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Posts with tag reward

Cataclysm Beta: New titles in build 13066

There's a new patch headed to the beta servers, and MMO-Champion has datamined the following title rewards for raid achievements in Cataclysm:
  • Heroic: Nefarian -- Defeat Nefarian in Blackwing Descent on heroic difficulty. Title: Blackwing's Bane
  • Heroic: Sinestra -- Defeat Sinestra in the Bastion of Twilight on heroic difficulty. Title: Dragonslayer
  • Heroic: Al'Akir -- Defeat Al'Akir in the Throne of the Four Winds on heroic difficulty. Title: Of the Four Winds
  • Defender of a Shattered World -- Complete the raids and heroic dungeons listed below. Title: Defender of a Shattered World
Who else is pretty pumped to be a Dragonslayer?
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Patch 3.3: Helpful rewards for low-level dungeon runs

We've been talking a lot about Patch 3.3's new Dungeon Finder feature lately, and for good reason -- it's leaps and bounds better than the LFG tool we've been dealing with for the past several years. One of the features that's caught everyone's attention is the great reward that level 80 players get for completing random WotLK Heroic dungeons. Well, if you're a lower-level player using the tool to run random dungeons at your level, it turns out you get something too.

The Satchel of Helpful Goods is a level-scaling bag o' rewards, which EU Community Manager Wryxian says will contain one piece each from two sets of loot rewards. Quoth the crocolisk:

...these satchels are rewards from doing a random dungeon through the LFG tool at lower levels. There's two groups of items that can be inside them. One includes bracers, rings, necklaces and cloaks. The other has belts, boots, gloves and shoulder items. What you'll find in the satchel is one item from each group, and this is also further influenced by a ten level range. So for example, what is in a satchel received for completing a dungeon between levels 20 and 30 might be a nice necklace and some gloves, but from a dungeon between 50 and 60 you might get a ring and some new boots.

The level ranges he refers to are 5-15, 15-25, 24-34, 35-45, 46-55, 56-60, 60-64, and 65-70. Wryxian indicates that the two item groups are set up so as not to trivialize quest rewards from the zones in your level range, and to make sure that you're always receiving a variety of gear. It's unknown at this time whether these'll be blues we've seen before, a la Elven Spirit Claws, or whether they're newly-created blues with the express purpose of being Satchel rewards. Still, pretty cool. Oh, and you get money too.

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.'s Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, News items

Patch 3.3: Quel'delar caster mace hastened

Ah, Quel'delar -- the Patch 3.3 questline with rewards for everybody. Well, everybody except tanks. And elemental shamans. And shadow priests, and moonkin, and mutilate rogues, and you get the idea. While the caster sword is itemized very well for DPS casters -- and can be used by two of them -- the mace version is loaded with MP5, which is patently useless for them. A lot of healers don't even really need it on their weapon.

Well, Blizzard may not have caved to tanks or rogues, but they certainly caved to DPS casters, as Bornakk indicates that the MP5 on the Hammer of Purified Flame is being converted to haste to better match Quel'delar, Lens of the Mind. As an elemental shaman in dire need of replacing his Aesuga, I appreciate that!

Then again, this makes it even more odd that sword-and-board tanks are still left out in the cold in this questline. I suppose there's still time before the patch for Blizzard to make the change, but it looks like they're not going that route. Oh well, tanks. There's always dual-spec.

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.'s Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Peter Molyneux on WoW's reward system

You probably know Peter Molyneux's name if you've been playing video games for any significant amount of time -- he's the mind behind such classics as Populous and Dungeon Keeper, all the way up to Black and White and the current Fable series. He recently gave a talk to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and early on his talk (part 1 is here, part 2 and part 3 are also online), he speaks out about our favorite game, World of Warcraft. Specifically, he mentions it as an influence on his game design, and says the most brilliant thing about the game are "the steeds," or the mounts you could pick up at level 40 (nowadays, of course, they're available at level 20). He says that in his own games, he tries to give everything out to the player as soon as possible, but the fact that Blizzard made you wait to ride a mount around, made you work up a few levels for it, really stuck with him.

Now, of course, he's taking away his own lessons here -- Blizzard's philosophy with the game as a whole seems to reward the player as much as possible, and especially lately, with emblems and the different modes and all of the other daily and weekly quests they've come up with, they're making you do less waiting for prizes than they ever have before (in fact, compared to MMOs when they first started, much, much less waiting). And Molyneux's own games are very "rewarding" -- I don't think more than two minutes went by in Fable without me getting a level or a new spell or a new item to play around with. But his point is still good, even after all that: anticipation of a reward can be just as strong a motivator as the reward itself.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Mounts

53 Emblems per day

This is great -- it's probably more WoW playing than I could do in one day, but maybe I'll try it this weekend anyway. loztaylor has designed a heck of an instance run that rolls through thirteen Heroics and will nab you 53 Emblems of Conquest (along with all of the other spoils of war) in one day. Basically, you'll be sweeping across the land of Northrend, hitting every Heroic you come across, and if by some chance you're able to keep the group together the whole time, and keep from passing out from all the WoW playing you're doing, at the end you'll end up with 53 Emblems, more than enough to purchase most of the Emblem gear, and almost enough to pick up a Tier piece.

Of course, if you're wearing a rep tabard, you'll also rein in a ton of dungeon rep. And if you hit the new Trial of the Champion, you'll pick up your Champion's Seals as well. And you'll have 13 Frozen Orbs to divvy among the group, a few extra Emblems and gold from doing the daily quests, and if you're good and/or lucky, you might even be able to clear up a few of the achievements or snag that blue proto-drake. Of course, doing this much of anything in the game will probably nab you plenty of rewards. But here's a tuned route to follow all the way around the world of Heroics. If I can find a willing group of suckers guildies, I think I'll give it a shot.

Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Instances, Bosses, Making money

The next level of questing

Elnia at the Pink Pigtail Inn has some excellent and interesting advice for Blizzard's quest designers (or whoever they hire for the current position). As big a component as quests are in the game, they haven't been innovated on much since the game's release. Blizzard has played around a little bit with allowing us to repeat certain quests, and they've streamlined the group questing mechanic, but other than that, quests are pretty much the same: pick up a task, do it, and bring it back for a reward.

So how can it be done differently? Elnia has some great ideas: she asks for quests that span a little farther, that push players through a storyline that might even follow them all the way up to 80 (of course, there are quests like that, though they're few and far between -- and not all players have the patience to finish them). Rewards could be mixed up, too -- instead of the old gold and XP, how about some profession skill, or a tradeoff of badges based on certain quests done. Finally, Elnia suggests that every quest in the game become repeatable. Questing is paced to keep us interested in from 1-60, but we all know how the game works now -- why not let us do some of our favorite quests over more than once?

I'd suggest we go even farther -- Warhammer Online offers Public Quests that are an interesting twist on the usual "go kill boars" mechanic. I'd like to see branching quests with more than one outcome -- maybe a moral choice to make that affects the storyline of the quest you're doing. And talking real pie-in-the-sky here, I'd like to see questgivers treat you different based on the way you look or maybe what title you've got equipped. If you've got "Jenkins," they might not expect you to do much, but with "Champion of Ulduar" over your head, they should probably be groveling at your feet.

Filed under: Virtual selves, Quests, Leveling

Maybe Ulduar drakes aren't going away in 3.2 after all

We had a bit of a minor freakout when we heard that the Rusted and Ironbound protodrakes might be getting removed as rewards for the Ulduar meta achievements in Patch 3.2, and then even more of one when the slow trickle of information about 3.2 turned into a firehose. Bornakk mentioned the change initially with the caveat that it was their intention to remove the drakes eventually, but that he'd seek definite confirmation either way as to whether it was happening in 3.2 or not. There's been no update about it in the past few weeks.

Well, after a thorough reading of the 3.2 patch notes, I don't see a single trace of anything saying the drakes are getting removed. At the risk of counting my protochickens before they hatch, I think we might be safe, given how fast 3.2 looks like it's coming out.

This is at least a relief for my guild, who's doing pretty well on 10-man hard-mode progression but ... is there a word worse than "dismal"? ... on 25-man hard-modes. Maybe there's hope for us yet.

Should we get the soul-crushing confirmation that they'll be removed with 3.2, we'll be sure to let you know. There's still a lot of time for change on this one, though -- maybe it was an accidental omission, maybe it'll get decided on later -- but for now, you can breathe a little easier knowing you might be able to keep hacking away at those hard modes to get your undeniably awesome drakes even after the Argent Coliseum is commanding your guild's attention.

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. will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Raiding, Achievements

Phat Loot Phriday: Verigan's Fist

Before Death Knights show up and take all of the Paladins' glory, let's take a look at the weapon that originally defined Human Paladins, the two-handed mace of heroes.

Name: Verigan's Fist (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWWiki)
Type: Rare Two-hand Mace
Damage/Speed: 65-99 / 3.20 (25.6 DPS)
  • +7 Stamina, +6 Intellect, +12 Spirit. A Paladin hammer of justice if there ever was one, and not just because it's only for Pallies.
  • The quest you can get it at (see below) is at level 20, and the weapon is so nice for the level it'll easily last you most of the way towards the 30s. There's no two ways about it -- any Paladin poking around midlevel should be wielding this hammer. Unless you're healing all the time, this is the thing to hit bad guys with. As soon as you get it, enchant it, because odds are that you'll keep it for a while.
  • And it's one of the best quest rewards before 60 -- in my opinion, one of the best for-the-level weapons in the game.
How to Get It: You've got to be an Alliance Paladin, which means Human (Update: or Dwarf or Draenei, of course, thanks commenters. But you still have to go to Westfall to run the quest). And at level 20, you'll get a quest called The Tome of Valor from your Paladin trainer, which will take you on a journey to save a lovely lass, and into a few instances for the level to do some weapon material fetching. It's a nice, and fairly simple quest chain, it'll get you not only this sweet weapon, but a nice shield and the Sense Undead ability, and, most importantly, it'll teach you how to be a Paladin and stand up for the Light wherever darkness encroaches (which doesn't include, strangely enough, QQing about ret gear itemization).

Blood Elf Pallys have a much easier quest, and can nab the Blood-Tempered Ranseur. But Verigan's Fist is a classic, so we're featuring that one. The Whirlwind Weapon is a good one for Warriors, but that's three different weapons -- no other weapon exemplifies a class, in our humble opinion, as much as this one. Disagree? Sound off in the comments.

Getting Rid of It: Sells to vendors for 74s 59c. Disenchants into a Small Glowing Shard. But don't get rid of it -- good Paladins always walk softly and carry a big hammer.

Filed under: Paladin, Items, Odds and ends, Instances, Phat Loot Phriday, Classes

What to do about perpetual losers?

Many Alliance players have this impression that the Horde is constantly united, more cooperative, and generally understands how to play better than the Alliance does. Whether this is true or not is not something I myself can speak for, though I have heard my Horde friends say they have just as many clueless PvP people as the Alliance does.

So perhaps both factions can relate to Mendax's complaint that so many people seem to go into the battlegrounds with no idea how to win, and somehow fail to learn how, even in spite of playing a great deal and getting a lot of good gear. Their tendency is just to go in and lose over and over again, repeating the same old proven-to-fail methods for various reasons: possibly because they don't know anything better, possibly because they don't care anymore, and possibly because they've already identified themselves, their faction, or everyone else in their faction as born losers.

In any case, Mendax thinks that Blizzard should make the battlegrounds themselves reward you for better play, so that the game mechanics themselves encourage you to play in such a way that you're more likely to actually win. First of all, they could provide more honor for kills near contested objectives (such as flags or towers), and secondly, they could deny all bonus honor if you lose. His first idea quite interesting -- I like the possibility that the reward system of the battlegrounds could somehow teach you to play better in itself, if that's really possible. However, while I can understand his reasoning in removing all bonus honor gain for losing teams, I think this would just make the "losers" stop queueing up altogether. We might be happy to get rid of whiners, complainers and all them, but in the end would the increase the waiting time in between battles be worth it? And in any case, would the "losers" really go away, or would they just look for ways to get around the system?

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, PvP, Battlegrounds

Everything known (and unknown) about patches 2.4 and 2.3.2

MMO-Champion has compiled two handy listings of information about upcoming patches: everything we know so far about patch 2.4, as well as patch 2.3.2.

WoW Insider, of course, has covered all the upcoming content in patch 2.4, as well as the changes in 2.3.2, but for those who would love to see a concise summary of the information, laid out in an easy to understand format, these pages at MMO-Champion are handy indeed.

Of course the obvious question one must ask whenever we see a list of "everything we know about X" is: "what about all that stuff we don't know?" I for one am particularly looking forward to finding out what sorts of rewards will be made available from the new Shattered Sun Offensive faction. Some sort of new mounts perhaps? Will there be a flyable dragonhawk at last? What sort of items would make people start drooling at the mouth enough to devote all kinds of time to all those daily quests?

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends

Crit happens

ces_1 over on WoW Ladies posted bragging about her 9.7k Healing Touch crit, and it reminded me that I do exactly the same thing. For some reason, seeing those big numbers pop up in the middle of battle is an indescribable thrill. Crits are strange entities-- they aren't even always helpful (there are many situations, mostly when aggro is tight, in which big crits are actually bad to get). But big numbers inspire something primal in us. And even if we aren't world-record critting (even in the LJ comments, people are showing off bigger Healing Touch crits), there's something super inspiring about seeing a huge number and then realizing it's your personal best. A 3k Lighting Bolt crit isn't that much, but darned if it wasn't a terrific feeling when I finally hit it on my Shaman.

Loot is fun, but at the highest levels, it's a group thing-- you need to go into somewhere as a group or a raid, and then even if you do down the boss, you have to make sure you win a random roll or however else loot is distributed. But crits are far more personal-- even though they come from that loot, they're a result of all the gear choices you've made and the talents you've chosen for your character. Sure, a big dragon to fly around on is fun, but crits, out of the many rewards we've all earned in Azeroth, are maybe the most personal achievements you can find-- a real, numerical symbol that you've learned how to combine gear, class, and talents to do big things.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor, Talents, Buffs

Phat Loot Phriday: Speedy Racer Goggles

Today's PLP is actually a request. Reader Pol sent a request for this one (a while ago, actually-- sorry, I've been busy), and wanted to know the story behind these one easy-to-obtain and now very rare goggles.

Name: Speedy Racer Goggles
Type: Uncommon Cloth Head
Armor: 53 Armor
  • +14 Intellect
  • Pre 2.3, they've also got +14 Agility on them, but post 2.3, they've got +16 to healing and damage.
  • Also, they're notable for being the only goggles in the game (I'm pretty sure-- someone speak up in the comments if this isn't true) that don't have an Engineering requirement to wear. If you have two professions that aren't Engineering, and you want to wear some shades, these are them.
  • And as goggles in Azeroth go, they don't really look too bad. But there's a problem...
How to Get It: Erm, while these things were once super easy to come by, they're gone now. They used to be a reward for the Gahz'rilla quest that had you killing the big lizard in Zul'Farrak, but the other option from this quest was the famous mountspeed increaser Carrot on a Stick, so these goggles got neglected by most players coming through. Eventually, Blizzard decided that if no one wanted them, no one would have them, and the goggles got removed from the quest rewards, and are currently unavailable ingame.

But here's the thing. Blizzard, as you might know, recently did an upgrade of lowbie items, including lowbie quest items like these goggles. And these goggles, as you see above, did get upgraded. If anyone had them sitting in their bags, they'll see the +spell damage on the item, not the old Agility buff.

Does this mean Blizzard is bringing them back. Not necessarily likely-- instead of just tweaking each item separately, odds are that Blizzard just tweaked the recipes for the items, and thus this item got tweaked automatically. It may be coming back as part of the upgrades to Engineering (wouldn't it be great if Engineers could sell goggles like these?), but that's pure speculation at this point.

Still, this is a nice item. It's kind of a shame it got pushed out by Carrot on a Stick. Maybe we'll see the Speedy Racer Goggles again somewhere else in Azeroth in the future.

Getting Rid of It: Sells for 67s 45c to vendors, but if you got em, might as well hold on to them. They're as antique as items get in Azeroth.

Update: Commenter rockatansky points out that they are not the only non-Engie goggles. But I'd hazard a guess that they are the only vanilla WoW non-Engie goggles.

Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Phat Loot Phriday

Is Blizzard exploiting WoW players?

Is Blizzard doing something unethical by producing and selling World of Warcraft? Rather than just the ol' "MMO games are too addictive" angle, an article in Australia's The Age (seriously, it's always the Aussies) has a new twist: game companies like Blizzard are actually "exploiting" their own players by implementing a reward system that keeps people playing.

In a sense, um... yeah. Game companies have gotten the art of rewarding down to a science-- every great videogame out there lately is really terrific at balancing the challenge of playing with a suitable reward, whether that be an amazing headshot (along with sound and graphics, usually), epic loot, or just a shiny bit of treasure. That's why we play these things.

So are you being exploited for your money when you hear about Zul'Aman and decide to keep paying monthly to stick around and pay it? No more than when the grocery stores exploit you for profit when you buy food, or when Starbucks exploits you for a tall when you want it. You decide when and where to spend your time and money, and if you'd rather not be "exploited" by Blizzard, you have the right to quit.

Obviously, I don't think what Blizzard's doing is unethical. They're doing their best to make an involving and addictive game. And the reason they're doing that is because that's exactly what we want. Fortunately, as Terra Nova points out, The Age has included a hot nelf pic, so their piece isn't a complete waste of time.

[ via Terra Nova ]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

Phat Loot Phriday: Everglow Lantern

This twinkalicious quest reward isn't exactly much loved, but it has its place.

Name: Everglow Lantern
Type: Uncommon Offhand
Damage/Speed: NA
  • +3 Stamina
  • Use: Heal your target for 135 to 165. Unfortunately, there's a gigantic 30 minute cooldown on this one, so it's not extremely useful. But in certain situations it comes in handy, and while it's likely you'll ditch this one fairly quickly, for the level or two that you have this paired with a good one hand weapon, the extra healing helps in a pinch.
  • The thing looks pretty cool, too, as the glow spreads on your character, other characters, and in the surrounding area. Kind of fun to carry around at night with all the graphic options turned up, and RPers may even keep it around for those nighttime play sessions.
How to Get It: This is a quest reward, that's available to both factions via two different quests. For Alliance, you've got to do Supplies to Auberdine, an escort quest in Ashenvale, and Horde can do Weapons of Choice at Camp T in the Barrens. Horde can get their quest at level 17 (though the mobs are much higher level, around 23-25), and Alliance can get the quest at 19 (though it too will be hard for someone that low to complete. But with help it's more than possible, so if you really wanted to put this on a 19 WSG twink, you definitely could.

Truthfully, there are better items you could put on a twink, but speaking as a Mage who brings this thing into the lowbie battlegrounds, there's nothing like getting funny tells when people wonder how you heal yourself. I can only hope the other side wonders, too.

Getting Rid of It:
Oh right-- this is why I have this section. Because not all the phat loot you get is worth keeping. A vendor will give you 16s 32c for this, or it will DE into a Strange Dust, Lesser Astral Essence, or a Small Glimmering Shard.

And speaking of Phat Loot, have you left a comment on our Spectral Tiger Mount contest yet? The contest ends tonight at 7:00pm EST-- if you haven't, hurry over and get it done!

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Quests, Phat Loot Phriday

Blizzard announces level 70 PvP weapon rewards

In my continuing quest to explore the PvP side of things, I've often been wondering if I should've been saving my honor for level 70 rewards. I had no idea what kinds of things would be coming out of the BG's for my little orc hunter until now.

Blizzard has updated a lot of PvP information today. For each individual battleground, you'll notice the elimination of faction requirements (no more friendly, revered, or exalted rquired), and the changes in pricing from gold to honor points and pvp tokens. For general PvP weapon rewards, the list has been expanded upward to level 70, and includes a lot of new weapons.

Check out the new information at the links below:

The weapon rewards are definitely worth noting. First, level 70 weapons are all rare, rather than epic. Next, I noticed that there's only 1 ranged weapon, and it's a crossbow. I really enjoy using a bow on my hunter, and though I could've switched to better DPS'ing guns and crossbows before, it just felt wrong. I'm sure there'll be some great PvE bows, but I really think Bliz needs to add a gun and bow to the PvP list at level 70.

Aside from that, I think the rewards are pretty solid for the existing battlegrounds. I'm sure we'll see the Eye of the Storm rewards and Arena rewards on the official site before too long, and that's where the true display of PvP skill will come to play, so you can reap the epic rewards that are due.

What do you think of the new weapons, and the shift in how you acquire battleground rewards from gold/rep to honor/tokens?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, PvP

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