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Posts with tag forge

Ulduar on the 3.1 PTR: Ignis the Furnace Master


Coming back to my post as official 3.1 PTR raid reporter after an offensive usurping by my dubiously sentient coworker Alex Ziebart, it's time for a new roundup of tonight's PTR Ulduar testing events. Last night we got a taste of the Flame Leviathan fight, which brought us motorcycles and tanks and floating pyrite containers, but tonight ... tonight we got a taste of a good, old-fashion player vs. comically gigantic dude raid encounter with Ignis, the Furnace Master.

Matt "Matticus" Low, the aforementioned plantlike Mr. Ziebart, and I formed a 10-man raid. As usual, Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer, a.k.a. Daelo, was around for the fun. Making travel considerably easier was last night's addition of a teleporter to different areas of the dungeon. Our trip past the large gate guarding the end of the Iron Concourse to the Colossal Forge was instant and uneventful. Then we waited for our barrel-chested braid-bearded friend to spawn.

This writeup will be spoiler-heavy. If you don't wish to know anything about this fight, don't click below. You've been warned.

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Blizzard's internal tools need an upgrade

Susana of Hyjal speculates about something I've thought about a few times before -- just what exactly are Blizzard's internal development tools like? Most games that have mapmakers can churn out new maps pretty rapidly, but we've had the same BG maps for years now, and only one or two per year since then. And even the created maps aren't fixed easily, apparently -- a few map tweaks on WSG would probably fix the turtling problem, but Blizzard instead is tweaking the rules to fix things. Just what is Blizzard using to make their game that they take so long with development?

To be fair, the rules here are a little more complicated than most first-person shooters (since you can do a lot more than just shoot at each other), so obviously the maps would presumably be a little more complicated as well. But in the age when players have access to the Neverwinter Nights toolset and even the Forge on Halo 3, surely it's a little crazy that Blizzard takes months to release one map, when other great games can pump out whole packs of them in the same time.

Now, this is WoW Insider, so it's ok if you're a Blizzard apologist. It's fine for you to say "Blizzard has the biggest game in the world not despite the fact that they're so slow, but because of it," and it's fine for you to be a fanboy/girl and say you'd rather wait three years for a Blizzard-quality Arathi Basin than play a whole "Hidden Fronts" pack. And the truth is that when Blizzard does release content, they don't disappoint. But we're still left wondering just why, after doing this for so long and having so much practice at it, it still takes them so long to do it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Battlegrounds, Arena

Around Azeroth: Inside the forge


Reader Rilaen from Sargeras sends in this shot taken from the very heart of Ironforge's Great Forge. How did he manage to get this unusual view, you ask? The Elixir of Dream Vision lets you explore all manner of dangerous or otherwise unreachable location.

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing a copy to aroundazeroth@wow.com, with as much or as little detail as you'd like to share with the world!

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

Map of Utgarde Keep, and what we know about it


Well this is exciting. MMO Champion points us to WoW Wiki, where some enterprising person has assembled a map of Utgarde Keep, the first instance in Wrath of the Lich King. The map is apparently based on one published in Games for Windows, but as it appears on WoW Wiki, it's a little empty. Let's see if we can't clear some things up-- I've added letters to the map above, and below, I've described what is probably there, based on my own impressions and what we've heard elsewhere.

A. This is the main entrance, and as I said before, it consists of Vrykul metalworkers and forgemasters. The big firey graphic is the Forge, which has three "walls" that only open up after the mobs are defeated there. After you clear all three walls, you head around to the left, and find...

B. Dragonhandlers and "Trained Proto-drakes," which appeared to be Blue Dragons. Draw your own conclusions there. This area is a stable type of place, which explains the stalls.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Quests, Expansions, BlizzCon

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