Tonight from the Patch 3.1 PTR we bring you the Alliance Area 52 guild Symbolic Logic fighting against the XT-002 Deconstructor, a new Ulduar boss. They are scheduled to attempt it on hard mode, and we'll have to watch and see how it goes. You can watch it on the above stream or head over to their UStream page.
Okay, okay, so it's not that amazing, but it's still pretty awesome. Soda (pop, whatever) is one of my few vices, and I have this strange fascination with trying out all of the new and exciting flavors that soda companies put out over the summer months. Do you remember 7Upside Down that 7UP tried a few years ago? dnL? No? I do. It was delicious. This? World of Warcraft Game Fuel? It, too, will be delicious, just like the Halo Game Fuel that came before it.
Release dates or availability hasn't been shared yet, the official World of Warcraft website states they'll announce that sort of thing at a later date, but they do have the flavors listed! There will be two of them, one for the Horde and one for the Alliance. The Horde's Game Fuel will come in Citrus Cherry, and the Alliance's Fuel will be Wild Fruit flavored. The Horde's version sounds a little too Code Red to me, so I think I'll give the Wild Fruit a whirl first.
Truly, we live in a great age.
Edit: I am a fool. A foolish fool. The foolishest! I just looked it up, and the Citrus Cherry flavor isn't Code Red at all. It's the same flavor as the Halo Game Fuel. For the Horde!
Where were we? Ah, yes, tanking. Last time, we took a look at some basics of Paladin tanking, namely a few things about survivability. That's just the tip of the iceberg. When I said tanking was the most technical play style in the game, it's because tanks have to look at more factors and study more things than healers or DPS. Aside from working towards important gear requirements, a tank more than any other player must understand how a fight works. While many encounters are survivable with a few DPS not knowing too much about the fight ("get out of the void zones!"), a tank who doesn't know anything about a boss is likely to wipe the group or raid.
In many ways, a tank is the most important member of a team. The cornerstone, so to speak. Because even though healers are indispensable, there's never really a 'Main Healer' position the way there is a 'Main Tank'. That's why a tank's responsibility goes above and beyond what players in other roles have. We've already examined for a bit how to build up your survivability. Today we'll look at three things: generating threat and the tank spell rotation.
There was an interesting discussion that happened on the official forums the other day, and I think it deserves a bit of light here on WoW Insider. Of course that thread devolved quickly into standard forum QQ and blue bashing, but hopefully that doesn't happen here.
The thread asked: are achievements optional?
This is a loaded question, for sure, so what I'm going to do is look at three different types of players and analyze what achievements mean for each of them. But of course to begin, it should just be said that any achievement is completely optional in the game. You don't need them, they deliver nothing to you that's necessary for your character to progress.
The casual is the person who chooses to play the game at their own pace for a little or as much as they want. The casual rarely, if ever, make appointments or schedule in game activities with other people. The casual may or may not be in a guild, and that's just fine. The casual is there to enjoy the game on their own terms.
If you've been following WoW Insider since patch 3.1 hit the PTR, not much of this stuff will be a surprise to you, we've tried to cover the UI additions as they were pushed onto the test realm. Regardless, the new UI page details all of the following:
Talent Dual Specialization
Updated Objectives Tracker
Looking For Group Improvements
Queueing for Battlegrounds From Anywhere
Go on, give it a read, and make sure you're not caught off guard by all of the shiny new UI elements slapping you in the face the day you load up patch 3.1. You can also check out the galleries below that we've done previously, which will walk you through a few of these things. If you're the type that likes surprises? Well, don't look at them!
Yo dawg, we heard you like Arenas, so we put an Arena in your Arena! Behold, WoW's Circle of Blood Arena map, transformed into a Team Fortress 2 map. Sure, it might not have the subtlety of Dustbowl or Well, but as a reproduction, it looks terrific. They even got the starting areas working right. And look at that sky!
You can download this map for TF2 and a very similar one for Counter-Strike: Source over at the creator's blog. I doubt it'll jump to the top of any major playlists any time soon, but if your usual group of TF2 friends also have spent some time in the Arenas, they'll probably get a kick out of it.
Extended maintenance for March 17th is extended - Tue, 17 Mar 2009 14:42:00 EST Today's extended maintenance, intended to last from 3 AM PDT until 11 AM PDT, has been extended further. As you can see from the picture on the right, the downtime has been extended until 1 PM PDT. We don't know the exact reasons for this downtime, but we were overdue for a chaotically bad maintenance day. To be honest I was sort of starting to miss them. The thrill! The excitement!
Anyway, if anything further happens with today's maintenance or we find out the reason for the further extension, we'll be sure to let you know. Keep an eye on WoW Insider, my friends!
The clip, while brief, has really been making the rounds through the community. I can see why! Even though it's only a short glimpse, it gives a much better sense of scale than pictures did. It's some fairly heavy duty equipment swinging the pieces of the statue around! It's really a shame that Blizzard (or someone doing it on their behalf) didn't film the whole thing for us to watch, I really would have loved to have seen it. This statue has been hyped up quite a bit for awhile now, it's sort of a shame that the 'ceremony' wasn't very easy for most of us to see.
My favorite line about this particular statue came from Mike Morhaime at BlizzCon 08, long before it actually appeared on their campus. I don't remember the exact quote anymore, but he said something to the effect of, 'The statue is going to be cast from solid bronze. Long after all of us are dead, that statue will still be floating around somewhere. Thousands of years from now, an archeologist will dig it up and think to themselves, 'Wow, humans were ugly back then.'
Many thanks to everyone that's sent this link in over the last day or so!
Perhaps you've heard about the new Holy Paladin talent Aura Mastery. If not, here's the basics: to get it, you need to drop 11 points in the Holy tree. For your investment, you receive a new skill which will, for ten seconds every two minutes, cause your Concentration Aura to make all affected targets immune to silence and interrupt effects and improve the effect of all other auras by 100%.
And though everyone tends to stop reading and gape for a moment when they hit the part about "immune to silence and interrupt," keep reading. That's right boys and girls, it will also double the effect of any aura you have up for its 10 second duration. Devotion Aura? Check! Retribution Aura? Check! Fire Resistance Aura? Frost Resistance Aura? Shadow Resistance Aura? Check, check, and check! Crusader Aura? Double-check! If you take a look at the video above, you can see Aura Mastery and Crusader Aura in action as two Paladins with Crusader Aura up race out on the Shimmering Flats racetrack. (That flash of light is Aura Mastery being aactivated.)
World of Warcraft allows an unprecedented ability to modify the user interface to meet our needs. Each week WoW Insider will bring you a fresh look at reader submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send it to us, along with info on what mods you're using, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After a couple of weeks /afk, Reader UI of the Week is back with a Druid UI on our hands from Frogs of Korgath. I'll let him explain his setup from here:
I'm a raiding resto druid, though I don't have much time for that as a full-time student. But I've been a UI fanatic ever since I was a wee young lowbie, years ago, and like to have a neat and well designed interface. Here's what I like in a UI: first of all, it must show all the information I need. Namely, I need a unit frame, cast bar, action bars, and chat, as well as the other less important things like damage text, minimap, and buffs. Secondly, it must not be cluttered: everything should have its place and that place should not be in front of a void zone. I like to have as much free space as I can manage. Thirdly, it must look nice. I like to look at my UI and see something to be proud of. So, how do I do it?
Hmm, I wonder! Full details from Frogs after the break.
There's some mildly not safe for work video shots in this video.
I am, in general, a pretty big fan of Legs's body of work. This WoW music video take on Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good" is one of my favorites, even though it was first released a while back. The video is titled I'm no good, as it's very much a direct carry-over of Winehouse's song.
As the video's story goes, it's about a couple who are having some "faithfulness" issues. The scenery and action does a good job of mirroring the song's lyrics. Legs's costume work is, of course, very strong. And while I've long admitted I'm a little burned out on the Blood Elf thing, the singing belf chosen by Legs is actually a pretty good fit for Winehouse's persona.
I think this is some of the best "band" footage I've seen in videos. L70ETC lends itself to "Hard rock montage!" Legs, however, has managed to create a soulful and almost "fun" vista in which the boys can operate. I think some of that might be the music soundtrack, but I could almost expect to see these guys in my local coffeehouse.
If you haven't seen this one before, here's hoping you enjoy it.
Forget Grimkrast. He's fired. My ambitions of having my voidwalker tank Sartharion have been dashed to the ground, and frankly, I don't mind so much. Grimkrast was a slacker who refused to hit the gym, anyway. Voidwalker tanking is so last season. Readers Brad, Domien, and Lifedeathsoul sent us something new to aspire for -- Warlock tanking! I've always been a bit upset at the design of Metamorphosis, particularly with the Challenging Howl ability which never quite made sense to me. As a Warlock, it was counterintuitive to try and get hit by the boss when normally that means death.
Sure, Metamorphosis pumps up our armor, and we get that awesome AoE Immolation Aura and that off-the-GCD Shadow Cleave (bet a lot of you didn't know that!), but in general Metamorphosis wasn't meant to make Warlocks tanks. Well, leave it to some Gnomes to prove me wrong. Here's a video of some intrepid pint-sized folk tanking everything from Cyanigosa to... Patchwerk. Don't believe it? Check out the video and see those diminutive aberrations abuse get creative with Metamorphosis. I, too, want to join the Warlock tank club. I just have one question... do I have to be a Gnome?
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. Adam Holisky will be your host today.
What is a grue?
The grue is a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of the earth. Its favorite diet is adventurers, but its insatiable appetite is tempered by its fear of light. No grue has ever been seen by the light of day, and few have survived its fearsome jaws to tell the tale. (source)
Who wants to go start a WoW based mud with me?
"Regarding the shift in glyphs...what happens if you want to use a Glyph of Levitate in both specs? What if you don't care enough about your off spec to get new glyphs each time you switch specs (for instance, keep your holy glyphs when you switch specs to shadow to quest?) Does it eat up your glyphs anyhow?"
Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
How do MMOs make money? The Simple Lifeforms blog went through a recent DFC Intelligence report on the most commercially successful MMOs and pulled out some interesting points. World of Warcraft took home the most revenue for a single game in 2008 with an estimated $500M+ and all MMOs combined (worldwide) earned an estimated $1,875M.
Chinese online game market operating in loss When many of us think about MMOs, we think about companies who rake more money than we could dream about. Enough money to put together a scale model of Paris made out of 20 dollar bills.
Will 2009 be the best year ever for MMOs? Tipa is wondering if the upcoming 2009 MMO titles will make this year the best yet for MMOs. EVE Online will be receiving its highly anticipated Apocrypha expansion pleasing the "impact PvP" crowd. Free Realms will soon launch to the delight of families around the world, providing another option in the "kid friendly" category.
Huckleburry of <Severance> on my home server of Moon Guard sent in this screenshot of himself as a leprechaun in a clover-filled field atop a Howling Fjord cliff. He also wrote a nice message "wishing the World of Warcraft a peaceful St. Patrick's Day." The message was negated a moment after this screenshot was taken, when an undead mage decided to celebrate the day by turning Huckleburry into a snake and driving him off the cliff into the sea.
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 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.
Here's a really interesting followthrough by Blizzard I never thought I'd see. You may remember a thread a few months back where the OP complained that the PVP sets were boring-looking or visually uninspired; Zarhym responded matter-of-factly replied that the looks of the armor sets would improve over time. While PvE players receive loot that was (ostensibly) culled from the sinewy piles of continually larger and more powerful foes, PvP players receive gear crafted by their faction's tailors, smiths, and leatherworkers -- gear made to get the job done. As one became more and more renowned, their gear would reflect said prestige. I imagined that statement meant that the new models for Season 6 gear would be (subjectively) cool-looking and (objectively) different.
Yes, you're probably having the initial reaction that I did upon clicking the link above. "These sets look like what's available now," you're saying, brows furrowed, lips pursed. They do look quite similar, but take a closer look. Things have changed!
We talk a lot about upgrades here, but these new sets go beyond stat increases -- the armor has been visibly beefed up, more parts of your body covered, more adornments added, more magic seeping from its seams.
The shaman head and shoulders appear to be morphing from the pebble-smooth surface into something far more menacing. The paladin's armor has become adorned with glowing gems and the neck protected. There's a gradual metamorphosis going on here that really shows what Blizzard was talking about when they said that the PvP set models would improve over time, and I can't wait to see what Season 7 looks like.
Sacred Shield, a Paladin's Level 80 skill, is a pretty neat ability. Absorbing a base damage of 500, this mitigation scaled with spell power at a rate of .75 to 1, so a Holy Paladin with 2,000 spell power would absorb an extra 1,500 damage for 2,000 damage absorption. Unfortunately, Sacred Shield had a nasty spat with the Retribution talent Sheath of Light since the launch of Wrath of the Lich King. This meant that Retribution Paladins, whose only spell power came from that talent, never got more than 500 damage absorption from Sacred Shield.
Patch 3.1 will, uh, patch things up between the two, who have kissed and made up and promise to play nice with each other. This is a previously reported bug, as Dresorull "the Thread Locker" has noted. He also dispels nasty rumors that Sacred Shield was never intended to scale with Sheath of Light, saying that it was a bug from the very beginning and should be addressed in a future patch. He encourages players to test it out in a future build, when Sacred Shield and Sheath of Light make beautiful music together. Neither talent could be reached for comment.
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.
"I realise that I'm not the first person to do this, but I figured it was worth a post regardless," Prrancer begins his recent post on the EU Priest forums, "mostly because I keep seeing people insisting that it's impossible without an offhealer. So here it is: I solo healed the entire Naxxramas without anyone helping on any fight.
"Okay, that's a lie. We had Vampiric Embrace, and we used Judgement of Light on Sapphiron -- only Sapphiron, though. But neither our Boomkin, Enhancement Shaman or Shadowpriest cast a heal at any point during combat. The Protection Paladin did use LoH twice, although he didn't have to. (He just forgets to use Lightwell.)"
Thus begins the story of Prrancer of Liquid Courage on Jaedenar-EU (H). This is a player who likes to push the limits - and from the looks of things, he's doing a darn fine job of it.
The game is easy now. Really. Naxxramas was a breeze, and the only thing that gave a real challenge to raids in Wrath of the Lich King was the Obsidian Sanctum with three drakes up. Blizzard tuned raids and dungeons to become very accessible, and nowadays pretty much every Level 80 has at least stepped into Naxxramas. You know what? I think it's brilliant. There are those of you who think the game has been dumbed down, and that's kind of valid. I'd like to think of it as the game opening up.
I mean, back then, who was able to raid the original Naxxramas? Sure, it was released pretty close to The Burning Crusade, but only the best of the best guilds got to try it. That's a thimbleful in a large bucket of players. I never stepped in Naxxramas before Wrath. I never did Black Temple, either, although it was being pugged after the nerfs. Quite obviously, the closest I got to Kil'jaeden was through the cinematic in Magisters' Terrace. These days, I quite enjoy being able to relate to my high end raiding colleagues in WoW Insider.
Of course, most of them have done three drakes, and I haven't. My guild's come close, but when our our brother and sister team of healer and tank get disconnected during the most data intensive part of the encounter... well, it's a taller order for us. But that's besides the point. We get to experience it. We get to enjoy it. Ghostcrawler lays out Blizzard's new philosophy on raiding, and I for one appreciate it. He explains that it takes a lot of resources to produce a raid, and that "it seems an odd choice to lavish all that attention on such a tiny percent of the player base."