Ask WoW Insider: The new look of Northrend - Mon, 15 Dec 2008 18:30:00 EST Most of the time here on Ask WoW Insider, we ask ethical questions of you, the readers, or sometimes we'll ask what you think of certain game mechanics. But this time, we've got an aesthetic question instead, from reader Lindelan. Let me say first that Wrath is awesome!! I LOVE it! One of my favorite things is the way they designed the new armor. That being said, one thing that has absolutely started to drive me crazy is the lack of diversity in armor! I can understand having the same models while leveling, however the fact that level 80 blues look just like the blues I got at 71 is just plain lazy! Has anyone else noticed this, and do you guys think Blizzard will step it up in the future?
This is an interesting issue -- Blizzard got some flak in Outland for the gear being a bit too colorful. "Clown" was a word that was used pretty often, thanks to all the glowing and neon extras that came on our gear last expansion. And in Northrend, we fortunately haven't had that problem: the gear looks a little more badass, made up of dark steel and leather with pointy and ragged spikes on it.
But have we gone too far the other way? Does all of the gear look the same now? Personally, I just miss my Hunter's mail kilt from the Argent Dawn world event rewards, but I think the gear has been much better looking in Northrend. I'm just happy none of it is pink, so if I have to choose between dark blue or straight black, that's a choice I'm happy to make. What do you think?
New tanking enchants added in patch 3.0.8 - Mon, 15 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST It seems the devs took notice of the fact that many important Tanking enchants were just plain missing from Wrath, because we're getting a couple of new ones in patch 3.0.8. At the price of 5 Abyss Crystals each, you can buy the following formulae from the Shard Trader in Dalaran:
Enchant Weapon - Titanguard: Teaches you how to permanently enchant a melee weapon to increase Stamina by 75. Requires a level 60 or higher item.
Enchant Bracer - Major Stamina: Teaches you how to permanently enchant bracers to increase Stamina by 40. Requires a level 60 or higher item.
Before Titanguard, Mongoose remained the best tanking enchant (unless stacking threat stats), which was just downright silly. It's still a good avoidance enchantment, but for your pure tanking set you can't really pass up +750 HP on your weapon, before any talents or buffs are thrown into the equation. That's pretty incredible!
The Bracer enchant is a 28 stamina over Burning Crusade's equivalent: Enchant Bracer - Fortitude. That's quite the jump. While neither of these enchantments are especially interesting due to the lack of procs and things like that, they're definitely very good and I fully expect tanks to be scrambling for them as soon as patch 3.0.8 goes live.
Forum post of the day: A Rogue without a cause - Mon, 15 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST Maximogu of Firetree posed the question "Why bring a Rogue to an 80 heroic?" in the general forums. He claimed that at this point there CC is unnecessary for most tanks that rely on AOE. Most of the trash pulls are handled by AOE classes now, making the Rogue's single target focus obsolete. He argued that Rogues are best suited with Druid tanks that do not handle multiple mobs as well as other tanking classes do.
Here are some of the reasons given for bringing a rogue along: Anushka of Kel'Thuzad: There's a lot of nasty things that can be interrupted in most heroics. Though I wouldn't take more than one rogue. Khadros of Frostwolf: To listen to the sound of theirs daggers going schlick schlick schlick. Morgrimm of Korgath: Because one of my friends is a rogue. Owarj of Frostwolf: To DPS, of course. Mypetgoat of Bladefist: It's one expendible DPS that won't roll on my gear. Madia of Maelstrom: They need loot and stuff too.
One of the cooler vanity items you can get in Wrath of the Lich King is the Iron Boot Flask, which turns you into an Iron Dwarf for 10 minutes every hour. Currently it only costs 10 Relics of Ulduar (an item that has a chance to drop off of anything in Storm Peaks), but that's going to change in patch 3.0.8. The Relics themselves are losing their current Soulbound status, but the Boot Flask will cost a jarring 250 Relics of Ulduar.
That price makes a whole lot of sense for an item like this, to be honest. Similar items, the Orb of the Sin'dorei and the Orb of Deception are both pretty rare. It's unusual that this one was so cheap, but it's probably a side effect of the item originally only having one charge in earlier incarnations of the item. Nowadays it has infinite uses but with a cooldown, so that higher price is deserved. You still have a chance to get it before the price change, and I really recommend you do. Especially when you consider the other change coming to the Relics and the Sons of Hodir.
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The ethics of a botched deal - Mon, 15 Dec 2008 14:00:00 EST My chat box isn't usually a wretched hive of scum and villainy, but on occasion it turns up a few statements that'll make your eyebrows execute a shuttle launch. One such morsel popped up recently in the form of an amused snicker from an acquaintance who'd applied to raid with my guild in Wrath. He'd just made himself a quick 38 gold off a blacksmithing deal gone awry and was having a laugh over his good fortune. A leveling player had asked him to meet in Orgrimmar to make a Saronite Mindcrusher and could provide both materials and a tip. The applicant obliged, ported to Org from Dalaran, made the mace, and then they discovered that it was BoP and thus unusable by the customer. The disappointed player thanked him for his time, tipped him anyway for making the trip, and went on his way (according to the person who shall henceforth be known as The Blacksmith).
"So not only did I get a 25g tip," he concluded smugly, "but I also made 13g vendoring the mace."
That dog won't hunt, Monsignor. "You did give the guy the 13g at least?" I asked. "I mean, those were his mats, the mace wasn't yours."
"No. Why would I? It was his mistake."
To quote everyone who has ever set foot on the internet ever, ORLY?
At the right you'll see Blizzard's illustrious guild control panel. Anyone who's been a guild leader has had to deal with this clunky interface at one time or another. I don't know about you, but I dread having to make adjustments there. I've even gone so far as to download add-ons in order to make some changes easier. But today's column isn't about how unfriendly the interface is, but what choices to make. Here is this week's e-mail:
I found your column on Wow insider and it's a very good idea for a column!
I recently started a guild on the Haomarush server called The Kings Guard. It's going quite well with decent officers, a guild bank and tabard.
Something I do want to ask you about however is the settings on the guild control.
I'm not quite sure how much power to give who and to what rank, and also what guild bank depositing/withdrawing rules to set up.
I have to agree with Kamuraki who said, when speaking about the song used in the Bells of Northrend, "Trans-Siberian Orchestra did the most AWESOME version of Carol of the Bells that will ever be done in the history of mankind. Maybe some alien race will do a better cover some day, but I doubt it."
"The Bells of Northrend" is Baka Savant's submission to A Very Northrend Christmas contest. It's a music video set to the sights of Northrend, obviously. The music playing is "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. (I've had the good fortune to see them in concert twice, and they do in fact rock.)
I think the Northrend imagery lines up incredibly well, which is probably a no-brainer given the winter weather. But the landscape of white-forests, vast stone architecture, and crystal landscapes works well with screaming guitars shredding their power chords. I mean, it is all very metal when you get down to it, and isn't that the point?
Wrath Dailies: Sewer Stew - Mon, 15 Dec 2008 11:00:00 EST Stew is good. Put some vegetables, meat, broth, and a few other chunks of whatever you have laying around your home into a pot and cook it for a few hours. Pour it into a dish and sprinkle some salt and pepper on top, perhaps add a side of saltine crackers. You've got yourself a great dish for those cold Northrend days.
In the daily cooking quest Sewer Stew you're going to deliver some stew to Ajay Green located in the sewers of Dalaran.
Quest Giver: Awilo Lon'gomba (Horde) or Katherine Lee (Alliance) Reputation: Kirin Tor Reward: 150 rep, 9.9g at level 80, a Dalaran Cooking Award, a Small Spice Bag Minimum Level: 65 Required Chain: Cooking at 375 or above.
Read on after the break for our walkthrough of the quest, complete with a few tricks you can do to get it done quickly and easily
Not since The So-Called Mark of the Lightbringer has a quest chain ever made me feel as badly as the Drakuru quests in Zul'Drak. If you haven't done it yet, you get to wear a scourge costume and take orders from an "evil" Scourge-affiliated troll (who you previously helped rise to power in Grizzly Hills.) Problem is, this bad dude is nicer to you and appreciates your work more than 90% of questgivers out there. Thanking you, giving you personal tours, treating you like his best buddy -- he could teach Garrosh Hellscream a thing or two. Your inevitable betrayal of the troll feels like an act of treason. Submitter Markus apparently feels the same way, as he's helped Drakuru equip the Scourge with parachutes so they won't crush their precious heads falling from his floating necropolis. After trying to control a load of brainless moronic Abominations, I'm not surprised that Drakuru's minions need technological aid to keep from succumbing to their own stupidity.
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Welcome to another edition of Lichborne, which this week is so epic, so mind-blowing, that we just couldn't release on a lazy day like Sunday, which is why it is a day late. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
So you're level 80 and you want to respec to a tank build and head straight into tanking 5-mans. In order to be the best tank you can be, there's a very definite first step you should take, which we have discussed before, but which bears repeating: Get 540 Defense. This will make you immune to critical strikes from level 83 mobs, making it much easier to heal you in pretty much every situation, and it's really a prerequisite for serious tanking before any other stat.
Unfortunately, Death Knights are at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to getting maximum defense. We don't get to wear shields, block rating gear is right out useless for us, and two-handed weapons aren't itemized for defense. Still, it's possible to hit that magic number, even without dual wielding tanking weapons.
This week's Lichborne is meant to showcase a variety of defensive options for Death Knights that require a minimum of dungeon grinding to get. By picking and choosing from this list, you should be able to get that 540 defense skill cap, and hopefully then be able to tank a few of the more difficult normals and beginning heroic dungeons on your own.
As a reminder, defense skill is not the same as defense rating. Rather, you need defense rating to get defense skill. Specifically, you will need approximately 690 defense rating to gain the 540 defense skill you need to gain critical strike immunity against level 83 mobs.
Ignoring all the usual bah-humbuggish sentiments to which one might be prone during this wonderful and joyous holiday season (hmph), Winter's Veil seems to be one of the ingame events with the most staying power. There's not a single month out of the year where I haven't seen someone rolling around on a reindeer mount courtesy of a Preserved Holly, or a snowman suddenly pop in the middle of a raid while people are waiting for buffs. This year the new Winter's Veil achievements will ensure these items and quests get even more traffic than they have previously, so you can bet that both the 2008 holiday -- and older content, in the form of Fa-la-la-la-Ogri'la -- are going to be well-trod.
As for me, well, my shaman wants a rocket bot. My druid hopes for peace on Azeroth and good will towards all men (and cows, and space goats, and dwarves, and...). My warrior would like a new sword. My warlock wants to see the world burn. I'm not entirely certain how to balance these competing desires, but I'll be keeping an eye on the gifts under Orgrimmar's tree.
Priests in the World of Warcraft are a single class that incorporates a wide variety of characters. They are best known for casting spells that call forth the power of the Holy Light, but the priest using these spells in the game mechanics doesn't necessarily have much connection to the Light as such -- rather they have a connection with their own religion which grants them similar effects to those of the Light.
When WoW was being developed, Blizzard realized that night elves and trolls, for instance, would not follow the Light in the same way humans and dwarves do, so they tried to represent a bit of this diversity through race-specific spells. It didn't work out, though -- some were too powerful, while others weren't worth reading about, much less putting on one's action bar. The end result was that they made some of these spells universally available to all priests, and completely removed the rest. Here the lore had to surrender to the game mechanics in order to provide the best game balance.
In roleplaying, however, there is a lot of room for players of different races to behave differently, and draw their powers from totally different sources. Greater Heal, for instance, could come either from the Light or the power of Elune. A Shadowfiend could either be a spawn of the Forgotten Shadow, or a dark trollish voodoo spirit. If you are roleplaying a priest, the only thing that really matters is that your character have some sort of faith or profound belief, which could serve as the source of their divine magical power. A priest's magic revolves around his or her strong beliefs and ideas -- but what those beliefs are is entirely up to you.
Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. Today Matticus will examine the Circle of Healing nerf.
In case you've missed the news, it's been announced that Circle of Healing would be getting a 6 second cooldown. I had a feeling the nerf would be happening and I can't say I'm surprised. It does make me cry a little bit on the inside. Is it justified? How can we adapt? Read on!
Welcome back! Before we start, I'd like to take a moment to remind all of you that Winter Veil starts tomorrow at 6 AM! Are you excited? I'm excited. After the next couple of days, keep an eye on WoW Insider for some great holiday guides and features. Now, let's get to the Q&A shall we? Flint asked...
Is it possible for a level 80 hunter to solo any of the lowest level Outland instances, or will the boss fights be way too much for one person to handle by himself?
Addon Spotlight: Achievements - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST I have to say; at first I was not a fan of the new Achievement system. Feathers in my cap didn't intersest me on Xbox Live, and even Warhammer Online's achievement system didn't do much for me during my short stint as a Marauder. I don't think I could attribute my newfound obsession to any genius on the part of Blizzard, but I do have to admit that I've fallen for achievements in World of Warcraft. Perhaps it has something to do with the massive amount of time played, or a sense of having been there and done that. Naturally this led me to start mixing my passion for achievements with my passion for addons. This week, we're going to take a look at a few addons specifically built to enhance or simply the new system.
Let's start with one bearing a name alluding to one of my favorite movies. Urban Achiever replaces the default Achievement UI. It adds a search feature, making it easy to find an achievement amongst the many available. It also replaces the tracking feature, while even automatically tracking time achievements when they begin. Players can track up to five achievements at a time. In the end, this one is really a matter of preference.
These days, my schedule revolves around partitions of two and a half hours. This is the time I allot for meals, errands, work, showers, and most other mundane things. In between those two and a half hours, I take a break from whatever I'm doing and play ten to forty minutes of Wintergrasp. Ever since I made my way into the zone, I've made it my second home in the World of Warcraft. I log out in Wintergrasp about as often as I do in Dalaran. I know I said that PvP is sort of pointless right now, but Wintergrasp is the most fun I've had in Wrath and the game in a while. Nowadays, whenever I dream, I dream of siege vehicles and exploding walls and towers.
Wintergrasp is the smallest zone in Northrend, bordered by Sholazar Basin, Icecrown, and Dragonblight. It is a PvP zone, which flags all players entering it for PvP. This isn't an issue on PvP servers, but on normal or RP servers, this makes everyone in the zone fair game. There is no physical way to access Wintergrasp other than through a flying mount, creating a natural Level barrier of 77 although lower-level players can be summoned or take the portal from Dalaran. It is my favorite zone in Wrath of the Lich King, although it isn't without its flaws.
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 visit some Death Knights in their natural habitat.
Are you a fan of our new death knight brethren? If so, you're in for a treat: there are plenty of them in store for you in this quarter of Naxxramas, as we continue our journey towards Kel'Thuzad's throne. Our whistlestop tour will pop in and visit Instructor Razuvious, Gothik the Harvester and finally the Four Horsemen, whose charismatic yells punctuate the wing as a whole.
Remember, if you want everything to be a surprise, don't read beyond the cut!
Mmmm, Crit and Holy. For a long time these two have been BFFs, and Crit was always a priority for Holy Paladins. So much, in fact, that the proliferation of Crit plate in The Burning Crusade and the mad scramble to stack it resulted in the great Illumination nerf of 2007 (to borrow a phrase from BRK). In my gear guide for Haste, some of you asked why I prioritized Haste over other seemingly important stats like Intellect, MP5, or even Crit. Well, I didn't, really. Most Spell Power plate will already have Intellect, so all you really have to do is avoid the ones that don't.
I've never been a big fan of MP5 on Plate, as it is a poor man's substitute for Crit after Illumination was nerfed in Patch 2.1. It isn't specially important now, either, with the help of Divine Plea. Spell Power values only differ by a small margin between items, so I tend not to prioritize that. Haste and Crit tend to be the values that I look for in items because it's easier to pad Spell Power through enchants than it is to raise Haste and Crit. Both are good stats, although nowadays I tend to pursue Haste because I want my heals to land faster. It's extremely useful when healing Death Knights, for example, who tend to take large spikes of damage.
Forum post of the day: No really, you are not prepared - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 15:00:00 EST Khanagi of Maelstrom sent out a plea in the official forums for players to be prepared when they group up for a heroic instance. His main complains is that as a Warrior Tank, he is often out DPSing the DPS. He feels that everyone in the group has a job to do, and many are falling short of their appointed task. His sentiment was met with considerable agreement from responders, who pointed out that AOE tanks will often have high DPS. This does not excuse the DPS from their responsibilities.
Back in the day, when Burning Crusade was launched, one had to be revered to get their heroic instance keys. This meant you had to grind out reputation with a particular faction to get the heroic key, usually through the highest level instance. This changed in Patch 2.3.0, which lowered the requirement to honored. At that time, there was much rejoicing. Honored reputation with a faction can easily be achieved with leveling quests. You no longer have to cross the threshold of a dungeon to meet this requirement.