Don't get us wrong: ninja'ing the guild bank is one thing, but when your guild gets ninja'ed and everyone wonders who the guy who did it is and why he has access to the bank, it might be time to look at your security plans and reevaluate.
Lots more drama, downed, and recruiting news in this week's Guildwatch below. If you've got news of drama on the realms, your guild has dived into the endgame with panache, or you'd like some good WoW Insider readers to join your guild, send us an email at wowguildwatch AT gmail dot com. Click below to read on.
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.
The diminutive subject of 15 Minutes of Fame's inaugural profile, back in January of this year, spent a good chunk of change longer than a mere quarter-hour in the limelight. The life and times of Noor the Pacifist, who levels without experience from kills, garnered widespread attention not only here at WoW Insider but in an onslaught of hits from Digg, Stumble Upon, Fark and even the very cool people at Boing Boing. It seemed like everyone wanted to talk about the guy who plays World of Warcraft without actually killing anything.
Naysayers opined that Noor would give up the ghost of the tedious task of leveling without killing long before he reached level 70. But lo and behold, here we are just post-Wrath launch - and Noor's ticked right past 70, plugging steadily along toward the new max level cap of 80. 15 Minutes of Fame caught up with him to see how he was holding up on the long, slow climb to the top.
Upgrading to greens? Not so much - Tue, 18 Nov 2008 18:00:00 EST I have to agree with Lowangel: where's the upgrades? We all knew that the gear dropping in Northrend wasn't quite going to be as huge a jump as it was when we headed off to Outland, but I was only dressed in late Karazhan gear, and at this point, close to 73, I've upgraded one thing. I thought I'd get a little upgrade -- time and time again, I've picked up soulbound quest items, only to have to vendor them off because they don't have the hit I worked to get or the extra Agility on top of the Stamina I've already got.
As much as I appreciate keeping the epics on, it is a little disappointing that I may not actually get new gear for ten levels (indeed, many of the folks who cleared the PvE content already were dressed in their old gear as well). Dressing yourself in clown greens is embarassing, but having no upgrades at all is a problem in the opposite direction. Bornakk says to be patient and that we'll find upgrades soon enough (and I have, to his credit, already seen a few nice rep items that I'd want, even if I don't have the rep to buy them yet). There are upgrades out there.
But so far, I've only hit a few sidegrades and hardly any clearly better gear than what I had before. How about you?
On to part 2! This series of questions spans August and early September, and we'll keep moving forward this week.
How much gold roughly would you get from questing 70-77 (until you unlock the flying mount)? I was wondering if it would it be worth farming money beforehand or would the money from questing be enough.
Elizabeth answers: I'm not 77 yet, so I can't exactly address the question as asked, but I can tell you that I've made about 400g leveling from 70 to 72. That's just from questing, vendoring trash & unneeded greens -- and it includes some stupid deaths, plenty of repair bills(I blame Dalaran for many of them!), and training a couple of professions (35g to train a primary profession to the next skill level and 100g to train a secondary profession to the next skill level).
Allie adds: I finally started keeping track of how I was doing gold-wise while leveling. On the beta I leveled a lot through instance runs because the demand for healers was so high; on the live realms I've leveled mostly through questing. Between 70 and 76 so far (remarkably fast for me but my guild starts raiding next week) I've made somewhere in the region of 2K gold after training, repairs, professions, etc., mostly through questing and keeping my bags as open as possible to sell vendor trash. As Elizabeth observes, that part's key; Northrend vendor trash and greens sell for a LOT.
That's right -- Activision's own Call of Duty: World at War beat out Wrath for the number one spot, but before you start worrying whether WoW has lost its charm, don't: not only was Wrath an expansion pack (expansion packs obviously don't sell as well as standalone games, sequels or otherwise), but the Call of Duty game has already outsold its prequel, the extremely successful Call of Duty 4, by a 2:1 ratio. Unfortunately, we don't have numbers yet, but all indications are that, in the UK alone, Wrath did almost as well as a game that outsold last year's best selling game. That all make sense?
If not, hear this: Blizzard made a lot of money last week, and pretty soon we'll hear how much. Even more amazing, Activision Blizzard, who owns Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft, accounted for a full 25% of all UK game sales last week. The merger has already paid off.
In a (not so) shocking announcement on their website, The Championship Gaming Series revealed that they will be ceasing all operations immediately. The International gaming series, which expanded to every continent except Antarctica this year, is shutting down after only two seasons. The professional gaming league, which aimed to promote eSports in a flashy, televised format, was patterned after professional sports leagues with player drafts, team managers, and city-based teams.
The CGS featured five games during its two seasons, Counter-Strike: Source, Dead or Alive 4, FIFA 07, and Project Gotham Racing for Season 1; with FIFA 08 and Forza Motorsport 2 taking up the latter two slots in Season 2. Although not included in seasonal coverage, the CGS also recently promoted World of Warcraft Arena tournaments, with Europe's Nihilum winning the 2008 Championship. Arenas were also included in the CGS-run College Gaming League. A full statement from the league can be found on their site.
The supercomputers behind World of Warcraft - Tue, 18 Nov 2008 15:00:00 EST The New York Times has an intriguing story up about supercomputers around the world, and, as we've heard before, some of the most powerful computers ever created are being used... to run World of Warcraft. The9, which is the company that Blizzard has licensed the game to in Asia, runs more than 10 supercomputer systems, hosting at least a million players online at a time. Some of the other tasks listed for these supercomputers include flight simulations and animation rendering -- the same type of computer that designed the wing of the plane you're flying in might have calculated just how much gold you should have after repairs.
I have a personal note to add to this one, too, though I have to be fairly vague.
Wrath of the Lich King has a lot of new dungeons, and hopefully you've been running them all as you level. Personally, I find them all pretty awesome, but Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom is the first one that completely blew me away. Overall, I'd say it's not as good as Halls of Stone or Halls of Lightning, but Ahn'kahet has certain elements that make it one of my favorites.
Not only is Ahn'kahet visually stunning, but it gives you a glimpse into the story of Yogg-Saron and his relation to the Scourge and other forces. It's a little repetitive in some places (the first boss is a bit boring), but it also houses some of the best 5-man bosses we've seen yet. The final boss, Herald Volazj, is the embodiment of the technical advances Blizzard has made with the gameplay in Wrath of the Lich King. I almost feel bad mentioning him at all, because I've been running Ahn'kahet repeatedly with people who have never done it before. Seeing them wig out the first time they do the boss is awesome.
If you've been having a lot of problems completing quests in Northrend that require you to control a siege vehicle (or something similar to a vehicle) you may consider turning off some of your mods. I know, that sounds like a canned GM response to a ticket, right? Well, it's true, and something you may actually want to try. While questing in Northrend, I started to notice a lot of my friends, guildmates, and random people in various channels were complaining about broken quests that I had finished no more than thirty minutes before. How could they all be broken? I just did them! It took awhile, but we eventually figured out it was their mods. Specifically, their mods that modify how your action bars look or work.
In Wrath, Blizzard implemented a new UI and system for their vehicles, and some bar mods haven't been updated to reflect these additions. Or they have, and players haven't updated on their end. As far as mod updates go, this is one of those things that counts as a big deal. If your bar mod is suppressing the vehicle UI or preventing your action bar from switching over to the vehicle's abilities, you're not going to be able to complete a lot of quests, and those ones tend to be the most fun and unique. Naturally, some quests are buggy, but a vast majority of them aren't. If you're consistently running into issues with vehicle combat, please, check your mods for your sake. A lot of the quests are way fun, so before writing them off, check things on your end first.
If you absolutely must have a bar mod and yours isn't Wrath compatible yet, you might want to check out Dominos. There are other updated bar mods, absolutely, but this one seems the most popular recently. If you'd rather stick with something else, just hit Curse or whatever and check for updates. You'll be glad you did.
Fal Bulon has a new, upcoming series called The Scourge. In case you don't recognize the name, Fal Bulon is the same German author who brought us Revenge of Akama. Like his previous work, "The Scourge" is spoken in German, and subtitled in English. We only have a trailer to look at right now, but we can be hopeful for the upcoming movie.
"The Scourge" has the same high-end production values we saw in "Revenge of Akama." The action is distinct and effective. Fal Bulon uses the lighting in his scenery to lend urgency and intensity to his characters. Overall, it was definitely fun to watch.
The trailer doesn't have a lot of plot indications, which is probably fine for a trailer. We know that the Scourge are attacking, and the orcs and humans are both caught up in it. We have epic indications of leaders making hard choices, and we have a whole bunch of fighting. (Knowing is half the battle, but the other half always comes down to fighting.)
Ultimately, this is a great trailer, and I can't wait to see the movie.
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. Today's edition of The Queue is a little raid-centric with a heavy splash of opinion, just as a warning, starting with kevin's question...
There are currently only four raids in Wrath: Vault of Archavon, Naxx, The Obsidian Sanctum, and The Eye of Eternity. Later on Icecrown Citadel. Is that all? What other raids are to be include into Wrath?
Arr, mateys! I see we be arrivin' at our destination! The rich lands of the Eastern Kingdoms are ours to plunder, and first off be the treasures of Booty Bay! The ... uh ... treasures be straight ... ahead. Oh, for the love of Pete! Where are we? Jim! Did you actually use the compass this time? No? You just followed where the little arrow was pointing? I will end you.
Well, we're out of food, and it looks like we might be stuck here for a while. The cook better figure out a good recipe for penguin pâté soon, or I'm going to whip up some Jim Burgers for dinner. (Thanks to Bloodsail Admiral Shardrell of <Shattered Moon> on Earthen Ring for the pic!)
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 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. 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, "mounted mounts", or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
The Anatomy of WoW: Seven games that inspired Blizzard Blizzard is one of the most prestigious and succesful developers in the world for good reason -- it takes the best ideas from all over the industry (even ones that don't quite work right... yet) and refines them, forcing them to succeed in ways they never did before.
Lord of the Rings Online player's guide to World of Warcraft Unless money or time is not an issue (or you write about games for a living), you have quite a decision to make this week. World of Warcraft's second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, has released yesterday. Lord of the Rings Online's first expansion, Mines of Moria, is releasing this Tuesday.
A look at World of Warcraft's unique characteristics With Wrath of the Lich King imminent, we thought it would be a good idea to take a short look at just what has made and continues to make World of Warcraft so different than many other MMOs and whether or not it still retains that oh-so-different sheen.
Keeping the wife happy: Wrath of the Lich King style In a recent article over at Game Set Watch, Michael Walbridge takes a look at the inner dynamics of the family gaming habit. He tells an all-too-familiar story of one family member (in this case his wife) who wants nothing more than to play Wrath of the Lich King upon release.
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.
A Traveler's Tundra Mammoth costs 20,000 gold if one is not exalted with the Kirin Tor. What do you get for your money? Two vendors, portable repairing, the ability to take two friends for a ride, and a down elevator.
A down elevator? Yes! Watch and see!
You are invited to download the full-sized version (13MB) 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!
Nobody covers raid Hunters like BRK. Looking for more Hunter goodness? Check out our non-raid Hunter column, Scattered Shots or the WoW Insider Directory of Hunter Guides.
My guildchat is filled with "this quest is my favorite part of Northrend so far" or "I love Old Kingdom" or other effusions about loot, zones, etc. It's fun listening to all of my guildies enthuse about their favorite things and knowing that I'm not alone in finding WoW more fun than ever to play.
My favorite part of Wrath of the Lich King is anything having to do with Death Knights. I love Ebon Hold and all of the Death Knight beginning quests and my ghoul and Desecration and and and... Well, I could go on about it forever (though I'd rather be playing mine). I even think it's fun that Outland has been infested by Death Knights and the players who want to gank them. And, of course, I love Siouxsie.
What is your favorite part of of Wrath so far? Have you completed a must-do quest? Is there a new instance that you particularly like? Do you have a new item that is your absolute favorite? Feel free to squee in the comments below.
But I'm not too bummed about the break in leveling. If I wasn't waiting through downtime, I'd be waiting for the queue to clear up, right? Besides, this is a perfect opportunity to sit back and absorb the information overload from the past week. Here's a selection of some of hottest news from the past week, including quite a few leveling, gearing, and profession guides to give you a head start in Northrend once the servers come back up.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll ask it for you.