Blizzard will make an announcement on their forums and/or their homepage letting all of us know that WotLK beta invites are going out. The email that you'll get if you're lucky enough to get invited will be sent from an @blizzard.com address, will come through the blizzard.com servers (you can check the extended email headers in your email program to see this). The email will have tons of identifiable information in it that only points to blizzard.com or worldofwarcraft.com and nowhere else.
For a reference, let's that a look at what the Burning Crusade beta email looked like that I got back in 2006
We've looked at Fizzwidget's gadgets before here at Addon Spotlight, so you might be familiar with his wares. For this installment, I want to bring Linkerator to your attention. It's a little addon that does a big thing, it allows you to type the name of an item in brackets and Linkerator will create an item link for you.
In Patch 2.4, we saw the introduction of spell links, which have become the subject of Trade channel jokes. This mod provides a similar feature, to include the ability to link items you don't currently have or see. This can give you another way to torment people in global channels, in case Murloc movies or Chuck Norris get old.
So, the way this works is simple. To create an in-text item link, simply type the name of the item in brackets. Linkerator will also auto-fill names as you type them, in case you forget the full name. I use this mostly to compare an item I'm looking for to what I currently have equipped, especially when I was considering changing over to Engineering for some of the epic crafted items.
I'm sure you can find a use for this feature, whether its for good reasons or not. Its definitely one of those little extras I have for the off chance I use it, but that is part of what addons can do for you as a player. That's it folks, short and sweet for you on a Sunday before I make my second excursion into Karazhan since rerolling.
All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.
Gamers, and citizens of the Internet in general, are not known for being very sociable people. To me, it's always been a big mystery why John Gabriel's GIF Theory seems so apt for so many of us. It's hard for me to fathom why people enjoy acting rude, crude, or unpleasantly in any situation. I hear them telling me "because it's fun!" but personally I can't imagine getting any kicks out of it.
The roleplaying community is one of those few online spaces where things actually seem a bit different, however. Many people are not roleplayers at all, but they join up on RP servers just because roleplayers care about things like grammar and seem to be more polite in general. Since roleplaying is an inherently cooperative activity, people who want to roleplay first have to be willing to communicate nicely with others. There are, of course, players on RP realms with whom real communication seems impossible, but those people usually aren't actually roleplayers to begin with. They get about 10 seconds of attention before most roleplayers start ignoring them completely.
To be a good roleplayer, one must first be a good person. The qualities of character that open doors of friendship and cooperation in real life are the same qualities that will help make roleplaying a positive and rewarding experience for you in WoW. Even if one wants to play an evil character, one must do it in such a way that others can tell you're actually a really nice and caring player behind the evil mask. Sometimes it's also handy to remind oneself how not to act like that proverbial Internet Fudgewad.
Macro Anatomy: Mouse-Over Spells - Sun, 20 Apr 2008 16:30:00 EST This week I profiled Decursive 2.0 over at Addon Spotlight, which has a macro feature that allows you to use its cleansing functionality via a keystroke or a mouse over macro. Many of the comments in the article, as well as those in the HealbotContinued feature, center on the concept of mouse-over healing and casting. To be quite honest, I really didn't understand or use this way of doing things, so I thought I'd look into it and try to break away from my "clicker" tendencies for the sake of change.
Why the PvP game exists in WoW, and why it's a good thing - Sun, 20 Apr 2008 16:00:00 EST Last night I posted why I feel that the PvE game has been, is, and always will be the real game in WoW. One of the interesting inferences that people made was that I don't like PvP, and that I don't do it. Nothing is further from the truth. It was interesting to read the number of comments on that article, and I think it might surprise some folks that save for this introduction paragraph and a few edits I made, this article was written before I wrote my PvE piece.
So, why do I PvP? What attracts me to the PvP game, and why is it a worthwhile thing to do in WoW? There are three primary reasons that PvP is a game worth playing. First, it provides a critical and necessary change of pace from the PvE game. Secondly, it gives those with limited play time an opportunity to enjoy the game and succeed at what they do. Finally, PvP is beginning to turn into a legitimate eSport, and provides some good entertainment there in. Let's look at each of these reasons individually.
Our Priest column is back! Every Sunday, Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is now Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus, and this week he has compiled a list that raiding holy priests may find beneficial whether they consider themselves new or veterans.
I've raided for a long time on my priest. My first real raid started with Zul'Gurub before I graduated to Molten Core and Blackwing Lair. Unfortunately, I started late in the game to the point where I never really appreciated AQ 40 or Naxxaramus. Years later, I am now working my towards Illidan after mopping the floor with Archimonde. It's difficult for a holy priest to begin raiding. The learning curve can be steep at times because there are so many options available.
That being said, there are a few lessons I've learned from raiding that have proven universal. They had as much application back then as they do now and I wanted to pass them on to any new budding raid priests.
Check out all thirteen tips, from reagents to situation awareness, right after the break.
Brand new Warcraftmovies member, Antillion, created this machinima to honor his favorite song, Open Wounds, by Skillet. For the most part, I enjoyed the creativity involved in some of the scenes, as the lead was suffering from a broken heart. During the chorus was when you could really feel the emotions of the singer, as the gestures were decently timed. It wasn't too literal, or heavy with special effects either.
However, first timers that extensively use Model Viewer will eventually learn to fear the wrath of TotalBiscuit's comments. Experimenting with those tools without mastering the basic level of video, which is in-game footage, is almost always a recipe for disaster. As evidenced in many of the scenes, he was unable to successfully transition the character from one moment to the next. With some more practice, he might create something really great!
Report Card: Phase 4 daily quests - Sun, 20 Apr 2008 11:00:00 EST Phase 4 is now well underway, with about 50 servers having it unlocked according to us.gorgonnash.info at the time of this writing. There's still a few more things to unlock, but for the most part, the Sunwell Isle is complete, and what you see is what you get as far as resources and places to fight. So, once again, it is time to ask the question: How do these quests fit into your busy up-to-25-daily-quests-to-do lifestyle?
Apparently, the night elf expedition to Niagara Falls has met a disappointing end. Caedus of Bloodscalp-EU discovered this empty elven boat -- with the lamp still burning -- at the top of the Southfury River. And where is the top of the Southfury River? After a long journey fraught with spider attacks, my shaman discovered that this screenie was taken at the very top of the border between Ashenvale and Azshara, which means that the water is coming down from Mount Hyjal. Caedus wrote, "I doubt many people have seen it as I can't imagine people enjoying swimming up this river." You got that right.
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. And please, no more sunsets. We work better under cover of night.
Sunday Morning Funnies: Working together - Sun, 20 Apr 2008 09:00:00 EST This week we have some exciting developments, from the infiltration of a Horde town, to Sunwell progression, to a pet dragon. As always, I welcome suggestions for comics we've missed, so post away in the comments section! We even have a new one this week.
"I have five level 70s, therefore I'm good at the game!" This comment, or others that express a similar sentiment, is often heard in-game, on forums and here on WoW Insider.
Having multiple characters of different classes exposes you to many more facets of the game. An alt-o-holic, with multiple alts, enjoy a range of gameplay that is indisputably wider than someone who plays just one or two characters. While leveling content is largely the same, the classes are designed by Blizzard to be as different from each other as possible. Running through The Barrens on a Priest is a very different experience from running through the same zone with say, a Druid.
However, does sheer breadth of gameplay experience translate to a "better" player of WoW? Understanding how other classes work is definitely an advantage when you're playing in a group or raid, but is it fair to dismiss the "specialist" player who, through choice or simply lack of time, plays only a single toon?
In other words, does breadth of experience trump depth of knowledge as far as playing the game is concerned?
World of Warcraft has two distinctly different types of play: Player versus Environment and Player versus Player. The styles of play are dramatically different and there are few, if any, skills that cross over from one style to the other. WoW started out as a PvE game, adding in PvP content as the player base expanded. And despite the numerous PvP fanbois out there, the real game in WoW will always remain the PvE game.
There are a few reasons why I think this. First and foremost, you cannot progress in PvP without first completing a large potion of the PvE content. You start out at level 1 and progress up to level 70. You don't level up by PvPing against one another. You level up by fighting against the environment. Put simply, without the PvE there would be no PvP.
Secondly, PvP is an addition to the game. If you remove PvP from the game entirely, the game itself would not fundamentally change. However if you remove the PvE elements, the game would be nothing like it is. Everything would just exist like the Arena Tournament server. That might be fine for some people, and this is evident in the success of the Arena Tournament server. Even I enjoy spending a couple hours a week on there, but by no means would I want to just exist on a server where the only thing to do is kill one another.
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 spend thousands of gold on repairs and consumables. This week, a pit lord dies.
Brutallus is the second boss in the Sunwell Plateau. A pit lord with swords for hands, he becomes accessible once you've redeemed Kalecgos and killed the two trash packs behind Kalecgos' platform. After watching a short event where Brutallus fights and kills Madrigosa, a blue dragon who you can see taunting him when doing the Dead Scar bombing quest, it's time to face the demon himself.
Many people have compared the Brutallus encounter to that of Patchwerk back in Naxxramas; rather than an execution encounter, this is a benchmark fight, and if your raid is low on DPS, your tanks fall short of gear requirements or your healers can't keep up, you'll run into difficulties. The main requirement is extremely high raid dps; with a 6 minute enrage and 10.5 million hitpoints, you're looking at just over 29k raid dps sustained over the entire fight. How much that works out to per DPSer depends on your raid composition, so let's look at what you need to bring for the fight.
Battleground anti-tip of the day - Sat, 19 Apr 2008 18:00:00 EST Based on your votes last week for the best piece of anti-advice, congratulations to Eldron for submitting the winning entry: "Hey everyone! Type /afk list when to see who is afk!" He wins fame, respect, and ooh and ahhhs from crowds of adoring fans! Eldron's anti-advice won with 28.7% of the votes.
When I first saw this piece of anti-advice I have to admit I went and tried it right away. I went in AV and typed in /bg, "Man... look at all these AFK people." A few folks responded and agreed with me, annoyed about it. "Type /afk list and report everyone that comes up, please," I say next.
I kid you not - 15 people immediately afk'd out. At that point I started getting some pretty hate-filled tells, so I decided to /afk out myself.
But nonetheless, I just about died from laughter. Of course, this is kind of mean, and just a tad underhanded, but really... sometimes things like this are just too funny to pass up. I tried this again later in a AB match that was going awful, and after I told everyone to type /afk list, someone replied "Yeah, wow, look at all those people." He then sent me a tell: "lol! I've been doing that all day!"
All the people that were dragging us down left the BG, and new ones came in and we won. So maybe this isn't that bad of advice after all...
Last night the WoW Insider arena team went over to the Arena Tournament server and played 14 matches over a couple hours. We went 8-6 for the evening, a much better number than our 3-11 score the week before. That places us at 11-17, with a team rating of 1435. Not too bad considering we've only played together a handful of times, and some of us are playing completely unknown classes.
So what helped us go in the right direction? A few things. First, we were communicating much more over vent. We were letting each other know what our target was, where we were going, what our status was, etc. This gave us the edge in a few matches.
Another thing that helped us win more was focus targeting a player down. This action in itself might seem like a no-brainer to many of you out there, but it is easier said than done. One of the reasons we had success in the video above is that we focus targeted the Mage down quickly. This was good not only from a DPS stand point, but from a target selection stand point as well. Mages are squishy, and go splat easily. This Mage didn't last long.
Each week, Arcane Brilliance is conjured out of thin air after a three-second cast, and then handed over in stacks of twenty to everyone who cares to have some. Actually, it's usually written over the course of a few hours by a half-asleep father of two after the kids have gone to bed. It may or may not be written while eating Cakesters and listening to a giant, largely embarrassing playlist of 80's music that includes Jan Hammer, Joe Esposito, and the illustrious Ronnie James Dio. So in a way, I suppose, perhaps magic is involved in the creation of this column. How else can you explain my ability to right-align a screenshot or create hyperlinks to Wowhead under those conditions? I'm some kind of sorcerer, that's how.
This week we continue our look at who Mages can kill, and who we can only kill if the other guy spills Red Bull all over his keyboard mid-fight. Just like every other class (except Druids) in this game, there are some good match-ups for Mages, and some incredibly bad ones. Last week we touched on several of these, and this week, we'll go over the rest. To review, according to the unscientific and largely arbitrary rating system I invented for the purposes of this column, it was decided that Warriors were very killable, Hunters were killable with some skill and luck, but Druids and Warlocks were not very killable at all.
So who's on tap for this week? Priests, Pallies, Shammies, and Rogues. Just for fun, I think we have to throw in some hot (or cold, depending on spec) Mage on Mage action, too. Join me after the jump for all the good stuff.
Each week or so, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time.
This week, I finally get around to answering an email from Mattilda:
I really enjoyed your article on WoW Insider. I recently got married and that basically killed my play time in WoW which probably isn't that bad of a thing, but I still like to play and it is normally only for a couple of hours in the evening. One of the biggest problems I have is getting a group for an instance. I have a decent guild but they are all normally busy in Kara or ZA when I'm on, and since I only play one or 2 nights a week I'm not high on the importance list to help.
I like to do dailies and busy my self with solo stuff, but in order to get neutral with the Ogrila, there are some group quests. Looking for group is not always reliable and it seems that it basically puts you with 5 year olds most of the time. So my question is you can either put in in an article or just answer via e-mail, do you have any good ideas on how to get a reliable group in a short amount of time. There may not be a way, but just wanted to get your thoughts.
Happy Guildleader Appreciation Day - Sat, 19 Apr 2008 14:00:00 EST I love this idea that reader Marvin mentioned in the comments the other day (although I wish that he'd tipped us off about it earlier): Leiandra wants to create an official Guildleader Appreciation Day, a day to recognize all the great guildleaders in World of Warcraft and all the other online games. It's simple, too -- all you have to do to observe is just thank your guildleader for their hard work. Until Hallmark gets wind of this, that is, but there's a little while until that happens.
She suggests that the day this happens should be the first full moon of April, which this year falls on 4/20 (snicker), or this Sunday. Leiandra also says that it's fine to extend the "day" to the day before and the day after, in order to get all the guildleader appreciation possible in. So today's the day it starts -- make sure to thank your guildleader this weekend.
And we'll have to either include raidleaders, or come up with something else for them. Guildleaders do a lot of work, but raidleaders are out there in the trenches, too, making sure we all get the loot we need. If we're going to appreciate guildleaders (and we should) raidleaders need love, too.
Loving to hate RP descriptions - Sat, 19 Apr 2008 13:00:00 EST One of the things I sort of miss from my City of Heroes days is the ability to add a description to my character for everyone to see, and having the ability to read their origin stories, too. RP mods such as FlagRSP(now out-of-date) and ImmersionRP work to fill this void, but it isn't quite the same.
Though most players have horrible, awful descriptions detailing nothing but their vampire fangs and heaving bosoms(even the men), they still supply entertainment when I have nothing better to do but stand around Stormwind using guild chat as glorified IRC. The addons that allow you to do this are nice, but they just aren't used by many people, even within the RP community. That's understandable, they don't really 'do' a lot. I don't see something like this ever being implemented in WoW's lifetime, but it would be nice to see, simply for the entertainment factor.
Am I alone in this? Is it so wrong to want to read these things when I have nothing better to do, no matter how horrible most of them are? Does that Night Elf over there really have eight black feathered wings? Does she really?
Last week, we asked viewers if there could be a happy mix of gameplay and machinima. So far, the only person to chime in was Lex, with this video of a Deadmines run. While admitting that it's not the best example, they feel the music engages viewers and that it's cut together in an organized manner.
We'd have to agree that we're glad they broke free from the metal soundtracks, but the Jackson 5? We're looking for true art. Deadmines BBQ is just a gameplay video with a lot of barn door transitions. There has to be a better example out there than this!
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.