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Argent Tournament gains will not transfer between factions


Just a heads up for you faction transfers, though you've probably already realized this if you have made a transfer: many of your faction reputations will transfer over just fine, but not so for any Argent Tournament progress you've made. Argent Tournament reputation and gains will not transfer over if you change factions. Kisirani says that Blizzard couldn't think of a way to do it technically, and so (as we understand it), anyone who transfers factions will lose all of their current Argent Tournament standing, and have to make their way back up through the ranks to Champion. Many other reputations have changed just fine, and you can find a list of all the changes as you cross over from one faction to another on the faction change FAQ. You will bring items over with you -- any seals earned on one side are still valid on the other. But if you want to grind out more, you'll have to go through the ranks again.

Seems like a bummer for faction changers (especially those who didn't know about the problem before they did the transfer), but on the other hand, I don't believe Blizzard would have let this go if they had any way to fix it. Short of just granting ranks to all players who transfer, assuming they have no way to track where players were at in terms of which cities they'd champion-ed for, I don't know what other solution there would be.

Update: A little more information: you also lose all of your Silver Covenant or Sunreavers rep as well, so you'll have to re-earn that from the beginning, too. As players have said in the thread below, it's not a huge loss, but it's an annoyance for sure.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Items, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling, Factions

BlizzCon 2009: Stats vastly simplified

It looks like Azeroth is not going to be the only aspect of WoW that's destroyed in Cataclysm. The developers just announced in the Class, Items, and Profession panel that half of WoW's stats are getting tossed out the window. Here's the breakdown:

  • Attack Power on gear is gone. Instead, some classes will get 2 AP from each point of Agi (Rogues, Hunters, Shamans, Druids), and other classes (presumably Warriors, Paladins, and Death Knights) will get 2 AP per point of Strength. Side effect: no more plate wearers stealing your gear
  • Spell Power is gone. It comes from Int now.
  • MP5 is gone. Spirit is the mana regen stat, and all classes that need it will get some form of Meditation. (Hunters, never fear - you don't use mana any more. More on this in a separate post.)
  • Armor Penetration is gone. That one was just confusing.
  • Defense is gone. Tanks are now defense-capped from talents, like Druid tanks.
  • Haste now increases your rate of resource regeneration (mana, energy, rage, runes, focus).
  • Block Value is gone, but blocks now mitigate a percentage of damage.
  • Stamina is going to be more equal across different armor types - no more "plate HP envy."

Whew, those are some massive changes. I'm very much in favor of this sort of streamlining; the number of stats in game was getting a bit silly. This back-to-basics approach is refreshing. It's going to take some balancing, sure, but I think it's the right way to go.


BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!


Filed under: Items, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Heirlooms for every slot

I've been pushing forward on my Paladin lately, and so I've entered the wacky world of Heirlooms. I have already picked up the leather Heirloom shoulders (thinking that even though the Pally wears plate, if I ever want to level a Druid or Rogue, I'll have them), and I'm well on my way to grabbing the new Heirloom chestpiece as well -- 20% bonus XP, combined with a healthy amount of rested XP, should make the leveling curve as easy as it gets (RaF is nice too, I guess, but I'd rather not pay for a second account). So I'm in Heirlooms up to my neck (at least until they give us helms), and I was intrigued by this question over on the Rawrcast forums: do you think Blizzard will eventually provide Heirloom items for every slot?

20% is already a significant bonus to killing and questing XP, and rested technically provides a 50% bonus. But with ten Heirlooms in 10 slots (we'll leave out weapons, since those don't have the 10% XP bonus, as well as shirts and tabards, and rings and trinkets for now), you're looking at a 100% XP bonus even without Rest. The current average 80 probably spent about 14 days leveling up, so with an extra 100% bonus, you're looking at seven days /played, or very close to the current record. At that point, Blizzard might as well let us grant levels to each other.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Leveling

Breakfast Topic: Most frustrating non-drop

Unless you are a Ridiculously Lucky Bastard, odds are good that you've gone the length of your time in the game without managing to get a particular drop you really wanted. It's been a running joke in my guild that, try as I might, I can never get Pillar of Ferocity to drop from Anetheron. It didn't once drop in the near-year I ran Hyjal during Burning Crusade, and it sure isn't dropping during our occasional fun runs now.

I don't even know why I want it as badly as I do. It wasn't a giant upgrade back in the day given how oddly it was itemized for Druid tanks in comparison to the Wildfury Greatstaff, and it's sure as heck not an upgrade now. But every so often I find myself staring at Atlasloot in celebrated Captain Ahabesque fashion, being driven to the brink of madness over an elusive white whale weapon that is among the last of that now-vanishing breed, the feral tanking staff.

A Restoration Shaman pal spent each Hyjal alongside me waiting for a pair of Howling Wind Bracers that never came (let's face it, Hyjal hated us), and our Holy Paladin colleague went more than a year in Karazhan without ever seeing a Shard of the VIrtuous. With gear consolidation in Wrath and generally smaller loot lists all-around, you get the slightly more exciting problem of being more likely to see a drop but losing it to someone else, possibly multiple times (see: Illustration of the Dragon Soul, enormous popularity thereof). Spill, folks; what are your horror stories?

Filed under: Items, Breakfast Topics

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Loot Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

New instances and raids are fun and all, but let's not forget what we're all here for: the loot. With the new patch out on servers, there's a whole slew of new items and gear to win and collect. Here's a quick roundup of everything we know about the new loot coming in patch 3.2, from the badges you pull from dead bosses' bodies, to the sweet epics you can turn them in to get.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Bosses, Leveling

Phat Loot Phriday: Touch of Madness


Since Rogues will be able to break out the Axes in patch 3.2, here's one for you stabby-stabby types to start aiming for now.

Name: Touch of Madness (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDB)
Type: Epic One-hand Axe
Damage/Speed: 297-552 / 2.60 (163.3 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +24 Agility, +52 Stamina
  • Improves hit rating by 34, crit strike rating by 26, and attack power by 92

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Filed under: Rogue, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday, Death Knight

Phat Loot Phriday: Silent Fang


This is a nice piece of hefty (as in, anyone can get it, not just the top raiders) loot from Twitter's own @Wibbels. It's a sword from around level 60 with a breathtaking proc.

Name: Silent Fang (Wowhead, Thottbot, Goblin Workshop)
Type: Rare One-hand Sword
Damage/Speed: 45-85 / 1.60 (40.6 DPS)
Abilities:
  • There's actually only one, and it's a crazy chance on hit: if it procs (around 5%), the enemy hit is silenced for a full six seconds. Complete silence (no spells, no casting, no nothing) for six seconds, 5% of the time. Pretty awesome, right? Unfortunately, as with everything, there's a catch.

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

The limits and possibilities of Bind to Account

Aeuis brings up an interesting point over on the forums: even though some of the items we get are called "Bind on Account" (or, more properly, Bind to Account, even though most people use BoA as shorthand) they're really not that, because you can't actually send them across factions or realms. Of course, that's pretty obvious to people who've been playing the game for a while -- Blizzard has never really encouraged cross-faction interaction at all (you can "send" items through the neutral AH, though even that is a bit of a hack, not really the intended purpose). So BoA items are actually bound to account, server, and faction.

But Wyrxian is surprisingly open about "future possibility:" he does say that while Blizzard could allow us to send items between factions if they wanted us to, they also wanted to leave things open just in case the functionality came into view in the future. That doesn't mean we can expect a change in the next patch, but it does seem to mean that Blizzard is still open to the "possibility." You'd think it be tough technically (character inventories are all over the place, especially cross-server), but considering that we can now have cross-server battlegrounds, all it would probably take is a tweak to the in-game mail system. One character sends an item, another character receives it.

And really, the only possibility that might come open is just ease-of-use -- that's why BoA and Heirloom items are in the game already, and if Blizzard determines that it would be easier to have you share items between your characters' factions and servers (perhaps if they upgrade the character re-customization feature to include a faction change?), then it will likely happen sooner or later.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

Scattered Shots: What you see is not always what you get

I can't believe it either, WoW.com actually decided to bring me back for another week! I am Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from The Hunting Lodge and I'll be your tour guide each Thursday as we explore what makes our Hunters tick and how we can make them better.

what do you mean it's not an upgrade?Last week we talked about the many different resources are available for Hunters. This week I thought to build on that and talk about item level (iLevel) and what makes a good upgrade.

Yes, I'm sure you are already thinking, "Boring! How difficult can that be?" Maybe for some that would be true. But the changes that happened with Wrath of the Lich King have forced us to rethink some of the old standards. For example, Agility isn't always the king stat like it was in the past. Sometimes you might need to decide between adding Critical Strike Rating, Armor Penetration, or Attack Power all the while considering how much Hit you might be losing.

I do agree that determining your next piece of gear should be relatively simple process. And for the most part, it is. But as with everything, there seem to be exceptions to the rule. Sometimes choosing between two items on the fly or in the heat of the moment just isn't that simple.

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Tips, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Phat Loot Phriday: Nurturing Touch


This is a crazy-looking wand from Ulduar that spits out Holy damage like nobody's business.

Name: Nurturing Touch (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Wand
Damage/Speed: 378-702 / 1.80 (300 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +29 Stamina, +26 Intellect, and +24 Spirit
  • Improves crit strike rating by 20, and spell power by 39
  • Pretty straightforward wand -- nothing too special about it. But it is a nice one, and it's likely an upgrade from anything you've gotten in Naxx or the earlier raid instances.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday

Totem Talk: Is Enhancement too squishy?

Yes, that's Thoralius the Wise from the Howling Fjord starting quests. When I saw him get up and start zoning out to his smoke brazier, the look on his face just meshed too well with today's subject matter, which is the health of shamans in melee. We talked about shaman health in PvP a while back, now it's PvE's turn.

I don't play my shaman in a melee role in raids right now, because I basically don't have the gear for it. My resto set's a lot better so that's what I go as, but that only means I often notice how difficult it is to keep enhancement shamans on their feet. There are several possible culprits for the disparity, although in most cases I believe the killer to be aoe damage, so wearing mail really isn't the issue: rogues aren't nearly as hard to keep up as shamans, for instance, because rogues have cooldowns and abilities that allow them to avoid or escape damage. (If you've ever seen a rogue go sprinting through several mines on a Mimiron kill you'll know what I mean.) No, excepting those giant whirlwinding maniacs in Razorscale and Thorim, what's generally killing shamans in melee is AoE damage, and the problem here is twofold in my experience.

  1. Most enhancement shamans who are not in Tier gear are wearing hunter mail, which is not tuned to higher stamina values. Even shaman tier gear lacks in stamina, however.
  2. In order to take talents that would reduce incoming damage, shamans are asked to not take talents that would allow them to produce meaningful DPS.

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Filed under: Shaman, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Instances, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Ulduar-10 hard mode weapons buffed

Well, this is a good piece of news for 10-man raiding. Weapons that drop in hard-mode Ulduar-10 fights are being buffed from ilvl 226 to ilvl 232, a jump of half a tier. Players who have these weapons already will see them adjusted. This puts the Ulduar-10 hard-mode weapons on par with the Ulduar-25 normal-mode weapons, a situation that was already the case for armor rewards (Ulduar-25 normal-mode weapons have always been ilvl 232).

My own casual-ish guild is only four bosses into Ulduar at the moment, so this doesn't affect me personally, but it makes sense to see hard modes drop quality rewards. I wonder if this will increase the number of guilds attempting them. Now how about a shot at Val'anyr, eh? Or perhaps a Druid tanking idol somewhere in Wrath before Ulduar-25? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Filed under: Items, News items, Raiding

Fix for missing items to come during rolling restarts; instructions follow

There have been rolling restarts the past several days, which is nothing new. However on the morning of April 18th beginning at 5:00 a.m. PDT the realms will be restarted in order to correct a bug where items were missing from players backpacks after the previous restart.

Not every player experienced this issue. For those that did, items which were in their bags when they logged off Monday night were not there when they finally got into the game after patch 3.1 was applied Tuesday evening.

Blizzard blue poster Idrandra gives some specific instructions as to what you need to do to ensure the items are returned. More after the break.

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Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Phat Loot Phriday: Black Ice


Today's item comes to us from the wild and strange land of Twitter, where Jezriyah suggested this might be the prettiest item in the game. Maybe -- but only if you don't count characters, as my Night Elf Hunter is pretty hot. Also, if you're not following WoW Insider on Twitter yet, now's the chance to do so -- you get to suggest items like this!

Name: Black Ice (Wowhead, Thottbot, Wowdigger)
Type: Epic Polearm
Damage/Speed: 570 - 856 / 3.50 (203.7 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +108 Agility, +88 Stamina
  • 2084 Feral Attack Power, if you're into that sort of thing, and you probably are -- this is one of the best cat DPS weapons for Feral Druids

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

Phat Loot Phriday: Jaina's Signet Ring


As promised, we're going husky this week (which means we're choosing a midlevel item that has some significance to gameplay, rather than a high-end epic item to drool over).

Name: Jaina's Signet Ring (Wowhead, Thottbot, Wowwiki)
Type: Uncommon Ring
Damage/Speed: N/A
Attributes:
  • +3 Strength, +7 Stamina
  • This ring is actually more notable for what it isn't than what it is. It's more or less the final reward in the Missing Diplomat questline, which spans ten Alliance levels from 28 to 38. And yet, after traversing half the world and uncovering a gigantic mystery, all you get is some XP, a nice chunk of reputation, and this little ring. Unfortunately, most players are of the opinion (with good reason, if you ask me), that a piddly little ring like this probably isn't worth all of the trouble. This is probably one of the quests Jeff Kaplan would probably say wasn't quite done correctly.

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Filed under: Alliance, Mage, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Phat Loot Phriday, Lore, NPCs

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