El's Extreme Anglin' recently posted a fun little video previewing Fishing in Wrath of the Lich King. Specifically, in Dalaran. I have no idea what draws people (including myself) to such a boring profession, but this video shows a bit of what Blizzard has done to make it more entertaining. I have a feeling this randomness is part of what keeps us anglers coming back to this or that lake. Dalaran especially has a lot of added fun things you can find with Fishing to mix it up.
My personal favorite thing that I came across was the fountain, as is displayed in the video and previously here on WoW Insider. Various lore characters that have been in Dalaran at one point or another have tossed coins in the wishing well, and they come with quotes from the characters. Characters from the games, the novels, everything, they're there. It's really pretty cool.
The more random things are fun, too. The Hungry Tuskarr buff makes me giggle, and the Wild Magic adds a little "Hrmm, what will happen this time?" to the experience. If you're a Fishing fiend, I definitely recommend hopping over to El's Anglin' and taking a look around. The site has pretty much everything you could possibly want as an angler in WoW.
And don't worry too much if you don't win -- the nice folks over there have also passed a few tabard codes over to WoW Insider that we'll be giving away here on the site very soon (or perhaps even at BlizzCon, so keep an eye out for us if you're going there as well). We told you -- there's no end to their generosity! Go enter WoWTCGLoot's contest right now, and stay tuned to WoW Insider to hear about more chances to pick up an ingame tabard of your own.
Sounds like fun. Here's a slideshow of student art scheduled to be in the show -- none of it looks to be strictly Warcraft-related, but there is a little Blizzard flavor in a few of them (especially this one, I think). It all looks well done -- maybe we'll see some of this stuff exhibited at BlizzCon as well. If you're in the area and you do go see it, make sure to tell us what you think.
Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, with even more passenger mount questions! Don't worry, though. It didn't devour our entire column today. We have plenty more for you! For example, Sorano's question...
What I'd like to know his exactly how much protection warrior dps as changed. All the talents seem too good to be true.
Protection Warriors seems like one of the class/spec combos that have changed the most in Wrath. Their tanking is incredible and a lot more versatile now (all tanks are, actually) but you're asking about DPS and not tanking! Their DPS is good. It's not as high as DPS classes/specs, but it's not abysmal like it used to be. You might actually be DPSing with your shield equipped for the huge Shield Slam crits rather than dual wielding, even when you're not the one being beat on.
I don't have any concrete numbers or DPS charts for you, but I can say that what I've seen is really, really impressive. In yesterday's Ask a Beta Tester, reader Friday Knight gave you some more in depth information about the rotations of each spec, so I recommend reading that if you missed it. His information and what I've seen myself makes me want to gear up a Prot Warrior alongside my Prot Paladin instead of having just one tanking character.
Very nice tool, and it's just been updated recently, so it's faster and more accurate than ever. Talents are new to the system as well, but they're integrated very well, so its easy to quickly pull up whatever group of players or teams you want to look at, and then pull all kinds of statistics out of there, including ratings, setups, and builds for everybody. And as someone who's done some web programming in the past, I'll say that whoever coded it knows their stuff -- those URLs are awesome.
Plus, we hear that some of the Chinese team names are pretty funny, but considering we're not actually fluent in the language, we'd never know it. Anyone want to translate the better ones?
Our good friends at BigDownload have just posted a nice in-depth feature about all the "black ops" PC games being worked on -- that is, games that are being developed in secret by developers who haven't yet officially announced them. There are quite a few would-be WoW competitors on the list (BioWare's MMO is on there, which I like to think I officially uncovered, and unnamed MMOs from John Romero's Slipgate Ironworks, 38 Studios, and Bethesda's parent Zenimax Media are on there as well). But of course the biggest title on the list is also the most mysterious: we know that Blizzard is working on a "next-gen MMO," but we don't know thing one about it.
As with all of this "black ops" stuff, there's not too much to get excited about yet -- the reason these companies haven't officially announced any of these games is not only because their release is likely years off, but companies will very often develop games that they don't end up releasing at all (case in point, as Blizzard fans well know). So the reason we don't know anything about Blizzard's next MMO is because Blizzard likely doesn't know anything about it yet either -- will it be a successor to World of Warcraft, a much-awaited Starcraft MMO, or a completely new IP from the company that has conquered the MMO genre? Odds are that right now they're working on engine and code mechanics, and the final form that the project will take is just a gleam in a Blizzard employee's eye.
Still, it's fun to dream, isn't it? With the coming release of Wrath (and Diablo III and Starcraft II coming into focus), we've got plenty of Blizzard games to look forward to as it is.
It's the constant dilemma of the casual guild member. You love the people in the guild, but you know you're going to miss all or most of the raiding experience. It's a particularly poignant decision when you're an officer in a casual guild. That's what one reader is facing this week. Hi, Scott.
I have been in a wonderful casual guild for almost a year now. And have been promoted to an officer. I love all of officers/people in my guild and generally have a good time with them and try to organize casual events and things to do. We have been attempting Kara recently, but I don't think we will progress past the 2nd boss before Wrath comes out; however, we are not a raiding guild by any means and I can't really stress that enough.
Over the last few months I have started to out-gear a lot of people in the guild and have been considering moving just my 70 to a guild that only raids on weekends so I have a chance to explore some new content before it becomes obsolete. Recently I filled a gap in a Kara guild and after the run was asked to join. This guild would only really need me for weekend Kara runs and maybe Mags.
Is it fair for one of my alts (which I am trying to level for Wrath) to take over my officer position in my guild and only use my current 70 for raiding in the new guild, and to help out when needed?
Drop of Blood: The Collection Pt. 1 is a twin set of parodies and it's the first machinima by a 15-year-old kid named Morten from Denmark. He's remade the openings of the old Spider-Man and Scooby-Doo cartoons set in Azeroth, including setting them to music of The Simpsons take-off for the former and the original music for the latter. (Apparently he's a student of ancient television history?) It's quite silly and fun; it will make anyone who used to watch those old shows smile.
Let's help out Morten by giving him a few pointers. (Constructive criticism for a new guy on the block, please? I know you guys can do it!) Some of the action is tied to the music very well. The Spider-Pig pops in to "scare" us right on cue with the music. On the other hand, when he leaps through the trees, there was an opportunity to hit the last "Look out!" with the pig zooming off screen, but instead he flies away too slowly. Also, even on the high quality version on Youtube the title fonts look a bit blurry. It could be poor font choice multiplied by Internet sizing, but it's something to watch out for when you make movies to be viewed online. On the last tilt up to the top of the mountain with Spider-Pig looking over the valley takes too long. Instead, I'd consider using a faster tilt with push into the pig at the very end of the scene. The main issue I have with the Scooby-Dooparody is that we never see a WoW version of Scooby! Rut-ro! I think Scooby would be a Shaman in Ghost Wolf form, but maybe that's not goofy enough. Any other ideas?
We announced a while back that SwagDog.com was teaming up with Blizzard to offer some custom-made WoW guild t-shirts, and now their site is apparently open for business -- you can put your guild name and tabard on a t-shirt along with your character name and realm, to wear with the pride that only having a famous Warcraft character can give you. And to celebrate, SwagDog is teaming up with WoW Insider to give away three custom-made T-shirts.
To enter, you must leave a comment on this post with the faction you choose to support, either "Horde" or "Alliance," before this Friday, October 3rd at 11:59pm. At that point, we'll choose one random winner on each faction to win a t-shirt, and the faction with the most supporters will win a third t-shirt (by a random drawing of that faction). So if more Alliance "grab their sword and fight the Horde" in the comments section below, we'll give away two Alliance shirts, but if more Hordies show up, they get the third shirt. Got it? Each winner will get a code, redeemable on the SwagDog website for a customized Warcraft shirt of the faction of their choice, worth $26.99 each.
You may only enter once (though you can recruit as many friends and guildies as you like to support your side), and to enter, you must be 18 or older and a resident of the United States. Click here to read all the official rules, and good luck! May the best faction win!
Update: Please note, guys, that you must say "Alliance" or "Horde" in your comment below to get counted as a support for that faction. Saying "I kill Horde" will get you counted for the Horde -- all you need to do is shout out the name of the faction you support.
This all seems to be in line with the tanking philosophy Blizzard has been pushing for Wrath, one which Ghostcrawler recently reiterated: Blizzard wants to make sure that all tanks are as equal as possible. There should be no reason to take one class of tank over another, all things being equal, and no reason to sideline your tank because he or she is not the right class. Certainly, if this is to be realized completely, you do have to give every tank a good amount of AE capability, and this latest round of announced tank changes seems to be tailor made to do just that.
As the former player of a Druid tank and the future (current beta) player of a Death Knight tank, I'm very pleased to see these changes. I know that there was nothing more fun that running through a dungeon like Shattered Halls as a DPS with a Paladin Tank leading the way, and the idea that every tank class might be able to do that to some extent in Wrath makes me incredibly excited. It also allows groups to be more flexible in what DPS they take, including DPSers that traditionally have had a hard time getting groups due to having poor CC abilities, such as Cat Druids and Retribution Paladins.
If this change is handled right, it will go a long way toward solving the tank shortage for PuG groups, and, in fact, make the 5-man dungeon run fun again in general.
Breakfast Topic: The simplification of the game - Mon, 29 Sep 2008 08:00:00 EST One of the key reasons behind WoW's runaway success when it launched was it made MMORPG's accessible. Quests were tracked, instances were on rails and progression was clear. Other games on the market at the time were deeply complex affairs that required players to spend more time outside the game researching it than actually in it playing.
As time went on WoW became more complex in an effort to continually challenge its players. New game mechanics were introduced and corresponding stats showed up on items to deal with them. Classes took on new roles and new game mechanics were introduced to cater to it. Multiple sets of gear became necessary to deal with the many different encounters available in Azeroth and the Outlands.
But now, with Wrath, Blizzard is simplifying the game to a great extent. Item stats are being merged or removed (hello, +Spellpower.) Different classes are approaching encounters the same way (all tanks are getting better at AE abilities). Raid boss mechanics, which only a small percentage of the player population has seen, are being reused in more accessible encouters.
So the questions is: Do we want a more simplified WoW so we can spend more time playing and less time analyzing dps charts or is the complexity of the current game part of the appeal?
Yes, yes we will. And there's video! If you don't want to be spoiled about upcoming Wrath of the Lich King quests and storylines, I would advise against reading the rest of this post and the video within. Like that cinematic-that-shall-not-be-named from last week, watching it could really spoil an awesome game moment, so consider that your final warning. Oh, and it's long, so free up some time for yourself.
Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week Alex Ziebart answers your quests about the lore in the World of Warcraft. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small they might be, ask them in the comments section below and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.
Last week on Ask a Lore Nerd, I answered a question about sports. In short, does Azeroth have sports? I, foolishly, looked at it in a pretty narrow way. I was thinking baseball, basketball, things like that. However, it was quickly pointed out that not all sports are things like those. That's very true! Azeroth definitely has things like hunting, racing, fishing and the arena circuit. There's also a reference to Battle Ball but who knows what that is. So there's that! And with that out of the way...
My friend and I have been arguing recently over the death of the demigod Cenarius. I was hoping for some clarification. I (a diehard Nelf) say that Cenarius was only protecting the forest the orcs were cutting, while she (a Nelf turned Hordie) says that Cenarius attacked the Orcs for no reason and their only choice was to kill him. Which one of us gets the bragging rights?
Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is now Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. For the next few weeks (unless it's something game breaking), Matt will do his best to guide you through the Priest leveling process!
By now, you'll have learned most of the spells you'll be using at end game. If you've been crafty, you might have been able to land instance runs to hone your abilities as a healer (or DPS if you're of the Shadow sort). I won't focus as much on spells here on out although I will list anything significant on the way to 60. Instead, I'll explore the various zones and instances that you can (and should) do.
We have a few more questions about the passenger mounts today, but a lot of Mammoth-related questions are repeats of ones we've answered previously. So if you still have a question about them after today, I recommend checking the last few editions of Ask a Beta Tester to see if it's been answered already. Now, let's get started with Iceman's question...
Are the flying passenger mounts? Ground mounts are lovely and all, but once everyone takes to the skies will they become useless to everyone with cold weather flying?
I haven't seen any flying passenger mounts yet. Whether the passenger ground mounts are 'useless' or not with Cold Weather Flying is really up to the individual. You can still use it in the old world, you can still use the Mammoth's vendors. There are also places like Lake Wintergrasp where flying is turned off permanently so you don't 'cheat' and skip over all of the fighting to get from Point A to Point B. You and a bunch of your friends charging people down in a huge Mammoth is sweet.
If you don't care about any of that stuff though, yeah it could be seen as useless. It's an optional purchase, though. You don't need to spend the money if you don't want to do so.
The night elves are probably the most difficult race to roleplay well in all the World of Warcraft, which is particularly ironic considering how very popular they are. Many a roleplayer has been disappointed by seeing player character night elves who are 21 years old, who were born in Darnassus or Teldrassil, or whose mother or father is human -- all of which would be next to impossible according to the actual lore of the game. The only way to make things like this is to change the lore to suit your own preferences, or to rely on cliche devices such as time travel and special magics which really go too far into the realm of the abominably self-centered Mary Sue.
Night elves can also be difficult to understand, and full of contradictions: they can be over 10,000 years old, and yet they often do not possess the vast wisdom that would seem to come with such an age; they are deeply connected to nature, and yet they sometimes act without the blessings of nature; their women are supposed to be very fierce warriors, and yet their animation in the game has them bouncing up and down like teenage girls at their favorite boy-band concert.
And yet much of this is just the sort of thing that draws people to the night elves. There's a youthful passion combined with ancient grace and sadness that many roleplayers just love to get into. Also, for those who love to develop long and complex background stories for their characters, there is a great deal of history about the night elves' ancient past which can serve as good inspiration for many of your own character's life events. We won't go into every detail of ancient history today, however; instead we'll cover the basics that you'll need to know in order to start out with a night elf that fits in the Warcraft story, and direct you to some more resources if you'd like to make one with a really deep and complicated background.
Once again Ghostcrawler strikes with the fury of her scuttling avatar, depositing a myriad of changes for warriors.
What, may you ask, are these changes? Well, while I'll replicate the entirety of her post after the jump for those of us who have trouble accessing the forums for whatever reason, here's a big change to tide you over.
Remember Thunder Clap? Sure, we all do. It has no target limit anymore. Wrap your heads around this, the single most requested change to warrior tanking since paladins began consecrate spamming their way through dungeons. Combined with a threat increase and our new Damage Shield talent, warriors will finally be viable AoE tanks.
For the entirely of Ghost's post, we adjourn to after the jump. Leap with me!
Hello, friend! I'm here to spread the good word. The word of C'thun, that is! Did you know there is someone who loves you so much he wants to be as close to you as possible? Close enough that you will actually be inside him? Being digested? C'thun has a plan for you. He wants you to become part of him, forever.
Anyway, I can see by the fact that you just gored my partner to death that you're busy, so I'll just leave these copies of The Silithid Tower here for you. Read them when you have time, okay? Goodbye, and remember that C'thun loves everyone, even hideous horned rhinos!
Dachande of Sen'jin sent us this image 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 strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. No more battleground scoreboards, please.
Sunday Morning Funnies: Mob evolution - Sun, 28 Sep 2008 09:00:00 EST Sunday is the day to catch up on your homework, chores, Brewfest hangover, and the week's worth of WoW-related web comics. Because I cannot help you with your homework for ethical reasons, and I'm allergic to your chores, I compiled a comic list for you instead!