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Posts with tag cataclysm-wow

Cataclysm Beta: Arena Season 9 available for testing

Bashiok has just posted that the Cataclysm beta is now host to Arena Season 9. The developers are looking to test arena games and the bugs therein, as well as the much-lauded rated battlegrounds. Fire up those betas for some awesome PvP action.

Bashiok -- Arena Season 9 Available for Testing
Arena Season 9 is now running and available for testing in the Cataclysm beta.

To help facilitate testing we'd like to ask that those interested in providing bug reports and feedback focus on playing arena games, but also participating in the rated battlegrounds. Please let us know if you find any issues or have any feedback. Thanks.

Filed under: PvP, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: The Kron'Kar Annihilator is the coolest thing ever, period

There is nothing cooler in the entire history of World of Warcraft than the forthcoming Kron'Kar Annihilator. None. The Kron'Kar Annihilator is naming perfection coupled with such a beautiful simplicity. Let us analyze, scientifically of course, why this is so. The discussion is broken into three parts, consisting of the "Kron'Kar" element, the "Annihilator" element and the scorpion element.

First, words with apostrophes and hard consonant sounds are awesome. Kron'Kar has both, and then some. Double hard consonant "k" sounds punctuate both the ferocity and dangerousness of the powerful scorpion. The apostrophe lets you know that this beast follows in a tradition of badassery, such as Thrall's elite Kor'kron guard, or Drek'thar, leader of the mighty Frostwolf clan. Hard consonant sounds make saying Kron'Kar fun and intimidating.

Second, there is really nothing past annihilation in terms of things you can do to something or someone. Annihilating is pretty much it. You're gone, buddy. The Kron'Kar Annihilator annihilates. It's built in right there in the name!

Third, it's a scorpion. Seriously, are you going to tell me that scorpions aren't the most badass thing? It has claws, a stinger and -- since it is presumed that the Kron'Kar Annihilator is going to be the Horde guild mount -- is big enough to carry at least a tauren. I am putting on a diaper as we speak, because I just might be paralyzed with fear and defecate myself upon seeing a giant scorpion barreling down on me, Horde soldier atop its armored back, with nothing but hatred in both their hearts and the impending annihilation ever-present in the beasts' nomenclature.

We have already seen the Alliance's lion guild mount. The Kron'Kar Annihilator is the Horde equivalent. What do you think about the new guild mounts? Can anything be more awesome than a mountable scorpion?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: Priest changes in build 12984 and Life Grip video

Do draenei dream of space travelling sheep?
Every Sunday at WoW Insider, you'll find Spiritual Guidance, a guide to healing as a discipline or holy priest. Priestess Dawn Moore will bring you the latest in news, discussion and advice for priests in the World of Warcraft while simultaneously battling her shadow priest rival, Fox Van Allen. This week, Dawn has been training an infantry of super-perceptive aerial assault sheep to counter the Dark Shrine she spotted Fox warping into WoW Insider HQ earlier.

The latest build for the Cataclysm beta was the big news yesterday, thanks to ol' B at MMO-Champion. The news hit sometime in the night while most priests were nestled all snug in their beds, but High Priest Matticus and I were up late drinking chocolate malts and playing wall ball, so we got a head start on the information ... which we promptly used to write about pets and shaman.

Last week, I said I'd be finishing my Cataclysm roundup this weekend, but since there were quite a few changes in this latest beta build (which I'm guessing will affect the release of patch 4.0.1), I think it's better if we discuss the details of the changes before we try to summarize them. There was also a super-exciting (though entirely superficial) change with this patch as well ...

Leap of Faith, also known as "Life Grip," got a brand new animation! Check out the video after the jump.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Beta: New guild achievements added in patch 12984

Patch 12984, the latest Cataclysm beta build, just crash landed across the net, and MMO-Champion is mining out the latest changes. Included in the changes are a bunch of new or tweaked guild achievements. Here are some examples:
Perhaps the readers can actually help explain to me what "you've been iced" means. I wasn't aware there were bros in Azeroth yet, but I guess after all those popped collars on the priest tier 10, it was bound to happen.

Hit the jump for the full list from MMO-Champion.

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Filed under: Guilds, News items, Achievements, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Cataclysm update and resto mail bag

Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how, brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast


Last week we talked a little bit about the mastery stat and how it is being implemented and what it will affect, as well as talking a little bit about how the developers are are looking at totems -- the highlight, of course, being comments from Ghostcrawler (Blizzard's lead systems designer) himself.

This last week though there was a new beta build released. Cataclysm build 12694 has hit, and with it, there have been quite a few changes that will affect restoration shaman. Various talents and spells have been moved, trimmed or otherwise adjusted. I'm certain you are wondering what new and exciting things were waiting for us.

This week I would like to take a look a these changes and give you my own impressions of them, after having tested them quite a bit. I also thought that this week we would take a look at some of the common questions I've been receiving in regards to playing a restoration shaman in the Cataclysm beta.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Breakfast Topic: The illusion of choice

My first reaction to seeing the new, streamlined talent trees was, "We'll all be cookie cutter specs now!" I mulled it over for a bit, hashed it out with some people on Twitter and came to the conclusion that the new streamlined specs are a good thing, in principle. Ask yourself, when was the last time you respecced to move one to two points around? How much are you really losing with the slimmed-down trees?

My shaman, Stoneybaby, hasn't respecced in ... I don't even know when, but I'm sure it's been many months. I have my raiding spec, in which I could move one or two points around -- should I take 2/3 Improved Shields or 3/3 Improved Shields? Ultimately, it makes little difference; I picked my raiding spec and my PvP spec, and I go forth with those until the game requires a change. I don't need a lot of choice because I won't use it.

On the other hand, my druid is a bit different. He's specced balance for AoE farming Chunk o' Mammoth (my wolves need their Spiced Mammoth Treats!) and feral bear for tanking alt raids. For raids, I either tank or I tank -- take your pick. He's mostly useless as DPS in raids because he doesn't have the proper hit, mana regen or focused damage talents; he's built to kill a dozen mobs at once out in the field. I like the choice so I can specialize in AoE farming.

In the case of my shaman, I really don't need that one- or two-point customization, and so lamenting the loss of deep, complex talent trees is just the loss of choice for the sake of choice. For my druid, I really do want and use the complexity of the current specs. Overall though, I think the slimmed-down trees will enrich the game without dumbing it down.

What about you? Do you really want deep choice in spec customization, or are you just lamenting the loss of the illusion of choice?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From goblins and worgens to mastery and guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Totem Talk: Cataclysm beta impressions

Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how, brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast

The excitement from this past week and the Real ID fiasco seems to be finally calming down, so I think it is safe to talk about other things. On July 13, Rich Maloy , Matt Sampson and myself will be appearing in a pre-recorded episode of RaidWarning's podcast. They put together a shaman roundtable by the name of Totem Recall. It was a ton of fun to record, and there were a lot of people from around the WoW community who joined us. For the restoration section, I joined Jhaman of Castaclysm, fellow Zul'jin dweller Borsk from Borsked, Vixsin from Life in Group 5, Pewter from The 'Mental Shaman and even the shaman crew from Elitist Jerks. We had a lot of fun not only answering reader questions, but just getting to sit down and talk to each other while sharing ideas and comparing notes. If you get the chance, make sure to download it when it becomes available and give it a listen; should be a good time!

The Cataclysm beta has been going pretty strong now, with news trickling in from various sources. If you haven't heard, a new round of invites for the beta will be going out soon. While you keep checking your email and Battle.net pages, I thought I would share some of what I have seen healing the first few instances and doing a little questing.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Arcane Brilliance: Great balls of fire

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that asks the question: Which balls are the best? The answer, of course, is also provided by Arcane Brilliance: balls of fire. Balls of fire are the best. Wait, what kind of balls were you thinking about? That's pretty gross. But Arcane Brilliance likes where your head is.

When the Cataclysm class previews were announced by Blizzard lo those many months ago, my initial reactions were a decidedly mixed bag.

Arcane scared the crap out of me. Mana Adept? It took several weeks and many hours of therapy before I could envision any sort of scenario in which that idea didn't sound like a terrible, terrible idea.

Frost struck me as kind of meh. I gradually became more excited after I thought about it for a while, but Deathfrost and Wall of Fog simply weren't all that thrilling as initial concepts.

Fire, on the other hand, sounded awesome.

A giant ball of conjured flame that travels along a set path, sending out tendrils of destruction that incinerate anything in its path? Sexy.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance politics -- the dwarves, part two


The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how, but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

WARNING:
The following post contains small spoilers for Wrath of the Lich King. Players who are still playing through the expansion and wish to avoid spoilers may want to avoid this post. In addition, theories behind the new Cataclysm race/class combinations will be discussed.

The dwarves of Azeroth have had a somewhat rocky start politically speaking -- the War of the Three Hammers caused a rift between the three major dwarf clans that looked as though it would never be repaired. However, current events as well as revelations regarding new class combinations suggest that the dwarves may not remain as fractured as they've been in World of Warcraft's history.

When we left off last time, it was to an introduction of the woman pictured above -- Princess Moira Bronzebeard, daughter of King Magni. Why is she so important, you may ask -- well Moira's been in the clutches of Emperor Dagran Thaurissan, leader of the Dark Iron clan since World of Warcraft's launch. How'd she get there? Why isn't she dead? What's Magni doing about all of this? Let's take a closer look at Moira and her role in what could possibly be upcoming conflicts.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Totem Talk: Prelude to restoration's new talents

Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how, brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast.

Back at the beginning of April, we were treated to the Cataclysm preview for all of the classes. Many people were excited, some were disappointed, but everyone had news to digest. This past week has seen the Cataclysm friends and family alpha start and since then, we have seen a plethora of leaks: everything from images of the changes to old zones and new instances up to some data-mined information about female worgen. Needless to say, it has been a pretty busy week.

This last week has also seen a lot of discussion about the leaked talent trees as they are in the alpha now. I thought now would be a good time to take a break from boss talks to talk about what we know so far about the shaman talent trees and maybe find out your opinions on them as well.

The information in the link above is leaked and is in no way official. If you are waiting for an official release or don't want to see any potential spoilers, don't click the link. Otherwise let us take a look at some of the potential changes.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Know Your Lore: Current Horde politics - the Orcs

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how, but do you know the why? Each week Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Now that we're done with the dragonflights coverage, it's time to move on to other, more... explosive topics of conversation. Yes, that was a thinly veiled attempt at a Cataclysm reference. With the events of Cataclysm, both the Alliance and the Horde are due for some shake-ups, but it's the Horde that stands in a particularly shaky position, politically speaking. Cataclysm promises to shake up not just the physical world, but the political world of the Horde as we currently know it -- so I'll be taking a look at each of the Horde races, what they've been up to in the World of Warcraft, and why Cataclysm may do much more than simply set the Alliance and the Horde at odds.

Today's topic, the orcs -- the green-skinned Draenor natives that have established a foothold and a home on Azeroth, for better or for worse, and founded the current Horde as we know it today. While rumors are just that, rumors for now, they're well founded in current events and lore regarding the orcs and quite frankly, the rumors do not surprise me in the least. To begin, let's go back to the beginning of the current Horde and talk a little bit about their leader, their savior, the orc behind all the current stress the Horde is experiencing -- Thrall.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for healing priests

We've all heard by now the changes Blizzard is planning for gear and stats in Cataclysm. While the stat changes are going to dramatically change how many classes work, causing many players to panic, as a healing priest my general impression was "nothing to see here; move along." I then took a sip of my tea and resumed playing shuffle board.

That's not to say nothing good is coming to us though...

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: This is my quest


A little musical interlude for your morning, courtesy of Peter O'Toole and Sophia Loren. On with the topic: quests, of course! With the upcoming expansion, there are going to be a lot of changes happening all through Azeroth, both to the way the world looks, and to the quest givers and quests that we've all grown so familiar with. Some quests will stay, some will change, and some will simply go away, never to be completed again.

There are two quests I recommend that people do now, just in case they vanish into the nether when Cataclysm hits. One is Alliance, and one is Horde, in the interests of equality:

Alliance:
Sully Balloo's Letter: This one is entirely too easy for Alliance players to miss, as there's no indicator on the minimap that a quest even exists. If you go to the bridge over the Thandol Span and jump off into the water below, you'll find the skeletal corpse of a dwarf crushed by a boulder. In his hand is a note with a gear icon if you mouse over it -- clicking it gives you a Waterlogged Envelope that will start the quest. While the chain that starts is interesting enough, it's the letter itself that's noteworthy -- be sure to read it before you turn it in. For history buffs, yes, this is a reference to Sullivan Ballou, the Major from the Civil War.

Horde:
Test of Faith: This quest is pretty straightforward and simple, but players sometimes miss it both because it's in Thousand Needles, and because it's so far off the beaten path in Thousand Needles. You get it from Dorn Plainstrider, who's off in a little cave in the side of the cliffs just northwest of Freewind Post. Dorn gives you this quest, it's really quite simple: He teleports you to the top of one of Thousand Needles peaks. The quest objective? Jump off. I won't say what happens, but it's a long way down.

So here's my question for you Breakfast Topic types: If you were asked to recommend just one quest to someone, one that really stuck out in your mind, what would it be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Arcane Brilliance: The Mage of 2009

The internet's magiest weekly mage column, Arcane Brilliance would like to wish you and yours a very magetastic holiday season. Unless you and yours are warlocks. In which case Arcane Brilliance hopes the holiday season comes to your Christmas party and punches you in the face.

Every year, as the end of that twelve-month block draws near, Arcane Brilliance likes to take an unbiased look back at the events that captured our collective imagination. Heh. Get it? "I-MAGE-ination?" Holy crap Arcane Brilliance is clever. And indefensibly fond of bad puns.

So what did the year of our lord 2009 hold for those of us who prefer the scent of barbecued sheep to pretty much any odor ever and think strudel is a perfectly acceptable meal choice for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a meal I like to call the "Evocation's-on-cooldown-snack?"

Join me after the break for all the highlights, presented in vaguely chronological order.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Breakfast Topic: The future of the Horde

One of the things that's continually surprised me since news broke on the likely changes to the Horde's leadership is how many otherwise die-hard Horde players have considered going Alliance. Yeah, yeah, most of it's probably idle threats anyway, but the real issue is one that's simmered for the length of Wrath's storyline. Lots of traditional Horde players are happy to fight under Thrall. Lots of traditional Horde players are...not so happy to fight under someone else.

The issue seems to be the growing rift between players and Horde leadership in Northrend, and the degree to which many of us can't identify with the sub-faction that eventually hijacks the Horde storyline. I burned Saurfang's letter as he asked. I nodded alongside Golluk Rockfist as he told Horde players, "You are leaving to the Ruby Dragonshrine. This is not a request." I sat with Thrall in his darkest moments in the Undercity throne room, when he realized that everything was lost.

By contrast, I /facepalmed my way through Icecrown.

Spoiler material past the break.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Lore, Factions

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