Bloodmyst moths tameable, and other undocumented Hunter changes - Wed, 21 Jan 2009 19:00:00 EST Mania's been doing a great job of covering the undocumented Hunter changes in the latest patch -- she's got them on this post down below the usual patch notes. In short, there are a few pets that have become untameable: the Sapphire Hive Queen in Sholazar Basin, the three Oracles spirits summoned during their daily quest, and Gezzarak the Hunter, a Warp Stalker summoned back in Skettis during the Aversarial Blood quest. Strangely enough, problems with those pets have been fixed, so if you've got one tamed from before the patch, it should work better, but you can't seem to tame them now. And finally, the low-level blue moths on Bloodmyst Isle can now be tamed (apparently though the ability to tame Moths got added a while back, these guys couldn't be tamed for some reason).
Of course, lots of BM Hunters aren't real thrilled about the changes to their class, and getting to tame some low-level moths probably isn't a good enough tradeoff. But still, if you've been waiting to go all the way back to Bloodmyst and pick up a moth to take to 80 with you, now's your chance.
One of the first questions that comes up is one that everyone would like to ask: Why haven't we seen a longer feature from these guys? But they say that, as always, their first priority is making great games, not great features, and as much as people would want to see a 60 or 90 minute cinematic from this team, they work for a game company. They also talk about something they've been working more on lately: in-game cinematics. I saw this at work in Starcraft II back at BlizzCon -- while most of Blizzard's cinematics so far have been completely separate from the in-game art, Starcraft II introduces models that are high-quality enough to be rendered cinematically, so much of the actual cutscenes are in-game rather than in separately rendered CGI. But as the team points out, their goal is to make them no less awesome.
Finally, they do get into the nitty-gritty of designing their cinematics, and 3D animators will enjoy the ins and outs of how Blizzard made Arthas summon that Frostwyrm. We're just in awe of how much great work this team does -- hopefully we'll be seeing lots more of it in the future.
The disaster of patch 3.0.8 - Wed, 21 Jan 2009 17:00:00 EST Bugs plague any developer of computer software -- even when you think your code is perfect and it's been seen as such by everyone in the company, you'll still have your users find bugs faster and more frequently than you ever thought possible. And Blizzard is no stranger to bugs -- though they have a reputation for quality releases, they've always had a few bugs sneak through. As big a game as World of Warcraft is, there's always bound to be something not working quite right.
But patch 3.0.8 goes above and beyond the bounds of normal mistakes. Adam put together a terrific roundup last night of bugs found so far, and the list goes on and on: Wintergrasp (one of the biggest promoted features of Wrath) shut down. Unbearable lag on the realms and in instances (and this patch was supposed to fix that). Blizzard even went live with the patch knowing that major bugs (the Warlock summoning and animation and clipping errors) were in there, and, perhaps worst of all, bugs that have been in the game so long they seem to belong there (we're looking at you, Pet Cower bug) didn't even bother showing up in the patch notes, and haven't been fixed.
In short, patch 3.0.8 has been a disaster. If Blizzard feels that this patch lives up to the quality of content they released in Northrend (or if they, unbelievably, somehow though this was meant to be a bugfix patch for Northend, that ended up screwing up more things than it fixed), then they need to take a long, hard look at their quality assurance system again.
Update: Please see this post for further information.
The system is thus:
There is a rating, one that you cannot see, which will match you "against others of equal skill." This rating is different for each of the arena brackets. At the end of each match, the internal rating, the one you cannot see, is changed. The cycle then repeats itself when you queue up for your next match.
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 begin to examine the rest of the Construct Quarter.
Hey folks. This installment is going up a bit late due to connection issues that left me offline for most of last week, for which I sincerely apologize. We'll have Gluth today, Thaddius tomorrow, and Sapphiron/Kel'thuzad on Saturday, which should finish off all of Naxx for us. But first, let's run with the Big Dog.
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.
The title above is only half-joking. Patch 3.0.8 didn't supply any real content which is what we're all waiting for, but at this point rolling out patch 3.1 too quickly would be a disaster. I think game quality is worse now than it was before 3.0.8, so I'd much rather see things working smoothly again before they throw patch 3.1 at us. Of course, I'm also pretty bored with Wrath already, so...
Zoidberg asked... So, what do we know about 3.1? What do we know about dual spec? Anything about Ulduar? Anything about DK nerfs? Warlock buffs? Will I get any Silver Covenant rep?
Man, you'd think they're trying to achieve realm population balance or something. Blizzard has just opened up yet another round of free character transfers for the European realms, these scheduled to be active from now until Tuesday, January 27. Some of these transfers are simply extensions of the last round, and some are brand-new.
The preview reveals that when Garona (who has the same tailor as Valeera Sanguinar apparently) killed King Llane, she was actually pregnant. When she 'disappeared' from the overall Warcraft story, she handed off her child to the Undead Mage/Warlock/Necromancer Meryl for safekeeping since she couldn't trust herself while she went to deal with her inner demons. It's interesting to note that this Undead Necromancer isn't actually a member of the Forsaken, so that Forsaken Warlock action figure you may have purchased awhile back isn't a Forsaken at all. He predates Ner'zhul by quite a bit, and the comic describes him as being undead via his own will and sorcery. He should prove to be a pretty neat character.
Silverlined_Pro created REVENGE as a roleplay-based movie about his character Nixxiom. As the story goes, Nixxiom has "always had a hard life." The author doesn't spell out the details, but apparently he killed his own parents through some circumstance, his wife died, and then his daughter was violated and murdered by demons. As if that's not enough, he got turned into a Death Knight. Now, Nixxiom has broken free of the Lich King's control. He's amassed his own army of undead critters, and is marching on Arthas with the goal of deposing him and taking the title Lich King for himself.
You only get that background and information from reading Silverlined_Pro's summary on Myndflame. The video itself, as a stand alone piece, doesn't really supply that story. I don't know what I would have thought if I were only viewing the movie. It contains mostly a series of undead characters staring at each other, and then the main character -- a Night Elf -- staring down Arthas. I think the basic jist that "these guys don't play nicely together" probably would have come across, but that's about it.
For all that the story is vague, though, the video itself is fairly well done. The music is apropos (it's the Lich King theme), and the animation and screen capture is solid. My words of summary would be, "Nice first attempt, let's see what you do next."
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Wrath's first true raid instances come in the form of a level 60 raid instance put in the microwave for 20 levels and served with a sideof dragons. Don't get me wrong; I love the retouched Naxxramas. I never got to experience all of the fights against Kel'Thuzad's minions before they relocated to Northrend, so being able to re-enter the citadel of death and slay some undead is a welcome opportunity.
If you search for "naxx 60 rogue gear guide" I'm sure you'll find a bunch of articles that recommend you sport at least 8/8 Bloodfang and maybe a weapon or two from Ahn'Qiraj. Times have changed, and so have the gear requirements. There are a few magic numbers that every Rogue wants to shoot for. After the cut I'll detail these vital stats and explain why they're so important to us.
As a responsible pet owner, it's necessary to provide the correct living environment for your companion. Mzi of <Involution> on Thrall, having recently acquired a flaming horse from Attumen the Huntsman, has kindly stabled it in a similarly fiery location in Northrend instead of dragging it through the snow. You've got a D.E.H.T.A. commendation coming your way, Mzi, as soon as they finish renaming murlocs "sea pandaren."
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.
Enjoy soloing Onyxia for a quick 180 gold every five days? With patch 3.0.8, those good old days are no more, as boss gold drops (at least back in the old world) seem to have been significantly reduced. Onyxia's 180 gold is now 50 gold and forum posters are noticing similar reductions in other old world raids from Ahn'Qiraj to Zul'Gurub. Is this the end of old world raiding for good? Well, it may not be as profitiable, but I'm willing to go on record saying that slaughtering Onyxia is still plenty of fun. Plus it's the only way to complete that awesome tier 2 set you need to be super stylish while idling in Dalaran.
Keep your fingers crossed, rolling restarts on the way - Wed, 21 Jan 2009 08:30:00 EST All realms are undergoing a series of rolling restarts, with each realm going down for approximately 15 minutes. The entire process should conceivably last no more than an hour. I suppose we all saw this coming considering the stability issues realms have been experiencing since Patch 3.0.8 dropped yesterday. Most realms continually crashed because of a bug in Wintergrasp but have since stabilized at the cost of disabling the battle for the zone.
Hopefully these restarts fix most of the issues that came with the latest patch -- I kind of want to actually win Wintergrasp without taking down the entire server. A series of restarts fixed the Death Knight bug yesterday, so we hope to see Azeroth return to normal after this.
Patch 3.0.8 is here! So welcome to the new patch -- much like the old patch, only with more lag, crashes every 20 minutes, and plenty of other entertaining bugs! (Don't you just love patch day?) You would think that, by now, we'd have learned that patch days tend to be a bust for playing, but most of us at WoW Insider HQ rushed to log in as soon as the realms were back online, ready to enjoy some 3.0.8 goodness. Boy, were we in for a disappointment. (Though as some of you may have noticed, it was a great time to catch up on old world achievements, since the Wintergrasp bug was only crashing Northrend.) For those of you who decided to spend your Tuesday outside of the game, you managed to miss out on plenty of patch day fun -- but you may be just in time to enjoy stable playtime as Blizzard has scrambled to get things working again. (If you haven't picked up the patch already, here are some download mirrors to help you out.) Were you in-game on Tuesday night? If so, what were your experiences? Get any playtime in?
This is Xander. You might think he's just a cute puppy, but no -- he's a drama-causing ball of AFK fury. A player in our drama section this week is the proud new owner of Xander, but the puppy caused so much AFK time for him that it rubbed his group the wrong way. Look in his eyes -- you can see he's got the power to split guilds and wipe groups at will!
Lots more drama, downed news, and recruiting notices in this week's Guildwatch, which starts right after the break. Unfortunately, that's the only story that's puppy-related, but we've got lots of dead dragons and guild transfers. There's even a Blue appearance this week!
Patch 3.0.8 bug roundup - Wed, 21 Jan 2009 00:01:00 EST My favorite time of the patch day is here - looking at all the bugs! At the time of this writing, we're about six hours after the patch and the majority of bugs have been found. We've counted six of them, and will go over each and when the fix is expected after the break.
Obviously some are more important than others. The Wintergrasp bug that is currently crashing servers left and right needs to be fixed "nao," as people are clamoring about in trade channels. The game is nearly unplayable for most people.
Interestingly there are no bugs about missing mail or other missing items, nor are there reports of extreme lag and other difficulties (other than the severs crashing).
The full list of 3.0.8 bugs, and information about their status, after the break.
The restarts will take place tomorrow (Wednesday January 21st) at 5:00 a.m. PST / 8:00 a.m. EST. Each realm should be down for a short period of time, and the restarts should only take around 15 minutes. Oceanic servers will see their restarts take place at 12:00 p.m. PST / 3:00 p.m. EST.
We can safely assume that these restarts will correct the issue. However if they don't, look here for more information. Additional Note: There is no new information on the Wintergrasp bug
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.
Azeroth shall not be contained to two dimensions Yes, that's right, now you too can wear goofy glasses in front of your PC monitor and feel as if the whole world of Azeroth is jumping out from the screen and into your computer room, all thanks to NVIDIA.
GamerDNA and Massively offer up Death Knight data goodness Back in October, we ran a couple of articles that gave you a snapshot of the kind of person who played the various classes in World of Warcraft. Now that the Death Knight class has been out for nearly three whole months, we figure the flavor of the month kids have had their turn at bat, and the real fans of the new class are settled in.
The Digital Continuum: Checking in with Warhammer Online It's been a while since Warhammer Online was released and in that time we've seen a lot of crazy stuff happen. Namely, Wrath of the Lich King launched, became the fastest selling PC game of all time and rocketed World of Warcraft into an even high number of subscriptions.
Know Your LotRO Lore: The Race of Man If you've been following along with Know Your LotRO Lore for the last few weeks, you're probably caught up with a basic understanding of how Middle-earth was created, and the origins of most of the Free Peoples. Now it's time to get educated on the race of Man in Middle-earth. Of course this term is not gender-specific, as it can refer to both male and female humankind.
First Impressions: Cartoon Network's Fusion Fall Cartoon Network's MMO, FusionFall, is definitely a strong first entry into the market. With the Cartoon Network stars as the basis for their IP, and many industry names involved in the project, the hopes have been high. The story is set in a future version of Cartoon Network's own variant of Earth, where the characters are now teenagers - and a bit more anime-styled than their counterparts we know from TV. The premise is that Planet Fusion, a big nasty greenish planet-devouring ball of space-muck run by a terribad guy named Fuse, has come to snack on our beloved home.
As of the shortly before Wrath launch time, the plan for Death Knight character creation was as follows:
If you have a level 55 or greater character on any realm,
You can create one DK per realm on any realm you like.
You can't, of course, create DKs of the opposite faction on a PvP server on which you already have characters.
Since the expansion launched, though, due to technical limitations, it has only been possible to create a DK on servers on which you have a 55+.
3.0.8 was supposed to ease this restriction, returning to the original design of DK unlocking being acount-wide rather than server-wide. However, "due to unforeseen circumstances," this change was not fully executed. Some people are able to create DKs on any realm as intended (myself included), but some are not. Neth promises that we will see the change come to all "in the near future," hopefully after some rolling restarts tonight. And here's hoping those same rolling restarts solve the Wintergrasp crashing bug that's annoying us all so intensely.