The Countdown to Wrath Giveaways are all wrapped up, but we've got one more awesome Razer product for one lucky winner. The Razer Destructor gaming surface isn't just a mouse pad -- it's a nature reserve for your gaming mouse. This thing was designed with tournament teams in mind, and it's such a crazy piece of mouse-supporting machinery that it comes with its own case. Even non-gaming mice play better on this thing, and if you've got a gaming mouse, your tracking could be up to 37% faster just by putting the mouse on this baby. This isn't the Cadillac of mousepads -- it's the just-paved, scrubbed, and re-painted highway underneath that brand new Cadillac.
To enter, leave a commenton this post before Monday, November 17th, 2008 at 6pm ET. One winner will be chosen randomly and will receive a Destructor professional gaming mat (valued at $40). You must be at least 18 to enter and a legal resident of the United States or non-Quebec resident of Canada. You can only enter once. Click here for complete Official Rules.
This is one of your last chances to pick something up during our Wrath contests if you haven't yet -- make sure to get your comment below to get in on the random drawing.
It's that time of the week again, and even though Wrath is out and we're all playing up a storm, we'll be taking some time out of our schedule to put out our weekly podcast, the WoW Insider Show, and you should come join us. We'll be live on Ustream tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern (time zone calculator), and this week, we'll welcome the site's other co-lead blogger, Dan O'Halloran on with us -- he was live on the scene in Anaheim with Blizzard and about a thousand fans during the launch, and he got to talk to Tom Chilton, so we'll get him to tell us all about that. And Chase Christian, who writes the Encrypted Text rogue column, will be joining us as well to talk about his experiences from 70-72 so far. Additionally, we'll be chatting about Blizzard issues with server downtime and how they've fared post-launch so far (very well, I think, queues notwithstanding), and we'll talk about that first to 80 player and all of our other experiences in Northrend over the past few days.
Should be a terrific show, definitely tune in on Ustream, or just come right back to this post, as we've embedded the stream after the break. If you've got a question for the show or something you'd like us to talk about, just drop a note: our email address is the show AT wowinsider dot com. And of course we'll be on for our usual aftershow -- after the show ends, we turn off the recording and chat directly with the people in the channel, so if you haven't listened live before, there's a great reason to tune in tomorrow. See you there!
WoW Insider interviews Tom Chilton - Fri, 14 Nov 2008 16:00:00 EST A couple of days ago at the midnight release of Wrath of the Lich King in Anaheim, CA, our very own Dan O'Halloran had an opportunity speak with Tom Chilton (also known as Kalgan), Lead Game Designer of World of Warcraft. They spoke on a wide variety of topics, from raid philosophy to the growth of the game in North America and many things in between. Read on to see what Kalgan had to say! WoW Insider: What did Blizzard think was the most surprising class development of The Burning Crusade? Did you think Paladin tanks would be as popular as they were, did you anticipate the Druid supremacy in the arena?
And odds are that you've met the main guest of the expansion already as well -- I bumped into him during a walk through the spirit world in Wyrmskull Village, and he wasn't very nice to me already (and frankly, I saw a side of him I've never seen before -- having identifed myself as a Shaman for so long, it was extremely interesting to see him do the same). Blizzard promised from the beginning that we'd meet and greet with the lore heavyweights early on, and they weren't kidding -- we're right in the mix from the time we step off the boat.
I love it -- without getting too spoilery, what else is worth seeing in these starting zones? We almost got Keristrasza down last night in The Nexus, and it's almost hard to remember those days when it took 40 players to take down a dragon -- even solo and five man players get to do epic stuff nowadays. What have you done already?
For some of you, your eyes will be on the goals of end game. You're not going to need as many consumables now as you did before. This represents a change in Blizzard philosophy. Don't even think about using Mana Oils or Wizard Oils (or stones) as they will not work on items over level 70. Pro tip: Chances are, you'll be using your present weapons for a while. Might as well use any you have left over for those while you level until you come across a replacement weapon.
It once hovered over the Eastern Plaguelands. Now you can find this entry level instance in Dragonblight to the east. Players that experienced the old version of Naxx will notice many similarities in this latest rendition. Many of the bosses have returned (with the exception of a particular Knight from the 4 Horsemen).
This is the first entry level Onyxia style boss you'll encounter. Sartharion is surrounded by 3 mini-boss dragons. Think of it as a modified Zul'Aman instance challenge. You can set the difficulty of the encounter by sparing any number of dragons. Leaving all 3 up when you engage Sartharion results in more items (and better quality). The Sanctum is also located in Dragonblight below Wyrmrest Temple.
The Eye of Eternity
Malygos makes the Eye of Eternity his domain. This is the only raid instance you will find in The Nexus. Before you can summon Malygos, you need to have the Heroic Key to the Focusing Iris (or its 10 man counterpart, the Key to the Focusing Iris). It'll be the first instance where you get to engage the boss on flying mounts!
Check out our walkthrough of these three early Wrath raids in the gallery below!
I've been waiting to do some breakdown analysis of the Wrath world event until it actually ended, and since we're now swarming over Northrend and exploring Arthas' domain, I think the time has come to determine a verdict on whether or not Blizzard's world event delivered.
The short answer? I think it did, but not without a few bumps along the way. This was certainly the most ambitious world event Blizzard has attempted yet, both reusing some of their old techniques (the Scourge invasion), some newer tricks (a special boss with extra loot, which they learned from the Horseman last year), and even some tricks they picked up from players. But there were certain issues -- the timing was just plain bad, and the event really fizzled out rather than finished with a bang.
After the break, we run through what Blizzard did right and wrong with the world event, and what we can expect in the future.
Yesterday marked the end of Ask a Beta Tester, and today we begin the rise from the ashes. Like we've been saying the last few days, we're going to continue Ask a Beta Tester under a different name. What name? We don't know yet. Ask a Wrath Player is what I used today, but is that what it will be tomorrow? Who knows! It's a mystery!
We're definitely here to stay, though. We're going to continue using the Q&A format for AAWP or AABT or AAGoGS or AASS or whatever bizarre acronym we end up with, so if you have any questions about Wrath or even the game in general, please ask! We have a very diverse crew here at WoW Insider, so if there's something I don't know personally, there's a big team I can ask. We don't have a lot of questions to answer from yesterday because everyone was busy partying hard to celebrate (mourn?) the end of AABT, but we'll answer what we have
As a good friend of mine says, "Oh my god, the cute! It burns!" That might not be the most professional opening to my blurb on today's WoW Moviewatch, but it certainly was what I was thinking the entire time I was watching The Lonely Monster by Ollgabopi.
The animation is smooth and simple; there's no doubt about what each character is feeling. The music is absolutely appropriate, though I don't know if the creator meant for it to be quite that melancholy. The story and presentation is a little bit of a trope, but the overall effect is that much stronger since it draws on what we already know and feel about this situation. A lonely, friendly monster just wants to be accepted. It's not rocket science, and Ollgabopi lets the music and animation support the emotions of the sequence.
I was a little bit disappointed not to have more catharsis at the end, but I think as a piece of stand-alone art "The Lonely Monster" is very strong.
Unfortunately we ran out of time in our Care and Feeding of Warriors series on gear for Wrath of the Lich King ;ast week, just as we were about to cover the weapons to be looking to acquire. This week, post launch, here's a concise list of blues to be had in the 70 to 80 Northrend instances. We've already covered rep rewards, but we may go over some of the same ground here for convenience.
We'll be covering tanking and DPS weapons of both the one and two handed variety. Not all warriors will be taking Titan's Grip, after all. Oh, stop looking at me like that, you know it's true. I stated a fact, I didn't kick a puppy, you can turn off the big sad eyes now.
Yes, of course I specced fury for leveling. Oh, I'll go back to prot once we're all 80 and raiding again, but there was no way I wasn't going fury. I've written ballads about this talent, you think I'm passing up the chance to use it? Oh my word no.
What follows is all pre-raid gear. 5 mans, quests, heroics and badges, but no raids. It's light on PvP gear, because I figure you know how to get that stuff. (Hint: you PvP for it.) Sometimes I mention it if it feels like a category of weapon will be very empty without it, though. Axes, I'm looking right at you here.
Many realms have an unofficial truce to allow the other side to fish in their cities, but Himarl of <Serenity Moon> on Lothar isn't taking any chances. Using a leftover Halloween mask, he's fashioned a cunning disguise that allows him to slip into Stormwind for some covert fishing action. However, he's slightly concerned that his tusks may give him away. Meh -- if anyone brings it up, he can just say that his mom was a troll. Dudes dig that.
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.
What level are you? - Fri, 14 Nov 2008 09:00:00 EST I think it's safe to say a good chunk of us have been able to play Wrath at least a little bit by now. What do you think? How's your leveling going? I managed to hit level 72 yesterday before I retired for the night, and while I'm not leveling as quickly as I'd like, I've deemed my progress acceptable. I did some pretty serious beta testing during the Wrath beta, so I've quested through every single Northrend zone already.
While I love the content and don't really mind doing it a second time, I'll admit that Nymh's accomplishment makes me a little jealous. At least that way if I could finish up with my main in a day or two, I could go right into my alts (who I didn't get to play much in the beta) until my friends caught up. It'd make things feel a little more new to me than they are. That's not really something I'm able to do though, so level 72 it is. I'm going to aim for a level a day, and if I manage something at least close to that I'll be happy. Do we have anyone nearing 80, or in the high-70s reading WoW Insider this morning? My server has a few already, so it wouldn't surprise me much at all!
After the Midnight Launch, I rushed home with my precious Collector's Edition, installed, patched and made a Death Knight. I'm not ready to play my DK yet, but I wanted to reserve the name and get her resting. Then I put my druid on a zeppelin and went to Northrend.
I didn't research the best starting zone for my class. I didn't even think about where the zeppelin might be taking me. I just randomly chose the Undercity portal from Shattrath and went from there. So here I am in the Howling Fjord. From a Tauren perspective, I'm not sure how I feel about doing chores for the Forsaken. Ah well, we're all in this together, right?
Where did you begin your Northrend questing? Did you research your decision, choose randomly or follow the pack?
So. I'm here. I'm not completely wrapped up in Wrath, I promise. In fact, just to show how much I am not wrapped up in the here and now, in the long lines for the queues and prospect of getting a beautiful worm pet and all that good stuff, I'm going to predict the future!
Let's look at some of the promises and perils that 3.1 and other future patches will bring for the Hunter.
Reports of the first character to reach level 80 are flooding in, and there are screenshots to back it up. Congratulations to Nymh of EU Drek'thar on your achievement! Nymh's Armory displays her (him?) as an SL/SL Warlock, which I've been told is an exceptionally good grinding spec, especially when coupled with a healer. Judging by her buffs in the full screenshot, it looks like she just may have had a pocket healer on the journey to 80. A Discipline Priest, specifically. Whether the Priest was there the whole way through or just happened to be partied with Nymh at that moment, we're not really sure.
That screenshot also seems to be from the Grizzly Hills, which is roughly a mid-70s zone. Nymh may have dinged 80, but she still has plenty of content ahead. I hope the trek to 80 was an enjoyable one! How long until you start leveling your alts, Nymh?
Queues are the highest most of us have ever seen tonight. On my home server of Eldre'Thalas I was behind over 850 people at one point, and have had over an hour wait be estimated for me more often than not. I maxed out at 115 minutes.
The estimated wait time will fluctuate back and forth depending on the frequency in which players log off or leave the queue in frustration.
Perhaps the biggest thing we need to worry about this expansion is not server down time, but the phenomenal amount of players wanting to get in the game.
If Blizzard has any announcement about this, or solutions (other than transferring realms) we'll keep you updated here. Other than that... good luck getting in.
I like to think this is in response to Jose here: Nethaera has announced some free realm transfers for North American players, to complement the European ones. In addition, the list of eligible realms for migration to Fizzcrank, the new transfer realm, has been expanded. The transfers to Fizzcrank are currently active, and are scheduled to run until Monday, 11/24, 12:00 PM PST. Realms newly eligible are in italics.
They will be open from today, the 13th, until Wednesday, November 18th.
This is really not your typical character transfer here. Usually there's a group of source realms with one destination realms, sometimes two. I'm not sure I've ever seen something like this: 14 source realms with 14 different destination realms. This may have to do with the more fractured situation in Europe - with four realm types (PvE, PvP, RP, RP-PvP), five languages, and I'm not sure how many time zones, I can see how it might take some juggling to keep moves within one category. As always, if you do want to switch, you're advised to do it early, because transfers can be closed if the realms meet their desired populations early.
Edit: I see that all of these realms are English and CEST (thanks, Sethox). No clue why they're so fragmented, then.
Northrend is finally available, and it seems like everyone is out in full force. There are so many new things to do and see that it might be pleasantly overwhelming at the moment.
In order to help you find some direction, I've put together a list of 10 easily attainable achievements that you can earn in the next few days while questing. These are along the way, so you won't have to break your stride. Many can even be achieved today.
If you haven't, but would like to, then check out our guide to leveling Fishing to 375 as well as Cooking to 375. First Aid should be a breeze, as all you need is cloth! Still, should you find yourself at a loss, check out our Guide to Farming Cloth.
To enter, leave a commenton this post before Sunday, November 16th, 2008 at 6pm ET. One winner will be chosen randomly and will receive a Lachesis gaming mouse (valued at $80). You must be at least 18 to enter and a legal resident of the United States or non-Quebec resident of Canada. You can only enter once. Click here for complete Official Rules.
When we told our own Zach Yonzon that we were giving away this mouse, he pretty much fainted from the excitement. But he's not even eligible to win it -- you are, so leave a comment below, and good luck.