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Posts with tag molten-core

Blood Pact: Destruction, my guilty pleasure


If you've been reading my Blood Pact posts in the past, you might already be of the idea that I'm not a big fan of Destruction. I'll be the first to admit that it just doesn't suit my playing style. I really enjoy DoTs because I like being able to move around, which is why I was a huge fan of SL/SL before Patch 3.0.2 broke it. I like Demonology, too, because it takes a bit of strategy to play well if you choose to go the route of utility. But I've never liked Destruction. Spamming nukes and not having a pet out -- I raided with 0/21/40 before Echoes of Doom -- didn't feel right. I felt like a Mage in Warlock's clothing.

But let's get this out of the way before I get (Shadow)flamed. I understand that some of you enjoy Destruction. I know that some of you like playing with Fire and Shadow. That's cool. I want to play with it, too. So I did. This whole week, all I did was muck around with a full Destruction build that went all the way up to Chaos Bolt, casting alien-like nukes, jets of fire, and burning things up. So how did it go? I surprised myself... because I actually had fun.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Level 60 Love pines for the olden days of Azeroth

We've heard the idea of "classic servers" passed around before -- some players believe that things were better way back at level 60, when Molten Core was the beginning of the endgame, Tier 3 was as high as things got, and you had to coordinate a whole 40 man raid (shudder) just to pick up a few epics. Blizzard has already said no -- they think it would be trouble to run two different versions of the game at a time, and you have to wonder if they have the capability, as much as the game has changed, to run an old server anyway.

But that hasn't kept some players from continuing to ask -- someone has even put together a whole site called, cleverly, "Level 60 Love," designed to convince Blizzard to re-offer the vanilla game again. They've got a mission statement, a FAQ and forums, and even a few ways to "help" out (though you could question how signing a petition helps, but we guess every little bit counts).

It's not too farfetched -- as they point out, Dark Age of Camelot once hosted "classic" servers, and the idea of legacy raiding is something that's already happening in game. But of course it's up to Blizzard -- even if they feel the demand is there (and it sounds like it would take a lot of demand), they might just see it as a sign that they need to justify the newer content and do more things like the recruit-a-friend and quicker leveling.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Bosses, Leveling

Molten Core now available for download

You may remember Blizzard's April Fool's joke this year, a trailer promising the release of a console version of the Molten Core. It was a concept that did so well in the polls, we expected to see it turned into some kind of official mini-game.

An enterprising fan, however, beat them to the punch. The Molten Core ATARI-style game is now available, as posted in the forums. You can download it from Box.net or from Filefront. Design inspiration is credited to Blizzard, of course, but its graphics, programming, and game play are courtesy of Derek Gallant.

With this morning's server restarts, I took the opportunity to fire up this 1 or 2 player raid instance. And, while it probably won't be peeling me away from the zombie invasion, I didn't stop laughing the entire time. Derek's creation allows you to play each of WoW's staple classes, and everything is, indeed, fairly reminiscent of Molten Core. (If you know what you're looking at.)

Good luck!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor, Forums

EU battlegroups experiencing language problems after mergers


Tipster Nimm writes in to let us know that several EU battlegroups have been having serious issues after mergers that occurred post-patch 3.02. The mergers have seen a number of battlegroups acquiring servers with other language-dominant populations, which has resulted in a number of French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian-dominant servers (among others) all in the same battlegroups. While this is probably necessary to a certain degree to guarantee equal Alliance/Horde populations for quick queue times, it's become something of a communication nightmare in battleground matches, particularly those with lots of players using Cyrillic characters. As the player Thoughtless from the Karazhan realm asks, "Can you imagine how hard it is to organise any sort of teamplay in AB with player ???????? from <????????> guild cha(t)ting "?????? ??? ??????? ??????? ?????" in BG chat?" Nimm also notes that differentiating between ??????? enemy players is a nightmare.

We knew that Blizzard was closing four EU realms (Stonemaul, Molten Core, Shadowmoon, and Warsong) and transferring remaining players to other realms in response to Russian player migration to Russian realms opened late summer 2008, and the problem's partially the result of that (which has already resulted in the inevitable "In Soviet Russia, battlegroups merge you" joke). A few amused people are rising to the occasion by translating such phrases as inc 5 schmiede (inc 5 blacksmith in German) or proposing a revival of Esperanto, but the Russian language pack would be the only possible solution for the ???? problem. There's been mention made that this is only a temporary fix on Blizzard's part to faction imbalances on battlegroups, but if you're on an EU realm that's seen a recent battlegroup merge, just be aware that Babelfish might be a useful tool in the near future.

Filed under: Realm News, Odds and ends, News items, PvP, Forums, Battlegrounds, Arena

Patch 3.0.2 primer for Warlocks part III

Destruction
Long considered the most efficient raiding spec throughout the Burning Crusade, Destruction will get a run for its money with the new and improved Affliction. It also remains to be seen if Blizzard's efforts at steering the spec clear of mindless Shadow Bolt spamming will prove successful. Certainly, there's more emphasis on Fire spells this time around, which we'll see deeper into the tree. If you do spec deep Destruction, do tell me how it goes. Send me a postcard from Naxxramas.

Change is felt right off on the first tier as the popular Bane is moved up here. It's exactly the same, so getting it a tier earlier is a definite buff. Improved Shadow Bolt is unchanged, but I'd hold off on putting points here. Unless you're determined to pursue a Shadow Bolt spam spec, there're a good bunch of talents deeper in the tree to spend your points on.

Cataclysm swapped places with Bane but was buffed in a sense because it now just costs 3 points for a 3% cost reduction but now grants crucial +Hit. We'll need it as we level up and re-gear in Northrend. Three points here is mandatory. In more point-saving generosity, Aftermath was reduced to a 2-point talent for the same effect. Does it make the talent any better? No, it still sucks. But now it sucks for three points less.

On tier two we also see Molten Core, a new talent introduced to mix things up a little for Destruction. Molten Core encourages the use of DoTs, which are likely to proc it more than Shadow Bolts. This is great talent for Destruction Warlocks looking to specialize in Fire spells, as well as low enough in the tree for other specs such as Demonology, to pick up. If we want to diversify our play style, we should put three points here.

If you're only branching out to Destruction from another tree, you might be faced with the decision of choosing between tier three's Shadowburn and a 51-point talent. I'll say it right off that you should skip Shadowburn. On the other hand, if you're moving deeper into Destruction, pick it up because you'll be sure to find a use for it. Five points in the more accessible Ruin is mandatory, as well. We can skip Demonic Power, which is essentially Improved Lash of Pain and Improved Firebolt rolled together. [EDIT: Sephirah correctly reminds me that Demonic Power ups DPS directly because we're going to have our Imp attack, anyway. So, score some points for Demonic Power!]

The unchanged Destructive Reach on tier four is mandatory while the other talents are completely optional. If we're looking to PvP as Destruction -- why not? -- we should pick up Intensity not just for the pushback protection but because it's a prerequisite for a stun effect. We'll save points by skipping Improved Searing Pain. No, really. We're going to skip it.

Devastation was moved to tier five, swapping places with Ruin. Now it's one talent point for a 5% crit, which is one of the best single point investments we can make in any tree. We'll also want to get Improved Immolate because aside from the fact that it's been buffed from 25% to 30% for two talent points less, we'll need it to get something really cool deeper in the tree. Besides, Blizzard really wants us to use Immolate. Pyroclasm is entirely optional, even for PvP considering the only spell we'll really use that can proc it is Conflagrate.

We want Emberstorm. It's that simple. 10% more damage from Fire spells and a faster Incinerate is sweet. Also on tier six is the reworked Nether Protection, which now procs off any spell. It no longer grants immunity, but a damage reduction from any school. In some ways it's a buff since it can protect against Frost or Holy, for example, but it also no longer confers immunities to Silence or other Shadow spells (which probably wasn't intended to begin with). Unless we want more mitigation in PvP, we can skip that.

Tier seven is where it begins to get a bit tight. We want Conflagrate, since it's an excellent one point investment. If we're raiding, we can actually skip Soul Leech since we really should be healed, anyway. If we solo or PvP, it's a great talent to have. It also opens up opportunities for our pet on the next tier. Backlash is another PvP talent for those time when Rogues or Warriors are being mean to us, but because there's a 3% crit bonus, I'd say we pick it up.

Up next is Shadow and Flame in tier eight, which we'll max out because it scales Shadow Bolt insanely and tempt us to just spam the thing. Fortunately it also affects Chaos Bolt and Incinerate, so we may steer clear of the evil path of mindless Shadow Bolt spam. Since we skipped Soul Leech, we're obviously locked out from Improved Soul Leech. But feel free to pick it up for pet loving if you have points to spare.

On tier nine, I'm skipping Shadowfury only because we've been moving away from PvP-centric talents in this post. I know, I know, some of you insist that Shadowfury is awesome for PvE, so you can very well spend that talent point there. It's just one point, anyway. What I'm really interested in is Backdraft. Didn't I say Improved Immolate would lead to something cool? Well this is it. It's a mini-Bloodlust or Heroism for three spells. Because Destruction is all about cast times, 30% haste is gold.

Then we get Empowered Imp on the same tier. Check out that icon. That's one badass Imp. If little Rupjub crits, I crit. Well, almost. I get 20% more crit on my next spell, which is pretty darned good. The idea is to get the Imp into the action by spending talents to make it hit hard enough. He'll crit eventually. Here's where we can revisit Improved Soul Leech to keep the little guy topped up. See, I told you to hold off on getting Improved Shadow Bolt.

If you find spamming direct damage spells a little mind numbing, you can invest some points into Fire and Brimstone. Didn't I tell you that Blizzard wants us to use Immolate? Well, here you go. Immolate will hit hard with this talent. The cool -- or uncool, depending on how you look at it -- is having to watch Immolate's duration hit the 5 second mark before throwing out a Conflagrate. Yes, I know this screws our timing up, but someone's bound to make an AddOn to tell us when to cast Conflagrate. Right? Anyone? Bueller?

And then there's Chaos Bolt. It's a 51-point spell on a 12 second timer. Sure, it pierces through absorption effects and all that stuff... but 12 seconds? I mean, I can't kill a Pally with it anymore and I can only cast it every 12 seconds. Well, we're getting it anyway. We've gotten this deep, right? Besides, it deals whopper damage and it's great for teaching those Shadow Cloaked Rogues a lesson. It's a pretty decent one point investment and can do wonders once we figure out how to work it into our newly confusing and complex (but fun!) rotations.

Well, that's the last of our Warlock talents primer for 3.0.2. I hope that helped you decide which direction you want to take your Warlock when the realms go up. I'm leaning towards a hybrid myself, but Haunt is so deliciously sexy...

Zach helps guide you through the changes in 3.0.2, so you can be enthralled in all the demonic love Blizzard's thrown together. Check out other 3.0.2 Talent Guides, too, as well as everything about the so-called Echoes of Doom.

Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath's Violet Hold takes us down memory lane

I'll admit it: I liked Arcatraz. I know, I know! It's supposed to be awful, how could I like it!? Well, while I didn 't necessarily like the layout of the dungeon and some of the trash (ethereal room, I'm looking at you), I like how it brought a lot of nostalgia from WoW Classic with it. A few of the trash mobs were pulled straight out of level 60 raids, though toned down a bit, and the last boss was like the "Best of Level 60 Raiding." Flamewakers? Qiraji? Awesome!

This is why I love the upcoming Violet Hold, too. Dalaran's Violet Hold in Wrath of the Lich King is a throwback to everything we've done so far. To the people who have been raiding since the beginning, this dungeon is going to prompt a great big, "Man, do you remember when..." moment. For the people who haven't been raiding since the beginning, this dungeon will show off a lot of fun mechanics they've never seen before.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Wrath of the Lich King

Blood Pact: Destruction in Wrath Beta


And then there's Destruction. I'll be honest and admit I was never a huge fan of Destruction. Spamming Shadow Bolts and -- this was what made it oddest for me -- having no pet out didn't feel right at all. I believe that Warlocks are a pet class, and sacrificing our pet for more DPS throughout entire encounters was off, even if it was the infernal thing to do RP-wise. The classic 0/21/40 raiding build essentially made our demons a 6 second cast buff.

Things are going to be somewhat different in Wrath of the Lich King, although Destruction is still pretty much the tree for blowing up things into oblivion. A lot of the talents incentivize mixing up spells and steer away from chain casting Shadow Bolt. A talent deep in the tree also rewards keeping a pet out. The tree is essentially a crit tree, the tree to make things go boom, although Blizzard clearly wants Destruction Warlocks to throw other things into the mix.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Wrath of the Lich King

Guildwatch: It's not me, it must be you


I don't think I've ever seen the fall of a guild as documented as Underscore is in Guildwatch this week -- someone has been taking screenshots aplenty of all the whispers going back and forth, and surprisingly, most of them have actually come from the guildleader of the guild in question. If you've ever wanted to see how a guild can fall apart from tell to tell, here's your chance.

That and lots more (including some actual good news) in Guildwatch this week, which starts right after the link below. Guild news is slowing down for Wrath, so please help us fill our inbox: send your downed, drama, and recruiting tips to wowguildwatch@gmail.com if you have them, so we can make sure the column is nice and packed next week. Thanks!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

Free EU character transfer destinations revealed

Toward the end of August, European CM Vaneras had announced the closure of a few English-speaking EU servers due to the great success of their Russian localization, with a note that destination realms for free character transfers would be announced later on. Later on is, apparently, last night. Thundgot has posted the destination realms, and each set includes one that is part of the same battlegroup as the realm of origin.
  • From Molten Core you can transfer to Burning Steppes*, Deathwing, Dentarg
  • From Shadowmoon you can transfer to Boulderfist, Spinebreaker*, Xavius
  • From Stonemaul you can transfer to Ahn'Qiraj, Burning Blade, Jaedenar*
  • From Warsong you can transfer to Auchindoun, Bladefist*, Haomarush
If you call one of the four closing realms home, I strongly recommend you go research your options and choose your destination while you still can. If you haven't moved yourself somewhere by the time their nebulous deadline (post-patch 3.0.2) hits, you'll have your destination chosen for you when the realms are ultimately brought down. Make sure you end up somewhere you'll like.

Filed under: Realm News, Blizzard, Forums

Vaneras announces closure of four European servers

European CM Vaneras made an interesting announcement just the other day: Four EU realms will be closing entirely with Patch 3.0. The EU realms Molten Core, Shadowmoon, Stonemaul, and Warsong will be closing up shop, and free character transfers will be offered to other, currently unannounced EU realms. The destination options will be announced within the next week.

Don't worry, though. These realm closures have nothing to do with any dips in WoW's popularity. It's actually due to the launch of WoW's Russian localization. A vast majority of the players on those particular realms were Russian players, and they migrated to the new Russian servers when they opened up, leaving most everyone else high and dry. The equipment these four servers run off of will likely just be used elsewhere, since Vaneras stated they'll be prepped for Wrath of the Lich King's launch after being taken down. Most likely they'll need to launch a few more realms when Wrath rolls around, but it was just far easier to fold these four into larger communities at this point.

[ Thanks, Swarfy! ]

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

3.0 won't break everything

A lot of people (including some folks here at WoW Insider) are super concerned that when Blizzard does release a 3.0 patch early, it'll basically break everything we're doing now. Potion sickness on the live realms? Shield Block cooldown extended? With those changes, it seems bosses like Illidan would be basically unbeatable.

But Blizzard says, as they always do: don't worry. The latest word is that 3.0.2 is heading to the PTRs, and it's pretty clear that if 3.0 is going to break everything in the game, that's where Blizzard will find out. Don't forget that we've got months until the expansion comes out (and likely even a few months until the actual patch hits the live realms), which means there's tons of time to tweak and twist and get all of the new changes working with the old content.

This doesn't mean that things won't be broken -- we're curious to see, especially in even older instances like AQ and Molten Core, what things are like with all of the 3.0 updates. But it does mean that they'll likely be broken on the PTR -- in a few months from now, when this patch finally goes live, Blizzard should have most of the wrinkles evened out.

Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Breakfast Topic: Are you achieving?

So, recently we learned that Blizzard would be doing everything they could to reward achievements retroactively. Besides the obvious rewards for exploring, they will also look at your quest logs and gear and give retroactive rewards out for dungeons and raids based on what they find.

Still have your Stormrage Legguards tucked in a corner of the bank? Congratulations, you'll get the Molten Core achievement. Turned in Hard to Kill 2 days after the dungeon went live? You'll automatically have the Magister's Terrace achievement come Wrath.

It's a pretty cool idea that'll help us old vets feel like we've accomplished something with these years in the game, and I'm all for it. It's also been sort of fun to look at my transferred characters on the Beta servers and see what I have and haven't run, or what I have run but am not credited for.

What's occurred to me though is that I could go back to the live servers, run a few dungeons, finish a few quests, tuck a few pieces of random loot away, and come out of the gate on Wrath release day with a whole bunch more shiny achievement points. You know, if I could actually tear myself away from the Beta servers.

But anyway, the idea is tempting, if only because it's a constructive thing to do with my characters before Wrath hits and the grind to 80 starts for real. After all, no matter how often they up the level cap and add new dungeons, they'll never take the Slave Pens achievement away from me.

Are any of you out there working at racking up what achievements you can preemptively? If not, are you considering it?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Quests, Expansions, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Blizzard confirms retroactive achievements, when possible


Ever since achievements were announced, the question I've heard the most from players has been about whether what they've already done will count. I attemped to answer this with a little bit of speculation last week, and today Tigole has basically confirmed what we'd already said: that where possible, Blizzard will award achievements retroactively.

As we said last week, things like reputations and quests are easy to track -- other than dailies, you can't do the same quest twice, so it's easy for Blizzard to know, since day one, which quests you've done. And if a quest takes you to kill, say Onyxia, and you've completed it, then obviously you've got the achievement. Where it gets a little fuzzier is if you haven't done that quest, but you have killed Onyxia -- Blizzard probably doesn't even know yet if they'll do things like look for specific loot from certain bosses in a character's history, or if they'll extrapolate things even farther -- if you're Exalted with Hydraxian Waterlords, does that mean you've cleared MC?

But Tigole does say that Blizzard is making a conscious decision to be as inclusive as possible on these old achievements -- whenever they can, they'll reward credit rather than making you go back to redo old content. That's a good choice -- it does mean that a few people will get angry for not getting the achievement because they killed the boss but didn't do the quest, but the alternative, awarding no retroactive achievements at all, would be even more frustrating.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Bosses, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Penny Arcade plays cards at the Darkmoon Faire

As expected, Penny Arcade did show up at the Seattle Darkmoon Faire last weekend, and also as expected, Tycho did bring a raid deck. He also, surprisingly, dressed up for the role -- apparently he worse the cape they'd depicted in the comic while running the Molten Core game (though he couldn't find a skull pin to go with it). Sounds like a lot of fun. Upper Deck has coverage of the event, though we couldn't find any mention of the Penny Arcade guys.

Another thing Tycho mentions (and that makes it into the comic today, NSFW) is that even for people familiar but not fanatic about the game like them, entering these tournaments can be really tough -- there are tons of solid decks and strategies out there, and if you haven't done the research, someone who has can very easily trounce you. They even mention a "three card infinite damage combo" that players can use. Unfortunately, that's way too far over my TCG strategy head to actually tell you what it is (maybe commenters can help), but it seems like for new players especially, these formal TCG events might be a little tough to get into.

Still, the Darkmoon Faire events are fun, even if you're not playing at the top of the heap. UDE has lots more news about upcoming events on their website.

Filed under: Cheats, Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, WoW TCG

Pardo says Warcraft IV is "one of the ideas on the table" after SC2

Our good friends at Gamedaily recently got a chance to sit down and talk with Rob Pardo, VP of Blizzard, and he dropped hints about yet another new game that they might be working on. No, not Starcraft II, or the rumored Diablo 3, or even the long-awaited (and unfortunately, probably never coming) Lost Vikings sequel. Nope -- he hinted that after the release of Starcraft II, whenever that happens, Blizzard's RTS team might be hard at work on... Warcraft IV.

Don't hold your breath, of course (this is Blizzard we're talking about) -- this would be after the current real-time strategy game is done, and Pardo says it would be "one of the the ideas on the table," so it's not exactly in the planning stages yet. But it's interesting to hear that Blizzard may still return to the Warcraft universe under the RTS banner -- we've seen such a different aspect of the world in the MMO, it would be very strange to go back to controlling these units from the top down.

Pardo also says that a console version of WoW is pretty much out of the question at this point -- if there is going to be a super-successful console MMO, it's not going to be World of Warcraft, as this game was designed for PC and has gone through so many iterations since that Blizzard isn't at all interested in trying a port. We are still waiting for that playable version of the Molten Core console game, though...

[via WorldofWar]

Update: Whoops, the interview is a bit old (Pardo said this last year). Still, news to me that Blizzard might bring RTS back into the Warcraft universe, but considering that Starcraft II doesn't even have a rumored release date yet, we're going to be waiting a long, long time.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Rumors

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