What do you do for WoW Insider? I first started writing for WoW Insider way back in August of aught-six, and my first post on the site wasn't even actually about World of Warcraft. A few months (and many posts) after that, I was invited to co-lead the blog with Elizabeth Harper, and nowadays (many, many posts later) I work alongside Dan O'Halloran in running the whole site and coordinating all of our talented writers, as well as posting news I find whenever possible. I've also done quite a few of the podcasts.
What's your main right now? My main main is Shamanic, a level 70 resto Orc shaman on Thunderhorn (Horde-side). I also have a level 68 Undead rogue there named Punishment (best rogue name evar), and lately I've been playing a level 61 Night Elf hunter on Cenarius (who needs a guild, by the way). I've also got quite a few alts floating around, including a level 60 gnome warrior, a shadow priest who's about 50, a blood elf hunter around 30, another undead warrior around 30, and maybe twenty or so alts below that. A couple of them are, yes, paladins, but I've never been able to play them past about 25, and I've never gotten a warlock past about 15 for some reason. No idea why.
In the course of interviewing WoW players from the mainstream to the niche and from the casual to the hardcore, 15 Minutes of Fame has developed an intriguing little theory: players who confess to being "obsessed" with WoW actually have a pretty down-to-earth approach to the game. Oh, they love WoW, it's true, and devote hours and hours to it on a regular basis. But it seems that the players who profess their love for the game the loudest have given themselves permission to indulge in WoW as a hobby. While they dive into the game and related activities with complete abandon, they also seem to recognize that it's merely one part of their lives (albeit a fairly big one). In a nutshell, these aren't your fabled antisocial basement geeks; in fact, we find they tend to be downright warm, funny folks with a lot of interesting ideas and activities on their plates.
Take Kooz, the main tank of Fractured on Euro realm Bloodscalp and one of the creators of the O'RLY Show (seen at WoW Radio, along with the WoW Insider Show). Kooz's energy virtually leaps off the page, even long distance from The Netherlands - he's a fun guy to talk to who sounds as if he's building himself a fun life centered around his passion for gaming.
WoW Insider Weekly - Tue, 18 Mar 2008 17:30:00 EST Time once again for WoW Insider Weekly, where we put all of the best weekly content of the last week all in one place for you to click and browse as necessary. Warning: Reading content linked from WoW Insider Weekly may cause your player skill to exceed ownage limits. Take as directed.
Guildwatch drinks your milkshake You know that feeling you get when you join a group without a warrior, and when you ask who's tanking, the hunter says, "My pet"? That's the feeling that guild drama creates in most guildleaders.
If you win Arena matches for more than four hours in a row as a result of reading these columns, please seek medical attention. Click the link below to see more helpful features from our columnists here at WoW Insider.
The Sunwell Plateau trailer, released by Blizzard, has to be on the coolest trailers I've seen from them recently. If you have a second, turn the sound up a bit and have a look. You can watch the trailer right above via a YouTube hosted copy of the video, or head on over to the Blizzard page about Patch 2.4 and watch it there.
I give the people who made this an A+ for the day.
So with patch 2.4 coming on us soon, I was thinking about it, and I have to say that I can't remember the last time I was filled with this much anticipation over a patch. Aside from 1.8, which made Feral Druids viable, this might be my favorite patch. But why do I love it? Why can't I wait until the servers come up on patch day and we're allowed in?
Let me count the ways! Here's 7 relatively simple reasons that I am watching my computer like a hawk, waiting for 2.4 to make it live.
Massive amounts of realms offline [UPDATED] - Tue, 18 Mar 2008 16:00:00 EST The realms were up for a bit, but several have come down rather quickly. There is a news alert when you log on giving a long (very long) list of realms that are offline.
Blizzard says that they're performing additional maintenance to resolve some issue. However, unlike most every other time they've taken down realms, this time there is no ETA on when they'll be back up.
We can only hope that this will be a quick fix problem. I had a dream that Kaz'rogal will be dropping Kaz'rogal's Hardened Heart for me finally, and I'm going to be mighty disappointed if I can't raid tonight and get some of that phat lewtz.
Take a look after the break for the long list of realms that are offline. And remember, stay tuned to WoW Insider, we'll let you know when these realms are back up! Updated 8:01 EST: The realms down are now only as follows: Alextrasza, Balnazzar, Blackhand, Cho'hall, Destromath, Dethecus, Garona, Gorgonnash, Gul'dan, Hellscream, Illidan, Kael'thas, Kirin Tor, Ravencrest, Smolderthorn, Spinebreaker, Stormreaver, Whisperwind. The rest of the realms are back online!
Toy News Internationalreports that the World of Warcraft action figures from DC Direct are coming in the last quarter of this year. I love my toys and I love WoW so this comes as great news, particularly with the new selection of figures -- a Blood Elf Paladin named Quin'thalan Sunfire (hell yeah!); Tamuura, a Draenei Mage; an Undead Rogue called Skeeve Sorrowblade; and a Human Priest, Sister Benedron, who can probably cure your allergies. As with previous World of Warcraft action figures from DC direct, the sculpts are mostly based on existing armor sets that players might recognize.
Tamuura sports the Tier 6 raid set Tempest Regalia, while Sister Benedron is depicted in Tier 5 Avatar gear with exaggerated shoulder wings; Skeeve Sorrowblade appears to be wearing a highly-detailed version of Deathmantle, the Rogue Tier 5 set; and Quin'thalan Sunfire looks... well, he looks like he's a generic Silvermoon City guard whom you ask for directions. It's a bit disappointing, personally, although I guess it's cool to have a Silvermoon City guard. It would be kind of like having a named Stormtrooper or something. Historically, DC Direct's action figures have appeared in the World of Warcraft comic, so expect one or more of these new figures to make an appearance in the Chris Metzen-approved canon comic series.
More pictures after the jump. So clickety-click, toy lovers (and uh, WoW fans)...
2.4's not out today, but Blizzard threw a nice little consolation prize our way: A new Fury of the Sunwell preview page, complete with a trailer and a very spiffy looking wallpaper featuring Kil'jaedan rising out of the Sunwell while Kael'thas looks on, as well as an in-game cinematic trailer in which Kael'thas tells the story of the destruction of the Sunwell and speaks of his plans to reignite it and summon Kil'jaedan. if you're a bit unclear on the Sunwell Lore, this page explains it succinctly as well.
There's also a list of some of the new features, such as all the new daily quests, accompanied by screenshots. In what might be considered a bit of tease for WotLK, the screenshot for the Arena Tournament features a Warrior wielding the fabled Ashbringer (the corrupted version, but still!). It's also worth noting that we can add another Kralnor cookie to the growing list of them, the screenshot also features everyone's favorite staff-using Warlock.
Blizzard's done a great job with this page, although I have to wonder if this is a harbinger of more PTR time. It seems strange they'd only release such a well done preview page a few scant days before the patch goes live, but we shall see. It's fun to have some new eye candy to keep us occupied until the patch drops.
Raid Rx is designed to encapsulate and cure the shock and horror that is 25-man raid healing. Ok, so it's mostly horror... Anyways, if you're a big fan of X-TREME Whack-A-Mole (or are being forced into it against your will) this is the column for you. If you take a looksee at the picture to the right, you'll notice something staggering: +3206 Healing. I've enlarged the number for your viewing pleasure, covering over the 0 Hit Rating in the process.
We jumped on the air yet again this past Saturday for episode 29 of our podcast, and the results of that are now online (and in iTunes) for your listening pleasure. It's a pretty wacky show -- we have both John "Big Bear Butt" Petricelli (also of Shifting Perspectives, our Druid column) and Matthew "He once bumped into Saurfang in Orgimmar, and look who's still writing for WoW Insider" Rossi as well as the indomitable Turpster (who, we're happy to say, took time out of his busy TurpsterVision schedule to come talk with us). I was there too, but mostly only so the guys could make fun of my hunter's pet choices. We also discussed:
When patch 2.4 is going to come out (as of this writing, it doesn't look like today)
Definitely give it a listen. And if you've got feedback for us, we want to hear that, too -- drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tune in next week as well -- we go live on WoW Radio every Saturday at 3:30pm EST, and hang out in IRC during that time at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel. As I said on the show, next week we're going to have a show all about multiboxing, so stay tuned later in the week for more information about that. Enjoy the podcast!
Ihaveaplan of Altarac Mountains started a thread for players to list 200 things you don't want to hear from your DPS.The original poster's initial complaint was the Warlock who left the group because the tank was fighting multiple mobs.Some other gems from this thread include:
Bizzerk of Laughing Skull, "Does anyone have damage meters?"
Zazzi of Kirin Tor, "Do any of you have another weapon? My sword broke."
Groxikor of Daggerspine, "I'm pretty good with bandages, can I heal?"
Misada of Dark Iron, "Hey guys, can someone resummon me, had to hearth to repair my gear."
Ovelita of Ner'zhul, "We don't need a healer. We have a shadow priest."
Well, there you have it. No patch 2.4 today. This of course means that all of you who voted March 18th in the guess the patch 2.4 release date contest are not going to win, I'm sorry to say. But it also means that my guess of March 25th is starting to look pretty good.
(Warning: If you haven't seen Tales of the Past III, this video could be considered a spoiler. Approach with caution.)
They say that imitation is the best form of flattery. I hope Martin Falch takes that to heart when he sees this nearly three minute cinematic cut of his movie. DragonstarDT took all of the exciting bits about TotP3 and put them to music, creating a short video that gives you a vague idea of what the movie is about. With over 750,000 downloads of the actual machinima, it certainly needs no trailer boost. However, if you haven't seen it yet, this trailer might entice you to give it a watch!
Several threads have been started on this topic.At least one was mysteriously deleted within five hours of its creation.Snuffymcmoo of Terokkar has begun a petition to rescind the change.Druids are flocking in protest to the change.I can honestly say that I'm not surprised at expressions of outrage. I was just expecting a little more- They're Druids, not Warlocks after all. I apologize for my earlier statements about Druids rolling with the nerf-hammer.
Every Tuesday, Chris Jahosky contributes Build Shop, which takes a look into one of the many talent specs available to players.
It's been a long while since there was a Shaman build featured on Build Shop, and I think it's time that changed. I'm looking at an Enhancement build this week that's built for raid damage yet provides a good amount of utility and group buffs. As expected, the majority of the points go into the Enhancement tree, but instead of putting the remaining points into Elemental to buff personal DPS, this build places them in Restoration in order to provide stronger utility for the raid and additional hit chance for you.
When you show up to Archimonde attempts on a Monday night, you don't really expect much apart from a fun night with lots of wanton death and slaughter, albeit not for Archimonde himself. Killing Archimonde is pretty much out of the question at the moment. He's the kind of type-A boss who likes to demand absolute perfection out of his visitors, and that's not really what we're prepared to offer right now. We are more of an experimentation guild, the type that slaps things together with duct tape and then cheerfully proffers them for inspection, the type of guild that wanders off while important historical events are occurring, absorbed with what's going on with that duck by the pond or an interesting tree. Despite this, or possibly because of it, we've progressed pretty quickly. Too quickly to avoid leaving people behind, according to some, in the wake of an ugly blow-up that happened early in the evening and continued for the rest of the night in a flurry of tells, vent binds, and and anxious messages.
All guilds have problems and all guilds have drama; if you read the site you have the opportunity to see a lot of what goes on elsewhere if your own guild isn't host to a ton of trouble. My own wasn't for the most part until last night, and I tend to read Officers' Quarters and Guildwatch with the sense of clinical detachment you might expect from a surgeon's dispassionate survey of a necrotic limb. Not so much so anymore, I think. Guild-ending matters are usually the result of a slow burn you recognize only in hindsight, and when I read of of break-ups it's hard not to think about the names you don't know and wonder who was the whistle-blower, who tried to save the ship, who abandoned it altogether, and who was simply lost along the way.
Guilds are fragile families. This will be an interesting week.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because 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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. This means you. I'm not kidding, yours is not the exception. No, really. Sigh.
While I was attempting to sort out the truth for The Great Panda Debate, I came across Pandaren Express.It sounded too good to be true.Just type /panda in your UI and you'd be rewarded with an interactive menu of Oriental-inspired delights.It was too good to be true, it was a crafty April Fool's prank. I hadn't seen it before, so I thought I would share the link with our readers.
The prank was criticized for supporting the belief that World or Warcraft players are lazy and obsessed. I can understand the complaint, but I admit to tabbing out while waiting for arena queues to order pizza online at least once or twice.
The Evolution of World of Warcraft's many games To say that World of Warcraft has changed over the last four years would be something of an understatement. Major content additions have come at a fast and furious rate, from minor class tweaks all the way up to the Burning Crusade expansion itself. The blog GameSetWatch hosts a feature called Play Evolution that looks at just these kinds of changes. In an article this past week author James Lantz laid out some of the ways that Blizzard has modifed WoW over the years.
Worlds of Fantasy show focuses on WoW Worlds of Fantasy is a series that has run on BBC Four for several weeks. This week's show deals with books, films and "video games" including various clips from MMOGs. Around 37 minutes in, it jumps to World of Warcraft.
Behind the Curtain: Voice Chat - why bother? So here's a thing - I don't use voice chat in my MMOs. I understand why people use it, and why some guilds view it as a tool they simply could not function without, but I just don't enjoy using it.
The Azrothean primary elections are coming to close.Unsurprisingly, Thrall is a runaway candidate for leader of the Horde.The Warchief is carrying 70% of the vote, the closest competitor Lady Sylvanas Windrunner has only 14.8%.Thrall is currently preparing his campaign team for the general election.Windrunner is rumored to be preparing her forces for non-political endeavors.
Due to overwhelming support from write-in voters, Lady Jaina Proudmoore has decided to enter the election contest as an independent candidate.She would like to thank everyone for their support and promises an excellent running in the general election.
Remember to vote for your candidate by March 20, 2008. Rock (paper, scissors) the vote!