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Posts with tag patch-3.0.8

Is Blizzard cutting costs? with all the hubbub about 3.0.8's problems, a lot of people are wondering who to blame. Activision seems to be a popular target, with people blaming them for nerfing Blizzard's famed "it's-ready-when-it's-ready" game design cycle and rushing things out the door while they're still buggy and imbalanced.

Popular MMORPG blogger Tobold is in that camp himself. In one of his latest blog posts, he theorizes that Blizzard has been cutting spending for some time now, be it because of falling stock prices or the need to move WoW team members to Diablo 3 or Starcraft 2 or simply because of the economic downturn in general.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Rumors

Breakfast Topic: Not a patch day

Today is not patch day. That's actually the good news. Despite the bug fixes that Ghostcrawler promised should come up after regular weekly maintenance, there doesn't seem to be signs of a patch. Adam contends there's possibly a patch because some fixing needs to be done client side. At any rate, there will be no hat eating today, and even if there is a tiny patch, it's still not a patch patch.

Right now we're still reeling from the aftermath of the disastrous Patch 3.0.8 which received some mixed reactions. Even Hunters, who were supposed to get a nerf, simply re-specced to Survival and went along their merry DPS meter-topping ways. Warlocks were supposed to get a buff, but instead got a bug in the form of a 2-minute cooldown to Ritual of Summoning. Let's not even talk about PvP where Wintergrasp crashed everything and Arenas were disabled because, well, the new undocumented ratings system just plain sucked.

So if there's anything to be thankful for today, it's that it's not a patch day. Not an official one, at any rate. When the servers come up later today, what do expect to find? No more lag? Fixed items? Fixed spells? Or, are you willing to wager -- eating your hat, maybe -- that today's "fix" will only bring more bugs?

Update: Alex here! Silly Zach, today is a patch day! It's a minor patch, bringing us up to v3.0.8.9506. The same questions here all apply, though. What fixes are you hoping to see today? Will game experience improve after today's maintenance?

Filed under: Patches, Bugs, Breakfast Topics

Maintenance for Tuesday January 27th

Tomorrow we'll be seeing maintenance for all realms between 3:00 a.m. PST / 6:00 a.m. EST and 11:00 a.m. PST. / 2:00 p.m. EST. Ideally these things don't go over, but as you know, they often do. Look to posts throughout the morning on WoW Insider for updates.

We know that there'll be a few bug fixes, which we posted about earlier. There is still no word if this will be a server side only fix or if there'll be a client side patch, presumably patch 3.0.9. Again, we'll get the news up on the site as soon as we find out.

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status, News items

Bug fixes for Hunters, Locks, and Death Knights tomorrow

Ghostcrawler has updated us on the status of three major bugs that have been present since patch 3.0.8 went live last Tuesday.
  • The Hunter Aspect bug, in which aspects are on a global cooldown like mechanism.
  • The Warlock Ritual of Summoning, which had a two minute cooldown implemented to prevent some sort of undisclosed exploit.
  • Howling Blast, which showed to not have a cooldown, but in reality had a five second one.
"Assuming nothing comes up at the last minute", Ghostcrawler says, "[these] will be fixed tomorrow."

There is no word if these fixes will come in the form of a small patch to the client, or if they are going to be done server side. Since the Howling Blast is a bug that is linked to client data files, I would assume that fixing it necessitates rolling out a minor patch. However that's just an assumption based on the way things were done in the past, and Blizzard could have other technology present to circumvent the need for a full patch.

Nonetheless, a couple more bugs will get fixed tomorrow. This is a good thing.

Filed under: Hunter, Warlock, Patches, Bugs, Death Knight

WoW Insider Show Episode 74: True opinions

Last weekend's podcast was an excellent one: Turpster and BRK were on with me, and we had a great time chatting with chatters, answering your emails, and covering the most popular posts of the past week. We answered some emails about the best Rogue spec to choose at level 35, the People in Chicago who Drink and WoW group (and don't forget to join the official WoW Insider page), and we talked about the 3.0.8 bugs and what's up with the Lunar Festival, going on all this week.

And we have a great time throughout. Don't forget that we do the show live every Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern, so if you're around next Saturday, be sure to join us for the live show (and when you do, you get a free aftershow with us at no extra charge). In the meantime, you can hear this past week's show by clicking any of the links below, and listening in on the media of your choice. If you have any comments or questions or want to send us an intro to play, drop us a note at

Thanks for listening as always, have a great week. Oh, and I almost forgot. Listener Traenall made this video after hearing Turpster's plans for gaining rep from the Timbermaw this week. Very funny.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[Ustream] Listen to the unedited recording in Ustream.
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[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Hunter, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Podcasting, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Making money, WoW Insider Show

Arcane Brilliance: Arcanapalooza

Each week Arcane Brilliance drops at a 100% rate from your computer screen. It can be equipped in any slot, and doesn't bind to your character in any way, shape or form. It can be disenchanted into whatever you want, and sells to merchants for a million gold. It is of legendary quality. When equipped, it raises all of your stats exponentially, to the power of awesome. It also has an on-use ability with no cooldown: Arcane Brilliance instantly turns any targetted Warlock into a ridable mount.

I have to begin by admitting my deep bias here. Since midway through The Burning Crusade I've been a deep Arcane Mage. I loved the Arcane tree when it was bad, and I love it now that it's good. It's entirely possible that this fact disqualifies me from even speaking rationally about this topic, but I've never let a crippling lack of impartiality stop me before.

Even those who now hate this spec and cry loudly (and as frequently as the refresh button on their internet browsers will allow) for massive and immediate nerfs will agree that there has never been a better time to be an Arcane Mage. Already quite powerful in PvP and fairly solid in PvE, patch 3.0.8 has only increased the effectiveness of this formidable spec. Playing an Arcane Mage is easy to pick up and challenging to master, and more out-and-out fun than it has any right to be. Follow me after the break and we'll discuss some of the ins and outs of this very potent school of magic.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Features, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Buffs, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Phat Loot Phriday: Mallet of Zul'Farrak

Yeah, we're going a little hefty this Friday (as in, low level, so not quite that phat), to focus on an item that's new, but only kind of, in patch 3.0.8.

Name: Mallet of Zul'Farrak (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Quest Item Rare Unique One-hand Mace
Damage/Speed: 58-109 / 2.50 (33.4 DPS)
  • +8 Strength, +8 Stamina
  • Yes, this is the legendary Mallet of Zul'Farrak, the one you had to fight all the way up to the top of Jintha'alor to get in order to summon Gahz'rilla in the midlevel instance of Zul'Farrak down in Tanaris. But as of patch 3.0.8, this mallet, and a few other items, are now not necessary any more. Still, instead of deleting them completely, Blizzard decided to turn them into real items, much like Pinocchio was turned into a "real boy!"
  • Plus, they used a pretty awesome model, too, especially if, like me, you're a fan of the Troll aesthetic. Pretty nice weapon for a one-handed mace at level 35, even if it's a pain to actually get.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Quests, Phat Loot Phriday

Insider Trader: Twink gathering controversy, updated
Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Back in patch 3.0.3, you might have missed one of the changes. This one line in the patch notes informed us that leveling requirements to train gathering professions had been removed. The reasoning seemed to be that they are self-restricted, as you can't exactly go romping around Northrend at level 15.

The problem with this logic is that you can, in fact, with some help, and this change definitely did not go unnoticed in the twink community. With a little patience and some dedicated high level friends, you too could become a level 19 PvP terror with two of the following buffs; 32 critical strike rating, 500 stamina, and/or an instant cast self-heal for 2000 health over 5 seconds every 3 minutes.

The critical strike buff would vary depending on your class, but as an example, a level 19 rogue would gain 10.8% critical strike chance.

Understandably, some members of the twink community are none too happy about this development, and would like to see it corrected.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Features, Buffs, Alts, Insider Trader (Professions), Forums, Battlegrounds

On lag and communication: Two interrelated issues

On Thursday, January 8th Nethaera sent out a memo to all the fan sites asking them to announce it, and Eyonix posted on the forums for all the rest of us. Latency and connectivity issues will be fixed in patch 3.0.8. The crowds cheered, babies cried in joy, and dog and cats started to live together. The world would be right again.

Fast forward 15 days later.

The high latency while raiding places like Naxxramas and Malygos is still there. The servers are still packed with queue. The patch was a near disaster. And we're still getting bug reports in every 10 minutes, both in comments and via our tip-line.

Many people want to know why this hasn't been fixed. People are out looking for blood. The whole head on a pike sort of thing.

A better way to approach the situation is to try to come up with contingency plans and other activities to do. If Blizzard cannot get their servers to work, to the point that many consider the game playable, then people will need to focus on other aspects of the game or try to work around the problematic parts.

On the couple servers I play on many of the top guilds have decided to stop raiding for the night if there are any problems with high latency in the raid instances. On Alex's server people raid only for a couple hours after 10pm when the queues and population have dropped off. And still other guilds I know have just said forget it completely and are on hiatus until these issues are fixed.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard

WoW Insider Show live tomorrow on Ustream at 3:30pm EST

(Or 20:30 GMT, or whatever time it is then where you are. We live in a global society people, it's not that hard!) Yes, our world famous podcast returns to the airwaves tomorrow, as Turpster, BRK and I will be on the Ustream channel (we've also embedded right on this post, so you can just come right back here) talking about all of the most popular stories in the last week of Warcraft. We'll definitely bring up patch 3.0.8, and talk about the Lunar Festival (which also starts tomorrow). And of course we'll answer your emails and chat live with everyone during the show and the aftershow.

Don't forget, too, that we're still trying to round up some more fans on Facebook -- we've just recently topped the 3,000 mark, which means we're on the home stretch to 4,000, where Turpster says he will create a brand new song for us to play on the WoW Insider Show. So get your Facebook profile on there (or create one if you haven't yet, and then sign on as a fan), and tell your friends and guilds to get over there and become a fan of ours.

The show starts up tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern, and I usually come on a little bit before then to chat with whoever shows up and play some tunes. Should be fun -- see you then.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, News items, Humor, NPCs, WoW Insider Show

Simple Wood no longer needed to make campfires

This is quite possibly the most game altering change Blizzard has implemented in WoW thus far: Building a Basic Campfire no longer needs Simple Wood, only Flint and Tinder or a Gnomish Army Knife. This is right up there with stackable clams! Personally, my mind is blown.

Okay, let's be serious, this is actually a fairly decent (and convenient) change. Is it absolutely needed? No, not at all, but how many of us carried around Simple Wood and Flint and Tinder at all times? Who took those things to raids with them? Very few people, if anybody at all. And I can recall tons of times that people have rushed to a raid just after getting home from work and had forgotten to cook up their consumables. These fires would've been legitimately useful right then, but the small annoyance of carrying stacks of Wood around made it pretty unlikely that anybody had them. Nowadays, I think just about everyone carries a Gnomish Army Knife (and they should if they don't), so this is actually very convenient! You don't need to carry anything extra at all.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Death Knight

Arenas to be reset

Along with the many bugs of Patch 3.0.8 was the undocumented new Arena matching and rating system which, similar to the Wintergrasp brouhaha, created disastrous results. Many teams skyrocketed to 2200 ratings, with wins garnering up to 30 points and losses resulting in... nothing. As you can imagine, this newfangled system which Blizzard didn't bother to tell anyone about until after the fact sort of trivialized Arena Achievements such as The Arena Master. Bornakk reveals in that post that the new system may exhibit "some odd behavior" but expects that things should "straighten out fairly quickly."

I'm sure that Blizzard didn't intend odd behavior to mean teams skyrocketing to 2k ratings with ease, with none of the risk involved in competitive ladder play. Straightening out also ended up as being the complete disabling of the whole system while Blizzard investigates "current rating calculation discrepancies." However, Zarhym posted earlier today on the forums that Blizzard will be bringing Arenas back up and all ratings rolled back to pre-weekly maintenance status. All items (and Achievements) gained "illegitimately" will be removed, Arena points refunded, and all gems and enchanting materials returned. As far as that 50 Gold tip you gave to enchant your gear is concerned, however, you're out of luck.

Filed under: Bugs, News items, PvP, Arena

The Art of War(craft): How Patch 3.0.8 changes PvP

Patch 3.0.8 brought in quite a number of changes to the game, many of which affect PvP directly. I wrote about most of the changes in the other day's column, but as you can imagine, trying to cover all the bases with all the classes can get quite hefty. So before I reach Blizzard levels of 'soon', I'm cheating and appending the rest of the class balance changes here and pretend the whole Wintergrasp fiasco never happened. Oh, and yes, that button should work now.


Despite all the calls for nerfs for many classes, for some reason Mages have tiptoed past the madding crowd and continued to Pyroblast unsuspecting enemies for 10k damage without anyone batting an eyelash. Maybe it's their Invisibility, I don't know, but Mages are incredibly powerful opponents in PvP but don't elicit calls for nerfs. Christian was right in saying that Frost is no longer the spec for PvP. It now shares the spotlight with Arcane, with the highest ranked Mage in the world sporting a 60/ 0/ 11 build (although a Frost-specced 20/ 0/ 51 gnome isn't far behind).

So you think Mages are strong in PvP? Well, they've just been buffed. Evocation's cooldown was reduced to four minutes, and with Arcane Mages having access to the improved Arcane Flows, they can Evocate every 2 minutes. It was never a viable tactic to try and drain a Mage, but even with the spark of hope given by the change to mana drain mechanics, Mages will never run out of mana. The extremely RNG behavior of Mirror Images Polymorphing the most unlikely targets has been curtailed somewhat with the range of the copy's Polymorph down to a mere 8 yards. This is pretty good.

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Filed under: Mage, Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Totem Talk: A week with patch 3.0.8

Okay, first off: I haven't been able to play my shaman much at all since patch 3.0.8 dropped. It's not that I haven't tried to. No, no, I've tried and tried and tried. I had an elemental spec all picked out and everything. Unfortunately, whenever I log on to my shaman I immediately disconnect. It's not the Wintergrasp bug (which wouldn't be an issue anyway, what with Wintergrasp being disabled) and having a GM move my character didn't fix it. I can log on to other characters fine, but the shaman sits in Dalaran, unable to be on for more than a few seconds. (My death knight is having similar problems.) Edited for joy: a second move seems to have finally unlocked my shaman! Yay!

As you can probably surmise, this has limited my ability to test my shaman out with the changes. I'm going to try and take him to some heroics and possibly a 10 man Naxx run today, but that's in the future from the point where I'm writing this. Still, I will say this much: I really enjoy free respecs, and I really REALLY enjoy Shamanism. The amount of bonus damage I'm seeing on my Lava Bursts in particular is just so much fun. I'll be speccing between all three trees for the next few days to try and get a feel for how things have changed post patch, but for now we'll talk about elemental, as it's the most changed at the moment.

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

Is Bobby Kotick bad for Blizzard?

Yesterday, when we wrote about Blizzard's mistakes in patch 3.0.8, I made very sure to stay away from any mention of Activision. Call me naive, but I still don't think the Activision-Blizzard relationship has yet affected how Blizzard conducts business -- Blizzard's mistake of releasing the patch before it was ready was, in my mind, all their own. But not everyone feels that way (just read the comments on yesterday's post), and Ben Kuchera of Ars Technica will go a step further: he's calling Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick out for caring more about how much money his games make rather than how good they are.

We've talked about Kotick here before, and we've got him saying both that Activision will leave Blizzard alone and that they'll be seeking additional revenues where they can get them. But Kuchera isn't so balanced -- he's ready to pin Blizzard's decisions, including the idea to cut Starcraft II up into three different games, and the pending monetization of on Activision's influence. And the last nail in the coffin is Kotick's recent profile in Forbes, which apparently had the writer calling Rock Band a "knock-off" of Activision's Guitar Hero (even though history says otherwise, since Harmonix, without Activision, created both franchises).

But that gets a little too far into non-Blizzard territory for us. Kuchera finishes by saying that there's two forces at work in Azeroth: "the loyalty of [WoW's] players" and "Kotick's cash lust." And he questions what will happen when the two finally face off. Which is basically what we've been saying for a long time. But the question so far is whether that's happened or not. Have Activision and Kotick pushed Blizzard to make the Starcraft II and decisions, or is Blizzard making all of these choices on their own?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Expansions, Making money

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