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Posts with tag faction-leaders

Dev Watercooler: Faction favoritism

Fargo
Lead Quest Designer Dave "Fargo" Kosak has just posted the latest Dev Watercooler. This time, the topic is faction balance. In the wake of BlizzCon, this perennial topic has flared up pretty brightly. While the devs did indicate they wanted to give the Alliance a bit more good stuff during some panels, some other incidents during and after BlizzCon (including the news that Theramore, one of the most iconic Alliance cities, will be razed to the ground) has left some doubtful, leading to intense debates and 100+ page forum threads on the subject.

The way Kosak explains it, the devs definitely want to make sure that there is faction pride for both sides, and, he argues, while the Alliance may be getting beat up, the Horde has taken its share of lumps too. But in the long run, heroes are not born out of easy times. The Alliance will go through tough times, but it will give heroes the opportunity to arise. The Alliance's time is coming.

One thing he did admit to is that Blizzard needs to do a better job of making sure people can interact with their heroes. He acknowledges that the Alliance may not think of Thrall as theirs or part of their story, and he promises that once Cataclysm as over, we will catch up with other characters.

Whether you agree with all of his reasonings and conclusions or not, it's a good read, and it does prove that Blizzard is hearing us and is at least planning to try to address some of the complaints of faction parity and Thrall overload. Check after the break for the complete text of Kosak's post.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

Breakfast Topic: Your city is under attack

While testing out the new toy I acquired this weekend, it came to my attention via large, unfriendly amounts of local defense spam that Orgrimmar was under attack. What better way to break in a legendary? So I went to go defend the city and ended up chasing the Alliance around Orgrimmar, Silvermoon City and Thunder Bluff with my sword wildly swinging in a graphically impressive yet largely ineffective fashion. But despite the efforts of myself and about 20 other people who were more than okay with defending dear Cairne from bloodthirsty Alliance attacks, there were an even larger number of people in trade chat who didn't really seem to care one way or another. "Why bother?" "It doesn't matter; they'll respawn in a few hours anyway ..." These common refrains echoed from trade and made a mockery of those of us who chose to stand and fight.

City battles are often some of the most fun PvP I've encountered -- sure, it's not a battleground, there are no quests involved and it could be argued that there's no real "advantage" to winning. But there's something ridiculously entertaining about simply going back and forth, trading blows with the other faction. It's vaguely reminiscent of the times before battlegrounds existed, when PvP dominance was established in hours-long battles between Southshore and Tarren Mill. Plus, we're fighting to defend one of the major lore figures in World of Warcraft's history, and there's something satisfying about that as well. And don't forget the achievements!

So what do you think, Breakfast Topic readers? When you see the local defense channel light up, do you stand at attention and rush to defend your city leaders, or do you simply turn the other cheek? Do you enjoy raiding cities and fighting off not only players of the opposite faction, but tons of guard spam? Why do you think people simply don't want to bother with it anymore?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

World of Warcraft 5th Anniversary mosaic finally complete

It looks like the fans followed through, after all, and we finally get to see the Battlecry mosaic much sooner than I'd previously thought. The completed mosaic reveals a truly awesome piece of art by Wei Wang depicting all the current faction leaders. By awesome I mean truly mind-blowing, and Blizzard has high resolution versions of both the mosaic and the actual painting available for download in different versions. The full mosaic, for example, can be viewed in all its 14400 x 6150 pixel glory. Arguably the best version is the dual screen wallpaper which shows the most detail, although there are also much smaller versions for mobile phones.

The Battlecry mosaic is comprised of 20,000 player-submitted pictures called out by Blizzard as part of the World of Warcraft 5th Anniversary celebration. Each section of the multi-part mosaic unlocked various content over the past few months, which included sneak peeks at conceptual art and even a piece of the game's musical score. The final artwork is arguably the best and coolest rendition of all the faction leaders so far, including a dual-wielding Magni Bronzebeard in armor that's significantly different from what he's wearing in-game, which may or may not hint at a possible model change come Cataclysm. Congratulations to all the fans who contributed to the mosaic!

Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

Ask a Beta Tester: Dalaran coins, environment effects, and AoE tanking


I ran into two common questions last night on the Dalaran coin post, so I thought I'd start off by answering those here. I apologize if we haven't yet gotten to everyone's questions; most of them, like Gurluas' question concerning The Missing Diplomat and the high elves in Northrend, we're just not 100% sure of the answer to yet, but I'll keep trying.

Keyra asks...

Just curious...the gold coins all have "Use: Throw this coin back into the Dalaran fountain", yet I've seen people commenting (as well as the author) that they'll carry the coin in their packs. What happens when/if you throw the coin back in?

When you toss a gold coin back into the fountain, you gain the "Lucky" buff for 2 minutes, increasing your chance to fish up any and all coins from the fountain (rather than fishing hooks or goldfish). You don't have to toss them back in if you don't want to, in which case they'll just occupy a bag slot like anything else, or you can sell them to a vendor (not for much). But most people throw the coin/s back in because fishing the coin up is enough to give you the Achievement for getting it. Particular coins would be carried solely for personal or sentimental reasons, i.e. I can definitely appreciate the irony and RP value of grimly hunting Arthas down like a dog while carrying a symbol of Sylvanas' wasted hopes.

Rexigar asks...

Question though, do we have to keep the coins for the achievement or does it count when we throw it back in?

It counts as of the moment you've fished it up. No matter what you do with it afterwards, the Achievement's yours. The same mechanic is true of everything else; once the game "knows" you've done something and an Achievement's gained, nothing can take it away.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Fishing, Blacksmithing, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Expansions, Features, Factions, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Model changes for Varimathras and Alexstrasza


We certainly enjoyed the model changes to Varian Wrynn and Sylvanas Windrunner, and now Blizzard's finished the unique models for Alexstrasza (human form, that is; you can see her dragon model update here) and Varimathras, as befits their key roles in the storyline for Wrath. I'm a tiny bit disappointed with Alexstrasza's model; her armor is mostly a red copy of Sylvanas' new threads, which are admittedly all sorts of awesome but makes me wonder if there's some kind of Armor Barn in Azeroth for hipster bosses. Alexstrasza does, however, show even more skin than Sylvanas does, so from some peoples' perspectives this might be a feature rather than a bug.

Varimathras is a nice update although he retains his old animations and emotes (you can't really see it from the perspective of the screenshot above, but I think his legs and hooves are a significant improvement on the shaky anatomy of the current dreadlord model). Both he and Alexstrasza's changes are somewhat less shocking than the complete overhaul to Wrynn and Sylvanas, but we're still pleased to see Blizzard taking an interest in the visual badassery of major faction leaders and NPC's. I would tend to agree with Zach Yonzon's contention that it would be amazing to see an update to all the faction leaders if Blizzard could swing it at some point, although I have the sneaking suspicion, judging from what CM's have said about the difficulty of programming in new Druid forms, that this is a fairly lengthy process. However, after seeing the model changes in the beta, I don't think anyone's going to argue it's not worth it, and a number of people have argued for player model changes as well. The extraordinary design work in Northrend will probably add fuel to that fire.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Bosses, Factions, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Boss models updated in Wrath Beta


A nice surprise awaited the citizens of Stormwind and the Undercity when the new Beta build went live earlier. New, unique models for King Varian Wrynn and Lady Sylvanas Windrunner debuted in their respective cities, looking every bit as awesome as faction leaders should be. Although Lady Sylvanas received a makeover over a month ago -- changed from the erroneous Night Elf model into the proper High or Blood Elf model -- this newest iteration is more regal, more intimidating, and just more badass. Taking a screenshot proved difficult as throngs of admirers threw all sorts of emotes at the new Dark Lady from /cowers to /kisses.

King Varian Wrynn in Stormwind also received a graphic overhaul, upgrading from pre-TBC PvP Honor gear to a unique armor set with an eagle and lion motif. He also no longer dual-wields Jade Serpentblades but more appropriately what looks like Quel'serrar. So Wrynn has apparently taken care of the Onyxia problem. Twice. Alex Ziebart points out that he also seems to be wearing Anduin Lothar's belt (always thank your lore nerds!). It's a cool model except that he always seems to be scowling and occasionally yawns. But the details matter -- Varian's face is also battle-scarred -- and I want to seriously give props to the Blizzard artists behind these new models. They're just completely fantastic.

[EDIT: I probably should have mentioned this, too, since I'd already checked it out but reader RogueJedi86 called me on it -- they also updated the dragon model for Alexstraza, and can be viewed on World of Raids. She really likes her trinkets and baubles like the sophisticated lady that she is...]

In other news, this Beta build also saw the traitorious Varimathras converted into a duotone Rubik's Cube. Maybe a placeholder for better graphics or punishment for being such an arrogant lackey? If anything, however, with all these unique models coming out, perhaps it's a good time to update the other boss models in the game. Thrall, the baddest of all badasses, still looks like he's in Level 40 greens [NOTE: Reader Skeeran correctly reminds me that Thrall's armor is Orgrim Doomhammer's armor as seen in Warcraft III... but it still looks like Level 40 greens.]. Even worse off is Cairne Bloodhoof, who looks like he got all his gear from the Wailing Caverns. Since these bosses are soon going receive a lot of visitors, it's probably a good time to dress them up properly to receive them. I mean, Tyrande Whisperwind is still wearing a nightdress...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

The Art of War(craft): World PvP Achievements


Ah, world PvP. In many ways, world PvP can be considered the purest form of PvP because when it happens -- if it's not done in association with a quest or other form of reward -- it is PvP for the sake of PvP. Some of the best times I've ever had doing PvP was in Hillsbrad Foothills, defending Tarren Mill and attacking Southshore. I miss the times when the World Defense channel would be flooded by calls to defend the Crossroads. There's also something very pure about coming to the aid of a faction leader under assault. And when Wrath of the Lich King finally arrives, I have a good feeling it's going to happen a lot more often.

I wrote about the many Achievements related to PvP, such as the retroactive Achievements that you can work on before Patch 3.0 hits, as well as the numerous Battlegrounds Achievements. Although PvP for the sake of PvP is extremely fun, Achievements will actually reward something that previously never got anything more than bragging rights and a silly grin. Today we'll look at the numerous Achievements that work to encourage world PvP.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Achievements

Breakfast Topic: Electing a leader for the Horde (Poll)

Yesterday we began the primary election to name a leader for the Alliance . So far it's a close race between Highlord Bolvar Fordragon, King Magni Bronzebeard, and High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind. Lady Jaina Proudmoore stands out as a highly regarded write-in candidate, and may well win her way to an independent nomination of the final ballot.

Today we stand ready to select a leader over the entire Horde faction. Many have already begun campaigning for Thrall, possibly mistaking him for a member of the Alliance.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Polls, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Blood Elves, NPCs

Goon Squad reunites Jaina and Thrall

Dipex from Goon Squad contacts us to report on the guild's having brought Jaina and Thrall together for a -- uh -- tempestuous reunion in Orgrimmar. The video above can be seen in a higher quality version here, and it's quite a sight. On occasion I've entertained thoughts of the stunts I'd pull as a GM in WoW, and high on that list would be pitting raid or faction bosses against each other for an ingame version of Two Bosses Enter. Well, Goon Squad actually pulled it off. I won't spoil the video for you, but apparently Thrall and Cairne aren't immune to Jaina's teleportation ability...

I can't begin to imagine the kite job this must've been, but if you take a look at their video of Jaina going postal on Org, you get a sense of just how many people it took. Dipex writes toward the end of the first video that this is the quest-spawned version of Jaina, which I can only assume means they were kiting her from her spawn point in Dustwallow Marsh where the Alliance quest "The Missing Diplomat" ends. This certainly would have simplified matters; getting her out of Theramore would have been significantly more difficult, and I daresay this was an elegant solution. Elegant? Do I mean elegant? Maybe I mean something else.

Filed under: Guilds, Odds and ends, News items, Humor, Bosses

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