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Rolling restarts for January 23rd, 2010

It looks like we have some quick play disruption coming our way this Saturday morning, as Blizzard has announced rolling restarts for all realms at 5 AM pacific, or Noon pacific for Oceanic Realms. Judging by Ghostcrawler's words in a recent thread, this is likely meant to jump start the resilience hotfix.

Either way, if you're one of those folks weird enough to get up early on a Saturday morning, you may as well grab another hour or sleep or so, since you may not be able to jump on WoW for a 15 minute window. There's still no word on Tuesday's downtime, so maybe we were spoiled by the past couple of weeks. Then again, maybe they're just seeing if they can get that minor patch ready for a release this week too. Either way, keep it here, and we'll keep you informed.

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Phat Loot Phriday: Cryptmaker

I've had a number of requests for caster DPS staves lately, so I decided to highlight Cryptmaker, which isn't actually a caster DPS staff at all so I have no idea why I chose this particular intro. Rather than dwell on it, let's move on with our lives.

Name: Cryptmaker
Type: Two-Handed Mace
Damage: 848 - 1273 Damage, 294.6 DPS (938 - 1407 Damage, 325.7 DPS)
Speed: 3.60
Attributes:
  • 169 Strength
  • 185 Stamina
  • One red socket and one blue socket
  • Improves hit rating by 95
  • Increases your armor penetration rating by 100

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Phat Loot Phriday

The Queue: Catnap


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco be your host today.

I am tired, folks. Here is your Queue.


D-Back asked...

"What happened to AAFL? Is Sacco slacking off now due to his new Editor title and new shammy column? I enjoyed the AAFL articles."

Ask a Faction Leader is, for serious, coming back this Tuesday. Vol'Jin will be the titular faction leader. Email your questions to sacco@wow.com, subject line "AAFL".

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Filed under: The Queue

Insider Trader: Building the better bank alt

One of the fine points of professions and Auction House trading is what's commonly referred to as your "bank alt." The art of creating a bank alt is founded mostly on personal preference, but there are still some fundamentals that will give your bank alt a little extra oomph.

There are a few reasons to have a bank alt. First, bag and bank space. Since you don't want to "flood the market" with any given particular item (because that drives prices down), you might need to put some items in cold storage until the market stabilizes. While your main character's bankspace might be gargantuan, most people find the additional bag and bank space of a bank alt attractive.

Second, if you're a member of a social guild, having a bank alt lets you focus briefly on the Auction game. Many players check their auction mail before they go to work, and don't want the awkward social action of ignoring their fellow guild peers when only on for a very short time.

Third, there's an inalienable style to the bank alt. Even now, WoW.com is cruising for submissions for the most stylish, awesome bank alts out there. It's a subculture in WoW. As Penny Arcade once so brilliantly illustrated: "Naked they run, level 1 banks: Clark Kents of Azeroth."

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Filed under: Insider Trader (Professions)

How not to aggro your tank with AoE

Reader UnstØppable writes in with a question I thought would benefit others: "Does the Bladestorm aggro problem ever get better? What I mean is, I've seen it countless times, the arms warrior enters the dungeon, the tank lets out a sigh (sometimes it's me), we pull the first group and everything goes fine, until he hits that Bladestorm button. That's when somehow he manages to pull aggro from every mob and their mom and makes both the healer's and the tank's lives hell or usually ends up dying within seconds."

Part of the problem here is that certain classes/specs have no aggro dump or reduction ability and as a result their big DPS moves generate a lot of threat. Arms warriors, most DPS death knights (at least the blood and unholy specs I've used) and retribution paladins have limited aggro reduction at best (pallies at least have Hand of Salvation but that's a band aid at best) and while tanking threat (especially AoE tanking threat) requires ramp up time, it's very easy to hit the Divine Storm, Death and Decay, Pestilence, Whirlwind or Bladestorm buttons. (Enhancement shamans with Spirit Weapons seem to be okay, I rarely pull aggro even when I go nuts with Fire Nova.)

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Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight

Ready Check: Festergut and friends

Now that you've conquered the tragic hero-turned-evil Deathbringer Saurfang, the path is clear for you to go into the Plagueworks. This is where some of the slimy, funky, icky creatures serving Arthas keep their truly hideous and nasty creatures."Slimy" really is the word here, as the whole area just seems... moist.

In a small break from normal operating procedure, I want to talk a little about the trash on the way to your first boss. The trash in Icecrown Citadel is fairly awesome, and worth a little bit of description. As soon as you enter the main spire, you're going to find these jets of blue smoke shooting from the walls. It's worth noting that you shouldn't stand in them, or you'll die. Rogues can disarm these traps fairly handily.

Jump behind the cut and let's start looking at Festergut and his wonderful array of friends.

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Filed under: Ready Check (Raiding)

Icecrown Citadel: Crimson Halls hotfixes

Even though Crimson Halls has been open for about half a week, a series of hot fixes have been applied today. Most of the fixes posted by Bornakk are applied to Blood Queen Lana'thel. I have to admit though, the bug where the Kinetic Bomb could trigger Blood Queen Lana'thel during the Blood Prince Council encounter did make me chuckle. I'm glad that's been resolved as well.

  • Blood Queen Lana'thel will only be available after the Blood Prince Council is defeated.
  • Blood Queen Lana'thel's Essence has a longer duration.
  • Kinetic Bombs no longer aggro Blood Queen Lana'thel during the Blood Princes encounter.
  • Blood Queen Lanathel should no longer cast Vampiric Bite on pets.
In addition, Daelo posted another set of fixes for the Blood Princes encounter:
  • Prince Keleseth will no longer melee players. So if you get knocked into Keleseth or happen to move by him, he won't swipe in between his casts and kill a non-tank.
  • The first Shadow Resonance should appear earlier in the fight, which will allow the Keleseth tank to have more orbs on him or her if Keleseth is empowered second instead of third. We didn't want which Blood Prince was empowered second to be a major element of the difficulty in the fight.
  • We reduced the melee damage for the Princes by 10% for the 10 player difficulty. They were doing less damage than the 25 player before the hotfix, but this change lowers the damage further.
  • Empowered Flames will now run out of power after shooting fewer firebolts in the 10 player difficulty. We did not change the initial impact damage.
Valnoth states that the Essence duration was lengthened because the developers didn't like the idea of sacrificing a player to get through an encounter. As a healer, I'm inclined to agree. I hate it when I have to stop all heals on a player in order to progress through a counter. It just goes contrary to everything my character stands for.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Raiding

Drama Mamas: We hate hate

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

The other night, one member of a random PUG The Spousal Unit was in announced exactly which bosses would be downed. He stated that any disagreement would cause something on his body to be put into something on your body -- only he used slightly more graphic words. The run was fine, because, though his method of communication was crude, it did convey a strategy that worked.

There are some, however, who are being crude and offensive in the same way that creeps in college libraries reveal themselves to solitary students. These poster children for GIFT (Note: The link for GIFT is not safe for work. But if you are not familiar with Penny Arcade's theory about the internet, you really need to go there.) aren't criminals in the legal sense of the word, but they do have victims and therefore I will call them perps. Who knows what motivates them. Maybe they are troubled teens who have terrible home lives and should be pitied. I don't know and honestly I don't care. I'm too busy spending my sympathy on Haiti to include these jerks in my monkeysphere. And besides, at some point you have to take responsibility for your actions, regardless of how horrible your environment is. This week, we talk about these GIFTed perps.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Mobile version of the site back up and running

We've been getting tips from people for several days that i.wow.com, the version of the site for users surfing from mobile devices, has been continuously redirecting to the regular webpage. That's obviously not something we want it doing, but our editors have been on the case. It looks like the problem was part of a network-wide issue that should be fixed now, so for anyone out there surfing from an iPhone or other mobile device, you should now be experiencing considerably less frustration (until you read one of my articles, but that's Working As Intended).

If you'd like to check WoW.com from a mobile device, just remember to bookmark and use either i.wow.com (optimized for iPhones) or m.wow.com while you're surfing. Either should make it considerably easier to navigate the site on a small screen!

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, News items, Hardware

WoW Moviewatch: I'm MT - Season 2 - EP03


It's been a while since we've looked at the wonderful series, I'm MT. The series has obviously progressed pretty well, and the characters continue to be heartfelt and adorable. The animation style is still fun to watch, and our hero now seems to have levelled up into the twenties.

The opening segment for I am MT - Season2 - EP03 is absolutely fantastic. The call out to the Super Mario games is an inspired choice, since it calls out to the roots of gamers everywhere. I even found the final gag to be pretty amusing, since it still exemplifies the slapstick humor of the main character.

Watching the video, I was pleased to see the new, wide variety of characters that have been added to the show. There's a new troll, of course, but you also get to see the author's interpretation of the Alliance as well. I am MT - Season 2 - EP03 is a fairly long movie, clocking in at about a half hour. But if you've got the time to check it out, I think you'll find it worth it.

Click here to see it for yourself.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


Filed under: WoW Moviewatch