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Posts with tag Slorkuz

Breakfast Topic: 101 things to do before the world dies

On the EU forums, a character named Redbranch from Thunderhorn came up with what I thought was a pretty nifty idea -- getting his/her fellow players to chime in on a list of 101 things to do in old Azeroth before Cataclysm hits. It's sort of the WoW equivalent of The Bucket List, and the responses range from the violent ("Slaying as many people as possible") to the nostalgic ("Go base jumping again in Feralas") to the practical ("Prepare plentiful supplies of gold").

Then Slorkuz chimed in with the following:

Slorkuz
Quote:

The old world is changing forever. Let's compile a list of things to do before the end.

1) Play through all the starter zones, to give some idea if each race's lore.

Visit the Shimmering Flats!

We already know that Thousand Needles is going to be mostly underwater in Cataclysm, but it was another nudge to the realization that the world we know is going bye-bye forever. Right now, my personal "bucket list" includes doing the dungeon set 2 quest line, but I'd love to hear from other players on how they're approaching the "end of the world."

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Humor, Cataclysm

Clarification on normal mode functionality

Over on the EU forums, Slorkuz has clarified a few questions players may have about the new changes coming to normal mode ICC, namely the removal of limited attempts from the final bosses in each wing. While limited attempts will still be in place on heroic mode, they will no longer be in effect on normal mode as of the end of maintenance this morning. To quote:
Q: If you extend your raid lockout this week, will you still lose attempts on Normal after the hotfix?
A: No.

Q: If you run completely out of attempts on Heroic, will the wing bosses and Lich King no longer respawn, even if the difficulty is switched to Normal?
A: YES. So leave an attempt left if you wish to kill them on Normal. We'll try and correct this in a future update.

Q: Why is the counter still visible in Normal?
A: The hotfix being applied just stops the counter decrementing, and nothing more.

In other words, raiders attempting the final bosses of these wings on normal difficulty will still see the counter, it simply won't count down if they wipe. More importantly however is the news that players wishing to attempt bosses on Heroic difficulty will need to leave one attempt up if they want to clear the boss on normal mode.

Filed under: Raiding

Telling a story without quest text


Tyllendel's friend had an interesting reaction to the game when he first played it: he felt that all of the quest text was unbearable, and that he wanted to play the game rather than reading what NPCs told him. We've talked a little bit about this before -- obviously, when Blizzard kicked off WoW nearly five years ago, quest text was just the way quests were done, and while Blizzard has expanded the concept a bit since, it's still mostly the way MMOs work: you go to a character, talk to them, and they tell you where to go and what to do.

But I can see Tyl's friend's point: games are much less about telling these days and more about showing. You might understand how, if you've never played an MMO before, reading the quest text can take you right out of the game, rather than running off with an NPC or having the game show you rather than just tell you what to do. And Blizzard is getting there: later in the thread Slorkuz points out the recent Afrasiabi interview, and talks about how Alex mentions new ways of doing quests. For example, the quest team is trying to do a quest with no text, or direct players' attention without actually telling them, "look here." Text is the easiest and most basic way to help players accomplish goals, but as the game moves on, even the developers realize it's not the most elegant or immersive way to do it.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Quests, Lore, NPCs

WoW celebrates four years in the EU


Slorkuz posts that yesterday, February 11th, marked the four-year anniversary of World of Warcraft's release in the EU, and Blizzard is throwing a few contests to celebrate. You can see all of the giveaways over on their site -- there's some nice Swagdog and Dell gear to win for coming up with a great t-shirt slogan, a piece of fan art, or answering some lore questions. Unfortunately, participation in the contests is limited to only a few countries, due to local rules, but if you're interested and able, have at it.

Congrats to Blizzard and the EU for four full years in Azeroth! North America had our anniversary late last year, and WoW Insider put together a look back at what it was like for us. We all (including the EU) got the anniversary pet as well, so apparently, other than these contests, Blizzard is just giving this date a nod rather than a big in-game celebration. But there's always the ten year anniversary -- we'll see you in 2014!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions

Warsong Gulch revisited


Blizzard poster Slorkuz gave a lot of effort in a post made the other day discussing Warsong Gulch, one of the game's first Battlegrounds. In a long post, he details his experiences with common tactics such as flag room defense, 10-man offense, half and half (5 on offense and 5 on defense), and the most common tactic that all players are familiar with -- the "kill anything on sight" strategy.

It's a rather hefty post and should help a lot of players decide on what tactic to employ when running WSG premades (as you can't obviously expect PUG groups to follow any real strategy with coordination). Slorkuz explains that Warsong Gulch is a Battleground where team composition is critical, something that holds true here more than other Battlegrounds (or as in the case of Alterac Valley, not true at all). With such a small team, having no form of crowd control or healing can and usually ends in a loss.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Battlegrounds

Incoming hot fixes and other bugs

There are a number of hot fixes and a couple notable bugs we wanted to bring to your attention. Ideally all these will be fixed soon, according to our standards and not according to Blizzard's definition of soon.

First is the Malygos bug where Circle of Healing and Wild Growth were not function when a player was in a Vortex. Ghostcrawler has posted that this will be getting fixed in the next couple of days. I wouldn't be surprised if this is fixed tonight.

Daelo, the lead encounter designer, also came out today and said the following with regard to what they're looking at: "We're checking into the various issues noted here, including why his cone breath hits targets behind his centerpoint, issues with malygos deciding to attack in phase 2, and trying to make the defense bubble's protection work even if you enter the bubble in between the time a missile is launched and when it lands."

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Bugs, News items

New Arena system: you suck more than you know

Well, the changes to the Arena system haven't made the game any more fun for people. Players are still reporting losses on winning records, and Slorkuz hops over to the official forums to explain things. The short version is: if you're winning games and dropping in ratings, it's because you suck. You do. The system has been tracking your level of suck and adjusting your wins to bring your team rating down to the appropriate level of fail. Of course, Slorkuz puts it more diplomatically than that.

He mentions that the new 'hidden rating' which determines the matchmaking process remembers your original ratings. Players who routinely dropped to 1200, for example, and reformed teams at 1500 are recognized by the system and are promptly put in their place -- even if they win. This is because the new system is correctly matching those players with others who suck equally. So, let me get this straight... because you're beating other players who don't have much skill to begin with, they're worth less points?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

Scrapbot learning how to repair

I don't put too much effort into crafting professions, for the most part. Something like Inscription, where I can get a number of points by just remembering to research once a day, fine. But Blacksmithing or Engineering, with stacks of metal per point? Not for me. (The exception to this is Tailoring, which I keep on my priest more out of tradition than anything else.)

Engineering is another profession that seems to take a lot of work per point (although I haven't gotten it very high myself, so I can't speak from first-hand experience here). On the other hand, there are a lot of really cool gizmos engineers can make for themselves, from hand rockets to motorcycles.

One of those gizmos is about to get significantly more useful: the Scrapbot will be able to repair your gear "in a future patch." The smart money is on 3.0.8 for that future patch, since Scrapbot repairs were added to the latest build of that patch on the PTR just yesterday. This means that once again, Engineers are the providers of in-instance repairs, and this time around it's significantly cheaper than last time, with 10 Saronite Bars giving you 5 of the little guys. And they're so cute!

Filed under: Engineering, Patches

Slorkuz tells you how to win Arathi Basin

I have to admit, I've been giving Arathi Basin short shrift lately -- while I'm having a great time hitting all the solo achievements (just got my Delicious Chocolate Cake the other day, and Mr. Pinchy is my next goal), battlegrounds have fallen by the wayside on my play schedule. But AB is a great time, and if you've recently found your way back in there, Slorkuz happens to be an expert on AB winning -- when a player wonders how to win AB in a tournament setting, Slork shows up a wall of text on how to walk away with at least 3 nodes.

Of course, Zach has already written extensive tips on how to win in there, but Slorkuz has a few tricks of his own -- rather than the usual 5-5-5 group, he recommends a 4-3-3-3-2 setup, with a group of four holding down what he says is the most important node, the Blacksmith. It's the closest point to all of the nodes, so if you group has to move fast, that's the place to be. The other three person groups hold down the other nodes, with an extra three person group and a duo moving back and forth and defending as necessary. And in a tournament setting, there are lots of things you can do to make the setup even stronger -- give mount buffs to the moving players, communicate back and forth to match the numbers, and make good use of CC when possible.

Definitely food for thought (and probably enough to pull me back into AB for a few fights this weekend -- to get Make Love, Not Warcraft, if nothing else). When Wrath actually releases, Wintergrasp will probably be the place to be, and I'm just plain tired of WSG and all the shenanigans in AV, but AB still seems to have some fun in it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds

Patch 3.0.2 finally confirmed to arrive today

Slorkuz, a blue poster on the EU forums, finally confirmed outright that the realms are down to apply patch 3.0.2. I always find it odd that Blizzard waits until the last possible second to confirm any sort of release date – no matter how many hints and "read between the lines" announcements they make.

And as usual, the announcement is coming off the EU official forums. I'd bet some money that we'll see the patch notes up in EU before the US.

Filed under: Patches, News items

DC shows off what look like Series 4 Figures at ComicCon


Empire magazine is already posting pictures from this weekend's ComicCon out in San Diego (WoW Insider also has correspondents there on site), and though they have no idea what they've stumbled across, it sure looks to us like what might be DC Unlimited's Series 4 WoW figurines. And rather than just the standard player characters, Blizzard and DC are going a little NPC for this series -- as you can see above, they've included everyone's favorite elite gnoll, Hogger himself. Also included in the series are a Succubus of some sort (with what looks like a Tauren with a polearm in the back there), and a gun-wielding Tauren Hunter.

The figures all have signs that say "Worldwide Debut Friday 4pm" on them, so it looks like we're getting to see them a little early. And Blizzard is excited, too -- Slorkuz has even written a poetic ode to Hogger in honor of his likeness being immortalized.

We'll keep an eye out for more info -- looks like DC is expanding their action figure line to include a few more less traditional character types. Who else should they honor with a figure in the future?

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Blizzard, NPCs

More leaks from the Alpha forums on Shamans, Warriors, and Death Knights

Deathknight.info has just posted another batch of info from the Alpha forums, this time with Wryxian and Slorkuz talking about Shamans, Warriors, and Death Knights. Primarily, they focus on the tanking abilities of Death Knights and Warriors and delve into some possible improvements to the Shaman Enhancement tree in WoTLK, including possible new talents:

Shamans

Enhancement Shamans, says Wryxian, will probably see further review. It looks like a lot of the new Enhancement talents will see some changes as well:

  • Weapon Specialization (which gives special abilities based on which weapon type the Shaman uses) will likely be removed
  • Improved Shamanistic Rage (which made Shamans using SR immune to all movement impairing effects and stuns at 2 points) will also probably be removed.
  • Wryxian mentioned a possible replacement for Weapon Specialization: Each melee critical hit would give a stacking buff that reduces cast time by 20% and lasts for 15 seconds. That would mean that at 5 stacks, you'd get a free instant cast spell.
  • Feral Spirit, the 51 point enhancement ability that summons ghost wolves to aid the Shaman, may be getting a second look as well.

For Enhancement DPS, they hope that totems and shocks make up for the lack of melee abilities to keep it interesting, though they may consider a new melee move for Shamans as well. In addition, he promises new totem changes soon.

Read on for some juicy information on Warriors, Death Knights, and Blizzard's vision for tanking in WoTLK.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

Dueling as a group or raid

Here's an interesting idea from Shaela over on the EU forums: group duels. Right now, duels aren't a huge part of the game for anyone but lowbies and immature folks looking to pick a fight -- they're very rarely done right, and there's no reward except for a zone-wide shoutout given in the event they're won. But the system could probably use an update, and group or guild duels are a great idea -- all that guild drama could be worked out ingame as whole raids or guilds could clash against each other.

Slorkuz weasels his way out of a real answer by saying that this is already possible in game: places like the Gurubashi Arena do let whole groups of people fight each other however they like. He also says that Blizzard has no plans to add any features like this, but he's slightly wrong -- we did get told at Blizzcon that they were going to do more along the lines of Guild vs. Guild combat, if only in the existing BGs. This idea, along with guild housing, is still in the works somewhere, at least.

Of course, with any player interaction feature like this, there is always the opportunity for exploitation -- some players have probably refused enough duel invites in their day without having to worry about any more, and whenever you have someone "speaking" (as in, accepting or rejecting a duel) for a group in terms of PvP, you can run into trouble. But for those who really would like to know whether their guild could beat another guild, or just which raid is better than another one, a feature like this would definitely be welcomed.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, PvP

Breakfast Topic: Should Blizzard allow race changes?


Zjo asks on the European Forums, as many have done before her, if there is any possibility of changing races. Her point is that with changes to racial abilities, the choice you made several levels ago may no longer be the one you would make today.

Blizzard poster Slorkuz said there would not be a race change implemented and locked the thread.

I can see both sides of this issue. On the one hand, it would be difficult to come up with an in-world, non-lore-breaking way to implement this change. Going to a barbershop to change your hair makes sense. Converting from Human to Gnome, does not.

On the other hand, the racial abilities changed without any thought to lore. So if Blizzard wants to make changes to balance the game, why not let players change their race if they don't like Blizzard's changes?

Personally, I don't think they should, but if they do, it should be one time only with a fee attached. But I like re-rolling. Alts are fun!

We've asked before if you would, but I'm asking today if you think you should be able to change your race rather than being forced to re-roll? And if so, how do you think it should be implemented? Do you think re-rolling is too much of a pain or part of the fun of the game?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Forums

Hotfixes for the week of April 7th

Slorkuz, Mr. Blue Poster over on the European WoW forums, gave us a few hotfixes that have been pushed through this week: He also tells us the Power Word: Shield sound is a bug, and that it will be fixed in an upcoming patch.

Filed under: Patches, Bugs, News items

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