[1.Local]: The WI week from the inside out - Fri, 16 Jan 2009 18:00:00 EST Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.
Don't be that guy You are not prepared - but do you really need to be? Readers are of varying minds when it comes to how much preparation to expect (and even to demand) from fellow players in heroics and pickup raids.
"Whether you like the idea of being 'carried' or not, I don't see a problem with people diving right in on heroics," notes Steve. "As many posters in this thread have demonstrated, if you know how to play your class, you can make up for being undergeared. ... I recognize that most of the folks out there in your PuGs will not be min/maxed or have ever heard of the Elitist Jerks site or have an optimal rotation. No worries -- I don't bother to look people up on the Armory, since Armory doesn't tell me anything about their skill level. And now that I'm outfitted head to toe in Naxx epics, I can do the carrying for low party DPS or a tank that isn't def capped.
"I actually enjoy healing bad PuGs more than guildie groups, because if everyone is geared and knows what they are doing, there isn't a lot for the healer to do -- the tank is taking steady predictable damage and I occasionally need to throw out an AOE heal if the party takes damage from something. So go ahead and 'be that guy'; I'll still heal you as long as you aren't rude and are at least trying. Just be up front with the group about where you are at in gear level or DPS when you join."
Our reader Fenn wrote in to let us know about a forum thread written by a suspicious player who's certain that her tank of choice is cheating on her with another healer. He never seems to want to group anymore and he's "too tired" to raid. "We have 3 dps so i can't just leave him," she confesses. "(I) don't know what to do."
The thread is pretty much win from the start, and even gets a visit from an amused Nethaera to boot. Suggestions range from "Make him a sandwich" to "Respec Discipline, all tanks like a good beating," sparking arguments over whether the healer had buffed him properly ("A tank has needs!") to whether tanks are cheating scumbags by nature ("What happens in AV, stays in AV"). You can't go wrong, but Fenn correctly observes that page 21 is a particular gold mine.
I have to admit that the response that made me laugh hardest was an early one from Öbvious of Zuluhed: "This is going to sound dirty, but can one of your DPS respec?"
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.
Apparently I missed a Doctor Who reference in one of the questions I answered yesterday. Maybe? Heck if I know. If you're looking for our resident Doctor Who nerd, direct your references to Elizabeth Harper. They go way over my head. Zoidberg asked... A while ago, we heard some rumors about a new hero class called archdruid. (Or something like that.) What do we know about these guys? Is this a possibility for the 4.0 hero class?
"I Play WoW" Facebook app reaches 100,000 users - Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:00:00 EST "I Play WoW" is probably the premiere World of Warcraft-related application on social networking site Facebook. We reported on it a while back, and since then, it's come quite a long way, including bringing in Armory updates when that became possible, and slowly growing over the past six months. And now they've hit another milestone -- Korale of Medivh (who runs the app with his wife Jeanelly, also on Medivh) has announced that they've reached over 100,000 users tracking over 260,000 characters. That's quite an undertaking. He also says that over 70% of people invited to the app actually use it (which is fairly high, we'd imagine, for Facebook), and that over 40,000 people visit the app at least once a month to update their status.
Congrats to Korale and Jeanelly on all their hard work. Our own Facebook page isn't quite as big -- it's at 2,601 fans so far, but we're aiming higher. Our very own Turpster from the WoW Insider Show has promised us a brand new song if we can break 4,000 fans, so if you're on Facebook (or even if you're not yet, it's free to sign up) and have a few WoW-playing friends to invite, send them our way -- the sooner we get 4,000 fans, the sooner we get that song (and Turpster tells us he might even have a few other familiar faces on WoW Insider join in, too). Sure, it's not 100,000, but if we can hit that magic 4,000, the results should be worth it.
Totem Talk: The Future of Totems? - Fri, 16 Jan 2009 13:00:00 EST All apologies for yesterday being, well, totemless. Personal and family obligations and a lack of warning simply swamped me, and as a result Totem Talk is on Friday and Care and Feeding will be Saturday this week only.
Before we get to brass tacks, as it were, I should point out that it was announced that shamans are getting a talent respec for free in 3.0.8, most likely due to the changes we discussed last week.
Yesterday, we covered this very interesting forum thread which basically asks the shaman community to discuss totems in the most open-ended way I've ever seen a blue solicit feedback. Asking people to just discuss any aspect of totems they don't like, or how they would change totems if it was up to them? I can't remember ever seeing this level of feedback asked for from the community.
The Darkwinds Scourge is a roleplay Guild on the Sha'tar realm. They've created this machinima as a kind of trailer for their Guild. In terms of setting up a movie to help promote your Guild's themes and ideas, I think this works pretty well. The shot locations are spot on, and the music's totally appropriate. (The song is by Disturbed, I think.) The movie is credited to Almighty Farseer.
As a machinima, the visiual narrative could use a faster pace. The author's stuck in the loop of cool shot after cool shot. Individually, they all work well, but strung together, the scenes move a little slow. While AF says that the Guild is an evil-themed troupe, with the in-character goal of punishing "the traitor Darion Mograine," I'm not sure there's enough contextually in the movie itself to draw that conclusion. Some subtitles or screen overlays would help that immensely, and help draw the viewer into the story.
Still, it's a trailer piece for a Guild, and on that level, it works fantastically. It would be nice to see more Guilds put this kind of effort into branding themselves, and I look forward to more in this genre.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Shifting Perspectives: Patch 3.0.8 for Druids - Fri, 16 Jan 2009 11:00:00 EST Every Tuesday, or sometimes Friday when the writer's internet has gone AWOL between Sunday evening and Thursday afternoon, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we take a look at the upcoming patch 3.0.8. while penning an angry letter to our ISP.
Greetings, folks. Patch 3.0.8 is coming, bringing a few significant changes for the Druid class. Feral attack power is disappearing from the game entirely alongside bonus armor contribution from non-leather items. Restoration is receiving a nerf in the form of a 6-second cooldown to Wild Growth but is otherwise getting some buffs. Balance is also getting a few buffs, including one that will make a big difference to PvP combat versus Rogues and Hunters. But I think, dear readers, we are overlooking the most important part of patch 3.0.8: Fixed a bug with a Wild Mustard plant that was under the ground in Dalaran.
Oh, thank God. That drove me nuts.
(I'd also love to see them do something about the underground Tiger Lily spawn in Sholazar).
Well, now I have a headache. Eneru of <Not Prepared> on C'thun-EU sent in this screenshot of symmetrical golems from heroic Gundrak, and I had a devil of a time figuring out exactly what was being reflected in what. Finally, the smushed paladin between the golem's feet clued me in that it was an aerial shot of two mobs who happened to die in a convenient position. Then again, I'm one of the legions of people who continually got lost in Kara and had to be summoned to the group. The day Blizzard designs a dungeon based on M.C. Escher paintings, we're all going to be in serious trouble.
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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, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
George Tung and Milos Golubovic have known each other for years, and been Blizzard fans for a long time as well. Around the launch of the Burning Crusade, like many WoW players, they were having issues with queues and server outages. They'd come home at night after work and want to play, but either be locked out of the realm with a queue or not be able to sign on at all. And now, they're aiming to help other players in the same situation, by offering a controversial service on their new site YouPlayorWePay.com.
When we posted about the site earlier this week, a lot of readers cried foul. The site's business plan (players pay a fee every month, and then are compensated back money (sometimes more, sometimes less than they originally paid) when their realm is full or suffers downtime. Lots of our commenters called the site a scam (a few of them even suggested, incorrectly, that it was a phishing site), and they all wanted to know more: how could these guys get away with asking for a fee and taking people's money on the promise that they might get some back?
And so, when Tung and Golubovic contacted us at WoW Insider, we were anxious to put those questions to them directly. Were they able to justify the service they're providing (and maybe show Blizzard just how compensation should be done), or are they just trying to take advantage of people already losing gameplay to downtime? You can be the judge -- our exclusive interview is right after the break.
One of the things that's often surprised me while reading forum threads concerning dual specs is just how wide the gulf is between pure and hybrid classes' perspective on the issue.* Pure classes are worried that they are increasingly obsolete in an age where a hybrid can easily respec between tanking, healing, and DPS. With the damage differences between hybrids and pure DPS shaved fairly thin in Wrath, they've got a point, and it's not that unusual to see resentful players asking why their class -- which cannot choose a different role -- has to risk losing a raid slot to a class that can.
By contrast, most of the hybrids to whom I've spoken see dual specs -- not as a competitive advantage, but rather as relief from the financial drain of constant respecs. 50g may not seem like a lot of money in Wrath's economy, but it adds up, to the point where you realize that the two hours you spent doing dailies will only net you about 20g after, say, respeccing to heal a heroic and then respeccing back to tank or DPS for the night's raid. Thus hybrids are equally resentful about the demands made on their time and e-wallet that pure classes don't have to worry about.
Today we're going to have a couple of simple answers and just plain "I don't know" responses mixed in with the usual stuff, because they've been repeat questions and not necessarily just one person asking them. Maybe a straight I Don't Know will help a little, but probably not.
Delshay Dethecus US asked...
My question is: Are Heirloom items worth getting for your Alts? If so why? I understand with End game going so well (easier) a lot of players are doing a lot of Heroics still and they are a good way to spend Emblems after you get the gear you need, but are Heirlooms a good thing to buy or should we save the Emblems for something that may come in the future?
Every week The Overachiever gives advice, walkthroughs and guides on completing your latest Achievement obsession.
Last week, I kicked off this new column covering the "I've Toured the Fjord" Quest Achievement for the Wrath starting zone Howling Fjord. Today, as promised, I'm going to cover the Quest Achievement for the other starting zone in Northrend, Borean Tundra with "Nothing Boring about Borean" (A/H)
But first, I want to highlight some excellent resources brought to my attention in the comments of last week's column. I stated that there was no way to track which quests you have completed and which you haven't. Turns out you can with an AddOn called Everyquest. It can only track quests you've done after it's been installed, but you can manually mark off quests you've done previously. An alternative is QuestGuru.
Another good tip is to turn on your low level quest tracker if you are going back to older zones to finish off quests. You'll find it by right-clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the edge of your mini-map.
Since somewhat before the Wrath beta, we've been seeing a much more interactive Blizzard development team. The level of open communication with and feedback gathering from the community has been raised significantly, and with people like Ghostcrawler giving straight answers as much as he can, I'm feeling a lot better about the lines of communication between developers and players.
At the moment, Ghostcrawler is specifically asking for feedback on the following two issues:
Shamans: Totems, totems, totems. Again, please do not talk about extraneous issues in that thread - just talk about totems. They're not going to remove or sideline them, but they are interested in making them "cooler," which is certainly much-needed.
So go on and post your feedback in GC's threads (warlock, shaman). Or feel free to talk about it here, whatever. I do think totems feel clunky, but I can't think of how to fix them exactly - I guess that's why I'm not a game designer.
A new build, number 9464, went up on the PTR last night for the perpetually predicted, not quite here yet patch 3.0.8. The changes aren't huge; for the few list, you can check out MMO Champion. But there are a few that interest me.
Vampiric Blood, which got a huge buff in early 3.0.8 builds, has been taken down a little bit, although still better than it is now. In the latest build, it temporarily gives the DK 15% of his maximum health, and increases the amount of health generated through spells and effects by 35%, for 20 sec. Previously in 3.0.8, it was 20% max health and 50% increased healing. In live, it's just 50% increased healing.
Our good friends at Upper Deck have announced a day of tournaments, demos, and giveaways at a hobby store near you. Upper Deck Day is being held February 7-8, 2009, and the event will feature a WoW TCG beginner's tournament, as well as on-site demos of the new WoW minis game. If you've never played either of these games, this is the perfect chance to check them out -- mark your calendars now, and bring a friend to check out the other ways to play World of Warcraft.
They haven't yet released the list of locations for the event, but Upper Deck tends to use the same places most every time, so if they've held a previous event at a store near you, odds are that they'll be there again. Actually collecting both of these games can get pricey (and let's face it, is really only fun if you've got a friend or two to play with often), but that's what makes these events so perfect -- you can get a taste of what the games are like without having to break the piggy bank to pick up all the little doodads.
And as always, if you go, be sure to snap some pictures and send them to us. We're always interested in what players of the offline World of Warcraft games are up to as well.
There's also a note at the end of the post to the effect that although these are all for PvP realms, PvE transfers will be announced shortly, so stay tuned, carebears (don't get me wrong, I'm one of you).
Players on these realms, will you be transfering? Remember that if you want to, you should do it as soon as possible. These transfers are scheduled to stay open until Wednesday, January 21, at 6 PM PST, but they do close early if the transfer goals are met.
I don't put too much effort into crafting professions, for the most part. Something like Inscription, where I can get a number of points by just remembering to research once a day, fine. But Blacksmithing or Engineering, with stacks of metal per point? Not for me. (The exception to this is Tailoring, which I keep on my priest more out of tradition than anything else.)
Engineering is another profession that seems to take a lot of work per point (although I haven't gotten it very high myself, so I can't speak from first-hand experience here). On the other hand, there are a lot of really cool gizmos engineers can make for themselves, from hand rockets to motorcycles.
One of those gizmos is about to get significantly more useful: the Scrapbot will be able to repair your gear "in a future patch." The smart money is on 3.0.8 for that future patch, since Scrapbot repairs were added to the latest build of that patch on the PTR just yesterday. This means that once again, Engineers are the providers of in-instance repairs, and this time around it's significantly cheaper than last time, with 10 Saronite Bars giving you 5 of the little guys. And they're so cute!
Arcanite Ripper gets a model change in patch 3.0.8 - Thu, 15 Jan 2009 13:00:00 EST Patch 3.0.8 is bringing an interesting change to one of the more nostalgic items added to the game recently besides the many Heirloom items that came with Wrath. The Arcanite Ripper, a nod to the Arcanite Reaper of old, is getting a graphical overhaul. Its new model is much cooler, but it's a little sad to see that model go. I'm not too busted up about it, because I can still pick up a Bloodied Arcanite Reaper if I get sentimental.
The new Ripper will use the guitar model used by Bergrisst of the Tauren Chieftains (who you transform into upon right clicking the weapon). The new model is way cooler looking, but it's still a little sad to see the old one go. Despite the more awesome model, I can't help but feel my attachment to my Paladin's Ripper fading away.
It's like it's song week here on WoW Moviewatch, but today's entry is something I know many of our readers have probably been eagerly anticipating. Nyhm has released his new video, titled (Holy) Priest. (It's a take-off of Notorious B.I.G.'s Hypnotize, if you don't recognize the music.) He dedicates this piece to what he calls one of the most underappreciated, but most needed, classes in the game. And, of course, he's sure to thank them in that dedication also.
The video itself is pretty standard Nyhm work, thematically. It has some creative music video shots of himself and Summergale as they sing. (Well, shots of their avatar personas.) The tricks Nyhm uses to create a variety of dance moves and poses are always impressive, and his work really brings the Blood Elf and Troll models to life.
While this genre of music isn't my cup of tea, Nyhm uses creative cadence and lyrics to morph the lines of B.I.G.'s song into a great song about the struggles of healing in WoW. There's praise, jokes, complaints, and a little bit of everything else thrown into the song. Check it out, and enjoy!
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.