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Posts with tag minimap

Mists of Pandaria Beta: New icons make questing a breeze

Do you remember the times you had a quest in your log that asked you to go speak to someone in particular? Or the quests that required you to speak to or deliver something to several different people? It was almost impossible to track where those people were, since they weren't marked with a yellow exclamation point, and they didn't glitter like most quest objectives.

Well, that issue has suddenly evaporated in Mists of Pandaria with the introduction of a new quest icon. In much the same fashion as the usual exclamation points in blue and yellow (and question marks of the same color), all of those pesky people you have to talk to are now marked by a simple yellow word balloon over their head. But the improvements go further than just that -- quest targets are also marked on your minimap for you with a white word balloon icon, as well.

And if that's not enough for you, there's also a new icon for interactive objects -- a floating yellow set of gears. This seems to be for quests that involve searching for clues or items you need to examine; the gears float over the various quest objectives. Both new icons are bright and easy to see, clear indicators that whatever they're floating over is part of a quest you have in your logs.

Both of these situations are something I'd chalked up to one of those little annoyances that I rarely thought about. But now that I've seen the solution in action, it's elegantly done and makes the entire questing experience much smoother. These improvements are both small additions, but they add so much to the overall experience that you start to wonder how you lived without them. The Mists leveling experience is pleasant so far, but it's the little additions like these that make all the difference.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Reader UI of the Week: Gerzroz' UI

Each week, brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send your screenshots, along with info on what mods you're using and some background information, to

Happy belated Mother's Day, moms. That's about the best I can do for mothers as the addon/UI columnist, unless someone develops a mom addon. Anyway, another week and another reader's user interface. This week we get to take a look at some simple art, give some castbar recommendations and tips, and talk way too much about minimap placement. Let's get to it, shall we?

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Finding unfinished quests

Alan on LJ is having a problem I've been thinking a lot about lately -- like me, he wants to go back and finish the Loremaster achievement, which asks you to clean up all of the quests in the old continents. But like me, he's wondering just how he'll find all of those old quests -- unfortunately, there's no way to know which quests have and haven't been done, and while of course, there's a "low level quest" tracking option, that still requires you to run around to all of the different quest locations to find them.

A forum thread like this one is a huge help, but still, there's no way in the game to really go back and easily find which ones we've missed. Even with a list like that, you might spend twenty minutes trying for a drop before realizing you've already done that quest. Blizzard promised us a little while back that they'd be changing the "discovery" mechanic (so that we'd be able to see on the map which areas we hadn't discovered for the achivements yet), and an option like that might be helpful for cleaning up old quest -- say that low level quest tracking might work over the entire map, or there might be a magic box in Dalaran that would have whatever quest items we might need.

The good news here is that Blizzard has built a fair amount of leeway into the quest achievements -- you won't need every single one to get the points, so the more obscure drop-based quests can probably go undone without worry. But just like the World Exploration achievements, a little more help finding the quests we might have missed would go a long way.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Quests, NPCs, Achievements

Preview of the new minimap mod SexyMap

The mod I'm about to talk about isn't some essential combat mod. It doesn't vastly change how you play the game. It won't help you in the arena or in raid dungeons, or even RP. What will it do? It will make your minimap look totally sweet.

From one of the original authors of Omen and the maker of Chatter (among other things) comes the simply (and appropriately) named SexyMap. Using spell effects already in the game files (I believe the default uses Hand of Freedom as the outside ring and Hand of Salvation on the inside), SexyMap makes your map look... sexy. It's difficult to see just how awesome it is from pictures, but I don't have video handy, unfortunately. What you can't see there is the two rings are animated, one moving clockwise and the other counter-clockwise.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons

Bejeweled 1.02 is out

The most important addon of all has been updated to version 1.02 for compatibility with patch 3.0.2: PopCap's Bejeweled has a new version ready for download on their site that will work just great with the new patch. And there's a new feature, too: PopCap says so many people asked for a little minimap relief that they've added an option to either turn the minimap icon off completely, or move it around the minimap wherever you like.

Unfortunately, the endgame got nerfed so much that odds are you won't die in raids until Wrath, so that part of the addon probably won't get used much. But my flight paths have felt empty without the gems to match since Tuesday -- the new version of Bejeweled is the most welcome addition to my addon folder.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Leveling, Achievements

Ask a Beta Tester: Murlocs, mounts, and minimaps

You want mounts? We got mounts. Just waltz on through the intimidating portal above flanked by deadly drakonids, and they're giving em out like candy! Actually, no, I'm lying. Kind of. Locke asked...

Any word on new flying mounts or anything like that?

A little, but not a lot. We're not seeing a cornucopia of mounts yet. The ones we have seen are pretty cool, though. As I mentioned yesterday in my post on the Obsidian Sanctum, they're running with the design of Zul'Aman and offering mounts as special rewards from completing 'extra challenges' in raid zones.

The Obsidian Sanctum offers up a Black Drake Mount for completing the special challenge in the 10 man version, and it seems you get a Twilight Drake from the 25 man version, but I haven't seen that personally. Either way, these drakes are pretty hard to get, at least at first. They're not quite giving them out for nothing. Other colors of drake mounts have been datamined, but we haven't seen them drop yet.

For more answers to your beta questions, read on!

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Filed under: Mounts, Wrath of the Lich King

Showing all questgivers on the minimap

Players have been asking for a way to track even their gray quests for a long time (in order to go back and do them for lore or reputation value), and now it looks like Blizzard is finally listening. Tigole says that in the next Wrath beta build, even gray quests will be trackable on the minimap, like normal quests are now. While a few players argued when the minimap first got updated that it would make the game way too easy, I've found (as I've been leveling my alt again lately) that it actually lets you focus on the important part of the game -- the quest text. Not poking around looking for those exclamation points keeps your mind on what's actually going on as you go back to a quest giver, and makes it more fun as you turn in the overdeveloped gizzard or whatever you're giving away.

So good news on this one for completists -- if you've been thinking about going back and hunting down all of the old quests, for reputation, for the new achievements, or just for the heck of it, you might as well wait until you can see them on the minimap.

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

Patch 2.3 on WoW Insider

Happy patch day! Yes, it's time for patch 2.3 today, and boy do we at WoW Insider have a lot of information for you about today's patch.
And this is just scratching the surface -- use the search box at the top to find anything else you'd like to know about 2.3 -- we covered it all, from the season 1 arena item prices to how Elemental Shamans got buffed to what casuals can do for fun in 2.3 to the changes to Aimed Shot. There is just a ton of stuff changing in our favorite game today, and if you're wondering about it, odds are we wrote a post about it. 2.3 is here!

Filed under: Patches, Items, Tips, Tricks, WoW Insider Business, News items, Guides

Details on the new minimap tracking system

In addition to letting us know about the new hunter pets in Patch 2.3, Mania's Arcania (of Petopia fame) has also written up a pretty detailed explanation of how the new minimap tracking system works, with helpful screenshots and everything. We've mentioned this before, but now here are some of the new details she has uncovered for us:
  • The "!" and "?" quest-giver symbols now show up on the minimap very clearly.
  • Clicking on the new magnifying glass button gives you a list of all the different things you can track, including existing tracking abilities, as well as places to repair, buy ammo, aucions, banks, and so on.
  • Flight Masters you haven't met yet will always show up, whether you are tracking them or not.
  • Quest-givers' "!" symbols disappear from the minimap if their quest is too low-level for you (which is too bad if you are going back for more reputation).
  • For hunters: the various creature-tracking abilities now distinguish between neutral and hostile mobs, via yellow and red dots, respectively.
  • Special tracking-assistant addons like Gazmik Fizzwidget's famous TrackMenu may no longer be needed.

Filed under: Hunter, Odds and ends, Quests

Amazing updates to the UI in 2.3

Tons of amazing gems found in the patch 2.3 notes (Art from our /silly comic called this "the patch that keeps on giving). Here's just a few of the UI-slimming things Blizzard is implementing in the next patch:
  • Auction House categories have been cleaned up-- no more "Plate > Cloak" categories.
  • "Battle Map" is now available for all zones, not just PvP battlegrounds. Does that mean you can pull up the map and see where all players are at all times? Sounds like it to me.
  • Game objects that you can interact with now have a glow around them and their name over them. Wow! No more searching for twenty minutes just to find that little switch you have to click on.
  • We'll be able to send 12 items in a single mail message! Bye bye, CTMailMod.
  • Monsters that need to be looted by people in your party will now have the name of the would-be looter visible in the tooltip. Bye bye, "LOOT YOUR CORE HOUNDS!" Actually, that one I might miss.
  • And we've heard that there are big enhancements to the minimap-- bankers, auction house tellers, repair people, and quest givers can now be optionally tracked on the minimap.
  • Additionally, fishing anglers will be able to track fishing holes-- but only after obtaining a crate that contains a book from fishing.
Wild. The whole thing about interactive items glowing? It's like we're getting "WoW for preschoolers." Don't get me wrong, it'll be a huge help to everyone doing quests, I'm sure, but at what point are we getting a big arrow you can see from halfway across the zone that says "Kill This Mob to Finish Your Quest"?
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Insider Trader: Yeah, nice effect -- but does it glow?

Insider Trader is your weekly inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Laugh all you like – for a sizable population of WoW players, an enchant's not worth the mats it takes unless it creates a cool glow. A long-time enchanter, I've made my share of snarky remarks in guild chat about dorky customers bringing me mats for completely inappropriate enchants on completely inappropriate weapons ... But then again, back in the day (ok -- way back in the day), I also made sure to equip an alternate staff enchanted with Demonslaying every time I zoned into town. Watch the peons swarm to see what the Great and Powerful Enchanter (TM) is wielding!

You'd probably be pretty surprised to learn that there is, in fact, an entire web site devoted to helping enchanters and players figure out which enchants make the coolest glows., the brainchild of Cordana of the Detheroc realm, offers screenshots of specific glows, lists of available enchants and their effects, and news on newly updated Burning Crusade-era glows.

Read more about glows after the jump, as well as an Insider Trader tip for miners trying to track elusive greyed-out "ghost nodes."

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Filed under: Mining, Enchanting, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

Better Know an Interface Element: The minimap

Today I would like to take a look at WoW's UI -- not any of those newfangled mods, but the default UI, the one that Blizzard wrote. We'll start at the top-right corner: everybody, say hi to the minimap!

As far as I've been able to determine, the minimap hasn't changed since I've started playing the game (circa patch 1.4 or so) -- until now! Yes, as I'm sure you've all noticed by this point, patch 2.0.1 introduced a new minimap button, one to open the world map (it's the one in the top-left corner of the minimap pic to the right, all looking like the Atlas button). I was rather confused about this for quite some time, until I realized that they had to take the world map button off the micro-buttons at the bottom of the screen to make room for one for the new LFG interface. But the micro-buttons are a topic for another post.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features

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