The Death Knights in our audience may be at a loss as to how to spec tonight. You're talent trees have gone through a lot of changes in patch 3.1. Luckily, Death Knight Tactics has some build suggestions for you.
Too Many Annas uses Dual Spec to try something a little more unusual. If it doesn't work out, you can always change it, right?
The first thing I'm going to do when I log in will be to click on the shaman trainer in Stormwind to purchase my second spec. After that it's over to my Warrior to begin farming for the Turtle Mount while the hordes of people go to Argent Tournament.
Finally, later tonight I'll hit the Tournament and finish off those quests without (hopefully) too much interference.
Update: Apparently some folks were able to get in, and some were not. Bornakk has also just announced that despite several servers being active, all realms will be online and available for play at 5:00 p.m. PDT / 8:00 p.m. EDT.
Today's epic maintenance to apply patch 3.1, which has stretched from 1 AM for some realms and 3 AM for others, has been additionally extended. Originally, the realms were supposed to go live at 11 AM PDT; that time has come and gone, and been pushed back a few times.
The latest update, posted to the Breaking News box a few minutes ago, is that they do not currently have an ETA on when the realms will be up, and they'll give us some more information at about 2 PM PDT, which is in 45 minutes or so.
Update 5:15 p.m. EDT: The realms continue to be down, with the in-game message now telling us that there will be an announcement at 6:00 p.m. EDT letting us all know more information.
Update 6:15 p.m. EDT: Maintenance is continuing on all realms. There is no time frame given as to when the realms will be back up, however there will be an additional announcement at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Stay tuned to WoW Insider for more information. Additionally, the official forums and account management appear to be intermittently down now as well.
Servers are still down for maintenance due to Patch 3.1, so now would be a great time think of the list of things you'll have to do once you log in. Let's see ... you've bought all the gems enchants you need; you've got your talent calculator all ready to go; you've parked yourself in an old-world capital city to buy dual-spec as soon as you log in. You're ready to go!
But the question may remain -- what exactly are you going to pick for your offspec?
Don't worry, we've got you covered! We've compiled dual-spec guides for each of your classes.
How to get the Turtle mount - Tue, 14 Apr 2009 17:30:00 EST We're listening in to your replies on Twitter about what you're all planning to do when you log into 3.1 for the first time, and an astounding number of people are planning to go for the fishing mount. Yes, despite the fact that everything Blizzard has told us points to the Turtle mount obtained via fishing being extremely rare, lots of players are after it anyway. We've decided, then, to wish you luck. And to help you out, we'll give you a few tips that just might help make the almost assuredly long, boring, clicking grind bearable.
1. Learn to fish (and cook). If you're going to be fishing for the mount, you might as well learn to fish and cook while you do it. The mount itself drops from fishing pools in Northrend, so if all you're doing is going for those, it'll take you a little longer to level than just sitting in Stormwind and leveling fishing (which you can definitely do), but you might as well up your profession while you do it. El's Angling is the guide of choice -- follow it closely and you'll be 450 Fishing/Cooking in no time.
2. Find Fish. If you follow El's guide, you'll figure this out along the line, but even if you've already leveled fishing, you'll definitely want to make sure you've got the Find Fish ability, obtained from the Weather-Beaten Journal, which you get from -- you guessed it -- fishing. This will help you find fish pools on the minimap tracker, and since you need to fish in pools in Northrend to get the mount, it'll be a huge help, if not invaluable.
A previously unannounced relatively un-promoted feature is apparently going live in patch 3.1 today: buyback for "alternate currency" items. "Alternate currency" means any currency except gold - Emblems of Heroism, Arena Points, etc. According to Vaneras, when the patch goes live, you'll have two hours after buying an item with an alternate currency to sell it back and get a refund. I've never accidentally bought something with badges, but I know people who have, and it sucks; this is a nice fix.
A few caveats:
Stackable items (such as Frozen Orbs) are non-refundable.
Items that grant achievements are non-refundable.
Augments will not be returned - if you buy an item, enchant it, and then sell it back for badges, you don't get your enchant mats back.
This only works one step back: If you buy a tier token for emblems, then exchange that tier token for a tier piece, you can trade the tier piece back for the token if you want. You can not, however, trade that token back for emblems after doing that.
Even with these limitations, it's still good protection against accidental purchases. Thanks, Blizz!
Patch 3.1 user interface changes roundup - Tue, 14 Apr 2009 15:30:00 EST Lots of the new stuff in today's patch 3.1 update will be in your face -- the class changes won't be missable, and the LFG channel will be full of people trying to head into Ulduar (though who knows how far they'll get). But some of the changes, especially to the user interface, will be a little more hidden -- you'll have to dive into the options to go and find them. Here's a few things we've reported on that you might want to make a note of, if you're interested.
Arenas now have an option to show Enemy Unit Frames. These will only appear in the Arenas, but you can enable them in the Interface options.
You will now be able to see when the next Wintergrasp battle is from anywhere in the world -- but only by going out to the world map and then zooming back in to the Wintergrasp map.
Make sure you hit the map button (usually "M") next time you go into an instance. There are maps in there now.
There are new "advanced features" for quest tracking now -- but you've got to go into the Interface Options to enable them. If you're already using Questhelper or a similar addon, these will be familiar to you.
Finally, there are a number of new video options available in the Video Options panel, including better shadow and texture details, and even a "Video Mode Ultra" setting. Even Blizzard recommends you run things on the highest setting at your own peril -- lower end computers will have major issues trying to run graphics at the highest setting.
It's definitely worth putting "take a tour around the options screens again" on your to-do list for when the patch arrives on the live realms. There are lots of little changes and updates hiding in there that you'll never know about unless you go look for them. Patch 3.1 is live and it takes us into Ulduar, delivers us dual specs, and brings significant changes to all the classes! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1 and the official patch notes!
The past few weeks have seen a rise of in-game casinos on some servers. I haven't noticed any on my home server of Shadow Council, but on Arygos, where I've been toying with a horde hunter (level 34 right now), I can't walk two steps in Orgrimmar without seeing a /yell advertising a chance to win big.
As of April 20th, however, this will now be prohibited. In Blizzard's words, after that date, "any advertising for a casino is not permitted," and players are encouraged to report advertisers to the GMs. I have to say, I'm not sad to see the casinos go. It's a clever way to make money, yes, but I don't like seeing players advertise repetitively, and of course, the house always wins. It's nice that Blizzard was so responsive about this issue.
While the new rule doesn't prohibit casinos directly, I imagine it will put a stop to most of them, unless there is some secret network of private casinos out there, with transactions carried on in mysterious raid and party chats, or custom channels. If there is, carry on - that's super-cool.
Once upon a time, Mundocani created Outfitter, and it was good, and lots of people used it, and there was general rejoicing. Then Blizzard released their new addon policy, prohibiting selling addons and asking for donations in-game, and many addon writers thought that was not so good. Mundocani pulled his addons from public distribution in protest, as did some other authors. This was sad, even if I did seize the moment to write about some other mods that did the job.
Now it has been brought to my attention (thanks, nadewow) that Mundocani is both continuing development on Outfitter and returning it to public distribution (i.e. Curse and WoW Interface). His stated reasoning for this latest move is that "Blizzard isn't going to respond to the concerns raised by the community, which puts things at a stalemate," and he doesn't want to punish users for what he sees as Blizzard's mistakes.
In short: Outfitter is coming back (this goes for GroupCalendar too, by the way). Yay! That news is especially welcome because we won't be seeing the Blizzard Equipment Manager in 3.1 as we had expected to. While we wait for them to be posted back to the addon sites, you can get a copy of either mod at the author's forums (registration required).
Everybody loves achievements, right? ...no, I guess not. Some people like achievements, right? Yes! Patch 3.1 brings a lot of cool stuff for you guys to do as well, so here's all of it in a nice little package for you to pick through. Have fun!
If you enjoyed this stuff, keep an eye on our achievements column, The Overachiever. We'll probably be going over a lot of this, especially the Noblegarden and Argent Tournament achievements, in the coming weeks. Patch 3.1 is live and it takes us into Ulduar, delivers us dual specs, and brings significant changes to all the classes! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1 and the official patch notes!
The extension does probably mean that those Battle.net users that had concerns over the login server not being ready for them are unwarranted. From what I understand, the work on the login servers is done independently of the patch being applied to the game realms, so the extended maintenance buys the login server folk some extra time. In this particular case, it's a good thing for us, so the login server isn't taunting us while the realms are up.
We'll try to keep you all posted as much as possible throughout the day. Whether the servers start coming up eary or get extended even further, we'll be on top of it as much as we can be.
Common updating problems and tips for fixing them - Tue, 14 Apr 2009 13:30:00 EST It's patch day, of course, and people are having plenty of troubles with upgrading their clients to the latest 3.1 version. But worry not -- most of the issues we're seeing, while relatively widespread, should be fixed by the time the realms come back online. Here's a few tips to help you get through the time of trouble.
Help! My patch isn't downloading? It's stuck at 68%/73%/xx%! It probably is downloading -- be patient and let it run. Blizzard uses a Bittorrent-based system to distribute the game's patches through the official client, and those systems depend not just on Blizzard and their ability to distribute the patch, but also how much of the patch all of your peers have. If everyone around you has xx%, that's all you'll get for now. But an hour from now, someone will have spread the full patch around, and then you'll pick it up no problem. Patience is a virtue, and until the realms come back up, you can't play anyway.
Also, the patcher will stop showing progress around 70% or so -- at that point it'll start installing the patch, and you'll need to click another button to see installation progress. But if you just let it run, it'll update.
What does "The tracker is not responding" mean? Another Bittorrent issue that should resolve itself after a little while. The patch will need some time to disseminate, and if you get a message like this, it just means your client hasn't found all of the connections that it can. It will.
I get a weird "Unable to Validate Game Version" message when I log in. Is my client broken? No. Blizzard's servers aren't all upgraded yet (hence the reason we can't play). When they are all upgraded, your client's version will match the server's, and everything will be hunky dory.
And as a special treat for all you twittering people out there, we'll be giving away some WoW TCG Loot Card codes (courtesy of our good friends at WoWTCGLoot.com) over the next week or so. But the only way for you to get them is to follow us on Twitter and wait for the sign.
Of course, another good reason to follow us on twitter is that when we reach 9,000 followers, we'll be doing a video version of our podcast, The WoW Insider Show. Ever wonder what Mike Schramm looks like while talking? Want to see if Turpster really is a gnome warrior? And do writers here at WoW Insider really grow horns and walk around with pitch forks chanting monotone devilries while sacrificing baby Murlocs to Ghostcrawler in exchange for new patch information?
Warning: Not safe for work! While it's all in a good fun, there's definitely cursing and loud, riotous music.
This is the new short video from Myndflame, titled Theory of a Death Knight. Rumor has it that the creator went to herculean effort to get the video published. While I hate to see someone go to that kind of pain, I do have to say that it was worth it. "Theory" is one of those rare unique pieces that show why Clint is a stand-apart machinimator.
The premise of the video is pretty simple. The scene opens to a Death Knight rocking out in a music studio. A Belf stops the performance, demanding to know why they always have to sing such harsh stuff. In the ensuing conflict, the Death Knight shortly finds himself fired. He then has to go out and make his own way in the big wide world.
The first thing that struck me about this video was, ironically, the colors. While I've been exposed to vibrant imagery before, this whole thing felt like someone made it out of a paint bucket. They're bright, gorgeous, and vivid. The strong colors emphasized the frenetic pace of the Death Knight's music.
The final gag in the movie had me laughing out loud. I wasn't expecting it, and it seemed like a perfect finale to the video.
If you have trouble seeing the player above, you can catch the movie here.
One of the big features coming in today's patch is the Argent Tournament, and with it comes a whole load of daily quests. Like we've done with Patch 2.4 and Wrath of the Lich King's release, we've been working on a series of guides to all of the new dailies. We aren't finished (there are a lot of quests), but we've been slowly trickling out guides over the last week or so. We've already had a few requests to get the guides we've done already gathered into one place, so we shall do just that.
WoW Insider has been on fire the past few months with patch 3.1 information. We've published nearly 400 articles on various aspects of the patch, more than any other patch we've covered.
To help organize things, we've made a nice guide for all you folks. WoW Insider's Guide to Patch 3.1 bring you our entire library of patch information in one concise and convenient place.
Check it out for a categorized and indexed listing of everything we've done. We'll be updating it throughout the day as well; you can check there to make sure you haven't missed anything important on this patch release day.
It's official! Patch 3.1 is coming to the live realms today and if you're one of many left dizzy after weeks of changes, bug fixes, nerfs, buffs, stealth nerfs, re-buffs, undocumented changes, and redocumented changes -- WoW Insider is here to help. Obviously things like dual specs and 30 minute hearthstone cooldowns will help us all, but chances are you want to know exactly what's going to be different with your class when you log on after today's maintenance. Here's everything that's been happening for every class, in a single place for your reading convenience...
We've talked a whole lot about Ulduar in the last few months, and a lot of great Ulduar-related resources have cropped up. So you don't need to dig through our entire site to find what you're looking for this fine Tuesday morning, I've tried to collect the most useful pieces of our current Ulduar content into one nice list for you. Enjoy!