The recent PTR update for patch 5.2 has fixed issues with interactive objects! In other words, we can finally click the portal at the portal area in the Shrines that will transport us over to the Island of the Thunder King. You'll run into a few NPCs that are leading the charge such as Jaina for the Alliance and Lor'themar for the Horde. Your faction will have assorted daily quests for you to go out and undertake.
But we're not here for that. Where's this new raid instance?
One of the most interesting features of Patch 5.1 is the ability to upgrade your items with justice and valor points (as well as upgrading PvP items with honor and conquest points) and in order to give you a sense of what the current state of this feature is on the PTR, I went looking for the upgrade vendor. They're not hard to find -- look for the ethereals who do transmogrification and reforging, and you'll find them standing in the same areas. I confirmed this by going to Orgrimmar and the Shrine of Seven Stars, and there they were.
Since I was on a premade character with no honor or conquest gear and no epics, I could only test the justice point interface. Still, it's worth taking a look at how the process will work. As you can see from the above screenshot, the current interface will look familiar if you've reforged your gear at any point. But there are some differences.
Given that character copies onto the PTR seem to be either extremely unreliable or nigh impossible at the moment, with nobody at WoW Insider able to copy their level 90s over, we have some very, very good news.
Blizzard Blue Sapperwix has confirmed that level 90 character templates are now available! These templates cover every class and race, allowing you to make your own level 90s, with gear, gold, gems, all manner of frippery. They usually also have professions at a decent level. So get over there and get testing! I know I will.
You've been asking for it and I'm pleased to announce that with the latest build of the 5.1.0 PTR: Level 90 Templates Are Now Available.
There are several new achievements coming in, many for the Brawler's Guild, as you'd expect, given that it's a new feature coming in the patch. We posted previously about an earlier batch of achievements, and we were right in thinking that the earlier release was far from a finite list. The same applies to these achievements, so if there's something you're waiting for, don't give up hope.
First, there are some changes to pet-related feats of strength. Deathy, Murkablo, Murky, The Marine and Tyrael's Hilt's feats of strength are all now account wide. It makes perfect sense that only one character has to have any of those pets for them all to get the achievement.
There are also two new achievements, one pet battle-related which is Pandaren Spirit Tamer, which requires you to defeat all the Pandaren spirits in battle, and awards you one of the Air, Earth, Fire and Water spirit pets. If you want to get the other three, they can be farmed from daily quests, such as Burning Pandaren Spirit.
Additionally, a raid achievement called And... It's Good! requires players to fly through the discs above the Engine of Nalak'sha in Mogu'shan Vaults on Normal or Heroic difficulty.
An update to the patch 5.1 PTR has just been released, with a bunch of new changes and adjustments. Along with a ton of class tweaks, there are plenty of changes and updates to Pet Battles and more. Most importantly and probably top on everyone's priority list is a change to raids that players have been waiting for for a very long time.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines -- as of patch 5.1, you will no longer need to be in a raid group to enter a pre-Mists of Pandaria raid.
Scenarios are now going to include Dungeon Finder queue features like leaders, backfill, and vote to kick.
The Dragon Kite can now be used in Pet Battles! Are balloons far behind? We hope not.
Lately, the EU forums have been on my must-read list due to posts like this one. Poster Ask (no sign of Embla) posed the question, as it is right and appropriate that Ask should do, of whether or not Blizzard could or should release new content without there being a PTR or beta for it.
I wasn't even done sputtering yet when CM Takralus pretty much said what I would have, were I not busy sputtering.
Takralus - "New" content and an idea
New content must be tested. Many, many players enjoy being able to test and give their feedback on upcoming new content, and we put that feedback to good use. But, many more people do not test it, and first experience it when the content is actually released.
The simple truth is that if you do not want to see maps and tactics for upcoming content, it's not too hard to avoid. Neither of those are things that will burn into your mind, never to be forgotten.
The day WoW launched, even that had first been through an alpha and then beta test, where people could play and give feedback for months :P
Even with beta tests, bugs get through. Anyone remember Sinestra? At the time Paragon killed her, they talked about the fight and its issues. One of those issues was that Paragon was one of the first guilds to really see Sinestra, and as a result, the fight had bugs that were not discovered until after Paragon began seriously pushing for the kill. In other words, not testing Sinestra on the PTR had consequences that may be acceptable with a single fight that only a few players will even see while it is current and that will be fixed by the time other guilds go back while outgearing it.
These consequences would absolutely be ruinous if they were felt by everyone attempting to do normal-mode raiding content. To a degree, not running a PTR or beta test is irresponsible on Blizzard's part, especially with content meant for the majority of players. I really think the responsibility for walking into a raid fresh, unspoiled by tips or beta testers, is on the players. Better we have some spoilers than untested content.
And yes, we had both an alpha and a beta for World of Warcraft. They didn't translate to having everyone know everything when it went live. Heck, half the time, it just confused you because stuff changed so much. I really fall on the side of those who appreciate beta testing. It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!
Some forum posters report that the PTR realms are coming up right now. So if you don't have access to the beta but do want to check out what will develop into the final Cataclysm patch, head on over to Battle.net and download the PTR build from your Account Management screen.
All relevant blue posts are after the break.
Editor's Note: The patch 5.0.4 PTR patch notes were just made available, you can find them right here.
Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.
If you haven't watched Legend of Korra yet, you're a bad person. The first season ended this past weekend, so it's a perfect time to catch up on the whole thing.
I have 4 85s. A Combat Rogue(main), Arcane Mage, Ret Pali, and an Unholy DK. My question is simple, going into MoP, what would be the most fun to play through to 90 first? I'm curious about trying out a Monk but I simply want to hit 90 ASAP. Any suggestions?
Some time last month, I was chatting with a friend about various story bits in WoW when we wandered onto the subject of the blood elves and what they're up to in the story. I pointed out the short story In the Shadow of the Sun for more recent sin'dorei lore, adding that of course the story took place prior to Wrath in the time line, so it really wasn't the most up-to-date bit of lore, although it was a wonderful read. My friend asked if I thought we'd see anything with the blood elves in Mists, and I replied that I didn't think so, but then we didn't really know that much about storylines in Pandaria yet.
"Well, yeah," they replied. "But what about Rommath? I mean, he's part of the Twilight Cult and all." I paused for a moment, confused, and then realized what they were referring to. "That was a set of datamined voice files that never made it to game," I clarified. "Well yeah, but he's evil," they insisted. "No, he's not -- as far as the game and the lore is concerned, that conversation never happened, and Rommath is still the same old Rommath. A little cranky and snooty, but definitely not evil. Until proven otherwise." They pondered this, and the conversation moved on from there.
I've had this conversation again and again -- in game, on Twitter. And this, my friends, is just one example of the many dangers of datamining.
One of the most frequently asked questions around here these days is what exactly the difference is between a 32- and 64-bit client of World of Warcraft. Blizzard, which has been hinting at a 64-bit WoW client for some time now, has finally announced that such a client exists and can be downloaded for testing on the PTR. This is great news for people with computers that have large amounts of RAM and hefty processors, as well as great news for general improvements to WoW's structure itself.
In order to use a 64-bit client of WoW, you need to have a 64-bit operating system on your computer. The main difference between 32- and 64-bit operating systems (usually Windows) is that one deals with information in a more efficient way. Information in a 32-bit operating system is dealt with in pieces of information that are 32 bits wide, while 64-bit operating systems deal with information that is 64 bits wide -- double the alternative. With this larger bit structure comes better efficiency and the ability to use or "see" more RAM in your computer. 32-bit systems can only use 4 gigabytes of RAM and your 32-bit WoW client can only use 2 gigabytes, whereas the amount a 64-bit system can use is almost unlimited.
While we don't fully know exactly what improvements to the game will come with the 64-bit client, we can assume that more efficient processing power and the ability to stack more RAM for WoW to use might give some players a big frame rate boost and better performance. Lifehacker has an old article about how to tell if you have a 32- or 64-bit operation system.
So, remember the hints that've been dropped recently about a 64-bit game client? Well, it's here. In a blue post on the PTR forums, Dresorull has formally announced the client's existence and provided a link to a 64-bit executable file that runs in place of the normal 32-bit one. (This means that you won't have to download a huge new version of the game, just a small file that you can then toggle between in the launcher settings.) This is still being heavily tested; it will only work on the PTR and is being distributed separately from the PTR itself.
Now, before you get too excited, realize that this isn't a panacea. If you're running a 32-bit OS, you won't be able to use this at all, and a 64-bit system with limited memory (say, 4GB of RAM or less) may actually see decreased performance due to the increased memory usage of 64-bit programs. Systems with more memory, however, will be able to cache more program data in RAM. This should help speed up things that require large reads from the hard drive, such as changing zones, and may increase stability for those who run lots of addons.
A 64-bit client is now available for use with the 4.3.2 PTR. You can download it at the link below, unzip it into your PTR directory, and then run the executable to test it.
• The 64-bit client is being distributed separately from the PTR as it is not yet supported for use with World of Warcraft.
• This can only be used with the 4.3.2 PTR, it is not to be used with the live version of the game.
• A Mac version is not available yet, though we are working on one and plan for it to be available in the near future.
• The game's built in voice chat does not currently work in the 64-bit client.
It appears that the holidays are over at Blizzard today, as our first new content since the launch of patch 4.3 has hit the public test realms with a few interesting tidbits. MMO-Champion has got the full scoop, showing off the datamined Feldrake mount as well as a new World of Warcraft optimization feature that can slim down WoW's footprint on your system. A 64-bit game client is also teased with the addition of a Text x86 client marking, and new client strings show off some of the WoW parental controls.
A rideable Feldrake as well as an Eye of the Legion pet, hmm? Could these items give us any clues toward the Mists of Pandaria launch events that are going to be happening presumably within the next few months, making way for the next expansion? Are we getting a glimpse of a demonic invasion that will leave the Horde and the Alliance scrambling to fight off enemies from all sides?
According to reports on the forums and the above video, GM Xel spawned Deathwing on the PTR and had him return to Stormwind to deliver another blow to the Alliance this Friday at the Harbor.
It appears that the version of Deathwing spawned is the current one that flies around Azeroth and burns zones to the ground, killing all NPCs, mobs, and players. We can even see the player in the video get the Achievement "Stood in the Fire." There is no indication this is the version of Deathwing that will spawn in the raids. We didn't see any players on his back, which is something we know will be possible during the fight.
We believe the video and reports are credible. And while it happened on the PTR, there is little possibility of this happening on the live realms. "Fly around and randomly destroy zones" Deathwing doesn't hit the cities, and GMs rarely, if ever, make themselves known on the live realms. However on the PTR, as the video above shows, things are completely different.
One of my all-time favorite television shows as a child was $ale of the Century. It was a simple question-and-answer game show with a twist: All correct answers only awarded contestants with $5. However, at various points in the show, contestants would be given the chance to buy thousands of dollars worth of prizes for next to nothing -- a new recliner for $8, a trip to Hawaii for $17.
It was a special economy all its own. A trip to Hawaii could cost $2,176 in one place while costing $17 in another. It's the same good ol' U.S. currency -- it's just that $17 has a far greater value in one context than $2,176 has in another.
Like said game, the patch 4.3 PTR operates by a bizarre set of economic rules all its own, if you can even call them rules. It's the wild west of economies. Anything goes. The fantastic BOE Mekgineer's Chopper is normally valued at 15,000 gold. But today, on Sale of the Azerothian Century, that Chopper can be yours for only ... 1 silver. Or 240,000 gold. Depends on who your seller is.