You'd think that with the expansion coming, people would be taking a break from this game -- you'd think raiding would slow down, drama would subside (since it's a lot easier now then it used to be to get lots of great gear), and that recruiting would slow down. But this week's Guildwatch is a testament to players' dedication everywhere -- the raiding hasn't stopped, a few guilds are still picking up stragglers, and people are as selfish and whiny about their loot as ever. It warms our heart. Kind of.
Drama, downed and recruiting news all after the break. If you've got news for GW, don't hesitate to send it along: firstname.lastname@example.org. On to the good stuff (including a baby momma drama llama).
A lot of us have probably had this problem before: We join a guild, and we like it. It has the right combination of people we like (or can tolerate), interests we share, and or what have you, and we're doing fine. Unfortunately, there is the problem. The tabard sucks. That whole green crying bear on pink background thing is just so tacky, and does not go well with any of our stuff.
Sure, you can replace it with one of the factional tabards, in theory, but not until 70, and not until you grind exalted, and most of those tabards don't look much better anyway. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just go design your own personal tabard at your local town hall instead?
That may be coming. In a thread by Beta tester Talid, Tigole said that the idea of personal tabards was actually pretty cool, and that he'd look into it. Yeah, admittedly, that means personal tabards could be in before Wrath goes live, or it means they could be a year off, or they could still discard the whole thing.
Blizzard headquarters in Irvine, California were temporarily evacuated today when a 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck the Chino Hills area in southern California. Chino Hills is about 30 miles from Irvine.
According to the information on the login screen, in-game and phone support were momentarily unavailable, however everything is now back to business as usual. No servers or other game services have been affected by the earthquake. All the technology is operating smoothly.
Our own Dan O'Halloran was in private chat with us all when the earthquake struck. He reported that while it was a good shaking, it was "nothing to go home about." Perhaps if we're lucky the earthquake shook a few more Beta keys out of Blizzard. We can only hope.
Take a look after the break for the full in-game news released by Blizzard.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! What you are about to see will amaze you. In what is shaping up to be the most intense Player vs. Player battle that WoWmachinima has ever seen, two contestants are facing off for your vote. The WarcraftmoviesSynergy contest entrants were given the choice of two (absolutely horrible) scripts, which they had to follow to the letter, but were allowed to add their own special touches to. The result is an epic fight to the death.
I can't quite see the purpose of World of Warcraft (or gaming in general) flavored dating sites -- if you were looking for a potential partner, why limit yourself to only people that play this game? But nevertheless, there are quitea few of them around, so someone must be using them. Datecraft is a site that was specifically targeted World of Warcraft bachelors and bachelorettes -- at least until this past week, when Blizzard hit them up with a C&D.
Well, not actually -- they only got threatened with one. We heard from the site's founders, and they tell us that they got a call from Rod Rigole, a VP of Legal Affairs over at Blizzard, who told them to cut out using Blizzard's artwork and terminology on their website was a no-no, and that they would be recieving legal papers soon. Rather than pick a fight, they instead redesigned to the standard gamer dating site you see today.
But here's the kicker: they used an official fansite kit to actually make the site. Even with the stuff they give out, Blizzard seems extremely protective of their artistic IP -- they used this same technique to attack the WotLK wiki and the Glider folks as well. They'll let fans slide, it seems, but if you're making money off of their materials, beware.
And Thompson's piece is really about grinding -- like "obedient workers in a Soviet collective," he says, we return to mindlessly killing boars, or ravagers, or Ethereals, or whatever else it is we need to hit that next level of experience or reputation or profession. Why? Because we're rewarded for it. Increasingly, we live in a world where time invested doesn't always equal reward returned. But while grinding in a game like WoW, it always, always does, and that's why we love it so much.
I am absolutely, now and forever, a feral Druid, unable to be restrained or 'tamed'... although I'm aware some folks suffer from a case of wishful thinking.
In the past, I've released a bunch of articles about gearing up for Karazhan.
Breaking them up by spec like I did, I'm afraid some folks might get the wrong idea about how we play our class.
The assumption may be that only one of those sets is important to you... if you are a feral Druid, you only need a bear tanking set, for example. Even some of those that play Druids may start to think, we have only one fixed role in a run.
Not much Wrath information was announced at the WWI last month and we may see more at this year's BlizzCon, but with the beta in full swing and Blizzard close to launching Wrath, there may not be too many surprises left to announce at the event. We'll possibly see some kind of opening cinematic and probably talk of what new content is planned shortly after launch.
Still, there will be much to see and do at BlizzCon as we expect their usual blend of contests, hands-on demo stations, dev panels, goodie bags, tournaments and probably some big announcements for Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3. One thing BlizzCon won't have is livestreaming over the net. For those who can't make it, DirectTV will be livestreaming the convention as a pay per view event.
As of the latest build, Beast Mastery, the 51 point Hunter talent in the tree of the same name that lets you tame "exotic" pets, remains unimplemented. However, it looks a sneak preview of the talent may have snuck into the patch all the same: Devilsaurs are now tamable!
The devilsaurs do shrink quite a bit, but are huge all the same -- I'd estimate the one I tamed was at least three times as tall as my dwarven hunter after taming. They also make a satisfying stomping sound as they run around behind you. They use the Ferocity talent tree (minus Charge for some reason), and eat meat.
They come with all the basic pet skills, use Bite for their focus dump, and have an extra family skill called Monstrous Bite. Monstrous Bite looks slightly unfinished, as there's only one rank, and it only hits for 4-6 damage. It's not completely bad though: It also has a buff on hit that increases the Devilsaur's damage done by 5% and stacks 3 times (It should be noted that Monstrous Bite's tooltip currently claims it boosts AP instead). In addition, the buff makes the devilsaur larger.
Recently, the city was moved from Azeroth to Northrend. Since the move, it hasn't been easy to get there, but you'll find a gorgeous city when you do. With trainers beginning to populate the area and portals that take you to a variety of areas, Dalaran is shaping up to be a must visit destination!
With over 200 questions yesterday on our initial Ask a Beta Tester column, I'm afraid we couldn't answer everyone's questions. (There just aren't enough hours in the day!) However, I did pick about a dozen questions to answer -- like a Death Knight picking Peacebloom! -- after the break. Did your question not get answered? You're welcome to ask it again today, and maybe the WoW Insider crew will be able to hunt down the answers. So what are you waiting for? Ask us your questions in the comments!
The latest beta build has implemented the Barbershops many of us have been waiting so eagerly to see. They're fun for sure, but not complete at all. Regardless, we've put together a gallery for you to see a little bit about how the process works. You can check that out down below.
It's a quirky design and it makes me wonder why only Goblins know how to cut hair throughout all of Azeroth. It was fun to tinker around with, but I became bored pretty fast. The new hairstyles aren't in, so right now it's almost like staring at the character creation screen but a little bigger and there's gold involved. It will be much more fun on the live realms I'm sure, because I am a roleplayer and doing this kind of thing once in awhile should be pretty fun. There's just very little reason to play with it for a long time on the beta realms, I don't much care what my character's hair is like there. For all I care, it could be made of snakes. Hmm, that would be pretty awesome, actually...
Well, I did experiment a little. I decided my Human Priest grew her hair longer since I rolled her in the first days of WoW's launch, so I picked a longer hairstyle, purchased it, then decided I was bored and wandered off. Until I came back to take screenshots for you all, of course. All in all... yeah, boring until the new hairstyles are in or I'm in a spot to care. Bummer.
As much as I loved the Burning Crusade, there was one thing I really missed -- dragons. After spending so many hours working on UBRS, Onyxia, Blackwing Lair, the world dragons, and all the neat individual dragon-related questlines, moving to the non-reptilian world of Draenor left a hollow spot in my gaming experience. So I'm very pleased that dragon-related questlines will be back in Wrath of the Lich King.
In this picture, taken by beta tester Menelven, blue dragonflight leader and creepy kidnapper Malygos hovers over the land of Coldarra, along with a few red dragons. Does Malygos look familiar? Well, he's got the exact same model as pre-BC bossman Azuregos. WoWWiki speculates that Malygos will probably get his own, unique model in time for the Wrath release, much like Sunwell boss Kalecgos.
This image came to us straight from the Wrath of the Lich King beta -- and we'd love to have your beta screenshots, too! If you have anything our readers might like, beta or not, sharing it 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 -- use alt-Z to remove it. And, please, no more sunsets! Unless it's a sunset over Arthas's grave.
Blizzard poster Belfaire has confirmed over at the forums that the first wave of Beta keys for subscribers who have opted in have been sent out. If you opted in, you might want to check your inbox for a Beta key as Blizzard has said that the invites are random. If you're one of the lucky few, you just might be roaming the new (but not necessarily improved -- we hear there are lots of bugs, and not the Silithus kind) build of the Beta. If you didn't get a Beta key, fret not as Belfaire also mentioned succeeding waves but did not give an ETA. You can check out WoW Insider's extensive beta coverage while you wait.
In other words, you can drink one potion per encounter. The debuff itself has absolutely no duration. It sticks on you until you drop combat. This is largely meaningless to the casual player, but what it will do to raiding will be rejoiced as well as reviled. Alchemists are going to take a huge hit to their income if this goes live. Yeah yeah, I know most Alchemists will say their profit is from Herbalism, but after seeing the insane prices on Haste Potions, Super Mana Potions and Flasks, I beg to differ.
We all know that beta means any and all talents could be shuffled around, buffed / nerfed, or even removed completely, but knowing what we do at this very moment, what's your game plan? Will you fine tune your existing spec or completely change your play style and try a new tree?
Myself, I'm eager to learn exactly what "exotic pets" are going to be, but I really like the extra pet talent points, so my Beast Master Hunter looks like he's staying put. Just incase though I've mapped out an appealing Marksmanship build that might be a nice change of pace. My Mage on the other hand might be forsaking his fellow Ice Mage brethren for an Arcane build. That tree recieved a lot of love and looks really interesting and new. Finally, my Enhancement Shaman my just be shelved if Death Knightlooks as fun as it seems to be. So what are you leaning towards? New build? New class? Let us know by leaving a comment.
New Blacksmithing patterns from the Beta - Tue, 29 Jul 2008 07:00:00 EST Elizabeth Harper was able to snap a few screenshots of the new Blacksmithing patterns from the game last night. The items all require at least level 75 and are of superior quality. That's good news for those that are looking to craft gear as they level - which can be a viable alternative to fill in certain missing pieces.
You can browse through all the latest patterns below in our gallery. For a quick analysis however, take the piece that is featured in the right hand image of this article. They're tank legplates that have 1661 armor, 57 strength, 84 stamina, and 55 defense. No sockets or anything else like that. Let's compare it to the T6 warrior legs, which have 24 agility, 78 stamina, a red socket, 40 def, 41 parry, and 32 block value.
Here's a brand new find fresh from the Kirin Tor capital of Dalaran on the Wrath Beta servers. We've been wondering for a while what type of money sinks Blizzard might implement in wrath, and we've found one, to the tune of 8000 gold coins: A set of melee and caster rings that not only deliver some pretty sweet stats, but also have a free teleport to Dalaran on use to the tune of an hour cooldown.
The rings are sold by Tiffany Cartier, the Jewelcrafting supply vendor in Dalaran, who hangs out next to the jewelcrafting trainer. They come in both melee and caster versions, and seem to have pretty solid stats. Still, the main draw is the teleport, and it seems very likely that it will be on a separate cooldown from the Hearthstone. That means that for a paltry sum, you too can feel somewhat like a Mage once an hour.
It's also worth noting that Tiffany herself is on the Kirin Tor faction. That means that if you care to do a bit of grinding before you spend your dough, you'll be able to haggle the price down to 6400 gold -- still far above the price of BurningCrusade's major money sink.
This is certainly a useful and clever way for Blizzard to siphon money out of the economy once we all hit 80 and start doing all our Argent Crusade dailies, and it makes me sort of glad I didn't blow all my money on the Gigantique bag craze. Of course, now I need to figure out where I'm going to find the gold to buy one for all my alts.
Thanks to Kurai for the tip, and Alex for heading to Dalaran for screenshots.
We're all getting ready to upgrade that old and busted level 70 gear, but the question is, does the new stuff look any good? See for yourself, with a gallery of some of the new green quest rewards in the starting zones.
Fresh from the new Beta build today: new Death Knight starting screens and our first look at the Death Knight flying mount - a skeletal gryphon! The starting screen pictured above is pretty cool. The Death Knight is standing on a terrace surrounded by Northrend. Neat. Be sure to click on the picture for a hi resolution image.
The gryphon that we're seen, which is pictured after the break, is about the same size as a normal flying gryphon - but a complete skeleton. The actual name of the flying mount item is "The Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade." It is something that I'm really looking forward to picking up now, and I'm pretty sure most of you will be as well.
Lots of great bits of information coming out from this beta patch - stay tuned for more