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Posts with tag Patch-2.4

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.4 -- Fury of the Sunwell

Fury of the Sunwell logo
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

On March 4, 2008, Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons & Dungeons, passed away. A few weeks later, Blizzard dedicated the final and meatiest patch of the Burning Crusade expansion to Gary's memory.

Unlike the raid- and druid-centric patch 2.1, the big nothing of 2.2, or the old world revamp (and another raid) of patch 2.3, Fury of the Sunwell had boatloads of new endgame content for everyone. Blizzard also provided a trailer for the patch that showed the history of the Sunwell and revealed Kael'thas' diabolical plan.

Redefining realm-wide events

Kael'thas had to be stopped. The naaru convinced the Scryers and the Aldor to work together, forming a new faction to retake the Sunwell at the Isle of Que'Danas. The Shattered Sun Offensive represented a massive evolution of the realm-wide event concept after the very popular Gates of Ahn'qiraj event ushered in the idea. Daily quests, introduced in The Burning Crusade, were the key.

The Gates event required players to gather and turn in crafting supplies. Though you certainly felt like a contributor by forking over dozens of stacks of cloth, the gameplay aspect was lacking. Only one guild per realm could participate in the complete quest line.

On Quel'Danas, everyone could experience the story as it played out. Instead of turning in items, your realm earned credit toward the next phase of the event when players completed dailies. Rather than a one-time event, the phases changed and unlocked different parts of the island to show the Offensive's progress. Eventually the united Scryers and Aldor built a town, complete with a blacksmith for repairs, alchemy lab, portal, and statues to honor the fallen. Each new phase also brought new dailies and new rewards that could be purchased with gold and "badges" (TBC's equivalent of valor points). All of these changes were permanent, so you didn't have to log in on a specific day in order to enjoy them.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Alternative leveling in the Isle of Quel'Danas

Alternative leveling in the Isle of Quel'Danas
I'm bored of Northrend. It is beautiful and has lovely music and is full of lore and I'm bored. It's the new Outland for me and my alts. Other ways to level abound, of course, but they all have their drawbacks and are various levels of "Been there; done that." as well. So I took Tizzi, the bored goblin mage, to a place where my aged druid spent many grindful days: the Isle of Quel'Danas.

We complain about dailies now, but Quel'Danas (also known as the Sunwell Isle) was the land of too many dailies for our quest log. Grind, grind, grind we ancient Burning Crusade players did, so we could be of the Shattered Sun and get some lovely loot besides. When Quel'Danas was the in-thing, everyone was max-level, so there was no XP -- just the cash, gear, and camping. Oh, so very much camping.

The Isle of Quel'Danas is vacant of players now, but is otherwise unchanged. It resides in a bubble in time, much like Outland, and the NPCs are still there to give quests or be slaughtered.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade

Shifting Perspectives: A history of feral weapons

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we visit a now-vanished world.

Once upon a time, feral druids had their own specialized set of weapons. This was very good, because it meant that you weren't rolling against half the raid when an upgrade dropped. This was also very bad, because it meant that 98% of the game's weapons were completely useless for us.

This was before the dark times. Before gear consolidation. Before every two-bit jackass with a hard-on for agility thought himself entitled to the armory of the game's noblest class.

They were elegant weapons for a more civilized age.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

The Queue: Blood and glory


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's (almost) daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

I was going to kick off today's edition of The Queue by embedding Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling (slightly NSFW) since I mentioned it was a guilty pleasure of mine on yesterday's Moviewatch. Unfortunately, the official Black Eyed Peas Youtube channel disabled embedding and I'm not going to be a jerk and hijack it from somebody else's channel. So you get a Dragon Age screenshot instead. Hooray! Blood!

No, we're not getting paid to plug this game constantly. We're just nerds. Nerd gamers. This is what we do.

Ilmyrn asked...

"Any word on whether we'll ever see a non-Arena frost wyrm mount?"


Well, there's a frost wyrm model in patch 3.3, but I assume that's to go with the latest arena season. So I'm going to say... no. The Gladiators get Frost Wyrms, the PvE players get Invincible.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Inscription, The Queue, Cataclysm

Patch 3.3 PTR: Behold Quel'Delar


If you remember back to our Quel'Delar post (I know it was a different world back then) here's the sword itself, according to World of Raids. The sword definitely appears to bear a certain kinship to Quel'Serrar in terms of its appearance. We've also had reports in the comments that the Quel'Delar quest chain involves the Sunwell in some way - picking up where patch 2.4 left off, perhaps? The more we learn about this sword, the more interesting it becomes. Is it a trick of the Lich King? The famous Runeblade left behind by the Sunstrider dynasty? As of yet, all we have are tantalizing glimpses. I personally hope to get to see more soon.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Instances, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

The Queue: You are slightly more prepared than you were


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

That's a trailer we haven't seen in awhile, huh? It's relevant today, I promise! Besides, a little nostalgia is always fun. If I have one grievance with Wrath of the Lich King's cinematic, it's that they didn't give us an incredibly corny catchphrase to spout for nearly two years.

Discolando asked...

"Is there any substance to the rumor I've recently read that patch 3.3 will contain another yet unknown raid instance, and patch 3.4 will contain Icecrown Citadel? It does seem more logical to 'finish' the expansion with the advertised antagonist instead of a deux ex machina like patch 2.4 gave us."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Disappointment with the patch 3.1 game world

The last few days I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out why I'm not particularly enjoying Patch 3.1 when I'm doing something besides raiding Ulduar. I should be enjoying it! When I first checked it out on the PTR, I was extremely excited about it. The Argent Tournament especially. The whole jousting deal, the Arthurian themes, the potential for story progression, the whole thing. It looked great! Unfortunately... I'm finding it pretty boring.

The Argent Tournament feels lifeless. Completely and utterly lifeless. I say it all of the time, but patch 2.4 was my favorite patch of World of Warcraft thus far, no contest. Patch 2.4 brought me more joy than even the Wrath launch. Not only did it have content for absolutely every aspect of the game, but it also actually changed the world. Storylines progressed in an in-your-face way. Sure, patch 3.1 moved the Ulduar and Yogg-Saron story forward, but would you know it if you didn't read fansites or watch the patch 3.1 cinematic? What's different? What indicator is there that something new is happening in the Storm Peaks?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Lore

Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect


Here at WoW Insider we don't always agree with each other. Whether it's debating the merits of various tanks on different encounters, the damage difference between pure and hybrid DPS classes, the ideal function of a particular healing class in raids, or the superiority of cake over pie, our back-channel discussion tends to be pretty interesting.

Eliah Hecht's article "25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear" sparked a lot of great discussion with our readers and, I think, some illuminating poll results as well. The majority of responders believed that giving 10-man and 25-man raids the same loot table would result in a significant drop in popularity for 25-man raiding. Overall, I tend to agree with this, but I also think that Eliah touched on something that speaks to Blizzard's evolving sense of game design, much of which is evident in the transition between late Burning Crusade and Wrath.

I would like to call this the Sunwell effect, or "ingame rationality." To wit: don't incentivize players to behave in a manner contrary to your actual design interests. I believe this played a huge role in the differences between BC and Wrath raiding, and that it underlies why the 25-man loot table has to remain superior to its 10-man counterpart.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Raiding

The Queue: Vanilla Coke edition

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

Hey, everybody! How's your Friday afternoon so far? Mine is full of rain and Vanilla Coke. Mmm. Delicious Vanilla Coke. You know, I'm definitely a Mountain Dew man, and Voltage is my lifeblood, but some days you just want something else. I couldn't drink Vanilla Coke every day, but cracking one open now and then? Caffeinated heaven.* Now, if I can just find my dentures, I'll start answering your questions...

Hellscreamy asked...

A few days ago I read in one of the posts that Noblegarden would be getting new achievements, items and events. Is there any indication at the moment (PTR or otherwise) that this will count towards the 'What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been' achievement?

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

WoW, Casually: Top 5 casual improvements in 2008


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime.

2007 truly was the year of the casual, but 2008 continued the trend of Blizzard developers to make more content accessible for those of us with limited playtime. The biggest patches for us (and everyone else) were 2.4 and 3.0.2. And there was that little expansion that happened. Overall, there is more for us to do in less time. Here is my list of the top 5 WoW improvements for us this past year.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW, Casually, Achievements

Totem Talk: 2008, a Shaman Odyssey

Right now, as I type this I'm imagining Conan O'Brien's old "In the Year 2000" bit, which they kept doing way past 2000. This really has nothing to do with the shaman class, except that it's funny to imagine an orc in Earthshatter holding a searing totem to his face and doing it. Hey, it's New Years, I was up late, you're going to have to accept that my already tenuous grip on reality is a trifle frayed today.

2008 was an interesting year for shamans. When we covered 2007 for shamans, the general consensus for the class was that it needed some work. Now, a day into 2009, did it get the work it needed? Wrath of the Lich King has really only been out for over a month, but it (and the patch preceding it) more or less dominated the year for every class, shamans included. However, the year started off with another big content patch which more or less dominated everything up until the release of Wrath, namely Fury of the Sunwell. It's fair to say that most shamans didn't get to raid Sunwell (although they were in demand for Sunwell raiding guilds, which we'll discuss) but almost any shaman who was level 70 could do the various Sunwell dailies, get to exalted and pick up a nice necklace or three as well as various other pieces for your offsets.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King

Encrypted Text: From brute to assassin, 2008 in review

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. In this special edition, we cover the top 10 changes of 2008.

We've been through a lot in 2008. I hit 70 on my current Rogue last January, and so I have paid keen attention to the patch notes and blue posts right alongside many of you. I was excited to reach the level cap on my blood elf; Rogues were at the height of their power. Season 3 and Season 4 of the arena season saw us demolishing every non-healing class in representation. None even dared to consider rivaling a Rogue with a pair of Glaives in any DPS contest.

However, due to Blizzard's hesitance to drastically change any balance issues before WotLK's release, we essentially had one PvE spec (20/41/0 Combat) and one PvP spec (20/0/41 Shadowstep). While there were always Rogues experimenting on the fringe with new specs, 90% of Rogues fell into one of these two buckets.

Both were brute force builds, designed to smash things with very slow maces or swords; and not even very creatively with that. We excelled in the arena due to our mobility and infinite energy pool, we ruled in PvE due to the overbudgeted weapons and leather in the Tier 6 dungeons. There was no finesse, no grace, no elegance outside of flashy moves (like vanishing a Death Coil). We were around to spam Sinister Strike until the boss died and spam Hemorrhage until the Druid finally ran out of mana.

WotLK has fixed all that. Read on as we cover the top 10 changes that helped us move from mindless button smashers into the deadly swans we have become.

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Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Classes, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: The Druid of 2008


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author is completely spaced out on cold medication, and is somewhat concerned that her raid performance has improved under the circumstances.

The time has come (the Allie said)
To talk of many things.
Of Roots and Bash and Travel Form,
And Strength (which scales with Kings).
Why Tauren cat form sucks so hard,
And whether trees have wings!

And, yes, before anyone asks, I'm tripping on too much cough syrup and ibuprofen after receiving a belated viral Christmas gift from a relative. So I'll just put this out there right now; this column's probably on the weird side. I took a long look at all three Druid specs over 2008 and saw a few sad things, a few happy things, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants, and now I'm channeling the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust," and that has to stop because I do not believe Mary Tyler Moore ever played a Druid.

If you're completely uninterested in reading an account of any spec that's not your own -- although that would make me weep into my little cup of generic label cough syrup -- here's a set of quick links to each:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, The Burning Crusade, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: The best and worst of 2008



Each year, Arcane Brilliance cooks up 52 columns about Mages, each one roasted at precisely the right temperature for precisely the right amount of time (usually a couple hours on Saturday morning over a soggy bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, to be honest). As we arrive at the 52nd week of 2008, Arcane Brilliance would like to thank each and every one of the Mages who come here every weekend to celebrate our wonderful class by reading a giant, well-cooked wall of text. Arcane Brilliance would also like to say to the Warlocks who come here to mock us and drink our delicious tears, "We hope your felhound eats you."


Wow, so 2008, huh?

A lot of things happened this year, right? Crazy.

We here at Arcane Brilliance thought that since next week's column will be posted in 2009, we should take a moment this week to remember the year that was, and what it meant to all of us who walk the path of magic. There were some pretty high highs, and some exceptionally low lows, so we figured it would be fun to throw the highs into a ring with the lows and let them fight to the death. Join us after the break to see who wins!

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask A Beta Tester: Spirit, AoE, and raid loot


I'm going to start off this AABT by stealing a question that Alex actually took last time, mostly because I started laughing when I read it yesterday. I have, oh, conservatively, billions of Wrath screenshots on my hard drive at this point, but there's one I remember all too well.

Marathan asks...

Some time ago, there was a talk about new player character models for Wrath - and even some bugged pictures. So the question is, are they going live? Are we finally going to get improved graphics on our characters?

As Alex wrote, Blizzard used one beta build to test the ease of implementing new skins and some of them...didn't turn out too well. Imagine you're me and you get a beta key. Budget a few hours of anticipatory excitement while your main copies over. She's a 70 Tauren Druid who has been with you since day one, your sole 70, and you think she's the most beautiful thing in the game even if to everyone else she's an ungainly 8-foot heifer. Now imagine booting up the Wrath beta for the first time and being horrified to see your beloved character with a Glasgow smile, like the developers had seen the Joker in The Dark Knight and thought, "Hey! We could make that work!"

Holy water did nothing. Neither did crucifixes, garlic, a wooden stake, waving the Bible in the direction of the laptop, or sobbing quietly in a corner.

On the plus side, here was finally something in the game to which Tauren cat form was an actual graphical improvement.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Shaman, Mining, Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Wrath of the Lich King

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