I tried to make a "stealth nerf" pun in the headline, but it just wasn't coming to me. Anyway, Blizzard has decided that items that grant stealth detection were feeling too mandatory in arenas, "forc[ing] players to use lower level equipment even when more powerful items were available to them." Therefore, they've nerfed the lot of them.
This hotfix is already live; tooltips are not updated, yet, but will be in the next patch (patch 3.1.2).
What's your reaction to this? Obviously it's bad when people feel compelled to wear low-level items because they're overpowered (witness the Badge of Tenacity for Druid tanks), but is this going to lead to rogues becoming even more overpowered than (I hear) they already are?
Design your own holiday - Thu, 14 May 2009 17:00:00 EST Crygil wants to know: if you could design a new holiday for the game, what would it be? I don't think I've ever heard the question asked before -- holidays are really just optional fun for more players, and Blizzard has always covered the basics (Christmas, New Year's, Thanksgiving, Halloween, etc.), and even added in some of their own by giving real-world holidays some Azerothian flavor (Midsummer Fire Festival, and of course Brewfest). Are there really any holidays they missed?
I guess Labor Day and Memorial Day are the two biggest ones -- maybe all of the NPCs could take a day off, there could be giant barbeques set up in the capital cities, or players could take a day to remember those fallen in the past wars. Or you could go another route and just make up your own holiday: Grumpyfool of Azjol-Nerub recommends Gnome Appreciation Week (a whole week?), where Azeroth's shortest denizens can get some love of their own. A more recently based holiday might be fun, too -- maybe once a year we could remember Arthas' (it was Arthas, right?) zombie attack on our homeland.
I doubt this is going to be used to determine actual Blizzard policy. Seems more like just a fun thought experiment. But there are definitely some interesting ideas in there -- if Blizzard ever wants to add yet another holiday to the calendar, there are plenty of ideas.
Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.
Here's an annoying pair who deserve each other: Mage-Lord Urom of the Oculus versus Xevozz of the Violet Hold. Yes, I admit it -- when my husband IMs me from his office in frustration over the latest twist in corporate politics, I take a certain twisted pleasure in replying, "No worries - I just sent Xevozz and his stupid spheres up against Urom the bloody platform-hopper." Ahhh ... Takes the edge right off.
So let's start with the ground rules. Assume that these foes share similar levels, health pools and a comparative overall damage output. Of course, we'll allow Xevozz to be able to "follow" Urom from platform to platform (we'll leave the details to your imagination). Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter. Focus your debate on the three S's -- Style, Story and Scale - and consider the flavor each villain brings to bear. What do you think would happen during this battle? Leave your comment explaining what happens, and cast your vote for who you think blows up who.
Project 62*80: 62 level 80s by Christmas - Thu, 14 May 2009 16:00:00 EST I first heard about this from El Jeppy when I visited him and company on the Rawrcast Show a few weeks ago, but now he's posted a little more about goals and method on his site. He's just beginning something called "Project 62*80," which sounds pretty crazy on the front of it: he's planning to level 62 different characters (which is apparently one of each race and class combination for both Horde and Alliance) to level 80, and he's planning to do it by Christmas of this year. With 224 days until Christmas, that's 22 levels a day -- pretty easy when you're starting from level one, but not so much when you're trying to do 60-80.
He's not just grinding away on it, though -- he's chosen to do some multiboxing, and plans to level three characters at a time up until 60, and then three to five characters per group up to level 80, so if he can move four characters up five levels each a day, he'll be pretty close to his goal rate. And he's using recruit-a-friend, so the triple XP will make things even easier on him. It definitely seems like he can do it if he stays committed, but man, it's not something that would ever appeal to me.
He started off with Paladins (for the free mounts and the survivabiilty), and from there it sounds like he's going with Death Knights next, to raise some quick gold for the rest of the enterprise. You can follow his progress over on the Ten Gnomes blog if you want to see where he's at. It's hard to wish him luck (does anyone really need 62 freakin' 80s?), but we'll do it anyway: good luck, Jeppy.
If you've been reading this column over the past few weeks you know I've been threatening to rant about fury DPS being too low. I've stopped myself because I dislike mindless griping and rant posts (I've done them in the past, that doesn't make them any more palatable to me) and I wanted to wait and see how things shook out with better gear.
By now I have some of the best gear you can get before hard modes in 25 man, and my general opinion is that both arms and fury DPS is too low. I linked to that post because, despite the fact that it states that fury and arms will see buffs, it not only has no specifics to offer yet but it also fails to address why such staggering nerfs were implemented in the first place.
Forum post of the day: Why did you /gquit - Thu, 14 May 2009 14:00:00 EST There are many different reasons for why we join guilds: to raid; to meet girls (well, not usually to meet girls). We also have numerous reasons why we quit guilds. I was kind of amazed by Oreooze of Dalaran's list of reasons for why he /gquit.
1. He wasn't congratulated on his achievements. 2. He doesn't trust people online. 3. He didn't get invited to raids. 4. He didn't want to get Ventrilo he prefers not to use voice chat.
It sounds to me that the OP was not terribly interested in being a part of a team. I have to admit, I would have a hard time inviting people to raids that absolutely refused to get into Vent. I'm sorry, my friend, but real time communication is very important to success in raids. It is positively infuriating when someone wipes a raid because they missed an important instruction. I'm sure that some guilds can get by raiding without voice chat, but it's very frustrating not to have 24 people who can listen in and work with the team.
Changes coming to the Crusader title - Thu, 14 May 2009 13:00:00 EST We were just talking about this on the podcast last night -- Turpster's tip a week or so ago was that going for the Crusader title in the Argent Tournament actually puts you at a disadvantage, because if you keep from turning in the last Valiant quest for the achievement, you don't lock off having the ability to do both Valiant and Champion quests together, thus, as you can see in the thread, earning an extra 36 gold a day, which adds up to 1000g a month. After you earn the ability to represent every city, you can't do the Valiant quests any more (instead, you have to earn city reputation through the Champion's Writ, which costs you 10g from the opposite reward). In short, right now, if you're leveling through the AT quests, stay away from the Crusader achievement until you have all of the city reputations covered, and all the gold you want.
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), Bornakk says that Blizzard probably will make a change here soon to smooth everything out. But how they'll do that isn't quite clear -- they could leave the dailies (or some form of them) open even after you get the achievement, or they could beef up the achievement reward to make up for it. Not a hard fix either way. But yes, until then, you might want to rethink racing to the Crusader achievement, as there's more reward to be had by waiting.
I love this Leeroy as much as I loved Leeroy 4. They're having fun, and totally rocking out with their enjoyment of the game. The little gags and spoofs are done with a deep affection for the subect, and that translates into a bouyant film experience. The special effects are just enough to convey the game events they're describing, and the team uses creative angles to make the "inside" of an instance believable.
As a significant note, however, the predictable "Leeroy Jenkins" jokes finally made their way into the series. Considering the cultural history of Jenkins to WoW players, I found the references satisfying.
Reader DruidGuard made the call: "Salramm all the way. Not only will this necromancer's Ghouls actually go straight for Drakos (unlike the wandering bombs), they can be popped for even more fun if Salramm thinks they'll die too soon due to bombs or Thundering Stomp. And Saramm's two abilities, Curse of Twisted Flesh and Steal Flesh, mean that Drakos is going to be at a serious disadvantage; Drakos will have only 85% of his maximum health, a nasty long-lasting DoT and a 75% damage debuff, while Salramm gains bonus damage to wail on his dragon hide.
"Drakos would have to do some real fancy maneuvers to combat Salramm's abilities, but in the end, I believe the dead will have their day."
Greyseer of Lorecrafted posted this cute little version (that site there is slow, but don't worry, we've mirrored all the pictures for you to browse through below, so don't take bandwidth from there if you don't have to) of the Old God of Death the other day, and he's just about as adorable as an ancient, malevolent deity can get. For some reason, Blizzard's new big bad has captured the fascination of their fans, and Greyseer has chosen a cloth-based representation of the fearsome creature.
He says he only had the patience to make about five maw/eyes, and the fabric he used for Yoggy's belly has hearts on it, but we think that just adds to the charm. His little flipper/tentacle hands are great, too, and Greyseer calls the plush a "prototype," so maybe more are on the way. We're constantly amazed at what you players can do with some fabric and thread -- keep these plushy bad guys coming!
Salty Jecaa of <The Illuminati> on Lightbringer-EU sends us this picture from General Vezax's room in Ulduar, taken while his guild was preparing to fight Yogg-Saron. Why all the smashed stained glass? Perhaps Vezax, a hideous Zoidberg-like lobster creature, chose to destroy the beautiful artwork surrounding him so it wouldn't contrast so vividly with his own monstrous visage. Or maybe Jecaa was careless with his staff. It looks like it could do a number on anything breakable in the vicinity.
Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them 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.
Well, this is a good piece of news for 10-man raiding. Weapons that drop in hard-mode Ulduar-10 fights are being buffed from ilvl 226 to ilvl 232, a jump of half a tier. Players who have these weapons already will see them adjusted. This puts the Ulduar-10 hard-mode weapons on par with the Ulduar-25 normal-mode weapons, a situation that was already the case for armor rewards (Ulduar-25 normal-mode weapons have always been ilvl 232).
My own casual-ish guild is only four bosses into Ulduar at the moment, so this doesn't affect me personally, but it makes sense to see hard modes drop quality rewards. I wonder if this will increase the number of guilds attempting them. Now how about a shot at Val'anyr, eh? Or perhaps a Druid tanking idol somewhere in Wrath before Ulduar-25? Yeah, I didn't think so.
I think that one of the keys to keeping both your WoW life and your real life balanced is by identifying your priority list. Every once in a while do a reality check and make sure you're keeping it in line. For me WoW sits somewhere between work and sleep (then again, I've never slept much). My guildies know that I will not be on on Friday nights, that's "sister time." I do play WoW when I'm on work trips, but I never go anywhere particularly exciting.
New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.
Hey, isn't that the same screenshot we used for WoW Rookie just two weeks ago? Indeed it is, faithful readers - because frankly, "Who wants my man meat?" is the perfect illustration for today's topic.
The World of Warcraft is your refuge at the end of a long, hard day - and the last thing you want to see rolling across your screen is the kind of lowbrow posturing that's given Barrens chat its notorious reputation. Or perhaps you'd like to let the kids try their hands at WoW, but you don't want them soaking up the rough language that seems to turn up more and more frequently in busy city Trade and General channels.
Beating Cheese for Glowergold - Wed, 13 May 2009 20:00:00 EST I could not agree more -- of all of the cooking dailies, Cheese for Glowergold is my least favorite. All of the cooking collecting quests usually involve a little shoulder rubbing with people doing the same quest -- Infused Mushroom Meatloaf is another one where it's usually every man for himself down in those sewers. But none of them are more annoying than Glowergold's quest. I don't know if it's just that the respawn time seems longer, or that there are fewer spawn points and more to collect (you need six glasses, which doesn't seem like much as collecting quests go, but it's a lot while doing it), or that there's no specific place to find the glasses (they're littered around tables, usually in restaurants, around Dalaran). But yeah -- every time the wine and cheese quest comes up, I sigh, knowing that I'm going to be standing in the inn straight across from the cheese shop waiiting for a spawn.
But just so this isn't a complete QQ post, let's give you a few tips for next time. That inn is usually where I stand, but it's pretty crowded -- it's definitely worth, after just picking up the quest, looking around the faction inn where you get the cooking daily as there's usually one or two in there. And I didn't know this, but apparently there are a few spawn points downstairs in The Cantrips and Crows tavern (so when you run down there for the Jewel of the Sewers, keep an eye out for glasses also). And there are four spawns in the Violet Hold as well (so you can stop by and grab those while picking up the Heroic and dungeon dailies).
This might help a bit, but the fact is that this is an annoying quest, made more annoying when someone swoops in and grabs that glass you were headed for. Bornakk rightfully says it doesn't need a nerf (and as more people get everything they want out of the cooking dailies, we'll probably see less competition out there), but that doesn't make it any less frustrating.
We've talked about the Insane in the Membrane achievement ourselves, but The Unconventional Priest has a guide of her own that may help you out on your quest to become completely and utterly insane. Make sure you check out parts I, II, and III.
April Guild of the Month: Wildfire Riders on Feathermoon - Wed, 13 May 2009 18:00:00 EST Huge congrats to our second Guild of the Month, the Wildfire Riders of Feathermoon. We combed through all of the entries sent to us over the last 30 days, and the Wildfire Riders came out on top -- not only do they run some exemplary raids, but they are a shining example of fun and interesting RP, and we really enjoyed their one loot rule, too. Read on after the break to find out what it is, and what kind of people make up April's Guild of the Month.
In addition to being featured right here on the site, Wildfire Riders also picks up a raid pack from the good folks at Swagdog.com, who offer hats and t-shirts custom printed with your guild and character information -- the perfect piece of clothing to pack up for BlizzCon later this year. And speaking of BlizzCon, Swagdog tells us that they're going to be there yet again (last year they were giving away custom mousepads), and that they've got some more customized guild gear in the works, so stay tuned. Thanks to them for helping us sponsor this contest -- go head over to their site now to make your own custom guild shirt or hat.
And of course we're now opening up nominations for the May Guild of the Month. To enter, send us an email (no more than 200 words please) to email@example.com stating why your guild deserves to win. Please note that you must be from the US or Canada (excluding Quebec) and age 18 or older, as them's the legal rules, and also note that even if you sent us an email last month, you must re-nominate your guild if you want to be considered again. You can send us the same message if you want, but we've got to keep everything current, so please re-send. Official rules are still here, and this month's deadline will be midnight on June 13th.
Blizzard EU has a pretty sweet offer to you European players out there: If you like cosplay (and you're good at it) you could win a chance to go to BlizzCon for free. The official contest page states, "All you have to do is create a costume inspired by one of our game universes, pose in it, snap a photo, and send it to us!"
Of course, certain rules apply, contests are never that simple, as I'm sure you've noticed with some of the contests right here on WoW Insider. The contest will begin on May 20th, 2009. It will end on June 22nd, 2009. Submissions sent early (or late) will be discarded. Entries are also limited to individuals 18 or older residing in the following countries:
What's up for grabs, you ask? We've got an Epic Purple Shirt that'll let you "be the center of attention," two of the very popular Sandbox Tiger codes (I just rode on one the other day, and it was so much fun my character was throwing their hands in the air), and five different P.A.R.T.Y. grenades, sure to blow up a party no matter where you are. To win, just leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite ingame item of all time, loot card or otherwise. You may only enter once, and we'll close the comments 24 hours from now (at 5pm Eastern on May 14th), choose eight random winners, and email the codes out to them, so use a real email address when you comment. Codes work in either the US or EU realms.
And while you're waiting to win, don't forget to head on over to WoWTCGLoot.com for pages and pages of great info about all of the loot cards available, including fact sheets and FAQ pages about each card, and even price trackers on eBay so you can get the card you want for less money than you thought. They're also giving away cards on their site -- you can hit up their chatbox page to talk with other readers and maybe even win some more cards. They're an awesome resource for everything you need to know about TCG cards, and as always, we are indebited to them for helping us run contests like this. Good luck to everyone!