A while back, I wrote that the single most important change to World of Warcraft PvP was the introduction of Resilience. Many of you had strong feelings for or against the new mechanic, but one thing is clear: PvP has changed in the post-TBC world. Combat has become less a matter of how much hurt you can dish out but how much of it you can take. The result is -- in single combat encounters, at least -- longer battles and more creativity with the use of spells and abilities. High Resilience is a necessity in Arena combat, particularly in the current Season where Resilience gear is abundant and easily attainable with Honor. Resilience will allow combatants to survive just a little longer against focus fire. In matches that sometimes last under a minute, an extra second or two of survival can make a big difference.
It is also interesting to note that Resilience is almost exclusively an endgame item property, clearly designed for Arena combat. There are no items with Resilience usable below level 60 other than Elixir of Ironskin, which is usable at Level 55. Aside from token items from the Reinforced Fel Iron Chest in Hellfire Ramparts and uncommon quest rewards in the Outlands, most items with Resilience are usable only at Level 70 -- the level where competitive Arena play begins. The idea behind PvP in today's environment is all about damage mitigation. Last week, I discussed the key talents and a few abilities that classes have access to prior to obtaining Resilience. In the process of accumulating gear with Resilience, it helps to be familiar with the various forms of damage mitigation.
Today, however, we dive right into the juicy part. Resilience is an item property or statistic that reduces the chance you will get hit by a critical strike or spell critical strike; reduces the damage taken from critical strikes and spell critical strikes; and, as of Patch 2.2, also reduces the damage taken from Damage-over-Time effects (DoTs). Each 1% of Resilience will reduce the chance you will be crit by a spell or attack by 1%, reduce damage from crits by 2%, and reduce damage taken from DoTs by 2%. A Resilience Rating of 39.4 grants 1% Resilience at Level 70 and -- as a bit of useless information -- a Resilience Rating of 25 grants 1% Resilience at Level 60. Because of the clear advantages it provides, any player moderately serious about PvP should accumulate Resilience gear.
I always love hearing tips I've never heard about something I use all the time, and Nibuca at Mystic Chicanery posted exactly that. Auctioneer apparently has a listening module called AskPrice (enabled by typing "/auctioneer askprice on" when the addon is loaded up) which will allow other players to use a trigger (? is the default, as in "? [Wolfrunner Shoes]") to find out your Auctioneer's price via whisper. And you can set it to listen in guild chat as well, so as a guild officer or leader, you could easily and quickly answer all those "what's this worth again" questions.
I'm not sure how exactly it gets around the no-spam requirements on sending so many messages at once (although spamming is "allowed" in some whispers and chats), but if this is something that pops up in guild chat or among your friends really often (and there is someone online enough to be around whenever this question is asked), this is handy little tip for something that you probably already have installed. Very nice.
The rest of the Wrath bestiary - Mon, 28 Jan 2008 17:30:00 EST Matthew posted the other day that Blizzard has posted a bestiary for Wrath of the Lich King, and noted that they've posted news about two new beasts we'll find in Northrend: The Nerubian Vizer, part of the spider people that follow an "unseen emperor," and a Plague Eruptor, the "most destructive" part of the Scourge's army. But what Matthew didn't mention was that there were eight other creatures mentioned in the bestiary. What, you might wonder, are these guys all about? We don't know (well, at least one of them we do). But we can guess. Get out the speculation salsa and chips!
Shovel Tusk: "Tusk" brings us to the Tuskarr, a race of Walrus-men in the Borean Tundra. And Shovel hints that this is a beast of burden or utility for the Tuskarr-- something like the Clefthooves in Nagrand.
Darkfallen: Your guess is as good as ours on this one. Sounds like something to do with the Scourge-- maybe someone that has fallen into ghostlike or demon form.
Ice Troll: No big surprise here-- we already knew there were trolls in Northrend. But it'll be interesting to see what trolls look like in the ice and snow-- surely they can't walk around with just those loincloths, right?
More, including the one member of the bestiary we at WoW Insider have already seen, after the jump.
Neth answers pretty quickly, and this issue goes almost directly back to the issue of communication between players and CMs. The CMs feel they have a lot more freedom to post on silly threads, obviously, and so they do it more. But when talking about "serious" issues (or maybe just more touchy subjects), their words carry more weight, and so they have to pick and choose what they say.
And to that, I have to agree with Tolki, who posts in the thread that we'd rather have an Oprah than a Tony Snow. Sure, things didn't work out so well the last time a CM was completely honest with us, but surely there's a middle ground. BlizzCast is a start-- maybe the devs and CMs should work together to make sure that fairly often (once a week or even once a day), they can speak out on a "serious" issue, and give the player base something to chew on. It could be argued that the CMs' words carry so much weight on serious issues because we almost never hear from them, and if that's true, a regular schedule of discussions with either CMs or devs would help give the CMs more freedom to be more honest with us about what they think about (hey heeeeyy) what's really going on in game.
Interesting. So it seems that the ESL might be stepping up to fill in the space that the WSVG abandoned when they fell apart. In our interview with then-WSVG president Matt Ringel, he also mentioned that they were getting support from Blizzard in the form of special realms and UI mods. So it looks like ESL is now benefiting from the work Blizzard did there.
Of course, the other question we have about these types of updates is when, if ever, they'll be placed in player hands as well. Players have wanted an observation system for PvP, especially in the Arenas, for a long time, and it's not a stretch to think that if Blizzard is developing tools for professional tournaments, they might also have a plan to get those tools into player hands in some form. But even if we don't see them in the game for a long time, it's good to know that tournament development on Blizzard's end didn't die off completely with the WSVG.
Wing Clip as weapon leveler - Mon, 28 Jan 2008 14:30:00 EST Mania posted about a tip from Lienna about spamming Wing Clip to powerlevel weapon skill, and I've confirmed that yes, as long as you wait for the global cooldown (obviously), you an spam Wing Clip and you'll receive weapon skill ups for those hits. Though I didn't try it with any abilities, I'd assume that it works for any instant melee hit (Sunder Armor jumps to mind). Of course, you not only have to worry about hitting whatever it is you choose to hit, but you also have to worry about killing it-- I did have to step back and finish off the mob with my hunter's bow.
So it seems hunters can level their weapon skills a little faster than other classes. And why shouldn't they? They have a lot more weapons to skill up, and it's not like melee weapon skill matters much to hunters anyway, except at the very limits of min-maxing. A melee hit is a melee hit-- if hunters get to hit more often, then they get to level weapon skill faster, too.
Addon Spotlight: QuestHelper - Mon, 28 Jan 2008 13:01:00 EST We love quests, but they can be excessively frustrating sometimes. Usually they annoy you most when they make you wander all over, back and forth, without seeming to accomplish things efficiently. The fastest levelers will tell you to try to "stack quests," or do all the quests in a small area first, then gradually move around the map to other areas. But often the best way to do this isn't clear -- you may not even know exactly which area a quest is asking you to go to.
Addons to the rescue! First, there was LightHeaded: an in-game database of comments from Wowhead.com that could help you when you get confused. Now, there's QuestHelper: an in-game guide which can tell you which direction to go, what to do, and what order to do everything in, all before you even get confused in the first place. QuestHelper isn't always right -- you still have to use your own brain, for sure -- but using this addon you'll be much less likely to make silly mistakes in your questing that slow you down and waste your time.
I'm not a big fan of PvP movies. If you've seen one, you've most likely seen them all, as many choose to plainly display the action. However, if I had to watch one, it would be Vurtne 5.
Vurtne released a teaser for the fifth machinima in his successful PvP series. The way he used transitions and effects kept things interesting for me. I don't think the music suited the video, though. With that said, I'm looking forward to the final release of the film!
As hard as it is to lead a regular guild, I can only imagine it's twice as hard leading a roleplaying guild. This week's e-mail comes from the GL of a roleplaying guild who's feeling a bit overwhelmed with the duties of the job.
I've been leading a medium-small RP guild on a European RP-PvE server for some months now. Since this is an RP guild, I can't just tell them to go do Kara on certain times of the week, I constantly need to get them going.
The problem is, I'm pretty much the only bureaucrat so far. Nobody's very keen on managing things, also because they lack management skills for the most part. As a result, poor me has to come up with ideas for events, write documents, schedule meetings, occasionally boost everyone, and still roleplay with these guys (or make them roleplay with each other).
While I do enjoy hearing about developments while I'm not around, sometimes I feel it's just too much of a burden. In that case what do I do? I love seeing my little hatchlings roleplay, and I love the concept, I won't let it go, still, it's a burden. What do I do? A bottom-up approach? Get a few more officers? More members?
While riding in Feralas from Desolace, reader Kahdrill noticed this tree next to the road. As she put it, "The first thing I noticed was the shape of what seemed to be a man, standing with his arms stretched out. Then i saw that opposite of him was what looked like the figure of a woman. Made me wonder if this was intentional, or just an accident of textures." Rorscharch test serendipity or hidden art? You decide.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because we'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing email@example.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!
Reader Ekrim sent us a tip to let us know that when all instances crashed on the Earthen Ring server over the weekend, Horde-led raids descended on to Stormwind and Ironforge. Word quickly got out to the Alliance and an epic battle ensued for the next hour until the entire server was brought down to fix the crashing problem. Not an unprecedented event, but certainly fun.
Which brings up the topic at hand: why aren't we doing it ourselves anymore? Because of the lack of Honor, welfare epics or Arena rankings from the proceedings? When's the last time you've spontaneously joined in on a mass world PvP party for fun and not for profit?
It's been a few weeks since we wrapped up our 12 Days of Winter Veil contest in cooperation with our friends at Ideazon, and though we're still trying to get in touch with some of our winners, there are a lot of WoW Insider readers who deserve congratulations! Winners of FragMat gamepads include: Melenor, Ragamuffin42, Mia, Wilkie, Ellyndia, SJPadbury, Nojj, Ed, Annai, Dachande, ceckjustin, Alu, Hostile, Stephen, Analogstd, pamoonbtc, Brian, TwhiT, Efigyuge, ArsenalFox, Rhiley, and ragecage. Winners of 60 day WoW game cards are Hostile, Stoney, and Vitasoy. Winners of GH-100 gaming headsets are Zoltargg and Jane. Winners of Zboard keyboards are Swarfy, Begonia, 1Adam12, and Chris. And, finally, G is taking home a class t-shirt and Leigh is taking home a Reaper gaming mouse.
Thanks to everyone for participating and a big congrats to all of our winners!
If you didn't look closely, you could mistake Ideazon's Zboard for a standard keyboard. It's about the same size and shape as your average keyboard, with 108 keys and a row of hotkeys and multimedia buttons along the upper edge of the keyboard. A glance at the box shows us a left-handed key configuration designed for gaming and a pair of USB ports. So is this a gaming keyboard with a few extras? Hardly! This is only scratching the surface of the Zboard's abilities -- the real magic of a Zboard lies in its customized keysets.
You want to roleplay a character with style, pizzazz, panache -- and class! No matter what race or faction you are, your class is going to have a big impact on who you are and how other people perceive you. How you integrate it into your character can, in turn, give you something distinctive to share with other people.
Usually when we think of roleplaying a certain class, we do so with that class's lore in mind. But our WoW characters all have many spells and abilities that they rarely take advantage of in roleplaying. Admittedly most class spells are geared towards combat, when roleplaying is hardest -- you seldom have time to type out interesting phrases while fighting for your life. Unless you get an addon like RP Helper 2 to help you utter pre-planned phrases automatically (and sparingly enough that it doesn't get annoying), roleplaying during combat just isn't very feasible. So, sadly, roleplayers usually leave their sparkly spell effects totally unused while interacting with other roleplayers outside of combat. Even with the game mechanics as they are, however, it's not always so difficult to use some of these spells in roleplaying as one might think.
Although people have a tendency to separate the video-game and the roleplaying into two mutually exclusive activities, in fact each of these aspects of WoW can greatly enhance the other. Roleplaying gets a whole new visual excitement when it transcends the same word balloons and talk animations we use every day. When someone comes along with an innovative use for a spell or character animation that we had never thought of before, it gives you a memorable impression of who that character is. In fact, using spells like this is a special way that online roleplaying sets itself apart from every other sort of roleplaying, and it is an essential skill that every WoW roleplayer would do well to master in his or her own way. In this article we will look at the different ways that druids, hunters and mages could use their class spells to greater effect in their roleplaying.
Friday afternoon, Blizzard employee Bornakk posted a poll on the General boards to find our favorite 5-man dungeon of the Burning Crusade. As you can see in the above image, the Caverns of Time is rocking the charts.
I can't say I disagree with the numbers there, they're pretty close to my opinions as well. Old Hillsbrad and the Black Morass offer something that most of the other instances don't: Fast pacing, minimal trash pulls, and a story element. The instances aren't very long, either. Black Morass is what, thirty minutes? These dungeons on Heroic remain difficult and dangerous, adding some new elements to the instance, such as a necessity for speed and stealth when it comes to the patrols in Old Hillsbrad. Some of the other Heroics do this as well, but most of them coast along on 'ow this mob hurts a lot'.
But in all honesty, are these addons really necessary for raiding? There's some interesting arguments both ways.
One of the most convincing that I've heard is that if Blizzard really wanted you to use things like Omen, they would have built a threat meter into the game itself. That does make sense in a lot of ways. The rebuttal to this argument is that Blizzard provided a huge Addon API for programmers to make things like Omen.
From PvE to PvP, my first 15 levels - Sun, 27 Jan 2008 13:00:00 EST I am a long time PvE supporter. The last time I played on a PvP server was two years ago when I created an alt to get a hold of a friend. I've never really enjoyed the idea of getting ganked as I try to level my lowbie toon. It just didn't seem fun for some reason. So in an effort to expand my WoW horizons, I'm headed off to create a shaman on a PvP server. In fact, not just a PvP server, an RPPvP server. This should really push my limits and make me look at things in new ways.
There has been a lot that I've heard over the years about PvP servers: how awful it is to level a toon, how hard it is to find a group, having to find hiding places to log off at, never being able to complete some quests, etc... Then there is the ultimate insult to those of us that play on PvE servers: PvE carebears. Of course, having grown up in the eighties, I fail to see how that's an insult.
What follows is my personal account of the trials and tribulations from level 1 to 15, PvP style.
In the video, he brings up the important topic of alts. Why should you have just one character when you can do it all? If I had the time to level all those alts, I'd be right there with you! Previously on Moviewatch...