The winning raid has one feral druid, three hunters, one mage, two paladins, four priests, three rogues, five shamans, and one warlock. No warriors. (Thanks to Nihilum for this info.) SK promise that a video is in the works; as always, we'll keep you posted. Grats to SK!
Reminder: The Wrath Alpha is not open to the public - Sat, 24 May 2008 20:00:00 EST We've mentioned this already, but let's reiterate something: Though the Wrath Alpha client is floating around out there, be very very careful about what you download or try to access. The Alpha servers are not for you, and attempting to download the client isn't wise. My recommendation is simply to not do it, but if you absolutely must try to get your hands on it, at least be careful. Only download from people/places you trust.
We all know how many accounts have been stolen due to keyloggers hidden in links, ads, and other things. Keep that in mind before you click on a download link. A dirty .exe with a filename disguised to look like a Blizzard downloader for the Alpha client is out there. There are probably more than one. Nobody wants to lose their account, and we don't want you to lose yours, either.
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. It's not easy, though...
Wiping. That wonderful process whereby your raid becomes nothing but a pile of corpses, and you have to pick yourselves off the floor and start again. It's an essential part of raiding, whether you're dying to well-known content or progression bosses, and some people are even rumoured to enjoy it. However, repeatedly wiping on something for various reasons can really lower your raid's morale, and presents an interesting problem for any raid leader.
Let's take a look at the problems and challenges arising from wipe nights, or even a failed try or two at something on farm.
Each week, Arcane Brilliance attempts to give Mages something to read. Immediately thereafter, Warlocks also get something to read, only their reading material is instant cast, applies a DoT, and can turn into an invincible demon from the nether-regions of Hell. Mages complain, and Blizzard responds by giving Arcane Brilliance a 2 second stun. The catch? It only works if the reading material crits, and only if the target is a frozen sheep.
Alright, it's Saturday, and by now you've hopefully had time to make the trip to Theramore or Stonard to pick up your new Portal and Teleport spells. If early, unconfirmed info is your thing, you've no doubt taken a look at the leaked WotLK Alpha talents and formulated your own opinions on what the future may or may not hold for Mages. If not, well, there's no time like the present. Go ahead, I'm not going anywhere.
All set? Good, because we have lots to talk about. Last week we discussed some basic, flexible talent builds you can use to get your Mage ready for raiding. This week, we're exploring the PvP side of things. After the jump, We'll go over a few templates you can use to begin building your PvP Mage, including my own Mage's spec, so be sure to click the blue text below this sentence. I mean, how can you pass up the opportunity to mock my spec and tell me what a noob I am? Get going...clicky, clicky!
Evade me no longer - Sat, 24 May 2008 15:00:00 EST For some reason, the first evade bug moment I remember happened in Zul'Farrak. We were clearing the basilisk pulls before attempting Antu'sul (why is it that the optional bosses always have a couple of sweet warrior drops?) and the mage in the group wanted to skip the whole thing. Impatient, he decided to start nuking away from atop one of the hills surrounding the area and managed to pull aggro, but the basilisk couldn't path up to him (and to be honest I'm not sure how he got up there) and promptly went evade. He wouldn't come down because he rightly knew the mob would hit him, and so it took us a solid ten minutes of arguing before he finally came into the monster's reach so that I could taunt it.
I'm thinking about this because of the Isle of Quel'Danas dailies, specifically the quest Crush the Dawnblade. For some reason whenever I do this quest I run into Dawnblade Summoners who are evading. This puzzles me because I can't understand why a ranged mob is evading: it doesn't have to path to anything to hit it, just get into range. Is there some way a hunter or some other ranged class can shoot them but stay out of their range?
Personally, I can't think of many companies better than Blizzard or Dreamworks to have a hand in educating upcoming artists on the industry. Both of them are quite good at developing distinct, marketable styles, and obviously the individuals on staff have extensive experience in the industry. Considering this college is located near the Blizzard Campus, it's likely many of the individuals in this program have dreams of working for that particular company. Being taught by the very people you'd like to one day work with must be way cool.
Worldwide Invitiational, now with dancing - Sat, 24 May 2008 13:00:00 EST Hot on the heels of announcing more ticket availability for their Worldwide Invitational contest, and a costume contest before that, Blizzard announced today that there will be a dance contest as well. This brings the total number of contests to seven. Here's what you can do to win yourself fabulous prizes:
Win at the WoW, Starcraft, or Warcraft III competitions
In addition to these contests, there will be hands-on demos of Starcraft II and Wrath of the Lich King. The prizes for the dance contest, in case you're thinking of competing, are: a hi-fi system, a Blizzard-themed iPod Touch, a G15 keyboard (ironic), a mouse, a free WoW subscription for a year, and some action figures. That's for first place; the lesser places get subsets of that. What, no beta keys?
Probably not worth going to Paris for, but if you're going to WWI anyway, and you have a desire to bust a move, you might give it a try. Note that the dances have to be inspired by in-game dances. WWI will take place in Paris, on June 28th and 29th.
For today's short, but sweet, installment of Macro Anatomy, I wanted to share one I found on the forums. Macro superstar Belleboom of the Earthen Ring server has quite a listing of macros, many of which will find their way here in the future.
I wanted to profile this one just for the sheer joy of it. What it does is quite simple, it counts how many addons you're using and prints it in the chat frame. Nothing too complicated, and it works fine if you'd like to copy and paste it to your macro interface.
Here it is:
/run local count = GetNumAddOns(); DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("You have " .. count .. " addons running, you nutjob!");
I really can't make this any easier, it just tells you how many addons you're using. Some of you may find it interesting to know how many addons you're using. As the screenshot will attest, I am currently using 64 addons on my 20 Night Elf Druid, so I think I'm sort of middle-of-the-road. There have been times when I was pushing over 100 addons, at which point I start feeling like my UI needs some spring cleaning.
That's what you get today, as I've yet to get my head fully out of my posterior this month. (Feel free to send in suggestions on how I could go about doing this.) Vacation ruins my ability to live a normal life. In closing, I want to field this question: How many addons does a player need to be using in order to considered an "Addon Junkie"?
Every week Macro Anatomy takes you on a magic carpet ride through the world of macros. Sometimes you will encounter existing macros that you can use off the shelf. We'll break them down and figure out how they work. Other times we'll just talk about the different parts of a macro and how you can use them to create your own. You can always stop by the shop if you want to catch up or get started with macros.
(This video contains heavy bleeping and some adult innuendo. View with caution.)
Some guys just can't get a break. They spend all that time leveling up in WoW, and then their wives expect their spouses to level up for privileges with them too! Will they be able to win over their level 70 80 wives while avoiding death? You'll just have to watch World of Wifecraft!
Fark.tv did a great job with this sketch comedy. Pay particular attention to the last skit in the video. They reference a certain famous WoW player, carrying out the joke with flawless execution.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.
Last week we discussed Death Knights a little bit, and my personal stance is that their impending introduction to the game won't harm existing tank classes too much. Most likely, they'll have their own niche (magic tanking) but with some work be capable of tanking other things. Warriors, Druids and Paladins will still retain their own niches, even with the addition of a new tanking class.
I discussed that primarily because a lot of tanks, Druids especially, have voiced concern to me about losing their viability. How appropriate that Druids are the first pure hybrid class to have their new spells and talents implemented into the Wrath alpha. Before I start my analysis and slather my thoughts all over you, you can take a look at them on this Wrath wiki. To avoid spoiling those that want all of the expansion to be fresh come release, I've tucked all analysis behind the cut.
Ogres are homeowners, too. They work hard to keep those stone huts full of moss and trash (and the occasional campfire or maybe treasure!) And they don't like it when adventurers go trespassing on their grass, trampling their daises and probably grinding exp by killing the neighbors. When one player stopped to peek at one ogre hut, he caught this shot. And all I can think is he's yelling that old refrain: get off my lawn!
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 -- use alt-Z to remove it.
Most of the dances I at least recognized as their real-life counterparts, but other than maybe the Stormwind Castle (and Stonehenge -- duh), I don't think I recognized any of these overtly. Of course, the influences are there -- you can definitely see the Oriental flavor in the Night Elf architecture, and Human buildings are definitely inspired by English and French architecture, but did you know that Durnholde's wreckage compares to a ruined castle in France, or that Zul'Farrak is a take on Macchu Picchu?
Very cool finds. Definitely shows you how much Blizzard borrowed from the real world to make this fantasy setting as believable as possible.
Breakfast Topic: Stupid mistakes - Sat, 24 May 2008 08:00:00 EST Last night in Heroic Magister's Terrace, I accidentally ninjaed a Cudgel of Consecration. I'm not sure what was going through my head -- I'm currently a Holy priest, and clearly need it much less than the Prot pally tank I was grouped with. Somehow I'd gotten under the impression that it was a healing item, or something. I was, understandably, promptly called a noob and yelled at by several members of the group, and there are a couple hunters out there who may well never group with me again. I profusely apologized to the tank, and we both opened tickets and sat around in the instance waiting for them to get answered. (The response, un-helpfully enough, was "your ticket has been escalated; this may take several days to be resolved.")
I gave him the mats for a Major Spellpower enchant, to put on the Cudgel once he gets it, to help make up for my stupidity. We parted on pretty good terms; we're hopeful that the GMs will sort this out. But picking up that item may well have been the biggest "d'oh" moment I've had in the game thus far. Either that, or accidentally taking a point in Throwing Weapon Specialization one time while respeccing my rogue. What's the most boneheaded mistake you've made in your WoW career?
WoW Insider Show live tomorrow (with guest Veronica Belmont) - Fri, 23 May 2008 20:50:00 EST Our weekly podcast goes back on the virtual airwaves tomorrow over on WoW Radio, and it's going to be a good one. I'm back from my vacation last week (thanks to John "BBB" Patricelli for hosting last week), and we've got a special guest on: Veronica Belmont, uber hip tech blogger, podcaster, and generally all around cool chick (you may remember her from her interviews with Leeroy Jenkins and The Guild) will be on to chat about the biggest stories in the past week of WoW with us. Of course, we'll be talking about the Wrath leaks, and since Veronica has been dealing with gadgets and tech journalism for quite a while, hopefully she'll help us provide some insight on that.
Because some people would really rather not know this information, I'm placing all of it beyond the break. It should be noted that none of these details are set in stone, and in fact, many will never make the actual expansion, or change significantly before it.
Still, it is interesting to look into Blizzard's process, as they expand and evolve the professions, and create a new one. A few of the changes indicate that they are indeed listening to some of the ideas craftsmen have put forth for what they'd like to see, and I think we should be excited about some of the developments on the horizon.
The Gadgetzan Times has returned from a long hiatus. Apparently, however, they are in a bit of trouble, with reports of difficulty retaining their goblin reporters. Because of this, the editor-in-chief has switched to a new idea: soliciting stories from the adventurers themselves. If you've writtenfanfiction about the World of Warcraft, you can now submit to for a chance to showcased in the Gadgetzan Times. There's versions for every language, with a different story for each language.
If you've always wanted to be a Goblin journalist, here's the closest you can get. Submit your stories, and maybe we'll see you in the next editon.
If you wanted to head to the City of Lights this summer to check out the World Wide Invitational this year, but missed the first round of tickets, you're in luck. Blizzard has announced that they will be selling another round on the official WWI website some time next week. If you're still interested, keep an eye out for it!
The World Wide Invitational will take place in Paris, France on June 28th and 29th, and will include developer panels and multiple contests, including fanart and machinima contests, as well as a playable version of WoTLK -- essentially, it's a European Blizzcon. Be sure to check out all of our previous coverage on the event, and stay tuned for all the latest news as we get closer to the date.
Addon Spotlight: TomTom - Fri, 23 May 2008 17:45:00 EST Greetings, folks, I have returned from my vacation, and the hiatus that followed. (Vacation to recover from vacation? Madness!) Today, we're going to take a look at an alternative navigation tool, an addon that provides some of the functionality found in the Cartographer suite. (We've talked about Cartographer before.)
TomTom is a mod that provides a few simple features that can supplement your adventures, especially while leveling. Combined with Lightheaded, (We've also talked about Lightheaded before.) TomTom can shave time off your travels between quest objectives.
The primary purpose of TomTom is to facilitate the creation and use of waypoints. Using this feature gives a player the option to have a Crazy Taxi-like arrow displayed that will guide them towards their waypoint. Combined with Lightheaded, which can be used to find coordinates for quest objectives via user comments on Wowhead, this addon can let you bounce between quest objectives with a minimum of wasted time and travel.
Unfortunately, it cannot be used to auto-run your character, so you can forget about grabbing a sandwich on your way to Marshall's Refuge. TomTom will also display a coordinate frame that gives a quick visual reference to your current location.
There is more to see, come back after the break to get your addon fix for the day.
Wowhead says Bonjour, Hola, and Guten Tag - Fri, 23 May 2008 17:00:00 EST The good people at Wowhead, WoW database extraordinaire, have just warned me that the French, the Spanish, and the Germans are invading! OK, not really. Actually, the site is set to go live with localizations in those three languages, which will appear in the next 24 hours. You will then be able to read descriptions of quests, spells, and items, and everything else on that marvelous site, in any of those languages (plus of course English).
Each language will have its own comment thread on each page, although the forums will remain English-only. I imagine this will come as welcome news to the many WoW players out there who do not have English as a first language; even on the North American realms, there seem to be a fair amount of French speakers. Hooray for multilingualism!
Been a while since we did a staff, and considering how badass (and just plain weird) this baby looks, why not this one?
Name: Zhar'doom, Greatstaff of the Devourer (Wowhead, Allakahzam,Thottbot) Type: Epic Staff Damage/Speed: 145-323 / 3.20 (73.2 DPS) Abilities:
+70 Stamina, +47 Intellect, which makes it perfect for Warlocks, though really any caster would probably benefit
Improves spell critical strike rating by 36, spell haste rating by 55, and increases damage and healing by 259. In other words, it rocks. Having a two-hand weapon limits you a bit, but this baby is your one stop shop for every stat important to a caster. Definitely a beautiful caster staff.
And it's in the shape of a stretched-out Felhunter, or, depending on any conspiracy theories you may have about Blizzard continuity, a Zergling (more on that in a second). I couldn't find a video for you, but apparently it writhes and the mouth opens and closes as you hold it, too -- pretty weird and wacky.
So about the Zergling thing -- Zerglings, as you may know, are the lower-rung units in the Zerg race of Starcraft, another Blizzard game. They look very similar to Felhunters in WoW, and it's true, this staff does look a little bit more like a Zergling than any other Felhunter we've seen in Azeroth. Plus, the name of the staff seems to be a reference to a Devouring One, another Zerg groupie. And it comes from Outland (a place out in the middle of space), and we have already seen Zergling noncombat pets in game.
So I submit to you the conspiracy theory of all conspiracy theories: What if Warcraft and Starcraft are taking place in the same universe? And what if, depending on timelines, Zerglings are Felhunters and vice versa -- what if the Zerg is an evolved (or primitive) form of the Burning Legion? Just something to bend your mind a little bit on this Friday afternoon.
How to Get It: Drops from the marquee star of the last expansion, Illy Dan himself. Drops at a rate of somewhere between 10-20%, so not super rare, but unless you're seriously farming the guy and/or are a Warlock or high DPS-doer who really needs a nice staff, you might have to wait a bit.
But who doesn't want this thing, really? Put an "of the Devourer" after anything, and it becomes instantly more desirable. Tell me you wouldn't want a "Cupcake of the Devourer." Have you heard about that new Apple product, the "iPhone of the Devourer"? And dude, I'm so jealous -- my friend just got a "Nintendo Wii of the Devourer"!
Getting Rid of It: Sells for 18g 39s 48c to vendors, disenchants into a Void Crystal. You should keep it though -- if the Zerg do invade Azeroth, maybe you can hold it hostage or something.