For our Wrath Dailies series thus far, we've been trying to do them in groups. For example, we did the Kalu'ak dailies first, and now Adam is going through the Cooking dailies. I've decided to jump out of order for this one, because it's actually somewhat important beyond just another daily quest. This quest is actually training for Phase 3 of the Malygos encounter, in which you do battle with the Aspect of Magic from the back of a red drake.
You pick up Aces High! from Corastrasza on the Band of Transmutation, one of the floating platforms around The Nexus. If you've never done it before, head down to the Transitus Shield, there's a quest that will tell you exactly where to go. Practicing with this quest will make the fight much, much easier when you fight Malygos one day, because the abilities the Drake has in this quest are the exact same as the ones in that fight.
Sprucing up your commenter icon on WoW Insider - Wed, 17 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST I have to say, it takes a lot for you commenters to hurt me, but I was a little hurt that no one, as far as I've seen, has noticed that you're all Ogres now. Our own Zach Yonzon created some fun little Ogre art, and all of our default commenter icons (if you haven't yet changed yours by clicking on your name after commenting and logging into Blogsmith) are now grinning cartoon Ogres. I thought people would be shocked when we first put the change in about a month ago (we also considered turning everyone into Murlocs and/or Peons), but it doesn't seem like anyone noticed at all.
As I said, if you want to change yours, just click on your name after you make a comment, and then you can login on that page with the password you normally use as a "Returning Member" in our comments (and yes we know the system is lame -- if you have issues, usually the best thing to do is to leave a comment as a "New Reader" again, and use a new email address if you haven't ever gotten the email that gets sent to you). Maybe you all just like being Ogres, but if you want to show a little personality with your icon in our comments section, feel free.
The many benefits of being a high-level Cook - Wed, 17 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST I agree with Relmstein: Cooking is awesome. Unlike, say, fishing (which I said on the podcast last week will never really stop being boring, since boring is "working as intended" for that one), cooking has really transitioned over the years. Back in the day, it was kind of a silly way to make new foods to eat, in Burning Crusade it became a pretty solid extra buff to have, and it Wrath it has really become a necessity for anyone looking to make their characters and their raids the best they can be.
Plus, as Relmstein notes, there's added functionality -- the feasts let you lay out an entire meal for your party, and the addition of the Dalaran cooking quests (and the recipe rewards) have turned the daily cooking quests from just a few extra gold and mats per day into a whole currency system on its own. Fooding it up ingame has become a minigame of its own, and with food giving out such diverse (and significant) stat bonuses, not to mention that it often fetches great prices on the AH, there's no reason for your level 80 character to not have worked a little bit on leveling up cooking.
Sold yet? One of the last things I did at level 70 was level up both cooking and fishing using El's Angling's great guide, and though it took me the better part of two weekends in a row, it's paid off many times over since. Cooking has definitely moved from kind of a fun third profession to mess around with to something that will seriously benefit you as a character in quite a few ways.
Vehicle mounts to work more like mounts than vehicles - Wed, 17 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST Here's an interesting mount change -- it probably won't change the way you actually use your mounts, but it is a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how vehicles are working out at Blizzard. Zarhym says that in a future patch (maybe as soon as 3.1), all "vehicle" mounts will be changed back into regular mounts. Right now, when you "summon" a flying carpet, it actually shows up as a vehicle to the game, unlike a normal mount, which is basically just an extension of your character. But after the change comes down (whenever that is), summonable vehicle mounts (which may or may not include the Chopper?) will work just like regular mounts.
This won't mean much in the actual UI (though it may change where your mount is saved -- I haven't picked up a vehicle mount yet, so I'm not sure if they appear on the mounts screen or not), but what it does mean is that Blizzard is stepping back from the vehicle interface. It's been buggy from the beginning, since beta and even after release, and while it's unlikely Blizzard will remove vehicles from the game, at least for the mount/vehicles, they're planning to go with the old mount code rather than have everyone using the vehicle code for that.
Interesting change. Hopefully Blizzard is also still working on tightening up the vehicle code -- it's never fun to jump into a siege tank and then discover that none of the abilities work. But for these mounts at least, they're backing off and going back to the old way.
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.
Yesterday we were talking about the Bros Before Ho Ho Ho's achievement a bit. Specifically, do you need to be level 77 to get it if you're a Horde player? Most of us thought yes, you do, but stacy (one of our readers) popped in with some pretty creative instructions on how to do it. Check that out, then we'll get on with the Q&A!
Anyone know a good place to fall to get the "Going Down?" achievement?
New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.
When school's out, WoW's in ... Is that the usual state of affairs at your house? If you want to limit the times when your kids can log in - protecting evening study time and bedtime, or setting weekend, holiday and vacation limits - then you need Blizzard's parental control feature. Parental control settings allow you to choose blocks of time that an account is and is not accessible for play. Players cannot log in during restricted hours, and they'll be automatically logged out if they play past their allowed time window.
The parental control is part of the account user interface on the web. Anyone who has access to an account's log-in and password can set up parental controls on the account. Once parental controls have been created, they may be modified only with access via a parental control password.
I haven't played a Death Knight on the live realms yet (I leveled one through the starting experience during the beta, and am only 79 so far on my main), but I have grouped with quite a few of them now, and the ability that real stands out to me and others seems to be Death Grip. A lot of the other Death Knight abilities are just new versions of other classes' spells, but Death Grip is a pretty new mechanic -- instead of charging or jumping away from a mob, you're bringing the mob to you. And with all new mechanics, players have found new ways to play with them. As you can see in the video above, Death Grip, when chained by a few Death Knights, can even be used as crowd control.
I've seen it used in a few other wild ways, too -- it works great as an interrupt, and when combined with a Hunter trap, it's finally a reliable way to trap ranged attackers and casters. And most of the Death Knights I've seen use it for pulling -- they suck the caster in from a group, and the rest of the mobs come with, and group right up for AoE. And I haven't even been to any PvP matches with Death Knights yet -- I imagine the uses there are even more hilarious, not to mention that I'd be yelling "Get over here!" every time I hit it. Very fun mechanic for the new Hero class.
The holiday season spawns many things. It can create excitement, anxiety, or shock that the big day's almost here. For some, it can manifest a sense of creativity that makes for really awesome gifts. There's a couple particularly cool items out there today, and your intrepid reporters at WoW Insider wants to make sure you get to see it all.
If your knitted Boomkin could use a friend, Alice at the Wonderland blog found the Voidwalker plushy on Etsy. The little guy is a bit under a foot and a half tall, which makes him the perfect height for huggin' and squeezin' by a fireplace. His eyes glow in the dark to scare away any night critters that might need scaring away. Unfortunately, it looks like Glowgoyle is sold out for right now, but we can hope there will be restock in the future.
BriarFox on the Livejournal knitting community created his very own Quest Giver Stocking Cap. It has the pictured exclamation point on one side, and a yellow question mark on the other. He used a "stella's hat" pattern, and modified the stitch to allow for the emblazoned symbols. He's not selling them, sadly, but maybe we can cruise around and find a commision. If you want a quest-giving substitute for your yard, you can check out the WoW-themed garden art Shelbi found Feral Glass last week.
Okay, I admit. I'm shallow and wish I could have both under the tree.
Mushanga created a new Wish Upon a Gnome episode for his entry into the WeGame.com Christmas contest -- WuaG: The Winter's Veil Whiners. For those of you new to "Wish Upon a Gnome," the protagonist of the story happened across a genie (the Dranei), who'll help the gnome out in his various hijinks. This one is obviously themed for Christmas.
Grandfather Winter has been kidnapped by a cadre of Frost Mages, who will hold him hostage until they recieve further buffs and damage. Hijinks ensue, including a cameo by everyone's favor Midsummer's dancers. It all turns out all right in the end, of course, and has a nice little ending for our hero. You don't need to have seen the other WuaG episode to understand what's going on.
I especially liked the climatic fight scene, set to Christmas music. The character models are all well chosen, and Mushanga did a great job of using convincing scenery without letting that background take over the action. So far, this has been one of my favorite seasonal videos this year.
I had an opportunity this week to sit down with the very intelligent and self-effacing Vulajin and talk about a few different topics, and I wanted to share some of that discourse with you today. We talked a great deal about the current Rogue hotness that is Honor Among Thieves and also concerning the impact that we as players can make upon the design of WoW in the future.
In this shot, Essaria of <Horus Herasy> on Alonsus-EU takes a moment to show off three of the most pervasive characteristics of Wrath of the Lich King: beautiful landscapes, stunning gear sets, and mobs that respawn directly freaking behind you when you're trying to eat/drink/mine/get a sandwich. Who knew that the NPCs were learning their tactics from rogues on PvP servers?
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. 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.
Arena Season 5 is here, a completely different season from all the ones before it because of three critical things. First, there are ten new levels. Even though rated Arena play will still be available at Level 70, the real PvP endgame is at Level 80, with new spell ranks, new abilities, and ten more sweet talent points for wonderful PvP tricks. Second, there's an entirely new class to throw a monkeywrench into the equation. How does the Death Knight fit into new team comps? Will they be enough to curb Druid dominance in 2s and 3s? The metagame changes drastically with one more variable. Third, unlike previous seasons, there will be three tiers of Arena gear. Furthermore, there will be numerous sources of Season 5 gear, and not just Arena play. It will be quite possible for players to get entire sets of Gladiator gear without having to PvP at all!
But if you would like to dive into this mini-game called Arenas, you'd have to be somewhat prepared. As with The Burning Crusade, the PvP stat in Wrath of the Lich King is still Resilience. Therefore, in order to be best prepared for Arenas and Wrath PvP, it's important to stack on Resilience. Even as many players get gear from heroic instances and raids, the name of the game is still survivability. The good news is that it is extremely easy to gear up in Wrath, and that includes PvP gear.
Breakfast Topic: Playing at work - Wed, 17 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST We talked about this a while back, but the coolest thing I pulled out of the "working at Blizzard" article last weekend wasn't the on-site gyms, valet parking, subsidized cafeteria, or the amazing swag, it was than when your boss walks in the room at Blizzard, it's totally OK if you're playing a game. Of course, as a freelance writer, I've got a little freedom to play with any free time I have, but my free time comes in small amounts these days (I only made it to 78 this weekend) -- being able to play WoW at work (and have it count) would be great.
Of course, some of you play WoW anyway (or just read our site -- don't worry, we won't tell your boss) even if you're supposed to be doing something else. And some jobs (security guards, IT tech support, a few call centers) lend themselves well to playing WoW during breaks, or just when the boss is not looking. What's your situation? Are you not near a computer to play WoW on at work, do you bring your own external drive in to play during lunch, or are you constantly alt-tabbing in case the boss stops by?
Boy, there's definitely no Naxx bump this time around (unlike the old Karazhan bump) -- guilds are hitting 80 and rolling right into the endgame. Of course, with even casual players moving this fast (surely casual players are 80 by now right, Ghostcrawler?) there may eventually be a problem of having new content to experience... unless you consider all of the rep grinding and Wintergrasp to be new content (and we do). But pretty soon, we'll have to have guilds reporting on achievements instead -- anyone actually beat Sarth with the three drakes yet?
In the meantime, there's plenty of regular downings, crazy drama, and some good guilds recruiting right after the jump, so click the link below to see what's new around the guilds of World of Warcraft.
Requiring arena points for PvP gear is a slap in the face!
I can't get this or that achievement because it involves something I don't want to do!
This is the end of casuals, I don't have time to play arenas!
GG Bliz, the arena requirement is going to make me go play <insert any other MMORPG here>!
Death Knights should tank!
If you're going to make us play arenas, let us PUG them like battlegrounds!
It is hard to find someone who is happy with this new PvP development. I'm indifferent. Personally I find arenas to be the best part of PvP and the purpose of battlegrounds anyway. Like so many others, you need not agree. That last theme however, Blizzard should players to PUG arenas, gave me a moment of pause.
OK, folks. I have a confession to make. This week's Shifting Perspectives was originally meant to be a full guide to gearing your Restoration Druid at 80, and I'm still going to post that, either this week or next. A lot of people have (correctly, I think) observed that this column has historically paid more attention to Feral than to Restoration or Balance, and it's my aim to balance (har!) that out a bit. Part of it is just that the people who play Druids on staff here at WoW Insider are usually feral, and part of it is that -- at least as of the last numbers we had on it -- most people playing Druids are also feral. I confess I would love to see the demographics on Druids post-Wrath, because I get the sense that Balance in particular has become markedly more popular.
But the Resto post is going to have to wait a few days, not least because my eyes are swimming from so much Wowhead. We found out today that Swipe's threat is getting a significant buff, but over the course of reading the pertinent forum thread and some back-channel discussion here, I ran across a few things concerning bear tanking that really made me sit up after the hell of tanking last night's heroic Old Kingdom and go, "Wait. It's not just me?"
Personally whenever I encounter serious problems in a dungeon I tend to chalk it up to the fact that I suck. I find this to be an efficient and typically accurate means of pinpointing the source of an issue. However, my fellow Druids, our problems may actually be more wide-ranging than that.
William Dobson over at our sister site Massively.com picked up this story earlier today. A poster on the f13 forums revealed that a corporate recruiter claimed they'd been given specific instructions to not consider World of Warcraft players for jobs. And we're not talking here about people actively playing WoW at work -- just whether the person plays the MMO at all. The theory behind using WoW play as a disqualifier is that WoW players are somehow unable to focus 100% on their day job.
There's part of me here that wants to say "screenshots or it didn't happen," since I can't imagine many corporations spending time and effort weeding out WoW players. I could see one or two HR folks preaching "Addiction!" and otherwise chewing on bitter apples. But several companies independently telling that to their recruiting folks, of their own volition and without prompt? I'm not so sure. If this recruiter is being honest with the forum goer, then I'd guess the recruiter her/himself is responsible for the WoW player ban.
Of course, that being said, I'll acknowledge this comes after the FCC commissioner claimed WoW can cause college drop outs. Maybe this recruiter happened to be talking to someone who had just heard her speech. But, still, I'm not convinced there's need to be worried about corporate conspiracies looking to pit WoW players into joblessness.
First we had a Druid do it, then a Pally, and then after Wrath Hunters and Death Knights got into the mix, and now it seems anybody with a pulse and a level 80 can solo the old 40-man boss Onyxia. Here's video of an Elemental Shaman taking the dragon down (Skitlash of the guild Unrelenting on Aman'thul), and we've even heard of a Disc Priest doing the deed (I believe that way back, when the Druid first downed Ony solo, a Priest, we thought on the podcast, was the least likely class to do it).
But time has proven us wrong. Does any of this mean anything? Probably not -- while it's certainly an achievement for these guys, the old bosses will only get easier as time goes on (until, of course, Blizzard decides to break out some Heroic versions of these instances), and the once-feared Onyxia will only become more and more of a punching bag. Grats to everyone who's been able to solo the old lady of raiding, but at this point, if a Disc Priest can do it, anyone can.
Erorus sent us some cool Armory-related tools he's been working on -- you can find them all at QuickArmory.com. Aside from the usual Armory lookup (with a much faster loading design), he's got an Heirloom item tracker (you put in your level and it will show you what the Heirloom items look like throughout the game), an Arena Points calculator, and perhaps most interesting, an Achievement Tracker. That last one actually does something a little different from most Armory sites -- it uses the Greasemonkey Firefox script to have your browser pull information from the Armory rather than Erorus' servers doing it. The output ends up looking more or less the same, but basically his site tells your browser what information to get, and your browser gets the info rather than his server. Interesting way of getting around the problem of stability, though the tradeoff is that you've got to use Firefox and install the addon to use his site.
None of the tools provide quite as much functionality as some of the other more specializedArmorysites out there, but Erorus does some new and interesting things with the Armory information, on the Achievement tracker especially. If you can't get enough of your character's stats (and in this case, happen to also use Firefox), they're worth checking out.
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.
Talk about teamwork: The First Responders-H bring pack pride to Lightning's Blade (US) in a big way. This two-and-a-half-year-old, multi-game clan had cleared most of Black Temple prior to Wrath's launch, is digging into Naxxramas with a vengeance and, beyond WoW, maintains a well known and successful XBox team.
Their tactics: military precision - literally. The First Responders are primarily firefighters, medics, police officers and military personnel. The guild accepts civilians on a case-by-case basis, emphasizing common attitudes about teamwork rather than the usual min/maxing or gear focus of other guilds. While their nontraditional schedules may dampen progression speed, it certainly doesn't dampen their enthusiasm or guild pride.