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Posts with tag emberstorm

Battlegroup changes in anticipation of complete merger

Recently, players from the Emberstorm and Whirlwind groups have been noticing that they're being grouped in the dungeon finder with each other. This isn't a bug; the matchmaking system has been changed to allow those two battlegroups to be matched into dungeons and BGs with each other as part of the overall goal to eventually merge all battlegroups across a geographical area (think Europe or North America) and allow matchmaking across all of them.

CM Lylirra announced these changes and addressed some bugs to the process that are making it impossible to queue for BGs, which will hopefully be straightened out. Still, bugs aside, the first step of eventually allowing an entire region to be selected from for PvP and PvE seems really exciting to me and very positive overall. Finally, I'll get to farm all the disparate old friends I have on like 20 servers! A frabjous day, all told.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP

The Queue: Now or later


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

It's been awhile since I've done listening music for The Queue. It's a lot of fun to do, but we do it so often here on WoW.com that it's starting to get a little stale. I've started to miss doing it though, so here you go. Today's listening music is some fantastic Rhett and Link, who you probably have never heard on the radio. Which is a shame.

YimmyZ asked...

"Is there any lore related to Emblems/badges? Something like the people need so many badges to draw magic from to imbue items or some such?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: What do you do when your server is down?

The players on the Emberstorm and Whirlwind battlegroups have had a rough week. A massive power outage, huge network issues and other problems have forced them away from their virtual homes to find refuge elsewhere. Some have joined the It came from the Blog guild on Zangarmarsh, where we have had two impromptu server outage parties. The picture above is from Tuesday night's shindig.

Others have commented in the outage posts that they have formed level 1 raids on other servers. And of course there are other games to play.

Personally, if both Zangarmarsh and my main server are down, I figure it's time to start watching what's on the DVR and knitting. What do you do when your server is down?

Filed under: Realm Status, Breakfast Topics, It Came from the Blog

More server outages for Whirlwind and Emberstorm [Updated]

There are more server outages hitting this afternoon, unfortunately impacting the same realms that were down for around ten hours last night. The Seattle datacenter was hit with a nasty power outage yesterday, but we currently don't know the reasons for the current downtime. There are no blue responses yet, but my gut says there's some lingering damage that will need to be dealt with this afternoon.

Then again, we might be lucky and they'll be back in ten minutes. Who knows with these things? Keep an eye on WoW.com and we'll keep you posted should we hear anything. If you're not sure if you're part of one of these battlegroups, the full list is behind the cut.

Update #1: Blizzard is aware of the issue. Not much else at the moment.
Update #2: Looks like most servers are coming up. Our poor friends on Quel'Dorei are still down for the count.
Update #3: Maintenance on these realms not necessarily 'done' says Malkorix.
Update 11:57pm: Both battlegroups went down 12 minutes ago. More as we know it.
Update 12:18am: Blizzard says they are working on it and that any compensation will come after the problems have been resolved.
Update 3:37am: The servers are up temporarily, but will be intermittently taken down while they continue to resolve the underlying problem.

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Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status

Battlegroup outages tonight [Updated]

We are getting multiple tips that some realms are down. Blizzard says that the Whirlwind and Emberstorm battlegroups are down and that they are currently investigating the matter. We'll keep you posted should anything change.

In the meantime, enter to win some real life and in-game loot. Or log on to Zangarmarsh and join the WoW.com guild so you can party with us on Wednesday night.

If you are unsure what battlegroup you are in, please consult this listing.

Battlegroup listings are after the break.

Update 1:16am: Zarhym says the problems were due to a complete power failure. The power is back on and they are trying to bring the realms up now. The party is still raging on Zangarmarsh.
Update 11:37pm:
They have discovered the source of the battlegroup issues, but still no estimate for when they will be back up. We're having an impromptu party on Zangarmarsh if you would like to join us.
Update 11:12pm:
I was just able to login. No word yet on the down battlegroups.
Update 10:56pm:
An official response: they are working on it.
Update 10:49pm:
Many, including me, are having connection issues. There is a huge forum post on the issue, but no blue response yet.

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Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Emberstorm and Whirlwind battlegroups down

We're receiving reports that servers on the Whirlwind and Emberstorm battlegroups, located in the Seattle datacenter, are currently experiencing downtime. These were the same battlegroups that were scheduled to recieve their local power supply upgrade today, so there may have been some unanticipated issue in the process.

Don't panic! It's likely only temporary and they should be back up soon.

We'll update you guys with more info when we get it. The full list of affected realms is under the cut -- feel free to hit us up on Twitter @wowinsider if yours comes back up and we haven't reported on it yet.

UPDATE 4:18 AM EDT:

Blizzard has posted a thread regarding the issues on the Battlegroup forums.

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Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status

Unexpected crashes and downtime hit multiple servers

A sudden wave of crashes has hit the North American WoW servers, with the Emberstorm and Whirlwind Battlegroups especially hard hit.

As of this writing, most of the affected servers are still down. Blizzard is aware of the issue and is looking into it, but has no further information to give at this time. We'll update this post when we hear more.

UPDATE: According to Crygil, tonight's issue was out of Blizzard's control, but luckily things have resolved themselves. All realms should be up within the next half hour.


[Thanks to everyone who gave us a heads up!]

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Filed under: Realm Status, News items

[UPDATED] Warlock changes in patch 3.0.3


Patch 3.0.3 isn't a hefty patch by any means, but it did bring some pretty nice changes for Warlocks. Some were simple bug fixes but others were outright improvements. As we reported, the Dreadsteed spell will become trainable to all Warlocks at Level 61. Players no longer need to do the quest line, which opens up at Level 60. The character must have Journeyman riding skill and the Felsteed spell learned.

Despite this welcome change, I implore all Warlocks to do the quest. It is one of the best and most flavor-rich quest lines in the game, and any Warlock worth her salt will have fun keeping up the Bell, the Wheel, and the Candle. The cost of materials are trivial in the new economy, so there really shouldn't be any excuse not to do the quest now. High level friends can and should (we're Warlocks, after all) be bribed to chaperone Level 60 Warlocks with the Dire Maul Achievement.

[UPDATE: Thanks to our industrious readers, I needed to change my shorts (I'm sending you my dry cleaning bill, Augustus) when I read about this change... the coefficients to Corruption and Immolate were significantly buffed to 20%. That's just... wait, let me change my shorts again (blast you, Augustus!). Oh, and apparently Ritual of Doom is actually cool now. It no longer kills a party member, the Doom Guard lasts for 15 minutes and just disappears afterwards like a zit to Oxy afterwards. How polite. So wow, yeah. Bdew, you can split my dry cleaning bill with Augustus.]

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Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents

Patch 3.0.2 primer for Warlocks part III

Destruction
Long considered the most efficient raiding spec throughout the Burning Crusade, Destruction will get a run for its money with the new and improved Affliction. It also remains to be seen if Blizzard's efforts at steering the spec clear of mindless Shadow Bolt spamming will prove successful. Certainly, there's more emphasis on Fire spells this time around, which we'll see deeper into the tree. If you do spec deep Destruction, do tell me how it goes. Send me a postcard from Naxxramas.

Change is felt right off on the first tier as the popular Bane is moved up here. It's exactly the same, so getting it a tier earlier is a definite buff. Improved Shadow Bolt is unchanged, but I'd hold off on putting points here. Unless you're determined to pursue a Shadow Bolt spam spec, there're a good bunch of talents deeper in the tree to spend your points on.

Cataclysm swapped places with Bane but was buffed in a sense because it now just costs 3 points for a 3% cost reduction but now grants crucial +Hit. We'll need it as we level up and re-gear in Northrend. Three points here is mandatory. In more point-saving generosity, Aftermath was reduced to a 2-point talent for the same effect. Does it make the talent any better? No, it still sucks. But now it sucks for three points less.

On tier two we also see Molten Core, a new talent introduced to mix things up a little for Destruction. Molten Core encourages the use of DoTs, which are likely to proc it more than Shadow Bolts. This is great talent for Destruction Warlocks looking to specialize in Fire spells, as well as low enough in the tree for other specs such as Demonology, to pick up. If we want to diversify our play style, we should put three points here.

If you're only branching out to Destruction from another tree, you might be faced with the decision of choosing between tier three's Shadowburn and a 51-point talent. I'll say it right off that you should skip Shadowburn. On the other hand, if you're moving deeper into Destruction, pick it up because you'll be sure to find a use for it. Five points in the more accessible Ruin is mandatory, as well. We can skip Demonic Power, which is essentially Improved Lash of Pain and Improved Firebolt rolled together. [EDIT: Sephirah correctly reminds me that Demonic Power ups DPS directly because we're going to have our Imp attack, anyway. So, score some points for Demonic Power!]

The unchanged Destructive Reach on tier four is mandatory while the other talents are completely optional. If we're looking to PvP as Destruction -- why not? -- we should pick up Intensity not just for the pushback protection but because it's a prerequisite for a stun effect. We'll save points by skipping Improved Searing Pain. No, really. We're going to skip it.

Devastation was moved to tier five, swapping places with Ruin. Now it's one talent point for a 5% crit, which is one of the best single point investments we can make in any tree. We'll also want to get Improved Immolate because aside from the fact that it's been buffed from 25% to 30% for two talent points less, we'll need it to get something really cool deeper in the tree. Besides, Blizzard really wants us to use Immolate. Pyroclasm is entirely optional, even for PvP considering the only spell we'll really use that can proc it is Conflagrate.

We want Emberstorm. It's that simple. 10% more damage from Fire spells and a faster Incinerate is sweet. Also on tier six is the reworked Nether Protection, which now procs off any spell. It no longer grants immunity, but a damage reduction from any school. In some ways it's a buff since it can protect against Frost or Holy, for example, but it also no longer confers immunities to Silence or other Shadow spells (which probably wasn't intended to begin with). Unless we want more mitigation in PvP, we can skip that.

Tier seven is where it begins to get a bit tight. We want Conflagrate, since it's an excellent one point investment. If we're raiding, we can actually skip Soul Leech since we really should be healed, anyway. If we solo or PvP, it's a great talent to have. It also opens up opportunities for our pet on the next tier. Backlash is another PvP talent for those time when Rogues or Warriors are being mean to us, but because there's a 3% crit bonus, I'd say we pick it up.

Up next is Shadow and Flame in tier eight, which we'll max out because it scales Shadow Bolt insanely and tempt us to just spam the thing. Fortunately it also affects Chaos Bolt and Incinerate, so we may steer clear of the evil path of mindless Shadow Bolt spam. Since we skipped Soul Leech, we're obviously locked out from Improved Soul Leech. But feel free to pick it up for pet loving if you have points to spare.

On tier nine, I'm skipping Shadowfury only because we've been moving away from PvP-centric talents in this post. I know, I know, some of you insist that Shadowfury is awesome for PvE, so you can very well spend that talent point there. It's just one point, anyway. What I'm really interested in is Backdraft. Didn't I say Improved Immolate would lead to something cool? Well this is it. It's a mini-Bloodlust or Heroism for three spells. Because Destruction is all about cast times, 30% haste is gold.

Then we get Empowered Imp on the same tier. Check out that icon. That's one badass Imp. If little Rupjub crits, I crit. Well, almost. I get 20% more crit on my next spell, which is pretty darned good. The idea is to get the Imp into the action by spending talents to make it hit hard enough. He'll crit eventually. Here's where we can revisit Improved Soul Leech to keep the little guy topped up. See, I told you to hold off on getting Improved Shadow Bolt.

If you find spamming direct damage spells a little mind numbing, you can invest some points into Fire and Brimstone. Didn't I tell you that Blizzard wants us to use Immolate? Well, here you go. Immolate will hit hard with this talent. The cool -- or uncool, depending on how you look at it -- is having to watch Immolate's duration hit the 5 second mark before throwing out a Conflagrate. Yes, I know this screws our timing up, but someone's bound to make an AddOn to tell us when to cast Conflagrate. Right? Anyone? Bueller?

And then there's Chaos Bolt. It's a 51-point spell on a 12 second timer. Sure, it pierces through absorption effects and all that stuff... but 12 seconds? I mean, I can't kill a Pally with it anymore and I can only cast it every 12 seconds. Well, we're getting it anyway. We've gotten this deep, right? Besides, it deals whopper damage and it's great for teaching those Shadow Cloaked Rogues a lesson. It's a pretty decent one point investment and can do wonders once we figure out how to work it into our newly confusing and complex (but fun!) rotations.

Well, that's the last of our Warlock talents primer for 3.0.2. I hope that helped you decide which direction you want to take your Warlock when the realms go up. I'm leaning towards a hybrid myself, but Haunt is so deliciously sexy...

Zach helps guide you through the changes in 3.0.2, so you can be enthralled in all the demonic love Blizzard's thrown together. Check out other 3.0.2 Talent Guides, too, as well as everything about the so-called Echoes of Doom.

Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Warlock changes in Beta build 8926


The nerf bat swung low and hard. Did it hit Warlocks? Well... yes and no. This is the stage in Beta where things are tuned downwards -- notoriously labeled the nerf patch -- and Warlocks are big, fat nerf targets. On the other hand, some spells got buffs and others were reworked. This is just Beta, so don't panic. Classes are buffed and nerfed throughout the testing process until everything is finely tuned.

Without further ado: they nerfed Death's Embrace to grant 9% crit to all Shadow Spells when an opponent is at 20% or below health, down from 15% crit. Eradication can no longer be a permanent buff now as it now notes that, "This effect cannot occur more often than once every 30 sec". On the other hand, Death's Embrace and Eradication got cool new icons. Dark Pact, which I raved about when I talked about the Felhunter, has been nerfed back to its current form of granting 100% of the mana drained from pet (down from 200% in previous builds).

Curse of Exhaustion was nerfed to a 30% movement speed reduction, down from 50%. It's now back to the live realm's value but without the benefit of Amplify Curse, which was reworked in Beta. Fel Armor's mana regeneration was removed and replaced with a health regeneration rate of 2% per 5 seconds. I'm not too sure how to feel about that, but since Warlocks treat health as mana, anyway, it's not such a substantial nerf but merely a mechanical change. More nerfs and a few pleasant surprises after the jump.

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Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

New US PvE realm


For the first time in a very long time , we are getting a brand-new non-transfer realm, open to create characters on and explore its untouched reaches. As a non-transfer realm, character transfers to it are disabled for six months. I believe this is the first such realm since Burning Crusade launched, though we did get a new transfer realm at the end of last month. The realm is called Cairne, and it's a PvE realm, in Central time, in the Emberstorm battlegroup. Reroll locusts, start your engines.

Do you need a new beginning? It's kind of tempting to go roll on a realm where nobody's been out of the noob zones yet, where the Dark Portal has yet to be traversed by players and everything is ripe for the conquering. But then again, it's also nice to be on a realm with a mature economy and people I know, so I will probably not be rushing out to Cairne myself. I know, however, that many of you have been clamoring for a new realm for some time -- go to it.

Update: Bornakk adds that there are no plans for new PvP realms, "as there are several low population PvP realms you can transfer or re-roll on right now."

Filed under: Realm News, News items

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