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[1.Local]: The Failoc-alypse edition


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.

I titled this week's [1.Local] on Saturday, in a fit of frustration. At the time, it seemed more than appropriate: "BlizzCon ticket status" (sold out) was still at the top of the WoW.com posts, the comments were seething with queue rage, and I was still smarting from an epic fail at click-refresh for the concert tickets I really, really wanted to score for my vacation week this summer. Gah.

But things are looking up. As it turns out, a lot of folks had a fair bit of fun playing Blizzard's Failoc-alypse game while they sat in the ticket queue. (Give it a try; it's kinda fun, actually.) And speaking of queues, just as I sat down to pop [1.Local] into the post queue, I decided to hit Ticketmaster one last time – and voila! Two seats at a great price, lusciously close to the stage. Take that, Failoc!

Get WoW status updates on Twitter
Wouldn't it be cool if you could get the game's launcher page updates via Twitter? It looks like you can (with a few caveats – read on).

Scyntinth: http://twitter.com/launcherstatus

I've currently got it running locally ... need to move it to one of my servers. Too bad people park Twitter names like domain names :(

blkmasta55555: Made a Twitter account for the EU status using page2rss.com and rsstotwitter.com, no clue if it works or how accurate it is: http://twitter.com/WoWStatusEU

Scyntinth: Changed the account name to mimic blkmasta55555's EU account: http://twitter.com/WoWStatusUS

bum: http://twitter.com/wowalert_us as well /agree with Scynthith -- no good names out there.

AlexW573: I just sent an @wowinsider on twitter, but in case it's missed: http://twitter.com/wowalerts

The Twitter feeds all seem to have some drawback or another. You might want to consider using an RSS feed. Check out other readers' ideas on how to get WoW status updates.

Bolfang and the future of the Horde and the Alliance
At the Wrathgate, we know that Arthas absorbed the soul of Saurfang the Younger into his sword. Evidence also points to the idea that he stole Bolvar Fordragon's body, leading to rampant speculation that we will eventually fight one or both as thralls of the Lich King.

Here's an altogether new idea to consider: Might we also see Saurfang the Younger's soul in Bolvar's body? The [1.Local] gang's opinions were strong, to say the least; there's a lot to think about, from all sides of the issue.

Reader Codexx stepped aside from the Bolvar/Saurfang issue to offer up two thoughts on what he'd like to see in future content.

Codexx: I have two hopes for the future fight in Icecrown.

1: We fight them, Twin Emperors style.

2: The one we fight will be based on our faction, and some of the loot will be like the Argent Tournament loot, same/similar stats, different name and model. Sure, they could both be separate bosses, but that's just padding the instance with filler, though it would prevent issues in my 2nd idea, where one boss becomes a loot pinata and the other a gear check.

I haven't seen the flashbacks yet, my guild seems to quit trying/tanks can't be online whenever we actually put a significant dent in the instance. But the "Immolated Champion" and Arthas "breaking" his Death Knights is at least consistent with the Scourge's Death Knight lore. Not that I would have minded it coming full circle.

I'd also like to point out, that while the Onyxia event in Stormwind is no longer possible, it hasn't been retconned. Phasing would be nice, however. Let lower level players see Bolvar there and let the Masquerade continue until they hit 78.

So, getting back to Bolvar and Saurfang – a plausible connection in the future, or no? Add your two copper to the debate.

Ghostcrawler on the future of five-mans
No matter where five-man instance design is headed, reader Lemons waxed nostalgic for the dungeons of old.

Lemons: Vanilla dungeons just felt a lot more ... like a dungeon! A dungeon doesn't simply have one path to follow; a dungeon has lore and quests and crazy hoops that you have to jump through if you want to make it to the end. And, god forbid, it's actually possible to become lost and frustrated in a dungeon!

Today's dungeons are essentially a short gauntlet. They even managed to make the the massive underground city of Azjol Nerub feel like a claustrophobic hallway.

Sadly, in 3.2, dungeons will take the final step in their devolution: a single room with boss fights. "So uh...what's the lore here? Any keys I need to open secret doors? Should I equip my Onyxia Hide Cloak?" "No, you fight boss now."

New Druid form art in the next patch
New Druid forms! Rejoice! Amidst all the squeezing, Cat noticed a small detail that caught her with her mouth open.

Cat: AND! AND! AND Nethaera posted just after that one confirming that the bears will be able to CLOSE THEIR MOUTHS! Here's the quote, btw:

Also, in the screenshots the bears are roaring, but when just sitting normally, their mouths will close in a toothy grin, so to speak.

Heirloom excitement
Heirloom items are pretty darn cool -- so goes the general opinion. Readers came up with several neat little ideas for possible heirloom item tweaks. Are any of these something you'd like to see?

Benny: Personally I'd like to see an option to make items into heirlooms. We've all got a piece of gear that's our favourite from a lower level that's just useless to use now. I still keep my Sin'Dorei Warblade as a ceremonial sword in my backpack, but it would be nice to get it so its stats scale up to something similar to a low-level 80 item Legendary items should scale as well so that they maintain their awesomeness even with new content patches coming out I just overall feel the scaling mechanic has further use outside of how it's currently being used .

Realmreaver: I agree! mostly ... Legendary should NOT be heirlooms because as they scale they would scale as green level items meaning the next level you'd lose stats not to mention there is no developer in their right mind that would want a legendary weapon scale cause they would make other legendary weapons obsolete. But yes I'd love to turn an old set of greens (dear ord did some of them look awesome) into heirlooms.

kvanje: I wish they could be transferred to the other faction, or even another server - in other words, that they were truly account bound. I level alts for three reasons: to experience a different race, to experience a different class and to have "insurance" against server downtime. Heirlooms lose a lot of their usefulness in this scenario.

Neyssa: I very much like the idea of scaling whilst leveling. However, for non-alts I would make a leveling dungeon set. Like, you pick up the level-scaling legs in some heroic version of Deadmines (make it so that you cannot do the heroic mode with high level character in team). Then, you get the shoulders in Scarlet, etc. It would be a kind of quest line spawning from lvl1-80, and I wish the design could be different my races (I know, making BE hunter / Tauren hunter /troll hunter gear sucks, but wouldnt it be awesome?). It should also provide some advantage for lvl 80 characters, to show off that they did go extra rounds whilst leveling. Some quests could involve using your character skills to the limit, and it would also show that you learned your class in and out while leveling. What do you guys think?

Why Varian Wrynn is a fool
If you care about lore, you owe it to yourself to read the comments following this post (as well as "Why Varian Wrynn is right"). Here's why.

Gryph667: Both articles make solid points. Another instance of Kenobi's "point of view" argument, in that multiple views are "true."

Nellisynthia: There are, of course, two issues at play here. First, the metagame issues -- the story that Blizzard is sharing with us, the mechanics of a World of Warcraft. And this they've done right proper -- we've now got two major powers with firebrands in high leadership positions, and within each a fragmented set of factions with their own agendas. That manner of environment, when it comes to developing story and questlines is extremely rich. Instead of a limited of conflicts and intrigues to choose from there is now more potential directions to develop than you can shake a gnoll at.

Second, once again Blizzard has done a wonderful job at painting everything in shades of gray. Which, again, is a wonderful environment for storytelling. Truth be told stories told in blatant black and white, good and evil, right and wrong tend to not only get stereotypical very fast but they simply tend to be preachy and downright boring. The fact that the current Thrall-Garosh-Saurfang-Wrynn-Jaina-Rhonin conflict has raised so much commotion, with loud, hyperbolic and passionate polemics on all sides of the argument is a testament to Blizzard's storytelling skills. They've managed to get folks to make a some manner of major personal/emotional investment in their story, and not from just from one point of view but on many different fronts.

Don't believe that? Read the responses to this thread. It's right there in black and white. Caught and landed, Hook, line and sinker. Which, all in all, is a very good thing when it comes to a game, especially one that has that oft scorned word "roleplaying" in it.

All that said, of course, doesn't stop the King of Stormwind from being BOTH a strong and vibrant warleader, able to rally a kingdom against the baddies ... AND an idiot who needs someone to stand behind him and clobber him with a two by four every time he opens his mouth.

WoW on Windows 7 RC
And finally, we leave you with a post packed with techie advice on tweaking your system's performance for a better WoW experience. Questions were asked; advice was given. We couldn't possibly pick one single tip to highlight. If you're a tech geek (or if you're looking for advice on cranking up your system), go read.

Remember, don't post your comments here -- visit the original threads to keep the conversation flowing. Until next week!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, [1.Local]

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