If you didn't look closely, you could mistake Ideazon's Zboard for a standard keyboard. It's about the same size and shape as your average keyboard, with 108 keys and a row of hotkeys and multimedia buttons along the upper edge of the keyboard. A glance at the box shows us a left-handed key configuration designed for gaming and a pair of USB ports. So is this a gaming keyboard with a few extras? Hardly! This is only scratching the surface of the Zboard's abilities -- the real magic of a Zboard lies in its customized keysets.
You want to roleplay a character with style, pizzazz, panache -- and class! No matter what race or faction you are, your class is going to have a big impact on who you are and how other people perceive you. How you integrate it into your character can, in turn, give you something distinctive to share with other people.
Usually when we think of roleplaying a certain class, we do so with that class's lore in mind. But our WoW characters all have many spells and abilities that they rarely take advantage of in roleplaying. Admittedly most class spells are geared towards combat, when roleplaying is hardest -- you seldom have time to type out interesting phrases while fighting for your life. Unless you get an addon like RP Helper 2 to help you utter pre-planned phrases automatically (and sparingly enough that it doesn't get annoying), roleplaying during combat just isn't very feasible. So, sadly, roleplayers usually leave their sparkly spell effects totally unused while interacting with other roleplayers outside of combat. Even with the game mechanics as they are, however, it's not always so difficult to use some of these spells in roleplaying as one might think.
Although people have a tendency to separate the video-game and the roleplaying into two mutually exclusive activities, in fact each of these aspects of WoW can greatly enhance the other. Roleplaying gets a whole new visual excitement when it transcends the same word balloons and talk animations we use every day. When someone comes along with an innovative use for a spell or character animation that we had never thought of before, it gives you a memorable impression of who that character is. In fact, using spells like this is a special way that online roleplaying sets itself apart from every other sort of roleplaying, and it is an essential skill that every WoW roleplayer would do well to master in his or her own way. In this article we will look at the different ways that druids, hunters and mages could use their class spells to greater effect in their roleplaying.
Friday afternoon, Blizzard employee Bornakk posted a poll on the General boards to find our favorite 5-man dungeon of the Burning Crusade. As you can see in the above image, the Caverns of Time is rocking the charts.
I can't say I disagree with the numbers there, they're pretty close to my opinions as well. Old Hillsbrad and the Black Morass offer something that most of the other instances don't: Fast pacing, minimal trash pulls, and a story element. The instances aren't very long, either. Black Morass is what, thirty minutes? These dungeons on Heroic remain difficult and dangerous, adding some new elements to the instance, such as a necessity for speed and stealth when it comes to the patrols in Old Hillsbrad. Some of the other Heroics do this as well, but most of them coast along on 'ow this mob hurts a lot'.
But in all honesty, are these addons really necessary for raiding? There's some interesting arguments both ways.
One of the most convincing that I've heard is that if Blizzard really wanted you to use things like Omen, they would have built a threat meter into the game itself. That does make sense in a lot of ways. The rebuttal to this argument is that Blizzard provided a huge Addon API for programmers to make things like Omen.
From PvE to PvP, my first 15 levels - Sun, 27 Jan 2008 13:00:00 EST I am a long time PvE supporter. The last time I played on a PvP server was two years ago when I created an alt to get a hold of a friend. I've never really enjoyed the idea of getting ganked as I try to level my lowbie toon. It just didn't seem fun for some reason. So in an effort to expand my WoW horizons, I'm headed off to create a shaman on a PvP server. In fact, not just a PvP server, an RPPvP server. This should really push my limits and make me look at things in new ways.
There has been a lot that I've heard over the years about PvP servers: how awful it is to level a toon, how hard it is to find a group, having to find hiding places to log off at, never being able to complete some quests, etc... Then there is the ultimate insult to those of us that play on PvE servers: PvE carebears. Of course, having grown up in the eighties, I fail to see how that's an insult.
What follows is my personal account of the trials and tribulations from level 1 to 15, PvP style.
In the video, he brings up the important topic of alts. Why should you have just one character when you can do it all? If I had the time to level all those alts, I'd be right there with you! Previously on Moviewatch...
Silverbolt of Malygos was preparing to take down Leotheras the Blind in Serpentshrine Cavern when he noticed these bunk beds, nestled in a cobweb-filled corner. Says Silver, "The Broken in the room holding Leo captive apparently sleep in bunk beds during their downtime!" But, really, here at WoW Insider, despite the fact that we run on a 24-hour schedule of playing, researching, and writing fueled entirely by Red Bull, we recognize the fact that everyone has to sleep sometime!
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!
Are you one of those folks who just absolutely can't live without the cute and cuddly non-combat pets? Well, this morning has turned up news of a surprising new non-combat pet, but we're not convinced that "cute" fits here. The pet is Mojo, the frog long claimed to be obtainable in Zul'Aman via the Amani Hex-sticks. While we're not entirely sure if it was intended or not, it would appear that Mojo is currently available by going to the small camp just outside and slightly to the south of Zul'Aman. I have tested this quest and was actually able to get Mojo on my level 70 Rogue as well as my level 27 Hunter, so one would think that it is likely attainable on most characters.
Of course, the down-side of this particular variant of Mojo is that he doesn't seem to be quite right. Well, that is to say, his texture map looks very low-res/unfinished compared to other frogs in game, and his in-game icon is a grey doll with a blue nimbus around him as opposed to being a frog. However, should you want a Mojo of your own, check out the how-to after the jump!
[UPDATED] - It would appear that this is no longer working and was, in fact, a bug that was hot-fixed today. Blizzard has not issued a statement as yet about whether or not the NPC-given Mojos will remain. If they do say one way or the other, we'll let you know.
Breakfast Topic: Lucky loot and other personal practices - Sun, 27 Jan 2008 08:00:00 EST In a world of dice rolls and random number generators, its not too strange to get a little superstitious. Like we've touched on before, every raid has their own dark rituals they perform before or during a raid, whether that be rolling dice to predict success or sacrificing their enhancement shaman to the loot gods. But what about the players?
Personally, when my raid hits a roadblock against some boss, I equip my good luck charm. I've used it in all of our "big" firsts: Lady Vashj, Kael'thas, and Archimonde have all fallen to the might of the Shard of the Fallen Star. I'm sure my raidmates are tired of seeing that thing in the middle of an epic battle, but it works, so don't knock it! Besides, a giant meteor falling out of the sky and hitting Archimonde is totally awesome.
I've seen mages equipping their fishing hats for specific bosses and warlocks summoning their favorite demon, no matter how useless it is, when they're in need of a little good luck. What about you guys? Do you do anything special to shed the bad mojo?
Though two bosses will enter WoW Insider's deathmatch arena, only one of them will be walking away. Every week we pit two of the World of Warcraft's raid bosses against one another in a battle that your votes get to decide. This week we have Outland's own Gruul matching up against Ahn'qiraj's final boss C'Thun (and one of the hardest fights you'll find in Azeroth). Dragonkiller vs. Old God? This one should be interesting. How would these two fare against one another? Ultimately, that's for you to decide -- so read on and cast your vote!
Eureka! And other such moments of raiding brilliance - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 19:30:00 EST Let me set the stage for you: 25 people have been wiping for over 3 hours on Kael'Thas. Tempers are high, and patience is running low. People are consistently dying over the same mistake again and again, and there is no end in sight. But wait! You have a suggestion! With this suggestion of yours the raid is sure to get over this minor roadblock, and progress to the next stage of greatness. Now comes the hard part...
How do you get your idea to the raid leader?
While often times it'll depend on what type of raiding culture your guild has, there's a few basic rules to follow.
First, never blurt a strategy out during the middle of a fight. If your guild is cool about talking out strategies over vent during raids, wait until the wipe is over to mention something. A lot of other folks are usually busy with things, even if you're dead (well, perhaps they're not busy enough!)
Recently a couple of my guild mates ran Heroic Underbog with a few pug members. Life was good, they made it up to the first boss, Hungarfen, and got him. The odd part happens with the loot. A rogue could have used the Boggspine Knuckles that the boss dropped. However a friendly lock decided that this was a badges run, and not a gearing one. He decided that instead of passing on the item, he was going to need all blue items and shard them. Lo and behold, the lock did just that. Anger ensued, and instead of moving on happy, everyone left quite mad.
Now of course, this sounds like just another pug horror story. What makes it different from that is this lock actually went on to defend his actions, and really stood by his convictions. My first reaction is to balk at this, and say this is never acceptable. However thinking a little beyond that, I've got to wondering if this is a practice that perhaps happens elsewhere. Perhaps this guy is from a different server with a different culture, where heroics are just meant for badges and gear gets auto-sent to the DE factory.
So my question to you, WoW Insider readers, does this kind of thing happen legitimately anywhere else, or is this just another case of another bad pug story?
Playing a warrior since WoW was released has gotten me a lot of gear over the years. One of my greatest accomplishments in the game was getting my hands on a Quel'Serrar about two years ago. When I got this beautiful piece of equipment I had been 60 for about three months, and had done nothing but grind for gold. After saving up just over 2,000 gold, I bought the Foror's Compendium of Dragon Slaying. By todays standard 2,000 gold might not seem like a lot, but back then it was more gold then most people would ever see.
Using my Quel I raided happily until Burning Crusade came out. Being such a stickler, I used it for tanking all the way to 70, and only replaced it with Grom'tor's Charge. To this day its still sitting in my bank. I've recently taken it out and gave it some use in the early trash in The Eye. I found that its actually not that bad of a weapon still. Granted it doesn't proc as often as it used to, and its stats are not that great compared to Mallet of the Tides. Happily however, it still kept the threat up against all those over zealous DPS'ers.
Having all that fun with my Quel again got me thinking... is there any chance for an upgrade? There have been rumors that there will be an upgrade quest, but nothing substantive yet from the mouth of Blizzard. Until someone in Blue posts on the official forums and makes all of us warriors happy, for the time being we'll have to just get along with dreaming for an upgrade quest. And maybe, just maybe, someone from Blizzard will see this and decide that Wrath of the Lich King needs another feature.
Do you have other cherished items that you dream about Blizzard updating?
WoW Insider Weekly - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 15:01:00 EST Happy Saturday afternoon! Time once again for a weekly wrapup of our all weekly content. Here's what WoW Insider's columnists have put together for you this week, all linked up in one big post.
WoW Web Stats reveals the ins and outs of your raid - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 14:00:00 EST WoW Web Stats(or WWS), if you're not aware, is a popular raid assessment tool written by Lossendil. It has recently received some sweet loving from the author in the form of an overall revamp, and now bears a shiny new orangey-brown coat to accompany that same great taste we know and love.
Using an uploaded combat log(/combatlog in-game) pulled from your WoW folder, WWS parses it into a neat and clean report for your perusal. Right at your fingertips is your basic overall damage meter and healing meter, and if you dig a bit further, there's so much more. With the ability to see each boss encounter and attempt individually, each players' spell usage, the buffs and debuffs on a character in any given encounter as well as a variety of other things, this is a tool that shouldn't be overlooked if you're in the raid game.
(As the pic above states, that was one of the safest pics I could link. The management has asked me to make clear that this music video is very Not Safe For Work (NSFW). It contains language, pixel nudity, and Olibith, who warrants a NSFW tag on his own ...)
Baron Soosdon has been teasinghisblogreaders for over a week with pictures of his latest music video, Rock Rockin' Tha Spot. RRTS is a visually stunning masterpiece that will have you dancing in your chair, but it leans more towards the MTV crowd with it's content. However, it's totally worth watching, if for no reason other than the copious amounts of cows!
Reader Spirittamer, at level 63, has been attempting to do all of the old-world Azeroth quests -- an ambitious goal! (After all, quests get lonely too, don't they?) He was sent to Azshara in order to aid a fallen hero of the Horde and discovered this lovely sunny picnic spot. Spirittamer tells us, "Of course, you have to convince the previous occupants to let you use the gazebo..."
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because we'd love to see your idea of the best looking instance 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!
WoTLK Bestiary unveiled - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 09:30:00 EST Tipster Medros emails in pointing out that Blizzard has finally put the Wrath of the Lich King Bestiary online. In his email, he mentions that the TBC bestiary started showing us the long leggedy beasties of the first expansion roughly nine months before it launched, arguing for a summer release for WoTLK.
What with all the recent talk of what else might be in the expansion, I am starting to think it may launch sooner than that. It depends, in my opinion, on when Sunwell Plateau launches and if we can expect them to have learned from the original launch of Naxxramas so close to Burning Crusade. In my opinion, I'd hope there would be enough time between the Sunwell launch and the expansion for more guilds to get to see the place in full, especially with the way we're told content will unlock there as people complete quests. So I wouldn't be surprised to see it in late spring/early summer, nor would i be surprised if it didn't launch before Christmas of this year.
Meanwhile, take a look at the two new monsters being unveiled for us today and get your speculation on.