Partying at BlizzCon - Sat, 16 May 2009 19:00:00 EST Tickets are only going on sale today, but already people are planning the most important part of BlizzCon: the parties. There's a whole crew of people planning to meet up at the Hilton, and if the past few years are any indication, all of the restaurants and bars around the area will be hosting roaming groups of World of Warcraft and Blizzard fans after the show every night. Whether you're meeting up with your guildies or just sitting down with random strangers to talk about whatever Blizzard announced previously in the day, partying at Blizzard's big event is always a good time.
Most plans are still up in the air, though we do have one event for you to mark on your calendar: our regular WoW Insider meetup will be held as usual on Thursday night again this year (that'll be August 20th). We haven't quite figured out a location yet -- unfortunately, I think we've finally outgrown The Lost Bar, as last year it was not only packed to capacity, and not only did my throat wear out from yelling to the crowd, but the bar's lone bartender has soured us on going back there. We're looking around for someplace a little bigger, preferably with a stage and a mic, where the drinks can flow freely.
Wherever we end up, it's sure to be a hoot -- we'll likely have giveaways, WoW Insider editors and staffers aplenty will be in attendance, and, probably the best part, you'll get to meet all of the fellow readers who fill the comment fields next to you. If you're grabbing tickets today (or even if you're just planning to be there anyway), stay tuned as we get closer for more news on where the meetup is going down.
Forum post of the day: Go blues! - Sat, 16 May 2009 18:00:00 EST Snaboo of Greymane shouted out to the Blizzard posters on the forums. He appreciates that they are being customer focused and social. This elicited positive responses from a handful of blue posters, except Bornakk, who's still grumpy.
Some posters disagreed about the attention the blues pay to the community. That they are slow to respond to "serious" questions or that they seem disrespectful of players. Crygil pointed out that in many cases there are several threads on a particular subject. The blues try to address at least one of them, but aren't able to respond in all of the threads on a single topic.
DreamHack, the world's biggest LAN party (according to Guinness), takes place in Sweden twice a year. They've just made an announcement of interest to us WoW players: at this year's summer event (June 13-16, assuming "Juni" means what I think it means), they'll have their own WoW realm. This is something that not many events have been able to do in the past. They'll be hosting an Arena tournament at the event, with prizes to be announced in the future.
We can expect the realm to feature premades and gear and enchant vendors, like previous tournament realms. They also mention "live showing of raids;" I'm not sure we've seen realms with premade PvE play before, so that should be interesting. More information on registration is going to be released "within the next few days;" we'll keep you posted. Is anyone thinking of competing at DreamHack? Has anyone gone before?
Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Archavon or Algalon, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, I attempt to find common ground with a casual player who's never raided and doesn't want to.
This weekend, I spent several hours talking shop with a woman who, as well as being a casual player, also has the unfortunate privilege of having given birth to me some time previously. As well as being my mum, Lynn is a gamer, and a few years ago I managed to lure her away from Guild Wars -- where she never got past level 10 -- to WoW. She now plays a level 80 enhancement shaman, as well as uncountably many alts (far more than me, and I'm an altoholic).
However, she's very cautious about group play. She socialises with her guild and has run the odd 5-man dungeon, but doesn't really understand the scene beyond that. Despite playing more than enough hours to join a raiding guild, she hasn't, and with raiding now very much accessible to all, I was curious why.
...is now recruiting - Sat, 16 May 2009 15:00:00 EST I've been reading the comments from some of our recent posts and realized that there is quite a bit of mismatch between players and guilds. There are casual players in hardcore guilds that find themselves being passed over in content. There are hardcore players in casual guilds that don't get to move on to things they want. Some players need a higher level of maturity.
There are usually a handful of guilds recruiting in the Guildwatch column, but I think, for today, we can do better. If your guild looking for more take a moment to comment with the nitty gritty. If you're interested in putting up a little advertisement take a moment to copy/paste and complete the following form:
The first batch of tickets to this year's BlizzCon in Anaheim sold out less than thirty minutes after they became available on Blizzard's Battle.Net store. While some buyers included sincere conference attendees such as our own Matt Low, the latest crop of goods over at eBay might provide another insight as to why the tickets fizzled so fast. A quick scan of BlizzCon items already include the goody bags from the August event, highlighted by Grunty, the Murloc Marine. Some are also selling tickets outright, with some auctions already going over $800.
It's a testament to the popularity of Blizzard and their games that the first wave of BlizzCon tickets has sold out yet again this year, and damning evidence of the lengths some people will go to make a buck. In this frazzled economy, who can blame them? Grunty, the Murloc Marine, that's who! Grunty doesn't appreciate being put in the black market like some dead fish! At any rate, congratulations to those of you who were able to score tickets (and actually plan on using them). The good news is that the rest of us who clicked too slowly this round can look forward to another wave of tickets on the 30th. The bad news is that those scalpers are going to be waiting to click right along with us.
I have to admit that even with the massive amount of information on classes and mechanics, my favorite part was the goofy fan stuff. I love how some people really get into their costumes and dances. I think I missed out most by missing the WoW Insider meet up. It's amazing that real people get so into our favorite game franchises.
For those of you who went last year, or even were following along with me, what's the best BlizzCon memory that you carry with you?
Tickets are sold out for the day, and most of us are probably a little angry, but don't forget! There's another day of ticket sales on the 30th! If you haven't made your decision on whether you want to go or not yet, you're running out of time and it's probably a good time to look back on the BlizzCon that was. BlizzCon 2008 lacked any major World of Warcraft announcements, Blizzard's other franchises stole the spotlight last year, but that doesn't mean WoW wasn't there in spades. Let's take a moment to look back on that, shall we?
The Opening Ceremonies BlizzCon 2008 kicked off with the opening ceremonies, hosted by Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. Morhaime delivered many facts and figures about the World of Warcraft at the time (if WoW were a country, it would be the 75th largest in the world), and announced a new class for Diablo III: The Wizard.
This post will be updated throughout the day today as tickets to BlizzCon 2009 are being sold. Ticket sales are expected to begin at 10:00 a.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT. Please feel free to leave a comment with your latest BlizzCon ticket experiences, and let us know if you run into any difficulties. If you have questions or want to be alerted to updates in a different way, check us out on Twitter today. 1:28 p.m. EDT: Sold out until May 30th. I'd really love to know how many tickets they released. We had people on staff in position 5000 in the queue not get a ticket. Older updates after the break.
Today being BlizzCon ticket sales day, Blizzard is anxious to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. In an attempt to lessen load on their web servers, they've temporarily disabled the Armory. In fact, this has been the case since last night, when I went to check out our main tank's armory after the raid (he had just gotten Shieldwall of the Breaker and I wanted to see what he was upgrading from).
This is going to be inconvenient for those of you attempting to form PuGs, especially PuG raids. Hopefully BlizzCon tickets will sell out relatively quickly, and this madness will be over, and our beloved gear-checking, snobbery-enabling service returned to us. How will you be vetting players in the mean time?
Why on earth would you design a prison with skylights? No one but the Kirin Tor know the answer. At least Ripps of Khaz Modan was thankful for the light inside the Violet Hold. He'd been feeling a bit peaky, what with all the hours spent in dungeons and icy fields, nowhere conducive to putting down roots, and his leaves were beginning to wilt. A blast of concentrated sunlight would feel better than a million elixirs. Now if only the rest of the raid would stop dying long enough for him to make his way into the sunbeam ...
Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing email@example.com 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.
WoW Moviewatch special: 7 movies you should know - Sat, 16 May 2009 12:00:00 EST Machinima's a pretty big topic. Depending on who you talk to, "machinima" could include story-based movies, PvP footage, boss kills, music videos, and even videography of altered in-game landscapes. There are uncounted thousands of videos about World of Warcraft roaming the internet, so it can be very difficult to know where to start.
In honor of the ticket queue for BlizzCon 2009, Moviewatch presents seven machinima movies and machinimators you should know. Certainly, these aren't the only 7 movies or authors you should know, but they do include some of the most popular staples of the art. If you find yourself chatting it up with a machinima enthusiast around the BlizzCon water cooler, you can probably be certain they've seen these shows.
We went for variety in this selection, choosing videos with different styles and subjects. They certainly aren't listed in "countdown to the best" format, since trying to rate these videos like that would be dang near impossible. Instead, they are simply listed alphabetically, according to the creator of the movie.
An ugly, unwanted child spawned from last year's nightmare, the Failoc has quietly assumed his place as the herald of doom. From the first time he appeared on the official website during the great ticket sale crash of 2008, he was become as much a part of WoW lore as anything in-game. Wearing his BlizzCon 2007 suit and waving a banner reading 'oops!', whichever bright spark at Blizzard came up with his creation must be regretting it.
I'll admit it: Armor Penetration has always confused me. I understand it moderately well - it makes your attacks act as if your opponent had less armor. The conversions from numbers to percentages, and the corresponding DPS increase, can be found at various places on the internet. But due to the fact that armor doesn't scale linearly, neither does ArP: going from 50% to 51% ArP helps you much more than going from 10% to 11%. This makes it pretty hard for me to get a good feel for.
As a consequence of the non-linear nature of ArP, getting very high amounts of it can lead to insanely boosted damage - as an unattainable example, I'm told that 300% ArP would mean thousands of times more damage. To keep ArP from getting out of control, then, Ghostcrawler has announced that they plan on capping ArP at 100%, meaning armor could no longer go negative (which it can now).
This was made with an eye towards future tiers; at the moment, it's impossible to get to 100% unless you have very specific gear and two trinkets proc at the same time. So this should have very little impact, if any, on current DPS. However, we may see a day in Icecrown when ArP, like Hit, is a completely worthless stat after you have enough of it. This strikes me as an awkward situation, but short of removing the stat entirely (which, sadly, I don't think they're going to do), I can't see a much better solution.
In the midst of all this, it has been the players stuck in the middle, their play availability up in the air, stuck killing Kil'jaedan over and over and over as they wait for Northrend with bated breath. That said, there's still been a few players who have taken matters into their own hands.
Reader Kongzaisent us a tip this morning that the recently revealed loot cards for the next TCG expansion Fields of Honor are available for testing on the PTR. He hotfotted it down to Booty Bay and reports that it is indeed possible to sample the latest loot using the same codes as in previous PTR tests. All you need to do is enter the following when prompted by Landro:
1111 for the Path of Cenarius 2222 for the Ogre Pinata 3333 for the Magic Rooster Egg (aka El Pollo Grande)
Kongzai was also able to shed a little more information on the loot itself. He reports that Path of Cenarius is the common item, coming in stacks of 100 and lasts for five minutes. The Ogre Pinata is, as I predicted, BoP and thirty minute cooldown. He comes with 5000 HP and, when destroyed, leaves a stack of gumballs in his wake which grant a buff that makes you blow bubbles. Awesome. He also told us that El Pollo Grande costs 100g which is not a bad amount for such a cool mount.
This news comes mere hours after Upper Deck posted a loot card preview on their official site featuring screens and the first video of the must-have chicken mount El Pollo Grande.
Well, it's that time of year again -- that special time of year when a young man's thoughts of buying BlizzCon tickets turn to a creeping psychosis. When dark whispers echo from the cavernous depths of the serpentine tunnels beneath the earth's crust, their walls emblazoned with pulsing eldritch symbols unknown to any living civilization. When dreamers with minds unguarded bear witness to the psychic rumblings of beings lost to time. If you listen closely you can hear it, sussurating even now...
So let's see just what's causing our writers' sanity levels to drop dangerously low this weekend.
Adam "Holisky: Trying to pull off 75 daily quests from Friday through Sunday.
Alex Ziebart: I won't be doing anything. I profaned an ancient tomb and now I've switched bodies with a Peruvian pygymy mummy! A primeval headhunter is running around in my body! If only I could alert an expert in mystical anthropology who could provide a tincture, or perhaps a talisman, to break the spell.
Tanking Death Knights, don't buy those Glyphs of Icebound Fortitude just yet. The glyph is meant to make Icebound Fortitude a little more potent in PvP, where a DK is unlikely to have much defense on. But apparently (and this is news to me), there was a bug where it was giving benefits even to def-capped DKs, and thus many people were picking it up for PvE use.
As always happened eventually, Blizzard has spotted the bug, and they're going to be hotfixing it soon. The glyph will still keep its intended effect; PvP DKs will not see a change, most likely. But now I'm curious: what was the glyph doing for tanks? Was it adding 10% onto IBF at all times, or something?
And whether you're in Colorado or California or anywhere else, if you haven't checked Arthas out yet, it's definitely worth a shot. If you have anything more than a passing interest in WoW Lore, you owe it to yourself to buy or borrow this book. Not only is it the best piece of non-game Warcraft fiction according to multiple members of the WoW Insider team, but it contains tidbits of lore and happenings that are almost sure to figure prominently in future patches and expansions. You can read our review of the book for more of my gushing on the book.
But anyway, if you're in the Loveland area and happen to drop by Barnes and Noble, let us know if anything cool goes down, and happy reading.
In just a few short hours from now, we'll have our first chance to get our hands on BlizzCon tickets. Many of you (and most of us, too) are probably already parked in front of your computers, hoping and praying that Blizzard's new queue system works as intended and the whole thing goes smoothly. What I'm curious to find out is exactly how many of you are actually doing that.
We know it's a lot, because BlizzCon's popularity speaks for itself. I think that any of you that were around for last year's ticket sales know that very well. This year, though, there are more offerings that will let you see BlizzCon without actually attending BlizzCon. DIRECTV customers can see the whole thing on PPV for just shy of $40, and non-DIRECTV customers can stream it online for the same price. That's quite a bit cheaper than making a trip to California. That's not even taking all of the fansites into consideration, either. I've had a few people say to me, "Why go to BlizzCon when I can just read the liveblogs on X and Y site?"
Where do you stand on this whole thing? Are you going to try to get tickets, or are you going to avoid getting wrapped up in the mess this year? I, for one, will be in the queue today.