Baron Soosdon, one of the best machinima creators out there, wants your Gnomes. In a post over on the EU forums he tells everyone "[I] need gnomes, gnome dying and flying into the air." The gnomes will be used for an upcoming machinima project of his.
If you want to get into this project you'll need to follow the instructions he outlines in his post. EU Community Team member Wryxian points out Soosdon is looking for gnomes and not crocolisks, so let's try to remember that (if there is any confusion, that is).
And in case you're worried about gnome hate, a very serious problem in Azeroth, Soosdon lets us all know that he doesn't hate Gnomes, and that the video itself won't be about killing gnomes.
Playing WoW is no fun at all if your system doesn't cut the mustard. If you've just started playing on hardware of questionable power, you may believe you're clicking along just fine -- only to watch your frame rate come to a grinding halt the first time you're faced with a raid or Battleground full of players moving, casting and otherwise wreaking havoc (to both the game environment and your system).
Lots of players start out playing WoW on hand-me-down computer systems. In fact, the spouse who starts playing on an old hunk o' junk, only to become hooked and then upgrade to a hotter rig than that of the established player, has become something of a gaming cliché. The thing to remember here is that a system that will run WoW will not provide the same enjoyment as a system that runs it well.
I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty hungry for patch 3.1 information. There's not a whole lot of it yet, but I suspect we'll be hit with a deluge of it by mid-Februrary. That's just my personal guess though, and I can't say there's much to back it up. It's sort of a void of information right now. I'm still itching to see and hear more about it though, so I was pretty happy to see the video MMO-Champion posted earlier today.
It highlights the Tier 8 sets that can currently be found in the datafiles, which we've seen before but not in such a clear and simple video, with nice and (generally) neutral lighting. Death Knights, Hunters, Rogues, Mages, Warlocks, and Priests are highlighted, in that order. The last few classes don't have any skins (or hints of skins) buried in the game yet, so we'll need to wait awhile to see those. Out of the ones we can see, I'm not really sure which set is my favorite. They're all pretty cool and fit the class decently enough, except for possibly Hunters which is still cool but looks a lot like a Plate set for some reason. The Priest set is pretty amazing, so I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on it eventually.
Upper Deck giving away Drums of War packs - Wed, 28 Jan 2009 16:00:00 EST Our friends at Upper Deck have decided to break out a series of contests for free cards from the WoW TCG. Over on their forums, they've posted a Card Caption contest -- they'd like you to come up with a caption for the Ryno the Short card (because Gnomes and short jokes are always funny -- and probably because the card bears a striking resemblence to Ryan O'Connor, the WoW TCG content manager), and in return, they're giving away free stuff: 12 packs of the Drums of War expansion for the first place winner (which means it's almost guaranteed that you'll pick up a dance grenade at least), and six packs each for a second and third place.
So if you've already honed your caption making skills on our caption contests, head on over there and try your luck. You've got to enter before Sunday night, but the good news is that you can apparently enter as much as you want, so go crazy.
And keep checking in over there on their forums -- we're told that they'll have new contests with new prizes every Monday. And we all know that while the WoW TCG is fun, the best way to play it is with free cards.
Did you know that WoW Insider has a guild? It is an event-oriented, excruciatingly casual guild called It Came from the Blog and it resides on Zangarmarsh, US, Horde-side. . We haven't done anything since Hallow's End, but it's time to dust off the cobwebs and go visit some Elders.
That's right, this Saturday, ICftB will be celebrating the Lunar Festival by honoring our Elders and collecting Ancient Coins. Here are the details:
When: Saturday, January 31st, 6PM Eastern (3PM Pacific, 4PM Server time)
Where: Bank in Orgrimmar on Zangarmarsh, U.S.
Who: Any Horde character with at least 3 silver and not in the service of the Lich King. (Death Knights are fine as long as they have finished their initial quests and have been accepted by Thrall.)
How: Just send a tell to Robiness or any It Came from the Blog member to get an invite to the raid and the guild
Gloat if you want (BRK is probably very happy), but Ghostcrawler specifically says that they're fessing up to this partially in the hopes that it builds the devs' credibility in the community -- when they mess up, they'll let you know. And with that attitude, we can't really blame him. He was wrong -- let's move on.
So where next? He says BM is due for buffs "before Ulduar." Steady Shot is likely staying where it is, but Kindred Spirits and Serpent's Swiftness will probably be improved a little bit. I wouldn't look for us to go back to where we were pre-3.0.8 (Volley will not be re-buffed, I can tell you that), but BM will definitely be a little stronger than it is now. Oh, and I hate to keep harping on this one, but can we get that Cower bug fixed now? Please?
Meeting Stones broken in the EU - Wed, 28 Jan 2009 13:00:00 EST We received a couple of reports of meeting stones not working on EU realms earlier today, and it was later confirmed by Blizzard themselves. According to the EU login screen, meeting stones are not working and it'll require a maintenance period to get them up and running again.
That's very, very interesting considering the stones are working just fine in the US (I just tested to make sure), and it might have something to do with the fact that the EU patch is roughly twice the size of its US counterpart, according to a couple of people following our Twitter feed. Knowing very little about how these things work, my initial assumption was that the size difference was due to extra weight on the patch for localization purposes, but that might not be the case. It's possible Europe just received a few changes that we hadn't yet, and that's what's causing this. Or maybe not. We don't really know, and anymore speculation on my part would just make me look pretty silly considering I know so little about the process.
We may not know what caused the issue, but we do know one thing: Your party will need to hoof it to their dungeons for awhile, old school style.
Update: It appears the meeting stones are now fixed, and didn't require a restart or maintenance period, either! Hooray!
This isn't the first one we've seen, but I love it when we get trailers for roleplay groups or roleplay events. The Warsong Defensive on Shatar (EU) is holding a roleplay event from February 8th until February 15th. As the story goes, a disgruntled Scourge fellow named Paggorn is stepping up to the plate at Wrathgate, and ready to lay some smackdown on the Scourge. You can find more about the event on the official forums. This is the trailer for that event, cunningly titled Warsong Defensive Event Trailer.
The author apologizes for letting the music drown out some of the narration, which I have to admit is probably the most distracting part of the trailer. Other than that, the whole thing was pretty good, when viewed from the lens of something to get you roleplaying. The movie has equal parts effects-stylization and raw in-game graphics. I think when you're putting together a roleplaying trailer, you can't stray too far away from in-game graphics, because then you're distancing yourself from the immersion you want to feel in game. The music is pretty solid and motivating.
I think the only criticism I'd really have is that the trailer should do more to promote what's happening at the event. It's a pretty awesome video, but it does leave me wondering what will happen at the event itself. Still, it does make guess about whether I can get a character ready in time for the event, which probably means the movie succeeded.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Last week, we looked at what stats are important for a PvE Rogue, and how those stats interact with each other and why they're important. To summarize, hit and expertise ratings are very important until you reach a few key milestones, after which the pure damage options like Agility and Attack Power become more attractive.
The key is to be over 99 hit rating (the Yellow Hit Cap - YHC) but under 315 hit rating (the Poison Hit Cap - PHC) and to never be over 214 expertise rating (the Expertise Cap - EC)? If you look in the right places, reaching these numbers becomes fairly simple. Bind on Equip Leatherworking goods, Heroic drops, and reputation rewards will form the core of your gear as a newly 80 Rogue. Let's explore where to find the right type of gear to prepare you for that Naxxramas raid next weekend. Much of this information can be found at Shadow Panther, however I have collected the pieces that specifically sport Hit or Expertise that can be acquired in 5 man Dungeons or below. Remember that the PHC and EC are "caps" and not necessarily goals, and that you shouldn't sacrifice other stats to reach these goals unless you have used a spreadsheet to determine which is the better piece of equipment.
This screenshot's submitter, Gauvain of <Suppression> on Lightning's Blade, has come up with his own story behind it:
"'Do you people eat human bodies?' said Gauvain one day, upon entering a troll village, and pointed to a vicious troll looking at him. 'KEK !?!' was the instant reply - 'Yes; don't you?' And a few minutes later the chieftain of the village came back with a club and then Gauvain lost his memory. He tried to wake up, but in his nightmare, all Gauvain was able to see was meat around him, which consisted of large and generous portions of flesh, only too obviously of human origin. Historically shrouded in mystery, myth, symbolism, fear and speculation, cannibalism remains one of the ultimate taboos inside every Alliance major city. At least they should let Master Taneus know how he just lost his devoted paladin Gauvain ..."
Not bad, although since trolls and humans are separate species, it really shouldn't be considered cannibalism. After all, apes kill and eat monkeys all the time. Mmm .... delicious monkey. If you'd excuse me, I need to make a sudden trip to the zoo.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing email@example.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!
Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Forum post of the day: Life Tap dancing - Wed, 28 Jan 2009 09:00:00 EST Breaking news: a few people still play Warlock and many of them still drive healers crazy. Bravely posting on a Level 1 Alt, Suepah of Wildhammer posed the question, "Why do healers care if I life tap to 10% or so?" She says that even if she taps down when the tank is pulling, she uses a bandage and stays out of the way of the mobs.
Timing is a major key, life tapping while the tank is pulling draws attention away from the task at hand. It also draws away from the healer's mana. My healer gets very frustrated when a Lock takes over his mana pool. To the point where he wanted to take a third rogue instead of a Warlock in a PUG. Life Tap is a cool ability in extended combat situations, but Warlocks can eat or drink at the end of a fight just like any other class.
Breakfast Topic: Uh, yeah, patch day - Wed, 28 Jan 2009 08:00:00 EST Ok, so I didn't call it right. Adam did over chat, though, saying that changes needed to be made client side which indicated a patch. Of course, since I'd written everything up and because I'm lazy and didn't offer to eat my hat, I went ahead and said it's not a patch day. As it turns out, it was a patch day, although most definitely not one of those newfangled patches with bells and whistles and cool new features. It was a patch that resembled an honest-to-goodness patch, the kind that you sew on to holes in your pants. The kind of patch that's intended to cover up something embarrassing.
Because Patch 3.0.8 had a few holes that needed some patching, we got a nice little build to fix it yesterday. Like the Warlock's Ritual of Summoning. It really is fixed. How do like that flasher demon thing? Of course, they also nerfed Arcane Mages a little (more like a love tap, really). Is there anything you found in yesterday's, ah, patch that you found interesting? Since it wasn't a big patch, it didn't come with extensive patch notes. In fact, most of the stuff in there you'll probably have to discover yourself. Kind of like a mini-game. So how are you in this post Patch 22.214.171.12406 world?
One of the many changes that came along with Patch 3.0.8 was a new and nebulous Arena matchmaking and rating system that nobody was aware of except, perhaps, the guys over at Blizzard. When the new system debuted, it was met with mixed reactions and Blizzard was forced to suspend Arena play for a few days while they straightened out the kinks. The system was back a few days later, with ratings rolled back to pre-maintenance numbers and Achievements reset. Some players report being able to keep the items bought during that period, despite Blizzard stating that these would be removed and Arena points refunded.
Blizzard poster Aratil dropped by the PvP forums earlier to explain -- in layman's terms -- the new Arena system. The new system is supposed to match players according to skill, rather than gear. Exactly how the system determines skill wasn't made clear, although Kalgan explained that the system uses a Gaussian Desnsity Filter. New to the system is a 'hidden rating' that's different from either the personal or team rating, and is unique to the player regardless of how many Arena teams he or she plays with.
What's clear from Aratil's post is that the change was intended to "promote the enjoyment of Arenas". Under the new system, highly skilled players will be matched up against other teams that provide a challenge while newer players just starting Arenas won't feel shut out. In a way, this can be likened to the low barrier of entry for raiding in Wrath of the Lich King. They're still tweaking the system, specially as far as ratings losses and gains are concerned, but the overall goal is to make Arenas more fun. I think we can all agree that more fun is always good. As long as it's working as intended, that is.
It is a kind of poetry, really: the lament of the shunned looter. Bullgrim was clearly unhappy that after all of his hard work, his strat sharing, his walking of the guild through old raids, his bringing of 110% every night, and his passing up of "numerous offers from better guilds," the RNG decided to keep him from getting the piece of loot he really wanted. A shame. But great art comes from great suffering, and this is definitely great -- well, it's kind of art. Kind of.
Lots more art (depending, once again, on your definition of "art") in this week's GW -- we've got guild drama, downs, and recruiting notices from all across the realms. We're almost cleared through the backlog of guild notices (sorry if we had a delay on yours there -- we got a ton of them all at once), so we'll give out the email once again: to see your guild here, drop us a note (and please keep it short, sweet, and clear) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click on to read on!
Good evening, US WoW players. I've just received a priority message from Zarhym, your favorite floating skull: many North American PvP, RP, and RP-PvP realms now have transfers available! The following transfers are scheduled to run until Tuesday, February 3, at 5:00 PST:
Swift Flight Form in ink - Tue, 27 Jan 2009 19:00:00 EST Zeerah wrote in earlier today to send us a pretty awesome addition to our WoW tattoo gallery. They took their love for their class to the next level, and have emblazoned their leg with one of the coolest looking (in my opinion) Druid forms in WoW thus far.
Personally, I think it's a pretty good choice for a tattoo. I don't have a problem with gaming tattoos, but I do think that if you're going to get one, get one that looks awesome (while also meaning something, of course). This one is pretty good I think, not that it's my place to judge. Congratulations on your ink, Zeerah! Looks like they did a pretty good job on it. It's an Alliance Druid form too, which is a plus in my book. I love both factions equally, but we're a little Horde heavy in our gallery, don't you think?
15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.
Wrath of the Lich King marked a turning point for WoW guild life. In a raiding environment based on smaller groups, Wrath allows players to gobble up endgame content in much more intimate groups. Many guilds have grown smaller, and many friendships have grown tighter. Many gamers who've been around the block with MMOs a time or two care a little less now about being in it to win it (with a rotating cast of a thousand relatively anonymous guildmates) and a little more about kicking back for some good times with their buddies.
Meet the members of Vivid (Frostwolf-H, US) - literally. Meeting in real life is the glue that has cemented the friendships in this energetic young guild. Vivid has gathered four times over half as many years, from a "small kegger at Chico State" to a recent New Year's house party with more than 20 guildmates cozying up at a cabin in North Lake Tahoe.
We visited with some of Vivid's real-life friends to find out why their meetups have become integral to their guild life.
From the first moments that the servers came up today there were unconfirmed reports of an undocumented Arcane nerf to Mages flying around. Not so long ago, those reports were confirmed via some commentary on the issue from Ghostcrawler.
There were some changes made to how Arcane Barrage, Arcane Missiles, and the Arcane Blast buff interact to prevent a fun little trick that was being used to get the most out of the buff. Second, the Arcane Blast glyph received a flat nerf, losing 2% damage per stack. Unfortunately, along with those changes came a potential bug to that glyph. Arcane Missiles may not be receiving the additional damage bonus at all.
Overall, these aren't terrible nerfs, and probably should've been expected at some point. Arcane Mage is one of the class/spec combos pulling far, far ahead of the competition, so some changes had to happen eventually. Probably the only real issue here is the fact that once again, there should have been some documentation beyond hoping Ghostcrawler bopped onto the forums to confirm or deny.
Hauru on Area 52 sends us this WoW-related license plate -- he says that he and his girlfriend were at BlizzCon last year (he can apparently be seen in our badge pickup gallery, but did you come to the WoW Insider Meetup?) and bought a Blizzard license plate frame. But when he got home, he realized he didn't have an epic enough license plate, so a quick trip to the DMV later, that situation was remedied. Very nice, we like it.
We've added Hauru's pic into our license plate gallery, which you can browse through below. Seen a great World of Warcraft-related piece of car art or license plate? Send it in to our tips line, and you might see it posted here soon.