We had a very special WoW Insider show last Saturday.With the usual suspects out of town Daniel, Robin, Duncor and I had a blast talking about all kinds of juicy goodness.You can download the show and listen to it whenever you like.
I've recently gotten my new Blizzard authenticator, and I'm really happy about it.Other folks are not quite as enthusiastic about it.
I didn't talk about my car once, but I did throw a motorcycle reference in there.I got a chance to play the role of host, sorry folks, no giggling or flirting involved.Was it as good for you as it was for me?We shall have another special guest host for the next podcast.Be sure to join us every Saturday on WC Radio at 3:30 PM.
Ready Check: Alts and Raiding - Tue, 15 Jul 2008 18:30:00 EST Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we look at the issues around taking other characters to raids.
Whether you're currently raiding Karazhan or Sunwell, you've likely run into the alt issue. You spend night after night playing the same character, pressing the same buttons in the same environments, and reach a point where you don't need loot from certain instances and are bored stiff of taking your main there. Yet there's that level 70 alt that could do with some drops, and playing it will also bring a new dimension to liven up an old instance.
It's not usually as simple as just playing another character for the night, though. There are a number of issues that raid leaders and guilds run into when the concept of alts coming to raids rears its head, which this column will look at.
Advice for those with drinking problems - Tue, 15 Jul 2008 18:00:00 EST If you caught the MLG Orlando live stream over at GotFrag TV last weekend, you might have noticed a critical strategic move that many of the world's best players did over and over, particularly in the longer matches -- drink. Because mana-dependent classes don't have a constantly renewable resource such as Rage or Energy, drinking in Arenas is an important skill to master. Watching the tournament was educational because many of those pro Arena players knew how to drink like crazy.
The trickiest part of drinking in an Arena match is getting out of combat. Some classes, such as Druids, have an easier time than most but watching players escape focus fire with or without their teammates peeling opponents off them is really amazing to watch. It's a skill unto itself. Night Elves have a ridiculous advantage with Shadowmeld, allowing them to immediately enter stealth upon finding a safe spot to drink. This makes them harder to find, allowing them to get just a few more ticks from Star's Tears. Despite the nerf to drinking inside Arenas in Patch 2.4, players have managed to get those precious four seconds (and hopefully more) to get just enough mana back during matches. In the heat of combat, the nice cold drink is refreshing, indeed. Tips on how slake your thirst after the jump.
So you went to Blizzard's Worldwide Invitational and received a card with a mysterious code for an in-game item (which we later discovered was a miniature version of Diablo's Archangel Tyrael, to be added in patch 2.4.3)... but are now at a loss at how to pick up your adorable new companion? The new new Mini Tyrael is claimed in a different place than any other in-game items -- so for those of you who attended WWI (or picked up a code on eBay), here's what you need to do...
With the advent of the Burning Crusade, flying and epic flying mounts at 70 became a sink for the extra gold floating around Outlands in player's pockets. There has been speculation ever since about what a similar sink might be in Wrath of the Lich King.
In jest, Nethaera put forth the following: Animal rescue centers will be set up by D.E.H.T.A (Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals) and the movement to rid the world of Nessingwary will need funding! Save the penguins! Save the world!
Considering what a pain the Nessingwary quests can be, it's almost sad that he gets to continue recruiting for the butchering of beasts. Still, at least there will actually be penguins to "save!"
She also hinted at some of the actual possibilities for our next big purchases. Inscription will be the next trade skill, which will likely see many players dropping other professions and paying to level it, as well as all players shelling out hard-earned gold in order to purchase inscriptions on a regular basis.
There is, of course, no date given for the start of the beta, he only says that the team is hard at work preparing it. All alpha testers will be invited back for the beta, and will even be allowed to keep their characters after a short lockout period to allow new testers to catch up.
A poster at Wotlkwiki.info claims to have information from an alpha tester who is a member of a developer's family. The source says that they believe that Blizzard is rushing to meet an arbitrary deadline, as the game doesn't seem ready for beta testing -- this part, at least, is a bit hard for me to believe, since Blizzard has always marched to the beat of their own drum when it comes to release dates and deadlines. They also predict that we may need to wait until August to see the beta actually begin.
Regardless, it looks like beta will be upon us swiftly -- or at least soon. If you haven't opted in, now is a good time to do so. Once you've done that, keep checking WoW Insider. We'll let you know what we know as soon as we know it.
M'uru nerfed in 2.4.3 - Tue, 15 Jul 2008 16:30:00 EST An interesting change to Sunwell raiding cropped up in today's patch notes: in short, M'uru, Entropius and adds are all taking a health hit, and a couple of things have been smoothed out in the Kil'jaeden encounter.
Let's talk about M'uru first. Countless guilds have had trouble with this fight, yet those that have beaten it have praised its unforgiving tuning.
With some guilds reporting over 500 wipes on this boss alone, no wonder Blizzard felt some need to change the encounter. Although it's not known quite how much their health will be reduced (speculation ranges from 5% to 20%), the tuning as it stands means that any significant reductions change the entire pacing of the fight.
Are you the kind of player who loses track of time and ends up missing appointments or losing sleep because of it? Then we have good news for you. Among the UI changes included in Patch 2.4.3 are some Time Management features:
Constant Time Display: You no longer have to pass your mouse over the sun or moon icon on your minimap to see the time. The server time is now automatically displayed at the bottom of the minimap.
Alarm: An alarm can now be set, complete with a custom message.
Computer Time Display: You now have the option of showing your local computer time rather than the server time on your minimap.
Stopwatch: Accessed either in the new clock interface or by a keyboard command, there is now an in-game stopwatch for your timing needs.
The details on how to use these features are after the jump.
Buying spots in raids - Tue, 15 Jul 2008 15:00:00 EST Adam asked how much a guild should charge for a spot in a ZA raid, but Lane on WoW LJ comes at the issue from the other side: how much should you offer? Personally, like a lot of comments on Adam's post, I'd offer nothing -- I'd much rather earn everything I wear rather than just paying out gold to be in someone else's raid run.
But certainly there are quite a few folks out there, who, for whatever reason, are either at their wits' end and ready to spend money, or just too lazy or busy to join a guild themselves. So what's the going rate for a boss? Adam's post landed pretty low -- 500g to 2500g definitely got the most votes, and I'm guessing that was mostly because there was no free option. So, depending on how well you know the guild you'll be running with, seems like a good idea would be to start at around 500g, and then head upwards from there.
Of course, especially on a relatively early dungeon like ZA, it's not really that hard to get 10 people together and run it every week -- even if you're not a hardcore raider, running just one raid instance a week is enough to get you learning how it works and building up your gear.
Continuing to expand on the mini-guide to starting your own WoW blog. let's talk about something that's far more important than your blog host: What do you want to do with this thing? Goals determine what you're going to write about, how often you write, what not to waste your time on. They give you focus. That said, you may start out thinking you want to write about one thing and change your mind later. That's okay too. You're not a failure. That's the beauty of blogging; it's very fluid. However, when you're starting out, keep in mind that it's much harder to garner a reader base if you're all over the map with your posts rather than being more focused. That doesn't mean it's impossible, just harder. After the break, I'll go into some things you should consider before diving into your first blog post.
Issue #9 continues the journey of Lo'gosh and his companions as they travel toward Ironforge and brings a familiar old villain into the light as well. Blizzard has posted the first few pages of the issue on the official WoW site.
I have to admit, I have one major reservation about the story.
I wanted to take a moment to cast the spotlight on a wonderful World of Warcraft related podcast that recently devoted an entire episode, Episode 43 to be exact, to a fun-filled discussion of all things Druid, and even had Phaelia, writer of Resto4Life, on as a special guest!
Epic Dolls is the name of the podcast, as well as the name of the guild on Perenolde server Horde side which is home for many of the podcasts' hosts, cast and crew.
Epic Dolls bring a fresh perspective and a lot of positive energy to their podcast, and I find it a joy to listen to.
Read on after the break for more on the podcast, the Epic Dolls, and a brief Q and A with Leala Turkey, host of the show!
Soon to be 2.4.3 - Tue, 15 Jul 2008 13:10:00 EST As you've likely already heard, patch 2.4.3 will finally be going live today, and we have the full set of notes. While the realms aren't up yet, the new patch excitement and QQs are already building.
How is this patch going to affect you? Do you have an army of level 30 alts lined up and waiting to purchase their phat new rides?
Okay, it's time to come clean. One of the writers here at WoW Insider biased. He prefers one of the factions in World of Warcraft over the other. He's tried both factions... has 70's in both... and has played out most of the quest content and raided most of the 60 and 70 raids both Horde and Alliance side, and in the end, he's come to one conclusion.
I've no doubt fooled all of you with my cunning use of the second person pronoun here (note: it was third person, genius), and... I didn't? You all knew I was talking about myself? Dang. Well, on with it: while I love my tauren warrior and have a blast playing my orc shaman, I really prefer Alliance over Horde. I personally have no difficulty leveling on one side or the other of the factional wall, but in general, I find the Horde quests can veer into unpleasant, even outright evil extremes that I don't like participating in. What's funny about this is, aside from a few quests I really don't like, I can't find any functional reason for my preference. I have met and played with good people on both factions, which is why I leveled two toons to 70 and another into his 60's over there (Consummate Vees, woo hoo!) and I really can't say that I prefer one faction's cities over the other. My two favorite races in the game are Tauren and Draenei, with Orcs and Humans as my second choices partially out of tradition and partially for stature reasons since I play warriors a lot.
The day we've all been waiting for has finally arrived. Shepiwot has made a large number of movies in his How to Paladin series, but XXX officially marks his 30th. In what is possibly my favorite one yet, he hops around, dances, and kills things to epic music, but with a special flair.
While having no plot, no style, and no substance, we wouldn't have it any other way. Shepiwot's brand of machinima is so uniquely bad that it has spawned insults, death threats, and declarations of love at the same time. It reminds me of my very first machinima, where I jumped about without a care in the world ...
Well, okay, Project Lore looks to be more than that. But tell me that the first thing through your mind once you read what they have planned isn't Oh My... why didn't I think of this? It's brilliant! I play WoW and people watch me doing it! They're clearly aiming for more than that, with instance guides, WoW news, and a glossary as well as the video feeds. The first few videos are of them at level 70 running normal Hellfire Ramparts, which is not really what I was expecting. To be honest, I felt a little bit like they were doing too much with camera angles, loud music and video effects and not letting you see enough of the gameplay.
We'll see if it evolves into the one-stop shop for WoW gameplay videos and strategies that it seems to be aiming for. And at any rate, the ability to watch videos of various instance runs, if executed properly, could be a real boon to new players, giving them context into ideas like tanking, DPS, CC and other dungeon roles that are hard to grasp if you've not seen them in action.
It looks like this Shadowsworn Enforcer is having some difficulty holding up her claymore. I guess that's what happens when your in-game model is based off a blow-up doll. Anyway, Raelivh of Bleeding Hollow was hanging around the Altar of Storms in Blasted Lands (the one near Lady Sevine), when he noticed that the high elf models there had not been updated to the new blood elf ones. From the looks of things, I think we can figure out why they changed the models to blood elves. They may be skinny and annoying, but at least they don't look like they came out of a PS1 game.
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.
Note for all you Caption This fans: I'm going to be on vacation without internet access for the weekend and part of next week, so rather than risk missing replies, we've decided to run CT next Tuesday instead of this Tuesday. Sorry about that!
You may recall the long running Blizzard vs. MDY battle from various reports here on WoW Insider. In short, Blizzard sued MDY, the makers of the MMOGlider bot (formerly the WOWGlider bot), claiming that the bot violated Blizzard copyright by writing portions of the game to RAM in order to work (since you only have a license to run the game files, and do not actually own them, unauthorized copies are against the EULA). They also claimed that the bot tortiously interfered with Blizzard's customer base. MDY sued them right back, claiming they had every right to sell and distribute their bots.
MDY received a crushing blow yesterday as the court ruled against them, Virtually Blind reports, declaring them guilty of copyright infringement and tortious interference (Apparently, bots stealing your kills is now a legal issue, which is sort of cool). The ramifications of this decision are still being discussed in various corners of the net and legal world.
The most anticipated change coming with patch 2.4.3 for a good portion of the player base is the lowering of the requirement for basic land mounts to level 30, complete with a slash of the price of training down to 35 gold. Overall, this is very good news for anyone who is leveling or plans to level a new character any time soon.
With this change, though, has come a dilemma for many people with characters in the level 30-40+ range in the past few weeks:
If my character just hit 30, do I keep on going, or shelve him until I can buy a mount so I don't have to hoof it through Stranglethorn Vale?
If my character just hit 40, do I buy the mount now, or do I wait until the patch so I can save a whole pile of gold?