This is really quite cool, and it's been one of the big mysteries of Wrath. It will be interesting to see what the NPCs have to say about its removal to Northrend. I'm sure we'll have that covered in the days ahead when we find out more.
Many thanks to reader Adam (no relation) for alerting us to this. Stay tuned! Lots of great Wrath coverage all weekend.
WotLK videos from MMO-Champion - Sat, 19 Jul 2008 18:00:00 EST Boubouille over at MMO-Champion has a bunch of great videos that he put together of some Wrath content. Some of them are data mined, while others show in-game content. All in all, they're quite an interesting thing to watch for those of you who want to see Wrath content right now.
The videos that are available are hosted on Vimeo, and we've embedded them after the break for easy viewing. You can take a look at footage form Utgarde Keep, Drak'tharon Keep, and The Nexus.
I know that some people are concerned with spoilers, so don't watch these if you don't want to see everything. They're taken from a private server and the videos give a clear view of everything in the dungeons.
Each week, Arcane Brilliance blinks in from out of nowhere to deliver an instant cast full of Mage info and analysis to the interwebs. Or at least it tries to. Sometimes it blinks sideways, you see. Sometimes, backwards. On rare occasions, Arcane Brilliance casts Blink and goes absolutely nowhere. Oh well, at least the sparkly lights looked pretty.
Let's hear it for no more NDA! Now we can finally talk in detail about things a lot of us have known about for months. I'm sure we're all underwhelmed by the Beta patch notes as they apply to Mages. Here they are, in full. Pull up a chair, these could take you a full 90 seconds to read:
Arcane Focus (Arcane) is now 3 ranks and increases chance to hit and reduces mana cost of Arcane spells by 1/2/3%.
Counterspell now costs 9% of base mana.
Frost Armor, Ice Armor, Mage Armor and Molten Armor are no longer Magic effects and cannot be dispelled.
Invisibility now makes the caster invisible after 3 seconds, reduced from 5 seconds.
Magic Attunement (Arcane) now also increases the range of your Arcane spells by 3/6 yards.
Polymorph now costs 12% of base mana.
Portal spells now cost 18% of base mana.
Prismatic Cloak (Arcane) now also reduces the fade time of Invisibility by 1/2 seconds.
Slow Fall now costs 6% of base mana.
Teleport spells now cost 9% of base mana.
Ok. Deep breath. Repress urge to kill. Repeat after me: "It is still early in the testing process. These notes are incomplete. Changes are likely coming. Mages will get something cool." Feel better? No? Me either. Still, there are some things worth discussing here, and with the lifting of the embargo on leaked Alpha talents, we do have a great many things to talk about. Join me after the break and we'll do just that, starting with the tree that has changed the most: the Arcane tree.
Ready Check is 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 look at a nerfed guild-killer.
The prize for this week's most-talked-about Sunwell boss goes to... an imprisoned naaru. Formerly resident in Silvermoon City, in patch 2.4 M'uru was captured by Kael'thas and taken to the Sunwell Plateau, where he now holds the place of fifth boss in the instance. After defeating the Eredar Twins (which gives you a handy teleport to their room) and clearing a few trash packs, you'll find yourself at the doorway of M'uru's circular room.
Initially a fairly unimpressive looking boss -- discounting the 'wow, it's a naaru' factor -- as the encounter gets into full swing you begin to marvel at its clockwork complexity. Killing M'uru isn't the end of the fight, either; instead of dying, he transforms into a void god called Entropius, who you have to burn down as quickly as possible. It's a very intense encounter, even post-nerf.
Alright, we've seen the changes to the Holy tree, and as far as I can tell, it looks really exciting. Blizzard addressed some key issues such as mobility with possible instant heals, HoTs, and spell haste. Holy Paladins might actually use Seals and Judge them. There's still the quibble about mana regeneration, but for now, it looks as though Paladin healing is headed in the right direction. You can read about the changes to Holy here, as well as the list of changes to baseline abilities and talents.
What about Paladin tanking? The Protection tree in its current state is designed for AoE tanking, which Blizzard acknowledges to be the Paladin tank's niche. But where Paladin tanks shine with trash mobs and situational bosses, the reactive tanking mechanic is only moderately successful with single targets, particularly bosses with slow attacks or do not rely purely on Physical attacks (thus not activating a block). That said, Paladin tanks can frontload massive threat, scale well against multiple mobs, and are the darlings of 5-man content.
If you're a vanity pet collector you've probably visited WarcraftPets.Breanni of Scarlet Crusade, the master of this has clearly put a considerable amount of effort into researching non-combat pets.The site lists news and information on all minipets found in the World of Warcraft.The site features a small-pet FAQ, a calendar of events featuring vanity pets, a guide to collecting non-combat pets, and more.
Breanni is getting special recognition for her efforts in the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King Expansion.Breanni posted in the general forums that she will be getting an NPC Avatar in Dalaran. Care for all your pet needs with Breanni's Pet supplies.This is not the first honorable mention that the site has won.Breanni has also been placed on the World of Warcraft map, as created by Tim Howego.
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.
It's Zul'Aman, baby, and you're playing the roughest, toughest ten-person instance in the game! You're feeling good, looking sharp...and all of the sudden, Bam! Hex Lord Malacrass rears his ugly mug. He's not fun, is he?
You wanna do your job as a hunter, right? Right! Well let's see if a BRK Hunter Guide Movie can give you some insight and testicular fortitude for this guy... can we say that? Yes? Oh OK, good. /whew.
Hex Lord drops something really pretty Hunter-loot for us Hunters, too! Well, let's rephrase that.
WotLK Beta patch notes: Warlock part I - Sat, 19 Jul 2008 13:00:00 EST So, the world (and WoW Insider) is alive with the sound of the Wrath of the Lich King beta, and it's high time that we take a look at our favorite commander of evil... the Warlock. We'll want to be sure we understand what's coming for us, so as not to let anyone think those otherevil guys are horning in on our territory. And, yeah, there's definitely some things changing.
A lot of the changes are a little hard to noggin out -- are they meant to be buffs? Nerfs? Inexplicably different, but not really better or worse? Demonology is certainly getting a thorough shuffle, but it's hard to say whether it's good or bad. We'll chat more about it after the cut. Let's start with what the first beta patch notes obviously say, and consider what each item means. Then, in Part II, we'll start looking at each tree individually, with each of its new spells.
With the flurry of activity surrounding the Worldwide Invitational, the live stream was the best thing that you could watch if you weren't in Paris yourself. During the closing ceremony, Video Games Live performed a Blizzard-centric symphony. For those that missed it, VGL is organized by Tommy Tallarico, the MC, and Jack Wall, the conductor. Both have composed music for video games for years, but now also travel around the country working with leading orchestras to perform that music live on stage for audiences.
After viewing the closing ceremony, I checked out their website and discovered that they were performing in Austin, Texas two weeks later! Armed with ticket and video camera, I wasn't sure what to expect, but was thoroughly pleased with the performance. They can only play about 20 of their roughly 50 arranged pieces per night, so I was treated to music from Final Fantasy, Warcraft, Starcraft, Super Mario Brothers, Halo, Metal Gear Solid, and many others. In between the segments were games, costume contests, and commentary. At the end, they offer a meet and greet with the crew, as well as some video game industry professionals occasionally. In all, it's about a 5 hour event.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
WotLK Beta patch notes: Rogue - Sat, 19 Jul 2008 11:30:00 EST The long awaited Wrath of the Lich Kingbeta is hitting the masses and the patch notes are out. As you've seen regarding other classes there is a ton of really exciting news. Right off the bat Blizzard is changing stat itemization in regards to +Hit and +Crit to a more generalized Hit Rating and Critical Strike Rating. These stats, which in the past had been separated into melee and spell versions are now a single stat that can be attributed to any class. For classes with mixed or hybrid functions, this should greatly assist overall gearing. Rogues should see no overall changes in the way the Hit or Crit mechanic works on pre WotLK gear other than just wording on the tooltip.
I have to say that the changes that Rogues can expect aren't of the world-shaking variety, but many of them serve as excellent clean up improvements.
Feral tree The Feral tree is seeing changes to limit the benefits that the other two trees, specifically Restoration, can gain from investing a few points into the first few tiers. We are also seeing changes to the ways in which bears will be generating aggro.
The Faerie Fire (Feral) and Feral Charge swap Feral Charge is currently an 11-point talent into the Feral tree, which contributing to the advantages that Restoration druids currently have in arena. It allows Restoration druids the ability to charge, immobilizing their target and interrupting spells for four seconds.
Instead, Faerie Fire (Feral), which is not something that a Restoration druid would likely spend 11 points to get, will take up the 11-point spot, with Feral Charge taking its place in the tree 21 points in.
In addition, Feral Charge will be usable in cat form, dazing the target and moving the cat behind it. This will help address the concerns that cat form is not especially viable in PvP, although their crit dependency is still a weakness. It will also be useful in dungeons to catch runners and other out of place mobs.
This picture/wallpaper was sent to Around Azeroth by Mike two months ago. Due to our ongoing battle over leaked Alpha information, all I could do is shake my head and give it a new home as my desktop background. But now that we can post Wrath info, I can share the beauty of Crystalsong Forest with everyone. Don't the healing crystals just ease all the pain of not getting a beta invite? Yeah ... they don't help a bit. Nice to look at, though.
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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more sunsets. I'm off to the beach for four days!
Balance tree If you were to invest three points into your Brambles tier three talent, you will not only have the current 75% boost to damage caused by Thorns and Entangling Roots, but your Treants will have their damage boosted by 15%.
In addition, all damage caused by Treants, and any attacks done to you while Barkskin is active, have a 15% chance of dazing the target for three seconds. Actually, Force of Nature, which summons your Treants, is having its cooldown reduced from three minutes to two.
This will be a nifty talent for Moonkin in battlegrounds and arena, although it won't be enough to convert all of those Restoration druids to the ways of the Giant Chicken.
So, yesterday was officially the day Wrath of the Lich King exploded all over WoW Insider (and the rest of the internet). Now that you've had a night to sleep on it, what are your impressions of the beta, and just how much are you looking forward to the expansion?
Personally, I'm pretty much at maximum excitement. The new spells and talents look amazing, what we've been able to find out about professions looks awesome, and of course I really really want to play a Death Knight. Even the quests are looking like another quantum leap over BC's already relatively innovative quests (when compared to old-world quests, anyway). Don't even get me started on Achievements. I'm pretty sure I'll be doing the same midnight-release, play for a week straight thing that I did with BC. But what about you guys?
Blizzard has posted the official word that the Wrath of the Lich Kingbeta invites are going out via email even as we speak.I'll be checking my mailbox compulsively.They have posted an official Beta FAQ on the website.The entire text of the FAQ is posted after the break, but here's the short version:
Wrath of the Lich King information is really flooding in. For the latest bit, let's take a look at some of the new maps in the game. These were obtained through a variety of sources and are 100% real, all right from the beta. Click through our gallery to see them all - including nice high res versions. You'll notice three maps missing - The Storm Peaks, Icecrown Glacier, and Dalaran. Those maps are not done yet. There are some composites that other sites have put together via the mini-map from the data files, but they're neither finished nor "normal" maps.
I like the Stormwind Harbor one the best, if only because the Stormwind map hasn't changed in all these years and it's odd to suddenly see it different. The one I enjoy the least is the Borean Tundra, the color scheme doesn't sit well with me. It looks like...well...I'll let you all draw your own conclusions.
Enjoy the maps! And stay tuned to WoW Insider all weekend, we've got some great content lined up for you.
The news and analyses keep rolling in for Wrath of the Lich King.We've all got our pet talents and abilities we're psyched about.Everybody's going to get a shot in the arm.While Blizzard will balance and rebalance until release and then even after, some abilities stand out ad more exiting and powerful than others.
Issenaril of Blood Furnace is afraid that Titan's Grip is going to be an over powered ability.The ability allows Warriors specced 46 points into the Fury tree to swing two two-handed weapons at a slowed speed.With a maximum of five points in this ability, the weapon speed will be decreased by 20 percent.He believes that this ability will massively increase Warrior DPS and make imbalanced in PvP.Liganu agrees that a 50 point Fury build will be helpful in battlegrounds, but it won't be as viable in arena combat.
With Wrath of the Lich King beta upon us, who has time to read comments from the past week's worth of posts? Little ol' [1.Local] would be a sad panda if we weren't positive that the meta-fans who love to comment about comments are still circling. So here ya go, guys - this Bash Ale's for you.
Join us after the break for this week's meatiest reader comments here at WoW Insider. Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts - unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.
Death Knights at the Dawn - Fri, 18 Jul 2008 23:00:00 EST Okay, this is so massively spoiler ridden for Death Knights, their role in the lore, and how you will be experiencing their gameplay that I cannot in good conscience post it without first warning you, and more than once. This is pretty darn epic, and thanks to the folks at DeathKnight.info, I can finally say I now actually want to play a Death Knight. (If you follow that link you may well see spoilers, so be warned.)
No, I'm completely serious here. This is levels upon levels of spoilers that deal with years of Warcraft lore. If you want to see this fresh when you first roll your new Death Knight, then you don't want to read any further. It involves factions and characters we've all come to know. I personally love this kind of thing, but if you're someone who just can't stand finding out before you get to experience it yourself, then you shouldn't read any further.
You still here?
Okay. I'm not going to post the link or explain what I'm talking about here on the front page. I don't think that would be cool. So we're going to take this into the dark, shadowy places Death Knights are pretty at home in anyway. Follow me, if you will... after the jump.
The matches run in a best-of-five format, ending when one team reaches three victories. There is a 15 minute time limit for each round, and the show will be live streamed by the Championship Gaming Series. The matches will be shoutcasted by none other than the infamous Leeroy Jenkins. No, really.
The show starts at 4PM Eastern, with aÄa Agïta versus Nihilum. MoB Gaming versus Frag Dominant kicks off around 5PM Eastern, and the US Finalist versus the EU Finalist will fight it out by 6PM. That schedule's going to shift a bit, obviously, if any of the match ups finish especially quickly. At any rate, we'll let you know who wins.