Main hands and one-hands after 2.4.2 - Thu, 15 May 2008 18:30:00 EST I only slightly mentioned this back on the podcast, I think, but there was a fairly interesting change that snuck in the patch notes on 2.4.2: lots of formerly main hand weapons have become one-hand weapons. There are a couple of theories poking around about why this could be -- dual wield is first and foremost, of course, as this change allows classes who dual wield, including Rogues and Enhancement Shammies, to have a little more choice as to what weapons they can use. Death Knights will also be able to dual wield in the expansion, and this will open things up for them a bit as well. And Blacksmithing weapons were apparently changed as well (in addition to losing their "unique" status), so Blacksmithers have a little more leeway, too.
But there is one thing that, according to Blizzard, will always keep weapons in one-hand status. Caster stats, according to both Dryscand Hortus, will mean that weapons will always stay one-hand. So feel free to do as much switching around as you want in terms of speed and melee damage, but there'll be no stacking of healing or spell damage bonuses (with Shamans or Death Knights).
Which isn't really a big loss -- it means that Blizzard has much more leeway in creating healing and spell damage weapons than they do while making melee weapons. But it does mean that if you want to play around with weapon combos, you have to go melee -- healers and casters get to choose one and stick with it.
In the wake of the recent confusion regarding Scare Beast, once again some hunters have gotten to complaining a lot about the state of their class. While on one hand, there are certainly problematic issues hunters are having, it's really not fair to say that the class is broken. It isn't -- being a hunter is more fun than its ever been, and it looks like this class will only get better in the future.
Nonetheless, looking at the problems we do have might give us a clearer sense of where we're going in the future. With more and more information coming out about Wrath of the Lich King, and especially since Blizzard started asking for feedback from hunters, it's worthwhile to have a look at what holes do exist for our class, and how future changes might seek to plug them up.
Much like the rogue class itself, Elizabeth Wachowski'sEncrypted Text usually pops up just when you're not expecting it, is prone to disappearing without notice for large periods of time, and steals your lewtz.
Hey, fellow rogues! It's been a while! Well, more like nearly two months. Sorry. But we're back with some fresh ideas, one of which is this: how can you roleplay as a rogue without seeming like a cliche?
Admittedly, I'm new to RP, and my RP character is a draenei priest -- about as far from my beloved troll rogue as one can get. So this article is geared to people who, like me, are new to RP. The more experienced RPers can correct all my horrifying, glaring errors in the comments.
So, let's start out with:
Picking a race
Each race has different rogue traditions, heroes, and senses of morality. Here's a quick overview:
Humans control several rogue organizations: the Ravenholdt guild, their archrival Syndicate organization, and SI:7, the official intelligence agency of Stormwind. If you're interested in "joining" any of these organizations (or the vaguely rogue-ish Defias Brotherhood), human would be a good choice.
Night elf rogues would seem to have some difficulty fitting in with their peaceful, nature-loving society. However, night elves have skills at stealth, and every society needs its enforcers. The night elf police force, known as the Wardens, always has room for a good rogue -- and the archdruid Fandral Staghelm might not be above employing some sneaky folk to advance his political goals.
Blizzplanet has a new Wrath of the Lich King related video from G4TV. It has interviews with Jeffrey "Tigole" Kaplan and J. Allen "No nickname I'm aware of" Brack and very short previews of the new zones, the Death Knight hero class, quests and raids. It also has a very annoying soundtrack underneath the interview snippets which made me want to rip the speakers off of my computer when I watched it the first time, so be warned. A few notes of interest during the interview:
They definitely want to make sure that the Horde and Alliance experiences in WoTLK are different: "While some of the story threads will be the same, how you get there will vary for Horde and Alliance."
We will apparently not just ally with, but also have to fight some of the Tuskarr. This makes me sad. I don't want to kill the Wilford Brimley's of Azeroth. I mean, I'll do it if there's a shiny copper piece involved, don't get me wrong, but it still will make me sad as I rip that purse off of their blubbery corpses. I just dread the "Gather x Tuskarr tusks" quests I fear are coming. I saw tusks right on him! What do you mean he doesn't have any?
They're planning out all their patches in advance this time. I didn't actually know they didn't already do this, so it was news to me.
I'm getting back to WoW Insider after a month's real-life-related absence and have been spending some time playing catch-up on the site. One of the articles that caught my attention was Matt Rossi's popular "One reason tanks won't PuG," in no small part because I play a tank and my own PuG runs have been few and far between of late. My main, a Tauren Druid, respecced from balance to feral at level 69 because there were so few tanks on my server, and I literally spent months and months tanking PuG's to get experience and gear.
During that period I saw everything from rogues rolling on +healing maces to warlocks needing on tanking cloaks, and I learned that you never can tell what you're going to get from a PuG. Yes, you'll get hunters who can't trap, mages who never resheep, rogues who mistakenly believe they leveled a warrior, and priests who Power Word: Shield you straight off the pull -- but you'll also find people who know their class well, or are in the process of learning just like you are, and who are fun to be around. I have now killed Illidan with a contingent of people who showed up to my PuG's back when I was a wee lolbaretank in quest greens and Heavy Clefthoof, so as a matter of personal experience I think PuG's are a somewhat underrated way to meet people who will later turn out to play crucial roles in how you experience the game.
I don't PuG as frequently anymore due to time constraints and increased time spent leveling alts, but I still hang out in LFG from time to time for the pure enjoyment of meeting new people. Yes, it is often difficult to PuG tanks and healers (I would submit, as someone who typically tanks or heals in dungeons, that it is also difficult to PuG skilled DPS), but a lot of people could make it easier on themselves than they do. If you're having problems finding a tank or healer for your PuG's, try these.
In fact, our friends at Xfire have another number that they've shared with us: in the month of April alone, Xfire users spent 16,000 years online -- that is, if you add up all the time spent online by all the users of the client just in April, you get a time period longer than pretty much the whole history of civilization on Earth. That's huge.
Which makes us wonder just how long players actually spend in WoW -- surely not all WoW players are using Xfire, so the number has to be much bigger than that. At any rate, Xfire is apparently banging, and odds are that WoW is playing a big part.
WoWWiki levels up - Thu, 15 May 2008 15:00:00 EST Those of you who have been around for a little while will no doubt know about one of the most useful resources in this World of Warcraft: WoWWiki. If you're new to the party, let me tell you about it. WoWWiki is, as the name suggests, a wiki about all things Warcraft. From boss strategies to patch history to insanely detailed lore, if it's about the Warcraft series, it's probably on there somewhere. And if not, it's a wiki, so you can write it yourself!
The occasion for this particular post is that they have just completed some major upgrades to their software and infrastructure. Here are the highlights:
WoWWiki is now hosted in a distributed fashion across the Wikia network, which should mean more stability and less chance of catastrophic failure.
A new default skin, which looks nice and classy.
The OpenSearch plugin is now working again, so you can add WoWWiki as a search engine in Firefox or IE (though I still prefer Firefox's search keywords). Click on the menu by your search field while browsing WoWWiki to check it out.
A proper sidebar menu, with links to important parts of the site. This fixes my single biggest complaint about the site, which is that it was hard to navigate.
The sidebar is also now customizable; users can pick which widgets they want to see over there, and in what order. This is very cool.
If you've visited the main page of the official forums lately, you'll notice that things are a little different -- they've replaced the simple links to class, realm, and battlegroup forums with a dynamic interface. All the forums that were there are still there, but the navigation to them is a little faster and less cluttered. It's not Flash or anything fancy, so it should work just fine across any number of widely used browsers.
Something like this was probably inevitable, considering how much Blizzard's WoW forums have been multiplying -- there's one for every release, event, and topic Blizzard can think of. And considering they have only so many people running them, it means the threads further off the beaten path, especially realm threads, can run rampant with forum violations.
Not that that's a problem -- what's in those threads can be pretty entertaining. But Blizzard moderates the forums for a reason, and the more threads they have, the harder time they'll have moderating them.
Totem Talk, the column for shamans, takes another look at offense this week. Matthew Rossi covers how to burn, freeze, or... whatever earth shock is supposed to be, a big rock in the face? He couldn't tell you. But whatever it is, it really annoys spellcasters. Boom, clod of earth in the face, no spells for you!
Last week, on Totem Talk, we escaped a burning warehouse only to discover that Diego really isn't the father...
Oh, wait. No, sorry, that was something else entirely. Last week, we talked about direct damage totems. This week, we're going to talk about those signature abilities of the shaman class, those lovely shocks and the lightning bolts we can throw. The fury of the elements in the palm of your hand? The ability to chain a bolt of lightning to hit multiple targets? Shamans can do these things. The two DPS specs use them differently (Enhancement shamans rarely use lightning bolt or chain lightning, while Elemental shamans are less likely to use shocks since they don't really need to be all that close to their targets, although of course you'll see an elemental shaman using a shock to kite or interrupt and an enhancement shaman throwing a few bolts of lightning when told not to engage in melee for whatever reason) but together they make up the offensive spellcasting options of the shaman class.
There are at present three classes of shock spells that shamans can use. These are Earth Shock, Flame Shock, and Frost Shock. As you might expect, each has an elemental affiliation (Earth, Fire and Water respectively) and its own special characteristics that recommend using it in specific situations. All shock spells are linked, meaning that if you use one shock you lock out the other two as well for the duration of the shock cooldown (which is six seconds) meaning that you have to be careful when using them to some degree. It's not a terrible burden, just something to keep in mind as you explore what each shock does and what situations each is best for.
WoW Model Viewer updated for 2.4.2 - Thu, 15 May 2008 13:45:00 EST If you're a machinimist or just someone who likes to poke around the game files trying to see what The Ultimate Druid would look like (yeah, I'm guilty), good news; Wow Model Viewer has been updated for patch 2.4.2. I haven't used it since the patch hit, but according to the mod's site a few twitchy issues popped up that have since been fixed.
The developer warns that this version will not work with any version of Wow pre-2.4.2, so if you haven't downloaded and installed the patch yet, don't install this update until you do.
As I speculated last time, it seems a Death Knight will have to "go to a specific locale" in order to pick a new configuration of their six runes. I would still guess that it would be an inn, or stable master, or some other building/NPC found in every town.
They saw an escort quest wherein the escorted NPC mounts the same horse as the player; the player was then able to use some attacks on enemies. Sounds like a sort of ground-based bombing run -- not quite mounted combat, but a step in that direction, anyway.
The Oracle/Wolvar faction choice is meant to be less permanent than the current Aldor/Scryer divide; CNET reports "it appears that you'll be able to juggle favour between the two groups." This sounds good to me, since I'm currently regretting my choice on one of my characters (missing access to some recipes). On the other hand, it will contribute to further homogenization, and what's the point of splitting faction allegiance if it's easy enough to go back?
"Second half of 2008" could theoretically mean July, right? Yeah, who am I kidding -- it'll probably be November or December.
Insomniaddict Productions is back with a trailer for his new series, Narien Asks. The series will be about a Blood Elf with lots of questions, and his quest for the answers. I can't say much about the machinima, as it would give away the surprise! We previously featured Insomniaddict's BeoCraft comparison earlier in the month.
What's interesting about Narien Arrives is that he used Second Life to build and chromakey objects for certain scenes, as many machinimators do with WoW Model and Map Viewers. The virtual world is highly customizable, which allowed him to create a branded truck for his show.
An illustrated guide to Kil'jaeden's hats - Thu, 15 May 2008 11:00:00 EST With M'uru now apparently substantially nerfed, and several guilds having been past him for a few weeks anyway, the top guilds are now biding their time until they can face off against Kil'jaeden himself. Before they can do that, one last Sunwell Plateau gate needs to be opened; my guess on when that will happen is May 27, two weeks from yesterday, but no-one knows for sure.
So I thought I'd jump the gun a little and give you all a preview of the loot we should be able to expect from what will almost certainly be the final raid boss of TheBurning Crusade, thanks to MMO-Champion. None of this is confirmed, of course, because nobody has actually fought him yet, but given the item levels, and the fact that we haven't seen them anywhere else yet, we can be pretty sure these are KJ drops. And an odd number of them are helms.
Ding, dong, the orc is dead! This seems like it would be one of those traps at Gringotts, but it's actually just an unfortunate accident at the Netherwing Mines. From the look of things, this particular miner got buried in his work. *rimshot* *waits for applause* *realizes joke was terrible*
Anyway, Crowblood of Garona swears this miner was like this when he found him, so he tried to help by removing the quest item crushing weight. But the miner had already perished, so Crowblood did the sensible thing and ate him. Hey, you can't let a good meal go to waste.
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 -- use alt-Z to remove it. And you've actually been very good at not sending in sunsets, so I need to figure out a new ending joke. Curse you all!
Once upon a time, before Burning Crusade was released, my Alliance druid was hanging out in Felwood and a Krol Blade dropped. I was able to sell it on the AH on the first try for 700 gold, which in those days was a lot of in-game cash.
More recently, my Horde druid picked up an Eye of the Sea from the Fishing Quest reward. I sold it for 379 gold which was 21 gold less than my first asking price. Not as big of a haul as my first big sale, but still a welcome addition to my Epic Flight fund.
What is the most you have sold anything for on the Auction House? Was it your first asking price?
Archimonde, Eredars hotfixed - Wed, 14 May 2008 22:20:00 EST I love hotfixes. They're like patches you don't have to wait for. Just posted by Daelo, WoW's lead encounter designer (who I've been seeing a lot of lately, but don't remember seeing much before) is a brief account of hotfixes to Archimonde and the Eredar Twins. For Archie:
We just implemented a hotfix for all realms that makes Archimonde's doomfires no longer be able to move right through him after they spawn. Their movement should now be much more consistent with the previous patch's behavior, and melee should have a bit easier time dodging the doomfires as a result of the change.
He goes on to note that any other problems people might have noticed have been un-reproduceable at Blizz HQ, but they're still keeping an eye on them. As for the Eredar Twins, they "hotfixed a bug in the Eredar Twins encounter that prevent a Hunter's Feign Death ability from working if Lady Sacrolash was alive." Nuff said there. These fixes should, as far as I can tell, be live now on the US and the EU realms.
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!