[1.Local]: Of Baby Spice and free stuff from guys - Fri, 30 Jan 2009 18:00:00 EST Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.
(Baby) Spice, spice, baby Readers seem to have cooked up a satisfying solution to the problem of thoughtless creeps who park their mounts atop summoning stones, flight masters and other necessities, blocking them from use. "LOL, whenever I see a giant Tauren on his Humongous Impressive War Mammoth parked on the Dalaran flight master, it's Baby Spice to the rescue," giggles Euphronius. "Nothing more hilarious than seeing him reduced to the size of a Great Dane."
Insider Trader: Your bad self - Fri, 30 Jan 2009 17:30:00 EST Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.
In the World of Warcraft, as in life, we are constantly being faced with morally significant choices. Some players try their best to listen to the Angel on their shoulder, while others will do whatever suits them at the time. Proper etiquette is always in debate.
Of course, as this is a virtual world, the moral implications of our actions are on a much smaller scale. Hitting someone for being annoying could cause many problems in my personal and professional lives, yet blasting someone similar off of a cliff in-game can be almost therapeutic.
When it comes to gathering and crafting, greed crops up. There are many ways to get what you want, often at the expense of others. This week, Insider Trader will discuss the underhanded side of the professional world.
Before last week, I had assumed that folks were tired of hearing me talk about enhancement as a spec. I've been focusing more on elemental because in the past I've seen a lot of comments complaining that elemental was getting short shrift from me, and also because I found the way it had been released with Wrath to be worth discussing. Frankly, elemental now is a lot more fun and pushes more DPS than it had pre-3.0.8 and I was enjoying playing with the spec.
Well, in the comments to last weeks post you informed me that, in fact, I haven't been talking about enhancement enough. At this point I put my head down and I began silently to weep. Then great, wracking sobs, followed by a scream to the heavens. Enhancement, enhancement, why have you forsaken me!? I didn't, dumbass, I'm still right over here, you even have all the gear in your bags, just respec and we can go stormstrike things to death.
So yeah, I've respecced enhancement on my draenei. Never fear, orc boosters, I've started leveling my orc again and I'm aiming him at resto/elemental when dual specs come out. Since that bloody fist weapon in CoT won't drop for me, I had my warrior make up a Titansteel Bonecrusher for the MH and we're off to the races. Well, okay, these particular races involve hitting things in the back and setting them on fire a lot.
And of course as usual, we'll be answering your emails and chatting live with listeners during the show. It all starts up at 3:30pm Eastern tomorrow (and if you're a regular listener, you know I usually come on early to play some music, and we usually stay a little late for the aftershow) over on the Ustream page, or right here on this post -- there's a live feed embedded after the break.
It should be a great show, and I personally hope to finally find out just who won the How I WoW episode battle between Turpster and I -- last we checked, Turpster actually had more listens, but my episode of their show had been out for a much shorter time and was rising in listens fast. Tune in tomorrow to find out if I finally beat him or not.
Is that... Vork? Quite a few tipsters have spotted this Super Bowl ad for CareerBuilder.com, and about halfway through, what appears to be The Guild's Jeff Lewis in his skivvies jumps on screen (we've preserved the image in a quick screenshot above -- you can thank us later, ladies). We actually checked in with The Guild, and they confirmed that yes, that is everyone's favorite GM. Feel free to cheer/ swoon/ shudder appropriately.
Lewis met up with us (and the rest of The Guild's cast members) back at BlizzCon, and it's good to see his star is.. rising? (we kid!) Keep an eye on the rest of the ads for the big game this Sunday night as well -- it looks like Coke has an online gaming reference coming with their "Avatar" ad, and considering how gigantic World of Warcraft is on TV lately, we may see some other sly winks towards our favorite game. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.
Another day, another Queue! Let's jump right in, hm? meme asked... What's the situation about the aesthetic minor glyphs? Could we see them in a future? What's the last thing Blizzard told us about them? Are people in the official forums still demanding them?
Thundgot over on the EU forums announced today that there is a new EU PvE server opening named Saurfang. It will be an English based server in the Misery battlegroup.
As with most new servers, migration will not be allowed to it for the first 90 days. That means you can't transfer your characters there just yet. For now, Death Knight creation is only possible when you have a level 55 character on Saurfang itself. That restriction will be lifted after the 90 days pass.
The realm became open for play just a short time ago, so if you're in the EU and want some new server goodness, head over there now and get started.
Our intrepid YouTube adventurer Dan O'Halloran found this video posted back on the 5th of January this year detailing the Ulduar raid zone thus far. It was made using private server technology, and contains heavy spoilers. You've been warned.
When you watch the video you'll notice that much of it is incomplete. Large areas are nothing more than gray swaths with no content in them. This is intentional and normal - the areas just are not developed yet.
However there are areas which are vibrant and high quality. Parts of the place resemble (as expected) the ancient gods look to it. The place could (and will) be sitting right next to the Halls of Lightning.
I can't really talk a lot about the plot of "Rather Be Playing DS," because the movie is really short. ("Wrath Shorts" isn't just a clever title, you see.) To sum up, Healer and Tank argue about stepping into an instance. Tank's nervous because of the healer's past performance. There's a punchline, and comedic justice is served.
Okay, the graphics aren't fancy. The soundtrack isn't rocketing rolling metal. But, this is a perfect example of "all things come together." Whether you find the jokes funny or not, I think everything in the mis en scene comes together just right for short's formula. Anything more involved than its current graphics would probably distract from the jokes. I did happen to laugh, and I look forward to the next installments.
Here's the tldr version of the article for folks that are so inclined:
Question: How can I get blue to respond to my forum post? Answer: You can't.
Question: Will I ever get a blue response? Answer: No.
One of the most consistent and annoying things about the forums lately are people begging for blue responses. It's reached a near epidemic level with the greater visibility of Ghostcrawler and sites like WoW Insider, MMO-Champion, and World of Raids reporting on everything he says.
Most of this blue begging, as I've come to call it, used to occur in the General Forums; bugging for a Neth or Drysc response to everything. The begging then migrated over to the Customer Service Forums, asking for someone like Belfair to respond (I admit I'm guilty of doing that once or twice, but hey, it worked out in the end). Now the begging is centered around the Role Forums, pleading for a Ghostcrawler response like the world is about to end if the blue beggar doesn't get one.
Historically, druids are the animal-loving hippies of Azeroth. They're the kind of class that would nurse baby squirrels back to health, lovingly release them into the wild, and then cry when they're instakilled by a level 7 rogue looking for ruined leather scraps. This is understandable when you consider that at any given moment, the druid is likely to be an animal of some sort. But sometimes they go too far.
For example, as Melinda of Eitrigg is trying to explain to her companion in this retro screenshot, one should not attempt to resurrect the giant helldog that your group of forty people has just spent the last ten minutes killing. Yes, Magmadar's cute, but it's really better for him to be humanely euthanized by our swords and frostbolts than to spend all his time locked up in this cavern. In doggy hell, he'll be able to run and jump and play and devour souls in the fresh air. He would not make a good pet if rezzed. Do you want to clean up the lawn after that thing?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
I'm stubborn. I am. Even though Blizzard have themselves admitted that Affliction's rotation just might be a little too complex, I insist on sticking with it. Partially because it's fun and partially because it really does give the highest returns once our gear gets up to par. My gear is slowly starting to improve, and one Valorous Plagueheart piece away from the 4-piece Life Tapspirit bonus which should help quite a bit. The new Ritual of Summoning -- which some of my guildies have dubbed the TV from Hell -- has impressed everyone and I feel somewhat useful again. Specially if people die during the run to Loatheb's room.
Let's for a moment forget that Survival Hunters are in the equation. We do this for our sanity. For now, let's focus on getting our own performance up to par. The spec I use for raids is a 53/ 0/ 18 as opposed to the more popular 56/ 0/ 15, but I've found it gives tremendous returns with just a few talent points allocated in some talents. It's been difficult, but it's slowly becoming rewarding. I say slowly because it must be noted that some classes scale better and faster with gear and the raid. Let's take a quick look at the build right after the jump.
One of the nice things about WoW is that it allows you a variety of choices for your character. You really aren't pigeon holed into one thing or another. There are some cases in the upper echelons of the game and theory crafting where one weapon or armor choice becomes superior - but that's only if you want to take the game to such a level.
And even then, min-maxing to that extent isn't really necessary to be successful in raiding anymore.
I've come across this in my play recently. My weapon of choice (and hence the forever awesome Christopher Walken music video attached to this article).
As a Shaman I have a choice of various slow 1H weapons, giving a variety of different stats that I'd like to have. When entering the starting zones of Wrath I can pretty much find any combination that I want to fit my needs. As a protection Warrior I've found the same thing, even at times finding it more advantageous to use a DPS based weapon over a Def based weapon.
For the Shaman (which I need to point out is just my favorite alt at the moment) my weapon of choice has shifted away from slow maces to whatever sexy fist weapon I can pick up. The DPS output is roughly the same, if not better in some cases, and I just like the way it looks.
Yes, I said it. And I'll take the beating that's about to begin.
There are many Armory sites out there, since Blizzard had the foresight to put the Armory data in XML so anyone who wanted to could use it in alternate presentations. 3D Armory is a new Armory site, just released into public beta. As you might have guessed, the focus of the site is on loading your character's data and displaying a 3D model of your toon; for instance, at top right you can see my death knight and how his gear looks in-game (yes, I'm still wearing my heirloom shoulders).
It does what it sets out to do, and does it pretty well: just select "eu" or "us" from the popup at the top of the page, type in your realm and character name, and hit go. Points off for having cryptic icons for all the functionality with only tooltips to indicate what they might do - I'm a big fan of obvious UI over flashy-looking UI.
More free character transfers open for the EU - Thu, 29 Jan 2009 19:30:00 EST A new batch of fre realm transfers have opened up for European servers, which is always a good thing. A lot of these transfers are ones we've seen before though, so hopefully this time around these options will be more successful than they may have been previously. We also have a whole load of transfers opening up to EU-Magtheridon specifically for the Alliance, so they're continuing to try and repair the faction imbalance there. Right now, we're looking at...
Horde players on EU-Magtheridon may transfer to Haomarush, Tarren Mill, Trollbane, Zenedar, and Silvermoon.
Alliance players may transfer to EU-Magtheridon from Aerie Peak, Aggramar, Alonsus, Aszune, Azjol-Nerub, Bronze Dragonflight, Bronzebeard, Emerald Dream, Eonar, Khadgar, Kul Tiras, Runetotem, Shadowsong, Silvermoon, and Turalyon.
Check behind the cut below for the rest of the current free character transfers.
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.