Resto4Life is, in many people's opinions, is one of the best Druid healing blogs out there. Phaelia is one helluva intelligent resto druid, and a funny blogger to boot.
Phaelia posts that she's ending her bloging for a number of reasons, chiefly among them is that there is a new baby tree that her and Mr. Phae are expecting. So despite our sadness at seeing her go, there couldn't be a better reason!
The community over at Resto4Life is really quite a good one, and as such Phaelia is going to make a final post in March comprised of all the reader submitted screenshots and artwork she gets. And to add to the coolness of it, she's randomly awarding a Belkin Nostromo Speedpad N52TE to someone who submits some artwork, purchased with the money she's made from the site.
Class act all around, and a great site that will be missed.
A world without Varimathras - Mon, 23 Feb 2009 18:00:00 EST It was probably the least exciting thing to go down during the Wrathgate questline (Wrynn FTW, no?), and I've only played Alliance during Wrath, so I haven't really realized it until now: Varimathras is no longer in the game. He was always my favorite faction leader (even though he wasn't actually the Undead faction leader, so to speak) -- I loved his "You think you can match the might of a dreadlord?" taunt, his story (he always hinted that the Forsaken, a threat within the ranks of the Horde, might have a threat within their own ranks), and his demonic look. And now, after the Battle for the Undercity, he's gone.
Fortunately, this is World of Warcraft, and no one in Warcraft really ever stays completely dead -- just ask Kael'thas. But as a more pressing concern, players are currently wondering how they'll be able to do Varimathras' quests (for the Loremaster achievement) with him no longer hanging around the Undercity. New Blue poster Ancilorn says not to worry -- they'll come up with a way for those who can't see Varimathras to do the quests associated with him. Or, and probably more likely, they'll just take them out of the Loremaster requirements.
But a moment of silence, please, for one of my favorite lore figures, Varimathras. He was always on the winning side. Except for, you know, that one time right at the end.
Giving Engineering a little self-buff - Mon, 23 Feb 2009 17:00:00 EST You may think, as I did upon first seeing this Engineering thread in the forums, that Engineers have nothing to complain about. They get some of the coolest and most-wanted items in the game exclusive to their profession. In fact, as a LW/Skinner, I'm thinking about dropping Skinning when I hit 440 LW just to pick up Engineering, and pour a whole ton of gold into it just so I can get the Roflcopter and all of the other great stuff they get.
But after Wryxian gets everyone to settle down and give out just one suggestion for how to help Engineers, they all make a pretty good point: Engineering doesn't have that one self-buff that all the other professions seem to have lately. My Leatherworker can put a nice enchant on my bracers, Blacksmiths can add sockets to some of their items, and Tailors have spellthread that can be weaved into certain pieces of gear. Ashram, the original poster in the thread, actually has some good ideas along those lines -- "Electrified Armor" (reflect damage to chest) or "Laser Targeting System" (a +crit or +expertise head enchant). Other Engis just ask for their current "enchants" to stack with other enchants already on their gear.
The flip side here, of course, is that Engi can't be overpowered One person asks for Engineering to have a "significant advantage" in some bit of gameplay, and that's not the way Blizzard is handling professions -- different classes may play better or worse in different situations, but since every class can choose any profession, they've got to work across the entire spectrum (yes, even Rogues with Tailoring). But it does seem like Engineering is missing that extra self-buff that other professions picked up in Wrath.
PTR character copy queue shortening - Mon, 23 Feb 2009 16:30:00 EST Many people are reporting now that the PTR character copy queue is quickly shortening. Earlier today it was up around a 24 day wait for characters to be copied over, now I've seen it reported that it's down around 7 days (and shrinking). The reports are mainly for the US PTR, and not the EU.
The queue was very high because Blizzard was letting everyone line up to get their characters copied, and not actually doing any of the copying yet. However now that they're copying the actual characters over to the PTR, the queue is diminishing fast.
You can get in line to copy your character over via the "PTR Character Copy" link on your account management page. Please note however, that at this time Blizzard is not allowing any more characters to be queued for copying, but that can change at any minute.
This is a good indication that the PTR will be up very soon. We're fully staffed here at WoW Insider HQ and will be bringing you the latest as soon as the PTR goes up. Hopefully including some juicy patch notes, screenshots and detailed information on Ulduar, and our first glimpse at how exactly dual specs will work.
Guild leader wins Oscar - Mon, 23 Feb 2009 16:00:00 EST I didn't have any interest in watching the Oscars last night (so no, I didn't get to see Wolverine singing and dancing), but there was one piece of WoW-related news to come out of the big event. Steve Preeg is a visual effects artist who's worked on films like the Lord of the Rings trilogy and I, Robot, and last night, he won an Oscar for his team's work on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And that's not his only achievement: he's also done everything but Sarth 3D with the guild he leads.
Yup, we've heard from one of his guildies that Preeg is a guild leader in the game -- he plays a Combat Rogue with 450 Enchanting and Inscription, and runs a progression guild that's downed everything but the big black dragon and his three companions. he's even done all of the holiday events so far (though he's rolling with the "Champion of the Frozen Wastes" title).
So he's picked up some excellent loot, both in and out of game (Oscars are epic at least -- the drop rate is pretty low). Congrats to Preeg and his team on the Oscar, and to his guild, good luck with Sarth 3D. Maybe if Anne Hathaway showed up for that you'd have him down by now.
Last week I answered a question about the Kor'kron and I messed it up a wee bit, which I don't mind admitting. I said that the Kor'kron were all Orcs, but I didn't notice that in Wrath of the Lich King it actually includes a number of Trolls. The Kor'kron were originally only really seen in Thrall's throne room originally, they were his personal guard at the time and 100% Orcs. In Wrath, they've apparently spread out and include a couple of the other races as well.
So who makes up the Kor'kron? The Orcs primarily. Trolls secondary, and there are also a few Tauren and Taunka thrown in as well. I haven't seen any Undead or Blood Elves among the Kor'kron yet, they seem to keep to their own little militaries for now.
Why aren't the Knights of the Ebon Blade flying the Acherus to Northrend? It said in one of the DK starter quests that it could destroy Naxxramas.
According to wowjutsu.com, more than 25,000 guilds in the world are better than mine. That's rather disheartening in an objective sense, but I also have no idea how they get their info or determine these ranks. (The info also appears to be a bit outdated.) Despite our abject failure in the rankings, somehow we seem to be doing just fine. We're adding new recruits at a steady pace, raiding frequently and successfully, and having plenty of fun doing it. So 25,000 is a large number, but it's just a number. Does your guild care about their worldwide rankings? This week's e-mail comes from a frustrated raider who thinks his officers put too much emphasis on climbing up the ranks.
Dear Scott, I've had a few issues with members in my guild lately that I feel put too much importance on guild rankings. I'm sure you are aware of the sites like www.bosskillers.com and www.wowjutsu.com. I see these sites as sources of controversy, others see them as a sense of where they stand on the realm and in WoW in general. We have officers trying to push our guild into doing fights, EoE 25, when we haven't even done EoE 10 yet. Naxx is still a constant wipe fest, with many of the easier achievements not yet complete for a majority of the guild. We have a lot of under geared people that still run around in Heroic and SSC, yes SSC, gear but that doesn't matter to them. We beat Kel'Thuzad one time so we are ready in their eyes. We would leave bosses up in Naxx so we could go spend the night wiping and never be able to get around to getting a full Naxx clear.
Warning: There's a tiny bit of cussing in this music video, listen with care.
Zeb, otherwise known as Sylverbkwolf, created this music video because he was feeling a little bored of the game itself. It's his first video longer than 20 seconds or so, representing his first attempt at editing, framing, and other similar concepts. It took him about a week or two to finish it, and thus was born Sylverbkwolf's WoW music video for Three Days Grace - Riot. In terms of music videos, it didn't reach out and grab me. That being said, considering it's Zeb's first time out, he did a good job of creating smooth animation and a logical follow-through in the video. It made sense, and nothing really struck me as being out of place. The scenes, the requisite use of musical models, and the "story" worked together just fine for a rock and roll video.
What I did particularly like, however, is the use of Wintergrasp footage. I've not seen a lot of videos -- music videos or story films -- using this new gameplay feature, and I thought it was keen Zeb included it. I think all the siege engines, in particular, fit a good metal music theme, so it was a good call to include it.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
WoW Insider Show Episode 78: Thrusting Hodir's shoot 'em up aces high - Mon, 23 Feb 2009 11:30:00 EST It was chaos on the WoW Insider Show this past week -- we had Zach Yonzon on from the Philippines, Turpster in from England, and Michael Sacco from Austin, TX, so we were stretched across the world (and you can probably hear it in our audio). But we still got some good WoW discussion in, including our favorite daily quests (I've done Shoot 'Em Up every day since we recorded this, and I still really like it), a little bit about Ulduar and what we might find in there, and the coming PTR and what we might see there as well.
Plus, as scrambled and confusing as this show may be, it has probably the funniest moment in my memory of all our recordings -- I think we were all pretty much "ROFL" at the new Meat of the Show intro, as they say on the Internet. If you want to send in an intro, a comment, or anything else, feel free to send it along to email@example.com, and you might even hear it on the next recording, next Saturday at 3:30 Eastern as usual.
Enjoy. We'll see you next week.
Get the podcast: [iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes. [Ustream] Listen to the unedited recording in Ustream. [RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator. [MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
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. Adam Holisky will be your host today.
Welcome to this edition of The Queue. It's 11:00 a.m. Do you know where your children are? Hopefully they're firmly planted in some sort of edumacation. I am so smart, S. M. R. T., I mean S. M. A. R. T.
"How many reasonably geared (entry 80 raiding) people does it take for TBC 25man raids?"
In the last week, we've received several reports of spontaneous dragon circle formation in Dalaran. This contagion seems to have started in the States and then jumped across the pond, as evidenced from this screenshot by Exya on Dentarg-EU. I can only assume that this is a draconic version of a fairy ring. Either that or there's someone really tasty in the middle.
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.
First, the PTR is not live yet. And now there's a blue thread stating such over on the European forums. "Current PTR status: Not Live." Supremely helpful in the world of misinformation and confusion that propagates around the intertubes. Update: There is now a US blue thread as well.
The thread does note that "the status of the PTR may change fast and without warning." This basically means that it's in the final stage of getting ready to go live, and that means patch notes.
And on the issue of patch notes, we have heard from numerous blues over the weekend that they have them - but are just not releasing 'em yet. This is too bad, of course, but at least they're ready and will be handed out sooner rather than later.
Welcome to Lichborne, where we've pretty much gone insane waiting for the PTR, and are thus stuck in the Death Knight starting zone pretending to be a pretty pretty princess on our very own pony.
The problem with writing a Death Knight column at the moment is that there's so much that's changing in 3.1 - So much that will change, on the test servers at least, sometime in the next few days. With a promise that Unholy, especially, will probably be nerfed significantly, almost any advice I give right now could be outdated in very short order. That said, after some thought, I figured I might as well take a look at nerfs. Namely, I'd like to take a look at a few popular Death Knight builds, how we already know they'll change, and what other changes may be coming to them.
You've been through this. We all have. Last night, we failed to finish Kel'thuzad. It was the first time we had to call the raid before clearing Naxxramas since we'd put it on farm status. A lot of it had to do with the absence of veteran raiders, substituted by some new guys who weren't quite on top of their game. But at a time when a lot of our veterans were bored with the content, we needed some warm bodies. Anyway, my point is, we called it after wiping at Kel'thuzad a few times and players were tired and wanted to go to bed.
Many times during our time playing this game, we've decided to call it. Usually in an instance, maybe a boss that's too hard to handle for our group at the time. In Battlegrounds, the equivalent would AFKing at some point where you know the game just isn't going anywhere (Warsong Gulch would be the likely culprit in those cases). I guess my question is when do you know when to stop? I've had experiences where 5-mans would have changes in their line-up just trying to down one boss -- when a player leaves in frustration, the others go to the public channels announcing "LF1M, last boss Heroic <insert dungeon here>".
But we have to stop sometime. When do you when that sometime is? After one wipe? Certainly not. Two? Three? I know we've wiped innumerable times on some progression bosses, only to end up calling it in order to continue another day. What is the straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back?
Too many people roleplay alchemy as a glorified fast food restaurant, with typical phrases such as, "Would you like some healing potions to go with your strength elixir?" or "If you give me just one more herb I could throw in a mana potion too..." Of course, the game mechanics often put us in the salesman position. Limited supply and demand force us to compete with other alchemists for herbs and customers, so to some extent we may have to deal with the capitalist food chain to matter what we do.
But there's so much more to an alchemist than just magical boosts and bonuses! An alchemist has the potential to be the other mad scientist! Why should they let engineers have all the fun? Just because engineers can craft their own vehicles and whatnot doesn't mean that alchemists don't have something (or someone) of their own to experiment on.
Today we shall take a closer look at the depths of madness which alchemists are capable of reaching, if only they dig a bit into the unlimited supply and demand of the imagination.
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 take on a dragon and his mates. Yeah.
Last week we provided an outline of the Sartharion encounter, promising to deliver more detail this week on how to beat the boss with all three of his drake companions alive at the pull. This is commonly called 'hard mode' and, although it's not for the faint hearted, it's by no means impossible either. However, excellent co-ordination and DPS are required in order to keep the fight under control and things can quickly degenerate into chaos.
When to attempt 3 drakes
Is your guild or raid group ready to even try 3 drakes? There's no hard-and-fast rule that says 'you need to be this awesome to leave three drakes alive'. If you're thinking about trying it, we'd hope that you've already killed Sartharion, probably with one or two adds already alive. You've cleared Naxx and are decked out in gear, you have a diverse pool of people to draw from, and you can communicate with each other. That's all you need, really, although a couple of things can help, including a well geared tank and complementary DPS.
Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. Are there too many Disc Priests? Is it becoming overwhelming?
The popularity of Discipline has started to spread. I don't believe it's been entirely adopted just yet. There's still a few hold outs who continue to think that Discipline is not able to hold it's own against the other specs and classes. By hold its own, I mean stand up and compare to. Now obviously other healing classes will believe that their class is superior and they should because we do have a certain loyalty to ourselves. I respect the capabilities of Paladins, Druids, and Shamans. I don't think they're inferior. But I'm still going to be a Priest for life.
There can never be enough Disc Priests!
I am proud to be a Discipline Priest. It is not just a style. It is not a simple technique. It is a way of life. I know that there are closet Discipline Priests out there. I get emails and messages from them often. There's always questions out about differences between a Holy Priest and a Disc Priest.
The review makes the book sound incredible, though perhaps a bit too cluttered. The novel is roughly 300 pages in length (I believe) and the first 100 pages covers his childhood from the arrival of the Stormwind refugees in Lordaeron to the beginning of Warcraft III. That covers about fourteen years, and that's potentially a lot of territory to cover!