Two new offline LFG channels - Wed, 16 Jul 2008 19:00:00 EST The first social step anyone has in WoW is your Guild. We've talked about how it can form the core of your player experience, for good and bad. But, not everyone's lucky enough to have a Guild ready-to-go at everything you might want to do, and what's more, ready at a moment's notice. Many Guilds (rightly so) will expect each members to show some individual initiative, and maybe brave at least a few PUGs. Well, a pair of tools have popped up recently to help you get set up with people outside the limited scope of your Guild.
As a caveat: Both sites I'm presenting here are relatively new and untried. You're getting in on a ground floor, but we can't promise fame and fortune from them (yet).
Akussa sent us this ghost of Battlegrounds-past, which he and some guildies spotted being rode outside Karazhan. (You can see that it's relatively recent in that it's open to the Blood Elf race ... kinda.) The source of interest in the item comes because it only requires level 55, for a "very fast mount."
What some may have thought was a bug, a patch change, or even some kind of clever exploit is actually a remnant of times gone by. A veritable gremlin of the wonder-years of a battleground where -- to get the really good stuff -- you competed against every person in your own faction.
Back in that day, you'd try and outplay every person in your own faction to earn the top-dog spot. The better you did against your faction-mates, the higher rank you got. Then, in the old Honor system, if you got to Rank 11, you could buy your faction's honor mount pretty simply.
When they changed the mount system (making training expensive, and mounts cheap instead of vice versa), if you had the Rank 11 Mount. . .you got grandfathered to have the riding skill. WoW Insider extraordinaire, Daniel Whitcomb, reports still seeing the occasional 59 twink hanging out upon ancient War Wolf. I, on the other hand, ain't seen one in forever.
It looks like it's looking to burst back onto the scene in a big way, though, as Blizzard announced the end of the 2nd qualifying round of the tournament today. The next round will see the winning teams from the 1st and 2nd qualifying rounds facing off in live matches in Boston, Madrid, Seoul, and Taipei in the coming months.
The list of first round winners has some familiar faces in it already. MLG San Diego winners Frag Dominant will be competing in the Boston event, WWI winner Council of Mages will be competing in Seoul, and WWI runner up Improved Clicks will be headed to Madrid. There's no word yet on which teams won the 2nd round, or when the next round's matches will take place, or whether we'll get live streaming from the events. We'll be sure to let you know all the details right here as soon as they're available though.
Fixing "their" bugs which in turn breaks "our" addons and mods. The suggestion is that they don't care, or could take steps to prevent this.
As you can imagine, all sorts of responses cropped up, including the usual people who get into arguments with other posters, players in agreement, joking and sarcastic responses, and of course, an awesome string of blue responses.
Addon Spotlight: TourGuide (UPDATED) - Wed, 16 Jul 2008 15:00:00 EST Amid the madness of yesterday's patch, there has been some desperate drama happening in the official UI & Macros Forums. It seems the massively popular leveling addon QuestHelper has encountered some troubles, with many users not able to use their beloved quest... helper.
As with many crossroads in life, this presents an opportunity to consider a change, or at least a reason to try something else out while the developer of QuestHelper figures out the disconnect. Some time ago, I stopped using the memory-hogging giant in favor of one of Tekkub's creations. TourGuide may very well be Tekkub's greatest mod to date. It serves much the same function as QuestHelper, but it takes a different approach, one that doesn't eat up nearly as much memory. To me, it was sort of like selling my huge truck for a fast, agile Subaru. (Which I did in RL, yay!)
I've been promising to profile this bad boy for a couple of months now, as I've yet to finish my own work on it, but I felt like you all needed an alternative. Besides, you may end up swearing by TourGuide like I do, it was more my style. (I've been working on a guide for TourGuide, but my day job has been bogging me down.)
TourGuide is more akin to a traditional leveling guide than the so-called smart system of QuestHelper. With the "helper", I felt like I wasn't doing quests in the right order, at the right level and that I was missing out on some great quest chains.
This week, we get to tackle a fun topic: personality disorders. I mean, how your personality type can help determine what class you might feel comfortable playing. Now, it's prudent I mention that I am not a degreed mental health professional -- heck, I'm not even a degreed writer. I tried to play a doctor on TV but was told I had a face made for writing, preferably in seclusion in a fortified compound. So, while these may do a good job at matching your personality type to a class, I'm not making any judgment on whether I think you're nuttier than a bar mix. There's also a certain amount of tongues and cheeks involved here, as well. In fact, if you pretend the guy that does the voice-overs for the "Real Men of Genius" ads is reading these you'll get an idea of how tongue in cheek they are. Aside: Holy Cow, the original Survivor vocalist does the background singing on those? I did not know that.
The Tank: Your job is hold the monster's attention. Your going to have decent defense, but your main job is just generating threat. You may not contribute a ton of damage towards the kill, but keeping the monster's attention focused on you will make it a smooth ride.
The Healer: Primarily, your job will be keeping the tank alive. Sure, you'll also be healing the rest of the party, but the tank will be your focus.
Damage Per Second (DPS): With the tank contributing slow but steady damage, and the healer, well, healing, it's your job to actually bring the monster down.
Check out the gallery for a complete illustrated guide to the new faces and surprises at the Grim Guzzler, and maybe I'll see you there tonight for the Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain concert. Oh, and try the Sulfuron Slammer -- It's Plugger's newest specialty!
Oxhorn is back, and he wants the world to know that there is a higher power ... in the form of an invisible pink unicorn. For ages, people simply believed in the pink unicorn because it was written in the cookbook. However, when several scientists question one man's beliefs, will he be proven wrong?
Well, kinda. It doesn't really do anything. There are no animations other than floating. Don't believe us? Check out the video above. At least Sleepy Willy had the good manners to fall asleep occasionally.
EDIT: Apparently he will dance with you if you target him and use the /dance emote.
Well, I really can't complain. Emily and I had seven good years together. Saw the whole continent, from Elwynn to Plaguelands, and raised a couple of beautiful cubs. That's more than a lot of folks get in this world. If only that leatherworking bastard hadn't ... sorry, sorry. I still get upset about it. He's long dead now, of course, and I've got a new place to live. Each of the cubs has their own room now. And at least I can see my Emily every day.
(Thanks to Aetsin of <Serious effing guild> on Turalyon.)
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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no sunsets.
No other talent or ability in the game works or improves with Resilience the way Cheat Death does. Because the ability scales with Resilience -- the more you have, the more it works like the old Cheat Death -- it's a clear indication that the ability is for PvP. While there are talents that are more suitable for PvP than others, no other abilities are designed to work specifically with the Resilience stat. In this case, a Rogue would need roughly 442 Resilience points (at Level 70) in order to achieve the maximum 90% damage reduction. It's an ability that requires players to gear a certain way in order to maximize their gains.
Prior to Patch 2.4.3, many Rogues mixed PvP with PvE gear in order to increase their damage output (double Warglaives, anyone?) but were able to maintain high survivability thanks to Cheat Death. With the nerf to the talent, many PvE-geared Rogues suffered a significant reduction in survivability because low Resilience means an inefficient Cheat Death. It's an interesting shift because Blizzard has claimed in the past that it doesn't create trees specifically for PvP. In the future, it's possible that we'll see more PvP-specific talents that require Resilience or reduce Resilience directly. I think it's a positive direction in Blizzard's design philosophy.
15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.
Think you've got a hawt PuG raiding group on your server? You ain't seen nothin' until you've seen what's going on with the Leftovers of US Silver Hand-A -- and they're not a guild but rather a collection of pickup raiders! Check out these phat stats:
The Leftovers run some 70 to 80 raids per week.
Ninety percent of players who sign up get into raids.
Over the past 3 weeks, 661 players (on 1,094 characters) have attended a Leftovers raid.
More than 1,700 players have attended or signed up with Leftovers raids since the Burning Crusade launched.
The Leftovers marked their three-year anniversary in May of this year with eight Magtheridon/Gruul runs, including seven kills, plus four Molten Core fun runs.
With numbers like these, the Leftovers raiding community is anything but leftover players. They have raiding groups of all shapes and sizes hitting content both high and low, hard and soft, casually and on a tight progression curve. We visited with a hive-mind group of their leaders to find out why the Leftovers' pickup raid system has become such a resounding success. Read on for Part I of our exclusive interview with the Leftovers.
Somehow I missed the memo that Blizzard was changing the minimap to include an upfront clock, alarm, and stopwatch.It's a pretty neat idea.My favorite part is that you can switch the clock to read local time.This adds to time management tools located in the account setting to limit play time.
As I've mentioned before, I live in Las Vegas.It's a strange place, with time dimensions similar to World of Warcraft.You have to look pretty hard to find a clock or a window in one of the casinos and the floors are like mazes that are designed to disorient you.Why?They want you to stay there and spend your money.As far as I know, WoW has always had a clock, but until yesterday, you had to hover your mouse over it to see the time.You can always look around the room.I don't know how many times I've checked the time and wondered where the time went.I found it nice tonight to have it right in front of me.
We'll be straight with you, Guildwatch readers. Your intrepid blogger has been at E3 all day, writing like mad, and not only that, but is now surviving on his third day of sleep deprivation. So this week's Guildwatch is a little shorter than usual -- we still stayed up to get it out, and there's still the drama, downed, and recruiting news that you'd expect, but we realize that there may not be as much of it.
Worry not, though -- next week, after your intrepid blogger has returned home and refilled his sleep meter, we'll have an extra long edition of Guildwatch, and all of the tips sent in (to email@example.com, if you want to send us one) that we didn't get to will be published. Thanks for putting up with us, enjoy this week's GW right after the break.
Cheat Death: This talent has been rebalanced significantly. Killing blows are no longer 100% absorbed. If the Rogue is below 10% health, the killing blow is still completely absorbed; if the Rogue is over 10% health, enough damage will be absorbed to reduce the Rogue's health down to 10%. For the following 3 seconds, damage is not always reduced by 90%; it is now reduced by a maximum of 90%, depending on how much resilience the Rogue has. The damage reduction will be four times the damage reduction resilience causes against critical strikes.
Needless to say, Rogues are pretty unhappy, especially since Blizzard hasn't taken much interest in fixing the "vanish bug."Skudo of Altar of Storms takes this as proof that Blizzard hates Rogues.On top of that this must mean that Blizzard favors Druids since they rescinded their decision to make Scare Beast an instant ability.
If you use Titan Panel, you may see an unexplainable GM ticket open in the upper right corner of your screen. You may open that empty ticket, and then Abandon it. Your attempt will fail. But don't worry -- it's not your fault. It's Titan Panel. That ticket will linger there like some kind of horrific nightmare. But there's hope.
You can either simply disable the AddOn until they get the problem sorted out or attempt a "full UI reset." (A full UI reset is the process by which you basically delete the WTF folder, Cache, and Interface folders and more or less start all over again.) I personally went for the slightly less-intense "disable" option.
Anyway, good luck fixing it -- we just wanted to let you know this is what's up, since Titan Panel's pretty popular.
Edit: With a ninja-like quickness, Titan Panel has released an update which should help clear this up.
With the release of Patch 2.4.3 today, construction has commenced at the docks in Stormwind. It's located between Cathedral Square and The Park, at the end of the canals. If you talk to the workers in the area, they'll tell you that they are preparing to bust out the wall to create a new entrance to the city. There's lots of life bustling around the construction site, and here's your first tour.
We had a very special WoW Insider show last Saturday.With the usual suspects out of town Daniel, Robin, Duncor and I had a blast talking about all kinds of juicy goodness.You can download the show and listen to it whenever you like.
I've recently gotten my new Blizzard authenticator, and I'm really happy about it.Other folks are not quite as enthusiastic about it.
I didn't talk about my car once, but I did throw a motorcycle reference in there.I got a chance to play the role of host, sorry folks, no giggling or flirting involved.Was it as good for you as it was for me?We shall have another special guest host for the next podcast.Be sure to join us every Saturday on WC Radio at 3:30 PM.
Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we look at the issues around taking other characters to raids.
Whether you're currently raiding Karazhan or Sunwell, you've likely run into the alt issue. You spend night after night playing the same character, pressing the same buttons in the same environments, and reach a point where you don't need loot from certain instances and are bored stiff of taking your main there. Yet there's that level 70 alt that could do with some drops, and playing it will also bring a new dimension to liven up an old instance.
It's not usually as simple as just playing another character for the night, though. There are a number of issues that raid leaders and guilds run into when the concept of alts coming to raids rears its head, which this column will look at.
Advice for those with drinking problems - Tue, 15 Jul 2008 18:00:00 EST If you caught the MLG Orlando live stream over at GotFrag TV last weekend, you might have noticed a critical strategic move that many of the world's best players did over and over, particularly in the longer matches -- drink. Because mana-dependent classes don't have a constantly renewable resource such as Rage or Energy, drinking in Arenas is an important skill to master. Watching the tournament was educational because many of those pro Arena players knew how to drink like crazy.
The trickiest part of drinking in an Arena match is getting out of combat. Some classes, such as Druids, have an easier time than most but watching players escape focus fire with or without their teammates peeling opponents off them is really amazing to watch. It's a skill unto itself. Night Elves have a ridiculous advantage with Shadowmeld, allowing them to immediately enter stealth upon finding a safe spot to drink. This makes them harder to find, allowing them to get just a few more ticks from Star's Tears. Despite the nerf to drinking inside Arenas in Patch 2.4, players have managed to get those precious four seconds (and hopefully more) to get just enough mana back during matches. In the heat of combat, the nice cold drink is refreshing, indeed. Tips on how slake your thirst after the jump.