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Posts with tag hortus

Manda's tales from the TTR: Stress edition


Sunday's Tournament Test Realm stress test was, in my opinion, a huge success. Despite the lag, the occasional crash or kick, and a one-hour maintenance downtime, the server held up quite well considering just how many people were bombing around on it. After maintenance, the lag improved quite a bit, and I'm guessing that Blizzard learned a fair amount that will help them to design the arena tournament realm.

Of course, interaction with the GMs, fighting spawned bosses dropping orange epics, being polymorphed into all sorts of things, receiving rare mounts, and reading through /general, /say, and /yell, not to mention tells, were the real highlights from yesterday. While Alex has already given a fairly detailed account of our adventures, I have some stories of my own to tell.

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Filed under: Horde, Realm News, Patches, Events, Blizzard, Bosses, Mounts, Interviews, Arena

Stress test live blog

We've been preparing for the stress test, are mostly gemmed and enchanted up, and are looking to fight! I'll be updating this post as things happen, hopefully with riveting tales of victory and triumph over Alliance Care Bears. (Kidding of course, my main is an Human warrior.)

Read on after the break for the updates! We'll keep this front page only for things that are affecting everyone.

Updated 5:23 p.m. PST: Live blogging wrapped up for the day. Many many thanks to all the fans and GMs out there! It was a great day with lots of cool stuff happening. More analysis over the next couple days!

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, PvP, Mounts, Arena

Phat Loot Phriday: Hortus' Seal of Brilliance


Haven't done an offhand in a while, so while this one isn't exactly at the top of the heap, it's a nice item for your newly-70 alt to pick up, and it has a fun nod to a guy who's been working hard lately. Also, have a suggestion for a piece of phat loot to cover? Share it in the comments below or drop us a note on the tipline.

Name: Hortus' Seal of Brilliance (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDigger)
Type: Off-hand Accessory
Armor: N/A
Abilities:
  • +18 Stamina, +20 Intellect
  • Increases spell damage and healing by up to 23
  • The stamina on this says Warlock, but if there aren't any warlocks around, this wouldn't be a bad pickup for any damage caster (Elemental Shaman, anyone?), especially one looking to head into PvP. For most casters, odds are that even if you grab this, it'll be replaced pretty quickly with either a better offhand or a 2h weapon.
  • But on the other hand, it does look cool, and it's named after one of the most beloved CMs (if you can believe that CMs can be universally beloved) on the forums, the hypno-gnome Hortus. He's the bug guy, so many times (especially when a big PTR is being tested like this), he'll be the one to show up with answers to players asking about whether something is bugged or not.
  • And he's brilliant. Hence the seal.
How to Get It: It drops from the Fel Horde's Warchief, Kargath Bladefist. We've talked about him before on PLP, so suffice it to say that he's a mean SOB with blades for hands. No idea why he's carrying around Hortus' seal, but if you are able to grab it from the guy (it drops pretty often, in both normal and heroic modes) , you might want to see about getting it back to Hortus -- he'll probably need it for all the PTR testing going on.

Getting Rid of It: Sells to vendors for 2g 20s 45c, and disenchants into a Large Prismatic Shard.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Phat Loot Phriday

March of the Warlocks

The World of Warcraft community has pounded it into our heads that the recent Life Tap change was pretty lame. Luckily, Hortus has let us know that there will be additional changes coming to Lifetap, as Eliah told us a bit earlier.

I'm not here to hit you with the shovel of logic, detailing the Life Tap change yet again, so don't worry. My question is on the methods of giving feedback that the WoW community has displayed. Most specifically: Protests.

The Warlocks were a little more creative in their griefing than the Shaman have been. While it hasn't happened on all servers, many of them saw Warlocks summoning, enslaving, or kiting many powerful demons into the heart of Shattrath. Uvuros, Pit Lords, et cetera. Did this non-peaceful protest have anything to do with the devs' decision to make further adjustments to Life Tap? Personally, I somewhat doubt the protest was a direct contributor to that decision.

I don't think that a protest has ever directly changed something in WoW. I don't believe it strikes fear into the heart of Blizzard. However, it does bring the fact that there are issues into the spotlight. Is this the best way to do that? No, probably not. It does seem to get noticed, at the very least.

[EDIT: My apologies for any misunderstanding: I am aware that this protest was unofficial and not widely organized amongst the Warlock community, and I do not mean to trivialize the feedback the Warlock community has given on the topic. It is merely something that accompanied the Life Tap incident that I wished to supply thoughts on, and see the views of others.]

Filed under: Warlock, Patches

Life tap changes coming

This just in: many players are unhappy with the Life Tap changes that have come on the PTR. But in all seriousness, Blizzard has evidently taken notice, and they promise that more changes are to come. Specifically, Hortus just posted the following in the test realm forums: "Some changes are going to be made to lifetap in an upcoming PTR build. Until that time I think we've got enough feedback." So now it's time to just sit tight and see what happens, I suppose. That doesn't mean we can't talk about it -- how would you deal with Life Tap to fill Blizz's goals of making it hurt more in PvP, while not totally breaking it for PvE?

[Thanks, Fortine Gorganash - H]

PTRs down for new build

About three hours ago, Hortus announced that the patch 2.4 PTR would be going down for four to six hours to apply a new build. So they ought to be down for another one to three hours. In the mean time, we all get a break from beta-testing the patch to get some food, watch a movie, do some homework or -- let's be honest -- gripe about the patch.

What will this new build contain? Well, since they haven't updated the PTR patch notes yet, we can't be certain, but it would be reasonable to guess they'd be fixing two outstanding bugs: huge stats and huge NPCs. Other than that, we'll have to wait and see what Blizz brings us.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches

MythBuster Hortus says "No PTR caused lag"

When I woke up this morning I was greeted to two things: a fist full of WoW news to report on, and my daily dose of MythBusters. Interestingly I found that our chummy Blizzard PTR forum poster Hortus has taken up dispelling some myths of his own. This myth is so epic that I think it would make for a good computer nerd edition of MythBusters.

The myth is this: every time the PTR goes up, my server slows down.

I play mainly in two different servers, Anvilmar and Eldre'Thalas. I've heard it claimed often enough on both servers that the PTR seriously effects stability. Most people claim this is because the PTR and the server hardware are on the same "rack." Most servers are just a small gray box with a few blinking lights on the front of them, and lots of connection ports in the back. When making a server farm, like Blizzard has scattered throughout the country, they physically put the servers in clusters, called racks (no, not that kind of cluster, well kind of, but that's beside the point).

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Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Realm Status, Odds and ends, News items, Hardware, Rumors

Patch 2.4 known issues

More 2.4 news for all of you to consume.

Our friendly master of the PTR forums, Hortus, has posted a list of known issues on the PTR. I'm sure the list will grow longer, but in brief here are some major points:
  • Watch out for corruption of your World of Warcraft files if you use a Mac! This is a major issue for some people. Indeed yours truly would have been up the creek if I used my Mac's firewall feature (I've got a Linux firewall instead). All you Mac users: please, be careful!
  • When you rename a Hunter pet you get disconnected.
  • The Hunter ability Auto Shot can get locked out if you use an instant ability after Steady Shot.
  • Looting Bind on Pickup items isn't working right. So watch out if you're starting to raid.
  • Shattrath wasn't copied over correctly. Many NPCs (besides those listed in the blue post) are missing.
Blues also have posted an update of sorts on the character copy queues. They've said we're all going to have to wait a couple days to get our characters copied over if they're not already. At least some news is better than no news.

WoW Insider is your source for all the patch 2.4 news! Check back with us often for the latest.

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status, News items

Violet Eye ring exchanges at exalted only


I have good news and bad news, good readers. The good news is that if you are at exalted level with the Violet Eye, you can, in fact, exchange your reputation reward ring from Karazhan for a ring of a different type (if you are DPS, you can get a healing ring, and vice versa)-- all you have to do is destroy your ring, and then you'll be able to redo the quest to get a different ring, according to Hortus on the forums.

However, I thought that the other question in the thread, the one about whether it works for people who are not exalted, was an excellent one. And since my Shaman is not actually exalted yet, I figured I'd get some hands-on experience and find out for you, dear readers, whether the Violet Eye would exchange your ring at a level below exalted. So, as you can see in the shot above, I destroyed my revered ring (I am not kidding-- I really did), and asked the quest giver for another one.

Unfortunately, the bad news is that it does not work. I didn't actually get another ring. And apparently I'll have to work up to exalted to get my ring back. The things I do for you, my readers. The things I do.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Blizzard, Instances, Quests

You say Mana. I say Manna.

The Ritual of Refreshment is available for Mages today, among other things. The Ritual of Refreshment produces stacks of Conjured Manna Biscuits just as the Soulwell produces healthstones for others to take as needed.

Conjured Manna Biscuits or Mana Biscuits? Which is right? Flaye reported it as a text bug, but Hortus confirms that Manna is the correct spelling.

Manna: Magical food. You may have heard it in a non-game context as "manna from heaven".

Mana: The resource pool that is used for casting spells in WoW.

So Manna, in this context, replenishes Mana (and Health). It may have been a better idea to call the food that restores both health and mana something like ambrosia or chocolate chip pancakes or something less confusing.

What do you think would have been a better name for the Conjured Manna Biscuits?

Mmmmm. Chocolate chip pancakes. Now I'm hungry. /afk

Filed under: Mage, Odds and ends, Forums

2.2.3 on the PTR

Looks like we got a little ahead of ourselves. Before we see 2.3 on the PTRs, we're going to see 2.2.3, a small patch that is supposed to bugfix a lot of the sound problems that players are having. Patch notes are complete below, and I'm betting that if the Kael event isn't fixed yet, a fix for that will also be included in this patch. We can only hope that we'll see a small PTR appearance for 2.2.3 (so test it extra fast, folks), and then the gloriousness of 2.3 will grace us with its presence.

PTR 2.2.3 Patch Notes
  • Clients utilizing OpenGL video modes will no longer experience graphical anomalies and missing textures after minimizing/maximizing the window.
  • Fixed an issue that caused Fel Eye Stalks during the Legion Ring event to not despawn when the event is completed.
  • Fixed an issue where zoning after mounting and summoning a pet was disconnecting players.
  • Fixed an issue where the Shift key would get stuck in game.
  • Using a /equip macro while affected by certain crowd control spells will no longer cause the items in the macro to be stuck in your inventory.
Continued after the jump...

[ via MMO Champion ]

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard

Not a bug: Guild UI errors with over 500 members

Most guilds don't have this problem, but if you have a guild with over 500 members, the guild UI reports incorrect information. The member status is no longer accurate with over 500 members and not all of the members appear on the roster.

Blue poster Hortus says this is not a bug:

Guilds are functionally limited to 500 members.
There is no cap on the number of members in a guild so you can invite more than 500 but the UI will not support it.

This may change in the future but it is not considered a bug.


I briefly had a character on Dark Iron in the Knights of Arcadia, the first of the Penny Arcade guilds <insert fangirl noise here>. The UI issues over 500 members got so unwieldy that they split it into multiple guilds.

Do you think WoW should support the functionality of guilds over 500 members? Or do you think Blizzard's resources are better spent elsewhere?

Filed under: Bugs, Guilds, Forums

Things to know about Patch 2.2

As is common with any major patch day, there are a few issues. Here are a few from the forums and what I've experienced:

Instance servers are crashing on many realms.
From AV to Tempest Keep, players are having a hard time completing instances. Raiding is particularly hard hit.

It's OK to delete the Auction Sale Pending notice from your mailbox.

You will still get your cash when the new 1 hour delay is up. And, yes, everyone else seems to hate the new delay, too.

Windows resolutions and UI Scaling have been tweaked.

It's not your imagination and it also, according to Hortus, isn't a bug. Changing resolutions of the same aspect ratio will only give you a higher or lower image quality, but otherwise your view will not change. Windows are automatically resized to maintain aspect ratios and to reduce issues with stretching and distortion. If you aren't happy with the new size of your UI, turn on UI Scaling in the Video menu and adjust it accordingly.

Hopefully the instance servers will have been fixed by the time the patch is live in Europe. Sometimes it's better not being first.

I also recommend checking out the undocumented patch notes.

Filed under: Patches, Bugs

New patch coming to the PTRs and it's not what you think

Patch 2.2.2 is coming up next
Patch 2.2.2 is coming to the Public Test Realm later today according to Hortus. Instead of Zul'Aman or more Voice Chat testing, Blizzard is putting their October Holiday content up. The first event, Brewfest, is a new holiday for Azeroth. Early reports hint at attack kegs, signalling Dark Iron dwarves, racing rams, and even sausage eating. Sounds suspiciously like the annual German event, Oktoberfest.

After Brewfest, Blizzard will test the Hallows End festivities. Considering this long held event is on the Test server hints that Blizzard may have some new tricks or treats in store for us. Mountable flying brooms have already been spotted in the Test files. Hallows End is scheduled to start October 18th on the Live servers.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

Patch 2.2 may take "weeks" longer

MMO Champion's about right-- patch 2.2 is likely not coming for a matter of weeks. Since background downloading started a little while ago, we all figured this Tuesday or next was looking pretty good for a patch update, but Hortus on the forums alludes to new PTR patches "several times in the upcoming weeks," which is a good indication that we've got a while to go on the PTR.

It doesn't necessarily mean that we're looking at a November patch-- it could be that the PTR updates are for 2.3, or that 2.2 will drop with hotfixes coming later, or that Hortus just doesn't have the information from the devs right. But take a deep breath-- even if it takes a few more weeks for a new patch, odds are we'd all rather have it "right" than "right now."

And Boubouille says that if it takes this long for 2.2, he doesn't see how they'll release the expansion by next January, which is just plain laughable. Sorry Bou, we love you and all, but WotLK isn't dropping anytime before July 2008, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if we didn't see it until early 2009. It's not that we won't have content until then-- Zul'Aman is coming, and a new arena season will show up before then (maybe even two), as well as guild banks, a new CoT instance, and of course the Sunwell. But if you're still thinking we'll see Arthas as soon as January, time to stop holding your breath.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

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