The heroic less traveled - Tue, 17 Jun 2008 19:00:00 EST Branch raised an observation today -- it can be difficult getting groups for instances which aren't the daily Heroic. Of course, in the same post, he claims he gets offers from characters who aren't quite heroic enough for Heroics. The problem seems to really be that he can't get groups that meet his standards for the Heroics he wants to do.
Bornakk first offers that he thinks experience plays a role here. Until you've experienced the content, you're probably going to be intimidated by it. In my opinion, you may have to enjoy some time with PUGs to get that experience.
The thread winds up with what I'd expected in the first place -- the issue is more about which instance offers the most badges for your time. The fate and future of badges has been a hot topic. Bornakk definitely acknowledges that we run Heroics for badges instead of loot. Since Blizzcast indicated changes to badge loot in Wrath of the Lich King, it'll be interesting to see what happens to Heroic badges come expansion time.
15 Minutes of Fame: WoW's new wave of new gamers - Tue, 17 Jun 2008 18:00:00 EST 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.
When I received a news tip from from Rainnajax of US Uldaman-H about being an "older female gamer," I admit that I rolled my eyes. Please, not another one who thinks having two X chromosomes makes her the most special snowflake ... Not another one who thinks being over 30 years old qualifies her as one of the Ancients ... When I read her entire email, though, I realized Rainnajax's experience was actually intriguing - but not for the reasons she thought.
While Rainnajax may perceive herself as something still a little unusual among WoW players, I see her as the type of player who's becoming the new norm. She's less remarkable for being female or "older" - or even for belonging to a well known gay and bi-friendly guild -- than she is for being among the new wave of players who'd never imagined themselves playing a video game ... until they tried WoW. MMORPGs are no longer the province of a single type of player anymore. Rainnajax is here as an example of today's new-to-gaming, non-gender- or age-specific player.
Nethaera steps in to answer his question, and shed some candlelight. Blizzard pulls its beta testers from "many places." Some folks win a contest, others are random, while still others are the result of specific targeting -- they want that particular demographic of player represented in the testing. They don't pick only the most experienced players, which makes sense when you consider the game's for everyone and not just the elitest of the elite.
Neth wraps up her posting by saying Blizzard's not yet determined if there'll be some kind of application for the beta, and that it'll all depend on what the developers want when that time comes around. I'd guess they've done some thinking on this subject. But in some vocabularies, alpha testing just means "a development phase." We're probably still a little ways off from the closed beta. Edit: Added a link to the thread in question, in addition to the Source link below.
Another thing Tycho mentions (and that makes it into the comic today) is that even for people familiar but not fanatic about the game like them, entering these tournaments can be really tough -- there are tons of solid decks and strategies out there, and if you haven't done the research, someone who has can very easily trounce you. They even mention a "three card infinite damage combo" that players can use. Unfortunately, that's way too far over my TCG strategy head to actually tell you what it is (maybe commenters can help), but it seems like for new players especially, these formal TCG events might be a little tough to get into.
WoW Insider Weekly - Tue, 17 Jun 2008 15:30:00 EST Our columnists work day and night to push out terrific weekly columns and features here at WoW Insider -- in fact, they write so much that you might miss some of it. That's why, every Tuesday, we cover our most popular features from the last week in WoW. If you didn't catch them the first time around, get your baseball glove out and keep your eye on the ball, because here they are again.
Twice a week, our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read moreAbout the Bloggers.
What do you do for WoW Insider?
I write the weekly Mage column, Arcane Brilliance, and feel incredibly humbled to do it. I don't feel like I'm anywhere close to being the best, or most knowledgeable Mage out there, and am extremely grateful that the Mage community here welcomes me into their lives each week and allows me to spout off about our wonderful class. I love to write, and I love playing a Mage, so getting to write this column is like some kind of huge nerd fantasy for me, and I feel incredibly lucky to do it.
What's your main right now?
Having said that, it should shock nobody that my main is a Mage. He's level 70, he's Undead, and he enjoys long walks on the beach while plotting ways to destroy the living. He's a PoM-Pyro build, specced specifically for Arena PvP. His current ambitions include gearing up for Arena Season 4 (and crossing his bony fingers for a rating high enough to actually qualify for some of the new ugly, ugly gear), and saving up enough honor to finally get some of the sweet new Guardian's gear. I also have a level 70 Blood Elf Holy Paladin who gets almost as much playtime as the Mage. He's the main healer for a very casual guild that's farming Karazhan right now and about ready to move on to Zul'Aman. I also have a flock of mid-level alts spread across both factions and multiple servers.
For the Horde or Glory to the Alliance?
Oh, for the Horde...my bias runs deep. I have a hard time playing my low level Alliance toons, simply because I feel like a traitor when I do so. Also, I like to kill Gnomes. I like to kill them so much.
Wow. The Mag'har may want the ogres of Nagrand dead, but Myst of Mal'Ganis may be overdoing it a bit. A giant funeral pyre composed of skulls and the severed heads of your enemies, on which you will cook your opponent and devour his flesh, is the sort of bloodthirsty gesture that would make the ancient Vikings proud. Then again, I suppose needless cruelty is the point of the blood elves, isn't it? (Note: This is a rhetorical question. Blood elves have no point.)
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. And please, no sunsets, Netherstorm sky shots, or pictures of open inventories.
Every Tuesday, Chris Jahosky contributes Build Shop, which takes a look into one of the many talent specs available to players. This week, Michael Gray guest writes to talk about the perennial Warrior build for the upcoming Season 4.
If you're like me, you're looking forward to June 24th with almost breathless anticipation. New season, new ratings, new competition. And like hundreds (thousands?) of others, we have a Warrior sitting patiently at the stables, prepping for the gates to open. He sits there, foaming at the mouth, smiling nervously at his partner Druid or Priest, with Mortal Strike almost literally visible in his pixellated eyes.
Build Shop has discussed Warrior hybrid builds previously, but that 28/33 build was focused on actual hybrid play - a mix of PvP and PvE. The classic Arena-based "Mortal Strike Hybrid" starts off with at least 31 points sitting in the Arms tree -- you can't have a "Mortal Strike Hybrid" without Mortal Strike. Mortal Strike is a foundation of the Arena build. While there's leeway earlier in the Arms and Fury trees for this build, the deeper in the trees you get, the more certain talents become "mandatory."
After the break, let's talk about the talents and whirligigs that make the Mortal Strike Hybrid so popular and powerful in the Arena.
Hooray. Outland. Now this is the real home stretch. This, at least for now, is where most of your adventures will happen. After slogging through the first 20 levels, grinding up to the landmark 40, surviving the boring trek to 50, and eventually making it to The Burning Crusade content, the time has finally come to make that final push. You should probably celebrate a little, because from here on forth you will get new trainable abilities at every level so don't forget to pay your trainers a visit. Although odd-numbered levels usually have higher ranks of old, little-used spells, so it's not a huge deal to skip training between levels. Besides, the first few levels in Outland are such a breeze that you can hit a few levels without getting a chance to visit the old world.
By this time, you really should be riding around on your pimpin' newmount. For Horde players, it's extra special because the Blood Knights get a tabard that's second in coolness only to the Tabard of the Shattered Sun, so there's every reason to complete the quest chain. If you entered Outland at level 58, questing in Hellfire Peninsula should get you past 60 in a very short time. The experience gains from quests are vastly superior to the quests in the old world, as well as gives heftier Gold rewards. This is important because you should be saving your money as early as now (if not sooner) in order to afford flight training.
At Gen Con Indy 2008, Upper Deck will hold a preview event of game play. While they've not revealed exactly how you register for the tournament, the press release we saw indicates you get an invite by signing up for their newsletter. Each participant is promised at least four rounds of play. Experience with this kind of game tells me that could easily take up three or four hours.
Starter sets for the WoW mini game are going to run for $24.99, while Booster packs will only set you back $14.99. A Core set -- with all the bells and whistles for two players to get going -- is set to cost $39.99. We don't have details on "loot minis" yet, but considering that the minis are tightly associated with the trading card game -- we kind of expect it.
There's more than a few of us who have to fight the "Body by WoW." While gamers certainly are not lonely losers, we have to admit several hours of immobile gaming does nothing good for your body. When you check out the above video, jump forward to about the :40 mark. You'll see what these chaps have done for those of us looking to trim some pounds while cruising Azeroth.
As pointed out by Massively, using the Wii Fit board to control your character's motion isn't going to become the new Warcraft SOP. The video demonstrates that you only turn as quickly as a keyboard turner. Still, for solo questing, it's pretty feasible -- if you could hack your Wii hand controls to fire your abilities. Otherwise, good luck face mashing the keyboard. (I'll let you insert your own OP-class jokes here.)
Hola, amigos! Even though we haven't announced the winners from the previous contest (check your e-mail, Austin!) it's already time for another round of Caption This.
So here's how this works. I post a picture during Tuesday maintenance. You write a humorous caption for this picture by Friday, June 20 at 11:59 PM EST. It could be a funny description of the situation or a quote that you imagine the characters in the screenshot saying. Examples of previous winners can be found here, here and here. Leave your captions in a comment on this post, and keep it clean. On Friday night, I'll turn off voting so we don't have a situation like last time where one late entry shifts all the numbers over. During the weekend, our team argues, wheedles, and picks the top ten or so finalists. On Monday, we put the top ten up for a public vote in a new post. Voting ends Wednesday, June 25 at 11:59 PM EST. After the voting, we notify the winners. If they respond to our e-mail and confirm that they're eligible to win, we mail out their prizes and write a "winner" post whenever we get both responses. Remember, you only have a couple days to respond to our e-mail, or we may go on and name another winner!
And what are these prizes, you ask? Well, first place winner gets a 60-day game card, worth approximately $30. Second place gets a choice of an I Survived Barrens Chat! or You No Take Candle! t-shirt from J!NX, worth about $20. However, to win you have to be eligible -- and to be eligible, you have to be a U.S. or non-Quebec Canadian resident at least 13 years of age. Sorry, EU and Oceanic readers, but legal restrictions make it near-impossible to include everyone. The official rules for the contest can be found here. Read them or be faced with a wave of attack lawyers!
This picture comes from the official WoW screenshot archives. The slightly larger original can be found here, and yes, that's a human in the middle. Have fun!
Andrew: "Right. Right. Gotcha." [pause] "I bet even covert operatives eat curly fries. They're really good." Spike: "Not as good as those onion blossom things." Andrew: "Ooh, I love those." Spike: "Yeah, me, too." Andrew: "It's an onion... and it's a flower. I don't understand how such a thing is possible." Spike: "See, the genius of it is you soak it in ice water for an hour so it holds its shape. Then you deep-fry it root-side up for about 5 minutes." Andrew: "Masterful." Spike: "Yeah." [pause] "Tell anyone we had this conversation, I'll bite you."
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Now you know exactly what I'm thinking when someone says "Lifebloom" around me. So, you really sure you want me to write for the Resto set?
Plus, that'll teach Allie to quote Veronica Mars at me the other week. I'll see your modern day Nancy Drew and raise you a Spike. Dare to escalate?
This week, I present you with the first part of a list of gear that the aspiring Resto Druid should be looking for to prepare for Karazhan.
Since if left to my own devices I'd just get you into all kinds of trouble, I enlisted the services of Bellwether at 4 Haelz to bring together the research. 4 Haelz is a blog by an end-game raiding healy Druid kinda person. She's smart and funny and neat and stuff, so go check her out. Her blog, check her blog out.
Follow along after the break and we'll get into the specifics!
In the weeks previous to the releaseof the Burning Crusade some of my friends were considering saving up a number of quests to turn in once the expansion hit to boost their leveling toward 70.At the time it seemed absurd.You may have a bunch of quests to turn in, but they'd be all over the map, that's what questing was like back in the pre-BC day.I just wanted to get in and get through the Dark Portal.
It may be a viable strategy once Wrath of the Lich King comes out.Taking a look at my alts, some of them still have tons of Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley quests.Since it takes 779,700 experience points to go from level 69 to 70, I suspect it'll be around 850,000 to get from 7o to 71. This meas a log full of 25 shiny, complete quests at 10,000-15,000 XP a pop will take you nearly half the way to the next level.
It's not something I'd do on my main character, but I would consider it with an alt.What's your take on saving up quests for quick WotLK XP?
Happy Tuesday, everyone. Today's Maintenance will actually be pretty painless for most of us. The servers will go down at 5am PDT, about half an hour from now, and should be up by 5:30, according to Bornakk. Aussie servers won't be going down until 5 AM AEST. However, there are a few servers that are getting some extra downtime. They will be going down until approximately 6:30 AM PDT. You can find can a list of the affected servers on the downtime post.
Even if most of us will be cruising past maintenance with minimal downtime, Tuesday morning's as good a time as any to get caught up on WoW news. The biggest news, of course, is that Season 4 is on the way, coming to us on June 24th. Read all about it here, then find out everything you need to know to get started with Season 4 at WoW Insider, starting with these articles:
If you're still grinding honor for a Season 1 gear set, you better work fast -- or get a tier 4 raiding group.
Here's a heads-up to all our North American night owls early risers and Oceanic readers: It's Tuesday morning, and that means maintenance. Luckily, it's a short one today. Bornakk has said that they expect most servers to only be down a half hour, starting at 5AM PDT and ending a 5:30AM PDT. There are some extra servers that will be down slightly longer, until 6:30AM PDT. Those servers will be listed after the break. Aussies can rejoice as well, as any Oceanic servers not on this list won't be taken down until 5AM AEST (Which is noon over here on the American west coast).
For the list of servers that will have a longer downtime, read on:
Didn't know there were different Zeppelins, thought it was a triflight system so that if I stayed on long enough it would take me to Tirisfall then to Grom and back to Durotar was on there a long time.
Didn't know they people were yelling at me to TANK better, I thought tanks plowed things and that's what I was doing
Saw alliance in crossroads and thought, "OMG," so I go an whack 'em and get camped for a day yelling for help.
Didn't know how to talk to people.
Saw a hunter with dual weapons on a Kodo and thought "WOW!"
Saw a raid group forming in Kargath for MC, asked them if I can join, getting told I cant roll with the big dawgs at 43.
where do u get liferoot if you can't herb? stupid quest giver.
Reader WoWspace of the Week: Finnicks - Mon, 16 Jun 2008 22:00:00 EST For as many different World of Warcraft players as there are out there, there are equally as many different WoWspaces for people to game in. Each week, we'll bring you a WoWspace sent in by one of our readers and let them tell you all about it. Would you like to share your own personal space? Just drop some pictures and your description to us here at readerwowspace AT gmail.com!
My name is Finnicks and I am a Warlock RPer from the Cenarion Circle server... and this is my WoWspace!
For the longest time I had a desk built into a nook in the wall under the window; it was built-in to the house. The walls of the nook and the angles it created wreaked havoc on my wi-fi reception. Add to that how the light from the window kept my monitor looking dim, and the lack of ability to move my computer where I wanted it in the room -- it drove me crazy. At last, about four months ago -- after like 15 years -- my parents caved and let me demolish the nook, and I picked up this corner-desk which now resides in the corner opposite the old window nook. The little mini-shelves for speakers are (I think) the coolest thing in the world. And, since the little light on the side of the speakers that changes color to indicate volume is just out of my sight, I have my handy-dandy little Donald Duck paperweight to reflect the light so I can adjust the volume with confidence. (Total nerd here, like really.)
Curious as to the rest of this WoWspace? Join us past the break for more from Finnicks!
Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.
This week there was only one choice for where to go and interview players -- the Oceanic realm of Thaurissan has been at the center of realm population issues in the last week, as Blizzard opened up transfers from PvE to PvP realms for the first time ever. I rolled a Dwarf on the Alliance side (where Horde reportedly outnumbers players at huge ratios) to see what things were like and if I could find some people with opinions on the transfers.
Things seem to be better than they were before at first glance -- we'd heard reports that only double digits of people were playing during even prime time, but when I logged on (about 6AM server time), there were quite a few people in the /who list. Ironforge was far from bustling, but I saw groups running around the Isle of Quel'danas, as well as running Magisters' Terrace.
In a series of pithy moments last week, Nethaera and Eyonix revealed the sad fate of the fearless crews. It wasn't, as Neth originally claimed, workplace safety hazards that caused the vendors to go AWOL. According to Eyonix, the sight of so many poledancing Blood Elves harrowed the seamen such that they were forced to plunge to icy depths and ultimately drown. Captain Placeholder, Eyonix jokes, is the human form of Deathwing.
I don't care if Eyonix disclaims two or three times that it was a joke -- for me, this is now lore and canon. Captain Placeholder is Deathwing, and I don't care what anyone else has to say about it. Clearly, he killed the boat crews to protect that secret. I fear for the fate of Eyonix for letting this spoiler into the public eye.