Wrath of the Lich King has only been live for a little under a week, and already players are tearing through its many challenges. Blizzard once said that players have a voracious appetite for new content, as soon as something is released they need to start on something else. Wrath has really driven that point home.
The first of many firsts was Nymh, world first player to level 80. WoW Insider had an opportunity to talk to him directly about his journey to level 80, and just what inspired it. Read on to see what he (and we) had to say!
If you're a Linux user worried whether you can play Wrath on your preferred operating system, there's some good news for you. CodeWeaver has confirmed that their CrossOver Games system-compatability product will continue to support World of Warcraft, even if your account includes Wrath of the Lich King. You don't even have to upgrade to a new CrossOver build. The current 7.10 version will run Wrath "just peachy," says CodeWeaver's COO John Parshall.
According to the press release we recieved from CodeWeaver, Parshall apparantly did most of the Wrath "testing" himself. "I played well into my mid-70s on several of my characters," said Parshall. Like 99% of the WoW population, the COO also played a Death Knight to about level 60. So, you can rest confidently knowing your Death Grip is totally okay with Linux. The press release obviously didn't say whether he tanked or not, but I'm going to assume a Linux guru has the skills to pay the bills, as it were.
CrossOver's web site does warn that there may be a few small problems, but that the game runs smoothly and exceedingly well. It comes just shy of running "flawlessly." Given that the COO of the company seems to be a devoted fan, you can assume that any serious problems will be worked out soon enough.
Andrade says the Blizzard recording was "the most secretive thing I have ever done" -- they didn't show him anything visually about what the character was or did, and apparently he wasn't even allowed to take the script out of the recording room. Andrade also says that Blizzard is keen to let voice actors do their thing -- rather than giving direction, they let the actor come up with lots of their own reads, and then chose the one they wanted to use. It's almost hard to believe that Blizzard's voice acting is so good, given how hands-off they are (you'd think they'd aim to connect it with the art or animation in some way), but Blizzard fans know how well it works -- the voice characterisation in Blizzard games has always been terrific.
Very interesting -- while Blizzard's voices are one of the things that have really made their games successful, it's strange that they've never let us into the process more. Their sites are full of concept art and model designs, but it would be cool to hear an uncut recording session or find out exactly how voice recordings are integrated with the game. Maybe we'll see more on that in the future.
Ask WoW Insider: Nodes and ninjas - Mon, 17 Nov 2008 16:00:00 EST This week's question for you, our readers, comes from an anonymous asker. He wants to know what the best option is for a widespread problem in this time of high realm populations and camped quests aplenty:
There's been a lot of talk on your blog about people ninjaing spawns but I'm not entirely sure that it's as cut and dried as that. Consider this: I was in the Borean Tundra and had to kill the mob on the island that's up the top of the steps. when I arrived there were around 10 other 'toons all waiting around. I had no idea who was there first, who might be grouped, or anything else about them. The first thing I did was /s 'group?', at which point someone invited me, and I grouped with them. Second time it spawned one of us tagged it, I looted, disbanded the group and left. Did I ninja it? If so, how was I supposed to have acted? With new people coming all the time, no knowledge of who had been there longest and no visible queueing system I'm not sure how else to behave. Thoughts?
A little more analysis after the break, and don't forget to post your own answer in the comments below. If you've got a question for our readers, send it to email@example.com, and we'll ask it for you.
15-year-old collapses after playing Wrath for hours on no sleep or food - Mon, 17 Nov 2008 15:00:00 EST Reader Danny sent us this article from Holland, where apparently (a rough translation of the piece, thanks to Google, is after the break), a young boy of 15 was taken to the hospital after collapsing while playing Wrath of the Lich King. He reportedly had played the game for fifteen hours straight, and because he'd only gotten two hours of sleep and had almost nothing to eat the entire time, felt cramps and apparently collapsed from exhaustion.
Obviously, it's a stretch to blame this on the game -- doing anything for 15 hours straight with no sleep or food won't be good for your health. There were millions of people who played this very same game this weekend (some probably even for the same amount of time or more) and had no problems at all -- they realize that to stay healthy, you take breaks, get sleep, and eat healthy. But this kid (and his parents) didn't do things correctly, and as a result, he ended up in the hospital.
Hopefully the kid's all right, and the parents have learned their lesson: they have decided to limit his time in front of the computer, which is exactly what they should do if he can't limit it himself. The article ends by saying that "teenagers" around the world are playing the new expansion, except that the average age of gamers is now up to just under 30, and the average World of Warcraft player is actually older than that. Fortunately, the vast majority of them know how to enjoy the game and stay safe and healthy at the same time.
Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.
Wrathof the Lich King is finally here, and with it comes a whole load of new lore and stories to discover. I hope you guys are reading your quest text! I imagine all of these new quests will bring up a lot of new questions as well, and to that I say bring it on. For now, though, let's field some questions from last week. Rosa asked...
Personally, I'm tired of Outland and demons and fantasy-tech and I'm glad to see Warcraft going gothic again, buuuut there's one thing that I love about Outland and I'm hoping it's not gone forever. Ethereals are, like, totally awesome, and my favourite unplayable race in WoW. The question I have is, do we see these guys anywhere in Wrath? And if not, do you think that we'll see them ever again?
It seems like quite a few players are in a hurry these days. They're in a hurry to be the first of their class or race to hit 80, or in a hurry to be the first on their server to clear a raid. They use the most effective method of gaining experience over time, ignoring all other options until they achieve their goal. In this environment, the role-players are definitely a breath of fresh air. This week's e-mail comes from a reader who wants to know whether "IC raiding" -- or raiding in character -- will be possible in this expansion.
Anyway! I run a . . . not sure what you'd consider 'small,' so let's say small (around 30 people) RP guild on Moon Guard. How feasible would it be for small, semi-unscheduled, IC raids (Naxx10 and other 10-mans) in Wrath?I know it'd be hard to do in fights, but do you think a small(ish) roleplay guild could pull it off?
WoW Insider Show Episode 64: Wrath of the Launch King - Mon, 17 Nov 2008 12:30:00 EST This past week on our podcast, Wrath was the topic -- getting it, playing it, loving it, hating it. Our own co-lead Dan O'Halloran and rogue blogger Chase Christian joined us, and we talked Wrath of the Lich King. Dan was at the midnight launch in Anaheim, so we asked him about that -- not only were there about 2000 people (and 100 Blizzard employees there), but there was a bubble sword and a hot dog-on-a-stick stand, so listen in for that. And we talked about what the starting zones were like (including two don't-miss quests in Howling Fjord) and our main annoyances with the game so far (none of which include, surprisingly, lag -- despite the queues, Blizzard has really kept the game alive).
And we answered emails, including whether a listener should play through his Warlock or Death Knight, and the perils of going after Mr. Pinchy. Don't forget, if you'd like to send us email, the address is theshow AT wowinsider.com -- drop a note, and you might hear it live on the show next Saturday, which we'll stream right on our Ustream page.
And finally, we're back up and running at full steam -- as of right now, every way you need to listen to the show should be completely fixed and functioning. So if you've got iTunes, head over to our iTunes page to subscribe to the show and make sure to leave a review while you're there. Or, you can even listen to the show right over there on our sidebar -- you'll get a new show there every Monday.
Get the podcast: [iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes. [Ustream] Listen to the unedited recording in Ustream. [RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator. [MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
This is a tough review. I'm a fan of music, especially ballad-like songs. I've never felt we see enough original fan-made music about WoW, and I'm still known to hum the tune to Big Blue Dress from time to time. Yellow Grows the Grass is a great song with good lyrics. I really enjoy the subject matter, and I appreciate what Boreas was trying to do.
Unfortunately, the production values fell short in this video. The animation itself is a relatively unmodified over-the-shoulder view of the game. The music track itself popped and cracked, sometimes even obscuring the words to the song. This kind of pained me, because I was really behind what the author was trying to do here.
I hate to see a great effort plagued by production issues. I hope he can get some help with a better audio track, especially, because I thought the song was strong enough to carry the video if not for that issue. And though the animation, as I said, was relatively plain, the chosen imagery itself wasn't bad. It seemed to me like there was a very strong script, but the "camera-work" itself is what let the piece down. And like "Big Blue Dress," if the audio were clear and crisp, the video itself wouldn't really matter.
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. Andrew asked...
For those of us who won't be able to play Wrath for a while still, what would be the best route to catch up with everyone and get into raiding as quickly as possible?
Just quest, really. Finding a good place to grind out mobs can technically be better XP per hour, but really, that's a horrible way to experience the expansion your first time through. Most of the people that did it that way (such as Nymh) did it after they'd already seen all of the leveling content in the Wrath beta. Just quest. The order I did zones in is this: Howling Fjord, Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, Zul'Drak, Sholazar Basin until you hit 77, then get Cold Weather Flying and move on to Storm Peaks or Icecrown until 80. Exchange Howling Fjord for Borean Tundra if you want. I just went with the Fjord personally because it had fewer people.
There are only two constants when it comes to fishing. The first is that fishing is always more fun if you're drunk. The second is that if you want to catch bigger fish, you need bigger bait. Unfortunately, the first sort of blurs the limits on the second. I don't know what Kevin here is trying to catch, but I'm going to get the hell out of here so I don't need to find out.
You should probably get out of here as fast as possible too, and stop by your WoW screenshots folder! WoW Insider wants to see all of your unique and quirky snapshots of the World of Warcraft so we can show them to the world here on Around Azeroth. Within reason. No more sunsets, no more Battleground/Arena scoreboards, and no more scantily clad ladies. Well... maybe if they're extra scantily clad, but not that normal scantily clad. That's so 1990. Oh, and make sure your UI is turned off in your screenshots as well. If you think you have something good, send it off to firstname.lastname@example.org and you may be seeing it here someday soon!
Yep, we've shocked the ol' column back to gasping life. The good kind of reanimation, though, not the kind you're probably killing in Northrend.
Wow, this took ages. We got a lot of standout questions while doing Ask A Beta Tester, and I went through all of them trying to pick out the best, funniest, most helpful, or most unintentionally prescient among them. To be perfectly frank, we had so many that I started splitting them into separate articles. I've eliminated the questions that I expect readers will probably have answered for themselves at this point (e.g. Death Knight starting faction reputation) but kept all of the questions that I'm pretty sure are still relevant to the first week of gameplay in Wrath. I've also made a few additions and updates based on what we saw both in the beta and now on the live realms. I hope you guys enjoy reading these as much as we did answering them.
I'm going to start off with the earliest series of questions that Elizabeth Harper and Alex Ziebart took in July and August. To round out the rest of AABT's best in the next few days, we'll keep moving through August, September, October, and up to the very end of AABT.
In general I've been pleasantly surprised at how stable my own realm has been since the launch. Yes, we've had queues, restarts, lag, and yes, we've also had an insanely annoying subgroup of people with absolutely no scruples over stealing quest spawns (to be fair, this isn't Blizzard's fault, unless you count their refusal to allow us to kill members of our own faction. I have been sorely tempted over the last few days). But in general, play has been pretty trouble-free apart from the crowds you'd expect at all the usual quest hubs, and the response to the expansion has been universally positive from everyone to whom I've spoken. Wrath, at least on my own realm, has gone live to a very happy and excited bunch of players.
But with a look at WoW Insider's inbox, I'm not sure it's worked out that way for everyone. We've seen a spate of recent complaints about server crashes and giant queues, and this weekend we've gotten a lot of them from people playing on Oceanic servers particularly (one of our readers, James Flannery, wrote in to tell us about an Oceanic server queue that went from 86 to 161 minutes during the half hour that he'd already been waiting). While in general I think it's safe to say that Wrath's launch went much more smoothly than Burning Crusade's did, I'm not sure everyone's benefited despite Blizzard's efforts. Possibly it's a function of Wrath being even more popular than anticipated in certain regions. If you play on multiple servers, which realm(s) seem to be doing best and worst? Have queue times (if they existed) and server lag improved for you?
Welcome to the first post-Wrath installment of Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column. Join Daniel Whitcomb on the bleeding edge of a new and untried class.
So Wrath is upon us, and we can finally start leveling our Death Knights on the live servers. That's right, this time it's for keeps. I'm pretty excited about that. One thing, though, that I haven't gotten to do yet on live servers is tank a dungeon. It's not that I don't want to, it's that 98% of the people leveling through Outland right now are Death Knights, so finding a healer is a bit difficult. Still, I did my fair share of tanking on Beta servers, and I played a Druid tank for years, and I'm figuring I'll do my fair share of tanking again at 80. Thus, I decided that this week is the perfect time to start getting ready to tank, even if Utgarde may be the first instance most Death Knights will get a group for.
Did you pack well enough for the cold? Allie gave great advice on some basic things we need while we're in Northrend, like food and other consumables. Depending on your level of progression or gear, your approach to questing or leveling out here will vary quite a bit. For well-geared players, it'll be a breeze to go through most of the zones as gear of item level 146 and beyond (Tier 6 / Season 3) will last a fair bit past Level 75 or so.
While the bare attributes on those items such as Intellect or Strength will often be superior to most quest rewards, other statistics will begin to fall behind such as Hit, Crit, or even Haste as we level and the ratings we need for those to scale become bigger. Here is where lesser geared players get a bit of a helping hand. The plate greens of Northrend, as well as the occasional blues are loaded with Hit, Haste, and other important stats. If you're going to Northrend dressed in blues or even item level 120-123 epics, you'll be able to quickly replace pieces that have scale appropriately with your level. In the end, it will all even out.
Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week Matticus is going to look the introductory zones of 70 to 75.!
Welcome to Northrend! Ready to take on Arthas? Here is a quick primer on the road to 80. For part 1, we'll look at an example leveling spec (which isn't Shadow), early spells, different zones, and some tips.
The Warrior is not merely a well-trained fighter who loves his weapons and armor and takes great care to wield them well -- inside each one is a boiling cauldron of rage and passion. By and large, warriors feel at home on the battlefield because it is the one place where they can express themselves, where they can finally let go of all the restraint society imposes on them and unleash all their emotions. Without his raging passion, a person would be much better suited to some calmer form of work -- it is this unquenchable fire which sustains a warrior, driving him into action in the midst of mortal peril.
Alliance warriors tend to focus more on training and weapon mastery, sometimes downplaying their rage so much that you hardly even see it. Some warriors like this (even in the Horde sometimes) may be so stoic that even they do not believe that they have any emotions whatsoever, although I doubt anyone who watched them fight could really agree. Something's got to make you willing to put on all that armor and risk death every day.
But Horde warriors are more likely to display their rage, bloodlust, and other aggressive emotions much more freely. Of course, it's possible that a Horde warrior could have a collection of stuffed animals, write poetry, and even play hopscotch with children, but their rage lurks deep within, and the essence of their profession is to let it loose.
Those who have played female Tauren since World of Warcraft classic will recognize this as the latest iteration of the old and equally annoying "I can't get into Molten Core!" bug. Now, while I personally have no intention whatsoever of entering Wintergrasp (which, given my previous track record on such resolutions, means that one of my more sadistic friends will make sure I get stuck there within 2 weeks), I realize that there may be people among the remaining 18 worldwide players with an itch to go an ungainly killin' spree. If I were you, I would plan on being solidly part of the defense for the time being.
Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.
Bugged quests can be loads of fun, especially when hunter-pets are involved. We once captured a screenshot of Baby Rhino flying by himself, but this time we were able to make an entire movie of our pet doing stuff he really shouldn't.
You are invited to download the YouTube version (26MB) of this movie here, and the full-sized version (37MB) here.
As always, a great big Thank You to the WoW Insider editors for allowing us to publish this movie both here and on our little blog at the same time!
Ready Checkis 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 venture into new (well, sort of) territory...
While many people are taking a leisurely stroll towards 80, seeing the sights and exploring all the new content, there's a sizeable contingent of players racing to get to the level cap as soon as possible so the real fun can begin. Many of these are aiming to raid immediately, but there's a lot of catching up to do before our WotLK endgame knowledge matches the depth of its TBC counterpart.
So if you are planning to raid early on, and are wondering about gear, preparation and whether you should buy that mammoth or not, we're here to help.