Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.
Close of the heels of this past week's Keristrasza's clawing of Cyanigosa, we offer up fresh meat to the denizens of WoW Insider: King Ymiron of Utgarde Pinnacle versus Drakkari Colossus from Gundrak.
Last season, we instructed readers to ignore the adds that come along with each fight. Here, we're going to allow Drakkari Colossus his elemental, so consider both Drakkari Colossus' golem form and the elemental form. Beyond that, assume that the bosses are of approximately the same level and health and that they're fighting in neutral territory. It's fighting abilities and scale that we're debating here, so don't get caught up in actual game mechanics. Consider the flavor each villainous gladiator brings to bear, and cast your vote for who you think would come out on top.
Load up your longboats with mojo and let's see where this goes!
Glider loses again, shutdown imminent - Thu, 29 Jan 2009 18:30:00 EST In the latest ruling in the Blizzard v. Glider case, the Honorable David G. Campbell (U.S. District Judge for the District of Arizona) ruled essentially that MDY Industries (the makers of Glider) has to present him with arguments why Glider should not be shut down during what will be a lengthy future appeals process. The arguments must be presented to the court by February 13th, 2009.
The Judge will then decide if the arguments hold merit and justify the continued operation of Glider.
If MDY Industries is not successful in their persuasion of the Judge Campbell, and MDY Industries CEO Michael Donnelly believes they will not be (according to posts made on the Glider forums), then they will have to cease and desist selling Glider. The shutdown of Glider will happen quickly after the February 13th date.
Campbell's full ruling on the matter is available in PDF format for your viewing. We'll have more on this as it develops in the next couple weeks. In the mean time, check out our previous coverage of Glider and its results Thanks to everyone who sent this in! And while I don't know what Judge David Campbell looks like, I prefer to think of him as pictured in the article.
Not necessarily in the sense that you should skip church to raid (though lots of people probably do that anyway). But in the sense that it meets a sociologist's definition of religion: it provides community, ethics, culture, and emotion. And it's hard to argue with that: we're living proof of the community around the game, there's definitely plenty of culture and emotion, and... ethics? CU student Theo Zijderveld is proposing that even if the game itself doesn't promote ethical behavior, the push is there -- we're rewarded for doing the right thing, and often punished for doing wrong. Work with others in a group, get better loot. Camp someone's corpse, and their guildie or alt shows up to camp you.
Intriguing idea, even if it does sound like something cooked up for a college student's thesis (which is in fact what it is). It's certainly not a religion in that there is no higher power involved (unless you believe that Ghostcrawler is in fact a god) -- obviously, we all believe that everything in Azeroth was made by men and women, or at least hard-working Gnomes. But as for what playing World of Warcraft creates in us and makes us feel, those results and ideas are very close in many ways to what organized religion does. Quite a theory.
Episode 7 of Blizzcast, Blizzard's official podcast, came out this afternoon; it's been a couple of months since the last episode. This time, they did a little bit of a "WotLK Wrap-Up" with J. Allen Brack and Jeff Kaplan, as well as some chatting with Chris Metzen, the creative head, about what's been going on in various aspects of the story. Here are the parts I found most interesting:
When the development on the original WoW was getting wrapped up, Outland and Northrend were both in the running for the first expansion. They decided the timing was better to do Outland first.
There were three front runners for the hero class to appear in LK:
Necromancer, a ranged caster with corpse explode and such. Some of this ended up getting incorporated into Death Knight
Rune master: "think rogue or monk type character"
And, of course, Death Knight.
JAB thinks "the first month has really validated that decision" to go with 10- and 25-man raiding.
There are the aspects of playing the warrior class that are flashy, obvious and fun... 7k shield slam crits, dual wielding huge, berserking enchanted weapons, bladestorming... and it is right and proper that we should gush about those aspects of the class to the high heavens. However, sometimes you have to get down to the nuts and bolts of things, as it were.
We got an email this week from Sean which stated that he wanted us to talk about the importance of hit and expertise on tanking gear. Now, we've talked about those stats before, but it's a whole expansion later and as such, we should re-familiarize ourselves with hit rating and expertise for tanks and DPS warriors, because both specs need both stats but weight them differently. This week, we'll talk about tanking gear. Why does tanking gear have hit and expertise and why is it good that it should have those stats?
Jame working on an addon, guides for other games - Thu, 29 Jan 2009 16:00:00 EST Gamespy has an interview up with Jame of Jame's famous leveling guides, which are the how-to of choice if all you want from your character is to get to 80 as fast as possible. I have to admit that I've never used them -- while I do use Questhelper quite a bit (which takes lots of the guesswork out of where to go next), I also like exploring on my own pace, and Jame's guides turn Azeroth into a list of to-dos rather than an actual game. Still, they do work -- if you're leveling an alt or just don't care about the content, following the guides to the letter works fast.
Jame says his wife was the major driving force behind the site -- she needed help leveling, and he found that he had most of the major steps memorized. His site is run completely off of advertising, which he says keeps him from competing with other leveling guides that you must pay for to use. He's also working on an addon, and he says that it actually works faster than Questhelper, so that should be something to see.
Finally, he says he's working on putting together guides for other games -- "Diablo III, Starcraft II, and other MMOs" all get mentioned, so if you've already been following Jame's advice, you might be following it for a while longer. Good to get a little insight and background into the man behind the gold standard for leveling guides.
Warcraft Chest and WoWTalent for iPhone - Thu, 29 Jan 2009 15:00:00 EST We posted about the Warcraft Characters app for the iPhone a while ago, and it's still the best way on Apple's mobile device to check your (or anyone else's) Armory entries. But a few other iPhone apps have popped up that might be useful to World of Warcraft fans -- both of these are free and both are worth checking out.
Warcraft Chest will let you look at drops from all bosses in dungeons and raids, rep rewards, Badge items, and PvP rewards. So if you want to drool over your favorite items while away from the game, it'll let you do just that. Unfortunately, the interface is a little boring, as it's just your normal iPhone app; it would be nice to see some kind of Loot List functionality, where you could sort items by class or type. But if you're invited to a Heroic and want to see what drops in there without alt-tabbing out of your game, there you go.
And WoWTalent will do the same thing for class talents -- you can browse through all the talent specs of every class, including all the Hunter pets and the various talents that come with each tree there. You can load and save trees to show your friends later, but unfortunately, there's no way right now to share them online -- the WoWHead talent trees are pretty URL-hackable, and it would be nice to be able to export a tree you create in WoWTalent out to a URL you can email or even tweet. But for browsing talents away from the game on the iPhone, it too works. As I said, both apps are free and available now.
Raid Rx has returned from retirement! Every Thursday (usually), Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. Today, it is all about the healing leader and what you need to know if want to do it.
Organizing healers is often difficult (and sometimes) a thankless job. Having a healing leader to quarterback and direct the efforts of the other healers in your raid increases the overall survivability of the raid instead of just having healers on free for all healing. I've handled healing assignments in no less than 4 different guilds and it becomes a new experience every time.
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.
Good afternoon, everyone! I'll waste no time trying desperately to be funny today, we'll just jump into this thing. Carda asked...
Which heroic dungeon provides the most rep? Of course, this will probably vary depending on the amount of trash pulled (full clear vs. "just the pats, ma'am"), but accounting for bosses and essential trash pulls, where can I farm to max out my rep as quickly as I can?
Gnomechewer's Trident of Naz'jan has actually been floating around for about a month, which makes it a shame we haven't picked it up before now. I'm actually very happy to see it, as I'd worried we'd lost the music video superstar to Age of Conan. This is one of my favorite pieces by him, and totally worth the watch. I'll fess up at the beginning that the music isn't entirely my style, but within the context of the movie it works wonderfully.
As the story of the video goes, those dastardly mist-men called Vrykul are (or have been) summoning That Which Devours from Below, Naz'jan. This is related to the opening Tuskarr quests in the Borean Tundra, so if you like the video, take the time to go check those out.
Overall, though, I really like that Cthulu-esque "deep one" kind of feel. The strident heavy metal captures the mood of the Vrykul (c'mon, no instance is as "metal" as Utgarde Keep). Even the opening soundtrack voiceovers give you a good sense of impending doom. The video has several shots of the viking-like Vrykul cruising around on longships, which enhances a definite sense of movement.
Here's hoping we see more from the maestro Gnomechewer soon.
Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.
Last week, we launched a new series of Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves, pitting the five-man instance bosses of the Wrath of the Lich King against one another. Our first death match turned dragon against dragon, cone effect against cone effect: Keristrasza of The Nexus vs. Cyanigosa of The Violet Hold.
Keristrasza emerges the easy victor from this battle, defeating Cyanigosa with three-quarters of the popular vote. Readers feel that not only is Keristrasza the more capable opponent, but her bondage lends her a deadly edge of passion and desperation. "Flying, porting, jumping or not, it's all irrelevant," comments Omegan01. "Really. Cyanigosa may be a stone cold killer, but Keristrasza is a f@@@ing psychopath. Five minutes flat and Keri's going to be back in her basement, wearing Cyanigosa's face and eating what's left of her. With some fava beans and a nice Chianti."
Stick around for the next installment of Two Bosses Enter, coming up later today with a fresh pair of opponents for your consideration.
The global economic meltdown has spread to Azeroth. Formerly employed in a prestigious position with the Cenarion Circle, tauren druid Sunaya has resorted to working as a Dalaran tour guide. And what tour would be complete without a view of scenic Icecrown Citadel, so threateningly close to Dalaran? I've said it before and I'll say it again -- if Rhonin would put aside some of Dalaran's pointlessly enchanted mundane objects budget to build a really good surface to surface missile infused with a Holy agent, this war would be over and we could all stop freezing our butts off in Northrend and go back home. Instead, poor fiscal choices have doomed us all to early zombiehood.
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.
But anyway, this column is not meant to rake Ghostcrawler across the coals. I think he's a pretty decent guy all around. Besides, it's not the first time he's put his foot in his mouth, and it probably won't be the last, either. Overall, I'm glad he's at least communicating, and that he, as the "face" of the dev team, is at least willing to come out and communicate and admit when they were wrong. What I'm really interested in is exactly where the class is going.
Breakfast Topic: Pranks - Thu, 29 Jan 2009 08:00:00 EST I love in-game pranks. One of the first things our Guild Master did when we downed Patchwerk was to tell the entire raid to run through the frogger slimes, telling them to hit the slime to "get their buff". Sure enough, all the players who had never been to Naxxramas or read much about it proceeded straight through the gauntlet. The next thing we knew, there were corpses strewn all over the place and our GM proclaimed himself The Noob Killer.
Back in the days of vanilla WoW, one of our favorite things to do to new raiders was initiate them by telling them to go up to the 'window' behind Golemagg the Incinerator to take a peek at Ragnaros. Hilarity ensued and repair bills skyrocketed. I certainly enjoyed the brewfest brew trick on Sapphiron, although that might warrant some serious -DKP.
One of our officers' favorite tricks is to tell guildies to meet him in some major city, telling them he was going to give them something. When they finally get there, he pops a macro that strips him naked and casts Mirror Image, yelling, 'SEXYTIME!' No repair bills here, but seeing four naked trolls is certainly not worth the trip. How about you? What silly pranks have you played on guildies or friends (or even enemies)? What pranks have been played on you?
World of Warcraft college course has to be next - Wed, 28 Jan 2009 20:00:00 EST Out on the internet today the story that UC Berkeley is offering a course in StarCraft is spreading like wildfire. Joystiq covered the news today, and you can also find an extensive Digg on the subject. The course description partially reads: "What may look like complex topics are just ways we want you to think more deeply about the game to derive a greater satisfaction from playing."
So... who wants to take bets on how long until there is a World of Warcraft course?
If they're offering a StarCraft course aimed at "thinking more deeply about the game to derive a greater satisfaction from playing," imagine what a World of Warcraft course could do for that. Taking down raid bosses with 24 other people is quite satisfying, especially if it's the first kill. The communication and leadership skills necessary to successfully run raids are akin to running a small business, and the mathematics and statistics behind the true upper echelons of play require a solid understanding of calculus.
That would be a course I'd be interested in. Not that I wouldn't sign up for a StarCraft course in a heartbeat, mind you.
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