We here at WoW Insider are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.
Etaiu at the new Leatherbelly Feral Bear Tank blog has posted the video above which shows a technique that will be available to Druids in 3.1. Essentially you can use a series of macros to start in cat form, then use Cat Feral Charge to leap towards your opponent, shift to Bear form midleap and drop a 360 degree Swipe immediately upon landing. Not only do you avoid having to spend 5 Rage you don't have on Bear Feral Charge, but you'll have enough rage to open up with a Swipe from shifting midleap.
According to the policy, add-ons must be free of charge, may not solicit donations, and their code must be completely visible.
This means some leveling mods that charge for their use are now against the rules. Essentially if you develop a mod it has to be released and distributed for free - no charge is acceptable. And for those thinking "well, the developer could just charge for the download service then." Not true.
As of the latest PTR build we now have access to most of the set bonuses for the tier 8 gear that's going to drop in Ulduar, including the bonuses for both priest sets, shadow and healing. In case you haven't seen them before, the bonuses are as follows:
Four-piece: Your Mind Blast also grants you 240 haste rating until cancelled.
The parts listed in bold up above are new; these numbers are just placeholders in the PTR client right now, but Ghostcrawler has clarified that the intended values are somewhere along those lines. No word yet on what "is cancelled" is supposed to mean, as far as I know.
Warlocks in the Arena - Fri, 20 Mar 2009 15:00:00 EST There were a few interesting notes coming out of those early Arena rankings we saw the other day, but probably most interesting is that Warlocks have appeared to come back with a bit of a vengeance. They're not on super solid ground yet (the Death Knight seems to be the overwhelming force, and as long as you throw a Pally and a DPS in the same group with them, you can do alright), but they're definitely higher in those rankings than we've seen them before. And just in time for that little surge comes this great series from Yet Another Warlock Nerf about how to take your Warlock into the Wrath Arenas.
He's got some excellent tips on talents and gear -- when you're a Warlock in the Arenas, most of your game is basically keeping DoTs up as much as possible, while also trying to protect yourself from a stealthed Rogue or angry Priest. As with most Arena battles, it's a game of timing -- you want your cooldowns to be up and ready at the exact second when the other team is at their weakest. If you can Spell Lock or Fear a healer at the exact moment when their partner is vulnerable to your own offensive cooldowns, then you'll rack up another win.
Interesting stuff. There's lots more to learn, and especially if you're an Arena veteran, there's probably lots more you already know. But things have changed quite a bit from the old BC Arenas, and especially if you're a Warlock, a guide like this is a good place to pick them up again.
How to apply to a guild - Fri, 20 Mar 2009 14:00:00 EST Our friend Lassirra (who has just recently started writing Scattered Shots for us here at WoW Insider) has a great post over on her personal blog telling Hunters how to apply for a guild, but really, most of her advice would work for anyone trying to move on up to a better guild situation. I've long said that one of the key indicators of a guild worth getting into is that they require you to apply, so following these tips when actually filling out that application will very much help you find your spot in the game, whether it's raiding at the highest levels, teaming up with other PvP afficionados, or just getting yourself in the right casual circles.
The first few suggestions are just about following the rules: answer all of the questions, don't be weird, and don't put anything on the app (like major drama in your history or major spelling errors or offensive language) that would let the guild's officers give you a definite "no" right away. Second, know your character and your class. As Lassirra's twitter people say, the standards for most guilds' recruitment (even great guilds) are pretty low. As long as you're easy-going and you know how to play your class and have an interest in bettering your character, you're going to be pretty much instantly accepted into 90% of guilds out there. You don't have to throw together a big Flash presentation (though it might help).
And finally, don't worry about rejection. This may all sound like applying for a job, but it's not nearly that serious -- if one guild decides to pass on your app, go find another one you like and apply there. The extra time will be worth it: if all you've done in terms of being in a guild so far is join up with someone shouting in the Trade chat, you owe it to yourself to, as Lassirra says, put the time in to find a guild that's right for you.
First off, this week's PTR news: basically, nothing new from the last time we talked about it. Arms warriors can pick up Juggernaut now. It's fun. I'm already sick of the macros I'm seeing with it, although I haven't had that much time to do more than charge and then Bladestorm a few mobs just for the laughs. As soon as I get a chance to PvP with the changes I'll tell you if the caster debuff on Overpower from Unrelenting Assault makes any difference.
I get a fair amount of email asking me what target numbers a warrior should be aiming for when he hits 80 and is ready to tank or DPS in instances. It's kind of a hard question because for some stats the best answer is always going to be "as much as you can get" - you're never going to hit a number on stamina where you should be satisfied, you'll always want more and more and more of it. However, there are reasonable suggested minimums for these things, based around what will be possible or impossible to accomplish. A lot of this depends on the folks you find yourself running with, of course. If you're just starting heroics but the healer you'll be running with has best in slot raid epics from all the 25 man content in the game, it's likely he'll trivialize the content to such a degree that you can be significantly lower than normal and still do fine. For those of us who don't have a pocket god coming along to heal our runs, however, you may have to pay attention more to your gearing.
Do you remember BroncoTV? They're the same guys who created Who's the Tank? Michael Schroeder dropped your intrepid Moviewatch team a note to let us know they've released a new video --World of Warcraft: Lost Within. To sum up the plot, a WoW player finds himself transported inside the game. He must quest, grow, and ding, all en route to rescue his princess.
It's definitely a WoW vs. reality theme. The gags are suitably funny, and I found the acting to be over-the-top in the right places. (The gag at the end worked for me, I think in part because I knew it was coming. C'mon, who hasn't tried to whack someone with a plastic sword, only to be sorely disappointed with the effect?)
I really liked the WoW interface laying over top of Live Action acting. It gave a neat surreality to the comedy, and kept me firmly rooted in the escapist joke. Of course, if there's a part two, it'd be neat to see some UI Mods and such start making appearance. (Maybe an Omen Kiss meter or something.)
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com. Previously on Moviewatch ..
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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.
Good morning/afternoon/generic time of day, everyone! I don't have anything funny or interesting to say here, so let's skip that part and pretend that I did it! Yay! Now imagine there's a silly poll for you to vote in! Exclamation points! More exclamation points! Not enough exclamation points yet! We need more!
Okay, that's enough of them. Erogroth asked...
"How exactly does item level work? From what I gather its almost like talent points for an item. So any item that is the same level should be about equal in how good it is. However often items of the same item level are no where near equal. So what's the deal?"
Bored during extended EU downtime, Jubinibu of <Legends of Azeroth> on Anachronos-EU sent us this screenshot of his draenei paladin hanging around Storm Peaks on the PTR. He also penned this (slightly edited) paean of praise to his fellow healers: "We're healers. Bearing the burden of responsibility to take care of the lives of the others is pulling us down. Down to the knees. Yet we're rising again."
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.
Breakfast Topic: It's gotta happen sometime - Fri, 20 Mar 2009 08:00:00 EST Whitney over on WoW Ladies LJ has a story that's so improbable it must be true. Not only did her guild pick up an epic on command in Naxxramas, and not only did they pick up two of the exact same epic item in a row, but they actually got three of the exact same item in the same room. As you regular readers know, I'm horrible at math, so I'm not sure how unlikely that is (you'd probably have to figure how much trash you actually kill every Naxx run and combine how likely it is for each of them to drop the item), but I'm guessing very. Still, given that every drop is randomly generated when a mob spawns (in other words, when you walk into an instance), it's still possible. Even a flipped coin can come up heads 100 times in a row.
So yes, even though we don't think about it much, it's totally possible to get Mr. Pinchy on the first try, or pick up three epics in three pulls. Ever just been really, really lucky? I've had the opposite happen, too -- I go for an hour without seeing a drop, check all of the databases to make sure I'm in the right place, and then just before I quit, sure enough, whatever I was looking for drops.
Got any stories of the random number generator (RNG) being really random?
Swagdog will print your guild's logo on a hat - Thu, 19 Mar 2009 19:00:00 EST Our good friends at Swagdog (who are sponsoring our Guild of the Month contest -- have you entered your guild yet? only a little while left this month!) have added a new customized guild item to their lineup: hats. CEO Mike Horn tells WoW Insider that they've "had great success with the personalized Guild Shirts and had numerous requests for accompanying Guild Hats," so wish granted. To buy the hats, just go through the system, and once you get your guild information in there, you'll be able to choose whether you want a hat or a shirt.
They run a little pricy for hats, at $24.99, but each hat is custom made to order -- you get your guild logo (with all of the game's choices and colors, or pulled straight from the Armory if you want) on the front, and a Horde or Alliance icon on the back, as well as your guild or character names if you'd like. Hats are flexfit and come in two sizes: Small/Medium or Large/XLarge. Paladins, you'll likely need the larger version.
Pretty smooth -- I like the fact that it's just the tabard logo. The shirts can be a little overboard with all of the tabard art and the text and the class icons, so if you want to show some guild pride a little more subtly, this seems like a great way to go.
Zarhym also says that they will be giving us advance notice before the tickets actually start selling, so people will have time to make travel arrangements if necessary (and/or ask the wife or parents for the money to go if need be). And he says that a pay-per-view type of event, as they did last year, or even a live stream of some of the events online, is not beyond the realm of possibility.
The Argent Tournament has been overshadowed quite a bit by Ulduar in patch 3.1, it hasn't been talked about a whole lot since the first thrill of finding out it was actually there in Icecrown. Since that rush a whole lot of things have changed with the Tournament, but beyond the dedicated few, I have my doubts it was receiving as much testing as it needed. That's probably why Kisirani has put out a call for focused testing on the Argent Tournament, asking for as much feedback as you can supply.
Kisirani's thread on the official forums lays out a few things: First, a lot has changed since the early PTR. This means that if you only did the quests in the first week or two of the Tournament, you should try them again before submitting feedback. If you've never been to the Tournament before, Jean Pierre Poulain awaits you on Krasus' Landing in Dalaran. He'll send you out there for free. If you want to do it yourself, the Tournament is just north of Sindragosa's Fall.
According to a new Battle.net support page, there will be a new Blizzard Authenticator app for your mobile phone which will generate a code just like the physical authenticator does. The authenticator app will act just like the physical authenticators currently available. The page is sparse on exactly what phones and mobile devices will be supported, but it does mention that it works with the iPod Touch and iPhone.
According to the webpage, you only need a WiFi connection once to activate the authenticator application, and after that you're all set.
This comes right after the transition of the EU World of Warcraft account management to the new Battle.net account management. The US transition is reportedly done, although there has been no official world from Blizzard yet (however all their webpages have already changed over).
The app is not available for download yet via Blizzard or from the Apple store. But we'll let you know the second it goes up!
Shadowfiend nerf explained by GC - Thu, 19 Mar 2009 16:30:00 EST Ghostcrawler makes a quick run by the forums to break down that Shadowfiend nerf we heard about yesterday. The patch notes in the new build say that a Priest's creepy little best friend has lost their "reduced chance to be hit by spells and melee attacks." Apparently, Shadowfiends had a (completely?) random chance to sometimes cause a miss on various attacks aimed at them. Lots of people saw that as a nerf (and it is), but there are two buffs on the way, according to GC: Not only are the little fiends getting an HP buff "for PvP, " but they're also getting the standard pet AoE avoidance in PvE so they'll be able to stay alive longer on bosses that shell out damage to everything around them.
There was also a bit of confusion on the datamined suggestion that Body and Soul is getting a nerf -- GC clarifies that the talent has two ranks, one at 30% and one at 60% movement bonus. That's been the way since we first heard about it -- no change to Body and Soul right now.
That said, remember that all class changes are still not carved in stone until they go on to the live realms. The planned Shadowfiend changes may not ever go through, but clearly GC and Blizzard are trying to make Shadowfiend surivivability much less random than just a chance to not get hit. Until we see just what the HP bonus is, it may still be a nerf, but at least it'll be based on specific rules rather than RNG.
Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.
With the past week's battle devolving into a popularity contest (a Mal'Ganis landslide over Varos Cloudstrider), we come to the next deathmatch in our Wrath season lineup: the Infinite Corruptor (The Culling of Stratholme) versus Gortok Palehoof (Utgarde Pinnacle). Get ready to unleash your comments, because this matchup will call upon your creativity to lay out the likely outcome of this protracted battle.
You see, the Infinite Corruptor is the not-so-sociable Dragonspawn from The Culling of Stratholme's heroic timed event. He leaves the instance ("My work here is finished!") if you don't defeat him within 25 minutes. Well, we're not going to give Gortok a free hall pass here - he's going to have to work his way through things in 25 minutes, too, along with his posse: the Furbolg, the Worgen, the Rhino and the Jormungar.
The tie between the shooter and WoW is slim. But a new study over there says that 50,000 to 60,000 minors could be classified as addicted to videogames. And the combination of the two events is causing Ross-Luttman to call for stronger ratings on "addictive" games like World of Warcraft. It's also interesting to note that in the US, the game is rated T by the ESRB, which actually calls for children 13 and up to play it, one year older than the German standard.
But of course there are two conclusions here. First, every parent needs to take responsibility for what their younger children do: if these kids are addicted, parents need to step in and make sure things get straightened out. As a former employee of a gaming retail store, I can tell you that ratings only go so far. The responsibility has to lie with the parents. And secondly, while Ross-Luttmann is apparently using the shooting to try and push this agenda against addiction, the young man involved in the shooting was experiencing deep depression, and had access to firearms that he probably shouldn't have had. Changing game ratings is fine, but it won't do anything to help when you've got much bigger problems to deal with first.
Blizzard's various websites (official WoW site, the Armory, etc) have all been down for maintenance today, and we had no real idea why. Word is coming in from the EU that the switch to Battle.net accounts that we talked about previously is finally coming about. Portions of the official EU site are redirecting to this Battle.net login page.
We knew this would happen eventually, especially since the name of the Authenticator changed on the PTR from being World of Warcraft specific to a more broad Battle.net name, but the fact that it's coming without formal notice is a bit surprising! If you're unfamiliar with what a Battle.net account actually is, it's more or less the same as your WoW account but instead of an account name, it uses your e-mail address and it spans all Blizzard games. Considering the Starcraft II beta is rumored to be starting quite soon, this is probably good timing for the switch.
We have no idea if this switch is happening in the US yet, but it's probably a safe assumption that it will. Or if it hasn't, we'll be seeing it very soon. If we find out more, we'll be sure to let you know.
Yesterday, a new PTR patch dropped with changes for shamans. We'll be covering them. But first I wanted to talk about the change to the Windfury Glyph that I've frankly been avoiding discussing for weeks now. I've avoided it because, frankly, I haven't wanted to discuss it until I could come up with something to say that wasn't a lot of cursing. Amazingly this change was so extreme that the highest damage an enhancement shaman can get right now is to use the Torch of Holy Fire in your mainhand and a fast offhand with flametongue on each weapon.
Yes, that's right, a healer/caster weapon is the highest DPS an enhancement shaman can get. This is the sound of me banging my head against the desk. My forehead's got splinters. Honestly, I still don't know what to say about this. When the attack power was taken out of WF glyph they might as well have just removed it from the game.
In the above post Blizzard hightlights their intention for the class (slow MH/slow OH with WF/FT), the problem here is not what they intended but what they did. By reducing the WF glyph and removing the attack power bonus it was giving, the glyph became inferior to double flametongue with a caster MH/fast OH, due to how Flametongue Weapon works.
Right now, the base damage on each Flametongue proc scales with weapon speed, but the percent of spellpower that affects the damage that the imbue does is always a flat 10%, meaning that until 3.1 flametongue does more damage on a faster weapon. The enhancement playstyle that takes advantage of this is an anomaly, in that we know it will be much less effective in 3.1, but as of right now we know that if you are an enhancement shaman, you will do more damage with a caster weapon and a fast offhand.