[1.Local]: Dumber than a box of nails - Sat, 27 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.
When Entertainment Weekly chatted with Ryan Reynolds about his "Must List", the X-Men: Wolverine actor had nothing but scorn at the possibility of his having a favorite video game. "I don't really play videogames," he told EW. "Is there a way to waste more f-ing time?"
"He's probably just grumpy because the cover made him look dumber than a box of nails," commented WoW.com reader Gessilea. "Come on, that expression totally screams 'Which end do I put this in again?'"
We suspect Reynolds may have just finished reading the comments at WoW.com - whewww, what a fractious lot this week! Join us in picking a few nuggets out of the rubble and wrap up with a couple of latecomers to last week's epic rap battle comments war.
This week, I will be devoting the column space to answering some reader questions. Pre-patch notes and Public Test Realm data can often create confusion, especially when we know that anything could change before we ever see it live.
At the very end, I have included a bit of a spoiler, although I attempted to keep the details to a minimum and the wild speculation to a maximum.
Are the new flasks for Alchemists only? - Joemama The new flask is called Flask of the North and can only be used by Alchemists with a skill of at least 400. This flask is clearly inferior to the Wrath raiding flasks because it is meant to be used in arenas. While it should give you a bit of a boost, Blizzard does not want everyone suddenly becoming Alchemists in order to compete.
Of course, if you play the game primarily for arena, then you might consider switching if you haven't already.
The most exciting changes for Alchemists will likely be the new epic gem transmutes and the fact that potions will stack to 20.
One of the things I've been doing in preparation for patch 3.2 is running a lot of heroics to fill gear holes in my enhancement set, since I am determined to get that set up to a respectable level before the patch drops. I don't often get to raid enhancement and my restoration set is mostly at the level I need it to be to heal 10 man content, so until fist weapons actually start dropping in raids, that means running CoT Strat a lot and cursing when the Band of Guile drops yet again. Seriously, if you need a Band of Guile, you should run CoT Strat with me in the party, because I can guarantee that it will drop by my very presence.
When you get a good PuG, of course, you keep running until you just can't stand anymore. Today I was in that very circumstance, a PuG that went together so well that we slid from CoT to Utgarde Pinnacle to Utgarde Keep to the Nexus in short order. While the Band of Guile dropped yet again (seriously, I should start charging spellcasters who want rings, as Annhylde's Ring also dropped) there was one moment that struck me as a good reason why I play a shaman. A badly timed disconnect on the part of our healer and one of our DPS led to my switching to heal the tank through three mobs, only to see him and the other DK (who I will charitably say was somewhat inexperienced in his/her class) go down when another proto-drake was added by a corpse exlosion. At this point, low on mana as I was, I managed to pop my Feral Spirit, Shamanistic Rage, Fire Elemental Totem, and Heroism to burn the last add down while restoring my mana in the process.
Hey, kid! Stop all the downloadin'! It's that time of week again, where we ask our team of writers and editors what exactly will be taking up their time this weekend. The question we're really asking is "What are you playing?" but the answers we get are seldom relevant to the question (except mine, which is nearly always "games with your heart"). Thankfully, a few people on the team of people who write about video games are actually playing video games this weekend, and this here is a roundup of just that.
Here's a taste of the team's responses, and Twitter names where applicable, with more after the jump.
Michael Sacco: @mikesacco Writing more of my game design document, futzing around the PTR with Goon Squad miscreants, and staying inside due to Texas' insane heatwave (100 degrees at midnight? Are you kidding me?).
Adam Holisky: @adamholisky RAF Dualboxing horde side with some friends.
Lesley Smith: @LesleySmith This weekend, when not sitting in the sun enjoying a cider and a magnum, I'm going to be helping a friend get to grips with Azeroth, planning a trip to Japan, blogging and trying to figure out if I want/need/can afford a DSLR camera.
And remember, Blizzard's listening: they've already put one fan-suggested title in the game, so who knows. Maybe the one you suggest in this thread will eventually be right above your character's head.
A leveling server, just for leveling - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST Reader Tiago sent us an interesting idea I thought was worth sharing. He suggests that Blizzard create a "leveling server" -- a server that would be marked as specifically for new characters, so when you rolled a new toon on there, you'd be surrounded by a bunch of other people pre-80. And the key here would be that when you hit 80 on this server, then you would get a free server transfer off. In other words, Blizzard would have one server (completely optional, of course) designed for people to level on, with a realm full of people playing in the old world and leveling through the old quests.
Sounds good, right? Like most of our ideas, Blizzard probably won't go for it -- they've already knocked down the idea of vanilla realms, and while this isn't the same thing (you'd be able to level to 80, the idea is just that you'd leave the server when you got there), it does mean creating a different ruleset for a brand new type of server. Plus, to a much lesser extent, it could create an even more lonely existence on the normal servers. Not to mention that Blizzard has been focusing on speeding past the low levels, not emphasizing them.
But I like the idea anyway -- it doesn't seem too tough to do (mark one realm recommended, and provide free server transfers off of it), and it seems like an excellent way to get people who enjoy leveling up all together in the same place. And that's really what MMOs like this are all about, right?
If you have the resources to pick up some extra cash or the space in your budget to save some more over the next couple months, I recommend that you do. The ticket is paid for, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. You already know you need money for lodging and gettingthere, but here are a few more things for which you are probably going to want to have extra cash in the bank:
Food: It really isn't practical to bring your own and in some cases, not allowed by Blizzard. For example, anything in glass, large containers or cans are a no go for the convention. Many hotels consider a tiny box of cereal or a couple slices of toast a "free breakfast", so don't count on them either. The food in the Anaheim Convention Center is convenient but overpriced, as is normal for conventions. In the evenings, most people will be dining at one of the many delicious Downtown Disney eateries, which are great fun and usually pretty expensive. All in all, your food bills will likely be far greater than your normal food budget.
WoW.com readers, it's up to you to decide the fate of Turpen the Gnome Warlock with Choose My Adventure. Help test the site's new features by participating in this event, casting your vote toward the many aspects of Turpen and following his exploits on Alex Ziebart's WoW.com profile!
Another week, another level. Ten levels, actually. And I guess it's been a few weeks. It sounded cooler that first way though, didn't it? Anyway... Yes, Turpen has hit level 35. The last couple of weeks have been busy around the office due to patch 3.2, so I didn't get as much done between level 25 and 35 as I had between 15 and 25. I only squeezed one dungeon run in, but I did manage to do something else that was asked of me: Battlegrounds.
Yes, I did quite a bit of PvP this week on our Gnomelock, primarily in Warsong Gulch in the 20-29 bracket. I tried a round of Arathi Basin (which we won 2000-100) but very quickly decided never to do that battleground in that particular bracket ever again. Running around Arathi Basin without a mount is pretty much the worst thing ever. Patch 3.2 will change that I suppose, but it'll be far too late to be of any use to Turpen. My next alt, maybe!
Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we step back a little and look at endgame in the context of sports.
Ulduar. Land of legend. Realm of confused Titans. Raid of epics. Ulduar is home to some of the finest fights available in Azeroth, not to mention leagues of incredible lore. Over the next few weeks, your intrepid Ready Check columnists will be taking a look at what you should expect from Ulduar, in both 10 man and 25 man versions.
Last week, we did a quick run down of that tankiest of bosses, the Flame Leviathan. This week, we're going to do a quick run down of the three remaining bosses in the "Siege" section of Ulduar. These three bosses are:
And don't think that other games haven't noticed this unique window of opportunity: there are currently millions of MMO players looking for something to do in China, and there are at least three big other games looking to give them something to do. Aion, which is currently in beta here in the US but is apparently up and running in Asia already, is making as much of a play as they can, and there are two local Chinese games, Zhuxian Online and Chibi Online, both developed by a company called Perfect World, that are also aiming to steal some of China's WoW players.
Very interesting situation over there -- imagine how much the MMO world would be thrown off here if WoW just completely disappeared for multiple weeks, if not longer. Blizzard is likely scrambling to get things moving over there as fast as possible.
Multiboxing.tv lets you watch multiboxing as it happens - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST Our old friend Tim Sullivan, who worked at Wowhead way back in the day, just sent along a note that he's working on a brand new web video series all about something in World of Warcraft that's been gaining a lot of ground lately: multiboxing. Thanks to recruit-a-friend and all of the bonuses that come along with sponsoring a second account, quite a few people have shown an interest in running more than one character in the game, and Tim's series, called Multiboxing.tv, shows live feeds from his gameplay (all five screens of it, four Hunters and one Priest) while people can chat and learn live about multiboxing and how it all works. He's also leveling the group up -- they're currently around level 40, and he says he's headed to 80 eventually.
You can check out his front page to see when he'll be streaming next (and someone told us he was streaming for something like fourteen hours the other day -- take care of yourself, Tim!), and if you're interested in how you might get started multiboxing, he and his chat channel are probably more than happy to help you figure out how to do it. He did say he'd be streaming every night this weekend, so if you're around then, you should be able to catch him. Personally (as you probably already know), I'm a big fan of the standard one character gameplay -- I have enough trouble figuring out one toon, much less five. But Turpster, as you've probably heard on our podcast, has dived into this kind of stuff headfirst and loves it, so if you're interested in seeing how it works, tune in to Tim's channel and find out.
Update: Apparently while this was presented to us (and appears to be) just a guy streaming his multiboxing, Tim may have some less generous motives -- he's apparently trying to sell multiboxing software, and you can see the comments below for some other shady moves that have been made. Watch at your own risk, and keep in mind that while the stream appeared legit to us, it may be an advertisement for software you certainly don't need to multibox.
This past Friday, web browser developer Opera announced that they had teamed up with respected theory crafting website Elitist Jerks to create a new browser. The Elitist Jerks browser, as it is titled, is designed to cater to the needs of the World of Warcraft online community, with an array of customized features, pre-selected options, and a sleek skin reminiscent of the site it's named for. The pitch interested me enough that I decided to put away my beloved Firefox for the weekend, and give Opera's Elitist Jerks browser a thorough test.
Obviously it would be somewhat insane to expect that this is an entirely new browser built from the ground up. At its core, the browser is Opera 9. So if you've got a strong aversion to that browser, you're not going to find anything here to redeem it. However, if you're ambivalent towards Opera, or if you've never even tried it, the Elitist Jerks browser is definitely worth checking out. It's got all the features we as consumers have come to expect from a browser over the last few years, along with the polish that Opera is known for.
Innkeeper by Yumfries definitely wins the "made me laugh" award. It's an absolutely fantastic parody music video, based on the rap by PoshJark. The narrative of PoshJark's rap works very well. I found there to be something ironic about using the solemn male Draenei as a stand-in for the narrator, and Yumfries should be commended for a great choice.
Innkeeper really shows off some of Yumfries' skills. Some of the shots are clean and simple, while others make strong use of shadows to highlight all three dimensions. Yumfries has included a wide variety of styles in this video, and I think it makes the story a great deal more complex than it would have been with a more straightforward video concept. There's definitely a lot of growth here, and it truly makes me eager to see Yumfries' next pieces. I continue to enjoy his sense of humor, also, since Innkeeper tells a sort of everyman tale for many of us.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.
Half of our questions today are actually about WoW.com rather than... you know, WoW itself. Which is odd, but am I going to complain? Not really! It means you guys care, and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Well, I guess that could be food poisoning. My crab rangoonswere a little odd last night. Oddly delicious.
Of course, if you don't really give a hoot about the inner workings of WoW.com and strictly want questions about the game, the other half of our questions cover that, so we have things for you, too. Read on! brasilnut13 asked...
"Do you think Blizz will ever put class related titles in the game?"
Rioriel of <Immortalis> on The Sha'tar-EU snapped this screenshot while stealthing around Freya's backyard in Ulduar, taking pictures for his very cool blog, Postcards From Azeroth. Unfortunately, Freya noticed his trespassing ways after he walked a little too close to her. "Occasionally when you stop to admire the scenery, a boss will stomp your way and look directly at you," he writes. "Heart rate instantly trebles and one finger hovers over Vanish." But I suppose there are scarier things to face when you're on someone's property.
Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them 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, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Here's a great video from Arawn of CrusaderAura.com that offers up a first look at the new Shaman totem interface coming in patch 3.2. As expected, you'll soon be able to drop four totems all at the same time, as well as eventually (you'll need to be in the higher levels somewhere) have a few different sets of totems to drop whenever you want. As you can see, you have four slots, one for each type of totem, and then you can switch each of those on each of your Call of Air, Water, and Fire settings. Finally, the last button on the right is Call of Earth, which used to be called Totemic Recall, and will let you call all of the totems back, getting a little mana back for each.
It looks like it works great (save for, of course, the small bug with no cooldown on the elemental totems, but we're sure Shamans won't have a problem with that, right?). The bottom line is that Shamans will only need one button and one cooldown to smack their totems down wherever they want -- you can still light up totems on their own by pressing their buttons, but if you just hit the Call button, then you'll get them all, in the same cooldown with the usual mana cost. It'll be interesting to see what kinds of UI hooks are in this thing as well, and how it might work with addons. But that's for the future -- for now, it looks like Blizzard has done a great thing for Shamans here. Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!
I've been getting back into comics lately, thanks largely to the World of Warcraft. My most recent purchases were the trade paperbacks of Wildstorm's World of Warcraft series and Ashbringer, as well as Tokyopop's Warcraft Legendsmanga. Since I couldn't get my fix of Hong Kong manhua without actually going to Hong Kong (which makes it kind of hard to keep up with weekly titles like Amazing Weapons 4...), it was a bit easier to head over to our local shops and get some Western comics. What better subject than my favorite game, right?
While I enjoyed Ashbringer, I take a great liking to Warcraft Legends because it explores the other aspects or characters of Azeroth. The ongoing series can focus on well-known guys like Varian Wrynn, but Warcraft Legends are cool side-stories of the unknown guys. That opens up a world of potential. We could see stories about those NPCs we always see all over the place. Maybe we can get a comic about Cro Threadstrong and find out why he hates the fruit vendor so much. How about stories about the wandering "named" NPCs in Dalaran? Minigob Manabonk, maybe?
On the flip side, how about when the characters in the comic stories suddenly make their way into the game? We know Broll Bearmantle and Valeera Sanguinar have their roots in toys and comics, and players can now meet them in WoW. This whole idea of comics as an extension of the game's story is really cool, and I hope Wildstorm and Tokyopop keep putting out great comics and characters. Is there anything in particular about the World of Warcraft that you'd like to see in comic form? A favorite character? A particular period or special event? Share your thoughts!
News is flooding in that Exodus of Ysondre-US has just scored the world first 25-man Yogg-Saron with 0 Keepers, a.k.a. Heroic: Alone in the Darkness. A quick look at their site proves it to be true, complete with screenshots.
This achievement, when Ulduar was first launched, was largely considered to be mathematically impossible. One or two nerfs to Yogg-Saron more or less proved that to be true. The recent nerf to the spawnrate of the Guardians of Yogg-Saron wasn't aimed at the encounter with 4 Keepers up. It was aimed at the encounter with few (or zero) Keepers up. Without the buffs those Keepers provide, the encounter gets more and more difficult. As someone who has only killed Yogg-Saron with all 4 Keepers in the last few weeks, I fear seeing the fight with zero. Major, major props to Exodus.
They were rewarded for their efforts with Bowser's Flying MachineMimiron's Head. I guess he didn't need it anymore. Congratulations, Exodus!
Larisa waxes nostalgic over at the Pink Pigtail Inn, and says that this is just farther down a sliding slope that leads to a ravine where we all just have two spells and need to kill three boars to level to 100. Kinless Chronicles straight out says "Patch 3.2 will play for you" with some funny tongue-in-cheek analysis. But since I do it so much anyway, I'll play the Devil's advocate here: let's face it, we all used the addons and coordinates while leveling up alts, if not even while leveling mains. It's easy to be nostalgic, but I never did like hunting around for that little pixel of brown you had to click on to finish a quest, and if you really do want to stumble around in the dark the old way, just don't look at your map and/or close the minimap down. I've recently played two other console games, Fable 2 and Dead Space, that also offer glowing line navigation straight to your quest targets, and I did feel a sense of exploration in both -- if I wanted to wander off the path, I was welcome to (and usually rewarded for it), while if I just wanted to get to where I was going, I could do that, too.
The video streaming as a test on the page suggests that both Level 80 Tauren Chieftain will be playing and Jay Mohr will be hosting again, though that video is likely from last year, and not necessarily indicative of this year's show. It looks like the HQ stream will also require you to install the RayV player, while the lower quality stream will likely be available just through Flash. You can also keep in mind that though this is probably an excellent deal (especially if you want that pet -- I know many people will pick up the package for that code alone), there will be no shortage of information from BlizzCon for sure, as we'll have plenty to go around as well. But if you were planning on picking up the Internet stream, order on up.BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon, you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there are some great looking costumes.
Ok, we've got quite a bit of information on Patch 3.2 now, and even though this major content patch isn't introducing too many new things to the class, it does shake it up a bit. Nothing too big, but it should keep everyone on their toes. But first we'll talk about one thing that isn't related to class skills or nerfs or anything like that... first I'd like to encourage everyone to get chummy with the Argent dudes. Do their mind-numbing daily quests and all that, get the Crusader title if you want... and along the way collect 100 Champion's Seals.
According to the PTR, the new Paladin-exclusive Argent Charger is available on the Tournament Grounds for a mere one hundred seals. Of course, Blizzard is also giving away Tier 9 gear for free during the testing phase, so that cost could still change. Still, here's that pony that Ghostcrawler promised all of us. It's a fitting item for an entire faction run by Paladins, right? Anyway, enjoy that pony because not everything in Patch 3.2 is as nice a ride.
Returning to Azeroth the long way around - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST Ethic at Kill Ten Rats has a post up about something that a lot of you have probably been through: more and more I'm hearing about people returning to the game. I've been playing ever since I signed up a few years ago, but that's really only because I'm writing about it -- I'm pretty ADD when it comes to games, so left on my own, I probably would have walked away from WoW a long time ago. But Blizzard is really good at bringing players back by tweaking the game in exactly the way they woud like. I feel like if I had left, I would have definitely come back in for a while, if not with Burning Crusade than definitely with Wrath.
Of course, Ethic's issues aren't really with deciding to return or not: he's having more issues actually trying to get his old accounts back. There's a laundry list of rules and limits to contend with, between dealing with having or not having the expansions, the limits on the Scroll of Resurrection program and the trial accounts, and dodging all of Blizzard's various limits on how to start and use new accounts to the game. Man -- if I had left and was planning on coming back, and I read Ethic's post, I might not even bother.
But quite a few people have come back, and I'd guess that even though there are confusing things about trying to find your way back into the game, a good number of you have done it. I'd like to know, so here's a poll: how many of you have left and come back, and how many times?
Wowhead's profiler has pretty much every feature you might want from a modern profiling site, and fits right in to the excellent Wowhead interface. Armory import, 3D character view, gear sets, gear scores, upgrade search - it's all there. You can save your characters however you want, link them to your friends, check puggies, and so forth.
It's just gone public, so bugs are to be expected. Report them to Wowhead if you find them; the Wowhead team is very responsive. New features are also in development, such as embeddable 3D widgets of your characters, or automatic comparison between items in the site database and a profile of your choice.
I hope everybody's been having fun on the PTR. I know Matt's been having a grand time in Patch 3.2's new Battleground, the Isle of Conquest. Thanks to all the players who have been airship-dropping, flag-capturing, glaive-thrower-riding, and general-killing, Blizzard has announced that they will be making some changes to the Isle of Conquest in the next iteration of the PTR build. The changes are as follows:
Increased all the gates' health from 300,000 to 600,000.
Increased the reinforcement count from 200 to 400.
Significantly increased the health and damage of the keep generals.
Reduced effect range of the siege damage caused by Seaforium. Both the player damage and the siege damage caused should be 10 yards now.
The Huge Seaforium piles will now despawn for 20 seconds once looted.
Glaive Thrower - Reduced the cooldown of Blade Salvo from 60 seconds to 30 seconds.
Glaive Thrower - Reduced movement speed.
Demolisher - The Hurl Boulder and Ram effects no longer share a cooldown.
Keep Cannons - Fixed a bug that was causing them to do much more damage than intended.
Keep Cannons - Can now be repaired once they are destroyed by clicking on them. This repair process takes 8 seconds and can be interrupted, similar to capturing a PvP objective.
Siege Engine - Significantly Increased health.
Zarhym thanks all the players for their invaluable input and encourage further testing and continued feedback on the PTR. The Battleground looks like a whole lot of fun, and the changes should lengthen the considerably short matches. See you guys on the battlefield... as soon as I get this blasted client patch to download, that is...Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!
Man, this has been a busy week for us Hunters or what? With each passing day it is becoming more and more evident that Patch 3.2 is on its way. Of course we have to remember that "on its way" to Blizzard could mean anything tomorrow to a few months. With that in mind, it is probably a good idea to take another deeper look at the proposed Patch 3.2 Hunter changes and see how they might impact both the PvE and PvP game.
The Public Test Realm for Patch 3.2 is in full swing, and even though the Argent Coliseum isn't available for testing just yet, there's a brand-new wing in Wintergrasp's Vault of Archavon housing a brand-new giant to beat up. Enter Koralon, the Flame Watcher.
He's a stout fellow, and you probably recognize his model, which he shares with Volkhan from Halls of Lightning and Ignis from Ulduar, replete with crotch-pot. And as you may have also guessed, he uses fire spells and abilities. He doesn't currently drop loot on the PTR, though I assume the distribution will be much the same as it is with Emalon -- two or so pieces of Tier 9 gear along with a lion's share of PVP items.
Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.
Charging ... goring ... exploding ... cannibalizing ... This week's Two Bosses Enter deathmatch is ugly, ugly, ugly. In the ring: Moorabi of Gundrak versus Trollgore of Drak'tharon Keep. It's going to be rough, and it's going to be bloody.
The ground rules:
Assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools and comparative overall damage output.
This match takes place in neutral territory, although the usual waves of Undead will come from ... someplace ... to accompany Trollgore.
Don't get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
Focus on the three S's: style, story and scale.
What's your theory on how this fight goes down? Leave your comment, then cast a vote for who you think will be left standing.
There are going to be lines at BlizzCon -- long, long lines. There will be lines to get badges, lines for the store, lines for gameplay, lines for food, etc. There will also be some walking, as the Anaheim Convention center is big. And sitting will take place, if you can get a seat for the more popular events. But mostly there will be standing... in lines.
Standing hurts, as anyone who has to stand all day for work can tell you. I don't recommend standing around as practice for the lines, because it really isn't healthy. But there is another exercise that is good for you and will help you prepare for all that standing: walking.
Not everybody is big on twinking -- lots of people think it's annoying to duck into the BGs for the first time and get rolled by an alt who's got a lot of money and time behind them. Fortunately, though, this XP change will not only legitimize twinking even more, but it'll get it out of our way as well, as players with XP turned off will only face other players with XP turned off (other twinks, essentially). Throw in that it's something twinks have been asking for a long time, and it's a win-win for everybody.
Third in the class Q&A series is Death Knight. I thought it was going to be Warlocks, but I guess plans change. So far Shaman and Mage have been covered, and in each post the Ghostcrawler has been talking about the developer vision for the class past and future, as well as answering popular questions from the forums. What do they have to say about WoW's first hero class? Read on.
Introducing a new class to a game that didn't really have an empty niche was tricky, but they think they have succeeded - "perhaps too well." They like that there's a lot of room for variation in player skill.
The resource system (runes and runic power) is a large part of what makes Death Knights unique. They also have a lot of medium-length cooldown (able to be used a few times per fight), and there's a lot of skill involved in knowing when to use them. DKs are also especially well-rounded, with a lot of versatility and a lot of tricks, which makes them at risk for being over-powered in PvP.
Using WoW for learning in schools - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST We've heard about WoW in schools before, but usually it's at schools of higher learning, where they're studying social networks or how society evolves. But a group in North Carolina is planning to put WoW in schools in a different way: by using situations in World of Warcraft to develop literacy, mathematics, and other competencies. WoWinSchools has math lessons and other tests based around WoW terms and knowledge: one example question asks "Which types of heals produce a greater number of recovered hit points during an encounter?" Another wants to know "Which buff (a spell that enhances a character's abilities) is more effective for your character, Blessing of Kings or Blessing of Might?" The idea is to use situations that the kids are familiar with in World of Warcraft (raiding, for example), and apply higher level thinking to those situations.
There are even creative writing suggestions dedicated to the game, from writing an RP story about a character in Azeroth, to writing a song parody (that one should be taught by Professor Turpster) or designing a quest chain. And lest you think they're just joking around, there's a whole slew of research behind the idea, too, and it definitely makes sense: kids who play World of Warcraft are much more likely to be interested in problems about DPS and Healing rather than Susie and Bobby's apples that we added and subtracted back when we were kids in school.
It seems like the only place this is implemented is in one afterschool program -- while there are lots of good ideas here, it's not necessarily being used in many classrooms yet (and my guess is that not every student in schools would vibe with a World of Warcraft-based curriculum, either). But it is a plan in development, and anything that better helps teachers understand what their students are interested in is probably worthwhile.
We've been seeing sporadic reports today that the Mimiron hard mode was nerfed via hotfix at some point during the night, and it appears those reports were correct. Bornakk just posted in the "recent in-game fixes" thread that the following changes were made to the hard mode of Ulduar's ingenious keeper:
Flame damage reduced.
Damage/health gained from Emergency Mode reduced slightly.
Range of Emergency Fire Bot's Deafening Siren reduced in heroic; no longer cast on normal.
Damage from Heat Wave in phase 2 reduced.
Damage from Plasma Blast in phase 1 reduced.
That's a pretty wide array of nerfs. I haven't tried the hard mode - my guild is still working on getting the normal mode down consistently. I do love the fight on normal, though; it's not easy, but it is super-fun.
Hard-mode raiders, what do you think? Does this fall in the category of "why would you nerf a hard mode," or was he simply ridiculous before?
The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 3.2 wish list - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST What to say about patch 3.2 so far? One of the dangers of writing about the PTR in general is the possibility that, as you are typing out what you want to say, a brand new PTR patch is dropping. To some degree this would be a welcome circumstance even though it would erase what I'm writing about now, because the current PTR has nothing for warriors.
Well, okay, not nothing. They buffed Armored to the Teeth slightly. On the PTR it grants 1/2/3 AP per 108 armor, as opposed to on live, where it takes 180 armor for that same benefit. Why 108? Maybe because it was easy to swap the 8 and the 0. Honestly, I couldn't tell you. The amount of AP you get from the talent isn't tremendous, but anything's better than nothing I suppose.
Also, the block value changes are in (I tested them out yesterday), and, well, they fail even as a band aid fix to the problem of block performance: sure, you deal more threat to trash pulls and take less damage from them, but as far as bosses are concerned, block is still lackluster as a 'oh I don't want to die' stat. You can now block up to between 3 and 4k of a 22 to 25k hit, I'm not exactly breaking out the party hats. Especially when you'd have to stack the heck out of the stat to get even that much out of it.
And man, as nice as the T9 tanking set is in terms of pure stats and bonuses, you will not want to give up that T8 4 piece set bonus with the straight up 20% magic damage reduction for it. 10 seconds of 20% magic damage reduction? You simply can't undersell how awesome that is for tanking big spike damage bosses in Wrath raids. It's pretty much the only thing that keeps warrior tanks viable against DK's and druid tanks for those fights.
All Souls Day by Pulverpadda represents one of the most frustrating scenarios a machinima author can experience. That is to say, while he's working on his movie in good faith, "real life" seems to keep getting in the way. Pulverpadda is joining his second year in the Army, and it's going to be at least a month before he's able to really get cranking.
In the mean time, however, we're able to enjoy this nominal trailer for his work. If I hadn't been aware that Pulverpadda wanted to turn this into a more full-length film, however, I would have enjoyed it on its own merits. The music is catchy and thriving, and the imagery in the video is compelling.
I wonder, sometimes, if "trailers" couldn't be formatted this way for machinima. We've all seen previews that never seem to result in full movies. But even if Pulverpadda doesn't complete a longer feature, All Souls Day can stand on its own as music-oriented video.
At any rate, best wishes to the author during his second year in the Army, and good luck finishing his final film.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.
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.
Oh my. All of this Patch 3.2 stuff is a bit overwhelming. We'll go over the changes that affect most casual players here, but there is still a lot of info that I won't cover. Many class changes are on the way, as well as a series of Q&As that Blizzard is releasing periodically. Also, the professions are getting some attention. So keep an eye on our Guide to Patch 3.2 for the latest changes that are specific to your character choices. Here is an analysis of the changes that affect most players with limited playtime: