Finally, some resto Shammy gear! Not only is this sweet helm statted out (yes, I just made that up), but it's named after someone you may have heard of in passing -- that other half of the Lich King.
Name: Shroud of Chieftain Ner'zhul (WoWDB, Wowhead, Thottbot) Type: Epic Mail Head Armor: 902 Abilities:
In order to save space, I'm going to give you the lore behind this helm while I tell you its stats. So Ner'zhul was an old Chieftain/Shaman of the Orcs, and since this is Warcraft, he was powerhungry and it drove him to make deals with demons. Plus his helm had +48 Stamina and +41 Intellect, which actually made it nice for PvP as well.
It also had a Yellow and Meta socket, and a socket bonus of 2 mp5. Ner'zhul didn't exactly knowingly make deals with demons, though -- he did what he thought was right, and aligned with Kil'jaeden, who he thought was actually a helpful "ancient ancestor."
But realizing Kil'jaeden is evil is actually as obvious as the 33 spell haste rating and 13mp5 on this helm, and eventually Ner'zhul did. It was too late, though -- Gul'dan took over, and Ner'zhul only barely saved the Frostwolf Orcs from drinking Mannoroth's blood.
Kil'jaeden wasn't thrilled with that, obviously, and stuck Ner'zhul in the Frozen Throne as the Lich King, until a young man named Arthas Menethil came along, shattered the Frozen Throne, and combined his bad self with Ner'zhul's in order to become a crazy powerful being (with lots of Wrath, which we'll see sooner or later).
And oh yeah, the helm's got 134 healing and 45 spell damage on it. Ner'zhul was originally an Orc Chieftain and resto Shaman, so this helm came from back when he was still supposedly a good guy. But interestingly enough, he still kind of is -- both he and Arthas slaughtered a lot of people thinking they were doing the right thing, and both he and Arthas were corrupted by the deals they made for power. Maybe they belong in that Frozen Throne together.
How to Get It: This is an interesting piece of loot that supposedly comes from the Sunwell. As of this writing, it hasn't been in player hands yet, but it actually comes from another helm, the Cowl of Gul'dan, which reportedly drops from Kil'jaeden. Since Killy Jay hasn't been killed yet, we're not sure about this, but this is what an "ancient ancestor" told us.
Blizzard is trying something new with the Sunwell Loot -- if you don't like the loot you get or want to switch it out for another piece of gear, you can bring the old helm to a Transmuter, along with a Sunmote (that can be obtained from trash inside Sunwell Plateau), and they'll transmute the helm for you. So get the Cowl of Gul'dan (drop rate unknown), add a Sunmote in there, take it to the Transmuter, and voila, you've got (what's probably a replication of) the Shroud of Chieftain Ner'hzul. Cake, right?
Getting Rid of It: Oh, you won't, not for a while anyway. All of the non-raiders will be switching out their casual epics for greens at level 71, but a helm like this you'll hold on to for a while. It does disenchant into a Void Crystal, though -- at least we assume it does. The ancient ancestor was unclear about that one.
Altaholism is something we've all heard of, talked about and possibly suffered from. I have struggled with this as long as I've played World of Warcraft. I use a variety of addons, as you can well imagine, to enhance my game play. Some of these addons provide information about my alts, although not across servers and factions. The information I am typically concerned with is rest bonus, gold and recipes. I usually use the Armory to check my alt's gear and reputation, or God forbid I relog to the character in question to check something.
Enter Altaholic, an addon I have recently started using to keep track of just about every detail about my alts. Developer Thaoky tipped us off to his addon, and I thought I'd give it a test drive. I'm not going to lie, I was a little doubtful about the usefulness of this one, but I have changed my mind. Altaholic looks akin to Auctioneer (and therefore the default AH interface) to allow the player to navigate different information regarding alts. Some of my addons duplicate features of this addon, but this package brings much more to the table. It's an Ace addon, and the developer seems to be very proactive about the future of this one. One warning, however, this addon will total up your /played time, which may cause you to ask serious questions about the direction fo your life.
Come back after the break for a look at Altaholic.
Well Fed Buff serves up tasty dishes to boost your HP, stats and appetite - with that special WoW twist, of course.
My wife grimaces whenever I stop my channel surfing to watch Giada de Laurentiis on Everyday Italian. She can't complain, though, since I do the cooking at home and I use, ahem, culinary education as my excuse for watching the show. Today on Well Fed Buff, I'll do my own celebrity chef impression and continue my trend of outlining perfectly simple dishes that any lazy gamer can whip up at home without messing it up too much. Just like fried bananas, of course, it's pretty hard to go wrong with an omelet.
We're not just talking about any omelet, though, mind you. It's a Monster Omelet! In-game Monster Omelets require a Giant Egg and a couple of Soothing Spices, which really aren't difficult to put together. Of course, the key ingredient is a Giant Egg, which isn't too easy to come by but some delis and well-stocked grocers might have ostrich eggs. One supermarket in Manila fortunately had one in stock, and it retailed for about $14.
PvP was very much on readers' minds this week: Blizzard's balance of focus on PvP vs. PvE content, new Arena gear requirements, the e-sport aspirations of WoW's PvP system ... We bring you a sampling of those, as well as plenty of other tidbits that readers poked at over the last week: meanie players who kill ogres, loot drama, even roleplaying coverage.
As always, be sure to dive into the comments area and add your own thoughts - unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.
We'll check our email inbox as well -- if you'd like to send us a note (or a joke), you can do so at email@example.com. And we'll be on IRC as usual: in the #wowradio channel at irc.mmoirc.com (or you can just chat directly from WoW Radio's webpage).
Should be a good one. See you there: tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm EST over on WoW Radio, it's the WoW Insider Show live on your PC.
Give Gnomer back to the Gnomes - Fri, 25 Apr 2008 14:00:00 EST I've heard this idea many times before, but I don't know that we've ever officially covered it here on the site: there is a fairly large movement in the player base, especially among the shorter folks, to have Blizzard continue the Gnomeregan story line -- and give Gnomer back to the Gnomes. Gnomer is pretty much the most hated of all the instances (well, Uldaman might barely overtake it in some circles), and as happy as the Gnomes are in Ironforge, a lot of the pint-sized ankle-pokers would like to have their city back.
Unfortunately, Blizzard has given the idea short shrift (ha!) to say the least -- while there are lots of rumored expansion plans, even beyond Wrath of the Lich King, it's mostly the Maelstrom and the Emerald Dream; nothing about the Leper Gnomes in Gnomer. You'd think they wouldn't be that hard to clear out (lower level groups regularly make short work of them -- ha!), although radiation is tough to fight off. Even the best Gnomish scientists seem to hold the belief they'll be able return to Gnomer, so it must be possible, right?
But to make a long story short (ha! OK I'll stop), retaking Gnomeregan just isn't on Blizzard's priority list. The city might work great as a portal hub, or even a new setting for a BG or Arena, but as it is right now, Gnomeregan is staying in the hands of the Lepers and the Troggs.
The Care and Feeding of Warriors knew that there would be discussion of whether or not warriors are broken, and so decided to provide picture evidence that at least one warrior is broken indeed! Matthew Rossi apologizes for that pun. Really, he couldn't be expected to resist it, now could he? Look, mob violence never solved anything.
I have in the past written about what's not broken in the warrior class. So you might think that a column entitled "Are warriors underpowered?" would be easily answered with a no, and then we could move on.
And so it is. See you next week!
Oh, right. I still have to write a column. Also, to be fair, the answer is more complicated than no, although it ultimately works out to a no by means of averages. Warriors in the whole are not underpowered or broken, but they have some issues. Some aspects that have always annoyed me. It's too bad I don't have a weekly column about warriors so I can talk about that, isn't it?
In what could be the biggest change in 2.4.2, Hunters are getting a pretty generous buff to the spell Scare Beast. Not only is the range ballooning from 10 yards to 30 yards, but it will have an instant cast time as well. Well it does have limited application in PvE, this will be huge in PvP, for one simple reason: It will work on Druids in forms.
In the middle of a raid, or simply just too busy to actually walk to the bathroom? Now you don't have to! Wham-o's WoW Tube allows you to "comfortably" use the restroom from your chair, so you'll never miss an important moment in-game again!
If this video was indeed made in the last 6 months, this guy doesn't play WoW at all. He mentions leveling to 60. I do like how he mentions that if you're still interested in his "product", that it's only $20 USD for 30 feet of PVC! I sincerely hope that none of you have actually tried this at home.
The Official 2.4.2 Patch notes have been updated with a variety of new class and item changes that should be live on the PTR right now. For the most part, the class changes are just bug fixes, some of which were already listed, but have been moved from the bug fix section to their proper class section. However, Paladins and Hunters have recieved some very interesting changes.
You've entered Azeroth with a brand spanking new character and you're trying to find your footing in the world. Perhaps this is even your first MMO entirely, and while looking for guidance, you're overwhelmed at the sheer volume of information available. Sound like you?
While our very own WoW Rookie column has a wealth of information specifically tailored to new players, this week's Insider Trader is going to go in-depth and personal with your profession choices to help make sure that you get the job you want.
Whether you are looking for a challenge, thinking ahead to your future, or looking to maximize your profit, you'll find the advice you need to make an informed decision. Have you already chosen, and are regretting it? Never fear, I'll walk you through backing out of the deal and finding something that really suits you.
Make sure not to skip the comments section, as input and personal experience will help you learn about the different outcomes you might face.
It's not quite May Day, but these feral tanks didn't need an excuse to celebrate with a little pole dancing. It started with a single shapeshifted Druid dancing around a totem in Thunderbluff. A second joined him and soon it became a spontaneous gathering of ursine gyrations. Heh, count yourself lucky. It could have been ogres.
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. You too have a chance to join the Around Azeroth dance, as long as you don't send in sunset pics.
Zach Yonzon takes over Blood Sport this week while new columnist Amanda Dean recuperates from a fever. Former columnist Vims decided he'll take his ominous laughter over to the Warlock columns exclusively.
The writing is on the wall. Welfare epics are on the way out. With the new changes to the personal rating requirements -- which now includes gear purchasable by Honor -- it will no longer be possible to completely gear up through PvP without stepping into Arenas. The moment the announcement was made, everything changed for PvP and gear distribution to the player base. With the introduction of the new requirements, Arena and Honor-bought gear has become more restrictive than ever.
How does this change the playing field? In two words? A lot. The good will get better, the bad will get worse, and the mediocre won't be getting anywhere. It is no longer possible to participate in Arenas casually. In fact, World of Warcraft PvP as we know it has changed completely. Clearly meant to address point selling teams, the personal rating requirement affects legitimate contenders -- or at least challengers (no pun intended) -- who play Arenas.
There is no question that gear is a differentiator in Warcraft PvP. Certainly it's not the only differentiator, but the impact of gear disparity in Arenas is such that it creates an artificial barrier of entry for players who are only beginning to play it. Players who have been playing since Season 1 or 2 will have garnered enough Arena points for at least 4/5 Season 3 gear. Players who have just hit Level 70 or decided to do Arenas late are at a disadvantage. With the changes to the PvP gear system, the gear gap will grow even wider.
Lately, my bank alt has been encountering beggars in Orgrimmar. This confuses me because there has never been a better time to make money at any level. Sure, level 70s can do their Daily Quests and easily make 100 gold in less than an hour. But even lowbies can get in on the action.
If you can herb, Swiftthistle brings a nice price on the AH. Is mining your thing? Copper bars and low end gems are snapped up on the AH by people leveling up Jewelcrafting, Engineering and Blacksmithing. Do you just kill humanoids? Well then, Wool Cloth has always been profitable for bringing up First Aid, Tailoring and factions in the major cities.
Though, honestly, going out and questing for half an hour at any level will get you enough money to buy supplies and pay for repair bills. So I just don't get it. Isn't playing the game more interesting than standing around asking for other people's money?
I am really baffled here. Do you beg and if so, why? If not, why do you think people beg?
The Shadow Diaries: In which I take a shortcut - Thu, 24 Apr 2008 21:00:00 EST Back in November of last year, I wrote a post for the Spiritual Guidance column called "The shadow diaries." In it, I pledged that I would recount my experiences of leveling a brand-new shadow priest. However, as you may have noticed (or not), that never happened. There's always too many things to do in this crazy virtual world of ours (not to mention that other, brighter world outside), so poor Hieronymus ended up getting neglected.
Why am I talking about a series of posts I didn't write? Well, I may not have had the fortitude to level another priest all the way to 70, on a strange server no less, but eventually two realizations came together. I already have a priest at level 70, and I'm doing a lot more soloing than grouping with her these days. I'd recently moved a few points in my long-held 23/38/0 spec over to the Holy damage talents, which sped up my dailies a bit. But then I thought, why not go all the way?
I have to admit that I was once like them. Why should I give up one of my precious character spaces for some dude who will just sit around Thunder Bluff or Ironforge and do nothing but store stuff that I should just be using or auctioning anyway? Of course, now that I have a bank alt, I'm pretty happy with the concept. If you're someone who hasn't made one yet, I'll tell you why I think you'd be happy with one too after the break.
This has been circulating for a while now, but some players have found commands that will improve the graphics display on World of Warcraft. In the category of oops-we-missed-this-one, reader Matthew actually sent us this tip as far back as mid-March after stumbling on a link at the EU forums. We've dug up the commands that he sent as well as the before and after pictures. Simply log into WoW and type up the following macro:
This macro supposedly pushes the sliders in the Graphics Options part of the game beyond what the controls normally allow, although these values are the maximum allowed by the current game system. Using higher numbers will have no effect and some improvements will only take effect when the game is restarted. Some reports say that using this macro will slow down your Frames Per Second (FPS) while some report no impact on even mid-range systems. If you try it out and find that your performance decreases, however, you can simply type the following macro to return everything to normal:
If your system can handle it, you should expect more vegetation, more objects visible in the distance, more detailed weather effects, and sharper graphics overall. Important: readers have written in saying that the revert macro described above doesn't revert to your previous set-up, but instead puts all your graphical preferences to the lowest settings. Proceed with caution.
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.