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Posts with tag patch-2.3

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.3 -- Azeroth iterated

Patch 2.3: The Gods of Zul'Aman
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Blizzard likes to talk about their "iterative" process, meaning they make many small improvements over time to produce the best possible result. In the case of the lackluster patch 2.2, players were disappointed that more was not done. With the game's subscriptions still skyrocketing, Blizzard felt pressure to deliver a major dose of new content and improvements.

In November 2007, Blizzard answered the bell and unleashed an iteration that reshaped the game from top to bottom. Players of every level experienced sweeping changes to their play experience -- many of which are so integral now that it's hard to believe we played without them for so long. If you ask players about patch 2.3, they'll call it the "ZA patch." Zul'Aman was a great raid, but 2.3 offered so much more than that.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

The OverAchiever: Wrapping up Mountain O' Mounts

Pureblood Fire Hawk mount, dropped by Ragnaros.
Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we find ourselves gleefully counting the inhabitants of our private stables.

Greetings, folks. After last week's tour through the 2011 Brewfest, we're going to wrap up our Mountain O' Mounts series today with a few ill-tempered complaints from WoW Insider's resident cheapskate, and then turn to ... well, that part's up to you. I have a lot of different OverAchievers I would like to do, but no particular preference as to which we'll do next. There are several popular series and guides from Wrath of the Lich King that I would like to update -- among others, I'm interested in revisiting evil achievements, entertaining achievements, tabards, and feats of strength -- but we still haven't done Molten Front achievements, and I've been getting a lot of requests to do a Littlest Pet Shop guide since that was added to the game.

In the grand tradition of lazy writers everywhere, I'm going to let you pick!

What should The OverAchiever tackle next?
Molten Front achievements. You are bad and should feel bad about not having written about them yet.882 (14.8%)
Evil achievements. I enjoy being reminded of the night I put a foot through my monitor.1081 (18.1%)
Entertaining achievements. We should ship a box of kittens to Blizzard in thanks for having put these in the game.707 (11.8%)
Tabards! Or: Why certain factions have aggressively bad taste.475 (8.0%)
Feats of strength. Because my character is better than yours and I want proof.832 (13.9%)
Pets! Pets pets pets pets pets pets pets pets pets!1242 (20.8%)
I dunno, some rambling philosophical essay where Allison starts off vague and then fails to make a point of any significance.701 (11.7%)
None of the above! I'm dropping a suggestion in the comments.49 (0.8%)

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Achievements, The Overachiever

Shifting Perspectives: A history of feral weapons

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we visit a now-vanished world.

Once upon a time, feral druids had their own specialized set of weapons. This was very good, because it meant that you weren't rolling against half the raid when an upgrade dropped. This was also very bad, because it meant that 98% of the game's weapons were completely useless for us.

This was before the dark times. Before gear consolidation. Before every two-bit jackass with a hard-on for agility thought himself entitled to the armory of the game's noblest class.

They were elegant weapons for a more civilized age.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

The Queue: You are slightly more prepared than you were


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

That's a trailer we haven't seen in awhile, huh? It's relevant today, I promise! Besides, a little nostalgia is always fun. If I have one grievance with Wrath of the Lich King's cinematic, it's that they didn't give us an incredibly corny catchphrase to spout for nearly two years.

Discolando asked...

"Is there any substance to the rumor I've recently read that patch 3.3 will contain another yet unknown raid instance, and patch 3.4 will contain Icecrown Citadel? It does seem more logical to 'finish' the expansion with the advertised antagonist instead of a deux ex machina like patch 2.4 gave us."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Survey reveals what twinks are all about

This is interesting -- our friend Drayner over at Twinkinfo.com recently took a survey of his site's readers, and after picking up almost 1,000 replies, he's posted the results. They show a little bit of insight into the kind of person that plays a twink (a character maxed out at a certain level before 80, usually to run around in PvP battlegrounds). Specifically, they're male, under 21, play for 21-30 hours a week, think their gear rates a 5 out of 5, and are probably level 19 and in Warsong Gulch capturing flags. I'm not sure if that's suprising or not, but those are pretty safe majority votes, even given the smaller sample size of the poll.

Twink players are also more likely to not have more than one account, which kind of makes sense -- they only need one account and just have lots of characters on them. 66% of twinks are actually in twink guilds, and most have at least more than one twink to play around with. Hunters and Rogues top the class choices (though not with a clear majority at all). And perhaps most interesting, over 50% of twinks say Blizzard is serving them just fine -- they're not ignoring them, and they're not giving them any more love than other players. Still, as Drayner pointed out to us, about 36% of twinks said they'd leave the game if Blizzard shut them down with an additional 30% saying Maybe, so Blizzard does have a little incentive there to keep twinking happening.

Quite interesting -- twinks might be one of the only groups of players who are completely fine with how they're being handled in game. 2.3 obviously gave them lots of new items to play with, and while there is some frustration from other players, Blizzard has made it so easy to level that if you don't want to play with the twinks at 19, you can move on pretty quickly.

Filed under: Hunter, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Alts

Encrypted Text: Blizzard called and they want their OP back

Every Wednesday, Encrypted Text explores issues affecting Rogues and those who group with them. This week Jason Harper, the new Rogue feature blogger, discusses the state of the Rogue class, effects of the 2.4.3 patch and the news from the Wrath beta.

I think I've got a pretty big job ahead of me as the new Rogue columnist here at WoW Insider. Sitting here, freshly unwrapped, I know I'll have to both balance the need to fairly represent "real" issues and not get too lost in "rah-rah-rogue" points of view. I'll need you, dear reader, to keep me honest and call-out the unintentional errors or oversights. We're a community and I absolutely want to know what you are thinking, what you love or hate and what you'd like to see me bring to this column that represent your needs.

Like a "do-not-toast-in-the-wrapper" warning on your box of PopTarts, I'd like to point out that any references I make to skills or talents in the Wrath beta should be taken with a grain of salt since they are subject to change at any time.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Features, The Burning Crusade, Classes, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Battlegrounds, Arena

More calls for midlevel content, the return

Back before patch 2.3, one of the most repeated calls from players was not for new raiding instances or a particular class balance change, but for new midlevel content. As we've said on the WoW Insider Show, a large percentage of the population of Azeroth is perfectly content hanging around the 30s and 40s and not bothering with endgame PvP or raiding, and previous to patch 2.3, they wanted new content to roll through.

Then patch 2.3 came, and with it, a whole new series of quests, and even a new hub in Dustwallow Marsh. Midlevel players finally got what they wanted, and for a while, the requests for new things for midlevel players to do were quelled.

Until now.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Quests

Welcome back to beautiful Alterac

The forums have been quiet lately. Quiet about Alterac Valley, that is. Whereas the changes brought about by Patch 2.3 resulted in an uproar, with reports of entire realms reportedly boycotting the Battleground, Patch 2.4 seems to have delivered a modicum of balance at long last. Prior to the last patch, some people seemed to believe that the new mechanic prevented the Alliance from winning the Battleground unless the Horde played below par. The stink brought about by the supposed imbalance was so huge, in fact, that Blizzard quickly hotfixed Balinda Stonehearth and Vanndar Stormpike to have more life in an effort to "assist in balancing the opposing sides."

In Patch 2.4, Balinda and Vanndar were restored to their original (lower) health totals and included minor tweaks in order to further balance the ambitious map. The biggest change in the patch, however, was a geographical one. The Horde starting cave -- which was reputedly so close to the game objectives that it gave the Horde side an unfair advantage under the new mechanics -- was abandoned and a new one created further South. The old cave is still there, oddly, except that now it's just an empty hollow where people can presumably AFK in peace.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Bornakk hints that Tier 3 might be removed from the game

With solid confirmation that Naxx will be "floating" off to Northrend (and not exist in two places at once) also comes a strong hint by Bornakk that they will be removing the ability to get Tier-3 armor pieces along with the rest of the current Naxx loot. Bornakk says that "For players who want the look and the stats of tier 3 armor at level 80, hopefully they are already farming the dungeon for them." This is a very strong indication that post WotLK, the current Tier 3 gear will be no longer available.

Before today it has been pure speculation that this removal of loot would or would not happen. The only time that the WoW Insider staff can think of this happening before (save for the holiday and special events) is with a few old mount models getting changed. And that is nothing compared to entire loot tables being removed from the game. Note that the changes in patch 2.3 to old world loot were just that – changes, not removal.

In many ways this removal does make since, given that the armor models will be reused in Wrath of the Lich King's version of Naxx. While there is similar looking and colored gear floating around WoW, none of it is really twenty levels apart and powerful each in their own right.

However with that said, the removal of items from the game like this stirs a mixed reaction in me.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

The Light and How to Swing It: Badge rewards in 2.4


Now that the patch is upon us, it's a good time for reflecting upon all the new badge rewards available to us in the near future. As a hybrid class with 3 main viable specs (healing, tanking, DPS), it's no wonder that there's a lot of new badge gear for paladins in this patch. Allison did a fantastic write-up of new badge gear for druids a few days back, so I figured I'd follow her format as it relates to paladins!

Holy

Itemization for Healing specs has been pretty solid when it comes to badge gear, and the new stuff is no exception. Just like the Pier 1 set that 2.3 introduced, you'll find lots of healing, spell crit and mana per 5 on the new gear... just more of it.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Breakfast Topic: Patch 2.4, for better or for worse?


Patch 2.4 draws closer every day. Many players were speculating that it was going to be released yesterday (March 18, 2008). Blizzard has promised that the patch is coming soon and the background downloader has appeared. My best guest is that we'll be visiting Sunwell Isle on March 25, 2008.

The day that patch 2.3 was released I attempted to rush home from work to check out the new changes, but was thwarted by cross-town traffic. There are some things that I'm excited about for in the newest patch, but I'm not nearly as stoked as I was for the last major update. I try to keep in mind that what we've seen so far on the Public Test Realm is not the final product for the patch, but it gives us a pretty good indication of what's coming.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

Shifting Perspectives: 2.4 Badge-A-Palooza, Druid style


Every week, Shifting Perspectives is written by someone who is not me. Except for that one time. Rather an addictive experience, stealing this column. Does anyone even read the italicized portion at the top? Hello? Nobody? I'm just gonna sing. "My baloney has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R, my baloney has a [censored over copyright infringement] (ed. just do the column, please).

While I sincerely hope the rumors about the patch hitting soon aren't true because I'm sitting on all of 43 badges of justice right now (g@^#(*% mother-expletive piece of $%^@ fire resistance set), I am forced to admit that the times may possibly have caught up with me. I confess that for a long time I hadn't even looked at the new badge loot that will become available ingame, partly because things have gotten markedly busier with my guild of late and partly because I'd planned my 2.3 badge acquisitions very carefully and wondered if I could get away with keeping myself somewhat unspoiled for 2.4. That lasted until I found out just how expensive the 2.4 gear is actually going to be ("150 badges for a new weapon, Zach? Are you @*(#&#% kidding me?"). Noble effort while it lasted, though.

Well, no more. If 2.4 does hit next week, I'm going to be ready to stand in front of the badge vendor and know exactly what I can't afford to buy for all three specs.

This treatment looks exclusively at the new leather gear offerings available in 2.4 and assumes that you won't have access, or at least immediate access, to the new 25-man raid Sunwell Plateau. For my part I am still using six -- count 'em, six -- pieces of badge gear for various tanking purposes in Tier 6 content, which either says a great deal about the general quality of badge gear or says a great deal about how bad feral itemization is in endgame content. I'll be magnanimous today and say it's both.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Insider Trader: Leatherworking, the final stretch

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

If you have ever rolled a druid, rogue, shaman or hunter, it is quite likely that you ended up choosing leatherworking as one of your professions. Because it can be a valuable source of gear for the leather and mail-wearers, it is a common choice. If this is the case, you are going to want to hit 375 skill in order to make your end-game epics.

If however, you chose leatherworking as a companion to skinning in order to make money, you will only need to reach about 325. Once there, you will be able to convert any type of skin into its available higher form in order to maximize your profits.

Still, leatherworking, like any profession, can be an extremely costly skill to cap. This week, Insider Trader will be taking an in-depth look at some of the best ways to reach 375 from 300. Hop through the break for tips and analysis.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Rogue, Shaman, Skinning, Leatherworking, Items, Tips, How-tos, Walkthroughs, Features, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Guides, Making money, Insider Trader (Professions)

WoW Rookie: What is a patch?


Here at WoW Insider, we've had extensive coverage of changes and updates that are being tested for the release of patch 2.4. It occurred to me that many of our newer players may not know what patching is all about.

Blizzard regularly releases updates to World of Warcraft to add new content, fix problems, and otherwise improve the game. The game has evolved considerably throughout since its launch over 3 years ago. Many quests, instances, battlegrounds, events, items, and tools have been added through various patches. Clicking through the historical patch notes can be a source of nostalgia for many players.

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Filed under: Patches, Tips, Expansions, Guides, Classes, WoW Rookie, Rumors

Is Mortal Strike the new black?


What's up with Mortal Strike? And why is it, when Blizzard feels that a class or spec needs to be made viable in Arenas -- and let's face it, the game is all about Arenas now, isn't it? -- they give them a Mortal Strike-style debuff? When the developers were figuring out how to raise Hunters' representation in Arenas, they changed Aimed Shot in Patch 2.3 to give a heal-gimping debuff similar the the Arms Warrior's bread and butter ability.

Enter Patch 2.4 in the PTRs. When Kalgan finally descended upon the Shaman forums, he said that Shamans were definitely getting buffed just in time to quell the wake of an uproar to the nerfs made to the Elemental spec. Along with the reversal of the Nature's Swiftness and Elemental Mastery shared cooldown, the current iteration of the progressive patch is seeing a change to the Shaman's Flametongue Weapon and Totem, which happens to be -- surprise, surprise -- a Mortal Strike-style debuff. Yawn.

While it's certainly a welcome change, considering that Shamans get so little love, frankly it's getting a little boring. Allie mentioned calls for putting the buff on every class (Mortal Sheep or Mortal Portal for Mages is a classic), so this begs the question... is a Mortal Strike-type ability the only way to make a class or spec viable in the Arenas? Aside from the fact that Mortal Strike Warriors are conceivably the most popular class & spec, healing debuffs are clearly one of the game-breaking abilities in Arenas. With Resilience making crit-based and burst damage specs less and less viable, is there really a need for another Mortal Strike? Can't Blizzard make another buff to make a spec Arena-viable without using the same old trick? What do you guys think? How much more creative can you be?

Filed under: Hunter, Shaman, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Arena

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