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Posts with tag summoning-stones

The OverAchiever: The 25 most entertaining achievements #5-3

Every so often, I get tired of the self-seriousness that infests some of (OK, most of) the other work I do here and get the urge to write something purely for fun. After our series on evil achievements and the relentless misery of School of Hard Knocks, I'd like to spend some time on achievements that are nothing but an absolute joy from beginning to end.

Today we're going to get close to finishing our series on World of Warcraft's 25 most entertaining achievements. This was originally supposed to be #5 through #1, but ... well, I think the last five achievements are all complete knockouts, so I devoted a bit more time to each. This is the full series, if you're catching up:

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

More Cataclysm precursors found in Patch 3.3.3 PTR files

While we haven't heard much new Cataclysm news lately, the Patch 3.3.3 PTR files have provided some pretty tantalizing hints as to what may be to come, including some new models associated with the Twilight's Hammer cult.

First off, we have a series of portals. These portals are topped by a crystal that looks very similar to the wind stones of Silithus, and in fact, each portal and crystal seems specifically marked to summon a specific element. There's also a bloodstained sacrificial altar and a couple of banners, all of these have a very specific dragon-like motif.

The Twilight's Hammer has already been confirmed to be working with Deathwing in Cataclysm, and since they're an elemental doomsday cult dedicated to bringing about the return of the Old Gods, busting Deathwing out of prison is right up their alley. We should probably expect to see these models in game relatively soon, and probably as part of a plot by the Twilight's Hammer to summon Deathwing back into the world -- a plot which will, of course, eventually succeed.

Stayed tuned for more coverage of Patch 3.3.3 and the Cataclysm opening event as it develops!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Rumors

Patch 3.3 PTR: Meeting Stones for all


Great news for players of all classes and levels (well, levels above 15)! In the latest official patch notes update for the Patch 3.3 PTR, Blizzard added the following line:

Meeting Stones: To use any Meeting Stone, it is only required that the character's minimum level be 15. There is no maximum character level requirement for any Meeting Stone.

Now that's a change that's been a long time coming. Ever tried to get your level 80 guildie to Deadmines to help you carve a bloody swath straight to Van Cleef? It's a pain! Ever tried to get your lowbie to a high-level zone without a portal? Also a pain! This completely removes the restrictions on using or activating summoning stones so long as you're above level 15.

Now you'll be able to bring whoever you want to any dungeon summoning stone with just two people. A fantastic quality-of-life change, very likely added to ensure that interest in rerolling remains steady until Cataclysm comes out, but who cares? I'll take it! Who wants to run me through ZF?


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

Filed under: News items, Instances

Meeting Stones broken in the EU

We received a couple of reports of meeting stones not working on EU realms earlier today, and it was later confirmed by Blizzard themselves. According to the EU login screen, meeting stones are not working and it'll require a maintenance period to get them up and running again.

That's very, very interesting considering the stones are working just fine in the US (I just tested to make sure), and it might have something to do with the fact that the EU patch is roughly twice the size of its US counterpart, according to a couple of people following our Twitter feed. Knowing very little about how these things work, my initial assumption was that the size difference was due to extra weight on the patch for localization purposes, but that might not be the case. It's possible Europe just received a few changes that we hadn't yet, and that's what's causing this. Or maybe not. We don't really know, and anymore speculation on my part would just make me look pretty silly considering I know so little about the process.

We may not know what caused the issue, but we do know one thing: Your party will need to hoof it to their dungeons for awhile, old school style.

Update: It appears the meeting stones are now fixed, and didn't require a restart or maintenance period, either! Hooray!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs

Breakfast Topic: Get off the #%&$#^$ stone!


My guild had Tuesday night off (our raid leader sensed the coming of doom on the wind, I think, and had canceled the raid as of Sunday), so Wednesday night I found myself at the Naxxramas summoning stone doing what I do every time I run Naxx: trying to right-click the ever-shrinking portion of the stone to be found under dozens of flapping wings and giant mammoth butts in a forlorn attempt to actually -- I don't know -- summon people.

Now, it's no secret that a select portion of WoW's playerbase is comprised of people whom we might politely term "jerks," and the Naxx summoning stone is an almost unparalleled environment for them to practice their delightful skills. The stone is set on a very small ledge, servicing the summoning needs for a very popular instance, and no matter what the area was bound to be crowded. But the situation's made so much worse by the constant presence of players going /afk on top of the stone while conveniently perched on their largest or otherwise unnecessary mounts.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Instances, Features, Raiding

Minor bugs to appear in patch 3.0.8

Eyonix posted a note about a few minor bugs that will appear when patch 3.0.8 goes live:
  1. Ritual of Summoning can only be used once every two minutes.
  2. Human females have animation errors when shooting a ranged weapon or using two-handed weapons.
Remember that with 3.0.8 Ritual of Summoning will be changed to create a summoning stone. The Warlock will cast Ritual of Summoning, which will drop the stone, which can then be used to summon other party/raid members. We are assuming that it's the actual casting of the spell to summon the stone that can only be used once every two minutes, and not the actual summoning of people.

We'll get some video of the animation errors up on WoW Insider as soon as we can, I'm sure there's some potentially funny stuff there.

And don't bother asking if 3.0.8 is coming tomorrow. While we think it's definitely possible, god only knows what Blizzard will actually do. I give it a 80/20 chance that it drops tomorrow morning.

Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Bugs, News items

Do summoning stones need neutral guards?

I play on RP servers only, but when they first came out, I tried an RP-PvP server for a while. I kept plugging away at it till I got to my mid thirties and finally gave up. Ever since then it's seemed to me that players on PvP servers are people who like their game to be extra difficult, and they don't mind if that means they have to suffer through the kind of situations that would submerge a "normal" gamer in intolerable frustration. They just accept that leveling up means doing lots and lots and lots of ghost runs, because other high-level characters will gank you and they will camp your corpse, and there's not much you can do about it. That's just the cost of being elite, to them -- having gone through it, it's as though they feel baptized by fire.

That's why I'm always surprised when a player from a PvP server asks for some sort of help from Blizzard with such frustrating situations. A blood elf hunter named Arkdemon is asking for neutral guards at all summoning stones -- apparently he's had trouble getting to his instance when there's a bunch of PvP going on there. But isn't that the whole point? Isn't PvP on a PvP server supposed to get in the way of PvE stuff, just like all the other struggles these players go through leveling up? The fact that you can effectively conquer a summoning stone, raid entrance or otherwise important spot on a PvP server is the whole reason people play there. If you take away this sort of challenge, or nerf it until it's not so serious a problem for people who just wanna PvE that night, then what's the point of even having a PvP server to begin with? (Zul'Aman is a possible exception to this rule, since it's so much more accessible to the Horde than the Alliance, but even in that case, a number of hardcore PvPers cried out how much they hate the addition of guards there.)

Bornakk seems to agree with me for the most part, but he mentions that Blizzard will indeed add guards (or indeed do whatever they want) if they feel it is necessary. What's your opinion?

Filed under: PvP, Instances, Forums

Blizzard's stubborn requirements on the summoning stones

If you've ever tried to do an instance below or above your level, you know the problem here: the summoning stones outside instances are pretty picky in terms of who they'll summon. This came up for me when a group of us 70s tried to run the Horseman over Hallow's End-- the summoning stone outside Scarlet Monastery wouldn't let us summon each other, claiming we were too high for the instance.

But here's the kicker: Bornakk not only says that there are no plans to change things, but that the reason for not changing them is because Blizzard doesn't want to support higher levels running lower instances, and vice versa. They figure that if you're going to cheat the system like that, you can come up with your own transportation.

But here's the deal: I pay my $15 a month. I should be able to play the game however I'd like. If I want to, as a higher-level character, run my friends through on their lowbie alts (or even solo), as long as it's not actually cheating, I should have the opportunity to do that. Not to mention that, as I said, there are legit reasons to summon people to the stones at those levels anyway-- during holidays, and just as general transportation around the world.

"Because we don't like you doing it" is not a valid reason to have these limits on the summoning stones. If Blizzard really didn't want us running the instances in this way, they'd shut the instances off completely to people outside the level range. Either make it clear you don't want higher levels in there, or get out of our way and let us play the game however we want.

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

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