Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, where we answer your questions about the Wrath of the Lich King beta! We had quite a few questions regarding the multi-passenger mounts coming in Wrath, so we'll mostly focus on those. That's not all we have today, but most of it. Our first question is from JPN... What does the tooltip mean for the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth where it says it carries vendors?
It means just that! It comes with two vendors. One sells reagents (including poisons) and the other sell trade supplies, like thread and parchment. The trade supplies vendor also sells some statless fashion clothing.
If you're not using the vendors and want to let your buddies hop on, there will be an Eject button to throw the vendors off and make room for your friends. And yes, only people in your party or raid can get on your vehicles. No random strangers will be jumping on your mammoth or motorcycle.
This week, Arcane Brilliance would like to address all Mages everywhere, from level 1 to level 80, in a spirit of optimism and brotherhood. We only have a little over six weeks left before the release of Wrath, and we need to come together as one Mage...one freakish, mutant Mage with a million arms and legs and wands sticking out all over the place...one giant, horrific ball of flesh, cloth, and silly hats that could hurl a Pyroblast roughly the size of a planet. Let's do it! I'm pretty sure if we all stand facing each other like so...and then blink at the same time...oh sweet mother of all that is good and pure...that's awful...just...just nevermind. We'll clean that up later.
Fortunately, throughout all of these conflicts, the economy has remained strong. Seriously, have you seen the price of Runecloth lately?
So now, my fellow Mages, it is time for us to look closely at the state of our glorious class. We know where we've been, and where we are now. We're fully aware of our past, and we know where we want to be as the future rushes toward us. Let's take a constructive look at our unresolved concerns, and try to foretell our place in the coming expansion. Follow me through the break, won't you?
Hawkawkari of Khaz Modan sent us this one -- apparently somebody on the Best Buy Canada site is a little miffed about some expansion news, and it's showing up in their description text for the game. There's some QQ in there about siege vehicles ("1% chance to drop, bind on pickup"), a "hairstyling" profession for Blood Elves and Night Elves, and a special "Unbalance Game" power for Death Knights "on a one-patch time limit cooldown." Pretty funny.
I thought this was just a case of Best Buy cutting and pasting from another more informal site, but Google doesn't find the same text anywhere else, so this might actually be a disgruntled WoW player in their system writing out a fairly biased description. The text still says a release date hasn't been announced (and of course it has) so look for the text to change soon (just in case it does, the full text is after the jump). But wherever you are, disgruntled WoW player, thanks for the laugh.
Dalaran's local toymaker, Jepetto Joybuzz, has added some new items to his stock in the last few beta patches. Each one just as overpriced as the last! His items have no real use as far as combat and stats and that sort of thing, they're just for fun. They're toys! What did you expect? Let's take a look at what he has to offer.
Grindgear Toy Gorilla - This one-use summoned pet will cost you 45 silver. It emulates Egbert from Children's Week, running all over the place like his butt is aflame. He only lasts 20 seconds, then disappears. It almost feels like that's a bug, that the item should disappear because you learned it like other pets, but it doesn't seem like that's the case. The item specifically lists a cooldown, and you can buy multiples. They stack.
Trusty Copper Racer - For 30 silver, you can buy this race car that looks like the goblin podracer in the Shimmering Flats. It travels 20 yards, then... disappears. With the item. Hm. This one is kind of lame.
Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.
We're going to "spoiler" you then, and show you a Gorilladin at work in Sholazar Basin. If you don't want to see any new content, do not watch the movie.
But if you want to boggle at the best grinding and leveling hunter-pet you've ever seen, and want to know why we recommend every hunter of every spec grab a gorilla and level him to 70 as soon as the next big patch comes out, click the movie, foshizzle.
Gorillas will change the way you play your hunter. We're not kidding.
You are invited to download the YouTube version (30MB) of this movie here, and the full-sized version (177MB) here.
As always, a great big Thank You to the WoW Insider editors for allowing us to publish this movie both here and on our little blog at the same time!
Oi! This... this don' look like Brewfest. Coren? Hurley? Lads? Where'd ye go? By Ragnaros' fiery teets, I'm not in Khaz Modan am I? Bloody hell, it's impossible to steer these contraptions! Ach... well, let's get a good look a' where we are, then we can work on the gettin' back part, aye?
Reader James submitted this image to us, and we're always looking for more! Serious pictures, funny pictures, or downright bizarre pictures, we'll take them all. Just remember to remove your UI first (alt+z), then send them to email@example.com with a short description. If you'd like, include your WoW character's name and server as well so we know who to thank for the screenshots!
Welcome to Lichborne, where each weekend, Daniel Whitcomb helps you keep pace with the ever-changing Death Knight class.
This week, While Death Knight tweaks continue, there's no big piece of news that really stands out. We got a nice bump in damage to our base weapon strikes, Death Coil, and the abilities that mimic them in the talent trees in the latest build. Unfortunately, poor Plague Strike still sits at a sort of dismal 30% weapon damage, meaning it still doesn't feel like it scales as well as it should. But preliminary reports are still that it's a noticeable DPS increase.
At the same time, our PvP utility and survivability was nerfed, but not in completely unexpected ways. Chains of Ice is dispellable again, as the devs felt that between it and Death Grip, it was far too hard to get away from a Death Knight. Again, this nerf is somewhat expected, if not needed, although some argue the nerf is unfair in the face of other classes that have similar abilities to ensnare and entrap opponents. I have to admit that I'm hoping we see, at the least, Chains of Ice getting put on Virulence. If nothing else, that Glyph of Blood Boil is looking a lot nicer.
Still, none of the news really jumps out and grabs me, and with the beta patches coming fast and furious, it's hard to write with any authority on something that may be changed next week. With that in mind, I've decided this week to post on a potpourri of odds and ends from around the World of Warcraft as they relate to Death Knights, both stuff that refers back to previous columns and new observations. Read on:
To the right you can see the stats for the Fire Nova Totem at level 71 without taking the Improvement talent. However, 20 points into the Elemental talent tree, you can spec Improved Fire Nova Totem. If you take both talent points, you'll slash the time it takes for the totem to activate and you'll add some handy bonuses to the spell.
First, the timing. The unimproved Fire Nova Totem takes 3 seconds to fire, but for each talent point you put into Improved Fire Nova Totem, it procs one second faster. So, if you spec both points, it will only take one second for the Fire Nova to explode after you drop it. With only a 15 second cooldown on the spell, that means you can use this bad-boy several times during a PvE fight.
Player regrets surrounding a chosen specialization, or even profession, are common and happen to almost everyone at one time or another.
JDT writes that he is "extremely disappointed" with armorsmithing and what he is able to make, and that one of his reasons for possibly switching to weaponsmithing is that he theorizes it would be helpful to be able to pass down weapons to his alts that cannot wear plate.
Unfortunately JDT, anything that you craft as either a weaponsmith or an armorsmith is not only bind on pick-up, but it also requires you to have that specialization in order to wield/wear it.
That being said, there are blacksmithing plans for weapons and armor floating around that are bind on equip and can be passed along, but those can be made by any blacksmith regardless of specialization.
This week I will begin comparing the various armorsmith and weaponsmith pieces to the first non-crafted upgrades in order to illustrate the value of each item and help each class and spec come to an informed decision when it comes time to choose blacksmithing specialties.
Next week I'll finish out the comparison, as there is more than I can fit into this week's edition!
The Warglaives get all the glory for being all Legendary, but when you want a mainhand melee and you're raiding at the top of the game, this is really what you'll want.
Name: Hand of the Deciever (Wowhead, Thottbot, WowDB)Type: Epic Main-hand Fist Weapon Damage/Speed: 238-357/2.60 (114.4 DPS) Abilities:
+28 Stamina, and you know by now what Stamina gives you. There's no Agility on it, so the Warglaive set is still likely a better option for Rogues if you were lucky enough to get that. But for anyone who needs a fist weapon in the main hand for melee, this is the Cadillac you want to be driving.
Two Yellow sockets, and there is where you can get everything you need that's not in the usual stats (some more crit, some extra Strength for Fury Warriors, or even some hit if you still need it). +6 Attack Power socket bonus, which is pretty weak, so socket with what you want on this one, and only go for yellow if it's all you need.
Increase Attack Power by 54, and your attacks ignore 196 of your opponent's armor. We need to mention Enhancement Shamans at this point -- while Rogues and Warriors pretty much get their pick of the litter for weapons, this kind of fist weapon is aimed squarely at Shammies, who aren't able to use the Warglaives or any of the other crazy swords at this level. That doesn't mean that this isn't a good weapon for a Warrior or a Rogue -- in certain situations and specs, it does rival the Warglaives for them. But this is an Enhancement Shaman weapon first and foremost -- because they aren't able to wield swords, this one's for them.
Ignoring armor is a tough mechanic to wrap your head around (and since you all know that I'm bad at math, I have a harder time with it). If you do have an item that ignores armor, it's best to stack it as much as possible with other items -- taking just a little armor off of a target that has tons of it won't help you too much. But taking a nice chunk of armor off, say, a clothie, helps your DPS out more. Here's a quick chart (that probably isn't necessarily up to date, but can probably work as a good guide). So as little as 500 armor ignored can help your DPS out by a few percentage points, but as you get further into more heavily armored targets, that DPS number goes down.
How to Get It: Drops from one of the last bosses in the game, KalecgosKil'jaeden (sorry, I've never been to either, mixed them up). Do we have to say anything besides that? If you're already in Sunwell, you know exactly where he is, and if you're not yet, then get to Sunwell first and then you can figure out. Odds are that if you're not raiding Sunwell by now, you probably won't see him before Wrath anyway. Drop him, have about a 15% chance that this item drops, be an Enhancement Shammy and convince all the Warriors and Rogues that this is really an item you deserve, and the Hand is yours.
Getting Rid of It: Fully socketed, you probably won't -- even in Northrend, this is a nice weapon to have in the main hand. Though you probably will be done with it before raiding gets underway at level 80, so then you can sell it back to vendors for 15g 65s 3c, or disenchant it into (probably two) Void Crystals.
Remember a few content patches ago, the PTR had a fun little bug where Warlocks had the spell effect of Seed of Corruption castable rather than the spell itself? So Warlocks had an infinite range, no cooldown, no global cooldown, mana free, instant Seed of Corruption? Remember the chaos that caused? Well, guess what? It happened again!
No, no, it wasn't Seed of Corruption this time. It happened with the new Druid spell Typhoon. Specifically Typhoon Rank 5. It's already been hotfixed, so don't bother trying it now- you missed out. If you want to see exactly what people were doing with this spell, just check out the video above.
I had a chance to experience a little of this firsthand, and it was impressive, to say the least. A Moonkin rolling up to an enemy faction's town and laying waste is just hilarious to see, though not so much after the tenth time. Remember, this thing didn't even trigger the Global Cooldown. Druids were running around with macros that cast this spell ten or twenty times simultaneously. Nothing could even hope to survive, especially when you got a bunch of them together. Five or six Moonkin in Naxx-25 was just absurd.
If you want to see more of the bug, the tipster that supplied the above video has a whole bunch of them. Balance Druids, I hope as many of you got in on this as possible. Everyone gets a turn to be horribly, hideously overpowered. That was yours.
Ok, people, it's time to get back on track. After a short vacation last week (we had to go prerecorded), the show is back live tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern, and after a few week's absence, the inimitable Turpster is returning to the virtual airwaves with us. Amanda Dean will also be on, and planned topics of discussion include that whole Honor wipe deal (which some players aren't happy about), the ongoing Brewfest holiday (how are your tickets coming), and anything else new in the beta we'd like to talk about.
Additionally, thanks to listener Spacenerd, we'll have a giveaway -- if you want to pick up some extra special loot, make sure to tune into WoW Radio tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern to listen to how it all will go down. And we'll be in IRC live as well, at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel. Finally, if you'd like to email us questions, concerns, words or praise or just something silly, feel free: the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should be a great show tomorrow -- it'll be nice to get back into the vibe of things (and finally talk to Turpster again after so long), not to mention have a nice chat with all the IRC folks as well. Even if you've never heard the show live before, tomorrow would be a great day to listen in.
When I said I'd talk about itemization for warriors in Wrath, I did so fully knowing that it is at present incomplete. New gear comes in with every beta patch, so even if you take every single item currently present into account it doesn't necessarily provide you with an accurate picture of the way it will all shake out once you actually set foot in Northrend.
So keeping in mind that not only can this all change tomorrow but that we're talking about gearing the most gear dependent class in the entire game, let's start looking at what gear we're going to require at 80. The defense cap at level 80, for instance, is going to be 540 defense requiring 689 defense rating. For a fury TG build, you're looking to overcome 15% hit penalty on specials, meaning that you'll be stacking roughly 500 hit rating at level 80 (based on this forum post which seems like a pretty good test bed to me) not to mention all the crit and AP you'll need to be effective. Frankly, I think the defense gear will be easier to assemble than the hit gear. For arms, of course, you won't need nearly as much hit, making an Arms DPS build substantially easier to gear for. (To be fair, a fury DPS build designed around Impale, Rampage and Incite would also be easier to gear for.)
Of course, the real issue isn't "Does the gear exist" but rather "How easy is it for me to assemble a reasonably effective set for what I want to do?" Does a newly 80 prot warrior have a chance to tank the instances and heroics? What about a DPS warrior, will he be effective? So far, it seems that the gear exists, but can be somewhat difficult to assemble: the introduction of faction vendors in the most recent beta builds actually goes to help in these situations. This week we're going to look at the faction rewards and see what warriors would be interested in. There's also instance drops, crafted items and PvP rewards to consider before all's said and done, but we have to start somewhere.
Unfortunately, unlike the iPhone app we posted, we haven't actually tried this one, and there's a few comments up about it not finding characters correctly (it looks like it requires PocketPC 5-6.1 and .NET Compact Framework 3.5, whatever that all is). But on the other hand, it's a free download, so if you're stuck with a Windows Mobile device and really want to see your characters on a mobile screen, it's worth a try.
Doesn't look as good as the iPhone app (whoops, sorry that's our Mac snobbery showing through), but there's definitely a nice installed base of Windows Mobile users out there, and they could use a little WoW love, too.
Mind Sear, one of the new baseline abilities for Priests in Wrath of the Lich King, is an unusual beast. It's a Shadow-based AOE spell, which is fantastic, but it's a little trickier to use than we might like. It looks super cool, so that makes up for some of its issues. Let's ignore the issues for a moment though. Let's take a look at the tooltip, and then I'll explain how the spell works.
Mind Sear Rank 2 - 30 yard range Costs 28% of base mana - Channeled Causes an explosion of shadow magic around the enemy target, causing 212 to 228 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 5 sec to all enemies within 10 yards around the target.
Bobby Kotick talks about what Blizzard can do for Activision - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 13:00:00 EST The Wall Street Journal sat down to interview Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, and our little World of Warcraft game got a nice bit of face time (one wonders why no one's asking Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime about, say, Guitar Hero, but who are we to question the corporate structure?). Kotick says that Activision closely examined what everyone else was doing with MMOs and online gaming, and saw that the only real winner in the market was Blizzard. Rather than investing in their own franchise, then, they decided to just buy Blizzard from Vivendi (and as you know, that's what happened). Kotick says what's so difficult about running these online games is just the scale -- you've got to handle credit card fraud, keep thousands of servers up and running (and patched), and still provide a good experience for millions of players at a time.
Kotick also talks about the way that WoW is sold in Asia (there, instead of paying a monthly fee, many people in Internet cafes pay per hour in cash), and says that Blizzard's experience with setting up a viable pay model may come in handy with other Activision properties overseas, Guitar Hero being his first choice.
We're still not exactly clear on how all of this relationship works -- while both Blizzard and Activision have said in the past that it's hands off, you have to think that even though things are buddy-buddy now while the money's flowing, but what happens when the two sides start to disagree?
Today's feature is a humorous tale of QQ channeled into roleplaying entitled Pepitoz: The World of Warcraft Story. Although Rurikar, the same filmmaker who brought us the hilarious Jimmy: A World of Warcraft Story, seems lately to have moved away from machinima to creating his own animated shorts, Pepitoz is a character that stands the test of time. It is a tragic love story, with a twist. Perhaps a dash of music would've added even more humor, but that's my only critique. Anyone who is wincing at possible changes to their class upcoming in Wrath, you'll be able to relate to the source of the melodrama here.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, where we answer your questions about the Wrath of the Lich King beta! Most of our answers are short and sweet today, and we'll get started with Molly's question...
What's the word on passenger mounts? Will they be a whole new level of riding skill, or will you simply purchase them individually? How much do these things cost?
They use the same riding skill as regular ground mounts, but they tend to be on the more expensive side. The Engineering-made Motorcycles will be up to the market to price, but Traveler's Tundra Mammoth costs 20,000g. So the cost of the mounts themselves is what's going to be harsh, not an added level of training. That last one carries three people, by the way.
Recent spoilers aside, few members of the Horde have ever liked Varimathras. (Spoilers ahoy in both those links!) He's rude, condescending and offers few good quests -- just like the even-more-hated Fandral Staghelm. But Lilithsblood of Anub'arak has gained an advantage over the dreaded dreadlord. She found the vicious, ten-foot-tall demon locked inside the infamous blue checkered box. Judging by the baseball bat in her right hand, Varimathras is about to have a Very Bad Day.
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Hey, hermanos. You've only got fourteen and a half more hours to participate in this week's Caption This contest. To participate, leave a caption for the above picture on the original post by 11:59 PM EST tonight!
Eligible winners (U.S. or non-Quebec Canadian residents above 13) will receive a 60-day gamecard for first place, and an Eastvale Logging Camp or a Camp Taurajo ringer shirt from J!NX ges to the runner-up. Remember to read the official rules for the contest here. The voting poll for the winner will be available Tuesday morning, so you can vote while enjoying weekly maintenance. Have fun!