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Posts with tag burningcrusade

Shifting Perspectives: State of the class, part 1 - Balance

Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer votes on Tuesday and spends Wednesday screaming and beating her laptop over formatting errors, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert steals John Patricelli's column once again, secure in the knowledge that she will never be forced to atone for her crime as long as she writes something nice about ferals and keeps a respectful distance from Dan O'Halloran's whip.

I hate Tauren cat form.

Good. I got that out of my system and can write something productive. Although, believe me, if I could get away with it, an entire Shifting Perspectives would be devoted to just how much I hate Tauren cat form. I mean, just look at it! Look at the angle on the horns! The cat can't bite anything! Christ, I just -- hi, Dan. Yes, I'm totally writing the column! Look at me go!

This week, mindful as always of American election-year politicking, I'm going to borrow a page from presidential duties and write a little something I like to call "State of the Class." Druids have undergone a number of changes in the transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and will acquire even more as they level to 80. We are one of Blizzard's primary targets for both gear and role consolidation, which raises a few questions over how comfortably we're going to scale in relation to pure classes and what we can realistically expect on the march to a new level cap.

The TL:DR version of this article -- I believe our future is generally bright, the Druid community continues to have a few concerns over certain aspects of the class, our focus in PvP seems to be changing the most, and I hate Tauren cat form. This is a three-part post, so let's get started with balance. However, if you want to jump ahead to feral, you'll find that here; and the third part, restoration, is here.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Kisirani implies the return of the Scourge Invasion event

I think a lot of old school WoW players will agree with me that the Scourge Invasion event that kicked off the Naxxramas patch (and coincided with that year's Midsummer Fire Festival) was a whole lot of fun. There was something incredibly epic about fighting a massive hulking abomination on the steps of the Stormwind Cathedral that not even most boss fights have been able to capture for me. it was also nice to have all those extra bosses in the dungeons for a bit of variety, especially since some of them dropped some very nice loot. Beyond all that, it finally gave us a chance at getting the much coveted tabard of the greatest faction in the game.

Still, despite Blizzard's hints that we'd get a chance to experience the Scourge Invasion again, it's been over a year and a half since the citadels ceased to hang over our capital cities with no sign of a return -- I've even saved a space in my bank for my spare Necrotic Runes, just in case!

Of course, if the Scourge Invasion is ever to return, it's getting closer and closer to the most opportune moment for such a thing. WotLK is coming, in which we will invade Northrend ourselves to try to put a stop to the Scourge once and for all. Preparations are already underway in Stormwind for the journey, and rumor has it that Arthas himself is in eager to lure us to Northrend and trap us there. What better way to do that than with a preliminary invasion as bait?

Apparently, Kisirani agrees.

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Filed under: Events, News items, Expansions, Lore, Bosses, Factions, NPCs, Rumors

Preparing for 80

I have four level 70 characters that I've decided to level to 80, my two horde 70's (tauren warrior, orc shaman) and my draenei warrior and shaman. (I may or may not level my human warrior, and if I get my BE paladin to 70 by then, he'll be in the running to go the distance as well.) As a result, I'm playing catch up with them... making sure their professions are maxed, trying to make sure they have if not great gear than the best gear possible (I know it will be replaced, but doing those initial quests in the new zones is always easier with better gear), supplies of netherweave for when the new first aid comes out, that kind of thing. I was caught unaware the last time we had an expansion as far as what was needed to make things easier, I don't intend to be so caught again.

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Filed under: Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

Know Your Lore: The story of the Burning Crusade

About two months ago, the Lead Designer for Blizzard gave an interview stating that Patch 2.4 -- specifically, the Sunwell instances -- will wrap up the story of the Burning Crusade. This got some of us here thinking. What exactly is the story of the Burning Crusade? Is it the tale of the blood elves and the draenei joining the Horde/Alliance factions? The mass exodus to Outland? The battles against the Illidari? Or the (once again temporary) defeat of the Burning Legion?

Actually, it's all of the above. And since it's now been over a year since TBC came out, it's about time for a review. So join KYL for ... the story of the Burning Crusade!

Once upon a time ... at the end of Warcraft III, Illidan Stormrage, Lady Vashj, and Kael'thas Sunstrider escaped certain death on Azeroth for the continent of Draenor. Once there, Illidan set himself up as Lord of Outland and appointed Vashj and Kael'thas as his top lieutenants. Illidan invited a group of the blood elves to come to Outland and serve him, and gave them new and improved techniques to siphon magic from the local demons.

This did not sit well with another group in Outland, the draenei. The draenei had been largely mutated or driven into hiding by their earlier war with the orcs, but the remaining draenei were still faithful to the Light and its champions, the too-cool-for-school Naaru. When the Illidari came and started enslaving the mutated draenei (or Broken), the remaining draenei decided it was time to take action. They stole the Exodar, part of a Naaru ship that had been taken over by the blood elves, and set out in search of salvation. One month ago, they crash-landed into some islands west of Kalimdor.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: What comes next

The Care and Feeding of Warriors spent some time looking back at 2007 not so long ago, and finds itself looking forward to 2008 and beyond this week. Matthew Rossi wants you to imagine a big swirly tube and either the Stargate or Dr. Who music playing, whichever you prefer. I'm more of a Dr. Who man myself, but as the omnipresent third person narrative device I don't think my opinion is much consulted. It's a hard life being a narrative device. No one ever asks you out for coffee.

As the somewhat emo italic text stated, this week we're going to look forward at where the Warrior class is going, a discussion I quite frankly think will be more interesting in the comments you leave than in my own ramblings. My goal here is mainly to serve as a firestarter, hoping to initiate a few sparks of brilliance from you. As a result, I'm going to just throw my musings and opinions at the wall here and see what sticks with you guys, what you accept and what you reject. After all, in the end it's the players who will ultimately determine what warriors will become, as they're the ones who'll chose what they do with their characters.

My first thought is, looking over the past few years, the trend is that warrior successes in PvP tend to be followed by large nerfs. So PvP warriors are almost certainly going to be nerfed in a rather large way if they remain dominant in PvP. I expect mace spec to see the lion's share of this nerfing, perhaps changed into an entirely unrecognizable form removing stuns entirely, but mortal strike is also up for a few changes. It will probably be safe for the next few months, as they just gave a similar effect to hunters and to change MS now would mean having to change that, too, but it will most likely come in whatever patch lays the preparations for Wrath of the Lich King. If not these, then some change to a fundamental warrior DPS/PvP mechanic, similar to the way weapon speed and rage generation were normalized.

Warriors with better gear still, despite nerfs like rage normalization, perform at a much higher rate than before they achieved it. My tauren warrior does much, much better in PvP now, even against opponents who substantially outgear him. In my biased experience, right around the time I start winning in PvP is when the nerfs start coming.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Death Knight, Arena

The "punctuated equilibrium" of WoW content

Relmstein has posted a quick analysis of what he calls the "punctuated equilibrium" of WoW content patches. In evolutionary biology, there's a theory that species change not gradually over time, but in quick bursts of dynamic change. And Relmstein applies this idea to WoW's own population changes-- the playerbase seems to grow in quick leaps when brand new content is introduced, but slows down and even falls off when standard bugs are being fixed, or not much content is being patched.

What's really interesting, however, is that Relmstein then compares WoW's changes to the effects that content schedule has on other MMO releases. Lord of the Rings Online and Guild Wars (which are WoW's two worthy opponents) both released during downtime (after Burning Crusade and after the vanilla release, respectively). And on the other side of the spectrum, both Vanguard and Everquest 2 tried to go directly up against new WoW content, and, as Relmstein says, got steamrolled.

So looking towards the future, it's not hard to see what might happen. Wrath of the Lich King will make a big splash for sure, both bringing lots of players back, and maybe even bringing new players (who played Warcraft III and want to see Arthas) into the fold. Games like Age of Conan and Warhammer Online may try to go up against it, but it wouldn't be a good idea-- they'd be better off waiting until about a month after the expansion, when many players have reached 80, seen what they can see in Northrend, and Blizzard is confined to bugfixes and small content updates. Of course, a WoW content break isn't all these games need-- they still need to be good games by themselves. But placing themselves in this downtime between new content will give them a much better chance to woo more players away from Azeroth.

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

WoW Moviewatch: Rise of Illidan Stormrage

Yesterday we saw the story of Arthas as he rose (or sank, some would say), from the holy paladin prince of Lordaeron to the most powerful evil person in Azeroth, lord of vast armies of mindless undead -- all recorded from the original Warcraft 3 cut-scenes.

Today we bring you an similar piece that Sylvictus put together for The Burning Crusade, about Illidan's journey from down-in-the-dumps reject brother to the most powerful evil person in Outland, lord of mish-mashed groups of villians and misfits who really aren't as loyal to him as they seem. It doesn't actually begin from the real beginning of Illidan story -- you'll have to go to the Warcraft prequel novels to get that, but as far as the official in-game lore is concerned, this is real deal. Also keep in mind that the end isn't really the end for Illidan here. Illidan, too, is capable of doing a corpse run, and has acquired plenty of prime real estate in Outland to come home to. For those who are interested, the trailer for Blizzard's "Black Temple" patch also touched on Illidan's story, this time from the draenei Akama's point of view. It doesn't include Illidan's conflict with Arthas, but it sets the stage for the progression of the story within WoW.

So if you've been playing The Burning Crusade all this time and wondering what the deal was with the big blind guy with horns and wings, here's the story of Illidan Stormrage straight from Warcraft 3.

Previously on WoW Moviewatch...

Filed under: Machinima, The Burning Crusade, WoW Moviewatch, Lore

Amazon still has Burning Crusade CE in stock

In case you really wanted it, the Burning Crusade Collector's Edition apparently isn't all that collected-- it's still in stock at Amazon for $74.99, a few bucks off the original price. The original Collector's Edition is a little harder to find-- it's been out of stock for a while, and copies are going for around $200. eBay is the same story-- you can buy the BC:CE for as little as $50, while the original CE is going for much, much more.

My guess is that it's the old laws of supply and demand-- by the time Burning Crusade dropped, everyone knew it would be a hit, so Blizzard made a bunch, while the original CE probably had a lot fewer copies made. But the noncombat pets might be a draw as well-- the original CE had Diablo, Zerg, and Panda pets, while the Burning Crusade only had a pretty unimpressive Netherwhelp pet.

And the other interesting question is what will happen when the next expansion drops. Being that WotLK is much more integral to the Warcraft that everyone knows and loves (while BC was much more involved with the ancient history of Warcraft), will people who've skipped Burning Crusade so far be more inclined to pick it up when Wrath releases? Maybe the BC:CE will get rarer as we get closer to Northrend.

[ via WoW Ladies ]

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

Phat Loot Phriday: Remote Mail Terminal

We've done some rare items here on Phat Loot Phriday, but we've never done anything this rare. This high level engineering item is so rare it's not even in the game. (I promise next week we'll do something everyone can get.)

Name: Remote Mail Terminal
Type: Engineering Item
Damage/Speed: N/A
  • When used, creates a Remote Mail Terminal that can send and receive ingame mail from anywhere.
  • Last for five minutes.
  • Pretty cool device, because I'm pretty sure the only mailboxes not in towns are in Gnomeregan, right? And just like the Repair Bot, this could be put to good use during raids-- instead of having to make your alt come all the way into the instance to trade with a group member, you could just put this baby down, and both check and receive mail right there in Karazhan.
How to Get It: There's just one problem: you can't.

Sure, all it requires is an Engineering level of 335, an Adamantite Frame, two handfuls of Fel Iron Bolts, a Khorium Power Core, and Fused wiring. But while the plans for this were a world drop in the Burning Crusade beta, they never made it to the live servers. GMs have said that apparently mail was getting lost sometimes in the send. And while sometimes is good enough for Goblin Jumper Cables, it's not good enough for player mail, so the Remote Mail Terminal is MIA for engineers until Blizzard decides to put it back in.

Getting Rid of It: The schematic sells for 1g 25s, or did, when people were selling it. But it was also selling for thousands on the AH during the beta. Blizzard has already promised Engineers are getting some love soon, so maybe the Mail Terminal will make a return with the next expansion, if not before.

Filed under: Engineering, Items, Phat Loot Phriday

Chinese player goes 60-70 in 23 hours

This is just wild. The Burning Crusade expansion only just recently got released in China by The9, the company that runs World of Warcraft there, and a Horde Hunter named "SilverDragon" from the guild GreenBase has leveled from 60 to 70-- in just 23 hours (Warning: that link goes to a site that sells gold, so visit it at your own risk).

Think about that for a sec. When it was released here, the fastest leveler we saw took 28 hours, and he had the backing of a whole guild. Unfortunately, we don't have any other info about SilverDragon (gear? technique?), or any other confirmation that it actually happened, save for the "timestamped" screenshots posted on the goldseller's blog above. But if it is true, that is a crazy little chunk of leveling. Think we'll see an even quicker record to level 80?

As commenter Andy notes, the top screen seems to show a Warlock. Except that Trolls can't be Warlocks, buddy. But he's right to be suspicious-- this may not be true.

Update2: OK, I think we've solved it (and can I just say I love how you can watch a train of thought slowly progress through any internet comment thread?). The shots are actually from different players, because they're targeting the same Hunter. And the reason the Troll looks different in the first shot is because that's the default Troll look-- whoever is targeting him is out of range, and in the second picture, they are not (which is probably why they have the Trueshot aura). Considering that there are also shots of him at 70 in the /who window, I'm going to call this confirmed. Congrats to SilverDragon for hitting 70 so quickly-- now he should probably go back and actually play the game.

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

Player burnout and the next expansion

Hardcore Casual has a post up about his reaction to the news being released about the next expansion. As a player who left WoW, he's not impressed.

Burning Crusade's effect on Blizzard's game was gigantic-- player who'd left came back in droves, and guilds and players who hadn't been playing together for a while all of a sudden found themselves online almost every night. And even out of the game, it had a huge impact-- Wowhead, the argument could be made, rode the wave of Burning Crusade, and it led them to their sale.

So the question now is: will WotLK have the same effect? HC says no-- he says Hero classes as hyped were much cooler than the way Death Knights are being implemented, and that the next 10 levels doesn't appeal to him. They do appeal to his father, he says, and there's no question that lots of players are interested in the next expansion. Who wouldn't want to fight alongside and/or against Arthas? This expansion might get players to connect with this universe in a way they haven't since they played Warcraft III.

Or it might be too late. Even Blizzard realizes the player base is headed for a rough patch-- they've started the Scroll of Resurrection program to bring straying players back with bribes. The game itself is far from over-- there is a significant core audience who still love this game (including myself), and can't wait to see WotLK. But the fact is that WoW may have peaked with BC. Even if there is a nice peak coming again with Wrath of the Lich King, all indications are that it won't be as high as the first expansion went.

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

Ask WoW Insider: What's the best of Ask WoW Insider?

Fridays are a time for early happy hour quiet contemplation and reflection upon the past, and in that spirit we're taking a look back at some of the best posts from over the lifespan of Ask WoW Insider. Now that we're all older and wiser -- who *did* end up being the top PvP classes at 70?
  • Best duo for PvP or grinding
    "What team of classes make the best duo for PVP or for grinding?"
  • Top PvP classes at level 70
    Just after Burning Crusade came out, we speculated on which classes would dominate in PvP. Were we right? Would you change the answer you gave then?
  • Best ways to make money in Burning Crusade
    "What are some good ways of making money for levels 60-70 in Burning Crusade? Are there people making money from jewelcrafting yet, should I pick that up? What about good mobs to grind or drops that sell well to vendors or on the AH?"
  • Best way to get instance invites
    "What are your tips and tricks for convincing a group you've got the goods despite not having seen the inside of the dungeon?"
  • Why are you overpowered?
    "Dig deep, self-examine and admit it: what makes your class overpowered?"
  • How's WoW performance on a Mac?
    "I play Wow on a PC, and am looking towards a new computer purchase. One thing that influences my purchase is how well WoW will run on my new computer. I'm leaning towards a Mac, but how well does WoW run on a Mac?"
  • Best way to power level alts
    "What's your strategy for the quickest power leveling? How do you maximize your time with your alts?"
  • How would you design your own battleground?
    "What if you could design your own battleground? What would you do different or better than what is currently in the game?"
  • When is it fair to upgrade an epic?
    "All DKP ideas aside, when is it fair to upgrade an epic over an epic?"
  • Best healing class
    "Which class would you roll for a purely healing role? Which would you roll for a powerfully healing hybrid who might want to take on other roles from time to time? Relatedly, which healing class is the worst?"
  • Best DPS class
    "Which classes can dish out the most DPS and which ones make the least amount of DPS?"
  • Favorite WoW podcasts
    "There are a ton of WoW-themed podcasts out there now -- which would you recommend? What are your favorites?"
  • Great ding stories
    "Any fun or interesting stories to tell about hitting the level cap? Or more generally, any memorable or unusual dings at any level?"
We see that look in your eye, and we know it means you want to send us questions. Ask WoW Insider needs 'em -- send them to us at ask AT wowinsider DOT com!

Filed under: Podcasting, PvP, Instances, The Burning Crusade, Ask WoW Insider, Leveling, Classes, Making money, Alts

Walking into a void

me and VWIs it just me, or did the process for obtaining my voidwalker get way too hard in the Burning Crusade? I now play a Blood Elf Warlock along with my alliance toons, and just last night I had to go into Ghostlands, to Goldenmist Village to summon a VW, defeat him and high-tail it out of there to get my big fluffy blue peep. No, I have done it before on other toons on other servers, but even with a friend I found this task to be all too difficult. ON the Alliance side, getting your VW in Stormwind can be done while eating IRL, giving the dog a bath, or watching reruns of <insert favorite show>. An ambitious imp can nearly solo it.

Generally, most starting area content in Burning Crusade has been easier. Early quests in both Eversong Woods and Azuremyst Isle give you bags to help you hold more right off the bat, and in both areas you can go from 0-12 in a matter of a few hours. Most quests are geographically close together, and the content is very well laid out to help you move on to the better stuff quickly.

This Warlock rite of passage is the hardest thing I have seen in the lower-level starting areas for a Blood Elf, and it is incredibly hard, especially if you are soloing it. The aggro, and respawn rate of all the ghosties in the area are cranked up much higher than they should be in my opinion, and I think many players would agree. You literally cannot stop running or 3-5 ghosts will be owning your imp in nothing flat, not to mention you. Try it yourself, roll a Blood Elf Warlock and get it to level ten, and try to get your VW, and you'll see what I mean.

Have you found the content in Burning Crusade to be too hard, starting areas or otherwise? Are there areas and problem spots that continually give you hassle that you Blizzard should maybe address, you know, after they put out the new expansion pack that is? Sure it is easy to complain, and says things aren't right, but in this case, I feel that some sort of tweaking is needed. I can't imagine someone who is just starting to play being able to complete this quest, and I have been playing for a while.

Filed under: Warlock, Quests, Blood Elves, WoW Rookie

Attunement scrolls now granting free flasks

So first there were quests to get into Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep. Then Blizzard created "attunement scrolls," which dropped from the bosses of each and allowed guilds to attune other players or alts who'd missed out on the action so far. And then Blizz removed the attunements entirely. So what happened to the quests and the scrolls?

All we know about the quests so far is that Blizzard has promised to add extra steps onto them to reward the people who actually did them (we don't know what the rewards will be quite yet). But Boubouille at MMO Champion has a good line on what's up with the scrolls-- they still drop, but now instead of granting attunements, they grant flasks, usable in all the higher level raid instances.

The good news, as we heard at BlizzCon, is that Blizzard says they've learned their lesson from this fiasco, and attunements in upcoming patches and expansions will be a little less intensive (which is fine by me-- I'd rather difficulty keep people away from a dungeon rather than a super-long attunement questline). But if you've got any of these scrolls still around, feel free to use them for flasks. As a commenter says, it's a buy and use 25 flasks, get 5 free sale!

Filed under: Patches, Items, Blizzard, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs

Liquidor's rep calculator works for US realms, too

Ask and you shall be given-- the other day we posted about Liquidor's rep calculator, and lamented that it was EU only, and now only a few days later, he's updated it to not only include US realms, but he's completely revamped the design.

Sure enough, I punched in my character from the US realms, and I got the nice readout of where I'm at for all my reputations, and one click access to what exactly I need to do to move up a level (apparently I need to keep running Shadow Labs, grrr). Seems like it pulls everything directly from the Armory (where else would he get it from?), so all the info is as up to date as it is on Blizzard's official site.

There's also a checkbox now for "TBC Reputation only" that when unclicked gives a warning that says "Soon!," so apparently Liquidor is working on including Old World Azeroth rep as well. Just like we said the other day, this is a terrific tool for working on those all important rep grinds. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm LFG Shadow Labs. Anyone? Please?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Leveling, Factions

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