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Posts with tag staff

Rumor: The9 loses WoW license in China to Netease

The9 has been the target of persistent rumors over the last few months that they're on the verge of losing their license from Blizzard to operate World of Warcraft in China. First, we heard about their financial troubles, and then came rumors that Blizzard was going to ditch them. And now we've got reporting a rumor that Netease will be the company to take over the reins there. It makes sense -- Netease has been growing a lot during their history, and they successfully operate Fantasy Westward Journey, an MMO with a US value of $761 million, with 400,000 average concurrent users. They're already supposed to take over Blizzard's Warcraft III and Starcraft II in China, so Blizzard will actually be consolidating their properties.

The rumor supposedly comes from a leaked internal memo to The9 employees, which says that an unnamed company (supposedly Netease) is trying to pick up the rights and hardware for the game for a cool $22 million. The9 reportedly paid $73 million for the same capability, so they're losing twice on the deal -- both the license and the money they spent on it.

Not good news for The9 if it all turns out to be true, but maybe this means Chinese players will get their expansions a little sooner. Of course, a lot goes into releasing new content overseas (translation is definitely not a small part of it), but having a more capable operator probably won't hurt.

Update: Confirmed. Thanks for playing, The9. Their stock is down big time since the announcement, and Netease's is up.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Phat Loot Phriday: Staff of the Great Reptile

I tried to find some great caster/healing staves for you to work towards this weekend, but they're hard to come by, and strangely enough I couldn't find a single caster staff as a reputation reward -- Druids get all the good ones I found. This one's from an instance you can run this weekend, though, and it should hold you up until you hit 80 and head into the endgame.

Name: Staff of the Great Reptile (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDigger)
Type: Rare Staff
Damage/Speed: 148-269 / 2.10 (99.5 DPS)
  • +81 Spirit, which has been becoming more and more useful lately. It's really still the domain of Warlocks and Shadow Priests, but depending on the talents and other gear you've got, Spirit, especially this much of it, can be more helpful than you'd think.
  • Improves haste rating by 66, which again, will depend on the other stats you've got to figure out just how much it'll help you. Haste gets more and more important as you head towards the endgame, but especially with the changes to Haste affecting global cooldowns, this could be really great for anybody casting instants as well.
  • And increases spell power by 271, which is a no brainer. You'll definitely be able to get more spell power by the time you hit 80, but for the level, this is a decent place to start.
  • And, I have to say, subjectively I admit, it's a badass-looking staff.

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Filed under: Priest, Warlock, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Instances, Phat Loot Phriday, Leveling

Four years of World of Warcraft

Yes, as you know from the little Blizzard Bear in your mailbox, yesterday was the fourth anniversary of our favorite game, World of Warcraft. It's been a huge four years -- we've seen Blizzard develop and change massively multiplayer games as we know them, and gaming as a whole in some ways. We've grown our own characters up all the way from level one to 30 and 60 and 70 and beyond, and we've gone through two expansions, eight endgames, countless patches and class changes, endless guild achievements and breakups and many, many "dings" and "grats."

We at WoW Insider would like to congratulate Blizzard on four years of World of Warcraft -- it's been an amazing ride so far, and it's not over yet. After the break, some of our writers have posted their own thoughts and memories on the game's anniversary, and please add your own in the comments below.

It could seem silly to celebrate the anniversary of a videogame, especially one that, if you've been playing since day one, you've spent over $800 and countless hours on. But then again, look at what this game has given back: groups and guilds full of friends (and some spouses), weeknights full of gear upgrades and XP gains, Saturday afternoons spent slaying dragons and Sunday evenings spent picking herbs in the Swamp of Sorrows or admiring the sunsets in Hinterlands. We've played this game for four years, and for most of us, it's been worth every quest. Here's to many, many more.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

About the Bloggers: Mark Crump

Twice a week, our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read more About the Bloggers.

What do you do for WoW Insider?
It seems I spend about as much time convincing the leads that I'll start blogging more any day now, really. Seriously, when I topic comes to mind I write about it. I like tossing out ideas for discussion. I've also recently resurrected Ask WoW Insider from the grave.

What's your main right now?

A level 70 Night Elf Hunter. I had no idea they were as ezmode as they are -- I just missed the creature handler from Star Wars Galaxies.

For the Horde or Glory to the Alliance?

Alliance, obviously. My story is the usual one where I had a friend on the server so I rolled there. Naturally, she didn't make it out of her starter month. Once I got over the feeling of abandonment with the help of a wonderful shrink in the Mage's Tower I was fine. I actually had two characters around the same level: the hunter and an Undead priest. When I decided to level up I flipped a coin and the priest lost. I'm still working on him as an alt, though.

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Filed under: Interviews, About the Bloggers

Phat Loot Phriday: Amberseal Keeper

It's Friday again, and that means it's time to check out another piece of sweet gear available for you to find in Azeroth. Since we've done melee and ranged, let's do a cool caster piece this week.

Name: Amberseal Keeper
Type: Epic Staff
Damage, Speed: 144-228, 3.30 (56.6 DPS)
  • +20 Intellect bonus
  • +5 to Arcane, Fire, Nature, Frost, and Shadow resistance
  • Restores 12 mana / 5 seconds
  • Increases damage and healing done by up to 44
  • Nice staff for almost any caster-- there are better staves out there for specific classes (except maybe druids), but the Int bonus and the across the board 44 boost make this a nice staff to have as you work toward your sets
  • But then again, it's a heck of a challenge to get-- see below
How to Get It: Drops from the demon Lord Kazzak, an outdoor raid in Blasted Lands. And even as outdoor raids go, this guy will give you as much trouble as he possibly can. He's got a crazy undodgeable shadowbolt volley that will kick the crap out of your and your raid, and he's got a spell called Mark of Kazzak: drains mana from the target for 250/sec, and then explodes them aoe for 4000 damage when it's done. Yeah, scary. And if anyone does happen to die during the fight, Kazzak casts Capture Soul, a spell that instantly gives him 70,000 health.

And one more thing: you have to finish the fight in three minutes, because if it lasts a second more, Kazzak goes into "Supreme Mode" and starts tossing Shadowbolts every second, which works out to almost 1000 dps for everyone in the raid. Can you say wip? The good news is that the drop is 15%, so even though Amberseal Keeper is a great staff, it's almost worth more as a sign that you were able to down this monster.

Auction Price: BOP, natch. Vendor it (if you're crazy) for 11g, 92s, 78c.

Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips

Legendary Caster Staff Stats

While I haven't seen any details on how this is acquired, it's safe to assume (since this information was most likely data-mined from the patch 1.11 files we currently have access to) that it's going to involve Naxxramas.  I must say, these staves - different for different classes - look perfectly delightful and I would be happy to have one - though I can't say I look forward to the no doubt extensive efforts required to get it.

Filed under: Patches, Items, Instances

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