It's interesting that we've seen Blizzard keep both of these agreements intact, but we already know that they'll cancel relationships they don't see as working (with the notable example of Netease's takeover in China). Of course, there are tons of factors that go into players' connections (including this server connection as well as your own ISP, your router and computer, and a number of other facilities and stops in between), but it would seem that Blizzard is happy with the way things are going in both the EU and the US with these providers. Of course everyone's personal experiences are different, and we've certainly seen our share of connection issues, but in general, the infrastructure on the networks is in a pretty good place.
Ensidia, the European super-guild that resulted from the merger of SK-Gaming and Nihilum last year, has just made the world first kill of the 10-man version of Algalon, Ulduar's true final boss. Algalon is only accessible after completing every other hard mode in Ulduar, and guilds are only given 60 minutes per week of attempts on him. 25-man Algalon has not yet been killed.
For details on the loot, see Ensidia's announcement; there's some great stuff there. Mek, from Ensidia, had this to say about the fight: "It's a pretty intense fight but not quite as hard as Blizzard made it out to be. The 1 hour timer is the real challenge since you must do a perfect attempt within it." Of course, I think "not quite as hard" for Ensidia is probably a pretty good challenge for the rest of us mortals. Congratulations, Ensidia!
BlizzCon tickets: how it went, and what's next - Mon, 18 May 2009 17:00:00 EST Yes, if you were around on Saturday, you know that the first round of BlizzCon tickets sold out, and sold out fast. Tickets went on sale right around 10am PST (which was 1pm EST), and sold out just about 28 minutes later. If the queue numbers are trustworthy, over 21,000 people (we've heard as high as 25,000 at a time) logged in to buy tickets that day, and from unconfirmed reports around the web, it seems like about 5,000 to 8,000 tickets were sold: most people who got in line around number 5,000 were able to pick a ticket up, and that was a few minutes in already. Some of those people are already selling tickets on eBay as well.
We believe (though aren't sure) that they'll be selling more than 15,000 tickets this year, since that's what they sold last year and they're using even more of the convention space. If that's true, then Blizzard probably went through only about half of the tickets, and will sell the rest during the second session on the 30th. But that's probably not much of a consolation -- given the frenzy around this last Saturday, there'll probably be more people trying for tickets, and given the prices on eBay, possibly more scalpers clogging up the queue. We'll see.
This is a few days old, but still a quality post. The original poster has a bad experience with a Pop-Tart, leading to nerf calls against fire damage - apparently a pastry being able to take his tongue down to 60% in one GCD is just too much burst. Of course, if the opponents hadn't been running a Pop-Tart/Toaster combo, this never would have happened; burn damage is highly situational.
It's a good set-up, but the thread really starts to shine when later posters get into it, like "You didn't specify the flavour of the pop tart, so we can't exactly see what the problem was. If it was strawberry that's kinda understandable since it is considered a hero class, but if it was brown sugar, yeah, you're making this up." You heard it here first: Strawberry is the Death Knight of toaster snacks.
What do you think: do Pop-Tarts need nerfs, or do you side with the poster who says that "Pop Tarts are fine. l2eat"?
Solving the mathmatical tangles of ArPen - Mon, 18 May 2009 15:00:00 EST Armor penetration is probably one of the most misunderstood stats in the game, for a number of reasons. First of all, it's only become popular lately -- while it's been in the game since 1.10, it's only started showing up regularly on items in Wrath. And even then it's really only a meta-meta stat: the core abilities like Strength and Agility are easy to understand, the next level of abilities are things like hit rating and crit rating, and then armor penetration, you could argue, goes another level after that: it's a stat that affects a stat affected by a stat. It's for that reason, then, that Xanthan argues we need a more elegant solution.
Armor penetration basically allows you to hit an opponent as if they're wearing less armor than they really are. That's not to hard to understand -- if you have a certain amount of armor penetration, then the opponent armor number in the equation that determines damage done is lower (edit: by a percentage, not a number) than it would usually be. But the confusion comes in when you see how armor penetration scales. It actually scales exponentially, not linearly -- if you have no ArP and you increase it by a little bit, you only get a little extra damage increase. But if you have a lot, and you add a little more onto that, then you'll get a bigger damage increase, due to the way the math works (I'm bad at math, but Xanthan has an excellent, clear description of the calculations in the forum thread, and we've posted some explanations before as well). Blizzard recently capped ArP at 100% (so you could never get into a place where you're reducing armor below the amount of armor that's there), but it's still possible to have the amount of armor reduced equal the amount of armor on a target, causing the equation of armor vs. armor penetration to divide by 0, and at that point, things get wacky, and terms like "infinite damage" come into play.
According to the site, Blizzard Europe is looking for Customer Support Representatives in Italian and Polish, along with Customer and Billing Support and Customer and Technical Support. Under their Web Team, they are looking to fill Web Editor positions in both languages, while under Community they are looking for Online Community Representatives. All these positions are based in either Paris, France or Cork, Ireland.
We have contacted Blizzard Europe for a comment and are currently awaiting a response.
As people approach the end of their lives, they often think about how they will bestow their wealth and possessions, what is called their "estate." Guilds likewise have an estate in the form of their bank: BOEs, consumables, mats, all sorts of miscellaneous items, and potentially thousands in gold. Most guilds have an awful lot of stuff in there. So who gets what if the guild goes six-feet under? This week, a reader asks how to go about dividing it all up.
I'm in a "progression" guild and we are in the tough situation that we were doing good in Ulduar until Final Exams came up for many of our raiders. [. . .] Over the course of a 2 week break, the amount of raiding actually completed was dismal due to low attendance [. . .] The GM and RL logged on basically to say that they were taking an indefinite break from the game, and as soon as this happened, one of our tanks left for greener pastures, leaving us with only one tank (Me being the "MT" and the RL being another tank).
On our guild website, this was posted by 3 of the officers:
Well you have all been wondering what state the guild is in, so I'm here to address the guild and let you know. [. . .]
We're going to give [our guild] another week to pull together a 25 man raid. if we're unable to get together a 25 man and make some successful runs in Ulduar next week, it's safe to say that we're going to fold, and you will all be free to explore your other options.[. . .]
WoW Insider Show Episode 90: Learning the accent - Mon, 18 May 2009 12:30:00 EST We took to the virtual airwaves yet again last Wednesday, and despite a few audio issues (curse you, Ret Monkey!), we got a nice show in, including some talk about what's coming down in the PTR, including the changes in Wintergrasp. And as usual, we answer your emails -- this week's panel of Amanda Dean, Lesley Smith, and Turpster and I have all kinds of useful advice for you readers. Listen in and maybe you'll learn something.
And of course, next Saturday at 3:30pm Eastern is our big video show, featuring actual web video of all your favorite WoW Insider folks, and a few special guests, too. Plus, after the show, we're going to be hanging out on the It Came from the Blog realm of Zangarmarsh, where Turpster and I will duel, Peggle-style. Definitely be sure not to miss it -- we'll see you then.
Get the podcast: [iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes. [RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator. [MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
The video is smile-worthy enough to watch a couple of times, and I think it's fun for quick, low-pressure viewing. The video uses all the same tactics and gags as the first one, though, so I'm not sure how much more play it has left along those lines. WoW 101 is certainly a good idea, but maybe adding another voice actor would help expand the universe for any further episodes.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com. Previously on Moviewatch
From our readers: Always a DPSer, never a tank - Mon, 18 May 2009 11:00:00 EST We get a lot of email from our readers who are trying to improve their in-game experience. I'd like to take a moment to address a reader who's struggling to find or make the right guild. Beware of the following wall of text.
I started playing over a year ago. Never have been able to find a good guild. I'm a warrior tank. Love it. Even made a second just for fun. Trouble is, it seems all of the guilds that can do anything already have their tanks. I'm really sick of pugging Ulduar and getting stuck on kologarn cause either healers or the other tanks fail.
I started my own guild after my leaving my last guild because they refused to let me tank. I couldn't even roll on tank gear as fury when all of their tanks had all best in slots. But my guild is stuck with 36 level 80s who are never all on at the same time... and most of the ones that are on are under-geared or aren't skilled in the least bit. what's your advice?
Dear anonymous reader,
Sometimes starting your own guild is the answer, sometimes it's not. It takes time, patience, and vigilance to build a raid guild. Be sure to check out Scott Andrew's Officer's Quarters. He regularly addresses the ups and downs of guild leadership and offers practical advice on the challenges you may face.
Gnomes may live to be five hundred years old, but that doesn't mean that they can't have midlife crises. Twilighthand of <Order of the Dawn> on Eitrigg recently realized that he wasn't interested in spending the rest of his life gathering herbs, sewing robes and cursing people to death. Plus, he owed the Steamwheedle Cartel enough money to substantially shorten his lifespan. He decided to get away from it all and retire to a quiet life in the country, living undercover with a Westfall farming family. Little does the human couple in this screenshot know that their newly adopted son is actually a full-grown gnome death machine. That'll have to wait until they catch him sneaking his succubus into the house at two in the morning.
Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them 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, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Two major questions remain from our Outland Leveling advice column from last week: Is it worth it to run Dungeons, and is it worth it to level a Profession? In both cases, the answer is: It depends.
I know that sounds like a bit of a copout, but it is true. You can pretty much level straight to 70 and even 80 without ever touching a dungeon or learning a profession and do just fine. That said, there are certainly advantages to delving into dungeons or putting your Gnomish Army Knife to actual use. Let's take a look.
The other week, I finally took my druid into Ulduar for the first time. The instance has been calling to me for weeks, but my guild has only just started EoE. Having spent all our time prior to 3.1 in Naxx, we've only now got to the point when we're all in enough epics to survive for more than five minutes. So we went in, grabbed vehicles and started downing towers and other random buildings. Then it was time for a meet and greet with one F. Leviathan. Needless to say we didn't just wipe, we crashed and burned, but I found the use of vehicles interesting, even if the controls infuriated me beyond belief.
I've done my time in Wintergrasp and I love it, especially when you can hitch a ride and let someone else do all the shooting (/joke). However I've always found the targeting system a little awkward. The vehicle interface in general feels clunky -- particularly when you're doing certain quests. Wintergrasp is bearable, but boss combat means you have to be more on your toes, especially when it's a team effort between the people driving and those who are unleashing hell upon Flame Leviathan and its minions.
So I'm quite curious to know what you guys think of the use of vehicles in WoW. Do you like the interface? Is there enough variety? How do you find using them in PvE combat in Ulduar? What about Wintergrasp? Do you wish we could have those flying vehicles mentioned way back at the WWI? Drop your comments in the box and cast your vote in our poll below.
The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.
I know that more than a few of us have no interest in hearing from another Death Knight. While the class dominated Season 5, and still seems strong in Season 6, we should remember that few successful Death Knights started the Arena with the opening of Wrath of the Lich King. It's with that thought in mind that I found what Gladiator Grave had to say interesting.
He could have been focused on things like "Death Grip's awesome, and I use it against casters." Instead, Grave echoed many of the most important sentiments we here from many successful fighters. Synergy, coordination, and communication are the hallmarks that Grave recommends.
When I was getting ready for my wedding last month, one of the obvious things we had to do to get ready was to pick out wedding rings. I'm not much of a jewelry wearer myself, but I put a lot of thought into this choice, and in the end, I learned quite a bit more than I knew before about the jewelry profession and how it works. It struck me as a profession for people who really love making beautiful things and who love interacting with people at some of the most significant moments of their lives (such as ... weddings) -- but above all, real life jewelcrafters struck me as people who love details.
Of course, a number of professions in Azeroth have to pay attention to details in their various gaming aspects. Deciding which items to make for oneself, which to sell at the auction house, and how to use your chosen profession in itself requires lots of details. But when you think about roleplaying, there's a definite difference between blacksmithing on the one side, with its broad strokes of a hammer on metal, and jewelcrafting on the other, focused on the smallest of cuts and adjustments that the naked eye can't even perceive. Jewelcrafting is the profession on Azeroth that requires the keenest eye, the steadiest hand, and the most attention to detail.
In some ways, jewelcrafting in the real world seemed like sub-world of its own, where jewelers knew special secrets no one else knew. They used these secrets to draw forth items that were at once dazzling and magical, artistic and personal for each individual that wore them. Jewelcrafters in the World of Warcraft have no reason to be less devoted to their profession, or any less proud of their ability to craft the most delicate of magical items with the most powerful magical effects, using the secret knowledge only they can understand.
Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related. This week, we look at Rebirth and what to consider before using them.
There were a few comments from last week's Raid Rx in regards to raid saving abilities. One of the abilities mentioned was the Druid's Rebirth (and to a lesser extent, a Shaman's Reincarnation). Both have their uses.
What's the difference between these two spells and the ones mentioned last week?
Having finished the first of the two "troll dungeons" in Wrath, let's head to the second: Gun'drak! Gun'drak is interesting in that it houses both the easiest heroic achievement and (arguably) the most annoying all at once, What the Eck? and Less-rabi respectivey. If you're planning on doing all of these achievements in one go (which may or may not be a good idea depending on group composition), I would recommend taking a group with a Bloodlust/Heroism (you may have seen me make mention of this point before) and several interrupts. A Shaman with Reverberation can be useful on Moorabi. You will also need an off-tank and off-healer for Share The Love.
As a note, this achievement seems to be individually- rather than group-based; you can get it even if someone else gets wrapped. However, if you're interested in getting multiple people the achievement all at once, there are ways to ensure it doesn't happen at all.
I need help, and I figure between me and that guy in the last Breakfast Topic, I'd have more than a good chance of you guys having suggestions to my current dilemma.
I'm fairly new to WoW, having started in December 2008, after a long stint on FFXI. I was glad I made the move, and I haven't looked back. I toyed with a few classes before settling on a blood elf rogue. I zoomed through classic, Burning Crusade and have now made Northrend my home.
I hit 80 a couple of months ago, and although many guilds have offered for me to join along the way, I always replied that my brother's guild was going to take me in as soon as I turned 80. I've been with them on a few heroics and even saw the inside of Sunwell as my first raid ever, although I must confess all that left me feeling a little bit bewildered as I didn't really know what was happening most of the time. I was constantly asking for help, asking where I should stand and what not. While most of the guild was really nice and understanding (and still are), I'm feeling a little bit out of my depth. Most of the guild members are very experienced, as you can imagine. Some of them are on their second or third alts clearing Naxxramas, and most of the guild are working on Ulduar progression.
[1.Local]: Questions, answers from our readers - Sun, 17 May 2009 15:00:00 EST Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.
The comments section is usually a cacophony of voices seeking to agree or disagree with the main post, discredit previous commentors or make some pointless point ("first" -- /facepalm). This week, readers pulled together in a more truly interactive relationship, offering up questions, tips, insights and well thought-out suggestions and ideas. Take a trip through the pickings this week on ways to make professions more interesting, more Star Trek Easter eggs, getting real about DPS, copyright issues, snappier headlines ... and even a post devoted exclusively to guild and player recruitment notices.
Several responders posted that this is partly the fault of Blizzard as they don't take into account shielding and mitigation to healing scores in the combat log. Daerilla of Spirestone intimated that she did not want to see mitigation included in healing figures, because then people would take notice of how overpowered Disc Priests are in raids. There were some less-than-kind comments about the Raid Leader's competence.