The Queue: The patoot edition - Mon, 16 Feb 2009 18:00:00 EST 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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.
Hey, everyone! How did you all hold up over the last week? A whole week with Adam? Did you miss your ray of sunshine? No? Oh... well, that's okay. I'm back anyway! If you don't read Ask a Lore Nerd, I was more or less out of the office the last week moving into my swank new apartment, so that's why I haven't been around. It's all good now though, so Adam and I are back on our rotating schedule.
We also have a cool little guest appearance from our resident Death Knight Daniel Whitcomb, so that'll be a treat! Hopefully!
Cholestria asked... Are there any titles I can achieve with my level 1 bank alt? She has an outfit from the Brewfest and usually participates in any of the holiday she can, but all the titles seem to require some leveling. Is there any title she could get without leveling?
For many players, the main reason they wanted dual spec was to be able to switch between "leveling" and "grouping" specs, and obviously if you're already max level, you won't have much need for a leveling spec any more (more likely you'd be switching between "solo" and "raid" or "PvP" specs). Ghostcrawler's stated reason for requiring a max level was that they didn't want lower level players to be confused by having access to more than one talent spec too early, but as Zarhym says, Cvarto makes a good point: if a player uses only one spec for 80 levels and then gets the dual spec feature, he/she may not have enough experience with different specs to have any clue about how to choose another one.
TagWoW shrinks your WoW URLs [Updated: NSFW] - Mon, 16 Feb 2009 16:00:00 EST There are already quite a few "shrink your URL" sites out there, from the famous TinyURL to my favorite, is.gd. But former Wowhead honcho Tim Sullivan has seen fit to add one more to the mix, and who knows, maybe the tiny bit of functionality it adds will be worth it. TagWoW will shrink your Warcraft-related URLs (well, it'll shrink anything, but it's meant for Warcraft stuff) into whatever tiny URL you want, and then it'll track the most popular pages on the homepage.
Sure, it's just another URL-shrinking site, but there is some usefulness to be found here -- Blizzard forum URLs, many guild websites, and talent builds on Wowhead and elsewhere all have gigantic URLs, and shrinking them down to a memorable phrase could be helpful. Not to mention that Tim tells us that they want to "heavily moderate" the service -- gold farmers, keystroke loggers, and phishing sites are supposed to be kicked right out of the system, so if you see a TagWoW link on the forums, you will hopefully always be able follow it without worrying about compromising your security.
Like I said, there's just enough functionality added here that it could end up being something big. Currently, there's apparently only a few URLs saved in the system (the site only went live last week), but you can probably expect things to pick up with our post here -- and hopefully we won't burn the site down. With the right URL submissions and, as Tim promises, some serious moderation to make everything trustworthy, TagWoW could be a nice service.
EDIT: Be advised that as of this writing one of the links on the front page of TagWoW leads to an adult site though it doesn't say so in the link description. Click the links on TagWoW at your own risk.
Haven't gotten a chance to play last year's Game Product of the Year yet? You're in luck -- Upper Deck is hosting another "Spectral Safari" event about a month from now, on March 14th, and you could pick up a Spectral Tiger, one of the hottest TCG items in history. Entry for the big tournament costs $20, but not only do you get to take home a WoW minis booster, but you have a chance to win prizes, and everyone who plays in the tournament will get entered in a contest to have an official mini made of their very own ingame character. That's pretty wild.
They've just sent us the list of where the events are taking place, so if there's a tournament going on near you (there are locations all over the world), now's the time to make your plans. The game is a lot of fun -- it's kind of a cross between a turn-based strategy game (in that both players take turns with their characters to move and attack) and Arena battles (in that you move around on a field using the various abilities and weapons available to your character's class). An event like this is a great way to check it out and possibly even win some prizes for playing well.
Ever since Ghostcrawler's Q&A session last week, it seems like everyone wants to talk about dual specs, so I might as well give in. A few readers have written me to ask how I will handle loot distribution in this crazy double-speccing future. Does having two easily switchable specs entitle a player to double the loot? One reader details his struggle to formulate a fair and effective system:
As I'm sure you're aware by now, Blizzard recently stated that dual specs are definitely in the foreseeable future. This brings a huge dilemma on raid loot distribution. How do I distribute loot when everyone can use it now?
The issue was brought up on our guild's forum recently, and I had not even thought about the possible ramifications til now. Is there any good solution? Let me give a little run down of my thoughts so far.
[. . .]One officer suggested that we up the amount of DKP people can earn on a boss and let everyone bid on the item if they could use it in their dual specs. My thoughts were that this would highly inflate the DKP of the "pure" classes seeing as they only need one set of gear so would be bidding on only half as many times as "hybrid" classes. And that would not be fair to those who play hybrid classes but for the sole purpose of DPS. Also, it would open up the floodgates on tier tokens. If everyone had the right to roll on whatever they could use, they'd be bidding on more than one tier token, possibly alienating the newcomers who could afford said token but just didn't have enough DKP to outroll the weekly raider who already has that tier item for another spec essentially making loot distribution less even across the board.
Some movies are created using machinima -- finely honed in-game graphics, tuned to tell the author's story with sizzling detail. Others are creating using more traditional media, like hand-drawn art. And some, like Leeroy 4 - The Wailing Caverns, are created in Live Action, using nothing more than a pure sense of fun and obvious love of the game. It's the creation of Herculean Productions, and I've rarely had so much fun with a fan film.
The acting is over-the-top, scene chewing goodness. I like to think that even William Shatner would be proud of these boys. The story is simple enough to support this kind of shenanigan performance. In a quick summary, Leeroy is putting together a group to go to the Wailing Caverns. This is the LFG phase of that endeavour.
The costumes hit the right tone, in my opinion. If the clothes had been much fancier, then they'd be calling into the question the genre of the piece. This isn't meant to be high, Shakespearean art. It's supposed to be funny and tongue-in-cheek. You're not supposed to be gauging things like production values; you're supposed to be having the same kind of fun the actors are having.
My hat's off to Leeroy. This was great. Click here to go check it out yourself.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
WoW Insider Show Episode 77: The Lady Factor - Mon, 16 Feb 2009 11:30:00 EST We had a great time on the WoW Insider Show this past weekend -- Turpster and I welcomed back Michael Sacco (formerly known as Belfaire on the official forums and now a blogger here on WoW Insider) and manly man Matthew Rossi to talk about what's coming up in patch 3.0.9, what we thought of the dual spec news we heard last week, and our progress (or lack thereof, apparently) on the Love is in the Air event. We also answered lots of emails from listeners, and speculated on what Blizzard's future release schedule might look like.
And a huge thanks to all of our listeners for hitting 4,000 fans on our Facebook page -- Turpster's song is coming soon (hopefully next week), and as a mini-reward this week, by request, here's a downloadable version of Sammy T's great "Meat of the Show" song (just right-click save as, and if you do anything with it, be sure to let us know).
Our next goal has to do with our Twitter page -- as we announced on the show, if we can get "over 9000" Twitter followers there, we'll do a video version of our podcast, either with ingame video or Turpster and me on camera ourselves. So tell your friends and Twitter followers to check us out over there. Enjoy the show, and we'll see you as always next week.
Get the podcast: [iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes. [Ustream] Listen to the unedited recording in Ustream. [RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator. [MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
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. Welcome to the delayed, dual spec edition! Dual specs will be here soon! What specs will you be going for?
The marching orders have been given. With the green lighting of dual specs in the upcoming 3.1 patch, Priests of any discipline will be faced with an enormous decision that dwarfs the question of going Holy or Shadow (and Disc)!
First, a brief history lesson.
For the longest time, the healers struggled with questing. Soloing and doing dailies was a monumental effort due to the of our spec to Smite those that would oppose us! In Burning Crusade, our offensive spellpower was raised to so that it became a fraction of our healing spellpower. In Wrath of the Lich King, these become consolidated into one overall stat.
We cried out that respec costs cut into our dwindling money pouches. Mistakes in one point were often costly. It wasn't fun having to switch from raiding to PvPing or farming. We ached for a method that allowed us to switch roles without the headache.
Blizzard listened and they gave us dual specs!
So, now what?
How do you, the Priest, figure out what your second spec should be? If you're a tried and true healer who loves the thrill of healing in any environment, then you may wish to consider both a raiding and a PvP spec. If you're the type of player who prefers the ability to do some solo action, then you might opt for a healing and shadow type build. If you're not into PvP or that interested in doing any solo work, then a healing and healing spec may be up your ally.
As you can see, this is a lovely classical painting of a quartet of angels. So what exactly is it doing on the ceiling of the Chamber of the Aspects in Wyrmrest Temple? Faldrath of <Honorbound> on Steamwheedle Cartel snapped this shot using his Eye of Kilrogg. He writes that he's somewhat puzzled as to its purpose. I like to think that since young humans of a geekly persuasion often have dragon-themed clothing and furnishings, teenage dragons would decorate their homes with pictures of people. This is probably a blacklight poster in some draconic dork's room, hanging right over a bookcase full of "Offices & Humans" third edition modules.
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. 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.
Welcome to this week's installment of Lichborne, where we're preparing to head further down the rabbit hole that is patch 3.1.
With the details about dual speccing becoming clearer, it's probably about time to start thinking about how it will affect Death Knights. We're probably a little luckier than many classes in that all of our trees are pretty solid for either tanking or DPS, but at the same time, some trees are better than others for certain roles, and you're definitely going to want to switch out some talent points for optimal performance in either role. Some Death Knights have actually been experimenting with "hybrid" DPS/Tank builds up until now, but with dual specs, it'll be a lot easier to just dedicate your time to one or another and go from there.
Essentially, There's 3 major ways I see most people going with dual specs: Tank/PvE DPS, Tank/PvP DPS, and PvE DPS/PvP DPS, depending on their interests. The complications will probably come in deciding which combination is right for you and your raid, and which trees to focus on.
I managed to snag my title early Sunday evening after finally getting my last candy heart and then shamelessly /shouting in front of the Ironforge Auction House to mend broken hearts. This is the first festival I've achieved a title though I can't tell you why I chose this one. Probably because there was no PvP involved. Which will take me out of the running for the Children's Week achievement that involves no less than 2 PvP activities.
Enough about me. Did you get what you wanted out this event?
The Hunter is probably the oldest class in World of Warcraft. Before anyone in Azeroth took up an axe or sword, or learned anything of how to cast spells -- even before they learned to write -- they had to hunt for food. If they were like early Earth societies, the people of many nomadic groups would have relied on their hunters to bring in the meat they needed, as well as to protect the community from enemies. Back then, there would have been no such thing as fancy armor or complicated magical weapons. The relationship of a fighter to nature was just as important as the weapons he carried, if not more so.
Modern hunters in World of Warcraft come from the ancient tradition of those who learned to keep themselves and their families alive by living in harmony with nature. They learned the essential mysteries of survival in the wilderness, killing animals with stealth and primitive weapons, trapping them, and eventually turning predators and prey alike into friends and servants.
As time went by, those fighters who took up the path of the druid would learn to become nature itself; shamans would learn to call upon it; warriors and rogues would make battle their art, each in their own way. But hunters remained at that pivotal point between sentient races and the natural world -- they are connected to nature, but not manifestations of it; they work together with nature, but they do not worship it or call upon its spirits; they fight their enemies with the utmost passion, but they do it with the tools that hearken back to the dawn of civilization.
Every weekend (well, almost every weekend), Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.
Mounts and vanity pets are a bigger part of many people's WoW than ever before. They don't take up any space in our bags (yay!), there are achievements for them (meh!), and there are a lot of cool ones to find (even if the raven mount keeps eluding me and the rest of my guildies). However, Blizzard's interface for these summonable beasts leaves a lot to be desired.
Livestock is here to fill that gap. It aims to handle all your vanity-pet and mount related needs, with the following features:
Buttons to choose a pet or mount to summon
Buttons to summon a random pet or mount
Can ensure that you always have a pet out (i.e. resummon on zoning in to an instance, ressing, etc.)
"Smart mount" feature to choose flying/ground mounts as appropriate
Keybindings for all important function
This last feature is the one that makes it viable for me; if I have to click to mount up, I'm not going to use your mod.
Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.
Welcome to another fine Sunday evening! Things are going to be shorter and sweeter than usual this week, as I've only recently gotten the internet back. Moving into a new apartment has its drawbacks, and needing to wait a week for Time Warner to get things installed is one of the worst. It's done now though, so next week will be grand, I just need to get my bearings back.
Remember, the entire history of Warcraft is fair game in this column, not just Wrath of the Lich King. If you have a question that's a blast from the past, that's fine! We'll take it. Now, on with the show. Jardal asked...
What's going on in the Ebon Hold where the DK trainer is killing a druid to explain how plague strike is the lifebloom eater? Wouldn't the alliance kind of frown on killing their allies or is this kind of a "what they don't know won't hurt them" thing?
My Buggy Valentine: Problems with Love is in the Air - Sun, 15 Feb 2009 16:00:00 EST If you've been following WRUP, you probably know by now that I am pretty big on achievements. They're a lot of fun for me, and a good way to set a goal and have a solid in-game marker of how I'm doing on reaching it. Plus, the titles and tabards and mounts and the like you can get from them are a good way to customize your character.
However, if there's one thing that'll get me down and make me reconsider my achievement love, it may just be Love Is In the Air. The whole silly thing is just so full of bugs and quirks and annoyances and so based on random chance that there were a couple points along the way that made me feel like throwing up my hands and quitting.
Please give me something to grind - Sun, 15 Feb 2009 14:00:00 EST I realized the other night that I have quite possibly the strangest complaint about Wrath of the Lich King possible: There is nothing that you can just go grind if you want to do something mindless. By grind, I mean endless killing of mobs for some minor gain. One of the biggest reasons I play WoW is for social purposes. I play WoW with a lot of my friends, and sometimes when I log on I just want to use the game as glorified IRC while I stab things.
This worked well in The Burning Crusade, because there were a lot of quests that required you to pay attention to what you're doing, but there were also a few reputation grinds that you could do just by murdering lots of mobs, which was great for those lazy days. Zaxxis Insignias, Warbeads, Marks of Sargeras, all of that stuff. If I didn't want to do anything complicated while I chatted away in guild chat, I could just round up a bunch of mobs and killify them, and I would still be making progress toward some game goal.
The Colosseum: Infractus the Flawless Victor - Sun, 15 Feb 2009 12:00:00 EST The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.
Infractus is the Death Knight member of Cookn by Teh Bookon the Retaliation battlegroup. He is a Flawless Victor, which is usually a pretty good indicator of someone who's got their Arena head sitting right on their shoulders. Death Knights are pretty hot topics right now, seeing as most of the highest-rated teams have at least one Death Knight. Infractus was good enough to share his views on the Arena with Colosseum. Check out what he had to say after the cut.
When I originally posted the Love Is In The Air achievement guide, I left out the city collection quest Gift Giving (A/H) because they didn't lead to an achievement. But they do provide more supplies for you to complete the achievements if you need them, so they are worth looking into. Each time you complete this quest you have a choice of the following rewards: