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Breakfast Topic: What's the oldest piece of gear you use?

Man, WoW just throws so many items at us. They're greens, blues, and purples. They're vendor trash and they're enchanting mats. They all fill up our bags and our hours in the game. They drive our raid attendance and our questing time. And some, out of all of those thousands of items, mean something to us. We've all got our cherished items, ones that we can't bring ourselves to get rid of.

This breakfast topic isn't about what we don't want to get rid of, though! This is about what we can't freaking get rid of no matter how hard we try.

The General forums were graced with Blue presence in a thread asking just what the oldest item you still use is. The OP mentioned that theirs was Dabiri's Enigma, a tanking trinket they've been trying to get rid of since they day they got it back in Netherstorm. Unsuccessfully, of course.

What about you guys? What have you been trying to replace, upgrade from, or downright throw away since Light-knows-when?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Phat Loot Phriday: Arcanite Reaper


Yes, the Reaper, like 40 man raiding, has basically gone the way of the dodo. But with the coming of the Arcanite Ripper and even more references in Wrath, you kids today might not realize that there was once a weapon that everybody simultaneously loved and feared.

Name: Arcanite Reaper (Wowhead, Thottbot, Wowwiki)
Type: Rare (yes, it's not even Epic) Two-Hand Axe
Damage/Speed: 153-256/3.80 (53.8 DPS)
Abilities:
  • +13 Stamina (this was before resilience was introduced to the game), +62 Attack Power (which is still substantial, but back then was phenomenal)
  • And the main reason the Reaper was so nuts was because of it's slow attack, but high damage. Back in the day, before things got all normalized, Mortal Strike was the shiznit. It was an instant attack based on weapon damage, and since this weapon's damage was so high, pushed forward by the Attack Power bonus, Warriors basically owned PvP back around early level 60 times. In fact, you might even be able to trace the current population of Warriors back to this weapon alone, and for that reason, it's earned not only a place in Warriors' hearts, but in Blizzard's culture as well.
  • I should also mention Shaman and Windfury weapon here, because back before all the changes were made to Windfury, and even before Shammies could dual wield, one Shaman with Windfury and this weapon could one-shot almost anyone. Nowadays, everything's mitigated, with nerfs and resilience and all the changes to endgame and Arena PvP. But back then, the Arcanite Reaper ruled the roost.
  • Which explains why it's everywhere -- the Arcanite Ripper is a direct rip, if you will, off the old weapon, and brought many a tear to a Warrior's eye when it returned to the game as a guitar. The skin has also been reused a few times, as with the Spinal Reaper. And in the next expansion, there'll be an heirloom item bound to account called the Bloodied Arcanite Reaper, so all of your two-handed melee characters can relive the old days as they level up.
  • Oh, and take a close look at that summoned Felguard running towards you while the Warlock's DoTs are ripping you apart -- he's carrying an old Arcanite Reaper as well.
How to Get It: Here's another reason why the Reaper was such a big deal -- not only was it the best weapon to have for any class that wielded two-hand melee and counted on Attack Power, but it was craftable and BoE, so pretty much anyone who wanted one could get one. The plans drop from Bannok Grimaxe, a rare spawn found in Lower Blackrock Spire, which is actually an instance that's getting some traffic nowadays with not one but two vanity pets and an achievement in there. You can probably solo to him without too much trouble, but the drop is the problem -- it's only around 6%, so you've got to be lucky.

But maybe you can find a Blacksmith with the plans already -- in that case, you'll need 20 Arcanite Bars, six Enchanted Leathers (made by an Enchanter from a Rugged Leather and a Lesser Eternal Essence), and two Dense Grinding Stones. Not a tall order, actually (yet another reason why this weapon was so popular). Melt it all together, and voila, you've got a classic weapon. Won't do much good these days, as mechanics and upgrades have rendered the once great Reaper into a not very attractive blue. But don't tell any grizzled old Warriors that -- they'll make you remember the old days whether you like it or not.

Getting Rid of It: Sells to vendors for 6g 57s 36c. Disenchants into a Large Brilliant Shard. Has killed more Mages than you'll ever meet, consarnit!

Filed under: Warrior, Blacksmithing, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Phat Loot Phriday, Lore

Enter to celebrate patch 3.0.2 with a Paper Airplane from WoW Insider


We gave away a ton of great loot last weekend at BlizzCon -- every time someone stopped to say hi to us on the floor, we pulled out some swag and passed it out like Hallow's End candy. But even though we gave lots of it away, we've still got some left (huge thanks to Upper Deck for hooking us up -- we had a lot of fun playing the WoW Minis game with them), and so today, as we get the game's second expansion-level patch, we figured we'd give you a chance at a fun ingame item.

Yes, we're giving away a code for an ingame Paper Airplane item -- to enter, just leave a comment on this post telling us the first thing you're going to do when patch 3.0.2 comes back up. The code is good for the US or EU realms, and make sure to use a real email to comment with, so we can contact you if you win. We'll pick one winner randomly tomorrow, Wednesday, October 15, at noon Eastern (you'll have leveled up Inscription by then, right?) to win a code to get an ingame Paper Airplane item from Lando Longshot.

Good luck to everyone -- we can't wait for the patch to come up!

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Contests

Warrior tanking shields in Wrath

Many people are wondering how long their Aldori Legacy Defender or Bulwark of Azzinoth will be lasting them in WotLK. While there will be no definitive answer until the official release of Wrath when items are more or less finalized, we can take a look at the various shield options now and at least get a feel for when they'll be replaced.

We'll compare shields by selecting a few key statistics: armor, block value, defense, and stamina. There might be other statistical factors in each shield, however these four values are the major stats that define a shield's power. We also show the strength on the shields which are coming in Wrath, since that attribute will be playing a larger role for the Protection Warrior post patch 3.0.2.

Read on after the break for a statistical break down of shield options for the Warrior tank, and why the iconic Bulwark of Azzinoth won't be replaced until at least level 77, if not level 80.

Read more →

Filed under: Warrior, Wrath of the Lich King

Why Blizzard needs to put AH data on the Armory

There is a certain party, a regular emailer to us among our readers, who believes that we here at WoW Insider take a little too long at the start of our posts to get to the actual point of each story, so in this one, I'll just get right down to it: Blizzard needs to put Auction House information on the Armory.

I've been on the grind to the 5000g for my epic flying mount lately, and I've been playing the Auction House like a demon: calculating, buying, selling, and crafting my way to as much gold as I can throw together. And while Auctioneer has definitely helped, the best way I've found to track prices and make sure I get the most for my time in the AH is just to see the prices themselves -- no average price calculated by Auctioneer is worth enough as seeing the real thing. And that's where Blizzard comes in -- while there are a few sites that attempt to track prices with various methods, they have actual, constant access to the prices on every server. And they have a great place to put them: on the Armory.

The item pages on the Armory right now are practically empty -- besides some vendor and reagent information, there's almost nothing there (especially compared to, say, Wowhead). Giving player access to AH information would pull them into the game even when they couldn't play, not to mention let some of Blizzard's most talented web programmers -- their fans -- at data that they could do tons of great stuff with. Want a text alert when your favorite mats drop in price, or when there's room on the AH to finally sell off those Elixirs of Agility you've got? By passing out AH info to the Armory, Blizzard could give fans access to the data needed to make their own great tools, not only leaving Blizzard free to work on actual development, but giving us Auction House haunters all the access we need to track prices and have that much more fun playing the AH.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Add-Ons, Making money

Phat Loot Phriday: Perpetual Purple Firework

For the Fourth, we're going with the obvious choice: a hot little infinite fireworks trinket that isn't all that easy to get.

Name: Perpetual Purple Firework (Wowhead, Thottbot, TCGLoot)
Type: Epic (sometimes Uncommon) Trinket
Damage/Speed: N/A
Abilities:
  • Use: Shoots a purple fireworks display into the air that explodes into a rain of sparkles.
  • It has infinite uses (hence the "perpetual"), and a 30 second cooldown. The whole display itself lasts about 4 seconds, but it does like pretty purty.
  • No level requirements, so anyone can use it -- provided you can get it.
How to Get It: Yes, it's a TCG item, but not one of the normal ones, where you just buy a booster and hope you pick it up. Nope, this fireworks trinket is part of Upper Deck's "points" program, in which points is just a fancy word for "spend more money!" Every booster pack you buy has a certain number of points in it, and when you've collected enough points cards, you can spend them on UDE's website for ingame items like this one. There's about 100 points per booster pack, and this item currently costs 3,000 points (it used to cost 10,000!), so you'd have to buy 30 booster packs (MSRP around $5, though you can find them cheaper and more expensive in different places, so about $150 total) to get enough points for the trinket.

Fortunately, we have eBay, where people are selling and buying the UDE points for as cheap as $15. Still not really a great way to get an ingame item (spending real money for virtual stuff, woo!), but if you really want to get your hands on this trinket, there you go. Otherwise, just do a few runs of Scarlet Monastery's Armory, and you'll have all the fireworks you need.

Getting Rid of It: You can't! Vendors won't take it, and it'll never run out of charges, so the only way to get rid of it would be to destroy it. And that would be like throwing money down the drain, which is something that TCG buyers would never ever do, right? Right?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Humor, Phat Loot Phriday, WoW TCG

The gear you'll never delete


We all have pieces of gear that we don't want to do away with. For me, it's mainly my Quel'Serrar sword – thousands of gold spent on it pre-bc makes it (adjusted for inflation) the most expensive item I've ever purchased. I'm never going to be getting rid of it.

I know that others have the same sentiments. For instance pictured above is the hat of one of my good friends in game. She's had those moose antlers for about 2 ½ years from Onyxia. I know that she'll never get rid of them, and if she did... well, our guild would probably have to gdisband.

There's something nostalgic about keeping around old gear. It provides a memory of "the good old days" when hitting 60 actually meant something. Those old pieces of gear meant that you had accomplished something epic when epics weren't free. Our old epic pieces of gear are a testament to a time when the game was still new and the wilds of Azeroth were really wild.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

A warrior and his spirit gear

For some reason on my home server, Eldre'Thalas, when folks see a tank standing around in Shattrath without anything to do, they immediately start sending tells asking if I want to go tank such-and-such an instance for them. I don't mind it when my friends or guild mates do it, but it does get a little annoying when complete strangers do it constantly.

So I've come up with a solution: spirit and intellect armor. Whenever I'm doing anything other than fighting, I'm wearing bright yellow spirit and intellect armor that I got off the AH. I spent about a hundred gold on this dastardly set. It looks awful, it smells awful, and it's a great repellent for annoying unsolicited LFG tells.

I got the idea from looking at people's gear who are apping to my guild. Some of it was just plain nuts – spirit gear on Warriors, "of stamina" gear on Priests, things like that. Of course, they might have just been logged out in that gear the same way I'm logged out in mine right now. But when you're apping to a guild and one of the requirements is to log out in PvE gear for the next week, well, too bad so sad for them.

Read more →

Filed under: Warrior, Items, Virtual selves

Phat Loot Phriday: Winterfall Firewater


This is probably old news to a lot of you, but just in case you happened to join us after Burning Crusade dropped, you might not know about this magical liquid available only in the snowy wastes of Winterfall. Here's something fun that almost anyone after 55 can get.

Name: Winterfall Firewater (Wowhead, Thottbot, Wowdigger)
Type: Consumable
Damage/Speed: N/A
Abilities:
  • Increases your attack power by 35 for 20 minutes. This counts as a Battle Elixir -- you can only use one Battle Elixir and one Guardian Elixir at a time.
  • But the best part of this nowadays (since 35 attack power ain't that much, especially when you scale up to 70) is that it makes you grow in size, which lets you do funny things like the picture above.
  • There are a couple of other ways to grow in size -- the most common is the Shaman spell Bloodlust. Stack a few of these together with the Firewater, and you can see some pretty crazy stuff. You can put your own "huge player" experiences in the comments below.
  • Finally, "firewater" is also a slang term for alcohol, and is also offensively used to refer to the problem of alcoholism among Native Americans. In the quest mentioned below, you find out that the Furblog (a bear-like people with tribal similarities to Native Americans) is being corrupted by this "firewater," and one of your tasks is to attack the Furblog leader and cure them of that corruption. A very interesting social background to the whole idea of the Furbolg in Azeroth.
How to Get It: This is a drop only from Furbolg in Winterspring, and though most of the percentages out there say it drops only about 4-6%, experience tells us that it drops pretty regularly. Anyone who's ever grinded those bears for Timbermaw Hold rep will tell you that they've seen tons of these. And for that reason, they're also pretty readily available on the AH as well, for as cheap as a gold or two.

Still, it's always fun to have a few around, just in case things get a little boring during a raid, and you feel the need to, y'know, be big.

Getting Rid of It: AH it, because vendors won't buy it. Or just drink it, specifically during raids when Bloodlust gets dropped. Always fun.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Odds and ends, Phat Loot Phriday

Wowhead adds new item links

My favorite database site has recently added a new feature to their item listings. When you look an item up on Wowhead.com, you'll notice a new link to the right of the item's name which says "Get in-game item link". When you click on it, a new window will pop open with some highlighted text. Simply copy the text into your in-game chat window and hit enter. You'll be given an in-game item link for the equipment you looked up on Wowhead, so you can check yourself out in the dressing room or pass the info on to another player.

This is certainly a cool feature and one I'll probably play around with quite a bit. This may allow me to do away with some of the item database addons I currently use in-game. I'm already alt-tabbing out to read Wowhead all the time, so it won't be much hassle at all to copy their links into the game when necessary.

Will you be using this feature at all? What do you think about it?

Filed under: Items, Odds and ends

Wowhead adds rating conversions


My personal favorite database site has recently updated their item listings with a new feature. While not currently listed on their under development page, Wowhead has started listing the items in their database with the combat ratings converted into percentages, much like another one of my favorites, the RatingBuster addon. You can take a look at the picture above to get an idea of what I'm talking about. In this case, the Veteran's Band of Triumph has +22 critical strike rating which converts to a +1%critical strike chance at level 70, while its +22 resilience rating converts to -0.56% critical damage taken (among other things).

Undoubtedly this relatively small change will make the site even more useful. Rating conversions are especially helpful when comparing gear choices and attempting to decide if a particular item is an upgrade or not. I know I'll be utilizing this new feature when doing just that.

Filed under: Items, Odds and ends

Phat Loot Phriday: Speedy Racer Goggles

Today's PLP is actually a request. Reader Pol sent a request for this one (a while ago, actually-- sorry, I've been busy), and wanted to know the story behind these one easy-to-obtain and now very rare goggles.

Name: Speedy Racer Goggles
Type: Uncommon Cloth Head
Armor: 53 Armor
Abilities:
  • +14 Intellect
  • Pre 2.3, they've also got +14 Agility on them, but post 2.3, they've got +16 to healing and damage.
  • Also, they're notable for being the only goggles in the game (I'm pretty sure-- someone speak up in the comments if this isn't true) that don't have an Engineering requirement to wear. If you have two professions that aren't Engineering, and you want to wear some shades, these are them.
  • And as goggles in Azeroth go, they don't really look too bad. But there's a problem...
How to Get It: Erm, while these things were once super easy to come by, they're gone now. They used to be a reward for the Gahz'rilla quest that had you killing the big lizard in Zul'Farrak, but the other option from this quest was the famous mountspeed increaser Carrot on a Stick, so these goggles got neglected by most players coming through. Eventually, Blizzard decided that if no one wanted them, no one would have them, and the goggles got removed from the quest rewards, and are currently unavailable ingame.

But here's the thing. Blizzard, as you might know, recently did an upgrade of lowbie items, including lowbie quest items like these goggles. And these goggles, as you see above, did get upgraded. If anyone had them sitting in their bags, they'll see the +spell damage on the item, not the old Agility buff.

Does this mean Blizzard is bringing them back. Not necessarily likely-- instead of just tweaking each item separately, odds are that Blizzard just tweaked the recipes for the items, and thus this item got tweaked automatically. It may be coming back as part of the upgrades to Engineering (wouldn't it be great if Engineers could sell goggles like these?), but that's pure speculation at this point.

Still, this is a nice item. It's kind of a shame it got pushed out by Carrot on a Stick. Maybe we'll see the Speedy Racer Goggles again somewhere else in Azeroth in the future.

Getting Rid of It: Sells for 67s 45c to vendors, but if you got em, might as well hold on to them. They're as antique as items get in Azeroth.

Update: Commenter rockatansky points out that they are not the only non-Engie goggles. But I'd hazard a guess that they are the only vanilla WoW non-Engie goggles.

Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Phat Loot Phriday

PTR Notes: New reputation ammo

MMO Champion has reported that new "Specialty Ammunition Vendors" have been discovered on the PTR in patch 2.3. These vendors, Archer Delvinar and Marksman Bova, can be found in once empty structures in the Scryer and Aldor areas, respectively, in Shattrath City. Not only do they sell the best types of normal vendor ammunition outside of Halaa, but they also stock ammunition that has reputation requirements. Instead of running over to the Cenarion Refuge in Zangarmarsh every time you need to stock up on Warden's Arrows, you can now buy the same ammo in Shattrath.

The same vendors also carry ammunition that is currently only available from vendors in Honor Hold/Thrallmar and the Caverns of Time. Currently the cost of all the ammunition sold by these vendors appears to be tied to Aldor/Scryer reputation level, but still requires the specified faction requirement to actually purchase and use.

Of course, the best news is that these vendors also carry a new type of ammunition. The Mysterious Arrows and Mysterious Shells require revered reputation with the Violet Eye and provide 46.5 additional damage per second. A stack of 200 costs 1 gold without any price reductions from reputation.

Clearly these new items are meant to fill the gap between Adamantite and Timeless ammunition and help hunters that are tackling Magtheridon, Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep increase their damage output. With the new Adamantite Stingers also being added 2.3, hunters will have more options than ever before when choosing a type of ammunition.

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Items

Phat Loot Phriday: Primal Mooncloth Bag

This is it. If you want to hold your stuff, ain't nothing better than this. The only thing is, the mats might drive you up a wall first.

Name: Primal Mooncloth Bag
Type: Bag
Abilities:
  • It's a whopping 20-slot bag, which is the biggest in the game. There are a few bigger ones out there-- in fact, quite a few. But those are all specialty bags, and this one will hold whatever you want in it.
  • If you want to hold stuff-- a lot of stuff-- this is what you need.
How to Get It: And here's the catch (there always is one, isn't there?): even with the mats, it could take you two weeks just to get this thing made. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

Read more →

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

Taking the production out of itemcrafting

Here's an interesting suggestion from Mystic Worlds: take the production process out of crafting.

When I used to play Dark Age of Camelot, the crafting setup was my least favorite part of the game-- it seemed like crafting materials were expensive, the crafting process took way too much time (I having long conversations with others standing around the crafting area), and the stuff you made (at the early levels anyway) just wasn't that great. So WoW's system may not be perfect, but it seemed like a breath of fresh air after that-- materials come from actually playing the game, and putting things together is something you can generally do as an afterthought rather than as, well, a profession. The gathering is the important part.

So Mystic Worlds says, why not make the gathering the whole thing? You still go out and get mats from the world, crafters turn those raw mats into usable mats, and then you'd actually take the bolts and gems and tanned leather that crafters made to NPC crafters, who would turn them into items. That way, if you want a Robe of the Void but you aren't a tailor, you just take the mats to an NPC tailor who can hammer one out for you.

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Filed under: Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Making money

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