Rushter of Incgamers.com explained to us on the comments of the previous article that the problem was with a seperate attack on a different hosted site (which was quickly dealt with, and unrelated to worldofwar.net, says Rushster), but Google marked the whole site as bad. The worldofwar.net UI database was unaffected, he says, and after some back and forth, Google has now dropped the warning.
Of course, it's still always a good idea to check your computer for viruses, trojans, and keyloggers regularly, and realize that no website is completely safe (though having a good defense always helps). That said, at the moment it looks like wowui.incgamers.com, also known as wowui.worldofwar.net, is a safe spot to grab your addons from.
WoW Insider Show Episode 33 now available - Tue, 15 Apr 2008 15:30:00 EST Yes, episode number 33 of our podcast is now up for download over at WoW Radio, and if you're a big fan of the show, it's a doozy. Since we haven't done our "normal" show in a few weeks (because of the interview with Xzin last time around), we decided to go all fan service, and caught up on all the shout-outs, fan email, and other fan shenanigans we usually do (there's even some Turpster love poetry). But even if you're not down with the silliness, there's lots of good WoW news in this week's episode, including:
And of course, you can always listen live -- we go live on the air every Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm EST over on WoW Radio. Tune in next Saturday and every Saturday for the WoW Insider Show -- it's just like this very site, except in audio form.
He specifically mentions "changes" coming to the game (in a patch apparently "just a few weeks away") that will deal with the problem of exploits, specifically point and personal rating selling. He also says that the Arena game puts class balance "under a microscope," and says that the Lifebloom and Ice Block changes were specifically aimed towards balancing Arena teams -- Blizzard made those changes hoping that they didn't mess with PvE gameplay as much. Arena tournament players, he says, will be the "mad scientists" of class balance, so Blizzard can see firsthand what works and what doesn't. Finally, he mentions actual arena design, and reveals that in Wrath of the Lich King, there will definitely be some new Arena environments to play in.
Lots of good information in this one, especially for Arena players. We'll have to wait and see what that patch "a few weeks away" does for us, and we'll also have to watch and see what comes out of the Arena tournament -- lots of the changes that eventually show up in Wrath might come as a direct result of what happens in the tournament.
EU Stormscale Guild adult swim were recently interviewed by Nihilum (you know, those guys) for downing Gruul the Dragonkiller with a Karazhan-short 8 people. Nihilum had released a video of their guys doing Gruul with a mere 15 raiders, and it was something that adult swim leader Snookiwooki said was "pretty easy". According to Snookiwooki, adult swim had a fairly light raiding schedule and were merely looking for "stupid things to do outside of raids". Because of the nature of the fight, adult swim stuck to ranged DPS to minimize worry about cave ins.
The self-described semi-hardcore guild of 35 people believe that their accomplishment can be duplicated by any equally-geared (they're currently progressing through Sunwell Plateau) raid with the proper set-up. Snookiwooki also mentions that since they won't be attempting Gruul for a while, guilds are more than welcome to beat the record. With entry-level 25-man raid content now doable with a mere 8 people, the winds of Wrath of the Lich King seem closer than ever. Watch the video here.
So here I am at level 70, back in the land where your mom is that easy and Chuck Norris is that cool: The Barrens. I'm not here to save the Crossroads from ganking Allies and I'm not here to run noobs through Wailing Caverns (so stop asking). I'm here to fish.
Fishing is the one secondary skill I didn't work on because, well, it's boring. But now that you can make tons of cash with the new Fishing Dailies, I'm leveling up fish-catching skills. The problem is that once you get to 225, and finish that annoying quest with Nat Pagle, fishing gets even more boring than it was before. No matter where you fish, each skillup is farther apart and you have to hang out in places that are far below your level if you don't want to miss a lot.
The first thing I did was search WoW Insider, because that usually does the trick and I found a great guide to Fishing and Cooking, but the advice for leveling to 300 says "may god have mercy on your soul because Blizzard won't." Not a good sign. I also found a link to El's Extreme Anglin' which is a fantastic fishing site, but I couldn't find any advice for making the trip from 225 any less painful. So I asked The Spousal Unit who has won the Fishing Extravaganza more than once and after some experimentation on my own, I'm well on my way past 265 and making a lot of cash at the same time.
The AETG, or Azerothians for the Ethical Treatment of Gnomes, won't be happy about this video. It looks like Pinkhair isn't the only 3D animator around, as Macky shows us what he does in his spare time -- gnome punt. This clip is ridiculously short, but we like the rendering that we see so far. It claims to be part of a Gnome Chronicles, so we look forward to seeing something longer in the series!
Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, comes late to the party with a mammoth of an article that hopes to cover bear tank gear choices from dinging at 70 up to and through running Karazhan with your guild.
Gearing up as a bear tank
As you approach level 70 as a feral druid, your playstyle to this point has most likely been as a Kitty, focusing on causing lots of damage, very swiftly. Kind of like a stripped down, no frills rogue. But with style.
As much as you enjoy being a kitty, however, you just know all your friends want you to tank. With Fury Warriors, Enhancement Shamans, Retribution Paladins and real Rogues floating around, there is no shortage of melee DPS in the game.
Make way for maintenance day - Tue, 15 Apr 2008 10:30:00 EST Maintenance day is underway until 2pET/11aPT and many WoW fans are searching for something to do, while players with day jobs log on to point out that they can never play during these hours. Fortunately, we have lots going on today, as well as some highlights from the past week that you won't want to miss.
Well, first off, Area 52 clearly isn't adequately protected against giant robot attacks. And the use of ogres as security guards is now considered a safety hazard in and of itself. That big wooden water tower thing looks like it's about to crush the inn, and fireworks plus wooden structure do not equal a good time. Plus, wolves aren't allowed within city gates. Thank you, Borvoh of Duskwood, for bringing this to the attention of the Azerothian Health and Safety Organization.
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. Even if they are as a pretty as a picture.
Ok, I know we already covered this yesterday, but what can we do? When we see something that blows us away (and concerns World of Warcraft, of course), we just have to share it with you. Tipster Salaami pointed me to a papercraft site made by Canadian blogger PMF, an architect who seems to enjoy making papercraft models of World of Warcraft. He hasn't made models in a few months, but if you're into papercraft -- or, since it is extended maintenance -- you can try your hand at constructing a few of the plans yourself.
You can download various plans from the awesome Kodos, Orc and Dwarven mailboxes, or start easy with a... wrench. Yes, there are actually plans for a World of Warcraft arclight spanner. There's even that King Bangalash that Mikewas looking forward to. It might even be something our self-confessed curmudgeon Matthew can get into instead of waiting on a Figureprints lottery. The best part? The plans on PMF's blog are actually free, so you can simply download the links, print them out, and start papercrafting away. Of course, most of the designs require a Papercrafting skill of 375, but hey, you can always make a bunch of arclight spanners to skill up. Check out yesterday's gallery with additions from PMF's site.
15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - both the renowned and the relatively anonymous. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.
How long does it take you to get to level 70? This week's 15 Minutes of Fame shines its spotlight on a young player who has drifted placidly along for one and a half years, up to the grand old stature of level 49. Molii of Argent Dawn has spent most of his WoW life roleplaying. As time has crept by, though, his perception of the game and its myriad goals and attractions have morphed, and Molii is hearing the siren song of raiding and the Arenas. Will he get serious about leveling? Where will he end up focusing his game time? We'll peek inside the motivations of an eighth-grade gamer to see where he might be headed next.
I had the opportunity to play on the Tournament Realm with Amanda Miller and Adam Holisky on Friday night. Yes, we got schooled but we had a great time. As Amanda mentioned I rolled a Resto Druid, but I specced short of tree form. I was most interested in mobility. I usually heal arenas as a Resto Shaman. I really enjoy the mobility of the druid, and I'm afraid I would lose that in tree form. Take a look at my spec, for those of you who know Druid better than I, tell me where can I improve?
I absolutely love the tournament realm. I've really enjoyed the opportunity to play Druid, and it encourages me, and I may very well level one on my live realm. I think I will try a Warlock next. I've enjoyed the tournament server so much that I haven't even logged into my home realm. I would probably get bored with just playing WoW as an E-sport full time on an arena realm, but I've found the realm to be worth the price of admission.
Breakfast Topic: Collectibles - Tue, 15 Apr 2008 08:00:00 EST As I was perusing the very first review of Grand Theft Auto 4 yesterday, I noted that the "collectibles" in that game are going to be pretty intriguing. While a lot of collectible items in games (say, all the packages in the previous GTA games, or the flags in Assassin's Creed) are fairly superfluous, I find that some (like the orbs in Crackdown and the billboards and jumps in Burnout Paradise) actually make the game more fun -- while traveling through the game world, you can keep an eye out for extra stuff to do and see.
World of Warcraft has never really jumped in on that idea, however. Obviously, there are plenty of collecting quests, but usually they're for killing mobs. And there are plenty of things to collect in the game -- noncombat pets, tabards, and mounts, and so on -- but none of them really give you a reward when you find a certain number of them, or give you bonuses based on how many you've picked up.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing? For me, hiding some fun, optional collectibles (and giving small rewards based on just finding them) in a world as lush as Azeroth would make exploring an already great environment better. But I'm sure some would see it as a cheap tactic to make people hunt for widgets. What do you think?
"Employee only" bronze Orc and wolf statue finds its way onto eBay - Mon, 14 Apr 2008 20:00:00 EST Here's an eBay auction that might be worth watching: A rather spiffy looking bronze statue of an Orcish Wolf Rider. While the statue looks pretty awesome on its own, what's intriguing is the source: the seller claims that this is the statue created exclusively for Blizzard by WETA employed sculptors Eden Small and Daniel Cockersell. You may recall this article in the OC Register (Alex Ziebart reported on it for WoW Insider here), which mentions the commission of a 12 foot high version of this statue for the courtyard of their new headquarters, to be installed this summer.
Certainly, the statue looks pretty good, and it has an impressive pedigree. Daniel Cockersell himself has also created some pretty good looking Warhammer sculptures, and Small and Cockersell have also worked together on official merchandise for the upcoming Prince Caspian Movie and Doctor Who, among other things.
I'm not sure I'll have the money to get in on this auction, since I imagine it'll get pretty high, but I do sort of want to head down to Irvine this summer just to drool over the larger version. I'm sure it'll look pretty sweet if this smaller statue is any indication.
I have to admit to being curious as to which Blizzard employee decided they'd rather have a bit of extra pocket money instead of the statue, though, or if there's another reason that this statue has appeared on eBay, and from a seller in Ireland, at that.
The9 and Soft-World to carry Wrath in Asia - Mon, 14 Apr 2008 19:00:00 EST Blizzard announced today that the forthcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion will be published by The9 in mainland China, and Soft-World in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. The9 and Soft-World have brought both the original WoW and Burning Crusade to their respective regions, so it's not surprising that they'll be handling Wrath as well. Release dates, of course, are still TBA, there as here.
However, if there's one thing I like to do, it's speculating based on insufficient data. The agreement with Soft-World to carry BCappears to have been made just a month before BC's January 2007 launch in North America and Europe. So if Wrath follows this pattern, it will be out next month. On the other hand, the agreement with The9 to carry BC in mainland China was made in February 2007, a month after BC came out here, so if this holds true for Wrath as well, we should have been hitting Northrend a month ago. Either one of these is pretty unlikely; maybe there's not much information to be gleaned from this announcement after all (aside from that WoW is still doing well in Asia).
We've seen all sorts of fan-made World of Warcraft crafts from clay sculptures to tiny felt dolls. Now, a fan from China has come up with some interesting paper sculptures of WoW characters. Posting on a forum, a fan showed some mad papercraft skills with paper renditions of familiar Warcraft NPCs such as Keeper Remulos, Gordo, and Baron Rivendare. The crafter also seems to be more of a Warcraft III fan as one of his works is an Acolyte unit from the popular RTS, as well as a Crypt Lord and some ships from the scenarios. Come to think of it, most of his sculptures look more like War3 units than WoW-themed, but they certainly look nice enough. Besides, they all belong to same World, anyway.
Hopefully, when the official iPhone app store drops in June, we'll see some non-jailbreak uses of this stuff -- right now, to use either one of these themes on the phone, you have to hack into the firmware and go places Apple doesn't officially want you to go. But those WoW icons definitely work great for all kinds of things: even Blizzard officially put them to OS use in a downloadable theme for XP. There are so many WoW icons floating around that they're a natural (if not exactly legal) fit for almost any use -- here's hoping that in June, Apple's SDK will turn out at least one theming program, and we'll be able to do this stuff without hacking away at the iPhone.
Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.
Oceanic players continue to snarl this week at continued server performance issues that cramp their play. Oceanic subscribers playing from the other side of the world have dedicated servers, yes - but the servers are physically located in North America, and no consideration seems to have been given to shifting maintenance and resource-intensive background processes to non-peak local hours.
Needless to say, a good number of Oceanic players are up in arms over spiraling post-2.4 performance issues. Blue reps continue to take the heat from red-hot flames, reflecting a continued determination to work through the problems. We decided to pop in on a couple of Oceanic servers themselves, away from the heat of the forums, to see what the player temperature seemed to be.
Here at WoW Insider, we've noticed an unusual and disturbing glut of people having trouble with being keylogged or otherwise hacked soon after installing new addons lately (which wouldn't be a surprise -- lots of people were grabbing addons after patch 2.4, so that makes them a likely route for attackers). While it's too early to make any definite connections, It seems like there's one new lead that's just popped up: popular addon site wowui.incgamers.com (not linked for obvious reasons) is apparently passing off bad files, according to reports from Stopbadware.org and other anonymous sources.
If you've been using the site for your addons, especially in the past week or so, it might be a good idea to exercise some caution and run your favorite anti-virus or anti-malware program. The site has already been in trouble recently with reports that their UICentral addon updater (now discontinued) was using copyrighted code, and now it looks like there's more trouble abrewing for them.
Update: Wowui.incgamers not infested with malware. Full story here.
A few times now, I've had the opportunity to laser etch some of my tech stuff, and yeah, I've always thought it would be cool to get a neat pic on my iPhone or my old Powerbook. But I've never had a good enough idea to etch into metal. Of course, if I'd seen this Dark Portal laser etching, though, I might have thought of some Warcraft-y ideas.
It's done by a company called Austin Laser Art. Justin, who owns the definitely Epic (or maybe even Artifact?) MBP, says that it took about 20 minutes to etch the laptop itself, though they did a few test etchings on paper to make sure it worked out all right first. The result looks pretty cool -- tons of detail and some really good looking shading. Plus, now we know what's behind that far portal in Nagrand: an Apple store.