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Posts with tag Wrath

Breakfast Topic: Where's my red Battlegear of Wrath?

Look, I'm a transmog aficionado. I have no bag space left because I collect gear constantly. So every time I go to Tempest Keep to kill Kael, I run into these guys and they irritate the heck out of me. I already have the Battlegear of Wrath, and its recolor. I prefer the classic look to the Burning Crusade green color dungeon set, but I'd very much prefer that red set above to either, and I can't get it. It doesn't drop anywhere - the only place you'll see it in game is on mobs like the guys in Tempest Keep and Ruul the Darkener, who makes it even worse by dual-wielding Thunderfury while he's at it.

This irks me. I want this set, but I can't have it. It's not a major concern - it's just irritating.

So let's make this about you - any mobs who have something you want - an item, gear, a special mount?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Transmogrification

The false memory of WoW's difficult past

The false memory of WoW past
Vanilla raiding was not mechanically more difficult than current raiding. In fact, in terms of encounter difficulty, raiding in World of Warcraft has never been as challenging to remember and execute as it is right now. Fights like Lei Shen, Twin Consorts, Iron Qon, and Durumu ask players to learn mechanics and execute awareness at a level rivaled only by fights like Mimiron's Firefighter mode. And I'm not even talking heroic difficulty for those fights. Yes, it was often harder to get 40 people together, I'm not disputing that. But that's not design difficulty, that's social difficulty. The argument that WoW was objectively harder back then is beyond absurd.

I was there for all of those raids. I've raided in vanilla, in BC, in Wrath, and in Cataclysm. I've done hard modes and heroic modes since they were introduced. I'm neither the cutting edge progression raider nor someone who raids occasionally for fun -- I've been everywhere from a raider pushing for realm firsts to one leading a semi-casual 10-man while tanking. One thing I can and will say with absolute certainty is this: every single expansion to World of Warcraft has increased the complexity of the raid design.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

5 reasons you should love Cataclysm

Oh, Cataclysm. You've gotten such a bad rap. Despite popular opinion, what we got from the Cataclysm expansion was nothing short of a miracle -- one that was desperately needed after the prior two expansions' worth of content. But it's undeniably difficult to look at the current expansion with anything other than an overly critical eye, considering the fact that we're playing through all that content right now.

In hindsight, it's likely the current expansion will grow on us, and some time in the distant future we'll be looking back on it with rose-colored glasses just like we do the others before it. Don't get me wrong -- while classic, The Burning Crusade, and Wrath all had absolutely fantastic reasons to love them, things didn't seem so rosy and wonderful when we were all playing through that content, and there was just as much grumbling in each of those expansions as there is about Cataclysm now. But hey -- there's still plenty of reasons to love Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

5 reasons you should love Wrath of the Lich King

The Burning Crusade was just the first expansion in WoW's history, and though it brought many things to love, as always, there were tweaks to be made. So how do you follow up a well-put-together expansion featuring a host of memorable villains from Warcraft III? Oh, that's easy enough. To top Illidan's appearance, you bring in the villain he couldn't defeat -- you bring in the Lich King.

Ever since the final scene of The Frozen Throne, Warcraft fans wondered just what happened to Arthas after he placed the Lich King's helm on his head and took an icy seat. In Wrath of the Lich King, they were about to find out. Featuring an all-new continent with new zones to play through, Wrath also introduced the first new hero class to the game, the death knight. In the wake of The Burning Crusade, Wrath had a lot to live up to. It did that and more, paving the way for more accessibility to raids, more endgame content and new lore, to boot. Many of the players in Cataclysm today got their start in Wrath of the Lich King, and there's plenty of things to love about it -- far too many points to list. But we'll give you five of them!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WoW Archivist: How each WoW expansion set the tone, part 2

The 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.

Previously on WoW Archivist, I discussed how the tone of Warcraft and its associated world changed drastically as time went on and the first expansion pack, The Burning Crusade, was released. Each time World of Warcraft changes its setting, the tone of the game (from the way the environments make the player feel to the actual mechanical development of the product) changes significantly. The tonal change makes WoW a unique specimen in the MMO sphere, allowing it to grow, adapt, and target a vast array of audiences opposed to growing stagnant over time. Incorporating each new tone and focus with each new expansion lets World of Warcraft move forward despite its age.

For a long time, we jokingly referred to Wrath of the Lich King as "The Frozen Crusade" because Blizzard took the best parts of The Burning Crusade and began to build the next expansion. It was hard to understand the tone of the newest expansion before you actually played it. In the beginning all we saw was two new ores, 75 more profession skill points, and greens that were going to replace our purples again. For me, the tone looked like it was going to be "here we go again" -- that is, until I first stepped into Northrend.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Patch 4.3 PTR Video: New spell effects for shaman, warlocks, druids

Lightning Bolt, Shadow Bolt, and Wrath, three staple spells for the shaman, warlock, and druid classes respectively, all have new animations on the Public Test Realm. You can check out the new spell animations in the video above. Lighting Bolt's effect now leaves a blue trail and has more oomph than just the small blue ball that was fired from the shaman beforehand. Shadow Bolt's skull-headed projectile now leaves a greenish wake. Wrath looks completely different, eschewing the green lightning bolt effect for a more nature-based zap.

[Edit]: Video was re-shot for some better angles/views of the spells. Sorry about that, guys and gals.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Druid, Shaman, Warlock, Cataclysm

Blizzard updates Wrath art gallery with familiar vistas

The Wrath of the Lich King art gallery has been updated with six awesome shots of clean artwork that features familiar locales and loading screens. Art from the Pit of Saron, Eye of Eternity, Forge of Souls, Wintergrasp, and Trial of the Crusader are available for ocular enjoyment.

The art for Wrath of the Lich King has always been some of my favorite concept art because of how easily the look and feel of the pieces convey what the entire expansion and Northrend itself was supposed to be. Success, indeed. Check out the gallery here.

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: Blizzard

China is finally getting Wrath of the Lich King

It's been a long, hard, ridiculous road for Blizzard to get the Chinese government's approval to make Wrath of the Lich King content available to their citizens. So ridiculous, in fact, that it's difficult to nail down just which related stories are the most important. We could tell you about:
And there's a ton more to it. But we might finally be nearing the end of this sordid story, according to the Wall Street Journal. Wrath of the Lich King is set to launch in China next week, barring any more instances of draconian politics, censorship, or mismanagement. Let's just hope that nobody in China wants to play as a death knight.

Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Can Wrath remain a 1.5-second cast?

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, we are looking at how to handle Wrath in a world that can't handle it. Also, a notice that I am in need of some screenshots of pro balance druids doing whatever it is that balance druids actually do. Please send them to tyler@wow.com; put something akin to "Balance screenshot" or "Moonkin screenshot" in the subject line, and don't forget to list the name you would like to have credited for the shot.

A fair warning, if you do not like reading math or wild speculation, then this post is not for you. I will do my best to keep everything as simple and easy to read as possible, but no real promises.

With that out of the way, it's time to get into the core of the matter. Right now, balance druids have a serious problem when it comes to Wrath and the GCD. Although the main culprit of the issue is Nature's Grace, which causes us to cap the one-second GCD at 400 haste, that isn't our only real issue. Haste effects have scaled a bit out of control in this expansion as a whole, and it seems that in Blizzard's attempts to make us utilize both of our main nukes, they have forgotten to take that into account. Just as an example, even without Nature's Grace, Heroism makes Wrath practically unusable by blasting through the GCD without a worry. Even back in Trial of the Crusader, when we were still trying to cap our haste as close to 400 as possible, it was an issue, so it isn't a wonder that Icecrown Citadel has been much worse.

The gear scaling issue is one that Blizzard has said they are going to address in the coming expansion; however, will that really be enough for us? Even back in Naxxaramas it was more than possible to get well over 400 haste, which was before the gear scaling issue even took effect. I've already talked about how Blizzard has stated that Nature's Grace is going to have to be changed come Cataclysm, but is Nature's Grace really the core issue here, or it is Wrath's cast time itself? Ask any shadow priest and they'll tell you how troublesome it can be to work with a 1.5-second spell even without all of the complications that balance druids have. For a cooldown-based spell, it might be more acceptable; when dealing with a main nuke that's constantly being chain cast, it becomes a more complicated issue.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Changing Nature's Grace


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we're heading back into the world of nasty, little over-budget talents bothering balance druids as we fight to save our 1 keys from total disaster.

It's been a harsh week in my little corner of the world. Between attempting to get up for work, falling back down to sleep for 5 more hours, taking medications that I can't even pronounce the names of, and several other unpleasant things that have been plaguing me for the past five days; there's been little time for actual coherent thought in my life. So forgive me if this week's article is a little short (I can already hear people cheering) and slightly confusing. I promise to try and make this post as readable as possible, but I am bound to ramble on incoherently at some point; though I'm not entirely sure how that's any different from normal.

Last week, Shifting Perspectives took at look at the various possibilities for changing Eclipse. This week, that trend will continue as we explore ways in which or other problem, if less vilified, talent can be adjusted. Yes, folks, I'm talking about Nature's Grace. This long-standing talent that has been a staple in balance builds since WoW was released. Much like Eclipse, Ghostcrawler has already stated that Nature's Grace is high on the list to be changed. Also like Eclipse, many people wonder why Nature's Grace hasn't already been changed as it is so problematic. While Ghostcrawler mentions it's a big deal, many people fail to understand how big of a deal Nature's Grace really is.

Nature's Grace is an awesome talent. It is a tad over-budget, but not nearly as much as Eclipse is, and, honestly, having an over-budget talent here or there isn't necessarily a terrible thing in of itself. The only thing that plagues Nature's Grace is how easily it allows for Wrath to be GCD capped. Again, though, this isn't so terrible of a prospect in of itself. After all, this is a mechanic that balance druids have been dealing with since haste was introduced into the game. Wrath ramming into GCD issues like the Titanic hitting an iceberg only became problematic when balance druids also failed to turn just a little to the left during patch 3.2. Prior to patch 3.2, Wrath was maybe only 10% of our overall damage done, so any scaling issues that it had was fairly trivial. When patch 3.2 came around and Wrath jumped from 10% of our damage, or less, to being 40% or more of our damage, the scaling issues became a real problem.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

NetEase loses WoW director, Li Riqiang



World of Warcraft
in China continues to walk a rocky path. NetEase, the company currently licensed to operate WoW's The Burning Crusade expansion in China, lost Li Riqiang, a senior director for the WoW business unit on the 24th of February, 2010. There is no word on why he left, and the company is keeping mum on details about the departure and his replacement.

This comes on the heels of a 62% jump in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2009 generated since NetEase was able to light up the TBC servers after resolving their disputes with the government, which had prevented them from launching the service in China until September 2009. That revenue increase was accompanied by lower profit margins, however, as NetEase must pay hefty licensing fees to Activision Blizzard.

The fact that there are still Chinese players who are willing to play an obsolete and no longer maintained version of the game is a little strange to me-- many Chinese players simply started over on Taiwanese servers. Judging by the amount of red tape that's being wrapped around anything to do with Blizzard, I suspect we'll see Cataclysm released before Chinese players can play Wrath of the Lich King without connecting to a server in Taiwan.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, The Burning Crusade

Moonkin may receive a buff soon

Balance druid performance has been noticeably lagging in raids. While moonkin have long had a problem being too easily +haste-capped with Wrath, there's another issue on the not-too-distant horizon in the form of the "lunar +crit cap." Essentially, when a lunar eclipse procs and the player turns to the Starfire portion of the rotation, the combination of raid buffs, gear, and procs make Starfire crits all but inevitable. While this may sound like a welcome DPS increase, it does have the unhappy result of the spec seeing increasingly less benefit from the +haste and +crit that exists in abundance on Icecrown raid gear.

Blizzard has known about this for a while, but the issue with Nature's Grace and the soft +haste cap isn't easily fixable without impacting both Restoration and Starfire (where the NG proc is still useful), and the +crit cap is the effect of unintended stat inflation in Wrath. Enter Zarhym on Wednesday to announce news of a possible change to the Earth and Moon talent in a future mini-patch, granting 2/4/6% spell damage to the moonkin, up from 1/2/3%. While this isn't set in stone (and Balance players are already aware that an overhaul to the Nature's Grace issue probably won't happen until the Cataclysm content patch at the earliest), it's been greeted as a decent short-term fix. It's also a means of improving the scaling of what remains the moonkin's best stat (+spellpower).

Zarhym did warn that the change may not go through in this form, and we're also waiting for news on when this mini-patch will hit. Stay tuned for future announcements.

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Classes, Buffs

World of Warcraft and Battle Chest on sale for Black Friday

Yes indeed, this Friday is none other than Black Friday, which means the deals will be aplenty, the crowds will be horrendous, and the holiday money drain will begin (of course, you could go with Buy Nothing Day, but that seems a little too grinchy to me -- why not go ahead and buy while the buying's good?). Fortunately, there are a few WoW deals floating around out there, in case you need to pick up a copy of the game for a loved one (or that Recruit-a-friend account you've been planning to make).

The regular WoW vanilla game (useful for leveling to 60, but if you want to go past that, you'll have to buy the expansions) is on sale in a few places for super cheap -- the Ladies of Leet saw it at Best Buy for just five bucks, and Gamestop's matching that price. Gamestop also will have the Battle Chest (with WoW and BC and a few other goodies) for $19.99, and Newegg has the same price if you don't want to fight the crowds. Unfortunately, there's no sign of Wrath on sale -- you'll still have to pony up the $40 if that's the one you want. But stay tuned in the comments -- if readers can find better prices on this stuff, we're sure you'll see them below. Good luck out there, happy deal finding.

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

Shifting Perspectives: A 3.3 miscellany


Every week, Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting druids and those who group with them. Today we root around our inbox and herd a series of scribbled notes across our desk, trying to get what we actually know about patch 3.3 in order. Also, Zach Yonzon's PhotoShop skills for the win, but we already knew that.

This week's column is going to be a little bit of a grab bag in much the same way that our patch 3.1 miscellany post was, because there have been a few changes on the PTR recently that we haven't yet discussed.

Before we get any farther, I'd also like to give a shout-out to our readers and commenters on last week's column, "The disappearance of the bear." I was a little antsy over how it was going to be received (lengthy articles on what's going wrong with a spec can get derailed into QQ-fests pretty easily, and that wasn't my intent), but was heartened to see so much quality discussion. One of the things I realized after reading through the comments was that Blizzard may actually have succeeded a little too well in their quest to make tanking more attractive and fun to the average player. WoW's four tanking classes (warrior, paladin, druid, and death knight) comprise 4 of the 5 most popular classes in the game right now. As I've written previously, the druid functions as the proverbial canary in the coal mine as a harbinger of class balance concerns, and with each of the game's plate classes numbering among the most played at 80, it's impossible for this not to have an impact on druid spec choice.

Anyway. For the moment, we are going to turn away from this rather depressing situation, and concern ourselves with what's going on in patch 3.3.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Wrath expected in China in mid-November

Because of all the chaos (from switched providers to government approval) on China's version of World of Warcraft, they haven't actually had a chance to release the Wrath expansion over there yet. They were planning to bring it out ASAP, but that obviously never worked out. But we hear now, finally, that the wait is almost over. They are still going through content checks, and Netease (WoW's new provider over there) says it has some more work to do, but at this point they're aiming for a mid-November release.

This doesn't mean much for us in the rest of the world -- and before you commenters mention goldsellers, know that most "Chinese goldfarmers" actually play on NA/EU servers anyway, and have been doing so even with the outage overseas. It does, however, mean that China's guilds and playerbase at large will finally have access to all of the content we've enjoyed for almost a year (the expansion was released in North America and Europe last November 13th -- remember that?), including death knights, the new Naxxramas, and all of the other Northrend content. The release should be a nice bonus for Netease as well -- they've been working hard to try and get the game up to date, and releasing the current expansion should help bring in a nice group of new customers.

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King

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