Neth wants to know your guild's traditions over on the forums. We've talked about funny guild moments and traditions before as well, too, but there seems to be a never-ending supply of them. There are as many different memories out there as there are guilds, and each one is a little different: even all of the guilds I've joined up with for any significant amount of time (there have probably been four, I think, in my WoW career? It's not that I'm a guild jumper, just that I've switched servers and factions a few times for various reasons) has had their own moods and well-known members and busy times and special things they do while raiding or leveling together.
While it would be great if Neth was asking this to get some input on guild housing or the upcoming guild battlegrounds features, she's probably just asking to hear it -- it's definitely fun to look inside the other groups in the game and see what they do the same and different. For all of the drama that tends to attract our attention, the truth is that Blizzard's ad hoc ingame guild system has created some pretty strong ties between us. I like reading through that thread and seeing just what people have come up with just as much as Neth probably does.
To a new player, navigating the Auction House and the server's trade economy can seem as intimidating as the national debt. What sells? What doesn't? How do you find bargains? How do you know what prices to set for your goods? Is undercutting a wise idea? What's the fastest way to rake in gold - and what's the safest way?
The best guide to the actual mechanics of using the Auction House comes from Blizzard itself. A careful review will give you a firm grasp of the basic parameters for profitable buying or selling. Beyond the basics, what most players want is solid advice on what's worth selling on the AH, how much to charge and how to get the best buys. Let's touch on those areas next.
Again, this post contains spoilers for the raid dungeon Ulduar. If you don't want to be spoiled, do not read further or watch the attached video. You have been warned.
Yesterday we posted up a preview of the first glimpse of Algalon the Observer courtesy of Wraith on EU-Ysondre. Now we come with video (which you can see under the cut below or by clicking the picture above) from EU-Ravencrest's Underground Kosmonavts. It's brief and you don't get to see much, but it still shows Algalon in motion. His intro takes up a majority of the video, and I expect that intro will be a point of frustration for guilds trying to learn him. Have 10 minutes left to kill him for the week, and he takes 1-2 minutes to jabber on about reorigination? Yeah, that'll drive ya nuts.
MMO-Champion also has a list of Algalon's abilities, though we don't have much context in which to put them yet. The only context I need, though? They look really, really painful.
Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply).
A character's bank is a special place meant to store gear, consumables, novelty items and a whole mess of other things (and I do mean mess!). Because of this, many players have at least one "bank alt" which is an additional character created primarily to house and auction items.
The value of your banker's ability to store things should not be underestimated. Today, I will walk you through the steps to and costs of purchasing bank space, and show you an example of how it can be utilized to help you make gold.
Banking Costs: Guild vs. Personal Every bank alt should purchase the first four bag slots within their own personal banks. This will cost you a total of 36g10s, and require that you purchase actual bags to place in those slots. The more slots the bags can hold, the more storage you will have.
Guild Season 2 DVD preorder available now, out 5/19 - Wed, 22 Apr 2009 17:00:00 EST The Guild's second season is now available for preorder on DVD, and apparently it's an Amazon Exclusive -- yes, the ever-more-corporate folks at The Guild are going with the big online retailer to distribute their second DVD collection. But we can't blame them too much -- surely it's a chance at a wider distribution, and probably less work for them in general. You can preorder the DVD set right now for just $12.99, and according to The Guild's site, the set will have commentary tracks, subtitles in English, and Behind the Scenes and Audition footage. If you're as much of a fan of the series as we are, it sounds well worth the purchase.
Amazon has a release date of May 19th, and it also looks like they're doing a re-release of season one on the same day (though we're not sure if that new season one cover demotes new material or if it's the same version of the season one DVD they were selling before). And of course if you're not interested in picking up any extras, you can still just watch the episodes online at their site, or by downloading them in HD from Xbox Live for free.
Dealing with bank inventory management - Wed, 22 Apr 2009 15:00:00 EST April's dealing with a problem that I've dealt with many times before: bank management. The other day I posted some tips on inventory management, but bank management is a knot that even I can't quite figure out how to untangle. On the one hand, bank space is supposed to be your refuge -- you can only pick things up out in the field as long as you have an empty inventory space for it. But on the other hand, especially on your main, you pick up a lot of things that seem important at the time -- tier gear, your first trinket, that piece you farmed for months until it finally dropped, that Blizzard Bear that you know is account bound, but you just can't bear to give it up. Stuff piles up after a while, and eventually you're carrying stuff around in your backpack that should really be sitting in your bank... and would be if you had room to keep it in there.
The only real tip I have is that you have to be ruthless -- you'll probably never use those trinkets again, that Tier 0 armor won't ever really be needed anymore, and you might as well eat those Delicious Chocolate Cakes that you made for a rainy day. You might as well use those cooking and profession mats you've got sitting around now, because if they aren't worth anything at the moment, they probably won't be worth any more in the future. And yes, I know you've only got so much Noggenfogger left, but you might as well go ahead and drink it on the next fun guild run. It sounds harsh, but in a game that's really about collecting, we all tend to have a packrat side.
And if worst comes to worst, just create yet another bank alt, charter yet another bank guild, and start filling those bags up also. With all of the junk we've got coming through, they'll probably be full to the brim in no time.
Battle.Net issues today - Wed, 22 Apr 2009 14:00:00 EST Today is a Wednesday, and that means that there has to be some sort of Battle.Net authentication/login/game-version issue today. And guess what? There is!
There is a long thread in the support forums about it, and the only blue response so far is that Blizzard is aware of the problem and they're working on it. Many, if not all, Battle.Net users are seeing an error stating the client cannot validate the game version (even after they've patched to 3.1.1).
There is no known fix yet. We'll update this post when there is more information to report.
The Yogg-Saron encounter has received the following changes: Guardians of Yogg-Saron in phase 1 and Immortal Guardians in phase 3 have had their health reduced by 15% in heroic mode, the Destabilization Matrix cast by Mimiron will now correctly hinder the casting speed of Crusher Tentacles in both normal and heroic modes.
Players can no longer summon the Black Knight unless you are riding an Argent Warhorse.
Critical strikes from the Hunter ability Explosive Shot should properly trigger Thrill of the Hunt again.
The full list of the additional changes after the break.
InsertSh4de posted Green Funeral over on Warcraft Movies. The author says up front that it's his first video, so keep that in mind when looking it over. It's important to realize that an author's first video isn't necessarily an expression of his long term work. He's learning the ropes, learning what's possible with the software, and his vision is "trapped" inside those limitations.
That being said, "Green Funeral" is a parody of Billy Idol's "White Wedding." InsertSh4de wins huge points for that fact alone. You can admittedly see it's his first video. He warns that he felt the background was lazy, though I actually wouldn't have come to that conclusion myself. While the video's background isn't a finely tuned vista, I thought it was stylized and simple. It focuses the audience on the singer and dancers, not on the background setting.
I liked the singer, and thought it was a decent parallel to Billy Idol. I'm not sure I'm a fan of the Draenei dancers. They were a little too static for me. Even forgiving the token bum shots, I really could have used different scenes of them moving. Using the same clip over and over made it feel repetitive, even while the night elf was relatively active.
Ultimately, I think InsertSH4de could grow well. The video was fun, and the machinima work itself wasn't horrible. I liked his lyrics. I think if he spends more time on the video itself, he'll get some really great results.
Curse Client for Mac has been a long time in the making. With the 3.0 version that came out recently, they finally have a client that appears to run (on Intel/10.5 Macs, anyway), even if it does display a wxWidgets error upon first launch (which can safely be ignored). I've been using it to manage my addons for the past week in order to bring an informed review, so here goes.
The first thing you notice about Curse Client is that it just doesn't look like a Mac app. It's got these weird tabs up top with icons in them, the main icons for initiating events are unfamiliar and un-Mac-like, and it summons odd progress bars that float on top of all your other windows in the lower-right-hand corner (odd progress bar depicted at right).
While waiting around for the battle of Light's Hope Chapel to begin on her death knight alt, Jebehdiah of <Possibly Canadian> on Stormscale took a moment to appreciate the size and power of the local flesh behemoths. If only the renegade death knights could convince the flesh giants, the abominations and those creepy Thaddius-style Frankensteins to come over to the side of not-so-evil -- possibly with the application of a sword directly to the brain stem -- it would be a nasty blow to Arthas. Deprived of his largest and most intimidating minions, how would the Lich King keep a psychological advantage over his enemies? Those skinny little liches don't scare anyone.
Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them 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. 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.
Respecs have been flying around lately like Prayer of Mending during a Sapphiron fight (healing priests, you know what I'm talking about). Several commenters have expressed annoyance at having to remember where exactly they placed those 71 points, and at having to click each of them back into place again. Heck, I would be annoyed myself, with three level 80s and various alts to manage.
However, I don't get annoyed, because I have something that many of you apparently don't: Talented. Talented is an addon for managing talent specs, with several nice features:
With this in mind, we've got an extended maintenance meaning all European realms are going to be down between 3am and 11am CET. However if US maintenance is anything to go by, prepared for it to be extended to 3pm CET.
Oh and just cause they're nice (and there were some er issues) everyone is getting a free respec tomorrow. Yep, all your talents get wiped so you get to spend the first half an hour of up-time sorting them all out. This doesn't include gylphs though, just FYI.
Anyway, in the mean time, why not check out some of the suggestions in yesterday's US post to kill some time? Alternatively, why not take a peek at the full patch notes here.
Update: Having been tipped off by a number of our European readers and just applied the patch myself, it seems while the weekly maintenance is still being listed all the realms are currently up.
How dare you find something amusing that raidleader Strakken of Shattered on Winterhoof says?!? What do you think this is, some kind of "game" where people "play" for "fun"? He has been forced, forced to increase the amount of time he plays just to deal with people in his guild. And whereas once he may have been proud of the guild and what they've done in terms of progression, times have changed. There's no way he's "going into 3.1 with a guild like this." Guildleading, my friends, is some serious business.
Eesh. That drama and more can be found in this week's Guildwatch. We encourage you to click the link below and read on, if only so you too can realize that it is completely possible to take this game and its guilds way, way too seriously (and by the way, if you know of any guilds you'd like to see here, email us about 'em at firstname.lastname@example.org). Because here's the secret: this is a joke. It is a game. And if you're not having fun, it's not time to increase the amount of time you play. It's time to walk away.
Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we watch the Ulduar trailer again and ask ourselves over and over why Jaina Proudmoore couldn't have been a Druid.The obvious answer is that she just wasn't cool enough, but this is the source of much cognitive dissonance at the moment.
I'm going to take a quick moment from the rest of the column and just write, in case any of the people who made it are reading this, that the Ulduar trailer was so stuffed with win that pieces of win are dribbling out of it into little win puddles and spilling over into the Sewer of Awesome. And, as NaitFury on the MMO Champion thread points out, "Those of you who say it is boring should probably go back to watching another Undead Rogue 1-shot people with Linkin Park in the background." Amen!
We're one week into Ulduar (and by "we" I mean "other people," because the game has become virtually unplayable for me post-patch, and having the game crash my computer every 5 minutes is forcing the Sewer of Awesome to run to the Vast Delta of Self-Pity), so let's pick up where we left off and tackle the Deconstructor, the Iron Council, and Kologarn.
15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.
We've written about disabled gamers before, but Lileya of Lightbringer-EU brings a perspective to playing WoW that we haven't heard. Lileya's disability is a rare, lifelong condition that makes even the simplest tasks impossible some days. From her ankles to her knees, from her fingers to her shoulders, Lileya's joints dislocate at the drop of a pin. Even stacking up a Lifebloom roll can dislocate her wrist. "I don't have all that much in common with Aaron who has recovered enough that he can walk without assistance and drive, or Kalzedhan who plays for 12 to 14 hours a day, or Catten," she muses. "I have a rare genetic disorder that I have never lived without. My life is very different from theirs."
Lileya's relentlessly frank, articulate blog, In the Fringes, exposes what it's like to live with the horrifying prospect of keeping track of all your joints on a minute-by-minute basis. We visited with Lileya for a two-part interview exploring how her love of end-game raiding and her struggle to balance a precarious collection of symptoms and physical challenges keeps her connected to WoW and to life.
Death Strike is a bit of a strange skill in the Death Knight arsenal. Leveling, you use it in place of Scourge Strike/Obliterate when you need healing. In a raid, likewise, although you may be significantly less likely to need healing. In patch 3.1 this changed a bit, with Death Strike becoming the default UF ability for Blood builds, whether or not they needed healing at the time.
However, this beefed-up Death Strike for Blood meant that Blood players were getting huge heals from DS without having to pay a damage penalty, which was an issue both in PvP and, apparently, while tanking. So after a brief period of being hotfixed to provide an unspecified amount less healing, DS now heals for a flat 5% of the DK's health per disease on the target, up to a maximum of 15%. The amount healed is no longer based on how much damage Death Strike does.
Among other things, this means Unholy DKs, with their third disease, will actually get more healing from DS than Blood DKs who have talents to boost DS's damage. I'm not sure this is a problem, especially given Blood's other health-generating abilities, but it does feel slightly strange. I haven't played Blood since early leveling, though - do current Blood players have any opinions on the change?
I know we've sometimes clamored for a player housing feature to make it into the World of Warcraft, but Blizzard has been adamant about it not being high on the list of priorities. A couple of artists decided that if Blizzard wasn't going to put player housing in the game, they were bringing player housing to players... in real life. Artists Cati Vaucelle, Steve Shada, and Marisa Jahn (Shada/Jahn) managed to con convince MIT's Council for the Arts and a few other gullible generous benefactors into funding a little project called the WoW Pod.
The WoW Pod is described as an "immersive architectural solution for the advanced World of Warcraft player that provides and anticipates all of life's needs". Except, maybe, the need to bathe and not be the target of ridicule. Then again, that was probably the point of this exercise -- to create a self-sustaining gaming cubicle where a WoW player can eschew such gametime-consuming distractions such as bathroom breaks or sustenance. The glorified port-a-potty, patterned after an Orc hut, is equipped with a toilet, a kitchen, and a computer to play Warcraft on.
Will Ulduar break your guild? - Tue, 21 Apr 2009 19:00:00 EST Dueg is the first blogger I've seen to suggest this, but I feel like it's an undercurrent that's been going around since the 3.1 release last week (and we'll probably find out more when Guildwatch comes out later tonight). He suggests that Ulduar might be, of all things, a guildbreaker. Now certainly it won't be nearly as much of a roadblock as Karazhan -- not only was that a tough instance, but it was also the first one we came across in Burning Crusade, and guilds who couldn't make it in Kara had no place to turn back to (at least guilds that can't make it in Ulduar can fall back on Naxx farming). But there's no question that Ulduar requires some excellent gear and some serious tactics, and if your guild has people raiding who are missing either one of those, you're going to be hitting your head on the wall quite a bit in there.
That's not to say that it's super hard -- it's not, especially if you know not to stand in the fire and you've got the kind of gear on that lets you conquer the Heroic achievements. A lot of guilds have 25 of those people, and they're doing very well in Ulduar so far. But as Dueg says, Naxx is a casual instance, and Ulduar is not. In Naxx, you can get away with losing a few people, or having a few folks in greens along. In Ulduar, you can't.
It's not the apocalypse for guilds -- most guilds will go back to Naxx if they have trouble in Ulduar, grab a few more epics and tier pieces, and try again later. And some probably won't bother with Ulduar at all -- my casual guild is having fun just taking our time finishing Naxx wing by wing. But Ulduar seems to be where the rubber meets the road with casual raiding. If there's a guild out there who has a few lesser raiders carried along by a few high-level veterans, Ulduar's likely to cause some friction.