There's a raffle going on as well (I'm angling to get some World of Warcraft-related gear in the pot), and there'll also be a Mortal Kombat vs. DC tournament going on thanks to Chicago's own Midway Games (and I heard there was a Rock Band event, though that may have since fallen through -- we'll see). And oh yeah, since the event is taking place at Plan B, there'll be drinking. It's $10 admission, or you can give $50 for admission and an open bar, though you have to be over 21 for both. I'll let you guess which ticket I bought (hint: the one with the booze).
Should be a lot of fun -- if you're in Chicago and weren't able to make it to our launch party, see if your calendar's clear for this event. And if you're not in Chicago, Child's Play has lots of events going on around the country, and obviously they're happy to take donations anyway. Hopefully we'll see lots of WoW Insider readers at the event next month -- when else do you get to drink, play games, and help kids all at the same time?
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 the topic of profession daily quests came up, and there was a little confusion around it. The way the question was phrased combined with how my response was phrased made it sound like most professions have daily quests in Wrath of the Lich King with a couple of exceptions. That is, unfortunately, not true. Of the primary professions, I believe only Jewelcrafting has daily quests. Of the secondary professions, only Cooking has daily quests. Skinners can sometimes skin an Arctic Fur off of beasties in Northrend, and those are used as tokens to purchase recipes. Enchanters do something similar with Dream Shards. They have no normal daily quests, though.
Now with that cleared up, the Q&A! We'll start with Stormscape's question...
Does Crusader Aura or On A Pale Horse affect vehicle speed?
Dual spec update - Wed, 26 Nov 2008 16:00:00 EST Ghostcrawler provided a bit of an update yesterday on the ETA of Dual Specs. He makes it clear that while they'd love to have them in patch 3.1 (which is when we'll see Ulduar and some other post Wrath), he doesn't want to say something and then not deliver - only to get players upset.
Dual specs are a feature that's very much looked forward to by many players, in particular tanks and healers. No longer will players have to spend horrendous amounts of gold just to enjoy both solo content and group content. The introduction of them will truly be game changing for many folks.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll see dual specs appear in 3.1. The 3.0.4 PTR should be coming around shortly, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a 3.1 PTR shortly after the beginning of the new year. So maybe if I'm lucky around February or March next year I won't be spending 400g/week respecing.
Ghostcrawler, in a post to the Damage Dealing forums, outlined upcoming changes to Elemental Shamans. It's a pretty substantial talent overhaul for the tree, aimed at streamlining and improving scaling at higher levels of gear. (And boy, is that a good thing.) Unlike the recent post changing how totems work as AoE, this is a much more drastic set of changes all told. In case you can't get it to load at work or what have you, the complete text of the post will be after the jump with commentary by me.
Paladins have been the solo instance kings for a while now, from BRD to Onyxia to Blood Furnace, but there may be a new contender in town. Felblood let us know that his level 80 Death Knight (I believe this is his Armory page) has soloed one of my favorite instances, Zul'Gurub, going from the snake boss all the way to Hakkar with just his character.
The snake boss, he says, was easy, just a nuke. The bat boss Jeklik silences, and a few of his resists failed on her, so she got some healing off, but she still dropped. Panther and spider went down all right, though the spider's webbing apparently kept him from healing as well -- being silenced, he couldn't cast disease, so Death Strike didn't heal. Bloodlord Mandokir was super tough, apparently -- I can imagine that watching would be pretty nuts during that. On Thekal, the tiger boss, his problem was that he was killing too fast: the boss would get ressed when one of the adds died early. Eventually he just brought them down to 50% and then just nuked all out, and the second phase was easy.
And Hakkar was anticlimactic -- he just basically tanked and spanked. He tried to anti-magic the Blood Syphons, but they didn't heal for much, so he just wailed on Hakkar until he was the last one standing. Quite a feat. Of course, at level 80, he was 20 levels above where this 20 man instance was meant to be, so we probably haven't seen the end of the level 60 content being soloed. But it seems that Death Knights are almost more equipped than Paladins to bring down some of the raid content on their own.
Rogues are like butterflies. We soar between currents of air, our paths seemingly chaotic. We serve no master, no blood oaths to demons or fear of a higher power. We simply float our way through the world, focusing on preservation of self as the highest goal. Our path is truly our own.
Rogues are also like Joe The Plumber. We've got bills to pay, mats to farm, and drops to grind. While driving around Azeroth in your parent's Traveler's Tundra Mammoth with your disappearing act may seem attractive, life in WoW isn't that easy for a Rogue. In order to keep up with content, we're in constant need of new leather gear to keep us at the top of our game. We've got our dues to pay, and one word describes how "The Man" requires us to fulfill these obligations: Reputation. Read on to explore exactly what juicy pieces of rep gear await in Northrend.
Still leveling? Looking to do some dungeon runs? Want to know where to go, or where to find your quests? ...No? Oh. Well, okay. You can leave, then. Wait, I think I heard someone say yes! In that case, you might be interested in WoW Insider's guide to the dungeons of Wrath.
In the gallery below you'll find a quick guide to all of the 5-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King, in order of the level of the instance. It contains brief descriptions of each dungeon, their level range, and just where to find all of the quests for each of them. I hope it proves useful, and if not, at least some of the pictures are pretty!
The author says up front that he considered this movie to be an experiment. Nef vs. Rai was intended to help explore the animation possibilities in World of Warcraft. It is a very short animation example, that pretty much can be summed up as "A dragon steps foot in Darnassus, an anime hero charges his lasers, and kills the dragon." The story wasn't complex, but probably wasn't meant to be. While the opening shot of a dragon landing is created using modified WoW graphics, the rest seems to be hand drawn.
The opening credit with the animated cat-form druid (Night Elf) was pretty neat. I liked the hand-drawn overlay in Darnassus, and what it did for the environment there. I'm not sure the animation of "Rai" did much for me. Something about the way Rai's face was drawn kind of put me off, and made it very difficult for me to understand what emotion the character was experiencing. But, I guess, the anime style can be kind of like that, with a lot of it being an acquired taste.
"Nef vs. Rai" isn't the worst freshman effort we've ever seen, but any follow-up would definitely need some story embellishment.
Blizzard has updated the Armory with a new Wrath of the Lich King theme, and achievements and stat information for each player. It's very cool -- not only can you check out what each player has done so far (including all and recent achievements, and all of the statistics available ingame), but you can also compare players to each other, both in the stats and achievements pages, and you even get, as you can see above, the totals for everything, so you can see just how "achieved" you are.
Very cool. We've been expecting this one since patch 3.0.2 came out (if it's in the game, why wouldn't it be in the Armory?) but obviously other priorities rose to the top before now. Blizzard did a great job with it, though -- they can all head off to the holiday weekend now without worrying about the update.
Update: Just noticed that Blizzard also has a news feed on the main page when you log in that tells you about goings on and realm firsts for your character specifically, from who's downed the heroics recently to the first characters to 80 on your own realm. I wonder what they'll report on when all the firsts have been taken, but we'll have to see -- that might be an interesting feed to follow (they provide RSS for it as well).
This beautiful shot of Icecrown Citadel at night was taken in Dalaran by Althera of <Asylum> on Aerie Peak. Arthas certainly has better taste in housing than Illidan, doesn't he? But that spire looks pretty unstable. The Dalaran mages could probably take the whole thing down with one well-aimed Pyroblast. Unfortunately, they're too busy giving random level 74s directions to the profession trainers and hiding books in inconvenient places to give it a shot.
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. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, "mounted mounts", or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Mining Toughness bug beefs up twinks - Wed, 26 Nov 2008 09:00:00 EST This is an interesting bug (a bug that twinks might not be so happy we're shedding light on it, but it is a bug nonetheless): apparently Toughness, which is the bonus that comes from the mining profession, is giving a much bigger buff than designed at tier 3 of the ability. Instead of giving a bonus to health (as it's supposed to, and as it does for miners not within the 225-299 range), it's actually giving a bonus to Stamina. So level 19s with mining between 225-299 are actually picking up about 700 health, instead of the designed 70.
Apparently twinkinfo.com has been waiting on a hotfix for this one for a while, but apparently it's not fixed yet, and twinks who have leveled past 300 are a little angry that the lower-leveled miners are picking up a couple hundred more HP (not to mention, you know, the people being killed by the overpowered twinks). Hopefully Blizzard will get this fixed soon -- it seems like an obvious bug and a fairly easy hotfix.
We've come upon the time we most dreaded here at GW: when guilds are done with the old endgame, and not quite yet into the new endgame. The drought will be over in a week or two (and actually, we've still got lots of news after the break anyway), but in the meantime, if you're one of the few guilds breaking into the new endgame (or especially know about some good post-BC drama), please do drop us an email at email@example.com. We have a feeling that thanks to the expansion and the holidays, it's going to get slow, so the more news you've got for us, the better.
Meanwhile, find this week's downed, drama, and recruiting (lots of recruiting news this week) news from around the realms all over the break. And have a great Turkey day from all of us at GW!
Compulsive gaming a social problem, not an addiction - Tue, 25 Nov 2008 20:00:00 EST Slowly but surely, people are finally starting to gain an actual understanding of gaming, and it's a nice thing to see. The BBC recently reported on gaming addiction with some insight from Keith Bakker, the head of a clinic in Europe targeted at helping gamers. 90% of gamers who spend long hours gaming, he says, aren't addicts at all and addiction counseling isn't the right treatment. Compulsive gaming is a social problem, not a psychological problem.
This is a sentiment many gamers (the non-compulsive kind, mind you) have held for a really long time. Games aren't the problem for young gamers. Poor parental care is a problem, environment is a problem. Communication is important. Healthy environments are important. Games for teenagers tend to be an escape, a place to go where you don't necessarily need to deal with real problems at that age, like social issues, personal troubles, stress and anxiety.
A lot of hints and news on the upcoming patch 3.0.4 have been dropped on the forums recently, so like other WoW Insider writers have mentioned on and off, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw it on the PTR in the coming weeks. Before we get ahead of ourselves too much though, there was a lot of neat Paladin stuff announced by Ghostcrawler yesterday. A lot of it is simple stuff we've sort of expected would happen, but there's still some interesting new stuff in there.
Divine Shield: Penalty changed so that all damage done is reduced by 50% instead of an attack speed penalty.
If you saw the brief window of time before the launch of Wrath where Varian and his allies talked about the onslaught of Northrend and thought maybe Horde and Alliance could cooperate to take down Arthas, think again. As long as Varian is the King of Stormwind and de-facto leader of the Alliance (since neither Tyrande nor Magni seemed particularly interested in the gig, and nobody likes Frandal) then there's not going to be anything even remotely resembling peace between the Alliance and the Horde.
Is that bad? Is how Varian is going about his leadership inherently wrong? As someone who plays Horde and Alliance fairly equally, and tries to at least keep my characters personalities distinct (I don't actually RP much, but anyone who plays with me knows that I tend to play my tauren warrior very differently than my draenei shaman, for instance) I find the addition of the former Lo'Gosh to the mix of world leaders a very interestingly divisive one. Varian is not here to make friends, he's here to kick ass.
The discussion that follows behind the jump is going to be hugely spoiler heavy. Please be warned.
Felicia Day on meeting girls in WoW - Tue, 25 Nov 2008 16:00:00 EST Felicia Day is a girl. Felicia Day plays WoW. Felicia Day tells boys how to meet girls in WoW. If that just didn't get the attention of every hormone-infused-female-liking nerd on the planet I don't know what will.
Felicia say down with the Asylum and talked about this topic for a bit. Their interview with her touches on a few interesting points.
"Would it matter if the guy's a noob?" Asylum asks. "Yeah..." Felicia answers. She goes on to mention that the difference is like seeing a guy in a Ferrari. Not being a total noob and having some good gear at least catches the eye. This makes me and all my purples happy.
The interview is an interesting and entertaining read. Hit it up when you have a minute and enjoy.
And stay tuned to WoW Insider for more news on Felicia Day and The Guild. She'll be sitting down with Mike Schramm and a few folks on our podcast soon talking about Season 2 and Wrath of the Lich King.
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.
Welcome back! Since yesterday's picture of Malygos was so awful, I decided to give up on his righteous beard and take a picture of his lightning breath instead. Yeah, see that up there? It hurts. It hurts a lot. Just trust me on that. Let's get into the Q&A now, eh? Goorguy asked...
Why is it that tanks are always the group leaders? Why are we always expected to mark mobs? Every time I get in a group to tank for it I will always get thrown the leader. I don't really mind, but at least once I want to get in a group where someone else was willing to mark for me, instead of the other way around.
There's an odd error on the official forums today. Apparently the static parts of the web page (ie: non-user entered text) are showing up in Korean. Some users are not seeing it, but that is likely due to a cached version of the page they have.
In the episode there's some cuteness between Zaboo and Codex as Zaboo taunts her with a T1 line, and we're introduced to Clara's husband. The gang also gets a rare drop and are all contemplating spending their DKP. The drama unfolds...
Be sure to watch the video the whole way through. There's an easter egg at the very end featuring Zaboo.
And after you're done watching it head back here and let us know what you think. Keep an eye on WoW Insider as Felicia Day will be joining Mike Schramm on the next WoW Insider Show.
15 Minutes of Fame: Tanking with a panic button - Tue, 25 Nov 2008 14:00:00 EST 15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.
This week's featured player exemplifies the power of WoW to energize and empower people's lives. MMOs can make wonderful outlets for disabled players, who find online camaraderie and 24-hour access amenable to their unique needs. Kalzedhan Hurenfal of Feathermoon-A US not only games "around" his limitations but in fact focuses his crosshairs dead on them: he's a tank with a diagnosed panic disorder.
Kalzedhan suffers from a handful of debilitating mental disorders that keep him socially paralyzed, homebound and unable to function in a productive work environment. Yet through WoW, Kalzedhan not only has been able to re-engage in relationships and personal achievements - he does it in the hotseat as a tanking Warrior.