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Posts with tag patch-3.1

Breakfast Topic: Patch frequency and you

How do you like your patch content delivered? Do you like it better when Blizzard holds off on patches and delivers lots of content in one go (the development cycle of Wrath saw several large patches, delivering raids and new quests and class changes in large chunks)? Or would you rather see patches come more often, spreading out the content delivery more? This is the current plan for Cataclysm. We saw the Zandalari dungeons drop in patch 4.1, and 4.2 will bring the Firelands raid and Hyjal daily quest hubs.

As an old fogey, I see the pluses and minuses to both. When Ulduar dropped, I was very happy; it was a good patch with a good raid. But when the following patch basically not only wiped out Ulduar in terms of raid attendance but also delivered a less satisfying experience, the big downside of content bomb patches was exposed. Smaller patches may not always deliver as much content, but at least we're not forced to wait as long for the next thing.

So how about you? Do you eat your content one bar at a time, or do you wedge the whole thing in your mouth and chew?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

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

Arcane Brilliance: The Mage of 2009

The internet's magiest weekly mage column, Arcane Brilliance would like to wish you and yours a very magetastic holiday season. Unless you and yours are warlocks. In which case Arcane Brilliance hopes the holiday season comes to your Christmas party and punches you in the face.

Every year, as the end of that twelve-month block draws near, Arcane Brilliance likes to take an unbiased look back at the events that captured our collective imagination. Heh. Get it? "I-MAGE-ination?" Holy crap Arcane Brilliance is clever. And indefensibly fond of bad puns.

So what did the year of our lord 2009 hold for those of us who prefer the scent of barbecued sheep to pretty much any odor ever and think strudel is a perfectly acceptable meal choice for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a meal I like to call the "Evocation's-on-cooldown-snack?"

Join me after the break for all the highlights, presented in vaguely chronological order.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Breakfast Topic: Blurring the boundaries between patches and expansions

In the good old days, expansions came around once in a blue moon. They were the stuff of legend which invited almost two years of hype and intrigue. You paid your dollars/pounds/euros/yuan, and you got your new classes, those shiny new zones and those ten extra levels. But, with patch 3.0.2 (aka Echoes of Doom) we got something new, we got transition. Yes, this was the patch where we got a sampling of Wrath designed to tease players waiting on tender hooks and also keep interest for that final week until the expansions hit properly.

Given Blizzard's shift in how they treat patches, now geared towards larger mini expansion style updates like patch 2.4 and patch 3.2, there's definitely something changing in the way we get new installments of the game. After all, there's as much hype about every mini expansion-like patch, from the new areas, class buffs/nerfs and weapons to the smaller changes involving the UI. Shiny expansion special editions aside, do you think it would ever be possible to have expansions become automatically downloaded massive patch updates over a standalone disc or download that you have to buy every two years? What do you think, readers?

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Expansions

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: Did the Patch 3.2 news bring you back to the Tournament?

As you've probably seen on the site before, I grew bored of the Argent Tournament really fast. I still think the mind-numbing repetition is a pretty big step backwards in their world design thus far, but all of the recent Patch 3.2 news has been making me hopeful that it won't always be the overly repetitive mess I see it as right now. It's driven me back to doing the Tournament quests, even!

The fact that the Crusader title and Exalted with the Sunreavers/Silver Covenant are required to take part in the new Argent Tournament solo content is playing a big role in my decision to play through the current dailies again. I stopped doing them just shy of Crusader, with no real intent to go and finish it off. As much as I wanted the title, I really could not bear doing those dailies anymore. One can only joust so much! I'm very much interested in the new content and items though, so with those two goals being the gateways to it, I'm not given much of an option. Crusader or bust. I do not like to bust.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

The mystery of the missing Ulduar models


Back at the very end of last year, the folks at MMO-Champion did their usual excellent work in mining up a heap of models from Ulduar. Now that it's six months later, I have to ask: what happened to all of them? Take the sword pictured above. If you've raided Ulduar, you've seen this model wielded by the Twilight's Hammer cultists in the hallway to the Descent Into Madness. Why, then, is it the case that there are four 2h swords available in 10 and 25 man Ulduar and none of them use this model? Furthermore, why do all four of them in fact use the same model instead?

As you can see from the older post, there was an alternative two handed mace model, two more 1h sword models, another crossbow model and an alternate gun model as well. You may not love all of them (our own Alex Ziebart felt that the crossbow model lacked) but you have to wonder, why does every Ulduar gun, crossbow, mace and 2h sword look identical? Why are there only two one handed sword models when there could have been four? Are these models coming in a later instance or are they just there to dress up some NPCs? I actually think that the sword model alternative rocks pretty hard. I realize the mace says 'aspect' instead of 'ulduar' meaning that it might be intended for a later Chamber of Aspects instance, but even so, there was clearly a lot of work making new gear for Ulduar that didn't even get used outside of some NPCs. Any opinions on why we got one model for most drops in Ulduar instead of using some of these?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Expansions, Raiding

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

Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail part 2

This week, Totem Talk covers the mail options for 25 man Ulduar, and also presents reader screenshots! Since I'm not raiding Horde-side as much right now (Malfurion, I miss you, especially the fine folks in the Consummate Vees, one heck of a good group of people) I've been using my Draenei shammy for the screens, and after many comments demanding the return of horde shamans, I finally threw down the gauntlet and dared the readers to provide them if they missed them so much.

Clearly, I had underestimaged your desire to see orcs, taurens and trolls back alongside this column. Well, far be it from me to stand in your way. Readers Chris Bell and Adam Brien both sent me good pictures of their orc shamans (this week we meet Adam's shaman) as did Claire Jones, whose tauren shaman will be featured after the cut just because I have a soft spot for tauren shamans. (Vishypants, you are remembered.) Now, don't take this to mean you'll never see a draenei screenshot here again, cause even if you don't like them I do. But if readers keep sending in those screenshots I guarantee some of them will make it to this column.

Heck, it saves me having to remember to take a screenshot, after all.

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Filed under: Shaman, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Guides, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Wowhead founder receives in-game homage


It seems that Blizzard snuck this one in quietly with Patch 3.1 as not a lot of people noticed, but thanks to Saithir of angrydwarfs for pointing it out. Apparently, an NPC named Loremaster Skosiris appeared at the top of Scryer's Tier in Shattrath tending to a new library of books. The NPC tends to a host of bookshelves that act as master trainers for primary and secondary professions, saying "Here I have amassed what may well be the greatest depository of lore in all of Outland. Even the grand libraries of Silvermoon City pale in comparison." Skosiris also tells players, "please... look, read, browse to your heart's content. You'll find everything organized and clearly labeled."

Why is this so cool? Well, Skosiris is the name of the founder of everybody's favorite World of Warcraft database, Wowhead. What can be a more fitting tribute than an NPC that manages, well, data! So that's what the Scryers did with all those Arcane Tomes. Blizzard has given nods to the community in the past, most notably with the NPC Breanni, who operates the pet store in Dalaran, and even to now-retired Druid blogger Phaelia, who got an item appropriately named after her. These are the tiny little touches that remind all of us that Blizzard appreciates what the gaming community does. Even though Shattrath is now a ghost town, Loremaster Skosiris and his library is a pretty good reason to drop by. When you do swing by the Scryer's tier, don't forget to bring some tacos for this librarian.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, NPCs

World of Warcraft Patch 3.1.3 going live


Word is coming through the grapevine that patch 3.1.3 will be released tomorrow. MMO-Champion is also confirming this, so given both of our information I'd say it's a sure bet.

We posted the patch notes last week when Zarhym released them, and they're after the break so you can become reacquainted with the small changes that'll be happening. If there are suddenly new notes tomorrow we'll let you know.

When a mirror is available for download we'll get a post up; probably sometime early tomorrow afternoon. This patch is also likely a harbinger of maintenance tomorrow, however there has been no official announcement yet.

The patch notes after the break.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail


And we're back to looking at Ulduar's gear drops for shamans. This week, I figured it was long past time to look at the various non-set mail drops from the instance, since we've covered rings, shields, weapons and emblem of conquest purchases already. I'm sure we'll need to take at least a couple of weeks to fit all the mail in the place, so we should get started right away.

Again I remind horde shaman enthusiasts that I'm not raiding Ulduar on my orc, and if you want to see screenshots of an horde shaman up here, my email is matthew.rossi@wow.com - I'd be happy to use one or even many of them.I'm just simply not going to be able to raid Ulduar more than I already am.

Onward to gear. As always, the usual disclaimers (not all gear has been found yet, things get changed, moved, etc etc) apply. We'll talk about Ulduar - 10 gear first and then Ulduar - 25 either after or in the next post.

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Filed under: Shaman, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Classes, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Breakfast Topic: Are patches too fast, too furious?


Content patches have been coming rather quickly as of late. With the exception of the long-awaited Patch 3.1, which only felt long because Naxxramas was ridiculously easy, Blizzard has been throwing a salvo of patches our way in a fast and furious fashion. In fact, Blizzard has been relatively quick to issue hotfixes and minor patches these days when they notice this or that class rising above others. Death Knights were an exception but that can be explained away by the newness of the class.

But compared the the old pace, it seems as though Blizzard is delivering content faster than ever. Zarhym has even uncharacteristically told a poster "your presumed time lines are way too inflated," when the poster speculated that 3.2 won't be out until the end of the year and Icecrown released around May of 2010. I'm actually quite confident that Blizzard will announce the next expansion during BlizzCon, if not a release date. So while a lot of top guilds have cleared Ulduar and are working on hard modes and completing them, there's strong evidence that a majority of the player base is just getting started with the whole thing. What's your take on Blizzard's patch production policy?

What do you think of the pace of patches in Wrath?
They're too fast, we haven't even cleared Naxxramas!2451 (21.6%)
They're too slow, we've already got Algalon on farm.795 (7.0%)
Pretty fast, but we're catching up on everything.3711 (32.7%)
Slower than we'd like, but at least we've got dailies.1283 (11.3%)
Just about right. We're just clearing Ulduar now.3103 (27.4%)

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

The Queue: Sometimes you just want to be a superhero


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider'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.

Preambles are for suckers. Let's get this party started.

Anarax asked...


"Okay well, I have a bunch of friends and apparently they think City of Heroes is 10x better than WoW. How can I get them to change their minds over to WoW? The main reason I want them to play is because I plan to make a reroll Hardcore Raiding Guild, in June, and it's always good to have a small group of players to start with. The problem is though that one of them tried out WoW and is actually influencing the others, telling them that WoW is "too repetitive, too serious, and full of rage." He is the one telling the others to play CoH."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

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