Filed under: Worldwide Invitational
Each week Arcane Brilliance serves up a big slice of Mage-cake. Of course, Mages have a very different idea of what it means to "bake" and then "frost" something, so Mage-cake might not be quite what you're expecting. Unless of course you were expecting a blackened husk of indeterminate (vaguely Gnomish) origin frozen into a block of ice, in which case you'll get exactly what you thought you were getting.
So last week was fun, huh?
I have to say, I expected some controversy, but nothing like that. My earlier column about how much I love being a Mage got 32 almost universally positive comments, which seemed quite respectable to me at the time. This one, in which I bemoaned what I perceive to be a very fixable problem with the class (the fact that our DPS doesn't balance out our incredibly poor survivability) is at 200 and counting. Reading through them over the course of this week, terrified to post any sort of response lest I be torn limb from limb and devoured, it seemed like there was no middle ground. Responses ranged from "Please consider discontinuing this article from here on" to "I think this is the most well written piece on this site that I've ever read." Of the 200 responses, I'd wager 150 or so were negative.
So what have I learned? You guys prefer optimism. Apparently.
This week, I went in search of things to feel good about. I do still love to play my Mage--much moreso than any other character I have--and I truly want to be optimistic about the direction we're headed as a class. Once I went actively searching for happy thoughts, I found they were out there, in abundance. In fact, many of them were suggested within those same 200 comments.
You see, as it turns out, Frostfire Bolt has the potential to be very, very nice. In fact, Frostfire Bolt could actually change everything. Come back after the jump to find out why.
The recording was conducted by Tallarico, recorded at Abbey Road, and features the Slovak National Orchestra, The Crouch End Festival Chorus, and "the videogame pianist," Martin Leung. The CD will have eleven tracks (full tracklist after the jump), and will feature music from a slew of terrific videogame soundtracks, including our own Warcraft series (and Civ IV, which is probably the best music I've ever heard in a videogame, ever). EMI plans to release the CD in America on July 24th, and in Europe and the rest of the world on August 20th. It should be available for digital download right now in the UK, and an iTunes exclusive release will be available on the 20th.
Sounds like an amazing recording -- fans of Video Games Live will certainly enjoy it. You can see the full tracklist below.
If you missed the WoW PvP action at the Worldwide Invitational, now's your chance to catch up. Selections from the 3v3 Arena Tournament action in Paris, including the final match between Council of Mages and Improved Clicks, are now available for download at the WWI tournament page.
If you're interested in improving your PvP game, it's amazing how much watching videos of good players in action can help. You learn a lot about how to use your class, and how other classes operate when you look at them from a 3rd person point of view and watch for patterns.
- Turpster talked with us about WWI, what he thought of the big event in Paris, what it was like to play a Death Knight, and why he thought it was even better than last year's BlizzCon (including why this year's BlizzCon might be even better).
- Kyle spoke with us about being a player who's just now getting back into WoW, and what he's excited for in the next expansion.
- We talked a little bit about TCG cards, and whether it's fair for Upper Deck to give away the TCG loot.
- Mages didn't get a lot of news during WWI, so we chatted about what they might get before Wrath of the Lich King.
- We talked about the timing of the beta, and what the plan is for the rest of the Wrath release.
Thanks for listening as always, we'll see you next week.
Last weekend, the World Wide Invitational rocked our world with tantalizing news about the next expansion... and of course Diablo III, but this column isn't called "Diablo, Casually" or "Blizzard Fangirl" so we'll just talk about Wrath of the Lich King. The amount of information we gleaned from the WWI is pretty overwhelming, so let's just go over the items that I think affect those of us with limited playtime.
First of all, I think the biggest news was for the individual classes, so check out the news from the Dev panel. As a Druid, my 5-man instance viability will improve with indoor Entangling Roots and the possibility of an out of combat res. Many of the changes will make it easier for us all to find groups faster which means we can get more done in the blocks of time we have to play.
Each week, Arcane Brilliance puts a Mage-related joke at the beginning of a column about Mages. This week, though, after the class panels at the WWI, Arcane Brilliance is not in a joking mood.
Warriors are unique in that they are the strongest, most durable melee class, can use all of the biggest and best weapons and armor in the game, and make highly-sought-after tanks.
Rogues are unique in that they can Stealth past almost anything, are downright impossible to hit at times, and can contribute incredibly high single-target DPS in groups.
Druids are unique in that they can shape-shift into awesome animal forms that amount to slightly lesser versions of several other classes, can be excellent tanks, DPS, and healers, have incredible buffs, and are the single most annoying Arena class in the game.
Priests are unique in that they can be both an incredibly effective caster DPS class as well as the best (and surprisingly durable) pure healing class, while providing some of the best buffs around.
Hunters are unique in that they can tame their own pets, then use them to tank for them while they sit back and provide top-tier ranged DPS.
Paladins are unique in that they are the only healing class that can wear plate, can perform the duties of the best multiple mob tanking class, the best single-target healing class, or an effective melee DPS class. Also, they have a bubble.
Shamans are broken currently, but will soon have some of the best raid-wide buffs in the game via their totems, and are still sort of unique in that they can spec to provide both melee and caster DPS, as well as very nice healing, and have an incredibly nice panic button.
Warlocks are unique in that they can provide what is possibly the best caster DPS, both single-target and AoE, have Life Tap, which makes their mana almost never-ending in groups where they have a healer willing to throw them a heal every now and again, have a pet which can add to their DPS, tank for them, destroy casters in PvP, or provide CC.
Mages...Mages are Warlocks without pets.
Ok, to be entirely fair, we can also make food and open a portal to Shattrath at the end of every instance.
Mages need help (Shamans need help too, but Arcane Brilliance isn't a column about Shamans). Come back after the break and we'll talk about what needs to be done.
Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Classes, Buffs, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational
You may remember that we recently told you that Worldwide Invitational attendees would be receiving a Tyrael pet as part of their goodie bag haul as soon as patch 2.4.3 went live. The PTR servers when down for a little bit of an update a while ago, and when they came back up, WoW Insider commenter Darkra came through with the picture of my new favorite pet, which you can see above.
It's actually pretty strange, he looks both cute and bad ass at the exact same time. I'm not sure how it pulls it off, but I suppose that's just the awesomeness that is Tyrael. Congratulations to all you WWI attendees on what is surely the coolest non-combat pet to date, and for those of us unlucky enough not to make it to the WWI in person, let the Ebaying begin!
The identity of the free pet that Worldwide Invitational Paris attendees received with a code in their goodie bag has been a closely guarded secret, with the identity not known even at the WWI itself. Yesterday, Bornakk broke the silence on the pet and announced that after patch 2.4.3 goes live, WWI attendees will be able to turn in their pet codes for their own miniature version of Diablo's Archangel Tyrael!
Tyrael, as you may remember, is an angel that assists the Horadrim -- and later the heroes of Diablo 2 -- in fighting back the Prime Evils as they attempt to assault and take over the world of Sanctuary. He is one of the few angels who will directly assist humanity in fighting Hell, even when he is specifically forbidden from interfering by Heaven itself. He eventually destroys the Worldstone after Baal corrupts it at the end of the Lord of Destruction expansion.
Mounts and battlegrounds
Answering a question about water mounts, Jennie said that they don't seem to be in the works. Still, you can get your H2O kicks with the non-player-controllable boats in Lake Wintergrasp. Another questioner asked whether the flying combat mounts will take damage. Some of these combat mounts will have shielding to protect the player from damage, but the mount will take damage instead.
Consensus in the chat was that there is a lot of excitement around the idea of being able to kill Arthas, the Lich King, even if it takes up the same progression as Kil'Jaeden currently does in TBC. The hope is that Frostmourne will drop, but the consequences of getting the sword are not yet known. Will it corrupt the player and take away stats? Will players become the new Lich King if they pick it up? We'll have to wait and see.
That's just one of the questions awaiting an answer for us in the post-Wrath world. Another came from a chat question about whether there would be any future for the Warcraft franchise after Arthas is dead. From what our bloggers have heard, there's no standing still for the franchise. Turpster says, "I think a favourite King of mine might be making a return to a Stormy City!"
- What Turpster is up to -- we talked live with him directly from Paris about what he thought of the convention and what he'd seen out there.
- The announcement of Diablo 3, and what is isn't (an MMO or a console game)
- All the class changes that we saw on Saturday, including Warriors' Titan's Grip, Shamans' Hex, and Warlocks' Demonform, and what they meant for each class.
- And finally, what Blizzard meant exactly by that little talent trees comment they threw in on one of the panels.
Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to hit on any email because of all the amazing WWI news, but that's OK, because we'll just talk about twice as much of it next week. If you want to ask a question or have a comment for us, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you might even hear it on next week's show. We do this every Saturday at 3:30pm over on WoW Radio, so tune in next week to hear more commentary and insight about all the news from the last week of WoW.
To sum up the spell, Hex transforms its target into a critter. It's fast, just short of an Instant -- Hex has a .5 second cast time. Here's where things get a little more confusing, and where some of the "what the..?" starts. According to some sources, the specifics of the spell read "while moving the hexed target cannot attack or cast spells." That means your victim can either walk, or they can fight. They can't do both at once, but they can still act. From Tom Chilton's description of the spell, a mob will likely completely freak out and be erratic. I took that to mean, however, that a player might be a frog -- but it'd still be pumping out damage or heals while ribbiting at you.
In this sense, "Hex" isn't really crowd control -- it's a more a kind of debuff. It forces the subject to be either rooted in place, or unable to cast or attack, but it leaves the choice of which up to your victim. A new spell is still good news for the Shaman class, but it isn't quite the good news we have been hoping to hear.
The answer from Tom Chilton was predictable -- without crowd control in its various forms, Arena matches become little more than DPS races. Crowd control (and its cousin line of sight) helps Arena fights take a little longer, and introduces viable strategies that are based all around controlling the other team. (As opposed to just blowing them to heck.) But the forums are alive - alive! - with complaints about Cyclone, Sap, Sheep, and hell, even Scatter Shot. No sir, folks don't like crowd control. Often, it seems like they'd rather get killed than sheeped.
I think it comes down to a pretty basic thing -- we have fun in these games by controlling our characters. Anything that jeopardizes the control of our characters on either a short-term or a long-term basis is therefore anathema. No one wants to stand there, helpless, while some Rogue performs their billionth stun on you. It seems to me (in my rosy-glassed retrospect) that we heard less complaints about insta-kill POM+Pyro than we do about a 3 second stun.
Your mileage may vary, but I think until Blizzard finds some way around that dichotomy -- CC is good for interesting fights, bad for fun -- we're going to continue to see tumultuous forum fights about the issue. I'm forced to agree with Chilton -- crowd control adds a layer of strategy and depth to the tactics of the Arena. Still, I hope they do something about it.
Good Tuesday Morning everyone! We have a long maintenance ahead of us today, from 3AM to 11AM PDT. This downtime is in part to install new hardware on the Dunemaul realm in preparation for Wrath of the Lich King. Adam speculated a bit on what it may mean for the release date, but what it means in the short term is that those of us who play around now have to find something else to do.
Since we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 hours to wait until we can play WoW again, this is the perfect time to do a little bit of browsing on WoW Insider. Here's a recap of just some of the great content from the past week.
The World Wide Invitational was the big event of the weekend, of course, and there we had a team on the convention floor gathering all the news. You can check out our giant WWI roundup for all the liveblogs and reports on the class panel, the PvP panel, the dungeons and raids panel, and the Q&A panel, and event coverage. You'll also find extensive analysis of all the information broken down by class and subject. We also have a peek at the WWI goodie bag and videos from the Turpster! Check the roundup for all of it.
In addition, we posted even more Worldwide Invitational news and analysis on Monday:
Take a peek at the WWI's playable Death Knight demo, complete with sneak peaks at all 3 talent trees.
Get a look at the Oculus, one of the instances previewed at the dungeons and raids panel.
Get a look at the new battleground coming our way in WoTLK.
A German CM at the WWI may have let WoW's beta release date slip.
Amanda Dean breaks down the results of the WWI's 3v3 Arena tournament.
Despite some people's predictions, there was no Wrath cinematic at the WWI. When will it show up?
While WWI did take up a lot of everyone's time and imagination this past week, there was other non-WWI news to be had... for example, the splash screen that appeared in the days before WWI!
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This has been an exciting week for World of Warcraft news and rumors. Blizzard has been hosting two major events Blizzcon and the World Wide Invitational. These events are a hotbed of information about WoW and other Blizzard Entertainment games. Here at WoW Insider we work hard to keep you on top of all of the latest developments in our beloved game. I'm sure you were aware, but this past weekend saw Blizzard's World Wide Invitational in Paris, France. Let's take a look at the kinds of information that we receive.
We did not get the piece of information that I was most hoping for: A release date for Wrath of the Lich King. Not even a beta date. Now there are a number of websites that have pre-order dates for Wrath, but none of them can be trusted as an actual estimation. We will get our new expansion "when it's ready." Blizzard is the only trustworthy source of this information. We will get that bit of information out as soon as it's available from the source.