Leather on a Shaman and cloth on a Druid - Thu, 24 Apr 2008 19:00:00 EST Obstruce brings up a topic that seems obvious to some people but can drive others crazy: healers wearing less sturdy gear than they can just for the stats. I won't lie -- I've got a few pieces of leather on my restoration Shaman for the stats, but in general, I don't think it's a bad thing that healers and casters sometimes wear cloth for the stats, given of course 1) that they're not taking it from someone else who needs it, and 2) that there's not a better piece of normal gear for them to be wearing (it's an upgrade).
Obstruce's aunt disagrees, especially with Shamans and Druids -- if for some reason they pull aggro, wearing leather or cloth will only make things harder on the group. Which is true -- if I'm wearing leather (or even cloth) on my Shaman, I'm not going to have near as much armor as I would wearing the mail I'm supposed to wear. But in a group where all members are doing what they should be, I should never get hit anyway. If a healer's getting hit, it's a good 80% of the time not their fault -- it's the tank's or DPS' fault for not keeping aggro where it belongs.
So no, I don't see any problem with a Druid or Shammy (or even a Paladin, though there's a lot of nice healing plate out there anyway) wearing less than they're meant to. Warriors are definitely not in the same situation -- while yes, some of that Hunter mail may have lots of Agility on it, and that will help out your crit percentage, you get so much more bonus from Strength and Armor that it's just not worth it. Casters can steal Mage and Priest gear (as long as they're not actually stealing it from actual Mages and Priests) if it's an upgrade, but Warriors almost never have a reason to slum it up in mail.
Auchindoun is very much hit-or-miss on its lore, in my opinion. Some aspects of it are very cool, and others are quite... lacking. This is one area in which the retcons and alterations that accompanied The Burning Crusade are very apparent. The end result gave a proper 'feel' to the environment, but makes its history a little befuddling.
The city of Auchindoun was founded as a City of the Dead by the Draenei. It was a burial place for their fallen brethren, beginning the remains of D'ore, a Naaru who had been killed in the crash of Oshu'gun. It remained this way for some time, a beautiful(though macabre) mausoleum in the heart of Terokkar Forest, second only to the Shadowmoon Valley of old and its blessed Temple of Karabor in the hearts of the Draenei of Outland.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. During the rise of the First Horde, the Bleeding Hollow Clan of Orcs laid siege to the City of the Dead, much like what happened to the Temple of Karabor(now known as the Black Temple). The Bleeding Hollow turned Auchindoun from holy ground to a fortress. The Bleeding Hollow defiled the grounds of Auchindoun quite thoroughly themselves, and this was only made worse by their ceaseless attacks on the Alliance Expedition which had worked so diligently to force the Orcish Hordes from Azeroth. The expedition, with Turalyon, Alleria Windrunner, Khadgar, Kurdran Wildhammer and Danath Trollbane at the helm, took the fight to the Bleeding Hollow rather than allow themselves to be hassled. The Alliance Expedition took their turn to lay siege to Auchindoun. The Bleeding Hollow did not last long within their fortress.
Apart from our traditional role of chuckling diabolically while we dispense death and destruction, warlocks are drafted into the tanking role in some raid encounters. The history of tanking warlocks is not new; drain-tanking is possibly the most mundane example of tanking due to our unique kill-you-to-heal-me mechanic. In pre-BC content, warlocks have been asked to tank Emperor Vek'lor in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj. Now our PvE tanking portfolio has expanded to include Leotheras the Blind and Grand Astromancer Capernian in the Serpentshrine Caverns, Illidan himself in one of his phases, and most recently, Grand Warlock Alythess in the Eredar Twins encounter.
Each week, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time.
This week, I answer some Reader Mail that is only a month old. Woot!
I am what I consider to be a casual player on WoW. A good session for me will last about an hour or two... Usually just long enough to gain a level before I run out of time. The current character I am working on is my "main", a level 50 Orc Hunter. One thing I was hoping to find in your articles was a way for a casual to obtain equipment when they haven't yet reached the 60s and 70s. The last time I updated my gear was in the low 30s, so it is really starting to show its date. I was having trouble finding a way to equip my character for the rest of the game until I can start on some epics. It seems the only way is to dump a ton of money in mediocre items (which is basically what I did in the low 30s), or spend hours doing instances... Hours being something most of us casuals don't have.
Which may be true. But he's wrong about one thing: we WoW players are funny. Just look at our memes, our injokes, and our heroes, from Steve to Leeroy Jenkins. We know funny. Tony DiGerolamo probably hasn't even ever tricked somebody into /gquitting -- he wouldn't know funny if it was an epic drop off of Saurfang himself! And he wants to play the nerd card by claiming he's nerdier than us? Listen, Tony, you may have been hanging out with your friends in basements, but we're hanging out in basements alone!
At any rate, we hope the excellent Indecision 2008 blog has learned something from this experience: leave the Warcraft humor to those who've powerleveled it up to a 375 skill, and stick to the political jokes. Seriously, though, is Lewis Black hiring? Because I've got some jokes about Warlocks that are comedy gold!
Once you reach level 62 and learn Steady Shot, it's time to start getting a firm grip on this thing hunters must learn called "shot rotation." If you don't - just casting your shots willy-nilly, as soon as they come off of cooldown -- you'll end up wasting a lot more mana and doing a lot less damage than a hunter who has his or her shot rotations timed right.
The video embedded above is a handy example of two basic shot rotations which we'll look at in more depth here, and it can give you a basic sense for how the timing of all this is supposed to work. But if it still looks a bit confusing, fear not: today's Scattered Shots will help you to make your shots less scattered and more organized, with helpful charts and fundamental knowledge about how to do this rotation thing. It really ain't that hard -- just a bit of info can get you pointed in the right direction, determining the rotation which is best for you.
Group buffs as solo buffs and when to use them - Thu, 24 Apr 2008 15:30:00 EST Rufus over on WoW LJ brings up Commanding Shout, the Warrior group buff that increases maximum health of party members for two minutes within 20 yards, and comments that it doesn't work so well in solo play. Which isn't necessarily true-- there are cases when you need as much health as you can get. And he got me thinking about other buffs like that -- buffs that are really meant for group play, but that can sometimes help in solo play.
The first one that jumped to my Shaman mind is the Mana Spring Totem -- it's really meant for group play, but every once in a while I'll pull too many, need some extra mana, and drop that to pick up a little blue. Also in the Shaman's Resto tree is Earth Shield, which can be helpful in solo play, too. And while Power Word: Shield is really too mana intensive to regularly be used in solo play (it's really meant to be used in groups), there are lots of times when it's helpful with solo priests.
Usually, you should only use these things when absolutely necessary (and when you've got the resources to use them -- Commanding Shout, for example, doesn't actually give you any health, so using it in the middle of a fight doesn't help). But Blizzard has made sure we don't just have group buffs and solo buffs -- some group buffs are occasionally really useful in solo play. Can you think of any others?
Totem Talk: What spec for me? - Thu, 24 Apr 2008 15:00:00 EST Lately a lot of the columns here at Totem Talk have been aimed at endgame issues... getting into instances and raids, PvP, etc etc... so I thought it was about time we go back to the leveling shaman and discuss an issue that really starts to matter around level 40 or so. That is, what spec is right for you?
As a versatile hybrid class, shamans can play a role as excellent melee DPS, effective long range caster DPS, or that solid bedrock of every party, the main healer. And to a degree it's possible for a skilled shaman of one spec to play another role: my resto shaman has done melee and/or caster DPS in fights where I wasn't needed to heal (although bringing a resto shaman to a five man and then saying 'well, we have a holy priest, so you can DPS if you want' is in my opinion somewhat mean, like taking a chef into a five star kitchen with all the amenities and then telling him to sit down and have some food since someone else is already going to be cooking) and my enhancement shaman has main healed fights when the real healer went down due to bad luck or what have you. I've had elemental shamans throw the heals in between DPSing and even had one run up and windfury with a 2h on a boss once, although she mostly did that to make the rest of us freak out.
So, as a service to all the new shamans I'm hoping have started rolling the class over the past few weeks because my column has inspired you (look, let me keep my delusions, okay?) we'll go over what the three specs are, what they do and don't do in a party, and what you'll be expected to do with them as you level up. If you're a level 70 shaman already, you probably already know all this, and if not how the heck did you manage to get to 70? You're telling me you didn't spend any talent points the whole time? There's three trees, man, play around a little! Since I know most of you are very knowledgeable about your chosen specs, feel free to jump in with advice and ideas.
Tuar Annwn holds another Date Auction Friday night - Thu, 24 Apr 2008 14:00:00 EST Tuar Annwn is holding another Date Auction on the Moon Guard server in order to get a nice RP event together on the first of May (video NSFW) -- they did this last December and from what we heard, it was a rousing success (get it? "a rousing"? I kill me). Ten of their finest members will be auctioned off for dates of the winning bidder and auctionee's choosing. And this time around, both women and men will be auctioned off, so they're now equal opportunity date sellers. Although, just like last time, there's probably no guarantee whether the character you win is actually the same sex as the player you win, but those are the perils of dating online, apparently.
So whether you want a romantic dinner in Booty Bay or just someone to help you run through Shadowfang Keep, stop by the Moon Guard server on April 25th in Silvermoon City (they didn't mention a time, but the last event went down at 9 server time). And even if you don't have gold for a date, they probably won't mind too much if you just show up to say hi at their RP event, held on May 1st.
Always love to hear about this RP stuff, especially when it's fun like this -- if you have any events going down in the future that you'd like us to report on, feel free to drop us a note on the tipline, and we'll get you some attention. Good luck to Tuar Annwn with the Date Auction this weekend -- bid high!
Not so fast -- (ha! get it? "fast"?) as Dariusmdev points out, this would actually mean that you'd have to buy even more Riding Crops, probably even throwing up the price on the servers. Because instead of getting one mount trinket and using it for all your mounts, you'd have to get one enchant per mount that you have. Good news for Leatherworkers if the change goes through, not so good for people who like to use a lot of mounts.
Which may be why Blizzard may have decided against the change at all -- according to Eliah, this change isn't actually implemented on the PTRs yet. So mount enchants are only in the code for now, and not actually available in the game. But it does show that the folks at Blizzard are actively trying to come with ways to help us handle trinket management, and that's definitely appreciated.
In Episode 23, the Alliance prepare to fight the big, bad Horde in Warsong Gulch, but hit a snag in their plans. Meanwhile, the Horde encounter trouble in the Barrens. What will happen to the (Alliance) Scooby Gang? Tune in around the third week of May to find out!
How did the Seal of the Damned get all the way from Naxxramas to Booty Bay? You can't tell me that that thing is a Seal of Righteousness or a Seal of Ascension. It's definitely damned. Groeg, of the Garona server, found himself unable to shift out of seal form one day after being disconnected. Unfortunately, he couldn't do anything but hit enemies with his impotent flippers. Fortunately, his mere appearance on land is enough to shock hardy pirates out of their slumber.
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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, beware of the attack seal (and sending in sunset pics.)
While it may be true that us geeks typically prefer the dark, it might be worth turning on the light just to show off one of these totally rad WoW-themed light switch covers. Take a screenshot of your character decked out in epics or your favorite NPC. You can also use a shot of your preferred locale, such as The Dark Portal, Zangarmarsh or Nagrand (as pictured). Here is what you will need:
DISCLAIMER: If you are under 18, please make sure that you are supervised by your parents or an adult. We will not be held responsible if you stab yourself with an artist's tool. Stores will also require you to be at least 18 to purchase the acrylic spray.
One of the things I love about this job is that your comments are full of ideas for future posts. LIke, say, this one! Inspired by this comment, I come to you this morning with the thought: does World of Warcraft need a third faction? Perhaps one with absolutely no common ground, dedicated wholly to the destruction of both the Horde and the Alliance? Commenter Finn suggests that he would like to see an expansion that let you play as part of the Burning Legion, and this got me to thinking: for all the people who think Warcraft is insufficiently warlike these days, with shades of grey in morality and no clear cut 'good' or 'evil' faction, would the addition of a faction that is purely nihilistic, cunning and willing to wipe out all life in the universe help push conflict back to the front lines?
Drysc's announcement of new gear requirements for season four has not been entirely well received.Doorf of Maelstrom is downright upset with the addition of arena point requirements to battleground honor gear.In a thread entitled "Keep your E-sport out of the Battlegrounds" feels that this new mechanic is unfair and forces people to play in the arena in order to truly enjoy the battlegrounds.
Several posters, like Evennia of Feathermoon agree that arena and battleground are separate PvP systems. The forums have many threads today expressing outrage at this change.Dottie of Sargeras believes that this change will be the subject of a lawsuit since it is limiting people's access further to certain aspects of the game.This is an extreme extension of the argument that all players should have access to all game content. Still others, such as Oded of Draenor are once again calling for a separation between traditional WoW and the arena Esport.
Don't get me wrong, I love to play in the arenas, but I agree that the arena and battlegrounds should be treated as separate systems.I suppose the change could be an attempt to refocus folks on their PvE goals.By making battlegrounds less fun and requiring arena participation, many casual PvP players may pursue the PvE environment.
The arena tournament is live. You can still sign up for the tournament, but your team should be pretty close to stabilized. From this point forward any new additions, beyond team founders, to teams will come with a price of a 150 point penatly a pop.After May 6, you will not be able to adjust your roster at all.
If you plan on being competitive in the tournament, your team must complete at least 200 games between now and May 20, 2008.The ratings were all reset to 1500 after maintenance yesterday and the top teams are already flexing their muscles. The top three teams (as of this writing) are all over 2100 points.Outrageously Better Pros is on top at 2180 points, followed by Shadowplay at 2133, and godawful pmr at 2109. The top ten are equally split between Horde and Alliance teams.
Things are just heating up and the tournament will definitely be exciting and enlightening. The WoW Insider arena team will be back in action tonight.Manda, Zach, and I (mandy) will be taking on the world with epic Warlock-Paladin- Druid action.We'll see you in the queues tonight at 7pm PDT! Good hunting.
No beta for me, thanks - Wed, 23 Apr 2008 18:00:00 EST Reader Ian C. wrote in with an interesting thought. He says that if he was offered a spot in the Wrath of the Lich King beta tomorrow, he'd probably decline. With the news that the expansion is in alpha and that an open beta is probably not too far off, it seems like everyone and their brother wants in early to Northrend. But not Ian -- he says that he'd rather experience the content on the live realms.
And I mostly agree. I never played in the BC beta, and generally I like to stay away from the PTR if possible -- any progress that you make on test or beta realms is completely lost when the beta closes, and while yes, there are some fun reasons to jump onto the PTR or a beta realm, I'd rather experience the content as its meant to be played when it comes out.
Everyone else might be excited to see the beta, and of course we'll have lots of information as it comes out about Wrath (which means if I'm invited to the beta, I'll probably load it up just to see what's there and try out the Death Knight mechanics), but playing on a beta realm isn't the real thing. Any progress you make there is more or less a waste of time -- I'd rather see Northrend in a finished form, through my character on the live realms.
The Outland daily circle - Wed, 23 Apr 2008 17:00:00 EST With Phase 4 upon us, The options for dailies are pretty much long and endless. Of course, with a daily limit of 25 dailies, you can end up doing most of them anyways, and while certainly don't try to spring for 25 dailies every day, I still do my fair share of dailies. About once or twice a week, I do what I have come to call my Outland Circle. All three of my characters have all the daily hubs unlocked, so between Ogri'la, the Skyguard, the Netherwing, and the Shattered Sun Offensive, I can get a lot done.