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.
We're back! Live from WoW Insider, the Wrath Season of Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves. Two Bosses is our series of fantasy death matches between the games infamous PvE villains. This season, we'll throw into the pit the bosses of Wrath of the Lich King's five-man instances, two by two, until we come up with an ultimate winner.
The best part? You determine who wins.
The central tenet of a Two Bosses matchup is an assumption that the bosses are of approximately the same level and health and that they're fighting in neutral territory. It's fighting abilities and scale we're debating here - so don't get caught up in actual game mechanics. Consider the flavor each villainous gladiator brings to bear, and cast your vote for who you think would come out on top.
Your first match-up in Two Bosses Enter: The Wrath Season -- Keristrasza versus Cyanigosa. Details and your chance to determine the winner, after the break.
This morning, reader Jipi wrote to us pointing out a post, written way back in 2007, discussing which classes were the fastest levelers. But, being as it's a good year and a half out of date, Jipi wanted to know which classes were the fastest levelers now. We thought that the Twitter community might have some insight on the matter -- so we asked them! (On Twitter? Follow us! We'll talk WoW!) Some of the answers we received echoed our original post: Hunters and Warlocks still get a nod as some of your best options. Both do excellent DPS and have pets to lend a hand. Also high on the list were Druids, who received praise for their versatility. And, unsurprisingly, Death Knights are new on the list -- not only do they have the advantage of skipping the first 55 levels, but they also do great DPS with high survivability.
For everyone's on Twitter's answers to this question (in 140 characters or less) -- or to add your own (in as many characters as you'd like) -- read on!
DKP pitfalls and how to jump them - Thu, 22 Jan 2009 17:00:00 EST Kree's got a nice set of posts about some of the more advanced problems with a DKP system in his guild (he calls them pitfalls, which works very well as a metaphor). I've never been part of a really serious DKP system, but just like with any other economy, DKP can lead itself to imbalances if you aren't careful with how people are getting and spending points.
Inflation is definitely a problem I've seen in other guilds -- usually, with DKP, you have a few very consistent raiders, and everyone else can fall behind. And eventually you get a few folks with tons of DKP, so much so that they can outspend everyone else and basically dictate how gear drops. Kree's solutions are good, though -- he offers up "point rot" (points devalue over time, so you can't save up tons of them at once), and a point cap (though even that can cause problems, as people are forced to spend DKP on gear they don't need rather than losing them). The other issues, collusion and upbidding, don't happen quite so often (both of those require players to be rather malicious, and in guilds where everyone knows which gear they should and shouldn't use, you don't usually have an issue), but he's got some good solutions there as well. DKP was designed to make sure passing out drops is fair, and Blizzard has put all sorts of rules and restrictions in the game to try and get raiders the gear they need without a lot of fighting. As long as your guild remembers that there's always more gear to go around and that no one piece is worth stealing or causing trouble over, a good, balanced DKP system can help you avoid these alligator-filled pitfalls pretty easily.
Yesterday, the healing forums were flooded with complaints largely by Priests alleging that the new 3.0.8 version of the Paladin Glyph of Holy Light was completely overpowered and made Paladins into group healers, shoe-horning them into a niche recently left half-vacant by our Circle of Healing nerf. Such complainants will presumably be happy to hear that the glyph is being hotfixed, reducing the range from 20 yards to 8.
Ghostcrawler calls the glyph "vastly overpowered," and goes on in a later post to give a bit more information. Like most changes, this was not done in response to QQ; as it turns out, the glyph was just overpowered. He also states that [major] glyphs are meant to be "about on par with passive talents" in terms of their power, which is in line with what I've been observing (maybe a few percent increase in damage/healing/mitigation per glyph, for the good ones).
At any rate, sorry to my Holy Paladin friends; I guess this one was just too good to last. I'm still jealous of your everlasting mana.
Gold ads on fan sites are one thing (we've been plagued by them in the past, ourselves), but today gold ads are starting to turn up on the official Blizzard forums! The above screenshot was taken by me at about 3:15 EST this afternoon. This is a major (and hilarious) slip-up on the part of whoever handles the advertising on the forums (which was just put in fairly recently). I expect to see a lot of people buying gold and trying to claim that Blizzard endorsed it with these ads, and then getting confused when their accounts get banned.
At the moment Blizzard forum moderators are apparently deleting all threads pertaining to the ads, which seems appropriate enough; they clearly know about the problem. Oh, and folks: don't buy gold.
Update: Blizzard has responded officially to the matter, stating: "Recently, there was a temporary error with our forum advertisements that caused a gold-selling ad to be displayed. At this time, we have resolved this error. Our stance... remains firmly against the buying or selling of gold, and we may take action against accounts that are involved in these activities."
But that gets a little too far into non-Blizzard territory for us. Kuchera finishes by saying that there's two forces at work in Azeroth: "the loyalty of [WoW's] players" and "Kotick's cash lust." And he questions what will happen when the two finally face off. Which is basically what we've been saying for a long time. But the question so far is whether that's happened or not. Have Activision and Kotick pushed Blizzard to make the Starcraft II and Battle.net decisions, or is Blizzard making all of these choices on their own?
Forum post of the day: Don't be bothered by bugs - Thu, 22 Jan 2009 14:00:00 EST I don't really need to tell you that WoW has been a little rocky since patch 3.0.8 launched. The forums are filled with players who are angry and threatening to cancel their accounts. There are some that think we need to give a Blizz a break.
Snagger of Quel'dorei pointed out that there are risks involved in launching new programming. The PTR cannot quite grasp the effect of millions of users. I've experienced bugs in new software releases in many areas. Everything from the Windows XP security bug in service pack three to software developed for my employer that regularly crashes the computer. We come up with work-arounds and the the developers work to resolve the issue. What we're experiencing is not unique to WoW. If you're missing out on your favorite WoW activity, try something else: run battlegrounds, work on reputation, help some lowbies, roll a healer.
As you can see above, Fallon isn't much for Azeroth -- while Felicia is rocking a pretty hardcore Warlock, Jimmy still has a tough time getting past the character creation screen. But he did drum at least one laugh out of me (which is one more than he ever got from me on SNL), so well done. I very much agree with the commenters on the blog -- if he can keep the show technology and geek-focused like this (and maybe get at least one character up to level 30 -- all Felicia had to do was say "roll on a PvE server," right?), he might have a chance at filling Conan's shoes.
AdmiralQ published this piece in honor of the Bloodsail Elites on Sha'tar EU. It's titled appropriately as The Bloodsail Elite song. I guess it's kind of a theme song for the Guild, and probably has some in jokes that we're not going to get unless you're a member. The production values could use a little help in this song, since it sounds like everyone was "singing" by whispering into their microphone. I was nervous when I first heard the soundtrack kick on, as it very much sounded like someone activate Ventrillo.
I'm very glad I gave it a chance because I really liked the song. It's clever and fun and that's a combination that's hard to get wrong. The song is obviously meant to be good humor, and I think it succeeds. Its rhyme and meter match the background music, and seems inspired by "Drunken Sailor." While the movie backdrop probably won't knock any socks off, that doesn't really matter. Like most music videos, the video part is there as an enhancement, and the giggly-fun song carries the work as a whole.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Welcome to this week's edition of Scattered Shots, which is dedicated to shiny things and dust.
So by now you've seen our normal dungeon gear guide, our heroic dungeon gear guide, our reputation gear guide, and our holiday gift guide. Between all of them, you should be able to put together a nice solid set of gear that should let you tackle 10-man Naxxramas pretty easily. But grabbing the gear is the easy part. To go the extra mile, you need to grab those gems and enchantments. Let's look at some of the best gems and enchantments you can take along to secure your place in the DPS charts in Naxxramas.
So what's so unusual and exciting about this screenshot? It's just a tauren fighting a dwarf in Westfall. No interesting glitches, pretty colors or unexpected deaths. Well ... there is one thing. The whole thing was set up by Skype of Windrunner to be a recreation of this well-done World of Warcraft fan art. I'd say she did a pretty good job, considering how tough it is to reenvision a piece of artwork using a video game engine. Heck, if anyone can turn this fan art into a screenshot, they deserve a job at Blizzard.
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.
Unfortunately, this won't help the Violet Proto-Drake seekers, because the Veteran Nanny achievement got removed in 2.4.3 as part of the Children's Week meta-achievements (probably because Blizzard noted that it took so long to get done). And even if it did count, you'll still need the Brewfest achievements... which you'll have to wait until this October to get (since Blizzard dropped the achievements patch after Brewfest ended last year). But Children's Week enthusiasts who have already collected pets in the past will have a little less work to do to pick up the Veteran Nanny achievement.
Breakfast topic: Of Newbies and n00bs - Thu, 22 Jan 2009 08:00:00 EST Amazingly enough, there are still many new players coming into the game that need some tutoring. I consider myself to be downright patient. If someone asks for help or advice, I'm there. If I don't have the answer, I point them to one of the many WoW resources that will assist them. At one point in time we were all rookies, and many of us still have many nuances of the game to pick up. I love to watch people learn and grow.
Bear in mind that WoW has a variable learning curve based on familiarity with MMORPGs, time spent playing, coaches, and aptitude. There comes a time though, when folks should be pretty self-sufficient. The argument "I'm new" no longer holds water. For example, it goes without saying that hunters should always check their ammo supplies before going into instances and in general, clothies should let the tank pull.
Mia is known around the World of Warcraft community for her work in WoW related adult entertainment. However she also is a known Warlock with a penchant for raiding.
Mia talked about her opinions on Wrath and how excited she was to get it initially, but is now kind of so-so about it. In the interview Mia laments about how easy the current raiding content is, especially compared to how hard you had to work to get into the Black Temple back in Burning Crusade raiding.
Essentially all the realms are going to be restarted on off-peak hours, and the fix should then kick in.
He notes that they are going to be monitoring realm stability and Wintergrasp closely. That leads me to believe they are not supremely confident in the fix. I'll hope that I'm wrong here and that they're just saying that to look good. Ideally the fix will be great and work off the bat.
The Empire of Zul'drak issue resolved with a new quest - Wed, 21 Jan 2009 20:00:00 EST A lot of players aiming for the Loremaster achievement were hitting a snag in Zul'Drak. Because of one or two quests that were only able to be done while on a single questline, a lot of players that missed it initially were blocked from going back to it and were stuck at 99/100 quests. Patch 3.0.8 brings some great news for those people: A new quest has been added to the zone so you can finish your achievement.
Chronicler To'kini in the quest hub Zim'Torga now offers the quest Tails Up, which as of this posting doesn't appear on either Wowhead or WoWDB yet. It's another of Blizzard's awkward humor quests, though luckily it's not poop related. Genitalia is the name of the game this time around. The Chronicler wants to bring some Zul'Drak wildlife back to Zandalar to study, but he specifically wants females from you. So you pump the beasts full of tranquilizers, do what you see in the picture to the right there, and you pray it's a female.
Building a good reputation for your characters is as easy as doing what mama always advised: mind your manners. The basics always apply: "please," "thank you," "Would you like to join a group for X?" Sometimes, though, what's expected in any given in-game situation may not be readily apparent.
WoW Rookie to the rescue! Make a good impression by getting savvy to the game's common social conventions. We've rounded up our best etiquette posts to help point you in the right direction.
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.