purchase a Black Wolf, a White Kodo, and a Black Skeletal Horse.
Some Horde are still not satisfied, saying that at least one of those mounts should be Epic to truly equalize numbers, but for now, there's at least more easy mounts to get toward the Red Dragonhawk (Which is honestly a lot cooler looking than the silly blue one Alliance get, seriously).
The Ulduar boss Auriya is now up for testing on the EU PTR. This is the first time she's been seen in testing, and WOR and MMO-Champion both have links to live streams, and we've posted one above. Major abilities so far include summoning a swarm of Panther adds that have stacking damage buffs. She has about 3 million HP in 10 mans, about 17 million in 25 mans. Let's see how the raids of Europe do against her.Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.
If you've always felt your character's RP story could give Rhonin a run for his money, here's your chance. The contest is global too, so almost anyone can enter, with a few exceptions. Check the official rules for complete details.
And yes, there are prizes, too. The grand prize winner will get a trip to Blizzard Headquarters to meet the Blizzard writing staff and a Frostmourne sword, while 7 runners up will get a signed collection of various Blizzard novels. The deadline is April 12th, so you'll probably want to pick up that pen as soon as possible. Good luck and happy writing to everyone planning to enter!
Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply).
Today we'll be discussing the benefits of disenchanting items, and weigh them against your other options, such as vendoring and auctioning.
For the purposes of this discussion, I am going to assume that you aren't using the materials to level, but rather, are interested in making the most gold possible.
To misquote Terry Pratchett, if you put a big red button somewhere in Azeroth with a huge painted sign over it saying "END OF THE WORLD SWITCH - DO NOT PRESS!", the paint wouldn't even have time to dry before you'd have three gnomes arguing about who gets to hit it first. In this shot, the gnomish curiousity of Crazyazell of <The Silver Wind Knights> on Bronzebeard might be producing fatal results, as she prepares to pilot her flying machine into the top of the Nexus. There's a good reason why Death Knights need to stay away from the light, Azell!
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, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Okay, maybe Patch 3.1 isn't out yet and probably won't be for a little bit longer. But with the background downloader already active and the official PTR patch notes updated once again, it seems much closer than ever. Testing of the bosses are going pretty smoothly, and it's likely that the public won't get to test the final bosses of Ulduar. That means Blizzard has gotten quite a bit of data about the boss fights, so we're certain to see some differences between the PTRs and when they go live.
Kind of puts me in a panic, actually. Patch 3.1 doesn't seem like it's quite ready yet, and even though I know there'll be quite a bit of change from now until it goes live, there are some things in the patch now that don't quite work for me. A number of talents don't quite have the right polish, for one. That said, Blizzard has been working very fast lately so I wouldn't be surprised if all this gets straightened out before the patch goes live. For today, though, let's pretend Patch 3.1 is about to go live. What would you change? What stuff would you still like to see? It looks like an exciting patch, so what are you looking forward to (or dreading) the most?
Level requirements changed on some enchants, items - Fri, 13 Mar 2009 22:30:00 EST Ishh over at Twinkinfo has some pretty big news for lower-level players: the enchants, librams, and even jewelcrafting trinkets that used to work for almost everybody ingame have gained a few level requirements on the PTR. Twinks especially love these items, as they can be used to give big buffs to even low-level players, but Blizzard isn't down with that any more, apparently. Even applied enchants and Leatherworking leg armor will apparently stop working if this change goes out to the live realms -- they have pictures, as you can see, of enchanted stats turning red due to level requirements.
Most of the time, when Blizzard makes changes like this, they aren't actually targeted at twinks -- they're just designed to keep the game from becoming extremely easy at a given level (I'm still bummed that my Leatherworking drums have no effect after level 70). But obviously twinks are affected by these changes, and as you can see from the comments on that post, they're not very happy with having even more limits placed on how they can buff up.
But then again, as I said a little while ago, twinks have always dealt just fine with limits. Twinkinfo has a poll up on what twinks will do if these changes go live, and the majority of votes say that they'll just keep twinking. They've gone around level restrictions before -- a few more won't be the end of the world.
Patch 3.1 may be here sooner than we expect. As of this evening, people exiting WoW should see their background downloader start up in order to deliver patch 3.1 -- or at least parts of it.
As to whether this means we should expect the whole shebang to go live on Tuesday, I still wouldn't bet on it. Not only have there been indications that the devs are willing to delay Noblegarden if they have to to keep testing the patch, It seems like class balancing work still has a bit to go.
With this in mind, it seems most likely that what we're getting now is mostly finalized art and zone files that won't change before the patch goes live. But whether we have one more week or one more month, the preparations are underway. We're one step closer to the Argent Tournament and Ulduar!
[Thanks to everyone who gave us a heads up on this!]Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.
New Talent: Juggernaut: Grants the warrior the ability to Charge while in combat.
Unrelenting Assault: Now also increases the damage of Overpower and Revenge by 10/20%, and causes Overpower (when used to attack a casting target) to decrease the effectiveness of all the target's non-physical damage and healing by 25/50% for 6 seconds. Tooltip and visual updated.
Pretty obviously they switched Imp Intercept and Weapon Mastery because arms will not be expected to use intercept at all now that they'll be able to charge in combat, similar to the protection ability Warbringer. We've basically now seen two out of the three warrior specs given the option to dispense with Intercept altogether. In addition, fury warriors have lost the only 'expertise compensation' talent they had. While for warriors with sufficient expertise this is a non-issue, if you were using Weapon Mastery to fill a lower than necessary expertise stat, get some exp gear fast.
Unrelenting Assault sounds like a promising buff. I won't know how promising until I get back onto the PTR tonight, but a damage buff and an anti-caster function? Yes please. It does PvP and PvE duty, can't complain about that. All in all, it's a trickle, but a trickle is better than nothing. Not too thrilled about the loss of Weapon Mastery for fury warriors, but it's survivable. Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.
I'm just going to skip the introductions this week and let Matthew Rossi launch this week's WRUP:
Matthew Rossi: Spain. 1938. Madrid. The Spanish Civil War is in full swing. President Manuel Azana's Second Spanish Republic is on the brink of defeat. One man... one lonely man... has been entrusted with the most dangerous mission of them all. I'm not that guy, though. I'm going to level my Horde Shaman.
A less dramatic cliffhanger, but a cliffhanger nevertheless. We do hope Alex will keep us informed of his progress -- but in the meantime, here's what the rest of the WoW Insider team is up to over the weekend. Not interested in reading about us? That's okay! Why don't you tell us what you're playing this weekend?
Tonight on the US Patch 3.1 PTR Mimiron will be tested, and we're brining you the live stream of Alliance guild Symbolic Logic on Area 52. You'll be able to watch them (hopefully) down the boss.
Mimiron is a mechanical boss with a slew of abilities for players to deal with. He has two phases: one where he's in his Levianthan MKII tank, and one where he's got a VX-001 Anti-personnel Assault Cannon.
While in his tank Mimiron will toss napalm out dealing AoE damage, fire a plasma blast, drop some mines, and chuck about rockets all while causing a blast wave. With his cannon he will deal fire damage to players within 80 yards of him, do some frontal cone damage, and charge up his lasers for a big ol' blast that puts the BFG to shame.
Edit: Comments are disabled for this post. Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.
Players have become increasingly bored with raiding because the content that was released with the expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King, was too quickly conquered. Across the board, players are showing up to raids on an inconsistent basis, and many people now spend much of their time on the Public Test Realm playing through Ulduar.
This has contributed to falling prices on the Auction House for raiding materials and consumables, because not only have many people stopped raiding, many others have decided to save their gold and raid without being buffed to the gills.
What should you do in these tight times? Aside from the things for which you are currently saving, the patch will bring with it a 1000g bill to learn how to dual spec, costs to fund raid wipes, bring new consumables, and enchant and gem new gear.
By learning what to sell and purchase and when, you can minimize your post-patch costs and make some gold while you're at it.
Demonstrative of their commitment to seeing Arenas succeed, the World of WarcraftArmory has been updated with new tools that allow players to scan Match Histories, Opponent Histories, and more surprisingly, Match Reports. Blizzard has apparently been tracking a lot of data under the hood for some time, as all the matches of Season 5 are available for viewing.
The new tools are incredibly powerful, interesting, and intuitive, allowing players to look through a teams performance over the course of a season. The Match History tool represents matches in a graph form, which players can toggle to show selected periods of time. It shows which opponents a team faced, how much ratings were gained or lost, the average ratings change during the selected period, and even when and what time the matches were played. There's just so much data available, players can conceivably spend lots of time just studying team histories.