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Yogg-Saron in blues

This story's from last week, but I love it anyway -- over at the Greedy Goblin, Gevlon's guild was getting a little tired of all of the achievement-checking and gear requirements for endgame raiding, and so they set out to do something that many experienced raiders might admit seems impossible: take down Yogg-Saron with nothing but blues on. That means no epics at all -- no epic gear, dropped or crafted, no epic enchants, no epic gems. They did use profession bonuses, but everyone should have access to those by now (all it takes is money, and all that takes is time). And of course, they did it: toppled Yoggy with the group you see on the page there. The combat log is also posted, and it's about what you'd expect: none of the damage numbers are crazy high, but the group works so well together and plays so evenly that they get it done. That's the message to be taken away here: gear is nice, but nothing will get you farther than a well-oiled group of solid players.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Bosses, Leveling

Twinking post patch 3.1

The twinks were a little doom-and-gloom before the patch, but it seems like the end of the world has come and gone, and they're still interested in twinking. As Drayner over at Twinkinfo predicted, all of the changes on the PTR went live: enchants have level requirements, as did profession buffs, and those aren't scaling either. At this point, it sounds like the only way to twink out your character (which means make it super powerful at a certain low level) is to fit them out in the best gear you can find for the level.

If you can keep them at that level, that is -- apparently there's a bug in the game with queuing up for BGs where you are sometimes accidentally transported to a graveyard when you queue. And for some twinks sitting just on the brink of leveling, that extra few points of exploration XP could ruin everything. Be careful with that, though we're sure a hotfix is incoming soon.

But nevertheless, people apparently still twinking -- while there are good numbers of people ready to leave twinking (or even the game), the majority of answers on their poll over there say that people are still going to try ruling the lower level battlegrounds. Which is about what we expected before the patch: these people live to bend the rules as far as they'll go, and a few more probably won't stop them.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling, Buffs

Level requirements changed on some enchants, items

Ishh over at Twinkinfo has some pretty big news for lower-level players: the enchants, librams, and even jewelcrafting trinkets that used to work for almost everybody ingame have gained a few level requirements on the PTR. Twinks especially love these items, as they can be used to give big buffs to even low-level players, but Blizzard isn't down with that any more, apparently. Even applied enchants and Leatherworking leg armor will apparently stop working if this change goes out to the live realms -- they have pictures, as you can see, of enchanted stats turning red due to level requirements.

Most of the time, when Blizzard makes changes like this, they aren't actually targeted at twinks -- they're just designed to keep the game from becoming extremely easy at a given level (I'm still bummed that my Leatherworking drums have no effect after level 70). But obviously twinks are affected by these changes, and as you can see from the comments on that post, they're not very happy with having even more limits placed on how they can buff up.

But then again, as I said a little while ago, twinks have always dealt just fine with limits. Twinkinfo has a poll up on what twinks will do if these changes go live, and the majority of votes say that they'll just keep twinking. They've gone around level restrictions before -- a few more won't be the end of the world.

Filed under: Leatherworking, Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Jewelcrafting, Leveling, Enchants

Officers' Quarters: Unchart(er)ed territory

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

It's no secret that the game we all know and love is in a period of transition. Many basic assumptions of Warcraft are changing, from the way loot is itemized, to the way buffs work, to the very nature of raiding. Amidst all this change, I decided to update the document my guild wrote to define our basic principles and guidelines. Written in 2005, it was astonishingly outdated. I guess I shouldn't have been all that surprised. Someone who stopped playing back when Blackwing Lair was the endgame would barely recognize WoW if they rolled a premade 80 on the beta servers today.

We call this document our guild's philosophy. Many guilds call it their charter. However you label it, right now is a great time to reevaluate exactly what your guild is all about and what your basic rules and beliefs will be going into the next expansion.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

On scalable instances and including everyone

Think it's "ridiculous" that you need exactly 10 or 25 (or 40-- or 3) people to raid? Beefpile does. He wants a World of Warcraft that conforms to his wishes-- if he's got seven players, they should have an instance to go without grabbing three more or leaving two behind.

And there is such a game-- it's called Dungeon Runners, or Diablo II, or any other game that scales itself to match the players in it. But there are, of course, tradeoffs to such a system. If you have scalable instances (or a scalable overworld, or anything else that scales according to the people playing it), then you start to miss out on some of the development choices you can make. Many of the best bosses in the game don't work unless you have a certain number and a certain mix of characters involved, and any scalable instances would miss out on that design choice.

It's the same reason we haven't seen single-player instances yet-- because making things scalable would mean that developers would have to make everything accessible for all classes, and therefore they would lose the design that made the game so popular in the first place. If you want to play a game that scales to as many players as you have, you're welcome to play something else. But if you want to experience the content designed by the WoW programmers the way they intended, you've got to log in with what each instance requires.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

Arena rating requirement likely 1800 or 1900

The big news on the forums today is arena weapon ratings-- Blizzard announced last month at BlizzCon that they didn't want players just putting their time in every week to rack up enough arena points to grab the weapons, so they're putting a rating requirement on those next season. Drysc says the exact requirement hasn't been set yet, but it'll likely be around 1800 or 1900.

The main problem with this, as many players say, is that it's not those folks who need the weapons. Why give the best weapons to the people who are already winning at PvP. That argument doesn't really hold water (because the whole point of the game is to reward the best players with the best stuff), and the fact is that this change won't really affect that many people anyway-- as of each new arena season, the last seasons' weapons will have the requirements removed and be available for arena points only. So if all you want to do is the minimum number of arena matches and save up your points, you can still do that-- you just can't get the latest and greatest.

Blizzard's said before that they want arena PvP to be the peak of player-versus-player combat skill (or at least know-how), and a change like this makes it clear that they don't want to give out any free rides to the top.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, PvP

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