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. Tonight, we finish off Naxxramas, check our watches, and ask, "What else is left to kill around here?"
Out of all the forum posts written concerning raid content back in Burning Crusade, I remain fondest of a guide to Tier 6 written by Gragnarth of Andorhal, who I assume must be a deeply cynical person by nature. Within you'll find expert tips on Illidan ("If YOU get demoned you say something to the effect hey I got demoned, and then hope that you are well liked"), Shade of Akama ("I play a fury warrior, and as a result i have no clue what the strategy for this boss is"), and Rage Winterchill ("Make sure you have at least 1 person bandaging the Main Tank every minute"). But the comment that seemed to get the most mileage was one concerning Illidari Council, which was colorfully described as "THE SUPER BOWL OF NOT STANDING IN THINGS!" This phrase subsequently entered the parlance of many a raiding guild, and I'm reminded of it whenever I look at AoE-intensive fights.
Kel'Thuzad isn't a fight with the kind of AoE damage you'll see on (for example) Malygos, but I rather like to think of him as being the Super Bowl of spreading out. For every time you've heard your raid leader howl at the raid to "Spread the ^*#% out!" before, you'll be hearing it five times more here, and with good reason.
Ghostcrawler has updated us on the status of three major bugs that have been present since patch 3.0.8 went live last Tuesday.
The Hunter Aspect bug, in which aspects are on a global cooldown like mechanism.
The Warlock Ritual of Summoning, which had a two minute cooldown implemented to prevent some sort of undisclosed exploit.
Howling Blast, which showed to not have a cooldown, but in reality had a five second one.
"Assuming nothing comes up at the last minute", Ghostcrawlersays, "[these] will be fixed tomorrow."
There is no word if these fixes will come in the form of a small patch to the client, or if they are going to be done server side. Since the Howling Blast is a bug that is linked to client data files, I would assume that fixing it necessitates rolling out a minor patch. However that's just an assumption based on the way things were done in the past, and Blizzard could have other technology present to circumvent the need for a full patch.
Nonetheless, a couple more bugs will get fixed tomorrow. This is a good thing.
Want to know how to make Hunters the most hated class?
Ghostcrawler: "Frostmourne is a hunter weapon. True story."
Now of course Ghostcrawler was saying this to be funny, but still... the reactions are such that I had a good chuckle. Ghostcrawler posted this last Friday evening in the role forums, and we had to share; just in case you thought Frostmourne was going to be anything but a Hunter weapon.
And for those wondering, we really don't have any idea what Frostmourne will be like.
But nonetheless, we here at WoW Insider approve of all Hunter related items. Especially ones that are Hunter only.
The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences has honored Wrath of the Lich King with three different nominations in their yearly awards. The game was nominated for both the Computer Game of the Year and Massively Multiplayer Online Game of the Year (both of which are pretty obvious choices, though as an expansion pack, it's probably not a complete shoo-in for either category), and also for Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition. That one's not really a surprise either, though, when you consider that the music in the game is terrific, and Wrath's music especially is great.
At this point, considering this is an expansion pack to a four year old game, it really does seem like it would be an honor just to be nominated for these. But we'll see -- the winners will be announced at the 2009 D.I.C.E. Summit, on February 18th-20th in Las Vegas. Good luck to Blizzard and their teams.
Crowd Control to return in future instances - Mon, 26 Jan 2009 17:00:00 EST This opinion probably isn't shared by everyone, but I have to say: I miss crowd control in PvE. Nowadays, thanks to Death Knights or Blizzard or whoever you want to blame, instance runs are more or less zerg affairs -- everyone runs in on a cue, targets whatever the most dangerous mob is, and then lets the rest die off from the incidental damage thanks to their glyph-ed up, AoE abilities. But I long for a more civilized time when CC was used as a more elegant weapon, when a successful group was based on teamwork rather than gear, and when you needed a sheep, or a trap, or a banish, or all three, to make it through the instance.
Fortunately, crowd control isn't dead forever -- GC confirms that while Blizzard doesn't want every pull to take "months of planning" (and obviously they want you to bring the player, not the class, so requiring a Warlock or a Mage along isn't always the best policy), "there will be more CC in the future." Of course, whether that means raids only or future expansions, we have no idea. He does say that "Noxromulous" was made to be accessible, so you might think raids, but one instance players always mention in terms of 5-man difficulty is Magister's Terrace, and let's not forget that that one also came in a content patch.
Despite the bad rep that CC has gotten in PvP, it plays a significant role in the strategy of PvE, and lots of that interesting gameplay has really been lost lately. Hopefully in the future, we'll see Blizzard able to bring back sheep and traps in a way that will test groups without leaving anyone out.
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.
Yesterday we had a question about the little fiery looking thumbnail I use at the end of almost every edition of The Queue. What the heck is it? Well, it's pretty hard to make out the details as a little thumbnail, but it's a picture of Volkhan from Halls of Lightning. The big red flare is a fireburst that comes up when he wangs his anvil with his hammer. I thought the bigger version looked pretty cool, so I kept using the thumbnail.
I keep seeing references to EU-Magtheridon, and I'm absolutely fascinated by a server with such a ridiculously unbalanced player ratio. Does anyone know how that happened? Is there some reason an insane number of Horde players are there? Did the Horde just start getting the edge and the Alliance players left for less ganky pastures, and it's gone out of control since then?
Farming Chilled Meat and Borean Leather in Northrend - Mon, 26 Jan 2009 15:00:00 EST We've already posted about just how useful Chilled Meats are -- they're a staple of the cooking dailies, so chefs and anyone else trying to earn Dalaran cooking awards are after plenty of them. And reader ScytheNoire sent us a good tip on how to pick up not only a ton of Chilled Meats, but stock up on Borean Leather if you're a skinner, too: lowering the Reef Bull population on Scalawag Point, just off the coast of Howling Fjord. Because those guys are needed for the daily quest, the respawn rate is great on them, and within a half hour, says ScytheNoire, he picked up a couple stacks of Chilled Meat and the same of Borean Leather (with a few Arctic Furs in there as well). Just stay away from the folks trying to do their dailies and you can rack up a nice bunch of animal products.
As many players will tell you, Sholazar Basin is another great place to get both Chilled Meat and Leather, given that most of the zone is beasts (thanks to the Nesingwary quests around there). I've found that the best place over there is the Hardknuckle Foragers and Chargers near the Frenzyheart Tribe's camp -- the Foragers are neutral and go down fast, and will give Chilled Meat and Leather at a high rate, close to one per kill each.
For leather, obviously the Jormungar Cave in Storm Peaks is another good place to pick up skins, not only from the worms, which will also give you scales, but from the worgs they kill as well. Unfortunately, I haven't yet found any mobs that will consistently drop more than one leather (the Black Morass was such a goldmine for Knothide), so it's slow going no matter where you are, but there are a few good spots to hit up if, like me, you're getting Leatherworking and Cooking up to speed.
As someone who regularly geeks out about the lore of Warcraft, it disappoints me that I can't be there to listen to it in person. Gameplay always has a really large effect on how the lore of a video game world is allowed to play out (especially in MMOs) but a lot of those constraints have been overcome with the advances made in Wrath of the Lich King. The things they've done to overcome those issues largely come from Tigole's team of developers.
I very much hope that transcripts of GDC's panels find their way to the web shortly after the conference. One of my favorite parts of BlizzCon and BlizzCast is the somewhat behind the scenes look into the process, and the philosophy that goes into how and why Blizzard does what they do. This pretty much sounds right up my alley, and I know a lot of you have expressed the same sentiment each time a new BlizzCast has gone live. I'll definitely be watching for any transcripts that pop up.
I have mostly steered clear of politics in this column. Very early on, in the second or third column I wrote for WoW Insider, I made an offhand joke about the current administration that set off a firestorm of argument in the comments section. It really had nothing to do with the column at all, so I found the situation extremely unproductive. I decided I'd never do that again.
But I was there in D.C. last Tuesday and I wanted to share some of my observations about how to handle a transfer of power. It's a situation that can come up from time to time in a guild when a long-time leader has to step down for personal reasons -- or in democratic guilds when a leader is voted out. Let's talk about how Bush and Obama handled everything and what we can learn from their example.
PvP movies aren't the normal trade of WoW Moviewatch, but we do occasionally see PvP movies that we want to mention. It's good to be aware of the variety out there, and maybe each genre can learn a little something from one another. Flekz from Eredar (EU) created Fleks Fire PvP 5 as a movie mostly about, you got it, his fire mage doing stuff in PvP. But there' are a few things in this that I want to point out as being special and interesting.
First, the entire movie is basically framed as if it were a comic book. I like when PvP movie-makers take a little extra time to try and present the action in a new and interesting way. Insane Gouge Crits did something similar a few weeks ago, and I'm definitely interested to see where this trend will go. Dialogue in speech bubbles, framed shots, and even the opening magazine cover reinforce the 4-color world of Fleks.
Second, Flekz puts effort into being playful with the movie. Odd cuts and angles frame scenes in a jaunty kind of way. (Do I lose points for using the word 'jaunty'?) It refers to Flekz as 'our hero,' reminiscent of other web-slinging comic books that play with 4th wall awareness.
Lastly, I'll admit, the rock-and-roll won me over. Anything that starts out with a good, old Iron Maiden tune definitely scores in my book.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
And we have a great time throughout. Don't forget that we do the show live every Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern, so if you're around next Saturday, be sure to join us for the live show (and when you do, you get a free aftershow with us at no extra charge). In the meantime, you can hear this past week's show by clicking any of the links below, and listening in on the media of your choice. If you have any comments or questions or want to send us an intro to play, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening as always, have a great week. Oh, and I almost forgot. Listener Traenallmade this video after hearing Turpster's plans for gaining rep from the Timbermaw this week. Very funny.
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The Silent Bob approach to group management - Mon, 26 Jan 2009 11:00:00 EST The world of groups: pugs, raids, arenas, guilds, confederations, servers; all of it means one thing: you have to know how to get along with each other. A big part of getting along with one another in a successful group is knowing how and when to get information across.
This communication is often times hard to do, even for the most seasoned communicator. How do you tell someone that their tanking is so awful you'd rather let the hunter's pet be the main tank? What do you say to a healer to get them to understand that healing means more than casting their biggest heal all the time? And what do you do with the DPS who always decides to pull for the group?
Recently I've taken up a new way to deal with all these things. I call it the Silent Bob approach to group management.
Although it is Monday, this morning I am going to pretend that it is in fact, Sunday. After all, no one really likes Mondays, even if they're manic. Luckily for you, I have quite the list of comics for your enjoyment!
Cru the Dwarf is now on page 72 of his echoing through time.
Dark Legacy Comics points out the No-Fly Zone. I lean towards agreeing with them that the general placement of said zone is inconvenient. It seems to be a conspiracy on the part of the Flightmasters to convince me to pay them to fly me to Coldarra or Sholazar Basin.
The Scout Report has posted #63 and I love it. Unfortunately, I found out that when I tried to hit "Previous" to see if I had missed any other comics since last Sunday, it took me back to #52. So I recommend either jumping back five comics, or just reading from #52 if you think you've missed a couple!
From The Adventures of Disgraph T. Dwarf comes Nuts Make Me Giggle. On this musical-fruit-note, I end this week's list!
Breakfast Topic: Is 68 too low for Northrend? - Mon, 26 Jan 2009 08:00:00 EST My Shaman and I have been becoming best friends lately. I've been doing about a level every other day with her, and as I said in the WRUP last Friday, my goal was to get her into Northrend to have some fun. To do that I needed to bring her to 68 and head over to my preferred starting zone, the Howling Fjord.
But when I got there I was in for a bit of a shock.
Everything wasn't dying as fast as it was in Outlands. At 67 my Shaman was plowing through mobs left and right, outfitted in mainly greens and a few quest reward blues. With Shamanistic Rage, and my two ghost wolves I could pop out at a regular interval, I had nearly no downtime.
Rogues are the masters of shadows. While twoother classes actually use the shadow as a source of magical power, it's the Rogue who can potentially live and breathe the shadow, and make it an essential part of who he or she is what he or she does.
"The Shadow" as a concept, could mean a number of different things to your character, however -- anything from literal shadows that he or she might disappear in, to underground networks, knowledge of the street, and secret societies few others know about. An advanced rogue might even possess an intimate relationship with "the Shadow" as a mystical force he can wrap around himself in as a kind of cloak, or step through the shadows to appear behind his enemy in a flash.
In fact, your rogue may not even use the term "shadow" at all, and may simply think of himself as a simple bandit, thief, pickpocket, detective, scout, special agent, assassin, bank-robber, or even a venture capitalist. In fact, the Rogue class is suitable as a broad catch-all class for a number of seemingly unrelated character types, from a court jester to a penniless tourist.
For those that need their memory jogged, The Not-So-Friendly Skies daily is the one where you have to go around and kill Dragonmaw Transporters. It was, for me, one of the most annoying quests to do in the whole chain. The spawn points always seemed camped, and the previous drop rate was about 50%, give or take.
In A Slow Death, you have to poison 12 Dragonmaw Peon Camps. The Fel Glands dropped from any tainted wildlife in Shadowmoon Valley at a previous drop rate of about 25%.
Hopefully this will do two things. First, it'll help everyone working their way towards the 100 mount achievement, Mountain-O-Mounts. And secondly, it should help people get their alts a Nether Drake all the faster.
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. Is the Priest usage of Greater Heal fading away? Matticus shall answer!
It's about the current use of Greater Heal (or lack thereof).
Check your meters. Specifically, check your cast sequences. See if you can determine how often you use Greater Heal on a typical night. If you're a player who uses it often, I applaud you. From a mathematical and healing efficiency stand point, Greater Heal has the edge.
Under lab conditions.
Except raid environments aren't lab conditions. Let's go into detail about when Greater Heal is used in Discipline and Holy after the break.
Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.
When I did my recap for last year, I listed events as the 4th top casual improvement for 2008. Some commenters didn't understand why events are good for casual players. I think that most of the in-game holidays are, in fact, great opportunities for casuals to enhance their characters and see the world. The Lunar Festival is a very useful event, particularly if you are an altaholic, like me. Following are some tips for getting the most out of the Lunar Festival.
Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly class column for Warcraft's newest class, the Death Knight.
Ok, I know I've been focusing on tank quite a lot lately, but I'm here to say that I swear I haven't forgotten about the DPS. To prove it to you, this week's edition of Lichborne is all about gearing up to hit 10-man Naxxramas as a DPS.
For the most part, your gearing choices as a DPSer are going to be more or less the same no matter what your spec. For the most part, I'm going to be following the statistical information I outlined in the Death Knight statistics primer, which means the gear I pick out will follow this basic rule for stat choice: Hit rating to the 8% cap > strength/attack power > critical strike rating > expertise > everything else.
The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.
The Arena is live and filled with Gladiators brutally tearing one another apart. Obviously, then, it's the time for the return of the Colosseum, where we interview the players in your battlegroups to get an idea of what they're doing, what they're thinking, and what might be coming up next.
Lightss of Korgath currently sits as a Holy Paladin on the Vengeance battlegroup's 9th ranked 3v3 team Lore Fanclub. He's only been Holy since patch 3.0.8 however, since before that ... Lightss fought in the Arena as a Protection Paladin! Part of the buzz about Season 5 has been that healers are suffering in the current season. Additionally,. I don't think anyone would claim tankadins are perfectly tuned for PvP. This makes Lightss interesting not just as a healer, but also as a unique gladiator. Let's see what he has to say behind the cut.