The shaping-up-to-be-über-sweet Patch 2.4 has a few more surprises stored in its files. Some folks were able to dig up the model for a unique-looking demon boss named Entropius. While no more raid bosses have been announced -- it's just M'uru and Kil'jaedenleft to kill in Sunwell Plateau on the PTR -- there is much speculation as to the relationship between the formerly chained-up, payback-seeking M'uru and this so-called "Void God". Entered into the wowhead database as early as February 13, it looks like this anorexic voidwalker has more in common with the Dark Naaru than originally thought.
The folks at MMO Champion certainly seem to speculate that M'uru and Entropius are pretty much one and the same, or at least that Entropius is pretty much tied into one of the rumored phases that the M'uru fight will have. You can check out the images above to see them superimposed over each other. See something familiar? It looks like Entropius and M'uru go to the same haberdashers for their shoulder gear. Lore fiends are debating on their relationship now, but in the meantime, it's really nice to see that Patch 2.4 isn't just bringing changes to items and game mechanics, it also seems to promise a lot of developments to World of Warcraft lore.
Can we get one mainstream media article that breaks the mold? Can we get one portrayal of a WoW player (or players, in this case) that doesn't fall back into the old line of MMOs being the territory of cave-dwelling social outcasts? That's most certainly not the case in reality -- how long is it going to take for mainstream reporters to forget this moronic angle and report on what's really happening here: two people in love sharing a hobby in between the rest of their full and fulfilling lives.
There are now ten million people playing this game around the world, and the large, overwhelming majority of them are healthy, fulfilled individuals who lead great lives both in and out of game. In fact, the two people this article is about are two of those individuals. It's perfectly healthy to sit down and play a videogame with your significant other, on a beautiful spring day or at any other time (yes, it's never healthy to do one thing all the time, be it videogames or TV watching or anything else, but that's not what's happening here). And it's crazy that the NYT bent over backwards to make it seem like that's not the case.
Blizzard's bugs continue to confound. This was the sight on the PTR this weekend (Mania saw it too) -- miniature ogres and Taurens and oversized pets (including warlock and hunter pets and even some noncombat pets). We have no idea at all why Blizzard would be tweaking sizes (although this isn't the first time, and nor will it probably be the last that this happens), but whatever they're messing around with is weirding out the size factors all over the places.
The good news is that this is exactly what the "Public Test Realm" is for, and these problems are more amusing than anything else. But the bad news is that this definitely means that Blizzard is still monkeying with the code pretty hardcore. If your guess for the patch 2.4 release is in the first week or so of March, you might be a little early.
Item stat changes on the PTR for Relics and Retribution Paladins - Mon, 25 Feb 2008 17:40:00 EST Retribution Paladins and "Classic" hybrids rejoice. Even in the midst of all these recent nerfs, Blizzard is working on a few buffs. The latest news from the PTR via MMO Champion is that we can expect to see a few tweaks to Relics and Retribution Gear alike, mostly on the good side. Various pieces of Retribution Paladin focused gear, mostly from the heroic dungeon level, has had its spell damage removed and replaced with strength. Not great news for Shockadins, perhaps, but good for Retribution Paladins, whose talents and skills have been moved more to the side of shedding all spell damage for quite some time.
Druids, Shamans, and Paladins can rejoice at seeing a lot of their Idols gets a boost, with various stats and effects on them being boosted, sometimes by as much as twice their old values.
There's also a somewhat interesting, but probably ultimately minor tweak coming to arena and honor weapons, as all three levels of Feral Druid and spellcaster PvP weapons have seen their attack speed reduced by 1 to 1.60 seconds. You'll rarely see any of those classes using those weapons to melee anyone to death, so it seems a bit superfluous, but perhaps it was done for consistency with the recent Vengeful Gladiator's Waraxe change.
There will probably be a few more changes when the server comes back up, of course, and we'll be here to deliver you the news on them, so stay tuned.
There are now presets that come with the program for each class, so the priest preset will play different from the warrior preset, and so on. The release notes also say that there is a "key capture" feature -- just press a key to bind it -- and there is also a number of "combo" and "game actions" features. You've got to be careful when running programs that line up sets of actions for you, however; we know from experience that Blizzard sometimes walks a fine line when using inputs that allow macros.
Switchblade is now available as a free download (the program itself is ad-supported) and an Xbox 360 controller (as well as downloadable software drivers from Microsoft) is required to use it.
PTRs down for new build - Mon, 25 Feb 2008 17:00:00 EST About three hours ago, Hortus announced that the patch 2.4 PTR would be going down for four to six hours to apply a new build. So they ought to be down for another one to three hours. In the mean time, we all get a break from beta-testing the patch to get some food, watch a movie, do some homework or -- let's be honest -- gripe about the patch.
What will this new build contain? Well, since they haven't updated the PTR patch notes yet, we can't be certain, but it would be reasonable to guess they'd be fixing two outstanding bugs: huge stats and huge NPCs. Other than that, we'll have to wait and see what Blizz brings us.
In practice, however, it's easier said than done. The site relies not on info from Blizzard's servers, but from visitors to the site -- just click a realm name and you can input what quests are available. But anyone can do that, and there's no accounting for whether the quests are real or not (I accidentally entered some probably false information). I think the quests do reset every day, so at least if someone enters the wrong quest it only stays up for less than 24 hours, but still, you have to trust that what's up there is right.
In fact, I'm surprised Blizzard hasn't created something like this to check every day -- they've got a calendar of BG weekends, so it's natural that they'd somehow let us check what quests were available out of game, and maybe even be able to plan instance runs ahead of time. At any rate, until then, WoWDailies will have to do. If you're lucky enough to have someone updating your realm correctly and on time, it should be a good resource.
The ring features +22 to the primary five stats, making it (wait... let me make sure my math is right here...) 22 times better than The 1 Ring.
I'm not sure of it's use initially. It's a well rounded stats ring, so perhaps a druid or other hybrid class might be interested in it if they find themselves changing roles often enough. However for a single role / gear set, there are a plethora of better choices easily obtainable.
Of course, with that said, it makes a helluva nice ring to start off at 70 with.
Blizz speaks on Life Tap - Mon, 25 Feb 2008 15:30:00 EST Life Tap is one of my favorite mechanics in the game. It's elegant, it's clever, and it's just plain fun; it's a big part of the reason a Warlock is my third-highest-level character (behind my two 70s). And it's really a defining part of the Warlock class, along with demons and soul shards. So when they nerfed it on the patch 2.4 PTR, I was mad, along with a lot of other people. I still am.
Anyway, two recent Eyonix posts have discussed the topic. First, he clarified that Improved Life Tap will work the same as in patch 2.3: you get more mana without losing more life. Zero talent points in ILT = 15% of your max mana for 15% of your max life, one point = 16.5% mana for 15% life, and two points = 18% for 15%.
I use a Mac as my production machine. I don't want to get this too much into a Mac v. PC war, so lets just leave it with this: I find I am more productive with my workflows in OS X, and I have the added bonus of not worrying too much about what nasties are included in my downloads. I've been drinking Apple Kool-Aid from a sippy cup for over 10 years, so for me playing WoW on the Mac isn't some life-altering decision. My PC is nothing more than a game/media conversion console. But this whole hacking thing is making me think seriously of playing WoW on the Mac full-time. Sure, I've had WoW sessions of a decent length on my Mac, but not complete PC abstinence. In full disclosure mode, I've worked in IT for over ten years, and many of those years with a dotted-line relationship helping out our Security group. So, I've got a decent understanding of How Not Do Stupid Things On Your PC.
Back in my EverQuest days, we had "hacking" problems, but usually those could be traced back to someone doing stupid with his or her account: they used a powerleveling service or gave their password to a brother or guildie who then did something bad. With WoW, though, it seems much more nefarious. Sure, you give your password away you don't have much of a leg to stand on; I'm not going to say anyone deserves anything, but you've got no moral right to get indignant. Am I just reacting to this with a "oh noes, the sky is falling!" paranoia. Maybe. But when you hear of guild websites getting hacked to install keyloggers, peripherals shipping with keyloggers/viruses installed, it's tough to blame the user. There are always two sides to every story, but I'm getting the feeling there are a lot more true innocents in this battle, including our own Amanda Dean.
Last week on WoW Rookie, I showed you the instances you might want to run in your first forty levels.This week, I'd like to tell you more about what to do when you get there.As you level up, playing your intended role becomes more and more important. There are three (or four depending on who you ask) main roles in an instance: tank, heals, damage (dps), and crowd control (cc).The typical instance team includes a tank, a healer, and three dps/cc characters.Read on for more about these specific roles.
Thanks to tipster Enaress, we have a short video of an amusing (albeit potentially annoying) exploit ingame that allows you to summon an unlimited number of noncombat pets. From the date on the video, it looks as if this has been live since at least patch 2.3.0,and a few of the commenters have successfully tried it for themselves. A note of warning: be careful if you do this, as dropping out of sync with Blizzard's servers can definitely be considered an exploit, and, at Blizzard's discretion, could get you banned from the game. Odds are a fix is already en route.
I have to admit, I was amused at the prospect of having my small army of pets out and about, but from what Enaress has observed, doing this does have a tendency to contribute to the lag in Shattrath (which seems to be especially noticeable with complicated pets like Lil' Smoky). I don't think I'd try it for myself; Shatt can be bad enough during server high time. But there's something about the notion of my Druid as a dedicated cat-herder or, say, an Undead being followed by a swarm of cockroaches, that just made me laugh.
Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.
The technology wonks in the BRK Copyright-Violation, Trademark-Theft, and Patent-Infringement Squad were let out of their cells and set loose upon several WoW addon developers' servers and code. The reports they've returned are staggering in number, detail, graphic violence, and lewdness. It would seem that, to be a WoW addon developer, one must have a brilliant mind, a single-mindedness of purpose, and a truly disturbing love of cheese and cheese-like products.
We'd go into more detail, but this is a family web site. /shudder.
But aside from the high-cholesterol levels in the blood tests our spies sent to us, we've also become privy to what those coders have been doing. Golly gee but they have been putting in some really long hours and have come up with some truly fabulous ideas! What great updates can we expect for our favorite addons for Patch 2.4? Holy cow, you're not going to believe it!
European CM Thundgot announced today that the cooldown periods for both paid character transfer and paid character name changes have been reduced from three months to one month, effective immediately. The transfer cooldown was originally six months when the feature was introduced in June 2006, but was reduced to three in October 2006. In the intervening time, they've looked at server logs and so forth and come to the conclusion that moving it to one month would not have catastrophic consequences.
This change appears to be effective on the US realms as well, so wherever you are, you can hop servers and adopt new aliases every month if you want to pay for it. Also, Thundy clarifies that as long as your last transfer/name change was at least 30 days ago, you are immediately eligible for transfer/name change now. He also said that "moving forward" the price for paid transfer is going to be 20€/£15, but given his phrasing and the fact that I'm on the North American realms, I can't tell if that pricing is new or not. Do any of you know? Edit: Not new; thanks.
Chrille just released another Fat Cow to his PvP series. Fat Cow V contains duels against hunters, warlocks, rogues, 2v2 with frostmages, 3v3 with priests and warriors, and world PvP, as well as some artsy scenes. I would link to a high-quality version, but Stage6 ruined Christmas.
Once your guild purchases all the bank vaults you need, your bank will start accumulating gold without a clear purpose for how to spend it. As the donations and requests from members roll in, it's up to us as officers to decide. The author of this week's e-mail is concerned about the way his fellow officers are using the gold.
I recently became a low-ranking officer in a guild after demonstrating utility in knowledge, generosity, and helpfulness to my guildmates. When this occurred I decided to take a proactive approach to the guild and began lobbying for a new guild tab to open up to the lower ranking members. Everyone seemed supportive of this until I started digging into the financials. It seems as if the current state of the guild is members deposit, and the main officers withdraw it fairly quickly. For example in the last week or so 11 members (including myself) deposited a total of about 37 Gold while 4 officers withdrew over 50 Gold.
Every day we put out a call for user submitted screenshots and every day since the beginning of the Lunar Festival, we've asked you to refrain from sending us the seen-there done-that Omen in Ogrimmar pics. So what do we get? Why, a Pitlord in Shattrath! The player who sent us this had no explanation for this event. Anyone care to explain?
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 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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. No, really. Ok, only if it's a sunrise in new Patch 2.4 lands. We'll take those anytime.
Guess the patch 2.4 release date and win! - Mon, 25 Feb 2008 09:00:00 EST We all know that World of Warcraft's patch 2.4 is coming soon -- the only real question is when. And that, dear readers, is what we're asking you! Any time in the next week you can leave a comment on this post with your guess on when patch 2.4 will officially be released. When the patch comes out, we have four 60-day game time cards (worth approximately $30) to give to the readers who guessed correctly. (If more than four people guessed the correct date, we'll randomly choose four correct entries as winners. If no one guessed the correct date, we'll award prizes to those closest to the correct date.) All entries must be received before Monday, March 3rd at 9:00 AM EST, though we can't select winners until 2.4 has officially launched.
But Wait! There's more!
I'll even make this easier for you by using some of that good ol' mathematics. After some research, I've compiled the dates and lengths of previous patches. Take a look after the break for not only your chance to win some free game time, but also for an educated guess at when patch 2.4 will go live!
Before I started playing World of Warcraft, I hadn't played any other MMORPGS.As a matter of fact, I didn't even play video games regularly at all.I was always fascinated by hearing horror stories about the crazy things people did while playing Everquest.But I was also amazed by achievements and the vastness of the settings.
I've been playing WoW for about two years now.My boyfriend suggested I try it.I was hesitant to begin my adventures in Azeroth.I was afraid that buying the game would be a waste of money. I dragged my feet as I walked into the game store and grimaced a bit as the clerk swiped my debit card.I was dreadful at navigating in video games and was overwhelmed by the amount game knowledge it took to be successful.It took me about ten months to get my first level 60 character.I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I first started playing.I really wish I had discovered WoW Rookie sooner. In the end, I discovered that WoW is awesome. I love being part of the community.
Patch 2.4's Magtheridon: The new Onyxia? - Mon, 25 Feb 2008 03:15:00 EST You may have already heard that Magtheridon will be made easier in patch 2.4, but it looks like Blizzard's adding a few more goodies to make him more enticing to everyone. World of Raids has gotten news from a couple raid groups who have taken him down on the Test server, and it seems he's gotten a few other loot changes as well.
First of all, he drops more of the ultimate shiny stuff, 25 gold per raid member by some reports. Taking down a quick raid boss and getting 2 or 3 dailies worth of gold seems like a fair trade. He also now drops a 20 slot bag, called the Pit Lord's Satchel, which is BoP, but not unique. Like all 25-man bosses in 2.4, he will drop Badges of Justice. Finally, he also drops a Black Sack of Gems that will contain various Epic quality gems.
I'm sure if you were in the raid game pre-BC like I was, the same question is coming to mind: Is Magtheridon the new Onyxia for 2.4? Like 2.4's Magtheridon, she drops a really nice bag and a good amount of gold every kill. Like Magtheridon, her head can be turned in for a pretty sweet buff. Too bad Magtheridon's buff isn't quite as awesome, but it's all still there. Right now, Magtheridon is ignored or quickly skipped over by many raid groups, with only a kill or two just to get people their titles. But with these adjustments, both in difficulty and amount of loot dropped, he does seem like he may start looking a lot more alluring.
What do you think? Will these changes have you LF24M Magtheridon on a regular basis?