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Posts with tag black-temple

Guildwatch: Slow going


It's a little silly, we admit, to say "every time an expansion patch comes around," because this is really only the second time it's happened, but every time an expansion patch comes around, guild action slows down a bit, and as a result, this week (and probably the next few weeks) will find Guildwatch poking around for a little more guild news.

But the good news is that lots of guilds are taking advantage of the easier endgame, so if yours is, be sure to drop us a line at wowguildwatch@gmail.com -- no down is too small, and no drama is too minor. Whether it's your guild or someone else's, we want to hear about it, and then post it here on GW for all to see.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Phat Loot Phriday: Swiftsteel Bludgeon


Haven't done a Mace in a while, and there are surprisingly few melee maces floating around nowadays. Since Shamans can't wield swords, most of the really high end maces have spellpower on them. But here's one that's meant for cracking heads.

Name: Swiftsteel Bludgeon (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDigger)
Type: Epic One-hand Mace
Damage/Speed: 105-196 / 1.50 (100.3 DPS)
Abilities:
  • Improves hit rating by 19, improves haste by 27, and increases attack power by 40.
  • This isn't a weapon at the top of anybody's game (especially with the nerf to maces wielded by Rogues in 3.0.2). But it is good as a stopgap, especially for Fury Warriors in the offhand slot trying to spam Execute and needing a fast weapon to do so (at 1.50, this is definitely a fast weapon).
  • But don't get too angry, commenters -- there are definitely plenty of other weapons to use at this level and above. The only reason you'd really jump on this one is if you're melee DPS in need of a nice Epic mace in Black Temple, and you're not first in line to grab any of the really great ones that come from the bosses. Not everybody gets to wield Warglaives or the Syphon, not right away.
How to Get It: Drops from Black Temple trash, and seriously, have you been in there after the patch yet? It's a free-for-all. Blizzard's big solution to having no one see the endgame was to nerf it to oblivion before Wrath so everyone could get in there and get all of the Epic looting out of their system.

So round up 24 friends (you'll still need to be at least a little epic before you go in there, don't skimp on the SSC and TK runs), head into BT, and loot the place for all it's worth. Eventually, this one will drop, and if you're a melee-er who needs a mace, win the roll and it's yours. Of course, you can expect it to be replaced in Northrend eventually, but who cares? An epic is an epic, right?

Getting Rid of It: Disenchants into a Void Crystal, sells for 14g 1s 84c. Too bad you can't melt it down -- putting all your money into swiftsteel might actually be a pretty good idea in this economy.


Filed under: Warrior, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday, Bosses

Guildwatch: Prime Time Hours!


It's good to know that, whatever changes in the World of Warcraft, be it talents or raids, or pets or mounts, or anything else, there'll always be people that take the game too darn seriously. And when they do, that's usually when Guildwatch shows up, mostly, let's admit it, to point and laugh.

Oh, but we also praise those who get things done, too. It's all in this week's Guildwatch, as usual -- check behind the link below for drama, downed, and recruiting news from around the realms. Patch 3.0.2 is here, Wrath is just around the corner, and Guildwatch continues to cover the good, the bad and the ugly in the world of guilds.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Guildwatch, Rumors

Blizzcon 2008 DVD production panel reveals WoW tidbits


Here's a secret gem from BlizzCon from our sister site, Big Download: The DVD Production panel. The DVD Production team, despite the name, actually oversees most of the video produced by or at Blizzard. That means that they had a hand in the South Park episode "Make Love Not Warcraft," as well as the "What's your Game" and "Lawgiver" commercials.

They also work on the gameplay trailers from World of Warcraft, and walked us through the creative process for the patch 2.1 Black Temple trailer, revealing some interesting lore behind Akama's betrayal. Finally, they revealed that they were the force behind the Wrath Gate cinematic. It's no wonder they were able to make such an epic cut scene though: One of their team members was a member of Rufus Cubed Productions, the creations of the epic machinima Return.

There's some other nice information from the panel, including the real identity of the villain from "Make Love Not Warcraft" and a preview of the lore of Diablo 3. Be sure to go check it out at Big Download!

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon

Insider Trader: Armorsmiths vs. weaponsmiths part two

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Last week, I began the column by answering a reader's question regarding the two specializations of blacksmithing. The player had been considering switching, and I discussed his reasons for doing so.

I also began to compare the armorsmithing items to their non-crafted counterparts, to showcase how strong they really are. This week, I'm finishing up that analysis as well as giving weaponsmithing the same treatment.

Each item from either specialization tends to surpass its tier 5 counterpart, and strongly rival the tier 6, Black Temple pieces. Unfortunately, if the itemization is exactly right for your class, race and spec, the cost and effort spent to make any given piece is probably not worth it.

Still, for players who may never see the Black Temple, for whatever reason, can still work towards a strong epic piece to complement their PvP, dungeon and/or raiding gear.

It is also important to note the difference between blacksmithing and other gear-crafting professions, tailoring and leatherworking. Blacksmith specialists essentially create one piece, or in the case of dual wielders, two pieces, that are roughly tier 6 equivalent.

The other two professions can make more pieces, but the quality ranges from tier 4 to tier 5, although any gear choice is subject to individual circumstances and preference.

These pieces are bind on pick-up and cannot be sent to alts, so keep that in mind when you choose. There are many other blacksmithing patterns and drops that are BoE, but the specialty items, as with tailoring and leatherworking, can only be worn by the crafter.

In addition, should you make, for example, a sword and then switch to armorsmithing, you will no longer be able to wield the sword, as doing so requires that you have the correct specialization.

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Filed under: Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Insider Trader (Professions)

Tips for new Death Knights from a fellow melee, part 1


Dear reanimated angst-puppy hero corpses,

Love what you've done with the smell, really. The little air freshener attached to the runeblade is a nice touch. Now that I'm in the beta, I've had the opportunity group with -- conservatively -- billions of you. I've healed a lot of Death Knight tanks, and tanked for a lot of Death Knight DPS. Most of you seem like cool people, so I say this with sincere love in my little Druid heart and a touch of worry over what will happen in November:

Most of you are awful.

I don't wish to be needlessly cruel here, mind you, or to overlook that the class is still new. Blizzard endlessly tinkers with you, so it's not like your rotations haven't changed, or your talents and skills are stable. And I know you're not coming to Northrend with a bank full of awesome gear from Burning Crusade. This isn't about your wearing greens or using the wrong attack or tanking rotation; I'm not even going to bother with the theorycraft surrounding the ideal DPS rotation until Wrath actually ships. But I'm seeing an awful lot of you running around playing as if...almost as if...you haven't played a tank or a melee class before. It's uncanny. But when I switched from playing a balance to a feral druid more than a year ago and knew nothing about playing a melee DPS/tank, I made all the mistakes you're making right now. Help me help you!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Expansions, Features, Guides, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Raids rebalanced for Patch 3.0.2

As of last night's beta (and PTR) patch, players have been reporting that mob health throughout all of the Burning Crusade raid zones have been reduced by up to 30%. That struck me as really, really odd, so I decided to pop into Sunwell Plateau and Black Temple to take a look. It is, in fact, completely true. Every mob and boss that I could see in both zones (and I could see a lot- Mind Vision hopping through raids for the win) had their HP drastically reduced.

My gut instinct was, "Ugh, why are they nerfing everything so badly? That's ridiculous. Just because it's the end of the expansion doesn't mean they need to make it easy mode for us." Then I actually thought (gasp!) about it for a little bit. Looking at the changes coming in Patch 3.0.2, this was a change they needed to make to let us still raid until Wrath. A lot of encounters probably became impossible to beat as they were with those changes, Sunwell Plateau especially. Sunwell was designed with all of the insanely OP stuff players were doing to win in mind. Stacking Shadow Priests for mana regen, stacking Shaman to chain-cast Heroism/Bloodlust, half the raid going Leatherworking for Drums, yadda yadda.

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

Guildwatch: Sometimes things do go right


It's been a while since we posted a downed picture here at the top of Guildwatch (usually it's some hilarious chat log from our drama section), but let's try to stay upbeat this week. Here's the Deathknight Trainers hanging out with Akama after a successful boss attempt -- congrats to them and all the other guilds making progress in our weekly column.

And if that doesn't excite you, well we've still got drama, too. Click the link below to see everything we've got this week, and if you've got a tip on some good drama, downed or recruiting news for next week, hit us up at wowguildwatch@gmail.com with an email (don't forget to include the guild's name and server so we can make sure it's listed below, too).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, PvP, Raiding, Guildwatch, Wrath of the Lich King

Guildwatch: A little raid ID problem


Sure, it's a lot of good items being nabbed from the guild bank there, but how much will those really be worth in the expansion, right? Look on the bright side -- you'll have a bunch of new gear, and that former guildleader will still have a bad reputation.

Downed and recruiting news and the ever-popular drama can be found as usual in this week's Guildwatch. To read, just click the link below, and don't forget to send all your tips to wowguildwatch@gmail.com -- things are a little slow before the expansion, so if you've got news of progression (or a nice juicy drama story), please do share it. We thank you, and a host of drama-hungry readers will thank you as well.

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Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, News items, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

The marathon raid day?

A friend and I were idly wondering about the possibility of tackling all Burning Crusade raid content the way you'd watch the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy on a rainy weekend: doing it all without stopping, intent on a glorious finish. Nobody's arguing that the point of such a marathon is to have fun every second while you're doing it; I'd say this is the classic undertaking where it really is about the destination and not so much the journey. But let's say you had an enterprising bunch of raiders sitting around bored on a weekend and your choices were either raiding Tarren Mill again or trying something adventurous. Or if you had Wrath coming up the next week and you wanted to conduct a triumphal tour of the content your guild had conquered, stopping only to relish the wholesale slaughter of bosses who'd given you so much trouble (here's looking at you, Gurtogg). Would it be possible to cut a swathe of destruction across the BC raiding landscape all within the space of a day?

Assuming a bunch of experienced raiders, we came up with the following figures:

Karazhan: 2-3 hours
Gruul's Lair: 1 hour
Magtheridon: 45 minutes
Serpentshrine Cavern: 3-4 hours
Tempest Keep: 3 hours
Zul'Aman: 1 1/2 hours
Mount Hyjal: 2 1/2 hours
Black Temple: 3-4 hours
Sunwell Plateau: 4-5 hours

On the low end, that's 20 hours and 45 minutes. On the high end, it's 25 hours (and I have to pause here for a moment's respect over just how much raid content Blizzard programmed for BC). If you lopped Kara and ZA off the marathon in the interest of doing only 25-man content, an experienced (albeit insane) raid that stomped each site and methodically proceeded to the next with no wipes along the way (probably not likely in Sunwell) could probably wreck BC raid content in maybe 18 hours start to finish (giving them a little extra time for travel and bathroom breaks). Has anyone been crazy enough to try this? Should anyone be crazy enough to try this?

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

Illidan enters TCG play in Black Temple as Master Hero

Mike Hummel at the official WoW Trading Card Game site posted some interesting teasers about the upcoming Black Temple expansion. Specifically, the man behind Papa Hummel's biscuits brings us news of the new, bad-mofo Master hero: Illidan himself.

Illidan's going to be a Master Hero. At first glance, they play like most any other card. They start off in your deck, and they get shuffled into your hand as normal. However, when you can afford the resources to bring Illidan into play, he replaces your existing hero. He starts off with same states and effects as the hero he replaces -- this includes any counters and damage, or other effects like Gouge.

Of course, folks on the TCG forums aren't entirely convinced of Illidan's uberosity. As Zubino points out, you have to wait at least until turn 11 to get him out. If you're stalling until turn 11, then you need a whole lot of other oomph in your deck to be able to prop up the card. Still, being able to call out a Traitor ally every round is a nice ability, and we can all hope to boost him up a little more with Warglaives. And don't forget -- 35 health is nothing to sneeze at in a Hero card.

The Master hero definitely brings another facet of play to the TCG, which is about more than just the loot cards. Of course, now I have to wonder who the next Master hero will be.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, WoW TCG

Tank Talk: should the main tank position still exist?


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and myself (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish. Today, dear readers, we might make ourselves hated by the entire population of undisputed, royal-bloodlined, main tanks, but that's OK. We are used to staying at the top of someone's hate list.

One of the accepted facts of raiding life used to be that the main tank was the guild's gearing priority. As Adam Holisky's observed, "Everything that happens in the raid eventually makes it back to the tank." Healers undergeared? You're screwed. DPS incompetent or just badly grouped? Buh-bye. Random number generator wreaking all manner of havoc on healer crits and boss parries? Thar be the graveyard. A truly cynical mind would opine that the tank should be as well-geared as possible if only because it makes it easier for the raid to forget that person existed as anything other than a rapidly-advancing line on the Omen screen that: a). always stayed above their own, and b). never died. There are enough random variables while the raid's learning a new boss that the tank needs to be eliminated as one, and in vanilla WoW that was certainly the goal. Raid and offtank damage on most encounters hadn't scaled to the point where you could make a compelling argument in favor of gear equilibrium across your tanking roster. What was the point of something like that when 95% of the damage in a fight was going to be absorbed by a single person?

That changed.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Tank Talk

The 10 people you need to know in WoW


One of my favorite people to read online is a fellow by the name of Pjammer on Livejournal. He's smart, funny, and a gifted writer, and if you are not sobbing by the end of "King of Masochists" then you are pretty much a terrible person. But another great entry is "The 16 Essential People In Your Life," which lists such valuable acquaintances as the Computer Security Guru, the Wolf, the Consigliere, and (most importantly) the Best Friend. Pjammer, quoting Harvey Mackay, correctly notes that 2 am is a bad time to make new friends. These are the kind of people you want in your life as early as possible, and to exercise a positive influence on its course.

My realm's seen a number of guild instability issues of late, which is something most of us have come to expect with an upcoming expansion. I've found reason to mull over how the virtual world differs from the real world with respect to friendship, backstabbing, greed, betrayal, honor, and how people choose to handle their problems. In my considered opinion it doesn't differ at all, and your experience ingame is largely determined by the network of players assembled around you, whether that alliance is a recognized one in the form of a guild or simply a more informal group of friends.

So, from my own experience and with a hat tip to Pjammer, these are the people you want in your posse for the best possible experience in the game:

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Expansions, Features, Guides, Death Knight

Guildwatch: "10 guilds kicked me in a row"


The above screenshot is a little hard to read, and for that we apologize. But it comes from Diablo of Stormscale -- apparently they had a healer who /afked in the middle of a raid for about 30 minutes, and when he got switched out of the raid for a Resto Shaman got a little testy. He says he's going to go do his dailies while he adds up the "pros and cons" of staying with the guild, and the GM solves his problem fast: "Here's the con." /gkick.

We have to admire that kind of quick decision making. After the break, more stories of guild drama and woe, and some good news, too -- downed reports and recruiting notices. Make sure to send in any guild news you see to wowguildwatch@gmail.com, and click the link to see this week's GW.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses, Forums

Guildwatch: Unknown withdrew... any chance of joining another guild


Consider yourself lucky if you've never seen the sight above before -- it's the sign of a former guildleader yanking everything out of the guild bank (including all the stuff above and a good 12,000g) and transferring off to another server. Good times. This is why I usually keep all of my Hearts of Darkness under my mattress at home -- the banks just aren't safe.

This isn't the only guild leader ninja we heard about this week, and it's definitely not the only messy drama -- there's lots more right after you click the link below. Don't forget to send in your tips about drama, downed and recruiting news from around the realms to wowguildwatch@gmail.com. We really appreciate it, and lovers of drama of all kinds do too.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

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