The Wordy Warrior has added to their series of "10 Ways..." posts with today's 10 Ways to Make Your Guild Love You. Whereas her first couple of posts in the series were aimed at the rank and file of a guild or raid, aiming to warm up to your raid leaders or guild officers, this one is aimed at those very officers. How do you get the rank and file to like /you/?
As a Guild Leader, I absolutely agree with the points she puts forth, and I recommend this list to any guild officer, especially those that are just getting started with their guild. Over the last four years of being a GM, the #1 thing I've learned is that there are absolutely real faces behind those pixels, and you need to know how to interact with those people. You need to get to know them, you need to try and be a little personal with them, and you should know how to talk to them. Everyone is a little bit different.
Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.
To battle! This week, Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves pits Hadronox (Azjol-Nerub) against Zuramat the Obliterator (Violet Hold). Poison against shadow damage ... the not-yet-trapped versus the already imprisoned ... Can you predict the outcome?
The usual rules apply: Assume that these foes share similar levels, health pools and damage output. We'll allow Zuramat to summon his Void Sentries, even though Hadronox himself will be the only victim of Void Shift. This match occurs in neutral territory -- no additional Nerubian spiders, no handy Violet Hold wall switches.
Focus your debate on the three S's: Style, Story and Scale. Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter. Consider the flavor each villainous gladiator brings to bear, leave your comment on what you think would happen and why, and then cast your vote for who you think would come out on top.
In what every Blizzard fanboy hopes to be a precursor to the real thing, the company has announced the winners of the Blizzard Theme Park Contest where creators were called to submit their best ideas for a theme park based on each of Blizzard's properties or even all of them. The grand prize winner, Christina Marie DeLong, designed a brightly colored map that had the most amazing stuff in it.
It featured attractions such as a Terran combat simulator, a Diablo-themed petting zoo (yikes!), and a roller coaster based on Captain Skyshatter's race around Netherwing Ledge.While that's all pretty cool, it's the little details that must've won the judges over -- like the Mage's refreshment table on top of a Dalaran-style building intended to be the park's buffet. There are just a lot of small things that should make all of us go to Blizzard and pester them about making it all real.
There were three other winners who won for the best StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo-themed entries, although they all seemed to incorporate all of Blizzard's properties. All of them were pretty good, but Christina's excellently drawn and conceptualized entry was hands down the best of the lot. You can check out all the entries including the honorable mentions over at Blizzard's theme park contest site. The winning works will be displayed in this year's BlizzCon. Given that Blizzard always has a few surprises in store for us each year, who's keeping their fingers crossed for a real-life Blizzard theme park?
If you can keep them at that level, that is -- apparently there's a bug in the game with queuing up for BGs where you are sometimes accidentally transported to a graveyard when you queue. And for some twinks sitting just on the brink of leveling, that extra few points of exploration XP could ruin everything. Be careful with that, though we're sure a hotfix is incoming soon.
But nevertheless, people apparently still twinking -- while there are good numbers of people ready to leave twinking (or even the game), the majority of answers on their poll over there say that people are still going to try ruling the lower level battlegrounds. Which is about what we expected before the patch: these people live to bend the rules as far as they'll go, and a few more probably won't stop them.
Congratulations, Argent Valiant! You've progressed past the Aspirant rank and proven your chops at mounted combat before your peers. You've even become a representative of your home city in the Argent Tournament.
Well, guess what? Playtime's over.
Remember, the whole point of the Argent Tournament is to train all comers into Scourge-killing badasses, so now that you've proven yourself, it's time to crack some decaying skulls. And this time, you get to do it on horseback.
TalentChic, the site that displays the most popular talent specs based on Armory data, has updated to reflect the most popular builds for patch 3.1. They've also added glyph functionality via GlyphChic, which should help those players that choose their glyphs just by checking what's on the auction house at that particular moment. Good glyph resources are pretty hard to find, so we'll see how this turns out!
TalentChic won't be incredibly accurate for another few days considering the patch only hit two days ago, but it's pretty fun to see what the current most popular builds are. An Elemental Shaman build (57/14/0) seems to be the most popular spec overall right now, which is odd because Elemental glyphs aren't even the most popular Shaman glyphs right now, let alone overall most popular. Glyph of Chain Heal and Glyph of Water Mastery (which would be used by Elemental, I suppose) are tops for Shaman.
Free play-time given for server trouble - Thu, 16 Apr 2009 15:30:00 EST If you're one of the people who tried to play this past Tuesday, you experienced the same thing as the rest of us. The servers, they were just plain dead. Even since then, the instances and world servers have been a little less than friendly. This was all to put in Patch 3.1, but there were definitely some hiccups along the way. The game just hasn't been running smoothly, and some folks haven't been able to play at all.
Bornakk dropped by the forums to tell us that they plan on doing something about it. All World of Warcraft accounts in good standing will get one day's free play time. Your account has to be based in the North American, Latin American, or Oceanic servers, but it will definitely show up in your Account Management login within the next few days. Totally classy move on Blizzard's part, in my opinion.
With stealthiness worthy of an Arashikage, Blizzard removed the Flawless Victor title granted by the Achievement Hot Hot Hot Streak, along with the Achievement itself in Patch 3.1. This tiny little 'inconvenience' was conveniently left out of the patch notes, surprising many players who logged in to the puzzling message 'Title removed: Flawless Victor'. Conversations with GMs didn't manage to shed light into the situation, either, with the standard answer bring "apologies for the inconvenience".
Blizzard gives no reason for the removal of the Achievement and title, and forum posts asking about the matter have so far received no blue responses. On the other hand, Bornakk was quick to address the bug about the Champion of the Frozen Wastes title, which was hotfixed. It's fairly certain that Blizzard removed the Achievement intentionally. Some suspect that there were exploits that allowed players to obtain the Achievement with ease, while others dismissed it as a meaningless title in what is arguably the most imbalanced Arena season to date. With the Arena system being completely overhauled yet again for Season 6, it is possible that we may see the title return in some form or the other.
In what seems to be an inevitable move, Blizzard has ordered the controversial and too-good-to-be-true services of You Play or We Pay. According to their website, Blizzard found YPOWP's offering to be a violation of their intellectual property rights. You Play or We Pay, which stirred up a bit of controversy and a lot of skepticism when it first launched, aimed to compensate players whenever the World of Warcraft had unscheduled downtime. Essentially, it was insurance for WoW game time.
Initially, the site planned to charge for their service but eventually moved to a free model after some mysterious downtime of their own. It was such a novel idea that WoW Insider even interviewed the site's founders, George Tung and Milos Golubovic. It seems that this bizarre saga has at last come to an end, and questions of whether the site was for real or not (did anyone ever get compensation?) will never be answered.
Totem Talk: 3.1 Shaman Gear Part 2 - Thu, 16 Apr 2009 13:00:00 EST So it's been a heady week for us all. I was wrong about the patch dropping this week, and have since respecced my shaman resto in order to begin tackling Ulduar - 10 as a healer. Things I have learned healing in Ulduar - 10?
I am not geared enough to heal in Ulduar yet.
Razorscale likes to hit me with fireballs. Perhaps someone told him about my not being geared enough.
Ignis likes to put me in his slag pot. See Razorscale.
XT - 002 makes me the Gravity Bomb constantly.
Overall it's been an interesting couple of days. Since I've been running the instance on two different toons and on two different levels (10 and 25 man) the whole thing seems to blur together in my head, but so far I'm enjoying Ulduar. XT - 002's voice alone was worth the price of admission. Sadly the instance has been very unstable (on Norgannon at least) so the four bosses in the entrance zone (the Colossal Forge, according to the teleporter) are the only ones I've gotten to see personally. I did get to float around for three hours with Chain Heal casting endlessly at one point, that was interesting in an extremely boring way.
Last week we talked about 10 and 25 man tier gear in Ulduar. This week, we'll try and cover as much of everything else as we can. There's a lot to cover (and more all the time) so we'll just have to do the best we can, starting with the new Emblem of Conquest gear.
X Cross says that he created Breaking as a way to overcome his fear of Blood Elves. It's his first music video, which makes this solid, satisfying movie an impressive feat. ("Music" is the operative word there, since X Cross has obviously done other work.) I'm not sure I understand what he means by fear of blood elves. Maybe that's why his first video, Kippo's X-Mas, didn't feature that waifish mainstay of modern machinima. (I think gnomes would have been a wiser choice anyway, even if the model selection was based on some secret belfophobia.)
Like I said, the video for "Breaking" is solid and satisfying. I'm not sure it vastly redefines anything about the way WoW rock videos work, but it definitely exemplifies the genre. The hardcore band members writhe appropriately on stage, and there's enough elements of "metal" to make me want to throw the horns. I like the lighting, the blur effects, and the prominent machismo of the characters.
The backdrop "action" of the video features of blood elf woman seducing and killing several different men. She shape-changes from "fleshy belf" to "undead belf" several times. I think X Cross was wise to avoid completely explaining that action inside the video, as it lets the audience play with its meaning against the song's lyrics.
Overall, this is a pretty good piece. I look forward to the next X Cross video.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com. Previously on Moviewatch .
Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.
Utgarde Pinnacle's Svala Sorrowgrave impaled The Prophet Tharon'ja of Drak'Tharon Keep in this week's Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves fantasy deathmatch. Reader Talusazaroth sets the scene: "... The dueling arena is probably going to be the coolest out there. If we're giving the Vrykul her altar, we have to give the Prophet some nice ruined archways and overgrown jungle. So on one side, we have the Lich King's view portal, covered in ivy, with a tree or two and some nice, exotic plants, slowly giving way to her altar of sacrifices.
"As her alter, slightly overgrown, turns to hard stone made by the blood of many lesser Trolls, we would have stone pictographs detailing the Troll empire. The jungle on his would be half alive, half dead. So we would have blighted tropical plans spiraling up the broken archways. Oh, and birds of paradise -- got to have those flying around, getting turned into sacrifices and skeletons."
Enter the combatants, Svala Sorrowgrave and The Phophet Tharon'ja.
It was inevitable that someone would down Yogg-Saron pretty quickly, and less than twenty four hours after the patch went live European guild Ensidia have claimed World First on the Death God. Given the non-linear progression into Ulduar, a lot of other guilds were able to pull off world firsts on other bosses. It also seems that Ensidia was focusing on clearing Ulduar in normal mode, as none of their kills were done on hard mode. This means we're unlikely to see Algalon downed this week (not by Ensidia, anyway).
While it came as no surprise that someone killed him, what surprised me was that it was Ensidia. I was betting on Vodka (can I get a 'for the Alliance!' from anyone?) and that they managed to do it while many of the EU realms were having stability issues. Of course, it should be noted that Ensidia was the same guild that cleared all Wrath content three days after its release (they hadn't decided on a name yet).
We've gotten a lot of pictures from patch-related craziness lately. In this shot, Robert's fight against Archavon was interrupted by an instance server crash. Both the boss and the players were apparently frozen. As Robert was able to use abilities but not move, he popped all his cooldowns and humbled himself before the huge stone giant -- possibly the first time anyone has ever shown respect to this loot pinata. Come to me, son of Jor-El! Kneel before Zod!
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ihatemostthings' friend found something fun in the new(ish) game F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin. Apparently, wandering around in the game, you can come across a little terminal that has some familiar code to anyone who's ever raided with a more-than-enthusiastic raid leader (NSFW). You can click the picture above to see a closeup view of what the screen says.
Top of my list? While I love dragons (and have my eye on a Twilight Drake), the mount I really want is a unicorn. Yes gentle readers, an actual unicorn. Not a striped zebra crossbreed found wandering in the Barrens but a pure white beast of myth. Last week, while exploring the Argent Tournament in Icecrown, I finally found one. Granted it's technically a 'Quel'dorei Steed' but it's a unicorn - with an Azerothian twist. I only hope Blizzard decide to turn this vehicle into an actual mount -- and soon because I will grind anything to get it.
Anyway, it got me thinking about mounts (and don't forget we have an awesome guide on the subject). I have a friend who collect everyone going (he's got ninety nine at the moment) and strives for the Ashes to complete his collection, others are still using their race-specific epic mount or gryphon/wind rider. So I ask you, readers, what mount do you want the most? It doesn't matter if it's an old mount now removed, a ridable version of your favourite Azerothian animal or just something straight out of myth, speak up.
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Welcome, O WoW rookie, to patch week madness. If you thought run-of-the-mill maintenance and minor patch days could be dicey, here's your chance to enjoy the epic-level chaos wrought by epic-level content patches.
World of Warcraft has evolved considerably since its launch in what's now been almost a handful of years ago. Blizzard regularly releases downloadable updates, called "patches," to add new content and features, fix problems and tweak game play and balance. Through patches, players have gained access to new quests, instances, Battlegrounds, events, items and tools.
This week's Patch 3.1 is known as a content patch - a nice way of saying "a ton of new stuff we've added to the game that's going to make all hell break loose." The realms go up, the realms go down. The realms go up. Did we mention they also go down? You may log in only to find your characters nowhere in sight ("Oh #%$&, my characters are all gone!"). You may experience disappearing mail or auctions, random disconnections from the game and insufferable lag. You may find yourself merrily rolling along only to find the NPCs have disappeared, you can't zone in or out of instances or log out of the game, and you and every other player who's trapped in your zone are left with nothing to do but chat about the whole thing. (Almost makes you wonder if the Ice Stone has melted yet.)
Patch 3.1 kills dozens of servers in cold blood - Wed, 15 Apr 2009 21:45:00 EST Not entirely unexpectedly, many servers are having trouble staying up and active this evening. In most cases the server itself isn't going down, but rather individual continents. Northrend and the instance servers in particular are taking a beating, and at least on my server, Eastern Kingdoms is dropping like a rock every now and then, too.
If you had big plans for this evening, you may want to reconsider. At the very least, raiders may want to wait until prime time has passed to give things a whirl. Generally, these things blow over as people start to log off for the evening, and there's less of a load on the server.
Blizzard isaware of the issue, so hopefully we'll see a fix for it all soon. I personally suspect it's unlikely things will magically get better tonight, but maybe before the weekend. That would be nice.
Honor's Code had a whole lot of fun figuring out Flame Leviathan. If you haven't tried that boss out yet yourself, it might be worth reading before you do. First hand experiences are even better than regular ol' strategy posts sometimes.
Hoof n' Healz came to the realization that Naxxramas made him a worse player, and Ulduar trash surprised him a little bit. I fear that most of my raid will come to that same realization tonight when we give the place a whirl.
Of Teeth and Claws is just a little bitter about the current state of the game, and hopes Ulduar will revive the endgame.