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Posts with tag patch-2.3

Arcane Brilliance: A squishy year in review

With so much to look forward to in patch 2.4 and WotLK, Arcane Brilliance would like to take one last look back at the road behind, mostly to see if there's a Rogue back there waiting to stab us. It's a little late, perhaps, but here's a look at the year that was, from a Mage's perspective.

2007 was a splendid year. Someday, when our children's children are grown, we will bore them with stories of 2007, and perhaps refer to it as "back in the day," or "the year I dinged 70," or "the year I learned never to mix chili with microwavable burritos in the hopes that their powers will combine to form 'Chilitos,' the perfect food." Here at Arcane Brilliance, we like to think of it as the "Year of the Mage." We also like to think of 2006 as the "Year of the Mage," and frankly we think of 1902 the same way, so take that in whatever way you wish. Basically we like Mages here, and 2007 was a fun year for those well-versed in wizardry. Not everything was magelicious, though. The highlights--and lowlights--after the jump.

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Filed under: Undead, Mage, Patches, Events, PvP, Expansions, Humor, The Burning Crusade, Classes, BlizzCon, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription, Arena

Math behind 2.4 honor gains


Almost everyone has heard by now that once patch 2.4 drops, we will no longer have to guess at our honor gains. We will no longer have to wait in order to reap the rewards of our victories, and our honor will not diminish with each kill of a player.

Because of this, our knowledge of the honor calculation system as explained to us after patch 2.3 by Nethaera needs to be revised. Will we be gaining more honor, more quickly? Just how much of a potential is there to earn more?

Let's take an in-depth look at the new math behind our patch 2.4 PvP kills and compare it to what we have been used to. Because these changes will be applied to individual kills and not to honor awarded for objectives, any questions about each individual battleground's honor potentials can be answered using our explanation of the honor system, or by consulting our discussion of the 2.4 changes to Alterac Valley and Warsong Gulch.

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Filed under: Patches, Walkthroughs, PvP, Battlegrounds

The AV map imbalance in patch 2.3: a different perspective


David Bowers wrote an excellent, thoroughly analyzed article about the map imbalance in Alterac Valley. His point is relatively simple: under the new Reinforcement mechanics, the map favors the Horde. He posits that, should the Horde play their best game, the Alliance will not be able to win in Alterac Valley. In fact, according to reports, Alliance in some Battlegroups have boycotted AV altogether. When I first read David's article -- a great read I highly recommend to anyone, by the way -- my initial response was a slight befuddlement. You see, in my Battlegroup, the Alliance win their fair share of Alterac Valley.

In fact, if we go over to Warcraft Realms, we'll see that the Alliance win quite a good number of AV games, too. Furthermore, in some Battlegroups, they completely dominate Alterac Valley. Maybe the Horde of those Battlegroups should read David's article. In it, David outlines how the new Reinforcement mechanic favors the Horde because the map design allows Horde players to reach Stonehearth Bunker, a key objective that awards +63 Honor when burned and eliminates 75 Reinforcements, before the Alliance can reach Iceblood Tower. The new Reinforcement mechanic also makes Iceblood Graveyard a critical defensive bastion that, if defended fully, supposedly prevents the Alliance from getting any Honor from Alterac Valley.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Predicting patch 2.4

So it's time for WoW Insider to do you all a favor. It seems like whenever we attempt to predict the timing of a certain patch, Blizzard ignores whatever we say, and drops it right away. With patch 2.2, we predicted in early September that it would take "weeks" longer, maybe even last November, and instead they had it out within the month. And with patch 2.3, we guessed that Blizzard wouldn't drop it before Thanksgiving, and just hours later they proved us wrong, and released it before the holiday.

So here you go: with everything we've seen on the forums lately, including the CMs a little giddy with excitement, and all of the news that dropped last week, we're going to officially predict that patch 2.4 will drop on the PTRs this coming Tuesday, and that it will hit the live realms sometime in early March (probably before Noblegarden, which starts on March 23rd).

There. Now, Blizzard has plenty of chances to prove us wrong by releasing the PTR sometime this week, and getting the patch out to live realms before March 1st. That's our favor to you-- if Blizzard follows their past pattern, they'll make us completely wrong again, and get you on the PTR and in the patch even sooner than we thought.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Humor

A strange little house in Ashenvale

The Edune household and visitors.
Some older players might remember when all those empty huts and farms in The Barrens received a new infusion of life, with orc families inhabiting them and acting out stories both humorous (That poor kid being chased by a swarm of bees) and heartfelt (That poor kid waiting for his dad to come home from Warsong Gulch). A forum post by player Lalluna of the Darkspear server pointed out that, quite a few patches later, that liveliness may be spreading to other zones in Kalimdor!

Ever since patch 2.3, over in the far west of Ashenvale, just northwest of the Shrine of Aesinna, you'll find a rather lovely looking Night Elf abode, complete with a garden. Inhabiting it is the night elven Edune family: Benjari, Becanna, Elenna, and Aleanna. They seem to have visitors in the form of two humans, William and Sulan Dunadaire, a brother and sister. It's not just a silent tableau either, there's definitely stuff going on, as I'll show you after the break.

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Druid, Hunter, Warlock, Humor, RP, NPCs

Raid Rx: I feel the need... the need for speed Part 1


Raid Rx is designed to encapsulate and cure the shock and horror that is 25-man raid healing. Ok, so it's mostly horror... Anyways, if you're a big fan of X-TREME Whack-A-Mole (or are being forced into it against your will) this is the column for you. I prefer to remember Tom Cruise as he was in Top Gun, crooked smile and no couch jumping.

This is Part 1 of a two-part series on reaching your full casting potential. Today we're going to cover how to get around inherent casting latency and next week I'll assault you with so much info on how haste rating affects healing, you'll come back here to hide.

First I'm going to give you a bit of background, so grab your blankie and settle in for a story of mystery and intrigue. Once upon a time, all of the Elitist Jerks healers prayed to the god of stopcasting. Me, being in SSC at the time, figured if all the cool kids were doing it, why not lemming along, too? So I did me some research.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Add-Ons, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Breakfast Topic: Spoiled rotten vs ignorant bliss

With Patch 2.4 close to going live on the PTR, thousands, if not tens of thousands of players are ready to descend on those poor servers to dig into Sunwell's secrets. We will, of course, be reporting on the good stuff here on WoW Insider, but I'm curious to know how many people avoid the spoilery information versus how many surf the net tirelessly until they know every last detail?

And for those who don't want to be spoiled how the heck do you manage it? Between guild chat, general chat and news sites you would be hard pressed not to hear tantalizing details from the test patch. I get that you want to be surprised and experience the new content in-game, but do you have to be a virtual hermit to achieve that? And, then, how do you plan on your day's activities in-game when it all goes live? Will you just head over to the new Sunwell area when it goes live and let the NPCs lead the way?

Where do you fall between knowing everything in advance and blindly stumbling into fun and adventure as it comes, learning along the way?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Can you smell what The Rokk is cookin?

With the release of patch 2.3 every cooker level 275 and up found a new way to make an easy 7g a day with the daily food quest. While it might not seem like a lot, an extra 49g a week is a night's repair bill if you're a tank. The only downside to keeping up with the daily quest is the rather annoying farming you need to do. Some of the mats for the food items are spread out in rarely visited places in Outland.

While we've covered the wonders of this daily quest before, there is a great little trick to cut down on the time necessary to farm the food... and that is to create you own cupboard of food! While your cupboard might seem bare and filled with mostly Ramen Noodles at first, within a couple weeks of quests you'll find yourself well stocked with all the gourmet items you could ever want.

Besides the items you need to have the quest in your log to get, you can store a TON of premade food that'll cut down on your quest time dramatically. The items you want to save up are:

Warp Burgers (from Warped Flesh)
Roasted Clefthoof (from Clefthoof Meat)
Mok'Nathal Shortribs (from Raptor Ribs)
Crunchy Serpent (from Serpent Flesh)

Now the key to getting these items, instead of having to go and farm them day after day, is to select the reward of a "Crate of Meat" when turning in the daily quest. The crate will drop the raw form of the above food often enough, and within two weeks time, you'll have more Mok'Nathal short ribs then you know what to do with! In fact, after a month of doing this quest, your cupboard will be so large that you can sell a large portion of it on the AH and make quite a nice bit of gold.

Happy eating!

Filed under: Cooking, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Quests, NPCs, Making money

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: What comes next



The Care and Feeding of Warriors spent some time looking back at 2007 not so long ago, and finds itself looking forward to 2008 and beyond this week. Matthew Rossi wants you to imagine a big swirly tube and either the Stargate or Dr. Who music playing, whichever you prefer. I'm more of a Dr. Who man myself, but as the omnipresent third person narrative device I don't think my opinion is much consulted. It's a hard life being a narrative device. No one ever asks you out for coffee.

As the somewhat emo italic text stated, this week we're going to look forward at where the Warrior class is going, a discussion I quite frankly think will be more interesting in the comments you leave than in my own ramblings. My goal here is mainly to serve as a firestarter, hoping to initiate a few sparks of brilliance from you. As a result, I'm going to just throw my musings and opinions at the wall here and see what sticks with you guys, what you accept and what you reject. After all, in the end it's the players who will ultimately determine what warriors will become, as they're the ones who'll chose what they do with their characters.

My first thought is, looking over the past few years, the trend is that warrior successes in PvP tend to be followed by large nerfs. So PvP warriors are almost certainly going to be nerfed in a rather large way if they remain dominant in PvP. I expect mace spec to see the lion's share of this nerfing, perhaps changed into an entirely unrecognizable form removing stuns entirely, but mortal strike is also up for a few changes. It will probably be safe for the next few months, as they just gave a similar effect to hunters and to change MS now would mean having to change that, too, but it will most likely come in whatever patch lays the preparations for Wrath of the Lich King. If not these, then some change to a fundamental warrior DPS/PvP mechanic, similar to the way weapon speed and rage generation were normalized.

Warriors with better gear still, despite nerfs like rage normalization, perform at a much higher rate than before they achieved it. My tauren warrior does much, much better in PvP now, even against opponents who substantially outgear him. In my biased experience, right around the time I start winning in PvP is when the nerfs start coming.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Death Knight, Arena

The AV map imbalance in patch 2.3

Alterac Valley has never been completely balanced. Before patch 2.3, most people generally agreed that the map favored the Alliance, but now, we can see that it favors the Horde. The difference mainly lies in which parts of the map are most important, and how either side can use the terrain differences to win the game.

Before, the only way to win the game was to kill the opposing faction's general; anything less was effectively an on-going stalemate. But now that we have reinforcements, the general will automatically die of grief and shame once too many towers fall and players bite the dust, regardless of whether he's actually seen the enemy or not. This seemingly simple shift has totally turned the faction imbalance on its head, and placed the game entirely in Horde hands to prosecute as they choose. Assuming a relative equality of gear, player skill and morale (and of course AFKers), the Horde can decide to make AV a slow but certain victory, or else toss the dice and make it a quick but uncertain race to the end.

Keep reading to see how they do it, and why the Horde can't play their ultimate best if they want to play at all.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, PvP, Battlegrounds

Ghost Wolf graphic goodness


When Patch 2.3 hit and Dustwallow Marsh got a make-over, Hunters were delighted to learn that the Ghost Wolves in that area were tamable. This was not Blizzard's intention, but they saw nothing wrong with letting it happen.

Many Hunter's flocked to the Marsh to get one of the coolest looking pets in the game. And now we learn, they look even cooler in combat. And hotter. And greener.

Mania's Arcania reports that the Ghost Wolf pet turns different colors while under different combat effects. In addition to the ones in the picture, the pet can also turn purple while under a Curse.

My guess is this is an unintentional side effect of the animal not having a solid texture skin over the 3-D model frame. All pets probably turn different colors while under various effects as part of the particle effects, but the solid skin over the model prevents us from seeing it like we do on the Ghost Wolf.

If Blizzard is really on the ball, they will create other semi-transparent mobs, pets and maybe a temporary shapeshifted form for players that takes advantage of this. They already do it with the Spectral Tiger Mount and the Shadow Priest form, why not on other models that would be affected by colorizing of buffs/debuffs? How fun would that be?

EDIT: Added in examples of current in-game semi-transparent models.

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Odds and ends

WoW, Casually: The year of the casual


Each week, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time.

For the purposes of this column, I am defining a casual WoW player as someone who has 2 hours or less to play at a time. If you spend 2 hours playing solitaire, then you are considered a hardcore solitaire player, but for the World of Warcraft, a couple hours really isn't very much time. There are a lot of people who have more time to play that consider themselves casuals and there are casual raiders and there are hardcore raiders and, well, these categories really don't work very well. But there are definitely also hardcore raider elitist types and many of them are bellyaching that Blizzard spent last year making the game easier for the casual players. I think that Blizzard made the game easier and more fun for everybody and while casuals got a whole lot of benefit from last year's development, raiders got some goodies specifically for them as well.

But this column isn't for the raiders, it's for those of us who don't have enough time to raid on a regular basis and have to squeeze as much fun and value out of our playtime as possible. And regardless of who else it helped, Blizzard did a lot for us:

Getting from 60 to 70:
If you've played the original EQ, you may have expected (like I did) that getting to 70 when Burning Crusade came out would take as long as getting from 1 to 60. But that was not the case. Getting from 60 to 70 was easier for me than getting from 40 to 50 and from 50 to 60. It was fast, fun, full of quests and easily soloable.

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Filed under: Cooking, Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, The Burning Crusade, WoW, Casually, Battlegrounds

Totem Talk: We were not prepared



Totem Talk is the column for Shamans. This week, Matthew Rossi takes us on a roller coaster ride back through 2007, the year that had a lot of surprises in store for shaman players. I know I didn't see dual wielding coming, much less that it would become the primary damage spec for enhancement.

2007 is over and we're smack dab in the middle of the first month of 2008. So, with all the wisdom that hindsight provides, let us look back at 2007. In the past I've tried to maintain a sense of detachment and decorum over the state of shamans today. But it can't be denied that shamans have been angry this year. Despite the introduction of shamans to the Alliance, they're still the least played class in the game. So what happened with shamans, formerly touted by just about everyone else in the game as the most OP (before Warlocks stole the title) to bring them to such a state of discontent?

Well, let's look at the year patch by patch and see what we can puzzle out.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Shaman) Totem Talk

2.3.2 has some issues

The fine folks at MMO-Champion have assembled a list of all the known issues associated with Patch 2.3.2 dropping yesterday. In addition to good things like Transmutation mastery being fixed, and changes like AV being hotfixed to buff Balinda and Vandar, there are a host of bugs and minor issues from the Hammerfall wind ride master hiding under her usual spot to Hunter's getting their new Volley graphic revered to its older form due to graphics issues.

The complete list at MMO-Champion is very, very long. Luckily for me and my current leveling project, Draenei Warriors (and indeed all warriors) got off light with a couple of minor bugs. I doubt my level 62 warrior (or any of my 70's) is going to be fighting Landslide again anytime soon. But Priests seem to have several bugs, every class got a few, and the environment, quests and npc sections of the list are quite beefy.

Also, rogues seem upset about the changes, if you follow the forums. While that's probably not a bug I though I should mention it anyway as an issue with the patch.

How's Patch 2.3.2 been treating you? Good, bad, or had you even noticed any differences?

Filed under: Priest, Rogue, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Forums

Insider Trader Bulletin: Transmute mastery confirmed borked

Insider Trader is your weekly inside line on making, selling and using player-made items. Catch regular weekly installments on Fridays.

It's not your imagination! Blue has finally reassured transmutation-specced alchemists that alchemy transmutes have indeed been suspiciously light since patch 2.3. In a post in Blizzard's Customer Service forum, Pavonum comments, "Ah, good question! Based on the notes I've consulted, it seems that Primal Might is currently the only transmutation proccing extras at the intended, higher rate; all other transmutations are proccing at an unintended, significantly lower rate. I hope that provides some clarification. :)"

A new sticky in the Professions forum updates players on the status of this issue.
Naethera notes: "As of the 2.3 content patch, there's currently an issue with Transmutation Mastery by which the percentage chance to receive additional results from transmutations - aside from Transmute: Primal Might - is lower than the intended value. This is likely contributing to the dearth of procs you've observed, and I'd like to offer my apologies for any consternation that has arisen as a result of the discrepancy. I'm happy to report that this matter should be resolved in a future patch, but your continued patience in the interim is appreciated. :) "

That's a lot of blue :) to offset a lot of alchemist :( -- but the problem should be resolved soon!

Filed under: Alchemy, Insider Trader (Professions)

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