Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag discussion

Breakfast Topic: What we don't know


I found myself without much to do last weekend, so I spent most of my time in Azeroth. My paladin, who's been extremely slow to level lately, went on a burst of XP gathering, and I got him from around 67 up to about 73, finishing up Outland and making some solid gains in Northrend. At 68, I logged out to my level 80 hunter, picked up the Tome of Cold Weather Flight, and passed it back to my pally, so as soon as he stepped on the northern shore, he could take to the skies in his flying machine (yes, he's an engineer, and he's headed for a chopper as soon as I can make it).

But then something strange happened (I mentioned this on last week's podcast as well): not one, not two, but three different people sent me tells in the same evening, all of them asking just how I was flying around Northrend at level 68. I feel like we covered the topic pretty well here on WoW.com, and of course Blizzard had the information listed in the official patch notes. But somehow, news of the Tome had flown (sorry) under these players' radar.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Quests

GC clarifies ArPen's stat removal and others


Ghostcrawler's hoping this answer "gets read," so we'll help. A player asks why Blizzard is worrying about armor penetration with the Scourge Strike ability -- isn't, they ask, ArPen getting removed in Cataclysm like we heard at BlizzCon? The answer is basically no: Armor Penetration rating is getting removed from gear (along with Block value, Defense, Attack Power, and a number of other gear stats), but Armor Penetration as a stat is not getting removed from the game. Talents and other abilties will still depend on removing and penetrating armor, even if your gear selection won't revolve around it. They'll still be balancing it, but as players choosing gear, it won't be a part of our calculations there.

Make sense? Just because you don't see, say, Attack Power on gear doesn't mean you won't have an Attack Power number governing how much damage you do. It just means that the AP you have will come from stats like Agility and Strength (depending on your class and a number of other factors) rather than gear adding directly to AP. Of course, as Ghostcrawler says, these changes aren't even coming until patch "4.0" and the Cataclysm expansion, so there's still lots of gear choices and balancing to do before then.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Buffs, Death Knight, Forums, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: The best city for shopping


This discussion site we linked the other day, Epic Advice, is humming with activity, and full of interesting queries and answers about the World of Warcraft. Like this one: which city is the best for running to and from the bank and the AH (the question-asker also wants to get the mage portal in that circuit, but for the purposes of our discussion, we'll assume you're on a bank alt, so no portal necessary)? In terms of speed and ease, which is the best capital city to set up shop in?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

The pros and cons of Battle.net


Well it's finally happened -- as of next month, you'll be required to have a Battle.net login to get into the game, so you might as well head over and merge your account up right now. It's not like we have a choice in the matter any more, but that doesn't mean lots of players still have apprehensions about the process. Naissa puts some of the concerns together clearly over on her blog -- putting all of her accounts under one username scares her, and that's a legit point. Not only can Blizzard presumably cut access to all of their games for just one (or even one false positive) ToS violation, but presumably, one hacker could now gain access to all of your Blizzard games with one hack. The online profile is another concern -- Bungie already has something like this running with Halo, and from my online profile, you can see clearly just how bad I am. With the Armory, there's a level of anonymity (you can't see your account name, just character names), but if Blizzard starts posting profiles under account names -- or even worse, "Real IDs," which are apparently real names -- that's one more layer of separation lost. Surely, they'll have to have a way to opt out of that.
Of course, the changeover isn't all bad.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Bugs, Virtual selves, Blizzard

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

Breakfast Topic: How to be realm-famous


I like this post on the General forums about being "realm-famous" and how to get there. World of Warcraft has a gigantic community around it, but sometimes my favorite part of the game is that there are all sorts of little micro-communities in that big one. There's the player base at large, and then groups of people who read WoW.com or other sites. Then you've got the realm forums denizens, and that's a different group than the factions on either side of each realm in-game. And then you've got your guild, and then within that, your raiders and maybe even your friends list. We're all part of one big group -- we all play the game together -- but there are all sorts of little identities in all of these little micro-groups as well.

And people can become "famous" in these groups. It's tough for us at a macro level to cover all of that stuff, though I like trying to keep up with some of it in our Guildwatch column (and the picture above shows what happens when someone can become "realm-famous," or realm-infamous as the case may be. What's your experience with realm-fame -- can you name people on your own server, or have you ever gotten "famous" for nabbing a realm first or earning a reputation?

Filed under: Realm News, Guilds, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Forums

WoW Insider Show Episode 110: Sniffing around


Here's the podcast we recorded last weekend, ready for your listening enjoyment. In it, Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington, Dominic Hobbs, and Turpster and I chat about what's going on in the patch 3.3 PTR, as well as the new details we heard about Cataclysm last week. We answer your emails, too, including what will be possible and what won't if you don't buy the next expansion, as well as whether there's more war in Warcraft than there used to be.

Two show notes for you: first of all, as we talk about in the show, our podcast is now featured in the Ustream iPhone app, so if you have an iPhone or iPod touch and don't happen to be near a computer on Saturday afternoon when we record, you can still tune in and listen. And secondly, we've never really done this before, but we'll try it: the Podcast Award nominations have just opened up, and if you enjoy listening to our podcast every week, we'd really appreciate a nomination in both the "People's Choice" and "Gaming" categories. Of course, we'll do the show whether we win awards or not, but winning awards is always fun and helps us find new listeners. So if you have a moment and can punch us in over there, we'd appreciate it. Enjoy the show.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Podcasts, Podcasting, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Humor, WoW Insider Show, Cataclysm, Worgen

Searching for the most popular server


Kris over on the WoW LJ has an interesting question: what's the most popular server in the game? Blizzard never has (and likely never will) singled out one server as the most popular in the game, as the QQ that would ensue might bring the forums down (not to mention that it must change pretty often, as people transfer and reroll on other realms. It seems that everyone on a high population server thinks they must be top dog when they see queues during prime time, but the most widespread concrete numbers we have are probably from the unofficial Warcraft Realms census: they claim that, with over 35,000 characters on it, Whisperwind is number one.

Of course, even that can't be trusted -- those numbers are picked up from the site's addon, all within the last 30 days, and it could just be that WR has more info about more people on that server. But at the same time, I'd guess that Warcraft Realms' numbers are in the ballpark, as long as you're talking about Yankee Stadium. Whisperwind, Cenarion Circle, Stormrage, Moon Guard, and Proudmoore are all big servers, I can promise you anecdotally, while Laughing Skull, Blood Furnace, and Malorne are definitely at the other end of the spectrum. As for a most popular realm, there probably isn't one specifically (it changes periodically, if not even at different times of the day). But if your realm is near the top of Warcraft Realms' list, it's probably busier than the others.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Instances

WoW Insider Show today at 3:30pm Eastern


Our podcast returns to the air once again this afternoon -- WoW.com writers Amanda Dean and newbie Dominic Hobbs will join Turpster and I to talk about the most popular posts of the last week. First on the menu, I'm sure, will be the 3.3 PTR and what's new with Icecrown. All the new info about Cataclysm will probably make an appearance, and as promised last week, we'll talk about Ghostcrawler's recent forum decisions and what it means for Blizzard's development in general.

And of course we'll chat live with listeners, do a pre-show and an aftershow as usual, and answer your emails, which you can send to us anytime at theshow@wow.com. If you're around today, we'll start it all up around 3:30pm Eastern over on our Ustream page, or right after the break below in an embedded feed. See you then!

Read more →

Filed under: Fan stuff, Humor, WoW Insider Show, Cataclysm

Is WoW's audience still increasing?


I'm not sure how much of this is legit, but stick with us for the information first, and then stay for the debunking. Edward Hunter over at Gamasutra decided to do some poking around in comScore's MediaMetrix application (which can track, based on a survey of a few million users, access to various applications on a computer -- which programs are run when), and he found something that surprised him: despite the economic downturn and the emergence of a few other popular MMOs recently, World of Warcraft's audience is estimated globally at 13.1 million. In other words, it's still growing from the last official numbers (11.5 million players worldwide) we heard.

Now, the first issue we'd have with these numbers is the situation in China -- Hunter doesn't mention it at all, and in fact his graph (from comScore) doesn't have any dips at all in it, even though the game, and presumably its millions of players, went offline over there earlier this year. That right there throws a wrench into all of these estimations -- it's very likely comScore's information is just plain wrong.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Rumors

Richard Knaak signing in the Midwest, Blizzard artists' forum at UC Irvine


Stuck in the Midwest and didn't have enough money to go see all the fun at BlizzCon 2009 this year? We've got a little (very little) bit of condolence for you: Richard Knaak, author of the Warcraft novels, is doing a signing tour this weekend around the Midwest in Missouri and Kansas. Blizzplanet has all of the dates and places -- he'll be in St. Joseph, MO on Friday (today), and then in Overland Park, KS and Lawrence, KS on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Not quite as fun as seeing Ozzy, but if you're out in the middle of the country, there's your chance at a little facetime with someone helping shape the WoW universe.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck in Chicago, and -- oh wait! I moved to Los Angeles last weekend, which means I'm actually going to get to go to this artists' forum down at UC Irvine in California. Where I am (it's still a little weird to say that). The Laguna Art Museum (which has an ongoing relationship with Blizzard) will be hosting some of Blizzard's and other artists on October 1st, and they'll be talking (we presume) about creating art and other media for games and digital entertainment. Usually this is the part of the post where I'll ask you to send us pictures if you go, but what the heck -- I'm in the neighborhood (not really, but closer than Chicago), so maybe I'll get a chance to go and check it out for myself. See you there?

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items

WoW Insider Show Episode 107: Fighting the fanboy


Here's our podcast from last weekend, when both Amanda Dean and Adam Holisky tuned in to join Turpster and I and talk about the biggest stories of the past week in Warcraft. Unfortunately, it was a bad day for Skype, so we had some rough tumbles with lag and audio problems, but we did manage to get in some good insight about Matt Low's thoughts on why you probably shouldn't play a Priest, the incoming lore reasons on why those new race/class combos are possible, Adam's challenge to Blizzard and their veiled release information, and what our faction transfer survey came up with in terms of conclusions. Despite the technical issues, I'm told it was still a pretty good show, so tune in below to hear it for yourself.

This week, we're going live at a special time (and yes, apologies to the guy who last week that we were switching around times constantly -- this is only because I'm embarking on a cross-country move later in the week, and the rest of the year we should always be found on Saturdays). We'll be live this Wednesday evening, September 16th, 2009 6:00 PM EDT right over on our Ustream page. I know that's probably a little late for you EU folks, but the last few shows have been earlier than usual, so this one's for the Americans getting home from work. And of course if you can't make that time, we'll definitely have the show on the iTunes feed later on for your listening enjoyment. See you then.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Humor, WoW Insider Show, Cataclysm

New Shaman totems in the expansion


Good news from Kisirani for those who like a little variety in their Shaman classes -- she confirms that Dwarf Shaman will indeed get brand new totems to throw down rather than the Draenei or Tauren models in Cataclysm, and hints that all of the Shaman races, past and future, will get a little differentiation in the sticks they stab into the ground. Unfortunately, she also confirms that Dwarven totems aren't kegs (that right there would have gotten me to reroll as a Dwarven Shammy first thing), but whatever they end up being -- my guess is something rock and/or hammer-esque -- I'm sure Blizzard's artists will make them look cool.

For Trolls, you have to think they're going to go voodoo (they'll probably use the Troll totems already in the game). Orcs, it would have to be something primitive -- maybe leather strung across a bone stand or something like that. And of course Draenei already have their own custom totems, and we don't really have enough of a hold on what the Goblins are like yet (trust me, we don't -- the race I played at BlizzCon was very different from the neutral race we know right now) to think what they'll have.
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.

Read more →

Filed under: Dwarves, Orcs, Shaman, Items, Fan stuff, Expansions, Draenei, Lore, Classes, NPCs, Cataclysm, Goblin

Breakfast Topic: To-do

I love the to-do list that Siha posted on Banana Shoulders the other day -- I don't know if it's just the kind of people we are or if it says something about our play styles, but I too usually have an ongoing list of things I plan to do in the game, and pretty much everything I end up doing in game (from running reputation grinds to leveling up alts) follows the list.

For instance, ever since Burning Crusade came out, the number one item on my to-do list was picking up a Netherwing Drake, and pretty much everything I did after that goal was set (switching over to my Hunter so I could solo the dailies more easily, doing only those quests in game every day, and leveling my professions up just to make the most out of doing them) was targeted at getting that Drake, which made it much sweeter when I finally did. In Northrend, my two main goals going in were to pick up the Kalu'ak fishing pole and to get the Green Proto-drake, and while the Oracles haven't been very giving with the Cracked Eggs so far, I have at least ground out the reps needed for those. My latest goals are to get the mounted Squire (I'm well on my way to the needed Seals) and to finally get a high-level Engineer (so I'm leveling up my Paladin, with the added bonus of having an endgame tank and/or healer whenever I want).

And though this gets a little hokey, I'll actually say that aiming at and meeting my goals in game has actually helped me think about goals in real life the same way. We don't have anything so obviously as questgivers in real life, but setting a goal in game and following it through to completion can help you envision a real life goal as well, and follow that out until you finally reach it. There's so much to do in this game that I think it's very helpful to determine exactly what you want to do as you play. So what's on your to-do list?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

Achieved shares your achievements on Facebook

While we were all wildin' out at BlizzCon last week, reader Peter G. sent us a little note about a Facebook app he's been working on called Achieved that will take your achievements and insert them into your various Facebook feeds however you like. If you want to go the whole nine yards and have your wall plastered with a story whenever you ding an achievement, you can do that, or if you just want to leave it as a small box on your profile page, you can do that as well. The app allows you to leave your actual character name out of the post (if for some reason you're not comfortable with sharing it with all your friends), and there's even a paid option: if you can throw in at least $.99 Canadian, the app will update straight from the Armory without any help from you to refresh (normally, I guess, you've got to log in to Facebook to get updates).

I like the app's minimalism more than anything else -- it doesn't show character information or any flashy graphics, just updates people on what you're doing with achievements. The app has a really active changelog, too (Peter is working hard on updating it pretty often, it seems), so if you have a request, you can always throw it in the pot and you might even get it granted. It's not quite as comprehensive as some of the other WoW Facebook apps out there, but if you want a quick way of showing Facebook friends what you're up to in game without excessively spamming them on every little ding or gear upgrade, give it a look for sure.

Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
WoW's 10th Anniversary 11/21 - 1/5
Pilgrim's Bounty 11/24 - 12/1
Darkmoon Faire 12/7 - 12/14
Feast of Winter Veil 12/16 - 1/2

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Pandamonium
The gaming artwork of Jessica Dinh
Mists of Pandaria Raid DPS Analysis
Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition
Death Knight plague epidemic
Mega Bloks: Goblin Zeppelin Ambush
Mists of Pandaria Beta: Ruins beneath Scarlet Halls
Mists of Pandaria: New warlock pets
Female Pandaren Customization

 

Categories