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Today we'll be discussing some of the choice farming locations in the province of Storm Peaks. There are three areas in particular that I will point out, as well as some good gathering tips and information on where you can locate rare mobs.
Don't forget to check the comments section, as I'm sure it will be full of sweet spots and mob-hunting information!
Quantifying Wrath's success - Mon, 16 Mar 2009 19:00:00 EST The Egotistical Priest has a good series of posts up attempting to somehow quantify whether Wrath has been an overall success or not. Of course, it's definitely a financial success, but has the game's second expansion delivered what both players and Blizzard expected it to? Vonya sets out to find out in what has turned into a three part post: you can find parts oneand two on the site now, and part three is set to come out tomorrow.
So far, the answer is yes: while the area of Tradeskills is noted as less than a success (it seems to me, too, that tradeskills had more variety and options in Burning Crusade than their current state in Wrath, though that might be because we're only partway through the expansion cycle), everything else is noted as a win for Blizzard: they've really beefed up questing, balance has been intriguing since Wrath (and even if one class has rubbed you wrong, consider how many players came running back with the expansion patch to re-try their class), and of course, Achievements have (predictably) brought the game to new levels of addiction and given players of all kinds new things to do.
Vonya still plans to tackle instancing and raiding as the other two criteria for Wrath's success (and there are probably a few other ways you could test it -- lore? setting?), but by the reasoning so far, Wrath is a win no matter how you slice it. Blizzard has outdone themselves with the second expansion -- the only question is where they'll go from here.
Speaking up for what's right - Mon, 16 Mar 2009 18:00:00 EST This is a pretty insightful thread, from all sides, on what the forums and customer feedback are really for. Rekker on Detheroc makes a good point, and that is that while people will complain about anything, almost no one speaks up when things are working right. We talked a little bit about this on the podcast this past week: are Blizzard's decisions based on a player base that never seems to be happy, no matter what you throw at them, or on some arbitrary design guidelines that Blizzard has stuck with from the beginning?
Ghostcrawler, as you might expect, says it's a little bit of both. Blizzard doesn't just do what players say -- they consider player feedback and then make decisions from there. But at the same time, they can't ignore what players say, either. GC agrees that the forums are not the best sample of feedback, for the same reasons that Rekker gives: players go there because something is bothering them and they want it changed, not usually because they really love something in the game and want it to stay the same.
Of course, forums are not the only form of feedback from the community, and there are many places Blizzard can get feedback about things in the game that players like (ahem). But just like Blizzard does, whenever you look at the forums, you have to realize that you're looking at just a slice of the feedback. People don't make QQ posts about the stuff they appreciate and like having in the game.
The Wintergrasp PvP zone now has two level restrictions in place:
You must be level 70 or higher to count towards the tenacity tally, obtain the tenacity buff, and get credit for a victory or defeat.
You must be level 50 or higher to be able to use the portal of Wintergrasp.
The immediate implications of this is that players cannot leave a low level alt sitting about collecting honor and Wintergrasp marks before level 70. While I don't know anyone personally who has done this, I have heard it talked about around the intertubes a bit.
For the majority of us however, this change won't have any real effect. Interesting nonetheless. Don't forget that there are several upcoming changes to Wintergrasp in Patch 3.1; including a world wide timer and a new raid boss.
What to do when a player dies - Mon, 16 Mar 2009 17:00:00 EST This AP story is making its way around the community -- Jerald Spangleberg's daughter was faced with a growing problem when he passed a way: figuring out how to notify the guy's in-game friends. As online relationships grow more and more prevalent, relatives of those who pass away are often having trouble notifying some of the deceased closest friends. Even Blizzard can't help in this situation, apparently -- they have no policy or rules to deal with players who have died, and no way for relatives to log in to the game without the password to let guilds know what has happened.
You might suggest that these relationships aren't that big a deal, but when you think that guildies are encountered almost nightly, while real-life friends connect only when schedules allow (maybe once or twice a week), you can see why it might be important to let the ingame associates know what has happened. Unfortunately, all of the solutions so far are pretty morbid -- there are sites that will send email for you, or some players have left lists of contacts to reach when they move on.
The importance of online relationships is likely to increase in the future if the past few years are any indication. And given that the average player is getting older even as they're making more and stronger friends online, it might not be long until we've got a much better solution to deal with this problem.
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.
Today we're fielding a lot of questions on the Light and the Shadow, and Life and Death. I don't know why, really, that's just how things happened! Trends like that are always fun, like the week or two where we had nothing but dragon questions. It makes picking out themes really easy! Emorich asked... I was under the impression that C'Thun wasn't dead. I thought we simply stopped him. After all, we were attacking one of his eyeballs, hardly a vital organ. Is Kil'Jaeden dead too? I thought we basically just pushed him back through the portal and now he's really pissed.
Ammo stacks in 1000, sells in 200 - Mon, 16 Mar 2009 16:00:00 EST Whoo, boy. When the news came out that ammo was changing big time in the game, Hunters everywhere pretty much praised it -- no longer would we have to worry about carrying around tons of ammo, with one bag slot spent on just one consumable. But since then, things haven't been so peachy. First, we heard that consumable ammunition wasn't going anywhere, and then we noticed that none of the other changes were happening either. Then, ammo stacks were fixed to 1000 in a recent hotfix on the PTR, but now there's a whole other issue: while it stacks in 1000, it still only sells in stacks of 200. Which means you have to buy, and buy, and buy, and buy, and buy just to fill one slot. And what's more, Dresorull says it's not a bug -- we'll likely see this on the live realms.
And as BRK points out, the "1000" stacks aren't even labeled on the PTR yet. He says you can fill your quiver with 28,000 rounds of ammo (of course, you'd have to hit buy 140 times just to do that), but what happened to the quiver changes? Aren't Hunters supposed to get that bag slot back in 3.1 anyway?
It's all very confusing, and this smacks of a missed followthrough: the original Hunter changes as suggested were popular, but we're guessing something came up in their way (either the team was needed on another task, or some flaw in the system as designed kept them from turning consumable ammunition into a permanent item). Either way, we hope this gets fixed -- we know this is the PTR and everything is subject to change, but as it stands, it looks like we're getting a half-finished ammo system when patch 3.1 goes live.
He goes on to say that the way the fights are designed, you aren't supposed to run out of mana, as long as you're dodging the AoE and are geared up correctly. Making mistakes in gameplay digs into your mana reserves, and so when Blizzard nerfs mana regen, they aren't just trying to make things harder, they're trying to take away that extra breathing room that you get around errors. They don't want healers just healing through damage -- they want people trying to avoid it in the first place.
And, if guildies won't get out of the fire, and your healers keep running out of mana because of it, it's time to weed out the ranks a bit. Finally, GC adds what we've heard before: those looking for a tough battle in Ulduar likely won't find it right away -- the instance is designed to be only a little harder than Naxx. But the hard modes are where the difficulty will really ramp up. If short, says GC, if you don't have enough mana on the easy modes, it's not Blizzard's design: it's the way you and your guildies are geared and playing.
Boubouille of MMO Champion was nice enough to send us some screenshots of the new wing of the raid in Wintergrasp, something he describes as "just a corridor" and too uninteresting to take pictures of. Still, he dove in there and took quite a bunch of screenshots of the vault's new wing, replete with Titan ornaments and columnar architecture. It's all reminiscent of things you've probably already seen, but still a good portent of things to come.
Kalgan spoke at length about the plans for Season 6, which included some drops from the new wing of the Vault of Archavon. Just like Archavon the Stone Watcher, the new raid boss -- currently a mystery -- will also drop PvE or Tier 8 gear. There's no sign of him on the PTR, either, although I wouldn't be surprised if the boss uses an existing giant model. Check out the gallery below courtesy of those fine folk at MMO Champion for more shots of... a corridor.
Lex only says about fifty times that his video, Downside Up, does not make sense. I have to disagree. Wookies on Endor? That doesn't make sense. This video makes sense. It's a music video, with various and meaningless scenes of an orc running. It's a showcase for music, with imagery meant to provide some kind of context to the sounds. It doesn't really have a story or a theme, but that doesn't mean it's sense-less.
Lex created this entire piece within four hours, so it's a quick one-off. But there are still some things to say about it. Lex did a good job of choosing scenery for his orc to run through. I like quick vistas like this. It shows off some of the beautiful landscapes and images that are present in the game. It's kind of nice.
Really, I can picture this video playing on a monitor above a club's dance floor. The action taking place in the video isn't the point, it's just setting up ambiance. I think Lex should explore this kind of thing, setting up a kind of YouTube play list of music videos. For all that he said "This makes no sense," I was able to appreciate the video as a showcase for the music.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com. Previously on Moviewatch ..
Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly Death Knight news and analysis fix.
The Blood tree often gets a bad rap among those not in the know. It's a decent leveling tree, but it's generally considered not to have the tanking power or AoE DPS Potential of Unholy or Frost. By all indications, that has changed in 3.1, especially in the latest patch. Not only have many key Blood talents and skills received key buffs or changes, but the very nature of Armor Penetration has changed, with the 25% benefit buff making Blood's mostly physical damage dealing style well suited to take advantage of the change. This is quite a shift from just before 3.1, when many were afraid disease-less Blood would be wiped out and leave the tree with no viable hassle-free DPS specs.
WoW Insider Show Episode 81: Same place, new time - Mon, 16 Mar 2009 10:30:00 EST This past week on the WoW Insider Show, we mixed things up -- instead of our usual time on Saturday at 3:30pm, we taped the show on Wednesday night, so if you missed it this week, here it is in recorded form. Don't worry -- we'll be back as usual next Saturday, we just though we'd give some new people a chance to tune in live.
And speaking of new people, we had Chase Christian return to the podcast for the first time in a while, with lots of great Rogue discussion from his Encrypted Text Rogue column. And we were (thankfully) joined at the last minute by none other than Patrick Beja, from the How I WoW podcast and all the other great shows he does. And as is the case lately, we talked the PTR, patch 3.1, Ulduar, and all of the other good stuff we plan to eventually see on the live realms.
Was a fun show -- enjoy the listen, and please do go sign up to follow us on Twitter if you haven't yet. We'll see you again at the usual time, Saturday at 3:30pm Eastern, 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.
While leveling his undead rogue in Badlands, Fixxie of <Comitatenses> on Burning Legion-EU faced an enviable dilemma. Two lovely Forsaken maidens were vying for his hand -- literally, since it had recently dropped off. But whom should he choose? The blonde beauty, just barely turning green, with her bright orange dress and exuberant yellow question mark? Or the dark, questioning seductress, with her purple ensemble and pointy stick? What's a simple zombie to do?
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In my first rant last year, I called out all the officers who, in the dark times before Wrath went live, resorted to rampant poaching -- rather than alliances -- to keep their raiding guilds afloat. Today I am going to rant about nonofficers. And specifically, against my better judgment as a contributor who would like to continue writing this column for WoW Insider, I'm going to rant about some of the people who obviously read this column and have written me to ask for advice.
I appreciate the fact that you think of me as someone to turn to for help. It's certainly flattering and I have tried to give you the best advice that I can.
However, I have been trying to answer a lot of e-mails over the past week and I see the same type of complaint over and over again. I won't use a real e-mail as an example, because I don't want to embarrass anyone, but the gist of these e-mails goes like this:
I am not an officer in my guild. I am a member who attends raids and earns loot. But I don't like a decision the officers have made, or I disagree with the way they run the guild. How can I change the guild to be the way I want it to be?
I know it's just a game. Sometimes, though, I feel the pressure of having to perform well. It's obvious during Arena matches, where the pressure to win gets to the point where it frays nerves and leads to nerdrage, frustration, and sometimes just plain exasperation. When our GM announced that he would be holding tryouts for Ulduar based on our raid performance, I felt pressured to perform a little more. Even though we have all content on farm, I would respec to a PvE spec for Naxxramas of all things, just to perform well enough to justify getting into our Ulduar core group.
Mind you, I'm a founding officer of this guild, but the tryouts apply to me just the same. I respect that a lot, as it means that our GM looks at everything from a performance persective and not just because this or that person is a friend or this or that person has been with the guild a long time. This gives me a lot of confidence for Ulduar. While most of the game now is pretty casual, I guess there are still a precious few aspects that put butterflies in our stomach. Would you agree? Let's say, being the healer in a PUG. Do you feel the pressure to perform? Do you feel like you're under the microscope? Or being the new recruit in an Arena team, do you feel like you have to come up with the numbers to keep your slot? Or how about when your guild is going after Immortal or Undying? As easy as the game seems now, what situations give you some form of stage fright?
In this world of constant war, you must choose your weapons wisely: you may be a blood-soaked warrior with a jagged-edge axe of phenomenal power, a maniacal warlock with a lust for forbidden magical knowledge, or a ruthless rogue whose stealth lets him kill his enemies before they even know he's there.
You may also pick flowers.
Indeed, if you are either an alchemist or an inscriber, picking flowers is probably exactly what you do, no matter how blood-soaked, maniacal, or ruthless you might be. To you, however, the term "picking flowers" may be the sign of ignorance on the part of people who fail to comprehend what powers they mock when they poke fun at the exalted science of herbalism. "Let them have their giggles," you might say to yourself, sheathing your axe in order to bend down and gather some lichbloom, "I'll be the one laughing all the way down the battlefield with my Flask of Endless Rage! Muahahahaha!"
Emblems to be easier to loot in 3.1 - Sun, 15 Mar 2009 20:00:00 EST Here's a nice and simple change that recently showed up in the official patch notes on the 3.1 PTR: Now, when someone loots a badge or emblem, everyone in the raid or party will automatically receive their proper emblem. This doesn't apply to people outside the raid instance though, so no twinking your lowbie second account character while they wait outside the instance, sorry.
It's a minor change, but still a welcome one, since it's sometimes easy to forget to check the corpse when you're not in charge of loot and would rather be focusing on getting ready for the next pull.
Speaking of nice instancing changes, this is something we've actually reported on before, but now it's officially in the patch notes and everything: Come 3.1, you will get a confirmation box when you're in danger of being saved to an instance so you know what you're getting yourself into. If you click no, you'll be teleported to the nearest graveyard. Hopefully that'll cut down on those annoying instances where one of your group members forgot he already cleared Sarth that week and got you all saved.
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. Hymn of Hope is back in a new way! But it's not the only Hymn to get a face lift. Divine Hymn also underwent an overhaul!
Well guys, we got our Hymn back. Thank goodness. On a side note, I gave Mimiron a shot the other day (with the Sacco fellah again). We had to 9 man the guy on Normal. There was a bug where raids were unable to invite players into their group. The healers consisted of Disc Priest (me) and a Resto Druid. Yeah, the developers weren't kidding when they said 3 healers was going to be needed for normal mode Ulduar. We barely got into phase 2 intact.