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Posts with tag Patch-3.0

Breakfast Topic: Blurring the boundaries between patches and expansions

In the good old days, expansions came around once in a blue moon. They were the stuff of legend which invited almost two years of hype and intrigue. You paid your dollars/pounds/euros/yuan, and you got your new classes, those shiny new zones and those ten extra levels. But, with patch 3.0.2 (aka Echoes of Doom) we got something new, we got transition. Yes, this was the patch where we got a sampling of Wrath designed to tease players waiting on tender hooks and also keep interest for that final week until the expansions hit properly.

Given Blizzard's shift in how they treat patches, now geared towards larger mini expansion style updates like patch 2.4 and patch 3.2, there's definitely something changing in the way we get new installments of the game. After all, there's as much hype about every mini expansion-like patch, from the new areas, class buffs/nerfs and weapons to the smaller changes involving the UI. Shiny expansion special editions aside, do you think it would ever be possible to have expansions become automatically downloaded massive patch updates over a standalone disc or download that you have to buy every two years? What do you think, readers?

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Expansions

World of Warcraft 3.0.3 Patch notes

We have the patch notes for tomorrow's 3.0.3 patch. As a reminder: it is always possible these notes might change at any time. Sometimes even though we're expecting certain things in them, they are not included.

With these notes we know that 3.0.3 will be dropping tomorrow. The patch will fix many bugs in the game currently, and hopefully bring more stability to the servers. Paladins are getting nerfed, Warriors are getting buffed, and there are more changes across the board.

And best of all? We can all now earn the "Hallowed Be thy Name" achievement much, much easier.

Full patch notes after the break. And don't forget to check out the 3.0.2 patch notes if you have more questions about what some of these changes mean.

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Filed under: Patches, News items, Features

Tuesday Morning Post: The Headless Horseman burned down my server

Happy Hallow's End, everyone! So it's been one week since the Echoes of Doom patch hit live servers. It's been a lot of fun playing around with all the news toys, if you can actually log on. Servers have been unstable across the world, and even those that allow people on have been having tons of problems. My own server has been hitting the instance limit, disallowing the creation of new dungeons, thus preventing people from holding raids. Some people are unable to log on to certain characters on their account. It's a bit of a mess in some quarters.

With the downtime from 5 AM - 11 AM PDT this morning, we can hope that a solution is forthcoming. It's not quite enough to apply a new patch, but hopefully Blizzard is using this downtime as an opportunity to kick start the servers a little bit.

Still, once you get past the server problems, this patch has been pretty enjoyable for the most part, although some people are starting to think it may be a bit too easy. If you're still getting into the swing of the patch, this is the perfect time to browse WoW Insider and check out all of our guides and information about the new features in the 3.0.2 patch. Here's some highlights of the past week's news from the patch and beyond:

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

Scattered Shots: Getting started with talents in 3.0.2 as a Beast Mastery Hunter

Welcome to Scattered Shots, where Daniel Whitcomb is doing a special happy dance over that whole Aspect global cooldown removal thing.

Before we get into the meat of this week's column, I have a confession to make. I was tempted to make a very short column that consisted primarily of a recording of me making squealing noises that you would generally only expect to come from a giddy schoolgirl, punctuated by a bit of gibberish that might sound something like "Aspect of the Dragonhawk."

But that said, there's a lot of other things I could talk about, and I won't leave you hanging. It's a busy time in WoW, and Hunters have a lot of stuff to do now that 3.0.2 is out. By now, hopefully, your server has calmed down enough for you to get on, play around with learning all your companions and mounts, and start trying to figure out talent specs. Hopefully by now, you've seen some of our articles on the subject, such as Big Red Kitty's Hunter and Pet Talent overviews, and David Bowers' guide to exotic pets currently available in game. They're great resources, so I'm not going to attempt to replicate them here. Instead, I'm gonna focus on a quick and pertinent question:

You've finally found some time to play WoW, your server's stable enough to let you play WoW, and you've just logged on your Beastmastery Hunter for the first time since 3.0.2 went live. What do you do?

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Tuesday Morning Post: Patch day 3.0.2 edition

Happy Tuesday Morning, everyone. Unfortunately, I have a couple pieces of bad news to start off with: First, BlizzCon's over. Secondly, We have a 12 hour downtime this morning, from 2 AM PDT to 2 PM PDT.

But there's good news too: We're getting Patch 3.0.2 today, and we'll have a few BlizzCon wrapups and tons of 3.0.2 guides coming out for you throughout the next few days, so be sure to keep watching the site. In the meantime, you might also want to check out what we've already posted:

Getting started in Patch 3.0.2:

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, News items, Expansions, BlizzCon

The Light and How to Swing It: Our time to shine

In about a week, Patch 3.0.2 will drop on our collective heads and it will be a glorious time for Paladins. Barring any unexpected nerfs from the current build, the new patch should see a new era for the class where our brethren from other trees stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone else. Massive changes to the class will mean that Retribution Paladins will not only find a spot in groups, they'll actually be sought after. Protection Paladins will not just continue to excel in AoE grinding and tanking, they'll be the Energizer bunnies of AoE, turning it into an artform. And Holy... well, Holy still has a few kinks that need to be worked out, but Paladins are still phenomenal healers with more flexibility than ever.

It is our time to shine. Each and every Paladin of every build will be viable, wanted in groups, and formidable to face in a PvP setting. Core changes to the class will make it less of a chore to micromanage and more fun and strategic to play. For many of us, Patch 3.0.2 will be sweet redemption for all those times of sticking with a class that was generally frustrating to level up with (unless you were Protection), had clunky core mechanics on short timers, and oftentimes pigeonholed into one role, later two. These days, anyone who laughs at our choice of tree, even Retribution -- especially Retribution -- will be on the receiving end of our powerfully revamped Avenging Wrath.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Resurrecting old events

The upcoming patch 3.02 looks like it has a formal name now -- "Echoes of Doom," according to the EU site -- and players have wondered for a while whether Blizzard is going to bring back the Scourge Invasion event. This was an event that went live with the introduction of the original 40-man Naxxramas in patch 1.11 and saw Scourge troops appear all over Azeroth and even within major cities. It was one of Blizzard's early experiments programming world content that could be directly affected by players (in a roundabout way you can trace the underlying philosophy behind phasing to the success of events like these), and was a huge hit that's left players inquiring on the likelihood of its reappearance ever since.

As a player who started after Burning Crusade launched, I have to admit I would love the chance to see this, if for no other reason than having a shot at getting my main the rather good-looking Tabard of the Argent Dawn. But, cool tabard or not, the event is pretty thematically consistent with the content being released in Wrath of the Lich King, and the 3.02 patch is expressly meant to transition players into the expansion as seamlessly as possible. You could argue that Blizzard's never going to get a more opportune or relevant time to marshal the undead NPC's, but you could counter by pointing out that redeploying content originally meant to be a unique event diminishes its impact a tad. If it were re-programmed with additional exapansion-related content? Maybe, although I get the feeling the developers may be somewhat occupied at the moment. Either way, is there any obligation on Blizzard's part to try to re-run old content for the benefit of newer players?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Mage class not being removed at this time

In a startling announcement, European CM Vaneras has confirmed that Blizzard has no plans to remove the Mage class from the game. "Current plans," the CM later clarified. "Please remember that the expansion is still in the middle of extensive beta testing, and many aspects of the game are being balanced. If we find that a crappy talent or class is not working, we will remove it."

The statement was met with mixed reactions among the playerbase, as many have agitated for an existing class to be cannibalized and its sweet innards redistributed in order to preserve raid balance in Wrath of the Lich King. Other, less pointless ranged DPS classes saw much debate concerning the issue. While Hunters could regrettably not be reached for comment as it was dinnertime and Mom was calling, the Warlock community, found at their collective den of iniquity, replied, "Nerfing us is not the answer. Buff other classes." When asked about Mages, they thought for a moment and said, "Classes worth buffing."

WoW Insider has thus far been unable to confirm with a developer that Mages will indeed remain in the game through patch 3.02. Reached at his office late Tuesday afternoon, Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan responded, "The what class?"

Disclaimer: the author of this post may possibly be bored and prone to making things up about expansion hysteria.

Filed under: Mage, Odds and ends, Expansions, Humor, Classes, Forums

Shaman changes in Wrath beta build 8982

Shamans see some changes in today's Beta build. Nothing world-shaking, a few small buffs and a small nerf and a change that I honestly can't tell which category to place it in.

  • Stoneclaw Totem also protects your other totems, causing them to absorb damage.
Well, this certainly isn't a bad change. It does mean that wand macros will be changed to target the Stoneclaw totem first, I suppose, giving your other totems a few seconds more of life. (Since Stoneclaw has a decent amount of health, it will actually take a couple of hits to die.) Not a magnificent buff, but not bad either.
  • Riptide sees its base healing increased on each rank.
Each rank of this spell will now heal for more, giving it more oomph as an HoT spell. Again, nothing bad to say about that, right?

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

The Art of War(craft): PvP 3.0

For a few weeks, we'll be in uncharted territory. When Patch 3.0 hits, all players will receive a free respec and a plethora of new talents will be available to us. The difference is that players who opt to go 51 points deep in a tree will only get 10 points to spend elsewhere, so we won't have the full PvP experience until Wrath of the Lich King hits and players receive the full complement of talents upon reaching Level 80 along with some cool new abilities.

In the interim between 3.0 and Wrath, PvP will be awkward as players learn to adapt to the new builds, learn their opponents' new tricks, and even attempt new playing styles. One interesting change to PvP 3.0 is the knockback which some classes will gain and use to great effect. Others will be able to leap through the air -- backwards, forwards -- it'll be fun and sometimes frustrating as we relearn how to PvP.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Death Knight, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds

Breakfast Topic: Steak on eggs

After posting two articles concerning mount-related issues yesterday (Engineering mounts in Wrath and the changes to the Brewfest ram/kodo), I went back to Blackrock Depths with a group to have another crack at everyone's newest best friend, Coren Direbrew. This time I was in the company of a half-crazed warlock determined to get both Brewfest mounts. He'd missed his chance at the ram last year and sworn up and down that it would never happen again, only to be aghast at Blizzard's decision to make both mounts a boss drop. To him, I imagine, it was time to knuckle down and show that ugly, yellow-bellied, boot-licking, random-number-generator just who was boss. However, as the day wore on, he realized that -- insulting the random number generator? Not a good idea.

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Filed under: Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Bosses, Mounts

The Tuesday Morning Post: Patches, release dates, and racials

Welcome to another bright and sunny Tuesday Morning. Downtime is a little complicated this morning. Most Realms will be getting some short rolling restarts at 5 AM, but a handful will get a 2 hour downtime instead, while another handful will get a full 3 AM - 11 AM PDT extended downtime. Hardware upgrades for Wrath, perhaps? You can get the list of downed realms here.

It was actually a rather big weekend in news this time around. Not only did Patch 3.0.2 hit the test servers, but we finally got our hands on a solid release date for Wrath of the Lich King and a look at the Collector's Edition. As if to top it off, yesterday bought us some pretty awesome Priest news in the form of the abolishment of racial spells.

This means there was plenty to talk about this week. Why not get caught up on it now? You can look below for a selection of some of the hottest topics of the past week, or start browsing through the tag, category, and author links to the right if that's more your speed.

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Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Demonology 101: the Felguard

Meet the bad boy of Warlock pets, the Felguard. This 41-point Demonology talent is the favorite pet of many Warlocks -- and I have to confess, after speccing Demonology in the Wrath Beta -- I kind of like him a lot, too. He's tough, he dishes out some hurt, and he can stun opponents every thirty seconds. It was also originally the only demon with Avoidance, but the passive ability was buffed and handed out to all demons in Wrath or Patch 3.0.

When solo, the Felguard makes a great tank, although it loses out to the Voidwalker in terms of armor and health. However, Anguish and a higher DPS makes it generate more threat, allowing it to hold aggro better. Having Demonic Frenzy means that the Felguard gets stronger and stronger (up to 50%) with each damaging attack, and Cleave is a basic attack that can hit multiple opponents -- although care needs to be taken when used in PvE as Cleave can break crowd control. You should key bind Intercept as it can interrupt spellcasting, although it has a minimum 8 yard range so stunning its current target can sometimes be tricky. Think of a Felguard as Warrior lite.

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

Blizzard tosses Priest racials out the window

In an effort to further balance the game, Koraa levitated over to the Priest Beta forums to drop the bomb that Blizzard was canning all Priest racial abilities in an upcoming Beta build. This comes long after Fear Ward, formerly a Dwarf racial ability for Priests, was made baseline and trainable at Level 20. However, Koraa makes a few important points, the most notable being that Desperate Prayer, the Human and Dwarf Priest racial ability, will become the 11-point talent for Holy. Holy Nova, on the other hand, will become baseline. Desperate Prayer will likely be retuned to better fit an 11-point talent (it currently has a 10 minute cooldown).

Koraa adds that the formerly Undead Priest racial Devouring Plague will also become a baseline spell, with a reduced cooldown of 30 seconds (down from 3 minutes) and "greatly reduced" mana cost. The Draenei racial ability Symbol of Hope will be renamed Hymn of Hope and also become a baseline ability, now restoring 5% of total mana every 2 seconds for 8 seconds to the priest's party members. All other racial abilities, from Starshards to Shadowguard, will be removed from the game. Enjoy them now before Patch 3.0 hits!

Filed under: Priest, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Blood Pact: Demonology in Wrath Beta

A Demonology Warlock is very easy to spot. Prior to Wrath or Patch 3.0, she'll more often than not have the Soul Link buff. But since Soul Link was moved to Tier 3 of the Demonology tree, it will no longer be as exclusive to Demonologists. But the Felguard is another tell-tale sign of a die-hard Demonologist and is a favored pet for damage and the Warrior-like Intercept. In Wrath of the Lich King, that trend of being easily identifiable continues with the 51-point talent Metamorphosis, which transforms the Warlock into a demon herself. Demonologists are not exactly known for their subtlety.

The most notable thing about Demonologists is their high survivability. Many of the talents in the tree is centered around a synergistic relationship between the Warlock and the demon that keeps both alive and makes them more powerful. In fact, the most hardy of all Warlock specs -- the SL/SL -- relies on Soul Link and Demonic Resilience, deep in Demonology, along with Affliction's Siphon Life. In Wrath, survivability continues with the added bonus of getting pets to scale up the Warlock's DPS. And we all love DPS.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Wrath of the Lich King

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