An enterprising and clever beta participant by the name of Xabora has discovered what form this treatment will take, by typing /tokens and hitting return. This is reminiscent of the way Achievements were first discovered to be in WoW, which was by someone in the alpha typing /achievements. Yay slash commands! Anyway, it looks like the new system will track all your tokens, as well as your honor points and arena points, with categories for each phase of the game (Classic, BC, Wrath), PvP, Holidays, Raid, Miscellaneous, and Unused.
I'm not entirely sure why there's a category for "unused" tokens, or why Raid is separate from Classic/BC/Wrath - are they planning on putting tier tokens into this system? Will raids in Wrath award different tokens than heroics? No telling just yet, I guess. But it's nice to know that even more bag spaces will be freed, and we won't have any more issues from having left our tokens in the bank.
Addon Spotlight: GoGoMount - Sun, 27 Jul 2008 17:00:00 EST For this week's addon, I thought I would share one that is built around a macro that we've hinted at over at Macro Anatomy. This addon has been abandoned by the author, but there is a patch available that will update it to work with 2.4. (Although I am using the "unpatched" version just fine.)
GoGoMount will pick the most appropriate mount for you based on given conditions. If you can use a flying mount, it will summon your flyer, otherwise it will randomly select from your ground mounts. (This includes summoned mounts for Paladins and Warlocks.) If you have multiple flying mounts, it will randomly select one of these as well.
It supports Druid travel forms and Ghost Wolf for Shamans as well. So, in less words; this addon is your one-stop mounting shop.
Here's the second Northrend instance run from the guys at WoW Radio -- last time around, they took us through Utgarde Keep, and this time Totalbiscuit, Duncor, Gnomewise, Mugi, and Nachtsturm run us through The Nexus, a level 72ish instance on the Borean Tundra. This run is a little more spoileriffic than Utgarde -- there's some Blue Dragonflight lore floating around, so watch at your own risk if you don't want to know about that kind of stuff.
But the instance does look terrific -- there are some new looks at Blizzard's updated cavern shader system we heard about a long time ago, and considering that The Nexus is, well, a Nexus of magical energy, it provides for some fascinating vistas and magical effects, even on Totalbiscuit's older machine. And the fact that all that magic is floating around seems like it provides for some fun mana mechanics for casters. These instances are shaping up, even in this early Wrath of the Lich King beta, to look like the best Blizzard has ever created.
When Blizzard half-seriously apologized for the brutally ugly Season 4Brutal Gladiator gear by saying that their artists were hard at work on the expansion, they weren't kidding. If any of us were afraid that there'd be massive clown action, we can rest easy because from the look of things, even green items have an epic feel to them. The designers over at Blizzard have done a fantastic job making the green quest rewards in Northrend look impressive and even menacing that players won't feel embarrassed to equip them.
I haven't checked out all of the armor pieces, but a quick perusal of the weapons shows that Northrend won't be a total circus when we finally get there. I mean, just look at the gun above. That looks really badass, specially with the skull and weathered metal. Check out pics of uncommon, or 'green', weapons found all over Northrend in the gallery below.
Between Blood's lack of downtime and Unholy's AE abilities and Ghoul control, Frost is starting to feel a bit like the unwanted orphan of the Death Knight trees. While it's heavy on the tanking talents and has some burst potential, we've been there done that, perhaps, already have Frost Mage alts, and so on and so forth.
Luckily, Blizzard recently made some changes to the tree on Beta which look like they may be nudging the tree in the right direction toward equality with the other two trees. Here's a concise list of the changes via MMO-Champion:
Improved Icy Touch now increase the damage of your Icy Touch by 10/20/30/40/50% and its damage against Frozen Targets by 20/40/60/80/100% (Old version : Reduces the cooldown of your Icy Touch spell by 1/2/3/4/5 sec and increases its critical strike damage bonus by 10/20/30/40/50%)
Despite what you may have heard, the life of a Wrath of the Lich King beta tester isn't always filled with action and excitement. Sometimes it's filled with, gulp, bugs! I can tell you from personal experience that life in the beta involves plenty of "World Server Down" and "Restart in 15:00" messages and some things plain don't look or work the way they ought to. What can I say? It's a beta and it still has some rough edges to be polished out -- that's the whole point of having a beta test! Nowhere is the game's beta state more obvious than in this shot by Ferin of Hakkar, who logged into Stormwind City to find... well, this. I'm pretty sure that this is a graphical glitch and doesn't mean Stormwind City, like Dalaran, has been relocated in Wrath, though I've been wrong before...
This image came to us straight from the Wrath of the Lich King beta -- and we'd love to have your beta screenshots, too! If you have anything our readers might like, sharing it 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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. And, please, no more sunsets! (Well, okay, maybe if they are some really cool Northrend sunsets, we can consider.)
If I had a nickle for every e-mail the WoW Insider team received that told us when Wrath of the Lich King was going to be released because Amazon or GameStop was selling pre-orders, I'd probably be lounging on a beach enjoying drinks decorated with tiny paper umbrellas instead of enjoying the glamerous lifestyle of a rock star blogger. Trust us, folks, game sellers usually don't know anything more than you or I -- but they're eager to get your pre-orders in and they can't do that without a release date. (Certainly not when we're talking about Blizzard "We'll Release It When It's Done" Entertainment.) These are their best guesses and, who knows, they may turn out to be right, but they're not based on any secret insider info. And, hey, why should retail outlets get all the fun when, really, anyone can play the "Guess the Wrath of the Lich King Release Date" game? So tell us, dear readers, when do you think Blizzard will really release Wrath of the Lich King upon the world?
In fact, the ability or key to fly in Northrend, called Cold Weather Flying, is a reward from a quest chain obtained in Sholazar Basin at Level 77. The so-called attunement process for flying will actually even reward money, rather than cost anything. MMO Champion has screenshots of, and Wowhead has information on the ability and quest chain. It seems like the mad rush won't necessarily be to Level 80, but a first stop at the all-important Level 77.
Rolling restarts - Sun, 27 Jul 2008 01:58:00 EST Between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. PDT today (Sunday July 27th) all U.S. realms will be undergoing a rolling restart. Each realm should be down for about 15 minutes, though these things have a tendency to last longer than scheduled.
The login announcement tells us that the servers are getting a hotfix applied to them, however there is no indication what the hotfix is for.
If anything does happen to extend this restart, you'll see it here on WoW Insider.
Jadefury himself admits, of course, that the first thing he had going for him was the element of surprise -- not only ganking, but people panicking as they had to face down an unfamiliar class. We wouldn't be surprised if PvPing with a Death Knight for the first few months of Wrath is easy if only because of that deer in the headlights phenomenon.
Still, he also showcases some very nice uses of Death Knight PvP skills. My favorite is his use of Death Grip, which looks like it's fast becoming the signature Death Knight move -- not only does it take care of people trying to run away, but he uses it as a spell interrupt in a pinch. There's also some freezing action going on as well with what looks to be Chains of Ice. Of course, having Magic Suppression probably helps a lot as well.
Of course, it's worth noting that he leapt upon people in combat (with some rather sweet looking Nerubians at that, we can't believe we'll be able to solo those, Wrath is going to be so epic), and this is only at level 73, so level 80 organized PvP may look somewhat different. Still, it's yet another good look at Death Knight gameplay to prepare all of us rerollers.
The World of Warcraft official armor sets page has been updated to feature the Season 4 or Brutal Gladiator pieces. Just as with past sets, you'll be able to review the armor pieces on each class and their respective races as well as view the stats for each item. Season 4 started on June 24, after a long 30 week wait since Season 3 began, finally opening the floodgates for Sunwell Plateau-level PvP gear. Check out WoW Insider's extensive Brutal Gladiator gear guide and comprehensive gallery for more detailed information on Season 4 gear.
Each week Arcane Brilliance brings you a healthy dose of Mage opinion and analysis. Most of the opinion is extremely biased and borderline libelous, and the analysis tends toward hyperbole and slander, especially when the topic of Warlocks comes up. In fact, here at Arcane Brilliance, we feel that you can never have too much Warlock slander. Especially against Gnome Warlocks.
Leave it to Blizzard to change the Arcane tree substantially the week after Arcane Brilliance's detailed look at that very same tree. I'm sure they did it to spite me, because yes, I do firmly believe everything is totally about me. Anyway, here are the notable changes, before we get to the giant unequivocal "meh" that defines our analysis of the Fire tree in Wrath.
Student of the Mind has been moved to tier 3 and now increases your total spirit by up to 12% over 3 ranks, while Potent Spirit (which gave increased chance to crit based on your total spirit) has been removed altogether. It looked for awhile there as if Blizzard intended to really increase spirit's usefulness to Mages, but I guess we should have called "no take-backs" on that one, huh?
More Arcane changes after the break, as well as a few long sighs and downcast looks as we discuss the future of the Fire tree.
Alright. So you got your weapon. I can't stress enough that this is the single most important piece of equipment in a Retribution Paladin's possession. Then there's your armor. Your armor pieces are only slightly more important than the stuff we'll be covering if only because 1) they confer larger stat bonuses, and 2) having a matching set makes you look cool. And Retadins must always look cool. It's bad enough that the pre-Wrath population laughs you out of raids and 5-mans. When the expansion hits, of course, you'll smash all their faces with the Divine Storm just to put them in their place. Until then, you gear up.
Today we're looking at the last few pieces of the puzzle. Amulets, cloaks, librams, rings, and trinkets. Unlike the weapons or armor pieces, where the real meat is Strength, you can have a little creativity with these slots because many items confer non-stat bonuses. Strength is obviously a premium, but it all comes down to taste. Once you've filled about half your gear slots, you should be ready enough for Karazhan and not gimp the raid.
It's going to be an exciting time to be a Hunter in Northrend. Pet versatility makes Hunters one of the most interesting classes in the game, and it looks like Blizzard is set to open it up wide in the expansion.
No, we're not worried about the impending flood of Death Knights at all. We're sure everything will be fine (though we still advise everyone lock their doors at night and beware undead bearing gifts). However, if we walked up to the Menethil docks and found this crew waiting... well, we might suddenly remember that we left the oven on or perhaps that our cat was on fire.
Reader Dan sent us this image straight from the Wrath of the Lich King beta -- and we'd love to have your beta screenshots, too! If you have anything our readers might like, sharing it 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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. And, please, no more sunsets!
While sifting through my over-stuffed RSS feeds this morning, I came upon a post from Mark of the Wild, a druid blog, that addressed the changes players are making to prepare for the expansion, and the effect this is having on guilds.
With all of the juicy information trickling down daily about the Beta, it does seem that everyone has Wrath on the brain. At the very least, it must make it difficult to focus on other goals. For example, do you really want to start farming to make that epic crafting set, when Northrend is around the corner?
Players have already been noticing a decrease in raiding activity because of summer vacation, but how is the preparation for the expansion affecting your guild?
Are you losing players to other raiding guilds, or beginning to realize that many people are spending more time soloing to gear up or level their alts? Is your guild working together to reach specific pre-expansion goals?
Blizzard, as well as reps from companies that make Blizzard products (TokyoPop, Upper Deck, Wildstorm) were on hand at Comic-Con in San Diego today to talk about their plans for the rest of the year. Comics, books, sculptures, miniatures, and the trading card game were all discussed and WoW Insider was there to bring you back this report.
Wildstorm Comics, makers of the WoW comics Wildstorm kicked off the session by polling the audience on who would like to see a comic title that focus solely on Horde, then solely on Alliance and then pitting the two against each other. As you can imagine, the audience was very happy to hear this. No details were given, but clearly something along these lines is already in the works.
When expansions come to World of Warcraft (well, at least when the last expansion did) people either get Beta invites or they don't, people start fretting about gear resets, new abilities get discussed, alternating doom and gloom and wild, frenzied excitement over new talents rages... but while all that is going on, the game is still being played. My own guild has marched firmly into BT and Hyjal, and we're one boss away from clearing the later, ol' Archie himself. In the process of clearing the other four bosses, gear has started trickling in and with it comes the realization that sometimes, higher tier gear is optimized for the places it drops.
I've been using Shield Block Value as my primary threat stat on my armor. As time has gone on, without really realizing it, I've been moving to a more hit/expertise system which relies less on big shield slams and more on consistent white damage and specials that don't miss and are not dodged or parried. While this has been occurring, armor with higher dodge rating has been steadily dropping, meaning that my avoidance goes up and my rage generation is more and more dependent on not missing or being dodged or parried. T5 content, with the reliance on SBV, allowed me to stack stamina and block value in a way that T6 content does not. I've dropped my block value from around 800 to a little more than 600 lately, while looking to increase my hit and dodge for bosses like Azgalor, who doesn't crush. (He's a nice little preview of the future in that regard.)
My point is two fold: one, especially for a warrior (be he a tank or DPS, I'm just using tanking as my example because it's what I primarily do) gear obsolescence is constant. You're always changing and upgrading your gear as you go through content. (This is true for just about every class, mind you, but I'm talking to warriors.) Furthermore, however, you also become a bit of a packrat, holding on to outdated gear because it has a stat that may be desirable for a specific fight. I still use The Sun Eater if I feel dodge is absolutely essential for a fight, despite having overall better weapons now.