Swift Flight Form in ink - Tue, 27 Jan 2009 19:00:00 EST Zeerah wrote in earlier today to send us a pretty awesome addition to our WoW tattoo gallery. They took their love for their class to the next level, and have emblazoned their leg with one of the coolest looking (in my opinion) Druid forms in WoW thus far.
Personally, I think it's a pretty good choice for a tattoo. I don't have a problem with gaming tattoos, but I do think that if you're going to get one, get one that looks awesome (while also meaning something, of course). This one is pretty good I think, not that it's my place to judge. Congratulations on your ink, Zeerah! Looks like they did a pretty good job on it. It's an Alliance Druid form too, which is a plus in my book. I love both factions equally, but we're a little Horde heavy in our gallery, don't you think?
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.
Wrath of the Lich King marked a turning point for WoW guild life. In a raiding environment based on smaller groups, Wrath allows players to gobble up endgame content in much more intimate groups. Many guilds have grown smaller, and many friendships have grown tighter. Many gamers who've been around the block with MMOs a time or two care a little less now about being in it to win it (with a rotating cast of a thousand relatively anonymous guildmates) and a little more about kicking back for some good times with their buddies.
Meet the members of Vivid (Frostwolf-H, US) - literally. Meeting in real life is the glue that has cemented the friendships in this energetic young guild. Vivid has gathered four times over half as many years, from a "small kegger at Chico State" to a recent New Year's house party with more than 20 guildmates cozying up at a cabin in North Lake Tahoe.
We visited with some of Vivid's real-life friends to find out why their meetups have become integral to their guild life.
From the first moments that the servers came up today there were unconfirmed reports of an undocumented Arcane nerf to Mages flying around. Not so long ago, those reports were confirmed via some commentary on the issue from Ghostcrawler.
There were some changes made to how Arcane Barrage, Arcane Missiles, and the Arcane Blast buff interact to prevent a fun little trick that was being used to get the most out of the buff. Second, the Arcane Blast glyph received a flat nerf, losing 2% damage per stack. Unfortunately, along with those changes came a potential bug to that glyph. Arcane Missiles may not be receiving the additional damage bonus at all.
Overall, these aren't terrible nerfs, and probably should've been expected at some point. Arcane Mage is one of the class/spec combos pulling far, far ahead of the competition, so some changes had to happen eventually. Probably the only real issue here is the fact that once again, there should have been some documentation beyond hoping Ghostcrawler bopped onto the forums to confirm or deny.
Hauru on Area 52 sends us this WoW-related license plate -- he says that he and his girlfriend were at BlizzCon last year (he can apparently be seen in our badge pickup gallery, but did you come to the WoW Insider Meetup?) and bought a Blizzard license plate frame. But when he got home, he realized he didn't have an epic enough license plate, so a quick trip to the DMV later, that situation was remedied. Very nice, we like it.
We've added Hauru's pic into our license plate gallery, which you can browse through below. Seen a great World of Warcraft-related piece of car art or license plate? Send it in to our tips line, and you might see it posted here soon.
However people are reporting that it still isn't working correctly.
Ghostcrawler now comes out and says that it'll be fixed sometime later today. "We are still on target to get this fixed today (Tue, Jan 27). I did not mean to imply that it would be fixed when the servers came back up."
Left hand, let me introduce you to right hand. Right hand says things like "We'll fix this today." Left hand says things like "These are the patch notes for this patch, which is now live." Right hand should tell left hand that not everything is live just yet, and update the patch notes accordingly.
Now that I got my tenses all screwed up, we'll update when Ritual of Summoning actually is fixed.
We have another appearance from Allison Robert today for you Druid players, so that's fun! Guest answers tend to be a lot more fun, no? I certainly think so, because it means less work for me to do! I'm kidding, I'm kidding, but it's definitely fun to spread the love around a little.
Chas asked... Has there ever been any lore surrounding Thane Korth'azz and Lady Blaumeux from Naxxramas? The other horsemen seem to have back-stories but I can't find anything on them.
Official 188.8.131.5206 patch notes - Tue, 27 Jan 2009 13:45:00 EST Nethaera has posted the official "patch notes" for patch 184.108.40.20606/3.0.8a today. They are listed in their entirety after the break.
These notes mirror what Ghostcrawler said in a series of posts last night. I imagine that these patch notes could be updated at some future time, listing more bug fixes if they're present. So you'll probably want to check back later and see if that's the case.
Patch 220.127.116.1106 mirrored at Big Download - Tue, 27 Jan 2009 13:30:00 EST Big Download has mirrored today's patch for us all. You can head over there and grab both the Mac and PC versions. While the download is small, just under seven megs, the Blizzard downloader has been known to lag out and not work correctly at times. And these times usually occur right on patch day, so we've got you covered.
This patch fixes some bug that have been around since 3.0.8 went live last Tuesday. We know at least three confirmed bugs it fixes, but we're not sure about the rest. This patch is being called 18.104.22.16806 or 3.0.8a.
Happy patch day! As usual, please do not leave comments with external download links as we cannot verify their integrity. We have this rule for your safety!
It's Tuesday, and you know what that means. Not only is it time to wipe down the Ampitheater of Anguish (that thing gets messy over the weekend), but it's time once again for a new episode of The Guild. And for those of you unhappy to see this here every Tuesday (perhaps because you're stricken with some horribly rare disease that keeps your eyes from moving on to our other posts instead?), we're sorry to say that there's only a few weeks left in the season. So let's make the most of it while we can. And the guildies definitely try their best -- they decide to take the night offline and split up the sexes, to... err... mixed results. Clara gets a little nuts with girls night out, and the guys also struggle to find something to do that doesn't involve signing into the game. Good times as always.
And just in case you missed it last week, The Guild shared some pretty important company on MSN Video on Inauguration Day. Say what you want about the Microsoft deal, but even when there's big news going down in real life, MS is keeping up their end of the promotion deal.
Some realms coming back up early - Tue, 27 Jan 2009 12:15:00 EST It appears that hell has frozen over and the realms are coming back up early today. Now I have a wooden desk, so I'm just going to go ahead and knock on it very loudly.
/knock /knock /knock
Okay, now that that's out of the way and my cat ran into the other room scared...
There is a small patch you'll need to download. We're working on getting mirrors up for it right now. In addition, we're not really sure of everything that was patched. There were some brief comments by Ghostcrawler last night outlining a few things (Hunter aspects, Ritual of Summoning, and Howling Blast), but that's it.
Today's Moviewatch is a little different in that it's not machinima. It's a live action, satirical documentary created by adam3039 titled World of Warcraft Addiction. While we're pretty focused on machinima around here, Adam obviously put a lot of hard work into his creation, and it's defintiely got some laugh out loud moments in it. Besides, we should never miss a chance to have a little chuckle at some of the zanier accusations of WoW Addiction out there.
This is a spoof documentary, including a lot of over-the-top scenarios. The actors obviously work hard to mock/mimic some of the Jerry Springer-esque moments we see in documentaries, but it'd be hard to miss that they're, yanno, making fun of the stuff. The piece is a little longer than it needed to be, but I think the writer(s) spent enough time working on details to make it worthwhile.
The summary at the end, however, is probably the best part. I found a lot of appeal in the idea that our addicted-hero spends his time wandering the earth, living wherever he can find a stable internet connection.
Thanks to Adam for the tip!
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
The patch is a client side patch. This means you'll need to download a new, albeit small, patch when you first log onto WoW today. For me, the patch downloaded and installed automatically when I executed the World of Warcraft Launcher on my desktop (pictured above).
This patch brings the game from version 22.214.171.12464 to 126.96.36.19906. Updated: The patch is 6.923mb in size on a Windows computers (interestingly the program you have to download to get the patch is an additional 2.1mb). The realms should be up by 11:00 a.m. PST / 2:00 p.m. EST today.
So with all the hubbub about 3.0.8's problems, a lot of people are wondering who to blame. Activision seems to be a popular target, with people blaming them for nerfing Blizzard's famed "it's-ready-when-it's-ready" game design cycle and rushing things out the door while they're still buggy and imbalanced.
Popular MMORPG blogger Tobold is in that camp himself. In one of his latest blog posts, he theorizes that Blizzard has been cutting spending for some time now, be it because of falling stock prices or the need to move WoW team members to Diablo 3 or Starcraft 2 or simply because of the economic downturn in general.
Normally I hate when people leave their names on in screenshots, but this one actually works quite well. You can almost see Fyreswrath of <Ohana> on Zul'jin looks like she's about to say "My God! This nameplate is so heavy! I have developed severe lumbar spine pain and must go to the Grandmaster First Aid trainer for worker's comp and Percocet." Anyway, Fyreswrath is taking a moment to celebrate in front of the fireworks before resuming her pursuit of the "Elder" title for the Lunar Festival. As you can tell from the title of this post, I think I've come up with a better one.
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 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. 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, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
The Lich King's casual decree: No geek left behind? Has Blizzard has adopted a "No Geek Left Behind" policy with WotLK? Has Blizzard made WoW so easy that it has diminished any real sense of risk, reward, or adventure? The casuals are left without any sense of awe inspired by the unattainable and the hardcores will burn through the content so quickly Blizzard may find it difficult to keep up with them.
The race to 80 in Wrath of the Lich King analyzed The dust has had time to settle over Azeroth since the launch of World of Warcraft's latest expansion Wrath of the Lich King, and most semi-active players who stick to a main character will probably have hit the new level cap of 80.
Behind the Curtain: What keeps you going? This week, I have been mostly killing Baron Rivendare. I'm now sitting with 65 kills under my belt, with no Deathcharger to show for it. We are not amused, and are now convinced that Blizzard hates us. Precious. Sss.
SOE unveils more on its free-to-play WoW Killer Join us as we talk about their Diablo-style combat, their deep pet system, the role of innovation in 'kiddie' games, and a bit about their extensive collections system. We'll even get a sense of when Beta for this novel project will begin! Read on through below the cut for the full details.
In the midst of recruiters being told not to send WoW players to job interviews, BusinessWeek wrote an interesting piece about how World of Warcraft promotes innovation. The articles examines how Blizzard had designed a game that could probably be mimicked by any corporation looking to innovate. It's an interesting analysis of the game, with BusinessWeek saying that its players are motivated to achieve and solve tasks.
Although some readers counter that the achievement-oriented environment is normal for MMOs, one key insight is how WoW reduces barriers to entry and early advancement. More than most MMOs, World of Warcraft is easy to access -- it's easy to level and there are no harsh penalties for dying (unlike some MMOs where death results in a sharp XP loss, sometimes to the point of losing levels). In fact, some might even say that WoW is a little too casual-friendly. Even then, there's a lot in the game that drives people to perform.
The article recommends that corporate leaders take a look at the game and see how it creates a motivational environment. It even goes so far as to laud the gamer disposition, something that players have or develop. It's certainly a refreshing counterpoint to the idea that gamers (or WoW players, in particular) "cannot give 100%" to their jobs. So even though some companies might think that WoW is bad for their employees, BusinessWeek says it just might be good for the bosses.
Breakfast Topic: Not a patch day - Tue, 27 Jan 2009 08:00:00 EST Today is not patch day. That's actually the good news. Despite the bug fixes that Ghostcrawler promised should come up after regular weekly maintenance, there doesn't seem to be signs of a patch. Adam contends there's possibly a patch because some fixing needs to be done client side. At any rate, there will be no hat eating today, and even if there is a tiny patch, it's still not a patch patch.
Right now we're still reeling from the aftermath of the disastrous Patch 3.0.8 which received some mixed reactions. Even Hunters, who were supposed to get a nerf, simply re-specced to Survival and went along their merry DPS meter-topping ways. Warlocks were supposed to get a buff, but instead got a bug in the form of a 2-minute cooldown to Ritual of Summoning. Let's not even talk about PvP where Wintergrasp crashed everything and Arenas were disabled because, well, the new undocumented ratings system just plain sucked.
So if there's anything to be thankful for today, it's that it's not a patch day. Not an official one, at any rate. When the servers come up later today, what do expect to find? No more lag? Fixed items? Fixed spells? Or, are you willing to wager -- eating your hat, maybe -- that today's "fix" will only bring more bugs?
Update: Alex here! Silly Zach, today is a patch day! It's a minor patch, bringing us up to v188.8.131.5206. The same questions here all apply, though. What fixes are you hoping to see today? Will game experience improve after today's maintenance?
Whether we're getting patch 3.0.9 or just a couple quick server side fixes isn't clear, but whichever it is, we're getting downtime. Be sure to keep checking WoW Insider for up to minute news on what's going down with the downtime and the bug fixes. In the meantime, you can keep reading for a roundup of the hottest news and features from the past week. And hey, bug fixes and possible patch day panic aside, the Lunar Festival is still going strong. Be sure to check out our guide to getting to the Holiday if you haven't yet.
Maintenance for Tuesday January 27th - Mon, 26 Jan 2009 22:52:00 EST Tomorrow we'll be seeing maintenance for all realms between 3:00 a.m. PST / 6:00 a.m. EST and 11:00 a.m. PST. / 2:00 p.m. EST. Ideally these things don't go over, but as you know, they often do. Look to posts throughout the morning on WoW Insider for updates.
We know that there'll be a few bug fixes, which we posted about earlier. There is still no word if this will be a server side only fix or if there'll be a client side patch, presumably patch 3.0.9. Again, we'll get the news up on the site as soon as we find out.