I've been farming a lot of ghost mushrooms and gromsblood lately in order to make Demonslaying Elixirs. My guild's farming trash in Sunwell Plateau at the moment and has taken a few half-hearted swings at Kalecgos, all of which ended in much hollering and arguing and waving of hands in the air. But despite the fact that Big Blue is likely to ride our collective ass for weeks, I like to think of myself as a long-term planner with a gimlet eye on Brutallus. So, a-farming I go.
The materials for the elixir are fairly irritating to farm in quantity, and I find myself in a lot of areas I never even leveled extensively in when I was raising my Druid main. Desolace? Paid it a visit to get some fishing done. Blasted Lands? Uh...passed through it on my way to Outland. Maraudon? Did I do that? I want to say I did, but was brought up short at learning of the existence of a scepter that allows you to bypass two-thirds of the instance. I know for sure I've never set foot in Dire Maul North, much less a Tribute Run, I'd never seen the live side of Stratholme, and I hadn't so much as clapped eyes on the Emperor in Blackrock Depths.
The gquit macro - Wed, 14 May 2008 18:00:00 EST Yesterday my guild was getting ready for our nightly foray into the Black Temple (we downed the first five bosses in 3 ½ hours, not too bad). Out of the blue, a member who has been having some "issues" as of late decided it was high time to leave the guild. And he didn't just stealth gquit, he went out in style.
Instead of being adult about it, which everyone in my guild is, he posted a long winded and rambling message to the guild and then left. His tantrum was quite good, one of the most epic I've seen. But the epicness of his lack of class wasn't the best part. The best part was that he had enough foresight to do it all with a macro. So after a bunch of us got done laughing about him leaving on ventrilo I thought to myself, "Self, I should post this on WoW Insider tomorrow. After all, a gquit macro sounds like a good idea!"
Take a look after the break to see some screenshots of this ex-guildie's gquit macro, and how you too can make your own gquit macro!
It's very interesting stuff. Reeves says that MMO games and the leaders in them are a prime example of the environment creating the leader, not necessarily the talents of the person themselves -- when a game gives you the tools and influences necessary to have you leading a guild, you'll do a good job at it. He also says that the speed of online games can be a huge benefit to workers -- when you need to organize groups fast ingame, those skills will directly translate to running groups in real life.
Not everything is the same -- Reeves admits that the risks are much smaller when running around a virtual world (no one loses their livelihood if you don't down a boss), and there's a lot more transparency in games -- you can know characters' levels and specs, but you can't really know exactly how much experience your employees have or what they're really good at just by looking them up in the Armory. The interview is definitely an interesting read for anyone who's ever lead a guild or a workplace -- it's becoming more and more apparently that there are many lessons to be learned across both.
The answers are all pretty good (I've put them all behind the break -- thanks, Twitterers!). From what most people said, lore and story play a huge part in making a fight feel epic, and not just the story of the game, but the story of the guild playing as well -- when your guild almost wipes, and pulls off a great kill, that's an epic battle whether it's in Karazhan or in Sunwell Plateau. Challenge also helps -- people raid to be pushed to the edge of their endgame abilities, and when a well-tuned fight does that, it's one of the best experiences in the game.
Great answers all -- hopefully we'll get to see more epic encounters than not in the Wrath of the Lich King (as Matticus points out, we don't need 40 or even 25 players to have a truly epic encounter with Arthas). And if you haven't started following our Twitter account (@WoWInsider) yet, please do, and stay tuned for more interesting and informal Twitter polls like this.
Not to be out done by the recent flurry of convention announcements, The Blizzard World Wide Invitational 2008 is throwing out an announcement or two of its own. Today, they are officially announcing a Machinma contest. There will be two categories, one for movies, and one for TV Commercials for WoW items. Online submission is open from June 9th to June 16th. You can check out the contest details (Including the prizes, of course) here.
If Machinima isn't your thing, but you're still creative in other arenas, the announcement also mentions that they will reveal more contests in the near future.
At the moment, the official terms suggest that the contest is open only to Europeans, but if that pans out, I'm certain American Machinimists will get a crack at things at Blizzcon 2008.
This is also significant in that it's the first time an official confirmation of a release time frame has come out. And being that this is the data sent to Vivendi investors, it comes with a good bit of clout.
Additionally, the statement tells us that World of Warcraft now has 10.7 million subscribers, up from 10 million at the end of 2007.
The exact paragraph in the statement is after the break. And of course, stay tuned to WoW Insider for all the latest Wrath of the Lich King news.
But still, it seems like an official interface would work much better. And especially considering that Blizzard is actually going to start encouraging alts as a part of the gameplay (you have to have a character at least 55 on the account to start up a Death Knight, and there are rumors that alts will benefit from reputation grinds as well), it seems like they might be interested in making the connection between characters on the account a little more obvious.
And as we said last time, there are benefits to the guild as well -- you never know when that lowbie leveling through Westfall might actually have a Death Knight ready to tank for you. I'm still not sure about marking alts in the Armory, but if you join up to a guild, I'd think guilds should have the right to know, officially, who's an alt of whom.
We've talked about the gear you can get to build your tanking set up to Karazhan, but to actually tank in a raid, you need to bring along plenty of tasty consumables to buff you up to tip-top shape. And that's what we're going to cover today.
There are four basic types of consumables you can have active buffs from.
You can have active at one time;
Flask or Elixir buffs (One Flask, or One Guardian and One Battle Elixir effect)
Multiple scroll buffs (as long as the buffs do not overlap with player spell casting)
One Weapon buff
One food buff
Also, there are tons of potions and items that can be darn handy to use in the middle of a fight, especially when things are looking their bleakest, and with the changes to how Druids shift forms in Patch 2.3, there are some very simple macros that you can use to make your own 'oh no!' buttons. Use at your own risk!
What will help you in your fight is situational, but knowing what you have to choose from can make creating your own shopping list a lot easier.
Before I start this post, I should warn you that every single post we do about the size of something ingame must, by contractual obligations, contain a risqué double entendre somewhere within. Be warned.
Reader Veras was nice enough to point out to us that as of the 2.4.2 release, Tauren two-hand weapons have returned to normal size as planned. It seems to me that this got fixed fairly quicker than other size issues that Blizzard has had. We still have no idea how their code works (and what they're changing that causes all of these weird issues), but at least they're getting better at fixing things.
Of course, as any Tauren Fury Warrior will tell you, it's not the size of your two-hand weapon -- it's how you use it. Contract fulfilled.
M'uru nerfed - Wed, 14 May 2008 14:00:00 EST The small handful of guilds worldwide that have killed M'uru thus far are going to have an achievement therein that nobody else can touch. As of yesterday's patch 2.4.2 (today on the European realms), Blizzard has made the following change to the encounter:
We've changed the Negative Energy spells cast by M'uru and Entropius to no longer cause spell interruption on the target. This should ease the frustration of the encounter for those casting classes who can not obtain 100% resistance to spell interruption through talents and effects such as Concentration Aura.
Having not done the fight myself, I can't really comment on how big of a nerf this is, but it's something, anyway. (Background: M'uru is the next-to-last boss of Sunwell Plateau, followed only by Kil'Jaeden, and Entropius is another aspect of M'uru that appears during the fight.) Guilds who have been wiping on M'uru, or who intend to try him in the future, do you welcome this change?
She took issue with almost every aspect of the Wall Street Journal's report, saying that both Alienware and the XPS line are hardly in trouble, and are known for excellence and have gained many awards and accolades, and that Dell was dedicated to both. In fact, she specifically praised the XPS M1730, which is the base for the World of Warcraft laptop.
Awful Archimonde alterations in 2.4.2 - Wed, 14 May 2008 13:00:00 EST As usual with WoW patches, patch 2.4.2 includes a couple of wild bugs. My personal favorites(and by favorites I mean I absolutely hate them) are the bugs(changes?) to the Archimonde encounter.
Now, this may just be "Onyxia Deep Breaths moar" syndrome, but the official Dungeons and Raids forum has some pretty substantial(mostly anecdotal) evidence to the contrary. What are these bugs? Well, it seems Archimonde's Doom Fires are spawning on top of the melee and immediately chasing them, rather than travelling out towards the ranged first. Seeing as this fight is generally carried entirely by the melee DPS, that changes the fight quite a bit. The second change/bug is that... your main tank can now be Air Bursted! Hooray! That isn't annoying at all! Sarcasm is sweet!
Archimonde certainly isn't the most difficult encounter in WoW and it is still able to be beaten even now, but I personally hated this encounter with all of my heart and soul to begin with. This doesn't help much. Admittedly, I haven't seen these bugs/changes in action personally yet, but I do not ever want to see them, either. Have I mentioned I hate Archimonde?
Since you guys couldn't get enough of Gnomechewer, I'm featuring a suggestion by one of our commenters. If you can remember the 90s, a satire film, Last Action Hero, came out, and it starred California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. What was supposed to be a summer blockbuster has ended up the butt of jokes for 15 years. However, the dialogue and action worked much better in Last Action Crusader. Keep in mind that this machinima is seven months old.
You're going to have to try to follow along with me on this plot. Arnold Menethil is freed by Scarlet Commander Mograine, and escapes Stormwind to join the Scarlet Crusade. The whole time, he plans to avenge his father's death and reclaim Lordaeron to sit as King. The storyline for this machinima is totally over the top, but then so is the original film that it's parodying. What you can expect is cheesy dialogue, fight scenes, and special effects.
"What do you think of when you look at the sky? Do you wonder if that big pink thing is a whole different galaxy out there, looking back at us? And when they look back at us, what color do you think we are?"
"Actually, Wayne, I don't think much of anything anymore, since you stabbed me in the back and cannibalized my flesh, leaving me to decay on this rock in Nagrand."
"Yeah, you're my best friend too, Garth. Let's get you back in your grave before it rains."
(Thanks to Bearhuggy of <Natures Fury> on Stormreaver for the pic, and an honorable mention to CA's very similar submission.)
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, because the future's so bright we gotta wear shades.
Twice a week, our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read moreAbout the Bloggers.
What do you do for WoW Insider?
Currently I contribute the Ready Check column, which aims to cover raid bosses and raiding issues from an endgame perspective. Some of you may recognise my name from the mists of time, however -- I used to be a blogger for Joystiq back when they decided a spinoff WoW site would be a funky idea. Before I knew it I was site lead, until RL called me away. But like a bad penny, I'm back!
So where are you going to be? Planning on visiting any cons this year? I won't say it's hassle-free -- the crowds, lines, and just plain costs of these things tend to make me avoid them, especially right after I've been to visit one. But then again, every year around this time I start to get excited about maybe going to them again, and while I have no idea what my plans are right now, I can tell you for sure that WoW Insider will have a presence at all kinds of conventions this year.
Menzoberranzan on Tichondrious-H decided recently that after a spat of drama, they were going to go on hiatus until Wrath, so their GL cooked up this video to show off some of the highlights of the guild. Most of it is just a slideshow of screenshots (so we're using it as the header shot this week), but jump up to 7:19, because there's some funny kids dancing.
Lots (and I mean lots) of drama in the GW this week (including the "corrupt loot council" that spawned that gem of a title), so make sure to click the link below to read it all. And don't forget to send your own tips in -- email@example.com is the email address. We want your downed, drama, and recruiting news, so send it all.
It seems to be an unfortunate reality of WoW, if not MMORPGs in general: When a new patch goes live, more often than not, it's going to be a bit rocky on the servers for a while. Patch 2.4.2 is no exception, Many servers are having trouble staying up, including most of the Ruin Battlegroup, which according to a few our tipsters has been having more than its share of trouble lately. Blue Poster Vrakthis has assured posters on the Customer Service Forum that the Realm issues are being looked into, but so far, there does not seem to be a solid reason for the downtime other than, hey, it's patch day!
One of the biggest surprises Hunters found when they logged on after this morning's patch was that all was not as it was supposed to be. Although the tool tip for Scare Beast reads as instant cast, the old 1.5 second cast time is still intact. Netheara confirmed that the reversion of the cast time was, in fact, intentional. It was considered too strong and reverted, although the 30 yard range buff is still intact. The instant cast designation in the tool tip is an error that will be fixed.
The rise of disease - Tue, 13 May 2008 18:30:00 EST Death Knights. Seems like they're all the rage these days, and they haven't even been released yet. It was revealed that Death Knights start at Level 55, the only requirement being that the player has an existing Level 55 character. Daniel has even declared his intention to make a Death Knight his main when the time comes. I wouldn't be surprised to see a proliferation of Death Knights when Wrath of the Lich King is finally released. When that time comes, prepare to get inoculated because the class is the first to finally use diseases as a core class mechanic.
Aside from Undead Priests and their Devouring Plague, there are no player abilities that inflict the disease Dispel Type. So far, two disease-based abilities have been revealed: Blade Strike and Blood Strike. Designed to work off each other, Blade Strike is an attack that applies a disease on the target in addition to base damage while Blood Strike deals damage based on the number of diseases on the target. Death Knights are also able to raise Ghouls to fight for them and are projected to have an ability that applies a disease on their targets. Load up on Airborne, because it's going to get pretty toxic in Northrend.