Just want to get something straight, so you all sending in Downed news can be sure to work out the "notice" mechanic correctly: every guild gets to put just one boss on notice every week. You can't put instances on notice (although if you do, you have to clear that instance all in one go, and we're going to need video or it didn't happen), and you can't put more than one boss on notice -- otherwise, everyone would put everyone on notice. One boss per guild, per week. Any other kills after that are just bonuses.
Now that that's out of the way, on to the Guildwatch! Click the link below to see this week's drama, downed and recruiting news from around the realms, and be sure to send us your tips, from your guild or anyone else's at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today on Build Shop, we're going to take a look at a Shaman build that's a little different from the usual since we've already covered the basic cookie-cutter specs of Elemental, Enhancement, and Mike Schramm's personal variant of Restoration. The Enhancement spec that we'll tinker with will try to focus on the built-in synergy between some Elemental and Enhancement talents, as opposed to the more familiar complement of Restoration talents. This Enhancement build is focused on dealing damage, with less focus on the raid or party utility that Restoration talents provide. Shock and awe For optimum DPS, an Enhancement Shaman's spell cycle should be punctuated by shocks, which are instant cast damage-dealing spells that don't interfere with a Shaman's swing timer. The biggest problem with utilizing shocks as part of an offensive spell cycle is the prohibitive mana cost, which can make a dent on an Enhancement Shaman's relatively low mana pool. To alleviate this , we take 5/5 Convection from the first tier of the Elemental tree, which reduces the cost of Lightning and Shock spells by 10%.
What WoW should learn from certain quests in and around The Barrens - Tue, 29 Apr 2008 19:00:00 EST So I've been thinking a bit about questing lately as I traverse Outlands on my latest project, a level 61 Blood Elf Paladin, working on the Outlands quests. I think my favorite part of playing a lowbie hordeling is how many quests there are to "stumble upon" in the oft-malignedBarrens. Technically, they're all very basic "find and kill these dudes" quests, but the presentation is such that I always get a big rush from doing them. They really do make me feel like a mighty hunter.
I'm going to keep this relatively short, because a full discussion of probability could fill several college semesters. However, there is one misconception that some WoW players have that has been bugging me lately.
Let's say you read that Shattered Sun Supplies have a 10% chance to contain a Badge of Justice, and, excited, you go out and do enough dailies get 10 Shattered Sun Supplies. You open them all and find not a single Badge, or you find five badges. Do either of these outcomes mean the 10% drop rate is wrong? No! They do not! All a 10% drop rate means is that for each Supplies, there is a 10% chance that it contains a Badge. Random events have no memory, so no matter how many badges you get in the first nine Supplies, your chance to get a Badge in the tenth Supplies is still 10%. The traditional analogy is that if you flip a coin nine times and get heads each time, the chance of getting heads on the next flip is still 50%.
Now it is true that you will probably get a Badge in ten Supplies if the drop rate is 10%. If you're interested in how likely it is, here's the calculation to do. The chance of not getting a Badge in one Supplies is (100% - 10%) = 90%, or 0.9. Raise that to the tenth power, for your ten independent Supplies-opening events, and you get the chance of, ten times out of ten, not getting a Badge: 0.9^10 = 0.349, about 35%. So in fact, out of ten Supplies, you will get a badge (100% - 35%) = 65% of the time, about two thirds.
TL;DR version: A drop rate is a probability, not a guarantee.
In the Burning Crusade intro cinematic, we see an extremely cool sight with a Draenei Paladin reading from a libram, casting a spell, and walking dramatically away with his Hammer of the Naaru over his shoulder. That spell that he cast was a Seal, one of the core features around which the class is designed. A Seal lasts thirty seconds (which makes you wonder why the Draenei in the video cast it, seeing as how he'll probably need to refresh it once he's out of the building) and can be unleashed through a Judgement for a particular effect.
Seals are self-affecting magic effects while Blessings, the other core class mechanic, can be cast on others and often have longer durations. Auras are an area-of-effect buff and the third core class feature that rounds out the Paladin's playing mechanics. Although other classes have persistent area-of-effect buffs such as a Shaman's totems or a Druid's 41-point talents, only Paladins have passive, permanent aura. Understanding and mastering the use of these three core features are key to playing the Paladin class.
I love World of Warcraft. I should, because I've been playing it since release, I have no idea what could motivate someone to do anything for about three years uninterrupted if not love. But even the most intense, fervent love for the game can hit a rough patch. Lately, as I've been tanking more and doing everything else less, I get nostalgic for those days of running for my life through Stranglethorn Vale while being chased by an inexhaustible army of panthers.
Okay, well, not that part. But lately I'm noticing that I've developed a very workmanlike attitude towards WoW. Punch in (that is to say, log on) an hour before raid time, get my consumables lined up, talk to the other tanks about strategy, help to herd the raid group to the instance, help summon folks who didn't get there under their own power because they logged on five minutes before raid time, tank the raid, get myself back to Shat, get my banking straightened out, run a few dailies, punch out (that is to say, log out). Maybe I'll log on some alts for PvP or level grinding, and maybe I won't.
Frankly, this is a terrible way to play a game. So I've resolved that I shall not do so anymore. What am I doing to make my play time less like middle management?
Second gate open in US - Tue, 29 Apr 2008 15:30:00 EST When the North American realms came back online after maintenance today, the second Sunwell Plateau gate was open. This means that all you high-end raiding guilds now have a chance to tackle M'uru, SWP boss number five, while I cry softly to myself and work on melting Malchezaar's face off. The first SWP gate was opened after patch 2.4 had been live for two weeks, and the second, today, was three weeks after that. This makes the likelihood seem pretty decent that the fourth third gate, allowing access to Kil'jaeden himself, will open four weeks from today, but we'll have to wait and see.
Nobody killed M'uru when 2.4 was on the PTR, so we don't really know what he might drop, although four trinkets named "...Naaru Sliver" seem fairly likely, as they are SWP drops and M'uru is a Naaru. See World of Raids for stats on the trinkets and some information on the M'uru fight. The European realms will presumably get the second gate open tomorrow, after their maintenance.
15 Minutes of Fame: Disabled mom finds outlet in WoW - Tue, 29 Apr 2008 15:00:00 EST 15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - both the renowned and the relatively anonymous. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.
World of Warcraft players: hordes of pimply, unsupervised pre-adolescents sprinkled liberally with socially backward, Cheetos-chomping basement-dwellers? Forty-eight-year-old Catten of Quel'dorei knows better. Frequently confined to her bed with fibromyalgia, a debilitating condition that causes pain and fatigue, Catten's world opens up when she logs in. This relative newcomer to gaming escapes her physical challenges in The Outland, sharing raiding, world-wide friendships and a warm relationship with her grown son (and guildmate) Bigkountry.
Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and spend thousands of gold on repairs and consumables. This week, we face an undead lady dragon with serious breath issues.
Felmyst is the third boss in the Sunwell Plateau. As you approach the Brutallus encounter, you see him doing battle with Madrigosa, a blue dragon. Upon defeating Brutallus, Felmyst rises from her corpse in undead form and begins circling around the plain where you fought Brutallus. (She's quite feisty, and will aggro if some AoE abilities are used while she flies over, so be careful!)
The encounter is an execution fight, and requires a lot of attention throughout from everyone in the raid. In terms of preparation, you don't need any resistance gear for the fight, but having a Cauldron of Arcane Protection will help mitigate some of the raid damage. The most common strategy also relies quite heavily on priests' Mass Dispel ability, but before we jump ahead to raid composition, let's look at what you'll face during the encounter.
WoW Insider Show Episode 35: Definitely penguin pets - Tue, 29 Apr 2008 13:30:00 EST On the show with me this past Saturday was John Patricelli (not Petricelli as I've been saying lately -- sorry again, BBB), Zach Yonzon, and Turpster, and the discussion went all over the place. As promised, we were able to sneak in a little bit of PvP talk (and just a smattering of Warsong Gulch arguing, unfortunately), as well as all the other biggest issues from the last week of Warcraft:
And we answered lots of reader email, including what we want to see in the Wrath collector's edition (we can haz penguin pets, please?), what listeners think about all the information that Blizzard has on us, and a couple more Warcraft jokes from last week.
It's a fun listen, so either check it out over on WoW Radio's website or at our podcast page in iTunes (where you can also subscribe and get it automatically downloaded). And don't forget either that we do this every Saturday at 3:30pm EST over on WoW Radio, so mark your calendars to tune in next week for another great show.
Update: Turpster reminds me that there was supposed to be a poll in this post, but we already did one. Go answer that one, and let us know what you're looking forward to in WotLK.
Despite the impression you may get from previous articles, being a Druid isn't all about raiding. Not hardly. The essence of the Druid is flexibility, the ability to think fast and adapt to changing situations quickly.
Today, I'm going to highlight the kind of imaginative, flexible thinking and sense of fun that I feel is at the heart of being a Druid.
On Saturday, April 26th, a group of Druids from the Penny Arcade Alliance gathered together into a murder of crows, and proceeded to terrorize the unsuspecting Horde of the Dark Iron server.
Baron is infamous for teaser shots of his upcoming projects on his blog, and thisone is noexception. Set to a drum and bass track of the same name, by Quadrant and Cease, the movements are fast-paced and intense. It really makes you wonder how he does all of this with just Sony Vegas 6 and Particle Illusion!
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
WoW Insider has put together the ultimate guide to every mount in the World of Warcraft. From the first Pinto you'll get as a budding HumanMage, to the rare epic flying mount the Ashes of Al'ar, we cover every mount available to every race, faction, and class in-game.
A Warcraft mount holds a special spot in all of our inventories. It allows us to travel Azeroth, Outlands, and soon Northrend in blazing speeds rivaling those of the mighty Alliance Gryphons. Many people have names for their mounts and become uniquely attached to them. Others make it a point to try to get every mount available to them, often spending years collecting the necessary reputation with each faction.
And who doesn't like to go even faster on the fastest mount? For the speed demon in all of us there are several enchantments and trinkets that make our rides travel faster than before.
Check out WoW Insider's Guide to the Mount of the World of Warcraft for every mount in the game. And don't forget to check back whenever there is a new content patch - as the World of Warcraft grows, so will this guide.
While many people enjoy Arena play, for both fun and gear, some teams really stand out from the crowd. DonLolo z Wladem, a 2v2 team from Burning Legion EU has topped the arena charts with a 3,000 team rating.Not only does this team have no need to worry about rating requirements for Season four gear, but they will have plenty of arena points to spend once it is released.This rating yields 1,140 points per week at the 2v2 level.
The team is led by Noksil a Human Paladin.Noksil is the first player to reach a 3,000 personal rating. The build for this mighty combatant consists of 44 points in holy and 17 points in Protection. This build reflects the versatility of hybrid classes in DPS and healing.The team roster also contains two Subtly Rogues: Mnius with a personal rating of 2,883 and Tatus; who carries a rating of 1965 for the 15 games he's completed this season on the team.
Congratulations DonLolo z Wladem.Welcome to the Arena Hall of Fame.
More than anyone else, blood elves love a good shopping trip. Except this time. For one thing, everyone is remarkably heavily armed for a fashionable store. And the auctioneer seems to be standing in a bear trap. The giant spider devouring everyone is really just the icing on the cake.
According to Arial of Cairne, she was using Eyes of the Beast to chase a level 68 paladin around Silvermoon City when the paladin whispered her that her spider was huge. This screenshot is from the pally's perspective. Zarakh (soon to be renamed Raze) was never that little in the wild, but placed next to the teeny blood elves, it looks monstrous. What's confusing me here is that the Wowhead comments stated that Zarakh is unusually small after taming.Hunters, I've got to ask you on this one -- is this a normal size for this particular pet, does Eyes of the Beast increase pet size, or is there something else going on here?
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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets, and I can't think of anything funny to say here because I have to go fuse materia now.
Bornakk recently provided some news on the official forums that may be of interest to Arena combatants.While not giving a release date for Patch 2.4.2, he indicated that the patch will affect the Tournament realms when it goes live.Buffs, nerfs and item changes may have an impact on composition and strategy.He also announced that there are currently no plans to add the Stormherald to the tournament server, as "We haven't added any items that require a profession to use them." (Unless you count Heavy Netherweave Banadages and ring enchantments.)He said that such items may be added in the future. Original poster, Zanyu of Malfurion, believes that adding this item would balance out the presence of Rogues and Warriors in the Tournament. I see it as very unlikely that a change would be made while the tournament is active.
Breakfast Topic: Your first impressions - Tue, 29 Apr 2008 08:00:00 EST I've got something to celebrate -- not only is my birthday just around the corner (May 6th, cash and cake both accepted as presents), but my WoW-nniversary has just passed also. It was three years ago, in mid April of 2005, I think, that I bought World of Warcraft as a birthday present to myself, and I've been playing the game ever since. So in celebration of my third anniversary as a WoW player, let's ask a first-timer question today (courtesy of WI's own Elizabeth Wachowski): what did you think when you first played this game?
I started up as a Night Elf, and even though I'd played Dark Age of Camelotbefore, and read up completely on World of Warcraft, I was pretty overwhelmed. I was clueless, too -- I had no idea there was any world beyond Teldrassil. I didn't discover Stormwind or Ironforge until I was at least level 30. But I did like it -- Dark Age of Camelot's long, low-reward grind had left me jaded, and so when a green item dropped for me within a few minutes of rolling up my character, I knew I'd found a game with a reward system as good as Diablo II.
What did you first think of World of Warcraft? I can't imagine anyone hating the game completely (and staying around long enough to answer a discussion question here), but did you hate it for some reason? Did you love it from the start, or were there things that you missed until much later on? Did you start in beta and think it was unfinished, or did you start after Burning Crusade and wonder why it was so empty? What were your first impressions of WoW?
As Adam mentioned yesterday, server maintenance is now upon us, and you'll probably be getting a serverwide message to that effect any minute now if you're logged into the game. This is an extended downtime, so expect servers to be down from 3 am to at least 11 am PDT.
If you're like a lot of people, including at least one WoW Insider blogger, you will probably be taking advantage of the downtime to get comfy with a little Grand Theft Auto IV (or, if you're weird, you'll just be waiting for the new Iron Man game or something). But if you're stuck at work or school, or if you haven't had the time or pocket money to pick up GTA, may I suggest a little bit of WoW Insider browsing?
Join the conversations on the recent announced season 4 arena gear rating requirements here and here.
Whatever else you do, keep your browser tuned here to WoW Insider all day for all the latest news and views on the World of Warcraft. This goes for you too, GTAers. You're going to have to take a break sometime, so you might as well take it with us, right?
Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.
This week, I decided to go visit Bloodscalp -- we've been hearing about problems with stability on Bloodscalp since patch 2.4, so I decided to get the word on what was happening straight from the people affected by it. Additionally, I wanted to talk about the upcoming Arena changes in patch 2.4.2, so I had that on the list to chat with players about as well.
I created a Troll Rogue named "Wowinsider," ran up to Orgrimmar, and started chatting with the Bloodscalpians. The conversations I had with three players on the server are after the break.