Many people have mentioned this before in conversation about Dual Specs - why not just allow triple specs? We've all speculated for a while that the technology is already there and is just a matter of further implementation.
Today Bornakk, a blue community poster, said that right now all Blizzard intentionally wants is to have two specs be available, but that they "...want to see how the system works out first," before considering triple specs. I think it's pretty safe to read between the lines here and take it to mean that it's possible and has at least been discussed by Blizzard to some extent if community people (and not a developer like Ghostcrawler) are already talking about it. Remember here that community folks usually don't talk about development related things without running it by or hearing it from a developer first.
Triple specs would offer even more flexibility to play the class in whatever way is possible. A druid would be able to switch between a healer, tank, and caster role in a single instance / raid. A paladin would have the same amazing flexibility. While each class right now has at least two specs that can really shine in specific situations, triple specs would allow three-role hybrids to become amazingly powerful characters.
Ulduar maps aplenty - Mon, 30 Mar 2009 18:00:00 EST Haven't loaded up the PTR and gone to check out Ulduar for yourself yet? The good news is you've got lots of ways to see it online -- in map form. Reader Evan B sent us the version in the picture to the right (click it for the full version, and it's big) -- he cut and pasted together the in-game map screenshots to make up a to-scale version of what the instance looks like. Our friend Stompalina also has a version, cut together from what looks like the minimap ingame, so you can get a little clearer idea of what the textures look like in each section of the instance.
And StratFu sent us an interactive map of the Titan city, with hover-over tooltips on each boss and click-through information for what we'll face inside. Strategies are still being fleshed out completely (and remember, this is the PTR, so everything is subject to change). But if you're looking for as much info as possible on what's waiting for you inside the brand new raid of Ulduar in patch 3.1, there's lots of places for you to find it.
The 8th episode of BlizzCast, the Blizzard Podcast, rolled out just a short while ago. If the only Blizzard game you're interested in is WoW, you'll probably be disappointed this time around, there's not much World of Warcraft discussion. The information is very, very heavily slanted toward Starcraft II and Diablo III.
The podcast kicks off with their usual Q&A portion. The World of Warcraft questions, answered by Tom Chilton, were aimed at Wintergrasp and the vehicle system (specifically the lack of aerial combat). That's the full extent of the WoW content here. That's all, folks. If WoW is all you care about, that's the end. For those of you that are Blizzard fans in general? Jay Wilson (Diablo III Game Director) and Dustin Browser (Starcraft II Lead Designer) cover the Q&A for their respective games.
The remainder of the podcast is a Diablo III interview with a pair of the game's developers, Julian Love (Lead Technical Artist) and Mike Nicholson (Senior Artist). If you intend to play Diablo III, it's worth a listen. It gives some insight into the developmental process of the game, and that's probably the most interesting part of these podcasts.
A big congrats to our friends over at The Guild, who picked up a trio of awards at Saturday night's Streamys Awards, honoring the best in web video over the past year. The show picked up Best Comedy Web Series, and Best Ensemble Cast, and Felicia Day was a big winner herself -- not only did she win Best Female Actor in a Comedy Web Series (beating out Lisa Kudrow, Megan Mullally and one of my favorites, Kristen Schaal), but that other little web series she was in, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, picked up a slew of awards on its own. And in other WoW Streamys news, as we said on the podcast post today, Alex Albrecht picked up an award for Best Web Series Host for his WoW video podcast, Project Lore.
Another week has gone by already? Well, I guess that means it's time for Blood Pact! Nick Whelan's platform to wonder about things such as: what's up with there being female Warlocks in the game? Warlock is a gender specific title, indicative of masculinity. The feminine alternative is witch. So is Blizzard just made of fail or are all female members of the class actually men in disguise?
Over the past three weeks, Blood Pact has been running an experiment I dubbed Project Respec. The intent was to take a look at some of the major endgame specs for Warlocks, try them out, test them, and report back my impressions. Now, having covered all the major specs I intend to cover with the project at this time, I'm happy with the level of success the project has had. A lot of readers have expressed enjoying the series, and I've learned a lot about the class, and a lot about what I'd like to do with this column. I also made a fair amount of mistakes along the way, but the WoW Insider community was always quick to point me in the right direction, and I'm confident that when I pick up Project Respec again after 3.1, I'll be much better prepared.
This week, I'd like to sum up the Warlock specs I tested, and how they play. I won't bother saying much about their exact DPS output, because not only did my gear change between each test, but a few days of trials is hardly enough to get an absolutely comprehensive understanding of a play style. Instead, I'll be focusing on what it's like to play each of them, since they're all at least viable DPS specs. I'd also like to throw in my analysis of what will happen with them once patch 3.1 rolls around. Though, on the note of analysis, I should point out that computer issues continue to keep me off of the test realms, so my analysis is purely speculative.
There have been a lot of login server related issues lately with Battle.net accounts, and from all indication they don't all seem to be for the same reasons. Tom may not have the same issue as Sally who isn't necessarily getting the same error message as Jimbo. As much as the problems are annoying me, the more widespread problems tend to clear up pretty quickly. Usually. For some of the odd, lingering issues you may run into, Blizzard's Support page has added a section for Battle.net connection issues within World of Warcraft with some common solutions. Note that these won't necessarily fix every issue that crops up with the login servers, but it should solve some of them!
The most common solution that seems to work out for people is the suggested edit to the realmlist.wtf file, using something like Notepad. Look for the Data folder within your World of Warcraft folder, open it up, then open Realmlist.wtf with a simple text editor. Check to be sure all four of these lines are contained within:
BRK taking a break from World of Warcraft - Mon, 30 Mar 2009 14:45:00 EST Our good friend and colleague Daniel "BigRedKitty" Howell has announced on his blog that he is taking a break from World of Warcraft. He's taking time off of the game and his blog to, as he says, "rededicate myself to my family." He thanks readers for their attention and kind words, and hopes that everyone will understand his decision, as well as examine their own lives to make sure that they focus on what's most important to them.
We of course wish him well -- BRK was an excellent contributor to our site and podcast, and we commend him on making the decision to do what's right for him and his family. We hope that everything turns out OK. And as many of his commenters have said, we wish him the best of luck in everything, WoW-related and otherwise.
Phaelia of Resto4Life, you'll remember, also closed her blog down recently, also choosing to focus on her family (and the sapling about to grow into it). Trying to figure out a good balance between your free time and your work and family life is a tough thing -- our Azeroth Interrupted column has covered exactly that battle. And as even Blizzard says, if any other part of your life is suffering because you're choosing to play this game or be a part of this community, it's time to make a break. Raiding the wilds of Azeroth is a lot of fun, and it's possible to do it while leading a healthy life. But if that balance ever gets thrown off, it's time to take a step back and do what's right for you and those closest to you.
I can't take credit for the column name -- it was a turn of phrase used by the writer of this week's reader e-mail. It's a fitting expression, as you'll see. He wonders just how to get people to care again when a guild is faltering.
Thank you for this column, hopefully you and the comment crowd can help me. Over the last few days I've had to watch my beloved guild start to unravel. Our problem is, apart from a few select officers and members, we have too many Neros, content to fiddle as our guild burns, and Zeros, members who don't really contribute anything but a raid spot. Nobody seems to care enough to even sign up for our website. We have had trouble with our loot system, suicide kings, and raid scheduling, and it has caused some key members to seek other guilding opportunities.
It's worth noting that they still have a number of donate buttons on their download page, which Blizzard is supposedly fine with -- all Blizzard wanted was the donate buttons out of the game itself. And of course, if you find this addon (or any other) helpful, you should definitely support the people who make it.
Reaction on the addon's forums is grateful as expected -- lots of people figured that this addon would be shutting down for good, so many are glad to see it will be continuing development. And one developer does say that Carbonite will be removing any obfuscation from their code, as per the new policy, so it's possible that other addon developers will be able to more easily hook into their code and use their techniques. Of course, whether the addon will still be financially worth it for the devs remains to be seen but for now, they're going along with the new policy and widening their audience at the same time. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.
I apologize for the grim picture accompanying today's column, but I found it fitting. You know, even if it does have an artificial grain filter thrown over it to make it extra creepy. Chernobyl is creepy enough as it is without the filter, but I happened to like this particular shot. It's relevant, too! I promise!
"Why don't the level 80 gnomes take back their home and clean up the toxic in it? We're able to run through at level 24 or so and clear the place, but a bunch of level 80's can't?"
The recording of the show is now out on the feed and at the links below, so download away. Huge thanks yet again to Alex Albrecht for stopping by the show, and congrats go out to him on his Streamys win on Saturday. We'll be back as usual next week, kicking off the show as always just a little bit before 3:30pm Eastern.
And don't forget: we met our Facebook goal of 4,000 fans, and the song that came out of that turned out pretty darn epic, if we say so ourselves. But we've got another goal: we're aiming for over 9,000 followers on Twitter, and if we can pull that off, we'll do a live video version of the podcast. And who knows what kind of hilarity will ensue from that one. If you're on Twitter (or even if you're not) and haven't started following us, please do! And hey, we tweet all kinds of things that never show up on the site, so it's even more WoW Insider for your efforts. See you next week.
Get the podcast: [iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes. [RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator. [MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
Ninja Looter has actually been floating around "out there" since the beginning of the month. It's one of the music video kind-of-parodies from Gigi, Abandonation, and Decision. Zharkan16 is the animator for this one. It's pretty true-to-form for the "Blood Elf Rap Music Video" genre. (Is that a genre? What should I call this kind of thing? I'm not sure "WoW Rap" video really gets the point across. But since this crew of performers seem to be advancing this genre pretty vigorously, I need to be able to call it something.)
A few things about "Ninja Looter" struck me. First, as far as I can tell, there's nothing in the lyrics or video vaguely related to Ninja Looting. That's okay, though. I'm "down" with the art of unrelated names. I can be hip like that. Second, there's a few lyrics about how Holy Paladins have it pretty easy in raids and PvP. I'm not sure if that's the point Decision was really trying to get across, but I think the Colosseum commenters would agree that Holy Paladins have it pretty good right now.
What really stood out to me as I researched "Ninja Looter," however, is that the trio of performers are definitely building a fan base. This song already has nearly 500 ratings on YouTube, the majority of which are very, very positive. The comment threads are stringing out toward infinity, with the same flavor discussion you might see from mainstream bands' commenters. So, whether or not you're a fan of Gigi, Abandonation, and Decision, they certainly seem to be creating a very solid following. If they continue to be consistently prolific and communicative, they could have a very real effect on the WoW community over the next several months.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com. Previously on Moviewatch ..
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.
If you've been reading The Queue for awhile, you'd know that Adam Holisky and I were taking turns writing this thing each day, but he's been sparse lately. Before we get started today, I just wanted to stop and let you guys know that he's okay, he's alive, but the flooding in his hometown of Fargo has gotten pretty ridiculous. He's been documenting the Fargo Flood on his personal blog the whole way through, so if you're interested, give it a gander.
If you have friends or family in the area, or simply want to lend a hand, Red Cross and the United Way have set up some resources for all of you to peruse as well. Keep the people of Fargo in your thoughts, folks. I'm sure having Blackhawks flying over your house loses its cool factor after awhile. Jack Spicer asked...
"What's the best/easiest way to get starter gear for PvP at 80?"
In a world where dead people come back to life every five minutes, civilian casualties don't exactly tug at the heartstrings. But this abandoned stuffed animal -- photographed by Delyriah of Dragonmaw in the burning ruins of, uh, someplace -- shows the true cost of the wars on Azeroth. On the other hand, it's entirely possible that that evil-looking toy is responsible for all the death, destruction and mayhem in this particular area. It looks like it just stepped out of Are You Afraid of the Dark? and is preparing to eat your eyeballs as soon as you go to sleep.
Do you have any unusual, clever, or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them 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.
The builds and changes and tweaks seem to be coming faster and more furious, but at the same time seem to have settled down to changing things in a very final and deliberate way, if that makes sense. Whether we're a week or a month from 3.1 going live though, things are likely to change a little bit.
Still, my gut tells me that most of the major tree shifts and mechanics changes are probably out there, and it's just a matter of tweaking numbers. So it may be a good chance to take a look at what newish builds are getting some buzz in the Death Knight community for being the new hotness in 3.1. In specific, let's look at a Blood Build that reacts to some of the latest changes for that tree, and a stacked Unholy build.
So the rumors of a new 5-man dungeon to come sometime before Icecrown, maybe in 3.2 or 3.3, continue to persist. Assuming they're true, I wonder: What would you like to see? I have a few ideas of my own.
How about a Grimtotem dungeon? Let's unmask Magatha once and for all as a Scourge agent. Some quest lines point to the possibility, and it's an excuse to implement a nice Great Masquerade type quest line complete with confrontation in Thunder Bluff. It's topical to Wrath, and it shakes Tauren lore up a bit. It's a perfect idea all around, as far as I'm concerned.
If that idea doesn't tickle your fancy, I have a few more after the break.
There appears to be another round of login server issues tonight, and the many reports flooding into our inboxes here at WoW Insider suggest that this problem is exclusive to merged Battle.net accounts. As you can see by the error message above, my Battle.net account is having the same problem.
Now, I've been one of the louder advocates about switching to Battle.net account amongst my guildmates and the other WoW Insider writers, I absolutely think it's a great concept. Just as I fully support Steam, I support any Steam-esque services of a decent quality. This here? Quickly losing my favor. If the error message above is truly what it implies, that the login server is failing due to heavy traffic, I must repeat what we've said the last dozen times something on Blizzard's end has fallen apart due to too much traffic: Come on, really? You underestimated your service's popularity? Again?
If there are any further chapters to this story before it's fixed this evening, we'll be sure to let you know.
Update: The error is getting more sporadic as the night wears on, so I'm personally going to assume that it is, indeed, a traffic issue. None of us know that for a fact, of course. Still, if you try now, you'll have better luck getting in than you did a short while ago.
Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. 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. This week Matt offers some tips and insights for the healing Priests that are struggling with Sartharion and his 3 drakes up
Welcome to the toughest raid encounter that Wrath has to offer. By the end of the first night, you will wish you decided to stay home and watch the latest episode of House instead.
Update: And, of course, as this is posted, we are pointed in the direction of a thread on the Customer Service forums indicating that this is, indeed, an error. It's currently out of stock and should be displaying as such, but the item is simply not displaying at all instead. It will return when it's in stock. Thank you to those that pointed this out.
Original Article: We held off on reporting this for a few days, just in case it were a glitch or accident on Blizzard's end (making a mountain out of a molehill makes us all look silly), but it's been this way for long enough that it's worth mentioning: The Authenticator is no longer in the Blizzard Store. Previous bookmarks and links to the item are broken, and searching for it yields nothing but broken dreams.
Oddly, this happened in lockstep with the news that the Mobile Authenticator was available. Whether it was coincidental or intentional, we don't really now, but I think it's a pretty odd choice! It seems like an indication that they don't intend to stock them again. That's disappointing, to say the least. Blizzard hasn't pulled profit on either the Mobile or Physical authenticators, so I can understand wanting to cut costs by stopping production and distribution of the physical authenticators, if that is what they're doing. It's still disappointing, because I have serious doubts that everyone who wants/needs an authenticator has an iPhone/iTouch for the mobile app.
No business, even one as successful as Blizzard, wants to sell something at a loss. Blizzard has made it clear that they don't want to charge for the opt-in authenticator service. From a purely financial view, I can see why they would pull it. As a player, I really wish they didn't.