Professional benefits in Wrath - Sun, 20 Jul 2008 19:30:00 EST Thanks to the information slowly (we just can't get them fast enough around here...) leaking out from the Wrath of the Lich KingBeta, we already learned that the professions trend started in The Burning Crusade will continue in the new expansion. The Burning Crusade (or Patch 2.0) introduced new items or enchantments that confer bonuses exclusively the character with the profession, such as ring enchants for Enchanters or Bind-on-Pickup gems for Jewelcrafters. This was a welcome change that rewarded players with their choice of profession -- almost to the point where such profession-only bonuses compelled many to choose professions somewhat incongruous with their class.
Hardcore PvP players pursued Enchanting for the ring enchants, for example, while hardcore raiders leveled their Leatherworking for the Drums of Battle. In Wrath of the Lich King, the different professions get even more exclusive goodies designed to keep professions more or less in tune with their intended classes. Eliah reported about the passive buffs for gatherers, and they seem to be in thematically tuned to some classes. Take Master of Anatomy, for example, which seems to be a benefit given to Skinners. Traditionally, Rogues, Hunters, and Shamans were the classes who pursued Leatherworking and its complementary profession, Skinning. The passive benefit to critical strikes are certainly welcome to those classes, so players who chose to stick to their Skinning will actually receive a pleasant boost in Wrath.
Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below, ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer you in a future installment! Aydinn of Cenarion Circle wrote in to ask...
My question is (which may seem obvious to some), who is the goblin statue at Booty Bay? Why does he deserve a statue?
Answer: Thanks for writing in! Good to hear from people from my home server. That statue on Janeiro Isle is might be of Baron Revilgaz, the overseer and top dog of Booty Bay. He deserves a statue because... he wanted a statue, and he's freaking Baron Revilgaz. He runs the show. Really, though, it's kind of a generic Goblinoid figure so it could be nobody at all.
At one time, it was a statue of a Human Priest. It's a nod to a really cool landmark here in the real world. It's based on Christ the Redeemer, a statue found in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. You may recognize it from an episode of Lupin III. Eh? No? ...oh. Oh well. It's a pretty awesome sight to see in real life regardless of whether you put faith in what it represents or not. The in-game model was likely changed from a Human to a Goblin to back away from the religious overtones while keeping the reference, and Goblins fit the area better anyway.
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. But wait... before we get serious about this new expansion of our relationship, Wrath, there's something you should understand about me: I may be a hunter, druid, rogue, warlock, warrior, shaman, and even a mage, but above and beyond all these things I'm also a roleplayer. Yes, I love all those promises you're making me these days about how wonderful our life together is going to be, but something inside tells me that you don't really understand what I really want. You only understand the part of me that likes to shoot, shred, stun, fear, strike, shock and even blast my pixelated enemies into oblivion. But what about my artistic vision?
Oh sure, I see you smirking. What does artistic vision have to do with "Warcraft," "Wrath," and "Lich King?" ... well, you're forgetting the very first thing that anyone ever sees or hears about you: "World." You may have lots of violence, anger, and nasty enemies, but in the end what you really are is a world, a space, and a stage, where my friends and I can get together and have a good time. This is what you don't understand, Wrath: I'm a person, and I like to have things to do and talk about with other people that don't involve damage, threat, or recovering from damage and threat.
Okay okay, you have a point. It's not like you've ignored this aspect of our relationship completely; I'll give you credit for that. In fact, there are some new non-violent things I'm really looking forward to, which I wouldn't be able to do without you.
Welcome to another installment of Addon Spotlight, the quiet home of mod enthusiasts amongst the whirlwind of breaking news that is WoW Insider. Reader Kyle "strongly" suggested that I profile Talented, an addon that replaces your talent interface and opens up some extended features for talent planning.
Considering the tone of his suggestion, I would venture to say that Kyle has grown frustrated by his fellow players' tendency to screw up their builds or they're taking too long to respec. This can, indeed, become an issue when one is respeccing for raiding, arenas and different roles for hybrids.
This is where Talented, and its companion Talented_Data, can save you time and a little money if you're prone to selecting the wrong talents when you're in a hurry. This addon allows you to build talent templates, which can be applied via one click after a talent wipe. I do this when I switch from a PvE Retribution spec to Holy for progression nights or arenas. I have to say, it helps reduce the risk of mistakes, which can leave me free to spend more time remembering to grab the correct gear out of the bank.
Many moons back, I looked at some wishes that warlocks had to improve our lot (but didn't break the game). We're now here in this pre-expansion funk, where players are generally more interested in things to come than things that are. So let us see if any of our wishes will be granted with the Wrath beta changes.
Michael did an excellent analysis of the first beta patch notes for warlocks, and he'll be following that up with a look at the new talent trees and spells. At this stage of development, it's still too early to characterize the changes as an overall class buff or nerf, but one thing's for certain: Blizzard is shaking up our game.
The changes will break some cookie-cutter specs, namely those that relied on Demonic Sacrifice and Soul Link. Shaking up the so-called "best" builds that players have become dependent on, is always a good thing to keep things fresh and interesting.
I know we've been laying the Wrath news on thick but we're all incredibly excited, and I think most of you are, too. It's especially difficult to restrain myself when I see things like the motorcycle you see above, which I was directed to by an acquaintance of mine that's in the Beta. I don't have a concrete source on the fact that these motorcycles are made by Engineers, but I'm pretty confident that's the case. Is there anything else they could be? I suppose it's possible that they're strictly for quest use, but I somehow have my doubts. It looks like they put too much work into them for their role to only be for a quest or two.
The only thing that really makes me wonder if these are actually Engineering mounts or not is the fact that they're distinct by faction. A nice touch, but I think that would make it the first Horde/Alliance division in the profession. I suppose dividing the bikes by Goblin and Gnomish Engineering wouldn't make them as awesome looking. They're not quite Orange County material by any means, but they're still pretty slick. Let's be honest though, some races riding these things will be hilarious. Biker Tauren? Really? I suppose I can see a Dwarf riding the Alliance bike, but a Male Draenei driving it would probably be the silliest thing I've ever seen.
Basically, what I am saying is, is that these are completely awesome no matter how absurd they may be. If you want to see the Alliance ride, check it out behind the cut.
Inscription to allow enchanters to sell on the AH - Sun, 20 Jul 2008 14:00:00 EST Blizzard has been saying for a while that they're working on letting Enchanters ply their trade via the Auction House. When the Wrath beta launched, we didn't immediately see any way that this feature has been implemented. However, Elisalia, a beta-tester, wrote in to let us know that she'd figured it out. The link between Enchanters and the AH is going to be Inscription, and it looks like it will work as follows:
Inscriptors can create blank parchments, such as the Bleached Parchement seen in the picture. Each type of Parchment works for one type of item to enchant -- armor, weapon, etc.
Enchanters can cast enchantments on those parchments, to create, for instance, that Scroll of Enchant Cloak - Greater Defense. These scrolls can be listed on the AH, mailed, or traded like any other unbound item.
The scrolls can be right-clicked by anyone to apply the enchantment to their own items.
It's a good system, and I like it. In addition to using the AH, of course, this will also allow enchanters to give enchantments to their own alts -- about time. I wonder if Inscriptors will be able to use a similar system to vend their own spell enhancements. Also, hopefully the cost of the parchment will not be too high; if it's more than a few gold, people will likely circumvent this system entirely and keep doing enchants the way we do them now. Enchanters, does this look like a good system to you? Would you rather preserve the face-to-face, personalized nature of the enchantment transaction?
Jadefury, also known as Leiah, writer of the World of Feedback blog, has fast become one of the most recognizable names in Deathknighting of those following the Wrath Beta. Among his contributions have been 2 videos that showcase the leveling playstyle of Unholy and Blood trees. They're definitely worth a watch for anyone who's seriously thinking of playing a Death Knight in Wrath of the Lich King.
The Unholy video, shown above, uses this spec. It actually relies quite heavily on two Blood talents: Butchery and Vendetta. Those 2 talents provide the Death Knight with health and runic power after every mob death, which helps power Corpse Explosions and allows the Death Knight to stand up to lots of monsters at once. Jadefury also shows the power of Death and Decay, Lichborne, and Bone Armor, and even throws in an exploding Ghoul or two, following it all up with a showcase of the awesome Death Gate animation.
I have to admit that I have some concern that this style of AE farming won't be viable for Death Knights everywhere, since in this video, he relied extensively on getting Runic Power via Vendetta due to quick kills on the low HP slimes in the Pools of Aggonar. On the other hand, it looks like a lot of fun, and solidifies my personal resolve to try an Unholy build first.
We're amazed at the level of creativity involved in Gnomechewer's short productions. We only wish that he'd focus on one idea and either create a longer video, or a series. With that said, his use of CrazyTalk as well as other advanced programs only enhance his work, which continues to make him a crowd favorite.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Sorry about that, it should of been in the patch notes. The idea is for DPS mail (with AGI and AP) to be viable for both Hunters and Shaman. Strength is mostly now only a stat for Death Knights, Warriors and Ret Paladins.
While this won't immediately take shamans out of wearing leather for their enhancement DPS needs, it does make the leather that feral druids wear less attractive. Rogue leather, which tends to have agi, attack power and crit will still be fairly attractive, but now all that mail that has stats for hunters will look a lot more appealing to our melee branch of the best class in the game. One depressing note seems to be that our agility to crit formulas seem to have changed negatively as well, most likely because we're expected to push agility more than currently.
Our non-combat pets have been abused for too long. They've been starved, drowned, trampled, left in banks for years, and shoved into a backpack with angry, incontinent nightsabers. Now, at last, they shall have their revenge. After gorging himself on Papa Hummel's Old-Fashioned Pet Biscuits and slipping some Noggenfogger Elixir into his master's evening tea, this formerly servile Sinister Squashling had Dunamus of Kul Tiras begging for his pathetic life. Feed me, Seymour!
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!
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The premiere 3v3 Arena team from Europe of Cherez, Beasteh, and Hydra -- aka Nihilum Arena -- won top honors at the recently concluded Championship Gaming SeriesArena Tournament. This win comes after their notable absence from MLG Orlando despite a 2nd place finish in San Diego. Considering the purse for the MLG series is $12,000 (and an HP Blackbird for each team member), Nihilum fortunately participated in this tournament, winning a whopping $25,000.
Frag Dominant Duelists continued their strong showing on the pro circuit, finishing 2nd again after falling to Orz in MLG Orlando about a week ago, and placing first in MLG San Diego. FD-DGFG ran a double healer Rogue, Druid, Priest comp, taking home $12,500 after their defeat to Nihilum Arena's Hunter, Druid, and Priest. Two runner-up teams took home $6,250 apiece. The tournament used a format that pitted Europe's against the United States' best in the finals.
The coverage was different from the MLG series, being much more friendly to viewers not overly familiar with the game or Arena tournaments, with extensive previews of the characters used by the players, and an overview of the Arena maps prior to matches. The shoutcasting was also much more casual-friendly, at a significantly slower pace than the MLG coverage. The choice of the infamous Leeroy Jenkins to commentate was definitely a marketing move, with more than a few mistakes (calling Scatter ShotDistracting Shot, saying Ice Block's cooldown as 2 mins vs. the correct 5, being fooled by Cherez' Feign Death, etc.). The level of analysis wasn't as deep as MLG's, which featured Arena pros for commentating. Camera view was also an overhead style as opposed to the third person view used by MLG. Both tournaments had good points, and it's exciting to see Arena play gaining a stronger foothold in the pro gaming scene.
Sunday Morning Funnies: Fighting naked - Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:00:00 EST This week we have a fair amount of humorous adventures, including an ill-timed leak, success in disguise, a handy brick, a clever wolf, and even some snakes.
Breakfast Topic: What would you do for a Beta Invite? - Sun, 20 Jul 2008 08:00:00 EST We're going to do something a little different for today's Breakfast Topic. Let's play a little game. Almost all of us have seen those corny, awful Klondike Bar commercials, right? If not, YouTube has some examples for you so you can bask in their ridiculousness. So my request for you this fine Sunday morning is to tell us (tastefully) what you would do for a beta invite, in the style of the Klondike Bar commercials. Yes, I'm serious! Heck, even if you don't want a beta invite, play along! This is purely to have ourselves a good time this morning.
So, out with it. What would you doo-OOO-ooo for a Beta invite?
What would I do for a beta invitation, you ask? Well, I would sing and record the Lament of Captain Placeholder, save it as an mp3 and post it on WoW Insider to be downloaded and mocked by thousands of our readers around the world. But, um... no video. I can only handle so much shame.
I'll see if I can convince some of our other bloggers to answer the question here throughout the day.
Sometimes we just find ourselves compelled to do nice things.Sukalin of EU-Anarchronos told a tale of a complete stranger coming to his rescue: Just a few minutes ago, I was running down through Stranglethorn Vale on my 20 Warlock, so I could get to BootyBay and eventually The Barrens to do my Succubus quest. I kept getting attacked by beasts and dying, though.
About a quarter of the way down I was attacked by a tiger and was reduced to about 5% health when a Troll Shaman called Ayisah shocked the tiger and saved me! I was grateful, of course, and expressed my gratitude in the form of emotes - but in addition to that she helped me travel down the rest of the zone by following close behind me on my way to Booty Bay.
I saved the best for last. Best if only because Retribution is the tree I've enjoyed the most while on my Paladin, and because a quick perusal of the new talents show that Blizzard seems to be taking the right steps for the tree. Few class specs have had more stigma than Retribution, mainly because the class traditionally performed better in other trees and also because the Retadin, who could only muster average DPS, provided little by way of raid utility. It doesn't help that Kalgan openly ridicules the class, either, whether or not in jest.
Patch 2.3 saw a bunch of awesome changes for Retribution, dealing with threat management as well as some solid PvP-oriented talents. Despite that, few raids brought Retadins along, especially on progression. It's an old stigma that has carried over and has proven hard to shake. The other trees received fantastic upgrades -- you can read my overview of the Holy tree here, and my thoughts on the Protection tree here. You can read the entirety of the patch notes in my first post of this series, and my analysis on the changes to baseline abilities and existing talents in the follow-up.
Each week Matthew Porter contributes The Creamy GUI Center, a column aimed at helping you enhance your WoW experience by offering an in depth guide to addons, macros and other tools we use to play WoW, along with commentary on issues that affect how we all play.
Welcome readers to this week's The Creamy GUI Center. It looks like I stumbled upon an addon topic that, judging from your comments, a lot of people view as a cornerstone of their UI and addon experience. This week, thanks to reader feedback, I'm going to extend our look at inventory addons to three parts instead of two so that we can take a look at a couple of fan favorite bag addons that I missed. I did indeed hear your cries of wanting more in the comments, so let's get down to it with a look at ArkInventory and TBag.
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 duelling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.
You may have heard of him. Jeff "Aelli" Ware of the Reckoning battlegroup has been rocking battlegrounds and the Arena, scoring a Gladiator rank in Season 3 during the last week of play. And as Amanda told us at the beginning of the season, Aelli planned to do even better in Season 4. And now, he's succeeded at doing just that -- Lookin for Sponsor, Aelli's team, has hit the #1 spot on the Reckoning 5v5 ladder. What's the big deal?
Not only has Lookin for Sponsor achieved something pretty cool -- they've done it with only two people. Aelli pilots the team's four Shaman all by his lonesome. He's what's known as a "quad-boxer" or "multi-boxer," and controls four of the team's five characters. We were fortunate enough that Aelli was willing to do an interview with your intrepid WoW Insider team, and share some thoughts on both his unique playstyle, and the Arena as a whole. The interview is after the cut.
WowAceUpdater goes the way of the dodo - Sat, 19 Jul 2008 20:00:00 EST At noon today, Kaelten of WowAce fame posted a thread on the WowAce forums discussing the future of their massively popular project. There's quite a bit of nitty gritty coder lingo that you don't really need to know unless you're involved in WowAce, but there's other important information for us normal folk, too.
First, a few obvious things are pointed out. One, WowAce became big. Really, really big, and I imagine much bigger than they had ever imagined. The way WowAce is set up doesn't work so well with that much of a load and that many mods and packages being developed. Additionally, the amount of bandwidth they used monthly is absolutely enormous.
To quote: "As it currently stands files.wowace.com pushes out an incredible amount of addon updates. In an average month we're talking about more than thirty terabytes of data! In a busy month clearing sixty is no problem, and I don't even want to talk about what happens on major patch days."