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Hotfix roundup for Thursday March 27

Drysc is keeping a post up-to-date of all the latest hotfixes that are happening. Patch 2.4 went live without too much trouble this last Tuesday, yet there is a slow but steady stream of issues popping up in the game. Each morning for the next few days we'll let you know about all the hotfixes that have come out the previous day.

Yesterday's hotfixes include:
  • Increased Felbound Initiate respawn rate. These are the guys you need in the "Blood for Blood" quest.
  • You can no longer accept the quests given by Magistrix Seyla up in Hellfire Penisula without first compleating "The Missing Magistrix."
  • Thanks to rolling restarts last night, you will now see your server name correctly displayed in battlegrounds.
Of course, if something major comes up, expect to see it covered right away on WoW Insider. Enjoy your patch 2.4 fun!

Filed under: Patches, Bugs, News items

Brutallus encounter hotfix

A few days ago it was reported on the PTR that those dastardly evildoers of dastardly deeds (aka: Warlocks) managed to enslave Brutallus. These vile locks then took their newly enslaved demon out to play. And playing for a creature of pure darkness means letting them wreak havoc onto the unsuspecting citizens of the Isle of Quel'Danas. I would have expected a hotfix to this almost immediately, and some form of public announcement that the bug has been fixed. However as of Saturday at 7 p.m. EST, there has been no such luck. Instead, Blizzard decided to hotfix the Brutallus encounter inside Sunwell Plateau, the new 25 man raid.

The hotfixes Blizzard has given the encounter are:

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Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Bugs, Blizzard, News items, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: Is crafting useless?

Engineering GnomeIn my experience, crafted items have usually been items you use while waiting to get a better item to drop. With a few exceptions, of course -- crafted resistance gear tends to be some of the best you'll find and there are occasional gems (the priest in me is still giddy with the memory of getting a Hide of the Wild crafted). But the majority of crafted gear seems to be inferior to what you'll find even in the 5-man dungeons, and the disparity only gets worse as you participate in higher-end content. And in the Burning Crusade, where green quest rewards will immediately begin replacing any blues you might still be lugging around, will the outlook for crafting improve? In short, is crafting worthless?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Features

AddOn Spotlight: EngBags and Advanced Bags Plus

Unlike most of the mods I've been posting, EngBags is a pretty new one to me, but I'm already in love with it. It's an all-in-one bag window that sorts your stuff for you -- trade goods go in one area of the window, quest items another, etc. Brilliant and a little bit demented. It's highly configurable, which can make it seem a bit daunting, but the default config is pretty good. I always found keeping my inventory organized a bit of a chore, and now I've got a mod to do it for me (though I do occasionally have to reassign things' categories for best effect).

Advanced Bags Plus is a slightly different solution for the same problem. It replaces your five bag icons in the bag bar with a modifiable number of virtual bags for different item categories. It seems slightly easier to configure than EngBags in terms of which items should go in which categories, but it keeps multiple bag windows, which I don't like as much, having used AllInOneInventory/OneBag/Bagnon and the like pretty much since I discovered mods.

Engbags at Curse
Advanced Bags Plus at Curse

Filed under: Add-Ons, Features, AddOn Spotlight

The Burning Crusade -- you vs. your guild

New races, new (to your chosen faction) classes, 10 more levels. That's the short-form of what The Burning Crusade is going to deliver to us, come January 16th. Many guilds are focusing on the push to 70 and refining strategies for 25-man raiding. Many players are understandably eager to try out the new races and classes available to their chosen faction. Can these two goals mesh, or are we going to see a shift in the player-guild dynamic?

My earliest guild wasn't started to beat endgame content. It was there for a group of people who enjoyed playing in each other's company and so that these people would have an easily accessible pool of resources for leveling and grinding up to 60. When we hit 60, the usual drama set in, as not everyone hit the level cap at the same time. Some people got bored or frustrated with the lack of progression at 60 and went off to look for raiding guilds. Others were happy just hanging out with friends, and still others were a bit upset that they were left behind and were feeling pressured to level to 60 so the guild could progress together.

Now that the expansion is going to be upon us, I see the potential for the same type of splits amongst guild memberships. Some are going to want to power level to 70 to get back on the raiding wagon, while others will start fresh new characters that they hope to one day get to level 70. Then there are those people who want to savor the new content and while do a bit of leveling and a bit of playing around with the new low-level content.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Expansions, Raiding

The Burning Crusade -- hardware upgrade time?

Back in October, Mike Schramm let us know what the Burning Crusade system requirements were going to be. Now that we're in the holiday season and the expansion is a matter of weeks away, do you plan on making any upgrades in order to get the most out of the Outlands?

I've been playing WoW on a number of systems since beta. I started on a 12" PowerBook G4, then swapped to a 1GHz Duron desktop, then to a 15" PowerBook G4, then a 20" iMac G5, and now I play on both the iMac and a recently-purchased Core 2 Duo system with an ATI x1900. Through all of those systems, the two most important factors I've found in playing WoW are system memory and the video card.

For memory it seems that 2 gigabytes seems to be the sweet spot for playing WoW on OS X, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. With only a single gigabyte, all of my systems have seemed to chug a little, relying on caching to keep everything going. If you play with Teamspeak or Ventrilo, or have iTunes running in the background, you're definitely going to want 2 gigs of ram.

With the video card situation, it's all about where you can move the sliders in your Video Options. On my iMac, I play with the default settings except that I've turned the viewing distance down to minimum, and that's with the 128mb ATI 9600 pro that comes in the system. With the PC, everything is cranked to maximum on the 256mb ATI AIW x1900. I've played around on different systems, from the AMD Athlons through the Core 2 Duo chips, and it seems like WoW's not really a system resource hog in terms of processing power.

So, what system did you start playing WoW on, way back in 2004? What do you see yourself playing WoW on in 2007? Is the expansion inspiring you to upgrade or change your system at all, or will you stick with what you've had all along?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Expansions

Adventures in Beta: Blood Elf Paladin, Level 1-5

Having successfully leveling my draenei shaman to 6 without breaking the beta, I decided to skip over to the other server and check out how my beloved Horde are handling their new blood elf pals. Since I had made a draenei shaman, I decided on a horde paladin -- though not without trepidation, because I might want to play one in live someday. Unfortunately, most of the blood elf faces and hairstyles scream "I would have made fun of you for playing World of Warcraft in high school!" I finally made a kind-faced, black-haired paladin and entered the new starting area.

It was just as I feared. Although the blood elf area was beautiful, it was also filled with dancing, flirting Paris Hilton clones. It struck me that unlike the draenei, the blood elves were clearly a well-organized society. Their area is clean and beautiful, and whereas with the draenei you're a survivor and one of the few that can save the race, with the blood elves, you're ... just another blood elf.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Walkthroughs, Expansions, Features, Screenshots, The Burning Crusade

Inventory management

Bags. We all got 'em, we all put stuff in 'em, but I'll bet that each and every one of us has a slightly different way of organizing and managing our inventories. Personally, I find that I'm a "less is more" kind of guy, probably because I get a bit overwhelmed with seemingly innumerable slots full of items both usable and junk-worthy. I like to make frequent trips to the Inn and sell off anything that I don't think I will use again or that I can't auction for a decent price. Seeing as I'm absolutely lousy at working the AH for any kind of profit, I vendor a LOT of things.

Back in the day, I used to try to keep my hearthstone and any important quest items in my last bag, along with a few food and drink items. This way, I could just open my backpack and say, "Oh look, stuff I looted that I need to vendor." Now that I'm 60 and raiding, I've found that my bag slots are taken up with different types of situational items - a few trinkets, my Nature Resist gear for AQ40, my Fire Resist gear for BWL, and a couple of different weapons for whether I'm standing back and need buffs, or in the mix and need to do damage. Popping open bags and trying to find what's what became a bit of a chore, and so I started looking for tools that'd help me manage my inventory.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Odds and ends

Breakfast Topic: A wipe to remember

Mostly, full group or raid wipes are lame. Really, really lame. But sometimes, every once in a while, you'll have a wipe come along that is so spectacular, so fun, and so memorable, that it almost makes the repair costs worth it.

So let's hear your best wipe story. The shot above wasn't actually a wipe (we finished the Tiger boss in ZG with one solitary hunter left, and it was awesome), but my guild will always joke about the time our Warlock lead accidentally fell off the bridge in MC and onto the head of Golemagg-- who then proceeded to make his way all the way around the instance, grabbing every lava pack and puppy on the way, and crushing every single one of us out of existence. TS was just full of people screaming, yelling, and laughing the whole time. Oh, the Horde-anity!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Instances, Raiding

Breakfast Club: Gold buying is naughty

We have had a lot of Breakfast Topics over the course of the past year. Some subjects are more popular than others. Some topics only appeal to certain classes. Some only to PVP junkies or the Naxx raiding crew. And then some topics completely explode and become the most commented on Breakfast Topic thread of the year.

Gold buying and you is the topic that inspired more comments, and more arguments, than any post this year. It started innocently enough. One of my guildies mentioned he had bought gold, was promptly tossed from my guild, and I wrote a post about it. You guys took it from there. There seemed to be three camps of folks in the comment thread...
  • People who don't condone gold buying under any circumstance. Shadowbrand hopes that those that buy gold get "ganked until the end of time." Pretty harsh! They blame the overpriced economy on gold farmers, and ultimately on the gold buyers. Gold buying is bad!
  • Another, more neutral group, that while they don't buy gold, can see why someone might. Lykaon makes the point that gold farming equals time and time equals money. He thinks gold is easy to get, so he doesn't buy any, but he could see the rationale behind those that do. If you don't have the time to farm it, why not buy it?
  • A rather vocal minority who believe that buying gold is just fine, and that everyone else is on the wrong page on this issue. Forsaken points out that he has bought plenty of gold, and having a wife and kids makes it too time consuming to spend hours and hours mindlessly farming.
So there you have it. If you haven't read the comments in the gold buying Breakfast Topic, you really should. A lot of our readers went out of their way with some really excellent comments. Of course, some of the conversations get a little heated, but hey, it's still fun to read! And if you have any new opinions on gold buying, by all means, leave your comments right here!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Features

Adventures in Beta: Draenei Shaman, Level 1-5

A couple weeks ago, I won a beta key. Pleased at getting to test out the expansion content, I happily waited for my key. And waited. And waited. Finally, on Wednesday, I received my World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Beta Key and installed the expansion. Then uninstalled the expansion. Then uninstalled my regular WoW, reinstalled it without patching, installed the Burning Crusade and patched that. I saved re-patching the live WoW for later, in case I began crying.

Finally, at 2:30 in the morning, I logged on and created my first character (my 60 main had yet to copy over.) Because I am lazy and want to see how the Horde and Alliance integrate their new classes, I chose to roll a draenei shaman. Also, I've never really tried to play a shaman or paladin, so it would be an experiment for me as well. I picked the "cute" draenei face, the Princess Leia buns that show off the the weird ear-tentacles draenei have, and some curly horns that looked slightly like racing stripes. And I was off!

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Filed under: Shaman, How-tos, Walkthroughs, Expansions, Draenei, Features, Screenshots, The Burning Crusade

WoW Insider Best of 2006: Server, Class, and Guild

The year is almost over, and that means it's time for us to take a look back, and pick some of the best (and worst) of Azeroth in 2006. This year saw a lot of innovation, a lot of whining, plenty of killing (both PVE and PVP), and almost saw the new expansion (we have to save something for next year, right?).

Last week, we took your nominations for ten different categories. Over the weekend, the WoW Insider staff deliberated. I'd like to say there was a lot of arguing back and forth, and even some throwing of items around the room at each other, but truthfully things went pretty smoothly (everyone agreed I was right). And so, without further ado, today we present the Server, Class, and Guild of the Year for 2006. Click the link below to see the winners.

And come back every day this week, as we award all the other categories, including Player of the Year, Best (and Worst) Blizzard Move of the Year, and even NPC Friend and Enemy of the Year.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Guilds, Blizzard, Features

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