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Posts with tag public-test-realm

Patch 3.3.3 PTR: Cull Stratholme faster than ever before

The dungeon finder has really changed what players get excited about the most in the World of Warcraft. It's a strange world when one of the most anticipated updates to the game is the ability to tell Arthas to shut his yap. No, we don't mean kill him in Icecrown, we really do mean telling him to shut the hell up. Just in case you missed it in the patch notes we posted a little while ago, there's this waiting for us in patch 3.3.3:
  • Culling of Stratholme: Players may now skip the initial introduction dialog to this dungeon once they have completed it at least once.
The pre-Culling of Stratholme dialogue is really cool to experience the first few times, but after that it just starts to feel like a waste of time. The dungeon finder made it even worse, because as awesome as it is, it eliminated some of the social stigma of ditching a group early. Oculus and Culling of Stratholme are the two instances I can always expect some dip to drop from. Hopefully this change and the deserter debuff becoming 30 minutes will discourage that sort of behavior.

Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.3.3 PTR character copies up

Hot on the heels of the Patch 3.3.3 PTR patch notes, Blizzard has activated character copies for this phase of testing. While the realms aren't up quite yet, and neither is the client, you can definitely copy your live characters over to Broxigar (PVE) or Anasterian (PVP) for impending testing.

A few things to bear in mind: if you're excited to try out the new Ruby Sanctum raid, that content isn't going to be in this particular patch. There might be indications of it, maybe some quests or data, but no instance itself just yet. But, since there's no raid content, this means you can also copy over premade level 80 characters -- the perfect way to test out all those new PVP changes.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go make your evil twin!

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

WoW.com livestreams Halls of Reflection Friday at noon PST

Halls of Reflection, the 5-man in which we're going to face down Arthas (finally -- we've been waiting for this moment since the end of Warcraft III) is now live on the PTR, and the staff of WoW.com is going to head on in there to see what there is to see. And you get to watch -- we'll be streaming our run of the brand new 5-man this Friday afternoon, starting at noon Pacific / 3pm Eastern. We'll be live on our Ustream page, with full in-game video and commentary from yours truly, as five intrepid WoW.com bloggers go and see what the Wrath of the Lich King really looks like.

Of course there will be spoilers, although if you're interested in seeing what the PTR has to offer, this will be as good an opportunity as any to do it. We've embedded the Ustream feed after the break on this post, so just come back here on Friday at noon to jump in, chat with us and other viewers live, and check out the action. If you have the Ustream iPhone app installed, you should be able to see it on there as well, so if you're out and about that afternoon, you can still watch. And we'll be recording the whole thing on Ustream, so if you can't watch it live, you will be able to come back later and check it out for yourself. Should be fun -- we'll see you back here on Friday afternoon at 3pm Eastern.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

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Filed under: Podcasting, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

Shifting Perspectives: A 3.3 miscellany


Every week, Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting druids and those who group with them. Today we root around our inbox and herd a series of scribbled notes across our desk, trying to get what we actually know about patch 3.3 in order. Also, Zach Yonzon's PhotoShop skills for the win, but we already knew that.

This week's column is going to be a little bit of a grab bag in much the same way that our patch 3.1 miscellany post was, because there have been a few changes on the PTR recently that we haven't yet discussed.

Before we get any farther, I'd also like to give a shout-out to our readers and commenters on last week's column, "The disappearance of the bear." I was a little antsy over how it was going to be received (lengthy articles on what's going wrong with a spec can get derailed into QQ-fests pretty easily, and that wasn't my intent), but was heartened to see so much quality discussion. One of the things I realized after reading through the comments was that Blizzard may actually have succeeded a little too well in their quest to make tanking more attractive and fun to the average player. WoW's four tanking classes (warrior, paladin, druid, and death knight) comprise 4 of the 5 most popular classes in the game right now. As I've written previously, the druid functions as the proverbial canary in the coal mine as a harbinger of class balance concerns, and with each of the game's plate classes numbering among the most played at 80, it's impossible for this not to have an impact on druid spec choice.

Anyway. For the moment, we are going to turn away from this rather depressing situation, and concern ourselves with what's going on in patch 3.3.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Patch 3.3 PTR: Forge of Souls first impressions



Yesterday, the PTR servers were loaded with the most recent build of the upcoming 3.3 content. This included Forge of Souls, a new 5 player dungeon which is meant to be the introductory instance into Icecrown Citadel. As we made our way into the frozen halls of the citadel to where the dungeons are housed, we came across three portals. To the left was the Forge of Souls itself which is the first one you'll be allowed into. To the right was the Pit of Saron that Matthew Rossi covered earlier this week. Lastly, between the two was the Halls of Reflection, which strange rumors surround while its doors remain firmly locked. After opening the portcullis to the Forge we made our way inside. More of the adventure after the break.

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Filed under: Patches, Walkthroughs, Instances, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.3 PTR available for download


A quick note to let all you curious beta testers out there know that the Public Test Realm (PTR) for Patch 3.3 is now available for download. As you can see from the picture above, the patch is a big one - just under 1.4 GB. If you don't have a super fast cable modem, you might want to consider downloading it overnight.

Patch 3.3 will introduce a new 10 and 25 man raid, as well as new 5 man dungeons. And as promised by Blizzard at BlizzCon this year, we should see cross-server instances as well. You can check out all the changes thus far in the recently released Patch 3.3 PTR Patch Notes.

Stay tuned to WoW.com in the coming hours and days as we get all the latest information up for you.

Filed under: Patches, News items

World of Warcraft Patch 3.3 PTR Patch Notes


Blizzard has just released the patch notes for the Patch 3.3 PTR. As with all PTR patch notes, please be aware that they are the early stages of the finalized patch notes, and not everything may yet be in them. These notes are particularly shorter than what most would expect, however there are still some juicy goodies.

The PTR is not up yet. You'll hear it here when it is. These notes come a day after the information and pictures of Icecrown were released.

Some of the highlights from the patch notes released thus far:
  • The Forge of Souls, the first wing of the 5-player dungeon, is currently available for testing.
  • Additional Icecrown Citadel dungeon and raid content will be made available in future test builds
  • Misdirection: Redesigned. Instead of having finite charges, it now begins a 4-second timer when the hunter using Misdirection performs a threat-generating attack, during which all threat generated by the hunter goes to the friendly target. In addition, multiple hunters can now misdirect threat to the same friendly target simultaneously.
  • Rogue Vanish: For the first second after this ability is used, neither Vanish nor Stealth can be broken by taking damage or being the victim of a hostile spell or ability.
  • Shaman Fire Nova Totem: This totem has been replaced with a new spell, Fire Nova, which is available at the same ranks as the old Fire Nova Totem. Existing characters will automatically learn this new spell in place of the totem. With a Fire Totem active, shamans will be able to use Fire Nova (fire magic) to emit the same area-of-effect damage as the old Fire Nova Totem from the active Fire Totem, not consuming the totem in the process. Fire Nova will activate a 1.5-second global cooldown when used and has a 10-second spell cooldown. The caster must be within 30 yards of the totem to use this ability, but does not need to be within line of sight of the totem.
  • Black Magic: This enchantment now sometimes increases haste rating for the caster rather than inflicting the caster's target with a damage-over-time effect. It is also now triggered by landing any harmful spell rather than inflicting damage with a spell.
Entire patch notes after the break.

This post is currently being edited.

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Filed under: Patches, News items

Patch 3.3 PTR: Character copy is up, but not so fast


A few readers have reported in to say that character copies are currently up for what we presume to be the patch 3.3 PTR (not that surprising, considering that Blizzard has been forthcoming with Icecrown info today), but before you go running over to send your character racing to meet Arthas, don't forget that usually in this situation, character copies get wiped before the PTR goes up anyway. You can try a copy, but don't be surprised if, when the realm finally does go up and Blizzard is ready, you have to do it again.

That said, this is a pretty good sign that the PTR is just around the corner -- Blizzard's got the content in a workable state, and they're just about ready to let us have a look at it and run it through the ringer for them. Icecrown or bust!

Thanks, Low!

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Instances

Patch 3.2.2 PTR: First impresssions of Onyxia


Onyxia. Pictures, text and video cannot express the emotions associated with this classic boss fight. I'm going to try nevertheless, though. Announced mere days ago, the idea that Onyxia will be revamped into a level 80 10 and 25 man raid (for a limited time) has suddenly become reality with the return of PTR testing for patch 3.2.2. Everyone and their best mate is currently swarming Onyxia's Lair, determined to dispatch the Broodmother once more. This time for kicks and enhanced loot.

Her name is reverberating around the PTR right now. In fact, within three seconds of logging on with my premade I was asked if I wanted to join a 10-man raid to kick her scaly butt. Of course I accepted and found myself once more outside the scary gates of the Broodmother's lair. Let's me be straight about one thing, the only things which have been changed about this fight are the suped-up uber-trashkin and Onyxia herself. There's no need for a key or attunement, you just grab a raid and walk right on in. The cavern leading into her lair is the same as it ever was, except the trash now have the power to kick serious butt against level 80's wearing full epics. Such is the case, our group wiped the first time we pulled two of the dragonkin.


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Filed under: Patches, Events, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Trial of the Crusader testing off to a rough start


For those of you hoping to get in on some PTR testing this evening, you'll be happy to know that you're not alone in your "Trials of the Instance Not Available" raid. Lord Jaraxxus was supposed to be available for the US this evening, which is the 10/25 man raid boss.

Daelo has posted that Blizzard has had some technical issues with the testing tonight, and that things are being delayed until they get fixed.

WoW.com has a group assembled and will be going in when the darn things works, and hopefully we'll have some good guides for you in the next couple of days.

Check back for updates on this all. Fingers crossed, we'll bring you good news.

Update: Daelo (Me say Dae-ooo) has canceled the testing for tonight. Check back for later for an updated schedule.

Filed under: Patches, News items, Raiding

Lichborne: The Future of Death Runes in Patch 3.2

Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight class column, with your host, Daniel Whitcomb, who's still wearing mourning black for AE Unholy Blight. And also because black looks awesome.

I admit to being a bit underwhelmed by the Death Knight Q&A. To be fair, this is primarily because most of the things covered were already in the 3.2 patch notes, and the rest was pretty common sense stuff. However, one little comment by Ghostcrawler did catch my attention: His praise of Death Runes.

This caught me more than a bit by surprise, since, if anything, the Death Knight changes in Patch 3.2 seem tailor made to discourage the use of Death Runes, at least for Frost and Unholy.

Between the damage buff to Blood Strike and diseases, and the nerf to Scourge Strike, we have a pretty good chance of seeing people move away from using Death Runes. The major reason to use Blood Strike in both trees right now is to create Death Runes so you can use higher damage abilities on your next refresh cycle. If Blood Strike becomes the higher damage ability, it's not worth it to use the Death Runes on something else. There's a off-chance, I suppose, that you might want the Death Runes handy for an emergency use of Ghoul Frenzy, in theory, but that chance is so slim that no-one's going to want to waste the talent points in Reaping, at the very least.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Video of new Night Elf Druid forms in 3.2



And here are the Night Elf forms! I think I've avoided some of the annoying audio issues from the video on the 3.2 Tauren Druid forms, and I've also included an extended shot of the NE cat form's run animation, as it's one of the things that really distinguishes the bigger, sleeker cat model from its live counterpart. Unfortunately, they haven't fixed the bug where one of the bear models (the one linked to the NE's green hair) is unavailable (you'll get the black bear form instead), so only 4 of the 5 new bear colors could be included here.

If you're unable to play this with audio, the pertinent commentary is that: a). I tried to keep the camera as close as possible to help people appreciate the detail, mostly because: b). A lot of the subtler color distinctions just don't come across very well on the capture, and I think I spent too much time trying to get every angle as a result: c). The forms are really gorgeous, and the NE cat in motion is lovely, and: d). I'm still a dork.

UPDATE: A new PTR build went live late last night after the video was completed and uploaded, and Blizzard fixed the bug where one of the Night Elf bear forms was unavailable. I've included pictures past the cut.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Features

Video of new Tauren Druid forms in patch 3.2



Hail and well met, Druid colleagues. I ventured into the scary realm of moviemaking in order to capture the new Druid forms on the PTR. Because my Hordeside main copied over first, we'll take care of the Tauren initially. The Night Elf video is in progress, and I've been told that Blizzard fixed the bug where one of the NE bear forms wasn't properly linked to a hair color, so stay tuned.

Anyway, this is my first video and I apologize for the amateurish quality; I'll get better (though not necessarily less dorky) with practice, but I really wanted to get this out for everyone who can't get on the PTR but wants to see what the new forms look like in motion. If you can't run sound at the moment, the only really pertinent commentary is that: a). The forms are beautiful: b). They look great in motion: c). For whatever reason, the bear butt has actually grown, and: d). The Night Elf video is on its way.

If you're having issues with Viddler, you can find the same video (in slightly higher quality) here on YouTube.

Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Features

Insider Trader: Patch 3.2 Q&A

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Patch 3.2 has been shaping up to be a welcome event for professions in World of Warcraft. Soon, we will all have access to the next "tier" of gems and profession-unique buffs.

This week, I will be devoting the column space to answering some reader questions. Pre-patch notes and Public Test Realm data can often create confusion, especially when we know that anything could change before we ever see it live.

At the very end, I have included a bit of a spoiler, although I attempted to keep the details to a minimum and the wild speculation to a maximum.

Are the new flasks for Alchemists only? - Joemama
The new flask is called Flask of the North and can only be used by Alchemists with a skill of at least 400. This flask is clearly inferior to the Wrath raiding flasks because it is meant to be used in arenas. While it should give you a bit of a boost, Blizzard does not want everyone suddenly becoming Alchemists in order to compete.

Of course, if you play the game primarily for arena, then you might consider switching if you haven't already.

The most exciting changes for Alchemists will likely be the new epic gem transmutes and the fact that potions will stack to 20.

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Filed under: Alchemy, Cooking, Enchanting, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Jewelcrafting, Features, Making money, Insider Trader (Professions)

Patch 3.2 PTR Isle of Conquest upcoming changes


I hope everybody's been having fun on the PTR. I know Matt's been having a grand time in Patch 3.2's new Battleground, the Isle of Conquest. Thanks to all the players who have been airship-dropping, flag-capturing, glaive-thrower-riding, and general-killing, Blizzard has announced that they will be making some changes to the Isle of Conquest in the next iteration of the PTR build. The changes are as follows:
  • Increased all the gates' health from 300,000 to 600,000.
  • Increased the reinforcement count from 200 to 400.
  • Significantly increased the health and damage of the keep generals.
  • Reduced effect range of the siege damage caused by Seaforium. Both the player damage and the siege damage caused should be 10 yards now.
  • The Huge Seaforium piles will now despawn for 20 seconds once looted.
  • Glaive Thrower - Reduced the cooldown of Blade Salvo from 60 seconds to 30 seconds.
  • Glaive Thrower - Reduced movement speed.
  • Demolisher - The Hurl Boulder and Ram effects no longer share a cooldown.
  • Keep Cannons - Fixed a bug that was causing them to do much more damage than intended.
  • Keep Cannons - Can now be repaired once they are destroyed by clicking on them. This repair process takes 8 seconds and can be interrupted, similar to capturing a PvP objective.
  • Siege Engine - Significantly Increased health.
Zarhym thanks all the players for their invaluable input and encourage further testing and continued feedback on the PTR. The Battleground looks like a whole lot of fun, and the changes should lengthen the considerably short matches. See you guys on the battlefield... as soon as I get this blasted client patch to download, that is...
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, PvP, Battlegrounds

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