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Posts with tag patch-3.1-wow

Why leveling will always be important to WoW

Times they are a changin', and as Patch 3.2 hits the PTR with a new wealth of mechanics aimed at making the journey to 80 that much easier, why not take a moment to look back at how Azeroth has changed?

Leveling used to take a long time, and one of the first things a friend told me was that "the game started at 60." While the level cap might have changed, it's something I heartily agree with.Those of you who joined the game around the time of the latest expansion or even before might hear others speaking with misty-eyes of the olden days of Classic WoW when it took an age to get from Darnassus to Stormwind.

While WoW might have a much lower learning curve than, say, EVE Online, it does still have one. But WoW is known as a bit of a grind fest and the ever growing level cap, which currently stands at 80 but will no doubt go higher with the next expansion, can be pretty daunting.

Especially for a new player.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Bosses, Leveling, Buffs, Mounts, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: How do you cope with burnout?


Burnout is a natural part of doing anything for a long period of time whether it's a game or your job. Right now I've got WoW burnout, I can't be bothered to log on and the thought of raiding Ulduar (Ignis specifically) just makes my eyes and head hurt. It's not too bad and I've certainly had worse pre-Wrath but it's exacerbated in part I think by the lull. Patch 3.1 is out, Patch 3.2 is coming and the next unannounced expansion is a long time off yet. On top of that there aren't enough hours in the day to work, sleep, raid and play with my cats.

It makes me wonder what's the best way to get out of this phase? Do I go cold turkey for a week? Do I reroll or do I just try a new instance? Tell me your suggestions, please, how do you cope with burnout?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Raiding

What happens if Algalon isn't defeated?


This week information about the final boss of Ulduar has slowly been revealed, thanks to the guild Wraith on EU-Ysondre. We never got to meet Algalon the Observer on the PTRs so this encounter is one of the most mysterious, both in terms of tactics and of lore.

From what I've seen it's also one of the most gorgeous, but then again, I like stars and floating planets. Algalon himself is an entity composed of stars, a spectral being who is not uncompassionate to the heroes who have come to kill him. He just has a job to do. A job which could see our world being put in serious - even cataclysmic jepoardy.

Needless to say, from here on in, there be SPOILERS about the actual boss fight so read on at your own peril!

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, Expansions, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

The OverAchiever: Guide to Noblegarden achievements

UPDATE: This guide has been revised for Noblegarden 2010.

In honor of Noblegarden, we're running a special-edition OverAchiever today, dedicated to what you'll need for the meta-achievement Noble Gardener. Should you finish, not only do you get a spiffy new title, but you also get to check off another set of achievements toward What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, the yearlong achievement-palooza rewarding a 310% speed Violet Proto-Drake.

Because Noblegarden has been extensively reworked, most of what you'll be doing this year is completely new, and some of this guide is going to be comprised of educated (or not-so-educated) guesses as to the difficulty of the achievements on the live realms, and tips on how to get them done. I'll let you know if I just plain don't know something or have to hazard a guess based on PTR information, but fortunately most of the holiday is pretty straightforward. We're only going to cover the achievements you need to worry about for the meta, as everything else you can achieve is really based on luck and doesn't count toward Noble Gardener.

Let's get started!

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Events, Features, Guides, Achievements, The Overachiever

Shifting Perspectives: An Ulduar class preview, part 2


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we watch the Ulduar trailer again and ask ourselves over and over why Jaina Proudmoore couldn't have been a Druid. The obvious answer is that she just wasn't cool enough, but this is the source of much cognitive dissonance at the moment.

I'm going to take a quick moment from the rest of the column and just write, in case any of the people who made it are reading this, that the Ulduar trailer was so stuffed with win that pieces of win are dribbling out of it into little win puddles and spilling over into the Sewer of Awesome. And, as NaitFury on the MMO Champion thread points out, "Those of you who say it is boring should probably go back to watching another Undead Rogue 1-shot people with Linkin Park in the background." Amen!

We're one week into Ulduar (and by "we" I mean "other people," because the game has become virtually unplayable for me post-patch, and having the game crash my computer every 5 minutes is forcing the Sewer of Awesome to run to the Vast Delta of Self-Pity), so let's pick up where we left off and tackle the Deconstructor, the Iron Council, and Kologarn.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Blood Pact: WTB Glyph of Haunt...anybody?


Greetings fellow Warlocks! Welcome, to our wicked weekly: Blood Pact! Here, heretical happenings are heard, diabolical deeds are done, and alliteration is always awesome. So continue to sit at your computer, continue to read your monitor, and enjoy the ramblings of Old Man Sentai as much as you're able.

I've dreaded the coming of 3.1 for awhile now. I love the new features of course. Being able to switch to a spec with replenishment any time my raid needs it will certainly be handy, and Ulduar will be a nice change of pace once I get in there -- even if I really wanted to get a few more Naxx achievements done before moving on. What I don't love is the new Affliction. There's so few buttons I feel like I'm playing Burning Crusade style Destruction. (Shadow Bolt, Shadow Bolt, Shadow Bolt, Shadow Bolt...)

3.0 Affliction's rotation went something akin to Shadow Bolt > Haunt > Corruption > Siphon Life > Curse of Agony > Unstable Affliction > Immolate > Shadow Bolt Spam, followed by dot refreshments as needed, and Drain Soul once the target was below 25%. There was some variation based on whether or not the group wanted Curse of Elements, or whether you liked your short duration dots to go up first, but on average that's how it was.

Now that Siphon Life has been removed as an active spell, as well as Unstable Affliction and Immolate being altered so that they're mutually exclusive on a given target, two dots are out of the rotation. I'm sure it's a welcome change for some, but I'll be referencing the period between 3.0 and 3.1 as the golden age of Affliction from now on. Oh well, such is WoW.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Breakfast Topic: Patch 3.1 after the dust has settled

Annoyed cat
Patch days are often disastrous, and in their aftermath, there is a lot to tweak, hotfix, and repair. Realms have been unstable, Authentication servers unreliable, and bugs abound.

Earlier this week, we asked you what your impressions are of live Patch 3.1, and now that you've had a few days to adjust to the changes, we want to know, how are you feeling about it now?

My pick for the most annoying aspect would have to be the new quest tracker that shows the icon of the quest item, if there is one, next to the information. Or, rather, on top of it. Somehow, knowing that I've killed 1... doesn't really help me. Is that 1 of 12? 11 of 12? 13/17? Who knows.

Despite this easily-fixable problem, I'm loving it. Thursday night raiding was smooth as silk, and not only are dual-specs extremely handy and fun, it also makes it easier to answer questions about your off-spec. How many hit points does my Tankadin have unbuffed, you ask? Give me under one minute, and I can tell you! I can't wait until the Equipment Manager is live.

How are you liking the changes and new features, now that you've had a few days to play around with them? Have your opinions changed from how you felt in the first day or two after it landed? Why?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Patch 3.1 lesser-known changes

Sure, you know about dual spec, the Argent Tournament, and Ulduar. But patch 3.1 was a patch of many changes, and some of them seem to have flown under most people's radar. Here are a few changes that have been surprising some people recently, judging by the tips we've been getting.

  • Siphon Life is no longer a separate spell. The talent now adds a self-healing effect to your Corruption, as well as boosting the damage on Corruption, Seed of Corruption, and Unstable Affliction.
  • Emblems are now automatically distributed to everyone upon the first person looting them, similar to gold. This means no more forgotten emblems, and no more rush to the corpse as everyone goes to get theirs. It will also make loot chests much less unpleasant.
  • Many spells with ground effects, such as Rain of Fire, Blizzard, and Death and Decay, are not showing the same as they used to. This is because there is a new video effects option, "Show Projected Textures," which controls whether things like the rune circles from RoF/Blizz/DnD are rendered on your client. It also appears to control my framerate in 25-man raids.
  • The 10% experience bonus from heirloom shoulders now applies to quest experience as well as experience gained from killing mobs.

Is there anything else that took you by surprise in patch 3.1?

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends

Wrath 101: Emalon the Storm Watcher


So ends the age of the weekly loot piñata. The Wintergrasp raid instance, somewhat inappropriately called the Vault of Archavon, has a new tenant who isn't quite the pushover Archavon the Stone Watcher has been since the launch of Wrath of the Lich King. The Vault of Archavon was essentially every Level 80 player's weekly lottery and near guaranteed shot at Emblems. It was the most compelling reason to capture Wintergrasp as the raid was only available to the faction in control of the zone. Enter Emalon the Storm Watcher, a new raid boss with Patch 3.1 who drops Ulduar and Season 6 loot. Emalon's difficulty is ramped up considerably from Archavon and -- if initial forays are any indication -- hard enough to give seasoned raiders like our own Matt Low an aneurysm.

Unlike his meek neighbor Archavon, Emalon actually requires a bit of strategy and situational awareness. He also comes with four bodyguards, the Tempest Minions, who are integral to the fight. As can probably be inferred from his name and his crew, Emalon the Storm Watcher's primary source of damage is lightning, or Nature damage. It won't be necessary to stack resistance, just an understanding of the fight, his abilities, and knowing what to do and avoid. You can visit Emalon by turning into a corridor on the right just before heading into Archavon.

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Filed under: Raiding, Bosses, Guides

[1.Local]: Patch week patter

Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past.

Patch madness
Patch 3.1 went in; stable servers went out. Were you one of the players who shrugged and pushed back from the keyboard to enjoy some spring weather, or did connectivity issues leave you steaming?

Some readers ranted that $15 a month should provide smooth, uninterrupted service. Others felt that at something like 50 cents a day, they were getting a reasonable value.

"Interesting comments on the worth of WoW," observed Jalindrine. "The 50-cents-a-day logic, though, is obviously flawed. The question isn't 'Can I afford to spend 50 cents a day on a product?', but 'How many products/services can I afford to buy at 50 cents (more or less) a day?' Every so often, WoW's the one not worth it, which is much harder to realize when you're literally addicted."

Sounds like time for a sweep underneath the couch cushions ...

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Filed under: Features, [1.Local]

Top Ulduar achievements earned thus far

The folks over at GuildOx, a guild progress and achievement ranking site, were kind enough to email us some interesting new statistics about Ulduar's achievements. As it stands a large portion of the raids are, of course, not getting encounter specific achievements the first time they go into the zone. However there are some that are getting them nonetheless.

People may wonder if guilds are getting the achievements this quickly because Ulduar is too easy. My opinion on the matter is that Ulduar itself sans hard modes won't be abnormally challenging, however when you put in the hard modes and various twists to the encounter in order to earn the achievements, Ulduar is going to become quite challenging.

The achievements that have made the list so far, like A Quick Shave where you have to kill Razorscale with her only flying into the air once, just requires a lot of DPS. That's not too hard for most geared out groups to muster.

Take a look after the break for GuildOx's list of the top five Ulduar 10 and 25 man achievements, and head over there to take a look at things overall.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Achievements

Ghostcrawler explains why it took five months to nerf Death Knights


The Warlock community was in an uproar over the extremely quick hotfix that Blizzard applied to nerf Conflagrate among other niggling issues with the recent Patch 3.1. Aside from the fact that nerfs are never a fun thing, Warlock players pointed out that Death Knights, while acknowledged by Blizzard to be overpowered, reigned for months before getting nerfed (somewhat) in the latest patch. Warlocks also pointed an accusatory finger at Holy Paladins, who dominated Arenas throughout Season 5 and promptly got a fix along with Death Knights.

On the other hand. it took all of 24 hours for Warlocks to enjoy insane Conflagrate numbers, which was promptly fixed. Ghostcrawler explain why through a lengthy response over at the forums, noting that Death Knights were imbalanced for more reasons than a simply overpowered spell coefficient. He also said that Death Knights and Paladins were nerfed over the course of several patches leading to Patch 3.1, but none proved to be enough to balance them.

It needs to be said that Death Knights were changed the most in this patch, with talent trees completely revised, some notable abilities removed (oh, Shadow of Death, how we'll miss you...), and class mechanics changed. It's quite possible that even these changes won't curb Death Knight dominance, but it's a massive change that simply isn't hotfixable. It's a fair response and a pretty good read. Ghostcrawler makes several important points, one of which is that players shouldn't feel that developers don't love them. So don't be emo.

Filed under: Warlock, Death Knight, Forums

Flawless Victor title removed in Patch 3.1


With stealthiness worthy of an Arashikage, Blizzard removed the Flawless Victor title granted by the Achievement Hot Hot Hot Streak, along with the Achievement itself in Patch 3.1. This tiny little 'inconvenience' was conveniently left out of the patch notes, surprising many players who logged in to the puzzling message 'Title removed: Flawless Victor'. Conversations with GMs didn't manage to shed light into the situation, either, with the standard answer bring "apologies for the inconvenience".

Blizzard gives no reason for the removal of the Achievement and title, and forum posts asking about the matter have so far received no blue responses. On the other hand, Bornakk was quick to address the bug about the Champion of the Frozen Wastes title, which was hotfixed. It's fairly certain that Blizzard removed the Achievement intentionally. Some suspect that there were exploits that allowed players to obtain the Achievement with ease, while others dismissed it as a meaningless title in what is arguably the most imbalanced Arena season to date. With the Arena system being completely overhauled yet again for Season 6, it is possible that we may see the title return in some form or the other.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Arena, Achievements

WoW Rookie: Patch madness


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Welcome, O WoW rookie, to patch week madness. If you thought run-of-the-mill maintenance and minor patch days could be dicey, here's your chance to enjoy the epic-level chaos wrought by epic-level content patches.

World of Warcraft has evolved considerably since its launch in what's now been almost a handful of years ago. Blizzard regularly releases downloadable updates, called "patches," to add new content and features, fix problems and tweak game play and balance. Through patches, players have gained access to new quests, instances, Battlegrounds, events, items and tools.

This week's Patch 3.1 is known as a content patch – a nice way of saying "a ton of new stuff we've added to the game that's going to make all hell break loose." The realms go up, the realms go down. The realms go up. Did we mention they also go down? You may log in only to find your characters nowhere in sight ("Oh #%$&, my characters are all gone!"). You may experience disappearing mail or auctions, random disconnections from the game and insufferable lag. You may find yourself merrily rolling along only to find the NPCs have disappeared, you can't zone in or out of instances or log out of the game, and you and every other player who's trapped in your zone are left with nothing to do but chat about the whole thing. (Almost makes you wonder if the Ice Stone has melted yet.)

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Filed under: Patches, WoW Rookie

Breakfast Topic: What do you think of 3.1


It's been a long old twenty four hours but the US servers have had Patch 3.1 running life for a little while now. I can just imagine the thousands of people swamping Ulduar, the Argent Tournament and every class trainer from Azuremyst to Thunderbluff will be stood on by thousands of toons trying to dual spec.

Now over the last few weeks Breakfast Topic has been, quite understandably, a little Patch 3.1-heavy. We've asked about your most anticipated feature, whether your guild is ready and where your toon will be when the realms restart (just in case you were wondering, Serisa is waiting outside Ulduar to see if the above happens on live as well).

So if you're lucky, you've had a few hours to poke around and take a look, I want to know what your impressions are of The Secrets of Ulduar now that it's gone live?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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