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Posts with tag 3.1

The mystery of the missing Ulduar models


Back at the very end of last year, the folks at MMO-Champion did their usual excellent work in mining up a heap of models from Ulduar. Now that it's six months later, I have to ask: what happened to all of them? Take the sword pictured above. If you've raided Ulduar, you've seen this model wielded by the Twilight's Hammer cultists in the hallway to the Descent Into Madness. Why, then, is it the case that there are four 2h swords available in 10 and 25 man Ulduar and none of them use this model? Furthermore, why do all four of them in fact use the same model instead?

As you can see from the older post, there was an alternative two handed mace model, two more 1h sword models, another crossbow model and an alternate gun model as well. You may not love all of them (our own Alex Ziebart felt that the crossbow model lacked) but you have to wonder, why does every Ulduar gun, crossbow, mace and 2h sword look identical? Why are there only two one handed sword models when there could have been four? Are these models coming in a later instance or are they just there to dress up some NPCs? I actually think that the sword model alternative rocks pretty hard. I realize the mace says 'aspect' instead of 'ulduar' meaning that it might be intended for a later Chamber of Aspects instance, but even so, there was clearly a lot of work making new gear for Ulduar that didn't even get used outside of some NPCs. Any opinions on why we got one model for most drops in Ulduar instead of using some of these?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Expansions, Raiding

The pros and cons of autolooting

Gnomeaggedon has a really insightful post about one of my favorite "hidden" features in patch 3.1. The first time I ran Naxx after the patch, I was a little worried on the first boss that I couldn't loot my badges or Stone Keeper's Shards. But of course, I'd missed it in the patch notes: all of that currency stuff now works like currency should. Whenever one person in the group or raid loots it, everyone gets their own as well. No more forgetting to loot your Badge, as it all goes automatically into the currency screen. Very nice change.

But as Gnomeaggedon says, there are still a few kinks in the program (aren't there always?). Quest items still don't get auto-looted, and since Badges do, that's even less encouragement to go check the loot to see if there's anything you need. He'd also like it if items got autolinked while Master Looter is on -- right now, it's the responsibility of the Master Looter to link and give out items that get looted, and that doesn't always get done clearly. That second one is kind of a good point -- my raid looter does pretty well with showing off items, so I don't really have much of an issue with that, but it would be helpful to see for sure what's in there.

But back to autolooting: the flip side of this is that if Blizzard uses autolooting too much, the game becomes that much more simple -- they already show you where the monster is and how to kill it, and now you want them to give you the loot automatically too? While it would be easier to have quest items sent to your backpack automatically, let's not forget that mobs with loot on them are shiney. It might make sense in raids to do autolooting (since everyone is grabbing for the same quest item), but autolooting while soloing might be a little too streamlined.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Bosses

Spiritual Guidance: Handling Incoming AoE as Discipline


Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. Matt's got awesome raid healing tips to share as Discipline along with some thoughts for dual spec!

The first week of Ulduar is almost done! For those in there, how far have you managed to go? I've found it to be a test and a challenge for not only myself, but for the crew I raid with. Thank goodness for dual spec as it's saved me both time and money for switching between different roles.

I wanted to share a few tip I picked up in my experience so far as a raiding Discipline Priest.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Ensidia downs Yogg-Saron


It was inevitable that someone would down Yogg-Saron pretty quickly, and less than twenty four hours after the patch went live European guild Ensidia have claimed World First on the Death God. Given the non-linear progression into Ulduar, a lot of other guilds were able to pull off world firsts on other bosses. It also seems that Ensidia was focusing on clearing Ulduar in normal mode, as none of their kills were done on hard mode. This means we're unlikely to see Algalon downed this week (not by Ensidia, anyway).

While it came as no surprise that someone killed him, what surprised me was that it was Ensidia. I was betting on Vodka (can I get a 'for the Alliance!' from anyone?) and that they managed to do it while many of the EU realms were having stability issues. Of course, it should be noted that Ensidia was the same guild that cleared all Wrath content three days after its release (they hadn't decided on a name yet).

Boubouille over at MMO Champion has a full raid list and info on some of the loot that dropped, including a rather nice cloak and a piece of that legendary healer mace.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Ranking, Guilds, News items, Raiding, Bosses, Weird But True, Opinions, New In Pop Culture

Extended maintenance for Patch 3.1: the European edition

When I first had a chat with the Big Giant Heads who run WoW Insider and Massively, they were under the impression that I dwell in the future. Sadly not, even if I am on GMT. I had to explain that, no, we don't get patches before North America but rather we have to wait an extra day to enjoy all the new patch goodness.

So it's Wednesday morning in the UK and guess what? Yes we have extended maintenance on all European realms. Hmm, what could this mean? Ah yes, could it be, 3.1.

So all realms, the Armoury, Account Management and the Blizzard Store will be down from 3am until 11am (CET).

Fortunately, there's plenty to be doing while you wait. Personally, I will have the official trailer on repeat. For your convenience you can see it below, and while I agree with Alex that Jaina looks different, I actually prefer her in the trailer! The new character animations look amazing and she in particular finally looks human.

While I make no secrets that I play Alliance, I have to side with the Horde on this one (sorry Daniel)! Varian Wrynn is just becoming xenophobic and paranoid which is not doing any good for Alliance-Horde relations. Indeed I can smell a buildup of testosterone that is bound to come to a head in 3.2 or 3.3 and I can't wait! It is, after all, the World of Warcraft, it's about time the factions remembered they hate each other even if I live in hope that Thrall might eventually hook up with Jaina.

Filed under: Patches, Events, Realm Status, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

3.1 hitting this week? Wryxian drops some hints

EU Blue Wryxian is once again patrolling the forums, dropping hints that patch 3.1 "is coming ... soo ... er ... promptly."

Through crystal-ball gazing, the application of logic and, in some cases, sheer desperation, the general consensus has been that the Secrets of Ulduar patch will be dropping this week.

Europe's favourite Blue appeared on the forums this morning and left a carefully worded comment:

"The patch is definitely coming ... shortly.

"The 'severe lack of info' might simply be because we announced it, gave further details about it, put it up on the PTR for testing and now we are basically on the verge of releasing it.

"We certainly haven't been quiet about it. It is coming. And it is coming ... soo ... er ... promptly."

Regardless, we should know one way or another in less than twenty four hours. So cross your fingers (and toes) for some extended downtime tomorrow!

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Forums

Breakfast Topic: Virtual Pets

3.1 is looming ever closer and most of the players who aren't storming Ulduar are probably going to be hitting Icecrown for the Argent Tournament thanks to the promise of new mounts and, of course, the zone-specific pets!

Now I love pets, I once gave a guildmate all my gold and asked him to go all the way to Netherstorm to get me a Blue Dragonhawk Hatching. Admittedly, I don't have that many and while I normally whip out Frosty or Mini Tyrael when we're in instances, I'm usually found exploring Azeroth with a much simpler pet, my Orange Tabby Cat.

It seems like most of the WoW Insider staff - bar Alex and his roomba thingy - have pets and until two months ago, I had an ancient orange kitty called Jerry (known universally and beloved as The Ginger One). Sadly I had to put him to sleep but being followed by a virtual cat makes me wish we had more personalisation options in game.

Hunters can name and feed their pets but why can't we do the same with our non combat ones? Yes we can brush them, put them on leads and play ball but it's not really the same thing is it? At the same time because I now have a pair of cats, I'd love to be able to summon several kitty minions who would follow me into battle.

Anyway, here's a morning question for you: do you have virtual forms of your real world pets? If yes, do you have a particular one? If you don't, is there a particular non-combat pet you'd like to have? Would you like just one? How about many?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

How to decide who's getting Val'anyr


With Ulduar due to hit in the near future, Tales of a Priest addressed a pretty timely subject for 25-man raiders yesterday with a blog post on Val'anyr and how you're going to assign it. As it's a constructed Legendary like Atiesh rather than being a dropped item like the Warglaives and Thori'dal (sudden thought: why do the caster Legendaries have to be assembled, whereas the melee/ranged Legendaries just drop?), you're going to have to put some time and thought into which one of your healers is going to get this baby first.

It's not exactly the world's most comfortable question for a guild leader, but I like how Derevka lays the issue out so matter-of-factly, and then goes on to address an interesting point concerning Val'anyr's proc. Your ideal candidate is a good healer with great attendance who plans on hanging around for a while, but then there's the question -- which class gets the most use out of the proc?

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Classes

WoW Insider Show live today at 3:30pm Eastern


Oh yes, the official podcast of WoW Insider is back on the air today at 3:30pm Eastern (which is April 4, 2009 3:30 PM EDT -- like what we did there?), and it's going to be a blast. Not only will Turpster be on with us, and I believe Michael "Belfaire" Sacco should also be in attendance, but we're welcoming one of the newest writers on WoW Insider, Mr. Nick Whelan. Nick originally wrote about Warlocks at his blog, Curse of Senility (and still does), but we've recently recruited him to start writing our Blood Pact column, and so today on the show we'll be talking Warlocks: where they are now, where they'll be in 3.1, and where they want to be in general. And we'll also talk about all the most popular posts for the past week, including the April Fools news, the latest on the next big content patch, and where 25-man gear should sit in relation to the 10-man loot.

And of course we'll answer your emails, which you can still send to us at theshow@wow.com. Should be fun. Tune in over on the Ustream page (or just in the second half of this post -- you'll find an embed there) at the time listed above this afternoon, and sit back and let the soothing sounds of WoW Insider raid your ears like so many groups through Naxx. The only epic loot we drop... is knowledge.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Bosses, WoW Insider Show

Encrypted Text: Upcoming Rogue gear in patch 3.1

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we discuss the new gear coming for Rogues in the upcoming patch.

With patch 3.1's steam winding down, I predict its release in the next three weeks. Our most recent change was a simple increase to Deadly Throw's velocity: hardly groundbreaking. We should begin finalizing new builds, and planning our gear upgrade paths.

Between the Argent Tournament, Ulduar, and new PvP gear, Rogues everywhere will be very busy collecting all of the new leather gear that we'll have access to. Read on to find out where to pick up the best upgrades, and how to prepare by stockpiling now. And to any Warriors looking for a wishlist: Sorry guys, leather is for Rogues (& our pictured feline friends)!

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Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Tevri of Shandris royally screws us

Well, say goodbye to patch 3.1, guys. Tevri of Shandris has made sure that the developers will never release it. All those who say Blizzard never listens to its customers, well, here's your proof you're wrong. 3.1 is cancelled. Forever.

In a thread innocently asking when 3.1 would be coming out, Blizzard CM Crygil remarked that it would be out soon. Tevri, in his infinite wisdom, decided that this was, in fact, too soon, and told Crygil as much. Crygil immediately responded that he would inform the devs to cancel 3.1 development.

So, great job, Tevri! Way to royally screw us! My dream of not being able to cast Slow Fall on NPCs has completely disappeared, and it's all your fault.

Tomorrow's Breakfast Topic: How are we going to gank Tevri?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Season 6 PVP sets are a true upgrade

Here's a really interesting followthrough by Blizzard I never thought I'd see. You may remember a thread a few months back where the OP complained that the PVP sets were boring-looking or visually uninspired; Zarhym responded matter-of-factly replied that the looks of the armor sets would improve over time. While PvE players receive loot that was (ostensibly) culled from the sinewy piles of continually larger and more powerful foes, PvP players receive gear crafted by their faction's tailors, smiths, and leatherworkers -- gear made to get the job done. As one became more and more renowned, their gear would reflect said prestige. I imagined that statement meant that the new models for Season 6 gear would be (subjectively) cool-looking and (objectively) different.

Well, MMO Champion has put up a mostly-complete preview of Season 6 gear models pulled from the seedy underbelly of patch 3.1's data files, and I'm a little surprised and a lot impressed.

Yes, you're probably having the initial reaction that I did upon clicking the link above. "These sets look like what's available now," you're saying, brows furrowed, lips pursed. They do look quite similar, but take a closer look. Things have changed!

We talk a lot about upgrades here, but these new sets go beyond stat increases -- the armor has been visibly beefed up, more parts of your body covered, more adornments added, more magic seeping from its seams.

The shaman head and shoulders appear to be morphing from the pebble-smooth surface into something far more menacing. The paladin's armor has become adorned with glowing gems and the neck protected. There's a gradual metamorphosis going on here that really shows what Blizzard was talking about when they said that the PvP set models would improve over time, and I can't wait to see what Season 7 looks like.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King

Ulduar achievements unveiled

Wow. MMO Champion, long trusted to datamine anything that's not nailed down to the floor, brings us the complete (to date) list of Ulduar achievements added to the 3.1 PTR, and yeah. It's long. Blizzard promised us some new achievements for Ulduar, but I wasn't expecting a list THIS long. Or this hilarious.

There are the expected "kill these bosses" achievements, the inevitable "kill these bosses while doing something hard" achievements, silly achievements you'll get without trying, and more. Bear in mind that many of these numbers, and even some achievement criteria, are either incorrect or placeholders. Don't freak out.

The full list is after the jump and is, of course, quite spoiler-heavy, so stay away if you want your Ulduar experience to be as pure as driven snow.

The rest of you, though? CLICK. DO IT. COME ON.

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Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Ulduar on the 3.1 PTR: Kologarn


Intrepid 3.1 PTR reporter Michael Sacco here, reporting for duty and giving you the skinny on all that Ulduar has to offer you. The developers have allowed players into Ulduar to test some encounters, usually one at a time, and they've been steadily gathering feedback each night. Prior to this engagement, the boss that was up was Flame Leviathan, but we've seen him a few times already. I was ready for something new.

Flame Leviathan may give me guns, but I want to go to the gun show. What do you say, Blizzard? How about you give me a boss who exercises his right to bear arms?

Kologarn? Why yes. This will do. This will do nicely. Let me grab Matt "Matticus" Low and my other, less important coworker Alex Ziebart.

This writeup will be spoiler-heavy. If you don't wish to know anything about this or any Ulduar boss, don't click the link below. You've been warned.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

PTR quests show hard-mode progression, Ulduar storyline, Val'anyr



We've been wondering for a while how exactly the Ulduar storyline plays out in 3.1; this may seem a bit silly or lorelol, given how much time is going to be spent running the instance itself or its myriad of raid bosses and hard modes, but I like to know what's driving me to complete an instance beyond phatty purpz.

You can obviously infer a lot from the instance itself and the names of each respective room, but for those seeking a little more information, Wowhead's PTR page has you covered. There were a few quests added in this most recent PTR build that give us tantalizing bits of Ulduar storyline and show Blizzard's intention to create clear progressions -- not only in the 10- and 25-man versions of Ulduar, but a reward and progression path for those blazing a trail in the hard mode versions of each instance. A fine notion indeed.

Oh, and if you wanted to know just how to forge that new legendary mace...

This writeup will be spoiler-heavy! If you don't wish to know anything about the secrets that lie within Ulduar, don't click the link below. You've been warned.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

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