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Posts with tag summoning

Have Group Will Travel is gone -- now what?

Have Group Will Travel is gone Now what
Patch 5.0.4 is the point at which even if you have a group, you can no longer travel. Gone are the days of sending one poor soul to wait at the instance while the raid leader hangs out in Orgrimmar or Stormwind, spamming trade chat for ranged DPSers.

Have Group Will Travel will be removed from the game with this patch, replaced with a boost to flight path speed. For those of you who had gotten used to its presence in the game, what do you do to get to your instances now?

There are a few methods available. Of course you can fly, ride or walk to instances. If you know roughly where you're headed -- for example, Dragon Soul is in the Caverns of Time in Tanaris -- you can hop a flight path to as near as possible to your destination. For Dragon Soul, that is probably Gadgetzan.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Fast travel, and why it's hard to find in MMO games

Rock Paper Shotgun has an interesting piece up looking at travel in massively multiplayer games, and while the analysis is really about travel in all MMOs, of course World of Warcraft gets placed front and center -- with the notable exceptions of Mages and Warlock summons, it's a game that squarely places you in its vast world, and asks you to make some solid decisions about where you want to be. While travel has certainly gotten easier (and will continue to do so), it's still an important part of the world -- sometimes, when you're in a backwater zone and your hearthstone is down and there's no summons available to you, you've just got to get on a griffon and put the time in to fly around.

Why is that? Why can't we just teleport around at will to places we've been before (a la Fallout 3 or Fable 2, if you've ever played those games)? Why does Blizzard make us traverse the wide world? RPS lands on two solutions: either they just want you to play the game more (certainly possible, especially since big worlds with long travel times and subscription fees are a trademark of the MMO genre), or they're just being jerks about it. But their panelists, and Blizzard, have offered one more suggestion: they want this world to feel vast, and one way to do that is to make you move around it rather than warp anywhere you want at a moment's notice.

Then again, that's some deep psychology, and sometimes you just want to get in an instance with your friends and fight (hence the recent changes to summoning anywhere, queueing from anywhere, and so on). Travel definitely serves a purpose in MMOs, but the genre has shown in the past few years that while instant travel all the time might shrink the world a little too much, sometimes you just need to get to where you want to be.

[via Slashdot]

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

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

Ritual of Summoning revamped

Soul Shards: love them or hate them, they're iconic of the Warlock class. Most choose to hate them, but I think locks are just full of hate in general and need to vent it somewhere. Along with a tantalizing note about "exciting changes to how soul shards might work," European CM Vaneck has just let us know that one common shard-based ability, Ritual of Summoning, is going to be changed Before the 3.1/Ulduar Patch (a promise I'm seeing a lot of lately; we can only hope that patch is soon).

Essentially, the new RoS will create a meeting stone-like object. It'll still take two players in addition to the Warlock, as well as one shard, but once the ritual has been cast, the stone can be re-used to summon as many people as desired within its five minute duration, and that summoning action will merely require any two players, just like a meeting stone. You can also summon multiple people simultaneously, and all just for one shard. You won't be able to summon in situations where you currently can't (Netherstorm, battlegrounds, in combat), but this will make summoning much easier, quicker, and less shard-intensive. A great idea.

Filed under: Warlock, Patches

Blizzard shows off Recruit-a-Friend benefits: Zhevra mount, summoning, triple experience


There's a new splash screen on the WoW homepage, but instead of hinting at a new game, it is instead showing off Blizzard's new Recruit-a-Friend benefits. Looks like they found a place for that Zhevra mount we heard about a while back -- whenever you recruit a friend into the game (by convincing them to create an account with your name as a reference and having them pay for at least two months of game time), you can choose one of your characters to nab a Zhevra mount. Additionally, you can summon referred friends to your character, and when questing together, you can pick up triple experience until level 60, for both quests and monsters that you kill together.

More details on Blizzard's support page. Just yesterday, we heard Mike Morhaime saying Blizzard was aiming to bring tons of people into the game this holiday season, and it looks like the recruiting drive has started.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Blizzard, News items, Leveling, Classes

Blood Pact: Warlocks buffed in 2.4

Between Arenas, V'Ming spends his time as a lock laughing ominously in AV, tanking Olm with his own minions and pondering troll fashion from Zul'Aman. He's recently started to plumb the depths of SSC with his 0/21/40 build and bragging about 8k shadow bolts.

With the current furore over patch 2.4, one may be hard-pressed to keep up with the latest news and developments, especially if you've got raid/ work/ school schedules to keep to and tax forms to struggle with. Ultimately, few of us really read through the patch notes line-by-line, often just skimming for parts that matter to us. As warlocks, we'd naturally be concerned with how patch 2.4 affects us - are we nerfed or buffed? Can warlocks ever not cause the world to end?

Allow this intrepid columnist to dive into the murky depths of patch 2.4, to surface with hopefully some pearls of wisdom that answer the hundred-dollar question: What does it mean for me?

For really busy warlocks, 2.4, in a nutshell, is a buff in terms of group and raid utility for warlocks.

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Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Netherstorm summoning restriction to be removed

To accompany the information about patch 2.4 regarding the ability to summon into instances, Tigole popped into the Elitist Jerks forums with another handy detail.

The restriction on summoning in Netherstorm is going to be removed entirely! Hooray! While this change won't vastly alter gameplay, it's another nice little convenience thing. Those are usually the most enjoyable changes, I think. This far into the game, there really isn't much need to keep Tempest Keep restricted to those with flying mounts. Plus, as all of the level 68 Druids with their Flight Form have displayed, you don't need to be top level to do some damage in most of Tempest Keep either.

This seems like it might be another change with the intent of opening the game up to more players and speeding up the content to prepare for Wrath of the Lich King, but most people I know never liked the summoning restriction anyway. I, for one, am glad to see it go.

Filed under: Druid, Warlock, Patches, News items, Instances, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

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

There is no summoning in the Zul'Aman room... yet

Tried summoning within Zul'Aman lately? If you have, you may have noticed that since yesterday's maintenance, it's a no go. Tigole confirms that summoning within Zul'Aman has been disabled due to an exploit (although we haven't heard what the exploit was-- it may have been something to do with the timer quests). It should be re-enabled soon.

And he says something else that summoners everywhere will be extremely happy to hear. Blizzard is planning to enable summoning from within instances to anywhere else in the world. No longer will you have to wait for that extra healer or that battleground PvPer to make it all the way into the instance before you can summon them and the get the raid started-- after this gets implemented, you'll be able to summon people to the instance (with a Warlock, of course), directly from anywhere else they are in Azeroth.

Huge change, and definitely will help not only raids to get started on time, but substitutions to join raids quickly as well. Not summoning in Zul'Aman now is a small price to pay for that update, which may come (Tigole says they're still working out the kinks) as soon as patch 2.4.

Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances

Jumping up and down

Are you a jumper? I am.

Some people just do it all the time. The easiest simple move in the game-- every character can do it at almost any time-- is to hit the space bar and jump. And some people do it constantly.

Of course it drives some others nuts. 9 times out of 10, there's probably something better you could be doing than jumping-- even in an instance, you could be crafting, or summoning, or drinking for mana, or organizing the groups, or getting food and water ready, or organizing your bags. Why are you jumping? Stop it, you're giving me a headache!

Then again, I jump all the time. Usually, it's actually to signal impatience-- if I'm ready for a pull and we're not pulling, I'll start with the jumping. And if I ever feel helpless-- I've been spell interrupted, or I'm silenced, or in PvP, where there's nothing for me to do while I'm sitting stealthed defending by a flag. Some times when I'm surrounded and getting murdered in PvP, I'll jump just for the heck of it, like a last laugh against death (sometimes I even do the /laugh emote at the Paladin that's tearing me apart). Or sometimes I'm raidleading and I want to get the raid's attention. There are lots of good reasons for jumping around.

But many times, there's not, and I do it anyway. Are you a jumper?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Humor

Need one more at meeting stone

Elizabeth put a good post up the other day about lazy folks who don't take the time to run back into an instance after a wipe, and this forum post by Eleutheria on EU Earthen Ring points out the other side of instance group laziness: Meeting stone standoffs.

Here's how it should work: if there aren't yet two people in your group standing by the meeting stone, everyone in the group should be running, riding, or flying to get there. But of course that's not what really happens-- what happens is that the leader of the group makes it there first, and everyone else continues grinding, or goes to check the AH one more time, or has to run repair, or finish a BG, or any number of things that don't involve getting to the meeting stone and summoning. Worst case scenario is that people start trying to convince others to go for them, and one guy is left at the meeting stone shaking his head.

Now, some people say that whoever made the group should be summoning, and in most cases, that seems like a good idea. But there are always exceptions. Even if I'm the last to enter a group, I usually start making my way towards the instance anyway-- the trip is never that long, no matter which instance you're going to, and it's better to be nice and use the flight to get another beer/soda then to sit around demanding a summon.

Unfortunately, there's no real way to fix this except to call out people for just plain being lazy. I guess it would be cool if Blizzard gave a nice timed buff to the first two people in a group to use a meeting stone summon, except then you'd probably have tons of people hanging around the RFC meeting stone in Org before they queued up for the battleground. As a few people point out in the thread, probably the best way to deal with it is just to give up on the group. Maybe next time they'll be ready to work together outside the portal as well as inside.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding

A crummy idea

Magimagic posted a forum topic that concerns all mages. He suggests, that since we summon food, water and gems and have access to the "summon water elemental" spell, that we should likewise have a "summon bread elemental." Now, certain posters mentioned some of the challenges that might come along with a bread elemental. Your elemental might aggro mobs around as soon as it is summoned. We all know ogres have huge appetites. Another brought up the valid point that bread is not, in fact, an element at all. And what reagents would be required for said summoning? A simple flour, no doubt, but I'm not sure how I would be able to find yeast in the game.

A similar concept has been brought up in a previous post regarding the summoning of water. I know I keep a bag empty to summon water and food for groups and raids, and I love the idea of not having to feed and water entire armies. I'm not exactly sure the bread elemental is something that the devs will pick up on, but it certainly is a fun idea. I mean, everyone loves the Pillsbury Dough Boy, right?

[via Tom Waddwell, image via Arturis]

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion

Hellfire at level 55

A week or so ago, a friendly lock in our guild summoned me out to Honor Hold to train in Enchanting. It appears to be bothering people that this is possible, that we are somehow abusing the system. I don't feel that I am, and in fact I was able to summon an entire group ranging from 51-55 for some Outland fun. We killed boars, a lot of them, and enjoyed ourselves immensely. It's interesting to note that although I cannot pass through into Outland, I am able to go through the Dark Portal into Azeroth. To me this is the sign that what I am doing is not against the design of the game. It's more like that shortcut to UBRS, built into the game for those resourceful enough to find it.

I have yet to be able to get a quest, but I get plenty of looks from other players. Most are supportive, and many have helped me survive those times when I managed to attract too much attention from the wandering wildlife. Some have watched me die and laughed at my corpse. It matters not. What matters is that I can level my Tailoring and Enchanting again, I can use all that Netherweave I have been gathering, and I am having the time of my life. I have rediscovered the joys of grinding. I find it a better use of my time grinding the levels until 58 in an environment where the exp gain is so high. It sure beats Silithus and those darn Dredge Crushers.

Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Leveling

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