Archive for the ‘news’ Category

The Ol’ Switcheroo; Alts are the New Mains

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

While the Wrath of the Lich King expansion is going to offer many new and exciting aspects of WoW, there is one larger, more fundamental game change that could take place for many of us and is often overlooked; WotLK will bring the perfect opertunity to switch mains. Personally, I’ve been thinking a lot about this, as my shaman get close and closer to level 70 and I dream about how fun it will be to raid with him as either enhancement or restoration, or both. And with the advent of Death Knights, how many people will can their original rogues or locks or whatevers in favor of the new, original, and unplayed class?

Personally, Death Knights sound kinda lame to me; WoW Insider posted a lot of updates this past week about the Death Knights, and it honestly sounds a lot less cool than I originally. It feels like three classes jumbled into one, with thinly-veiled attempts to make it seem totally new. And anyone that played Diablo II and rolled a Necromancer will tell you - fun at first, not so great a month later. And! The real kicker for me - you start out at level 55. Begging for Ramparts and Slave Pens run-throughs and hammering out the same Outlands quests on your “new, unique” toon is going to make it feel a lot less unique pretty darn fast; being in the middle of the grind myself, I can safely say that Llevel 55 to 70, maybe, but 55 to 80? No thanks.

Nonetheless, the expansion will allow many people burnt out on being “the sheep machine” or “the tank” a chance to either pick up one of their alts and race to the finish, or turn their Death Knight into their new head hancho. While the initial thought of this scares me a little bit - out of fear of losing all of our tanks and heals fed up with being exactly that - I wonder, what might keep someone from making the switch? (more…)

Patch Notes 2.4.2: VOID REAVER FIXED, void reaver alarm FTW

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Void ReaverTHANK GOD! A patch is on its way. Official notes are up. And the biggest news of all, void reaver is fixed so that his arcane orbs produce combat log announcements.

This is so important. Here’s some background. Since patch 2.4 launched void reaver stopped announcing his orbs. He also stopped turning towards players whom he was targeting prior to launching an orb at them. Since you only have about 3 seconds after an orb launches to get out of 18yrd range from the orb’s detonation point, for guilds working on ssc, and just starting TK, this was the death knell of their t5 shoulder farming - my guild for instance. We were pretty good on void reaver’s 10minute timer, but, we were’t pulling it off if we lost 3 or 4 dps half-way through the long fight.

The key to taking down void reaver on EZ-mode is a little mod called void reaver alarm. It announces when and where the orbs are coming. It also gives a crystal clear display on a palyer’s ui showing exactly how far away they are from the future detonation point. Unfortunately, it only worked based on combat log announcements, which got all messed up in 2.4

To make a long story short, Void Reaver becomes a mechanical wuss again because combat log announcements for arcane orbs are coming with patch 2.4.2, allowing a void reaver alarm fix. Woot.

2.4 Patch Release Date: Today is the day

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

European servers have patch 2.4 up. Damn, I knew I should have made a guild, gold, betting pool with 2:1 in favor of today’s date. I could have cleaned up! The enthusiasm over on our guild forums is nuts. I’ve never seen anything like it. Way more excitement than ZA or any previous patch (espeically, lol, wow voice chat).

The funniest thing, is that all of our guildies are basically supporting one another to skip work, call in sick, and jam in the sunwell at 11am PST. Here are some quotes:

“lol i get to go to work and start my new job at a call centre the kicker is im on “TRAINING” so while you guys get to experience 2.4 in all its glory then go into SSC and go OMG!! MY MODS ARENT WORKING!!! *head explodes here* i sit down for 7 hours listen to someone else work for 7 hours lol soooo slack:D my kinda job woot. P.S. im in school to lol im just to hyped up about 2.4 comming out, though i am doing work at the same time lol i just dont want to”

“I’m not going shopping today… I’m not going shopping today…. I’m not going shopping today. God, i’m so bored and still 6 hours to wait :P”

“omg…its downloading….omg…ok…breathe….i can do this….”

“You bad bad employees. Shame on you! I’m pretty tempted myself to be honest…lol”

“*squeels like a little girl waving arms*”

Patch 2.4 is Here!!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

So! It would seem like today’s the day! According to WoW Insider, patch 2.4 is now up on the EU servers, we’ve got extended maintanance today, and the explosion of 2.4 talk seems to be bringing everyone to the conclusion that today’s the big day. And in the wave of excitement that has swept over the WoW community, I wanted to do a quick checkup as to see what we’re actually excited about! With so many changes, some big and some small, which are the ones you’ll be “feeling sick” to get out of your Anthropology lecture to check out??

Here are the top 3 for me:

  • 1. Being able to summon people into an instance. While not the most glorious of patch changes, I think this one has one of the biggest ups for our guild. Often times we have players who have to leave our raids a little early, and while we’ve gotten much better and faster at summoning people in, being able to insta-port them to standing in front of the boss we’re on will save us a ton of time. Yay!
  • 2. All raid bosses dropping Badges of Justice, and all token bosses dropping additional tokens. Anything that helps speed up progression is fantastic. If VR is dropping an extra token, that means one or two less weeks we have to spend farming him - which in hand means one or two more weeks we get to spend on newer, more exciting bosses. People need the gear ups, I know, but the faster the better. Badges also help out a ton for this. Can’t wait to see our whole 25 man raid lined up at the vendor buying the new Badges Chest Pieces!
  • 3. New Dailies. While the whole Sunwell Plateau thing will be neat, and I’m sure I’ll run the new Magister’s Terrace once or twice, it will be such a breath of fresh air to have new dailies! The sooner I can scratch the mind-numbing Simon Says off my list, the better. And according to, the whole group of 9 Shattered Sun Dailies only take about 20-30 minutes. Granted, that’s not taking into account the pure nightmare the ganking is going to be, so please, join me in praying that the Horde won’t be awful.

So, those are my top 3! What are you excited for? And whats the first thing you’ve got on your list when you log on today at 2:01?

2.4 badge loot: better than t5

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

warrior 2.4 badge reward chest

I’m just about toast with all the 2.4 patch notes. I remember back in the day when a patch would just land, and I’d be like, “WTF, why the two hour download.” And Voila! Black Temple arrives. What the hell is that? Heh. Such innocence, naievete…and now all that has changed thanks to you,the demanding readers. Thanks. Thanks, a lot. *scoff

One thing that I had overlooked considering the new patch was badge gear. The last set of badge gear to have landed was nothing special. There were a few interesting gaps filled for some classes, totems & idols, a dodge cloak, etc.. But the expensive 60 and 75 badge cost of the bigger new items made them unattractive compared to slightly worse kara drops. In retrospect, the reason for this has to do with timing. Most guilds are well into kara progression by now. Many have it on farm. The type of items that we saw in the 2.3 patch were waists, gloves, boots. For the most part, these are things that people have. People are drawn to spend badges on expensive items when they are key upgrades, not just incremental upgrades from already good kara loot.

Enter 2.4. Not only is the gear of solid t5 level, but more importantly, the types of gear will fill the gaps for most post-kara raiding players. The danger is that the gear is accompanied by weapons, which I have already heard 12 year old wowers freaking out about. DONT TAKE THE WEAPONS. They are amazing but 150 badges when people should be prioritizing the most key upgrades, namely chest pieces. And here is why.

As an example, how many warriors have you seen going into gruuls with everything purple except for their chest piece? A TON. The only great chest piece in kara is off of nightbane, probably the last boss your guild puts on farm. By the time nightbane is on farm you probably should be moving into 25 mans in a major way and easing off of kara stuff. The way the timing tends to work, warriors often end up getting shafted on chest pieces. Non-tailor clothies have a similar problem.

In addition to solving the awkward chest itemization problem, this gear also makes it possible to keep things moving in your raid progression. Honestly, this was most likely blizzard’s intention by creating chest piece badge rewards. The bosses that drop 25 man-worthy chest pieces are Mag, and Keal’thas (aka, the guild destroyer). Some guilds skip mag until they are well into SSC, other skip him entirely. T4 chest pieces are just not worth the amount of effort that it takes to farm this disproportionatley difficult boss. Then there is keal, who is supposedly so difficult that your guild will probably only kill him a few times before moving into Hyjal. Either way, a handful of your raid at best will see their t5 tokens. Badges now impinge upon that awkward difficulty to get good chests, and allow you to steam-roll past these bosses confidently.

So how good is good. Lets directly compare a few key loots with their t5 counterparts.

To PTR, or not to PTR…

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

So the PTRs came up over the weekend, and anyone who’s been watching the WoW blogosphere knows you can’t go 5 minutes without getting a new set of screenshots, loot drabble, or even newer patch note changes pinging your favorite RSS feeder. And, I feel like all this chaos brought upon the WoW blogging world begs a question: why do people copy over to the test realms in the first place? Is it because they’re so anxious to see the new screenies in person that they’re willing to run around and check out the new quests with no tangible return? Are they truly good samaritans, trying to help Blizzard debug the new material before it gets released? Or am I just overlooking some magical feeling of running around on the PTRs, knowing you’re seeing something before everyone else?


2.4. Patch Notes, the PTR, and You!

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

PTRIt’s that time again! Patch 2.4 should be up on the Public Test Realm sometime this weekend, and the official 2.4 patch notes are up for the viewing! While pouring over patch notes is a blast, here’s the bullet list of what I think are the headliners.

2.4 Patch notes:

  • Sunwell Isle is released, bringing joy to the 0.2% of the WoW community that has Illidan on farm, along with it’s whole slew of new dailies! PvP servers begin plotting Sunwell Isle zone domination!
  • People with enough reputation with Caverns of Time will be able to Teleport from Shattrath to the Caverns of Time in Tanaris, throwing the Mage Teleportation business into chaos
  • Respeccing no longer causes you to forget spec-specific, trained spells, meaning holy/shadow priests and feral/resto druids everywhere just saved a potential 14g per 200g they spend on respecs per week! Woot!
  • Haste Rating can now lower the GCD on all spells to 1 second, should someone have ~2000 haste. Haste will now show up properly on the character sheet.
  • Also, the Sunwell Isle faction will now sell Jewelcrafting recipes to cut gems with +Haste rating
  • Priest will be able to cast Fear Ward in shadow form, meaning they don’t have to waste mana popping out of shadow to toss up a FW. Kewl.
  • Warlocks will now be able to summon players inside and instance, as long as that player meets the instance’s level/attunement requirements. This one is pretty great, actually - no longer do you have to waste 30 minutes waiting for someone to fly back after they realized they forgot to repair….It also means Warlocks need to start getting mats for their Felcloth Bags, since roughly 20 people are going to want summons every raid.
  • (more…)

Mobile warcraft: lvl fishing while on the way to work

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

iphone wowThere are three reasons to guarantee that warcraft in some form will be coming to a mobile platform in the near future. The first is that Blizzard entertainment has been recruiting personnel for a mobile development team for some time now. Positions available as of 1/28/08 include, mobile software engineer and mobile software engineermobile user interface artist, in addition to other mobile dev jobs posted last year.

The second, is that vivendi, the publishing company that owns blizzard, activision, and universal music group, has the large-scale infrastructure to move blizzard content into the mobile domain. The hardest part of mobile development is not the creation of applications. Its the management of digital rights, content sharing, and the overhead from having to partner with content carriers that tend to be traditional phone service providers like verizon, cingular, nokia and only recently, less traditional mobile players like apple computers. The mobile arena requires backing from a major multimedia player like vivendi, making blizzard well-poised to move in the direction of mobile content.

The third reason is what the hell else are they going to do after raking in $1.2 billion dollars in 2007 alone? It doesnt cost that much to make customizable hair cuts and modestly prettier looking fire effects.

So the big question is what to expect from the face of mobile-wowwing in the future. (more…)

WotLK, Death Knights, and a Source of Inspiration?

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Death KnightWith Blizzard 10 months to 2 years away from releasing the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, (note: dates approximated from Blizzard’s track record of releasing patches in a reasonable time frame ;) ), I thought I would take a minute to write about the new introduction of the Death Knight hero class. So far, Blizzard has been rather withholding on info and it’s really just been slim pickings from interviews here and there, but enough has been leaked to start chewing the facts over, and begin planning your first cool, Death Knight-sounding name. Like Kringdorthdor, or Venar’Athaykin, or Gussie Fink-Nottle…

Anyways, here’s the skinny on what Blizzard has let slip about the Death Knight so far:

  • Death Knights can be unlocked by completing a very long chain of quests, most likely only attainable once you hit level 80
  • Death Knights, if unlocked, will not erase or write over your main toon; rather, once you’ve completed the chain,you’ll have the opportunity to begin your separate Death Knight toon which will start off somewhere in the lvl 55-70 range
  • Death Knights will be a melee/magic based class - basically a half-tank, half-warlock
  • Death Knights can wear plate and will have a “Runeblade,” which plays a roll in the spell-casting aspect of the class. While they can wear plate and will be a DPS-tank, they won’t be able to use shields
  • Players will be able to place runes of some sort into their Runeblades, and by tapping into the power of these runes, will cast spells
  • Death Knights don’t have any mana. This new rune mechanic will be the source of all their spell casting
  • Each spell uses up a charge of a rune, and runes will be on some sort of cooldown. The three schools of magic Death Knights will use are “Blood”, “Frost”, and “Unholy”. These are also the three different types of runes which players can plug into their Runeblades
  • As of now, any class/race will have the opportunity to unlock the new Death Knight

All that sounds cool, right? Sure! A funky new class that gets to pwn with some undead summoning and giant glowing swords, and take a hefty beating at the same time. I’m sure we’re all excited to begin that quest chain and scope out our first Death Knight!

But what’s that? You’re starting to feel it too, right? All this is vaguely familiar - there’s some serious deja vu kicking in, no? I felt it too, and I think I’ve figured it out. Big swords, plugging runes/stones into your weapon to make you stronger, swapping different runes out for different spells, but melee too, “hero,” save the world… (more…)

2.4 Patch Notes: more tier tokens

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008


So I’m a day late on this, and the patch notes are all over the wow blogosphere. Its main feature is the introduction of Sunwell Plateau, a raid instance for players rocking out the t6 level of gear, a new area of reputation and daily quests, the increase of daily quest limit to 25, and a new 5-man dungeon where you fight a lighter version of Keal’thas.

K. So new bosses are cool and all. Unfortunately, the majority of us have a long way to go to get into the later 25-man content. The biggest change is that the number of tier tokens that drop from 25-man bosses goes up to 3 per kill. This is AMAZING news. In a gruul night, the difference between six tokens and four basically means that the following scenario is increasingly likely: in two clears there is a good chance that about half of your tanks and heals will have gotten key ups, while DPS will manage to see some loot as well. We want to move through content. To do so, there needs to be ample distribution of loot between all the classes. So far, with two tokens per boss, it always just feels like the raid gets lop-sidded week after week. Now the tanks desparately need to catch up to the DPS. Now the DPS got tokens and the heals got unlucky. As a raid leader you’re pressured to want to put the fix in the system to smooth this out, but then guildies will rightfully call foul. No More. A 50% increase in token drops means moving past key bosses 50% faster. This is BIG.

Also for you people starting 25-mans at the gruul-ish gear level. Doomwalker and DLK, largely ignored bosses that most guilds just do once and check off of their progression list, now have BoE items. Once again this favors faster endgame progression. DLK has some pretty funky stuff, and now you can make sure it goes to the guildies that need it.

Some class changes too:
Ret pallys get a complete retooling as their damage gear gets big ups.
not a big deal. its gonna take a lot to convince me that a ret pally should come on a raid. BUT, this does bode well for our 25-man pally tank to justify being included on more raids to stay at the gear level of the group
PVP UPS: Druid lacerate buff, Warrior endless rage should gen a lot more rag, shaman heals significantly decrease chance of dispell.

Lots of priest changes - fear ward from shadow form, elunes grace castable on target, MAYBE the racial talents like starshards et al. become available to all races

And here’s another biggie, void crystals can be muted into two large prismatic shards. On our server right now (30g shards and void crystals are impossible to sell) this means that our guild bank is about to make 3000g.

Lastly, just for convenience, locks can summon players to the insides of instances. What a prince sub time-saver!