I was thrilled when Blizzard announce that the Burning Crusade would usher in flying mounts.Then we found out that we would only be able to use flying mounts in Outland, since Blizzard had not rendered some areas of the game.Lalia of Icecrown suggested that flying mounts should be allowed in the old world, just with a lowered ceiling.
The biggest objection to this idea was the possibility of sky-ganking.Ganking however is a fact of life on a PvP server.I try to avoid going to Azeroth whenever possible, partly because it takes so long to get from place to place.Sure it would take a great deal of coding, but I would love to see this explored further.
If nowhere else, flying should be an option in Moonglade.That way Druids could try out their fantastic flying skills as soon as they get them.
Maximum stamina - Sat, 22 Mar 2008 19:00:00 EST If you want to live through any boss fight as a tank, the one thing that you need above all else is health. Stamina, which gives ten health for every one point of stamina, is by far the most important stat that a tank needs in order to do their job well. No matter if you have reached the armor and defense cap, or if you're producing more threat than your DPS can keep up with, you won't live for a lick if you don't have enough health.
Defining minimum health is an important concept in end game raiding and groups. For most instances, a minimum of 10,000 to 11,000 unbuffed is needed. This will at least let you take a few blows from a boss before dying, hopefully enough blows that the healer will be able to get off a few heals on you. For more entry level raiding environments, it's necessary to have unbuffed health between 11,000 and 12,000. If you've got 11,500 hit points going into Kara, you'll probably be able to reach 13,000 health fully raid buffed. This will let you survive a good portion of Kara, which means you can get more gear, which begets more health in the long run.
Each week Arcane Brilliance brings you a new batch of Mageliciousness, served fresh and piping hot on a magical floating snack table. This week, we take a long hard look at a sore spot for the Mage community at large: Arena PvP. Don't despair! Mages can be useful in Arenas...as long as we aren't being hit...or silenced...or cycloned repeatedly...or looked at sideways by a Warlock...
With patch 2.4 looming, many Mages may be making that final push to level 70 so they can participate in all that wonderful new content. If you missed Arcane Brilliance's look at what's new for us, you should check it out. We'll wait. Done? Good, because once you've had your fill of all that shiny new PvE hotness, you may find yourself wondering what else there is to do until the expansion hits. If you're slightly masochistic, or into self-flagellation, or possibly just mildly deranged, you may decide to try out the Arena.
Some may try to talk you out of it. You should probably listen to them. I'm not going to lie to you; it isn't pretty. People get hurt in there. Keyboards tend to become airborne. Expletives may be uttered, and not in a conversational tone. We're talking "hide the children, Daddy's saying the naughty words" kind of stuff. Especially when you're a Mage.
What's that? You still want to go?
Ok. But don't say I didn't warn you. Now that you've decided you simply must touch the stove in order to learn how hot it is, the least I can do is prepare you for that eventual burning sensation, and the emotional and possibly physical scarring that will eventually result. I will try to arm you for the coming battle, my friends, the best I know how.
After the jump, I'll list 10 things that I wish I'd known when I started my career as a gladiator.
Alex recently talked about the lack of bag space for the hybrid class. This is quite true for them, as they have a hard time with the near infinite amount of bag space that is demanded of them. However looking at the non-hybrid classes, in particular a warrior, it can be seen that they too have their own issue of sorts. For an end game tank, it becomes less of an issue of actual bag space, and more of an issue of the limitless combinations of gear.
Most tanks swear by outfitter - a tool that allows you to quickly change around pre-saved outfits. For instance, say I'm going to be tanking the nature phase of Hydross. Before even setting foot in SSC, I would have spent an hour or so making sure I had all the necessary gear, stats, and configurations that Hydross requires. A good part of this time would be spent getting all those gearing changes into an easy to use outfitter profile - so I would just have to click one button to wear the gear.
Of course, that's resistant gear and it's expected that there'll have to be a bunch of switching of it. However, the gear switching doesn't end there.
New UI woes - Sat, 22 Mar 2008 15:00:00 EST I have a confession: I've been mostly using the basic, vanilla UI for as long as I have been playing WoW. I do use mods, I'm not crazy, but the basic unit frames and action bars have served me pretty well.
It's not that I dislike custom UIs, or even that I do like the basic UI. The base interface has done its job, from level 1 in Northshire Abbey to level 70 standing on top of Illidan's corpse. It took that Illidan kill to make me realize that I did it the entire way using a supposedly inferior UI. I could do so much more! I could streamline everything, I could open up space on my screen, remove unnecessary information, enhance the necessary stuff...
Wow, this has turned out to be quite a task. My experience with these things is minimal, and I'm not always the most organized person in the world so I couldn't make myself a proper layout if I tried. Even worse is I need to redesign my UI on all of my characters because they all use different things. What's important to my Shadow Priest isn't important to my Protection Paladin, and what's important to her isn't important to my Rogue.
The results of the primary elections are in.In an unsurprising landslide victory, Thrall was confirmed as leader of the Horde faction by capturing 69.7% of the vote.The bitter race on Alliance side led to a down-to-the-wire victory for Dwarven King Magni Bronzebeard who pulled in 24.9% of the vote.A distraught High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind, who received 24.5% was denied a recount in the Wetlands.It is time for the final election for Supreme Leader of Azeroth.
Shield me, my love - Sat, 22 Mar 2008 14:00:00 EST Warriors of all shapes and sizes have one thing in common, their need for a good shield. They are the life blood of any tanking strategy. They give us health, protection, and threat. For a protection warrior, the shield is often time the most important part of their inventory. This is both a blessing and curse. While a good shield can't help a bad tank become good, a bad shield can easily make a good tank bad.
There are a few key stats in a shield to look at. First, the armor - one of the most important stats for a tank. It lets us take less damage from each hit, which means our health lasts longer and our raid survives more. Block Value is another important stat, and helps determine how much damage a shield will outright mitigate when an attack is blocked. Finally, stamina and defense are also always present on a shield, and are again, a key stat for a warrior.
While these stats are beautiful all in their own way, their infrequency in upgrades presents a problem for some warriors. To show what I'm talking about, let's take a look at what shields are available for the protection spec warrior at level 70.*
I realize a lot of young people play WoW, but I haven't had much direct experience with the really young crowd. As far as I know, I've only played with someone under 16 a couple of times since late 2004. I'm 21 now, and I'm actually the third youngest person in my guild, and there's only a few others younger than I am in our entire guild alliance. We probably just fall short of 200 people across all of the guilds, so the idea of people so young playing WoW is actually quite strange to me. I see parents saying "AFK, my daughter needs me" more often than kids or teens saying "sorry guys, I have school in the morning."
While there are definitely mature younger people playing WoW(I like to think that I was/am one... maybe) but I haven't honestly had much experience with the younger crowd at all. I'm willing to bet money that my guild's average age is somewhere in the high 20s. What about you guys, willing to take a guess? Is your guild younger? Older? A mix of all sorts?
There are few trailers that leave me anxious to see the final result. However, Kilh is a genius. From the beginning to the end, this trailer is just full of brilliance. If you can believe it, this was his first work using Adobe After Effects! You can read about his movie progress on his blog.
I asked Kilh what the machinima would be about, and his description left me scratching my head. Apparently the Rock 'n' Troll plot involves a banker that dreams of being a rockstar whose raptor is stolen by evil murlocs that plan to brainwash the world. Did I mention the superevil mini-zombie-tauren minions? He's going for the cheesy 80s B-movie look and feel. I can't wait!
My original intent for this week's Hybrid Theory was to take a close look at the Badge Gear for Hybrids in patch 2.4, but that turned into a monstrous project that left my head spinning. I remained vigilant, until I saw the specific class columns were working on this themselves, starting with Shifting Perspectives. Upon hearing that, I jumped for joy and it was as if the Heavens opened up and thousands of beautiful angels embraced me against their supple forms.
So instead of filling your browser with loot links and badge prices, I'm going to talk about the future of itemization, from patch 2.4 and onward.
"We do plan to have more specs share some loot. I know it's great when the Retribution-Paladin piece drops, but that's a piece that isn't good for 26 other classes/specs, so hopefully we can make it so the item will apply to more classes/specs so even the randomness of loot won't be so much of a big deal."
Impolite as he may be to uninvited guests, Moroes can still throw a hell of a party. Unaware that the beer was goblin-strength, Alderkin of Thorium Brotherhood indulged a bit too much one night and had to be carried out of the room ... in a coffin! Ha ha ha!
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because 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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. Or sunrises. Stay away from big glowy orbs in general.
There has been a lot of talk about keyboards and mice as of late, leading many of you to look at your play style under a different light. There has also been a bit of buzz over at Macro Anatomy about binding keys to different actions and macros. Well, my friends, it's spring, love is in the air and these two fascinating subjects have found romance.
The developer of Its G15 Binder addon tipped us off to the updated version of this simple, but useful mod. It has one very simple requirement, you should probably be using Logitech's G15 Keyboard to get the most use out of this addon. I should also mention that the developer made special mention of our own Adam Holisky as a potential fan of this addon, so consider the hat tipped in your direction, Adam.
Yeah, it's called the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational, but the more we learn about this Blizzard-hosted gathering, the more it starts looking a bit more like Blizzcon '08. Sure, there's all the tournaments you'd expect, but there's a lot more too. We've already talked about the goody bag, but there's one thing that jumps right off the events page for anyone who's starved for WoTLK news: live discussion panels with Blizzard developers! Says the site, "developers will be discussing such topics as gameplay, lore and art and giving the audience a chance to pose questions and give comments."
Sounds familiar, doesn't it? It also sounds very promising. We got a lot of pretty juicy WoTLK information from the last round of developer panels at Blizzcon, so we can probably expect more of the same at these panels, only moreso, since we'll be that much closer to the release of the expansion. It looks like June 28th and 29th are going to be very good days to be a Blizzard fan. Even if you can't make it to France, be sure keep an eye on WoW Insider. We're sure to have the all the great WoW Information that's sure to come from these panels.
Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft. Lisa is absent this week, so instead Mike Schramm went to Cenarius to talk directly to ingame players.
When I headed into the game this week to do this column, both Krystalle and Lisa (who usually does GotS) warned me that it was rough out there, and that players weren't really into chatting with random people about what they thought about the past week in Warcraft. But I have to say -- the denizens of Cenarius treated me as well as can be expected. I logged in on my level 30 mage Erban, sent out a tell in /Trade (sorry for spamming, Cenarius-ians), and pretty soon I got two nice players to chat with me. We talked mostly about what they'd been up to in game, what they're looking ahead to with patch 2.4, whether Noblegarden sucks (spoiler: it does), and just how much they'd pay (or their guild would charge) for that Zul'aman bear mount.
Every Wednesday (it's usually Wednesday, anyway), Chris Jahosky brings you another page of Tales from the Lion's Pride Inn, a WoW webcomic you'll find only on WoW Insider!
This week, our characters are starting to deal with the aftermath of the Naga attack. For some, the loss is a little more personal. As the Naga will soon find out, they killed the wrong person. As usual, click the image above to view today's page, or the gallery below to start from the beginning.
Don't forget to click the "High Res" button in the upper right of the gallery to view today's page at full size!
The WoTLK Bestiary has been updated today with the next monster in the series: the Iron Dwarf. These fearsome creatures, uncovered by the Dwarven Explorer's League in the Howling Fjord, are apparently a missing link between the Earthen and the Dwarves, an Iron-skinned race with runes of power etched on their skin. Unfortunately, they appear to be nearly as surly and destructive as the Troggs, not only fighting against the Explorer's League, but outright destroying any artifacts that the Explorer's League could find useful.
There's not too much info on them yet, only a few paragraphs and a sketch, but it's certainly exciting to see a new chapter in the storyline of the Dwarves. The Iron Dwarves look like they may be the next step in the storyline that began at Uldaman, another piece of the puzzle of the Titans, so that could have reprecussions for all races, and give us more insight into the origin of Azeroth itself. Perhaps we'll encounter more of them at Ulduar, or at the ancient Dwarven citadel of Thor Modan, or find out that they have their own copy of the Plates of Uldum or other such historical artifacts.
I'm making another claim, so armorsmiths, get ready to jump in the comments and prove me wrong: This helmet is the highest non-shield armor item in the game. We've covered some niceshields before (and those are pretty much all Armor), but this helm from Zul'Aman has the highest armor value of a non-shield piece of armor that I could find. Update: Yup, commenters have a few pieces with more armor on them (although, yes, PLP only deals with gear on the live realms, so 2.4 gear doesn't count yet). I'll get you next time, readers!
Red, Yellow, and Blue sockets, with a socket bonus of +6 Stamina
Equip: increases your Dodge rating by 23, shield block rating by 40, and block value of your shield by 51
Word is going around that this is going to change after patch 2.4, however: the shield block rating will be dropped, and the helm will instead raise defense rating directly by 40. That's not confirmed yet, and even if it's been seen on the PTR, there's no guarantee it'll make it to the live realms.
But either way, this is a great tanking helm. In some situations, it even rivals T6, but the best part about it is that you don't even need 25 people to get it. (see below)
Plus, it does look pretty cool. At first I thought that was a bird of some kind, but instead it's a Troll's face, complete with jutting tusks. If you like the tribal look of the Zul'Aman gear (and I do), you'll like this helm.
How to Get It: It drops from Hex Lord Malacrass, the second to last boss in Zul'Aman. He's not a super nice guy (and he's got a mean Soul Drain), but the good news is that even though he's tough, ZA is still only a 10 man instance. So even if you don't have more than 9 friends to raid with, you can still pick up a great helm like this. It won't be easy, but get him down a few times (drop rate is about 15-20%), be a tank (if your MT is good, he may have gotten something better already, so offtanks have a pretty good chance at this too), and the helm is all yours.
Getting Rid of It: Disenchants into a Void Crystal, and sells to vendors for 7g 30s 2c. You may want to keep it around for Halloween, though -- that's a troll face that only a troll mama could love.
Episode 8 of The Guild is up for your viewing pleasure, and the whole cast rebounds in the aftermath of Zaboo's rash action last time around. And tragedy strikes when a familiar face returns. In fact, it's a familiar "toolface." Funny.
And in other Guild news, you can probably chalk us up as hitmakers now -- they won that series YouTube award they were up for, and in fact picked up another award as well over at Yahoo! Video. And Felicia Day, writer and star of the series (whom we interviewed back in the beginning), is picking up some buzz as well -- she's not only shown up in that Cheetos commercial you've seen like 500 times now, but she's going to be starring in a (trust me, if you haven't heard this yet, your mind is about to be blown) a musical web series called "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog," which also stars Nathon Fillion and Neil Patrick Harris, and written and directed by none other than Joss Whedon. No, I am not kidding -- it's a fanstravaganza.
So exciting times for The Guild. Hopefully they can figure out what to do about the "toolface," and hopefully Felicia won't get too famous to remember her little web series about World of Warcraft. Save Zaboo!
I know I'm a curmudgeon and a grinch. Many times I just have to step back and say okay, I just don't get it.
But seriously, why exactly does everyone seem to want a Figureprint? I just don't understand the appeal. I mean, at this point I have fairly decent gear, but I just don't understand why I would want a little model of my character. For one thing, it's not like the gear I'd end up immortalized in would stay good very long (there' s an expansion on the way and all) and furthermore, it's not like you can get the Figureprint updated, you'd basically have to buy another.
That of course assumes you'd get to buy one at all. The way it works, you don't get to order a Figureprint, you sign up for a drawing and if you get lucky, then you can buy one. Are these things really that awesome that it's worth waiting months for a chance to get one? There's some back and forth on the construction process and the finished product in this forum thread but that didn't really help me any. Reading the interview Mike did with the founder of the company made it sound pretty cool, actually. But thinking printing stuff on plastic in the manner described sounds cool doesn't really help me figure out why folks are so astonishingly into these things.
Is it to motivate you to get better gear? Honestly, help me out here. Has anyone reading this actually bought one yet? How does it look? Did you think it was worth it, and why'd you decide to get one in the first place?
If you listened to the show last week, you may have heard that this week's podcast was supposed to be all about multiboxing, with a special guest, but unfortunately we've had to postpone that show (so look for it at some point in the future). But worry not, because this week on the podcast we're bringing back fan favorite Elizabeth Wachowski (and we're going to ask her to talk about some of the lore in the Burning Crusade), and other fan favorite Amanda Dean, who is always insightful. Fan super favorite Turpster will be on as well, and fan not-so-favorite Mike Schramm, also known as me, will be present and accounted for, too.