Oct 21st 2008 12:41PM Uh, having healed nearly all of the heroics in WotLK as a Discipline Priest, I can tell you that they can heal the 5 man heroics just fine. 10 man runs into Naxx also went well for me in my experience, you just make sure the other healer can do AoE-like healing. Even a "bacon of light" Holy paladin will have a very good synergy with a Disc priest in 10 mans.
Jun 5th 2008 9:24AM There is a bit of difference between the client(WoW 3.0) being released, and Wrath itself being released.
By the time September rolls around, the client probably will have been sufficiently tested that it will be able to go live, even if they have a fair bit of content to add/play test in the Beta at that point in time. Considering the people on the live servers would not have had the Wrath content unlocked simply from the client upgrade. Much like people/accounts without a TBC expansion pack also run the WoW 2.4 client, only without the ability to goto outlands and lacking the zone files for those areas.
Jun 4th 2008 5:43PM The TBC timeline from F&F Alpha to Release does suggest a release date in September/October.
With BlizzCon as a consideration(tinfoil hat time), I halfway suspect they may hold(or otherwise target) release of Wrath to occur the week after BlizzCon(October 14th) in order to allow BlizzCon to serve as a chance for attendee to potentially obtain early copies(BlizzCon editions?) of Wrath and have them signed practically on the spot. Otherwise they deal with the catch-22 of potentially releasing it the week of BlizzCon and having some somewhat unhappy con attendees who would rather be leveling at that point(albeit able to get their stuff signed w/o Blizz needing to go through the logistics of a special early release for con goers).
But going back to the TBC timeline for Alpha-> Release. F&F confirmed on August 23rd, WoW 2.0 went live on December 5th. Roughly 15 weeks later. I'm going to go with the Tuesday of the client leak rather than the earlier dates that can be pulled for the F&F Alpha.
15 weeks from "the leak" is September 2nd. Brewfest for this year is slated from Saturday, September 20 to October 4 which would give them an extra two weeks over and above the TBC time line for the release of WoW 3.0 client. Placing it reasonably within the realm of possibility. The real benchmark on how closely they're adhering to a TBC-like timeline will be seeing when the Wrath Beta testing phase begins. Working from the time of the leak(and the persisting leaks since), I'm halfway expecting the Beta to begin within 7 weeks from its occurrence. (The week of July 8th is my current outlier date for the Beta starting)
I'm kind of surprised the current Alpha testing phase has run as long as it has, given that you would suspect they learned from the previous Alpha and didn't expect it to stay under wraps after the testing phase was expanded to Friends and Family. Meaning a F&F Alpha with a shorter run-time for Wrath than TBC had.
~15 weeks(TBC Beta duration) from July 8th = October 21st... Two weeks after BlizzCon, except this time around we don't Have Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years factoring into development time like it did for TBC so there is probably at least a week that be dropped from that alone, putting that date on October 14th the Tuesday after BlizzCon.
And yet another note:
When the TBC Beta began, the BE and Draenei starting zones were playable(4 zones + 2 city zones = 6 zones).
HFP, Zangarmarsh, Terokkar Forest, Nagrand, and Shattrath were the only playable zones in Outland. (That's 4 more regular zones and another City zone. We're at 8 regular zones and 3 city zones -- Blades Edge, Netherstorm, and Shadowmoon Valley were all added well into the Beta test) The other thing to remember is that "Northrend will be roughly equivalent to Outland in terms of size and scope" according to their FAQ.
Testing for Wrath is also going to be more focused. Rather than people trying to level Blood Elves and Draenei from 1 to 70 in the Beta its going to be people trying to level DeathKnights from 55 to 80. The vast majority of new game content is going to be almost exclusively focused on 70 to 80, with the exception of the new content for Death Knights. I won't be surprised if the testing time for the Wrath Beta actually ends up being less than was seen for TBC. Just as much to test, but more focus on what's being tested = faster turn around.
"Far from ready" is a very very relative thing when you use TBC as the basis of comparison, and can change very quickly in a very short period of time.
Jul 7th 2007 12:42PM Preston, if you actually went to Warcraftrealms.com and read up on what Rollie posted, and in particular the comments from the the Warcraftrealms.com users there. Their general take on it was that Player Activity had been decreasing since January. The kind of data WCR collects is unable to determine the actual number of players/subscribers the game has.
The more amusing thing about how it was reported over here compared to the conclusions drawn over at WCR. By and large, the WCR crowd was expecting things to level off or even rebound in June. The thing that surprised them was the degree of the rebound in player activity that was seen last month.
Jul 4th 2007 6:11PM New numbers from Warcraftrealms.com came out yesterday.
Player activity in the US has been begun to rebound in the US. Having gained 32.7K concurrent users in the US alone over the month of June vs May(where a 25.5K concurrent user decline was observed). WoW is likewise up about 7.2K concurrent users from what was seen in April.
It is, however, still down 22.2K concurrent users from its peak in January.