15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.
... mushroom, mushroom. So why have we just bombed you with this tired yet perversely persistent earworm? Because like the proverbial mushroom, WoW Insider reader Badger has kinda grown on us, unanimously capturing the enthusiastic accolades of the WI staff when we decided to feature a WI reader/commenter on 15 Minutes of Fame. We discovered that fellow WI bloggers keep their eyes peeled for Badger comments on their posts because he's warm, funny, thoughtful ... All the traits that make other readers (and us!) want to pause to engage in a little World of Warchat.
So Badger, this is your 15 Minutes of Fame - but not before we carve out a few seconds for the other readers our staff felt deserve a WoW Insider shout-out:
Thanks, guys, and thanks to all our readers who help make WoW Insider a responsive, congenial community rather than a mere gaming information dump. We're glad you're reading -- and we're glad you're joining the conversation, too.
When patch 3.0.2 hit, we had a very long maintenance, shading towards 24 hours for some realms. And since then we haven't always had the best of realm stability; I know my own realm has had plenty of restarts, downed instance servers, and lag spikes in the past few weeks. It would have made raiding pretty hard if they hadn't nerfed the pants off it.
Everyone knows by now that Blizzard has split the entry area into two different areas (with four total Northrend entry points, one for each faction), and of course there's also Death Knights to roll, so hopefully the lag problem is helped (hard to believe it could actually be solved). But Relmstein has other ideas in mind: the dynamic spawn system (mobs will spawn faster the more people there are around killing them) causes some crazy repops last time, and hopefully that's been evened out a bit. He's also worried about the "leveling truce" on PvP servers -- during the last expansion, everyone was more interested in exploring than fighting for the first few levels, but if you missed that ad-hoc "truce," you had new level 70s beating you down as you were trying to explore the world. Hopefully the Lake Wintergrasp PvP zone will keep PvPers busy without griefing all of the people trying to see Northrend for the first time.
And later on, the Karazhan bump is a worry as well -- lots of guilds, early on in BC, were crushed by Karazhan's 10-man limit and the gear checks in there. Will 10-man Naxx also cause a ton of guild breakups, or will the 10/25 man split help guilds play what they want to play? We'll have to see how it all works out -- this is only the second time Blizzard has released this amount of content into the game, so while they're sure to have evened out some problems, you have to think that there will still be a few bumps in the road.
Slorkuz tells you how to win Arathi Basin - Thu, 30 Oct 2008 17:30:00 EST I have to admit, I've been giving Arathi Basin short shrift lately -- while I'm having a great time hitting all the solo achievements (just got my Delicious Chocolate Cake the other day, and Mr. Pinchy is my next goal), battlegrounds have fallen by the wayside on my play schedule. But AB is a great time, and if you've recently found your way back in there, Slorkuz happens to be an expert on AB winning -- when a player wonders how to win AB in a tournament setting, Slork shows up a wall of text on how to walk away with at least 3 nodes.
Of course, Zach has already written extensive tips on how to win in there, but Slorkuz has a few tricks of his own -- rather than the usual 5-5-5 group, he recommends a 4-3-3-3-2 setup, with a group of four holding down what he says is the most important node, the Blacksmith. It's the closest point to all of the nodes, so if you group has to move fast, that's the place to be. The other three person groups hold down the other nodes, with an extra three person group and a duo moving back and forth and defending as necessary. And in a tournament setting, there are lots of things you can do to make the setup even stronger -- give mount buffs to the moving players, communicate back and forth to match the numbers, and make good use of CC when possible.
Definitely food for thought (and probably enough to pull me back into AB for a few fights this weekend -- to get Make Love, Not Warcraft, if nothing else). When Wrath actually releases, Wintergrasp will probably be the place to be, and I'm just plain tired of WSG and all the shenanigans in AV, but AB still seems to have some fun in it.
As far as gear that you're earning now is concerned, if you're raiding in T6 or Sunwell content, don't expect to slap on the first greens you see off the boat. While there are blue quest items as good as Karazhan gear in Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord, you won't be throwing your Apolyon out for a long time... the first real blue replacements for that gear aren't until level 78. Comparing the Breastplate of Agony's Aversion to Agin's Crushing Carapace, which requires level 77 to wear, and you can see how the Sunwell drop dominates (and will even more so with the new gems coming into the game. Just look at the various +defense options available to you to extend that Sunwell drop's life. You could most likely walk into Naxx in that gear and, save for worrying about critical hits, do perfectly well.
So if you're raiding at high levels right now, don't sweat the gear reset: while you most likely will replace a piece or two on the march (especially if your leveling spec is fury and you raid as prot) you won't start seriously re-inventing your gear selection until you're near the end of the leveling curve. However, if you're not raiding past Karazhan right now, you'll start seeing upgrades early on in the instances.
While World of Warcraft may be a MMORPG primarily played by men, there are a few of us made of sugar and spice and all that's nice, who fancy frilly things such as ribbons and bows.
Today's craft is courtesy of SugarPopRibbons, a shop I recently perused and from which purchased an adorable set of custom warlock bows. The ordering process was simple. I sent in an image of a Tier 5 warlock illustration I did and the colors of ribbons I'd like to use. The shop owner was courteous enough to send me a preview of the bow and upon my approval, crafted and shipped them.
The shipping was fast. The quality is superb. The ribbons are very sturdy and SugarPop definitely has an eye for mixing and matching different styles of ribbon.
Dressing up like something WoW-related for Halloween this year? Take a picture and send it to our tips line, because we'd love to see it! Whether you nabbed one of Blizzard's official costumes, worked a long time on a Tauren costume, or are just gluing some ears on and calling yourself a Night Elf, we'd love to take a look at what you're dressing up as, and we're sure our readers do, too. We'll collect all the pictures together and post them tomorrow, so we can check out what WoW fans are pretending to be this Halloween.
Blizzard announces official Wrath midnight launches - Thu, 30 Oct 2008 15:00:00 EST If you're interested in getting Wrath of the Lich King at a midnight launch with Blizzard employees present to sign your copy and discuss the game, Blizzard will be holding officlal midnight parties around the globe. For the moment, it looks like Amsterdam, Anaheim, Austin, Berlin, London, Madrid, Mexico City, New York City, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Stockholm, and Taipei will all have official midnight launches, complete with extra copies of the Collector's Edition Wrath on hand and Blizzard developers, executives, and CM's around.
I've gone to the different WoW sites to see if there's any hard info on non-U.S. midnight launches and can't find it yet. I've possibly just missed it, so please let us know if there's information available on which stores outside the States will be hosting an official Blizzard launch. The one thing that we do know is that each site's launch will occur at midnight local time November 13th, and while there will be a ton of stores doing midnight launches, the official ones are just the locations where the Blizzard folks are going to be.
Official class forums to be replaced with role forums [UPDATED x2] - Thu, 30 Oct 2008 14:30:00 EST Want to hear something frightening? There will be no more class forums. Nethaera announced it a bit earlier on the official forums, and I'm still not sure what to think. They're breaking down the class forums and replacing them with role forums: Tanking, Healing, and Damage Dealing. For those players that have been afraid they're homogenizing classes a little too much, this really isn't helping.
Personally, I think this is a horrible move. The official class forums were bad enough, and now they've thrust all of the classes together. Have you seen those really cruel, gross videos where they put two scary lookingbugs together in a glass cage and let them kill each other, and they'll do it every single time just because it's in their nature to defend themselves? This is the WoW forum equivalent of it. This is going to be a disaster. The walls are going to be painted with blood.
If you're a regular reader of Know Your Lore, you've probably noticed that it's been missing for... oh, a month or so. As I've been going through potential topics, I keep finding myself going, "No, I can't do that, that gets updated in Wrath. No, I can't do that, it'll be a spoiler for Wrath." So, thanks a lot Wrath. Thanks for bringing us rich and interesting lore. Gosh, couldn't you be more boring so I don't feel bad spoiling everyone!?
So what we're going to do today instead is prepare you all for the expansion. We have a lot of Know Your Lore entries already for many of the characters and stories that'll be moving forward in Wrath of the Lich King, so here are some suggestions on what you should read so you have some background as to what the heck is going on in Northrend!
Unfortunately, they don't mark which are new and which aren't, but I believe /incoming is a new one. I've never tried out /sing or /ding. and /doh looks new to me as well. But odds are that there are at least a few you haven't tried yet, and we do know that lots of the animations are new for sure.
So get in there and try out some emoting -- if there's an especially funny one you find, let us know for sure.
Another day, another edition of Ask a Beta Tester. Today, as a special treat, I am going to answer your questions while blindfolded. And on fire. And covered in bees.
...actually, I don't really like that idea so I'm going to answer your questions like I normally do, starting with Naraxus's question...
Something I was thinking about was how much of an important stat "Hit" was on endgame gear in BC. A couple of patches ago a lot of the lower level gear was given a hit stat to it and I was wondering if the 70-79 gear in WotLK has "Hit" or is it just basic stats and spell power, attack power etc?
There's some Hit on leveling gear, but not enough to keep you capped right to 80 in my experience. I actually didn't really try, I concerned myself more with survival and longevity. In the case of a Priest, that meant stamina, spirit, and spell damage. Leveling gear is a bit more simplified. Raw stats, and some attack power/spell power in most cases.
You'll also find some crit, hit, and haste, but your leveling gear isn't going to have as many random stats slapped on it as you see on some raid gear.
She asks a nearby undead for some help, only to find out that they "don't speak the same language." It's a short video, and pretty funny. I'm not sure how much of the funny is due to EgadPit, and how much is due to the machinima, but the overall effect is worth a laugh or three. I found the use of screen space to be pretty simple and clean, which puts a lot of focus on the dialogue between characters.
Still, I'm not sure it's as strong as the Warchief Debates. To be fair, the debates benefit from timeliness. What's your opinion?
The second part of Gametrailers.com's Warcraft Retrospective has gone up, and it's no less fun and informative than the first. Picking up right where it left off, the second part starts with Warcraft III, following the ascension of some of the most well known Blizzard employees such as Rob Pardo, Chris Metzen, and Samwise Didier, not to mention the company and Warcraft series as a whole.
This edition of the series focuses a lot more on one specific game than the first edition, and there's not necessarily anything wrong with that. Warcraft III changed a lot about the RTS genre and whether that's a good thing or not is up to the individual. It changed how you managed your units, your base, and your resources, making units more important than just canon fodder. That was especially true when it came to the hero units that now highlight World of Warcraft. This retrospective also goes into the infamous DOTA before it steps up to The Frozen Throne, so if you've no idea what that crazy Europop video is all about, you'll find out!
A lot of people have been complaining about the nerfed raiding content, but I can see one good effect -- it's allowed a ton of people to see new fights before Wrath comes and makes everything irrelevant again. In this shot, Petrav and <Rising Anarchy> of Doomhammer have just killed Kil'jaeden, and took a shot of WoW's lovely "ending screen." Petrav gave props to guild leader Omega for leading them through the last of the content at this late stage. Congrats, Rising Anarchy!
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. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards.
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 Matticus is finishing off the 60 - 70 aspect of Priest leveling!
Welcome to the final stretch. I believe Blizzard has sped up the leveling process in Outland (via a 30% experience reduction, yes?).
Go on then! There's a big giant portal just waiting for you! It's sort of dark looking. I guess that's why they call it the Dark Portal. Step through it!
Back in early September, I told you about a trio of level 80 players in the Wrath beta that cleared Karazhan with just the three of them. At the time, it was quite a feat and really surprised a lot of us, bloggers and readers alike. Well, it's been 3-manned again. At level 70.
Metosai, a partially Sunwell geared Protection Warrior, recently ran Karazhan with a mix of experienced characters and some lesser geared ones. About a third of the raid was in greens, he said. They cleared the place in under an hour. Metosai was surprised at just how easy it was, and decided to see if they could do it with just three.
He looked for a couple of people from his guild to help him, and they took to Karazhan with a team of a Protection Warrior (Metosai), a Retribution Paladin (Dok), and a Holy Paladin (Dantez). The first half of the instance was easy, they say, but the second half got a little more dicey. Netherspite was cited as the most difficult to figure out how to do with three people (it took 5-6 tries), but they managed it and supplied video.
Yeah, I know, more Ghostcrawler love. We all look like a bunch of fanboys, don't we? Well, what can I say, we love developers that communicate, even if they make mistakes and end up wrong sometimes. We're not the only ones that love him, either.
The fabulous crab-o'-lantern above was made by Isana of Lightning's Blade-US. As far as we know, there's no huge story behind it, it's just downright cool. It's made even more cool by the fact that my jack-o'-lantern skills don't go beyond triangle eyes and crescent moon mouths, so this just blows my mind. I think it's about time I pick a quirky mascot so people start carving me pumpkins. I'm cool too, right? ...Right?
Animated models now on Wowhead - Wed, 29 Oct 2008 18:00:00 EST Just when I think Wowhead is feature-complete, they go and add something that never even occurred to me. This time around it's animated models in their 3D model viewer (high-quality Java version only). So if you can't manage to bag that elusive Squashling, at least you can see what it looks like, in full motion (be sure to click Java, if it isn't selected already). So far, animations are available for pets, mounts, player models, and NPCs, but items are coming soon (Terestrian's Stranglestaff, anyone?). Not only that, but they're already working on expansions for what sorts of animations are shown. Currently it just shows "idling" behavior; in the future, you should see a lot more, up to and including "/dance" (for player models) and casting animations.
I'm really excited about this (especially with my main computer in the shop, leaving me unable to play WoW at the moment). It lets me gaze at all sorts of interesting things: