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Posts with tag world-of-warcraft-expansion

Arcane Brilliance: What Cataclysm will mean to Mages, part 2


Welcome to the latest edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column and internet meeting place for IHATEWARLOCKS. If you can't remember what that acronym stands for, you can check last week's column, about two paragraphs from the end. If you can't be bothered, it doesn't matter. The name says it all, really.

When I was growing up, way back at the dawn of time, in the late eighties, I didn't have access to a lot of games. It wasn't like it is now, where I have an unplayed backlog of quality electronic entertainment so deep my house reeks of shrinkwrap and unfulfilled potential. No, back then, I remember saving my pennies for an entire summer with an eye on getting a new game, then going to the game store and having a choice between Lufia and 7th Saga. I chose 7th Saga (mostly because you could be a robot in that one), and even though time hasn't been particularly kind to that game, it still holds a special place in my heart. You know why? Because I played it. I played the crap out of it, and when I finished it, I started over and played it again. And the next time I saved up enough money for another game, or tricked a relative into buying one for me, I snagged Lufia, and repeated the process.

With the really great games--the Chrono Triggers, the Secrets of Mana, the Shining Forces--I played them so many times I came to the point where my fondest wish was that I could discover a way to excise them from my brain...to selectively forget I'd ever played them so I could plug them back in and experience their unique joys afresh. Yes, back in the late eighties and early nineties, we were pretty starved for games. But the ones we had, we loved.

What does this have to do with anything? Nothing really, just thought I'd share. Ok fine. Read on, I promise I'll find a flimsy way to tie it in to the actual subject of this week's column.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Features, Classes, Talents, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Cataclysm, Archaeology

Breakfast Topic: Will you miss the Old World?

So when I first heard about the Cataclysm, I actually sort of figured Blizzard would use a sort of phasing system on the old world: You'd start in the current old world, and at some point, you'd do a quest series that would phase you into the new, Deathwinged Azeroth similar to the way one progresses into Icecrown in Northrend. However, the word has come down: When Azeroth burns, it'll be changed for good. There's no going back. Even those who don't buy the expansion will still find themselves in Deathwing's new world.

While we're told some zones will remain relatively unscathed, almost every zone will be touched in some way, whether it be simple storyline changes or more massive shakeups from rivers of lava or shrunken coastlines or war, or even more greenery thanks to shifting water sources.

So here's my simple question: Will you miss it? Will you be nostalgic for a desolate Desolace or the massive Barrens? Will you mourn for fallen Astranaar and Auberdine? I'm sure some things will be missed more than others, but then again, change can be good. Being able to move on to new challenges and new excitements has me pretty psyched all told. But then again, what if they get rid of Lakeshire Bridge? I have been waiting a long time to see that done. When the Cataclysm comes, what will you miss? What will you be glad to be rid of?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Lore, Cataclysm

Encrypted Text: Patch 3.2.2 updates and BlizzCon news

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we talk about the Rogue news from Blizzcon and the latest PTR build.

Due to a bit of luck on BlizzCon ticket day, I was able to score a pair of tickets for one of this year's most desired events. I had a great time at the WoW.com reader meetup, and getting the opportunity to play as both a Goblin and Worgen Rogue really highlighted the weekend for me. I'm also excited at how Diablo III and Starcraft II are coming along; I am eagerly awaiting their releases.

However, it wasn't all fun and games. I had serious business to attend to, I had to use this opportunity to spend time with the WoW developers and ask some of the more important questions facing Rogues today. During the 2nd Class Discussion Panel, I got the opportunity to ask Ghostcrawler one question in front of the crowd. What'd I ask? About Vanish, of course! As expected, there's no timeline for a possible fix, but they don't want us to have to wait until Cataclysm for our most unique defense cooldown to provide more reliable protection.

Read more →

Filed under: Rogue, Classes, Interviews, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Worgen



Welcome to Know your Lore, where we bring the story behind the people, places, and cultures of Azeroth.

The Worgen are coming. We now know for sure that, come Deathwing's Cataclysm, The Worgen of Gilneas will be answering the call of the Alliance. The Worgen, while they have quickly become a classic, iconic race in Warcraft lore, actually only came onto the scene in WoW itself, providing an enemy to Horde and Alliance alike in Silverpine Forest, Duskwood, and Ashenvale. But who are they, and what bought them to this place where they will become one of the next playable races of the World of Warcraft before other choices?

In the Beginning

To know how this all begins, the first place to look is The Book of Ur. This Book, written by Ur, a Mage of Dalaran, eventually found its way into the personal library of the Archmage Arugal. It describes the origin of the Worgen.

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Filed under: Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Worgen

BlizzCon 2009 Insider Trader: Cataclysmic professions


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Over the course of several BlizzCon panels, we've been treated to a preview of how professions will be changing in Cataclysm, the next expansion pack.

Pass through the break to learn all about:
  • The new title and level cap.
  • Revamped skill gains.
  • Archaeology, the new profession!
  • Reforging, a new dimension to crafting professions.
  • Hints about the future of Engineering, Fishing, and Gathering.
  • Information about things we wanted to see, but won't.

Read more →

Filed under: Fishing, Engineering, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Features, Insider Trader (Professions), BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Archaeology

BlizzCon 2009: Cataclysm dungeons


Cory Stockton and Scott Mercer gave an in-depth look into the dungeons and raids available at the launch of WoW: Cataclysm during the Raids and Dungeons panel today at BlizzCon. We'll look at the dungeons first.

OVERVIEW:

At launch, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will ship with eight 5-man dungeons and two heroic versions of old-world dungeons.

Grim Batol: One level 85 5-man.
Skywall: One level 80-82 5-man.
Abyssal Maw: Two 5-mans; level 80-83 and level 82-84.
Deepholm: One level 80-83 5-man.
Uldum: Two 5-mans; level 83-84 and level 85.
Blackrock Caverns: One level 85 5-man.
Shadowfang Keep: One level 85 heroic 5-man.
The Deadmines: One level 85 heroic 5-man.

Descriptions and info after the jump for dungeons that were covered in depth in the panel.



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Filed under: Instances, Expansions, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Mastery system and talent trees

Following their comments during yesterday's Class/Items/Professions panel, the Game Systems team explained the mysterious "mastery" system in the Systems panel today.

Looking at talent trees for all classes, the Systems team felt that players were spending too many points on things like flat damage or healing boosts; talents like Cruelty or Fire and Brimstone are uninteresting but necessary for players due to the bonuses they provide. On top of that, talent trees are bloated with all kinds of talents that are trying to do three things at once, which makes for confusion among players who might not be at the top of the min-maxing game.

What the Systems team wanted to do was make it possible for players to only use their points on "fun" talents -- ones like Body and Soul, Lightning Overload, or Juggernaut -- and make the passive bonuses that used to be in talents your reward for investing points into a tree.

Examples were given for Rogues. A Combat Rogue might see his Mastery bonuses include passive increases to melee damage, hit chance, and armor penetration as he moves down the tree, whereas a Subtlety Rogue might see increases to melee damage, melee haste, and energy regen.

But how does the new Mastery stat tie into this? Ghostcrawler says that the Mastery stat on gear will increase the bonuses you receive from the tree into which you've invested the most talent points. It'll also have other passive bonuses depending on your class and spec -- for example, Mastery will lower the cooldowns on Ret paladin abilities.

This seems like a fantastic change for everyone, and it makes me incredibly excited to think about the fun and interesting talents that'll replace my myriad of spell damage boosting talents. Can't wait for the beta!



BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Goblins

The shrewd and tenacious goblins are the Horde's newest playable race with the Cataclysm expansion. Though considered the go-to neutral race in World of Warcraft thus far, the goblins have an active history of working with the Horde -- as well as some shady deaings with many of Azeroth's other sentient races -- in previous Warcraft games. So strong is the goblins' reputation for driving a hard bargain that a dwarvish saying for doing the impossible is "cheating a goblin".

Interestingly, they weren't always the eccentric and self-destructive inventors, tradesmen, and arms dealers we know them to be today. The first reference to goblins in official lore, chronologically, is in the War of the Ancients trilogy of novels, which indicates that the goblins have been around for quite some time. Once a reclusive, barely sentient race native to the isle of Kezan, the race was in thrall to the jungle trolls, employed as miners in the island's tunnels and caves. It was while mining that goblins first discovered the mineral kaja'mite, the key to their meteoric rise in intelligence.

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Filed under: Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Goblin

Arcane Brilliance: What Cataclysm will mean to Mages, part 1

Welcome to another installment of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that serves up piping hot Mage content, with a steaming side of inappropriate humor, a light sprinkling of random 80's pop culture references, and just a dash of incompetent attempts at math. Speaking of math, last week was awesome, guys. I was apparently so wrong it took 111 comments for you to decide exactly why and how stupid I am. The effort and the display of raw number-mastery you guys displayed made me proud to be one of you. You guys make me feel like the dumbest kid in class, being forced to do math problems at the chalkboard in front of everybody, and I couldn't be happier about it.

So, like many of you, I've been stuck here at home for the duration of BlizzCon. My day-job (what I like to refer to as my "what I do when I'm not being a Mage") has kept me here in sunny Las Vegas instead of in sunny Anaheim, and so I find myself at my computer, dividing my time between writing this column and furiously hitting the refresh button on my browser, hanging on every word my co-bloggers serve up from the convention floor. I wish I'd been able to make the reader meet-up this year, but that was not meant to be. I wanted to meet all of you, stammer like a dork while trying to say hello to Felica Day, and possibly get jumped by a gang of angry Warlocks while I screamed "Ice Block! Ice Block! Iiiiiice Bllloooccckkk!" at the top of my lungs. I will be there next year, with my level 85 Goblin Mage in tow, even if it kills me.

I'm really having difficulty processing all of the information out there, and the vast, universal, and sweeping impact it will have on everything about this virtual world we play in, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Guild leveling? Mastery system? Southshore... taken by the Horde? My mind is leaking from my ears. I'm not even kidding; it's gross. But the purposes of today's column will be to try and make some preliminary sense of this massive glut of newness, and apply it to the only class I care about: Mages. What will the new (old?) content mean for those of us who wander the current, relatively un-sundered Azeroth, conjuring portals and pastries? Read on for my initial impressions.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Features, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

BlizzCon 2009: Cataclysm, the story so far


Here's the Cataclysm story so far, based on the official site FAQ and the Cataclysm Preview Panel.

While we've been off fighting Arthas and leaving a piece of ourselves in the cold northern wastes, Deathwing the Destroyer has been brooding in Deephome, the elemental plane of earth, for some time now. As he regained his strength and was patched back up by the denizens of the plane, he prepared for his assault on Azeroth. With cataclysmic force, he burst through the ceiling of the elemental plane and brought destruction to Azeroth.

Nearly all areas of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms were affected by the eruption. The Barrens is cleft in twain, with an enormous volcanic fissure splitting it into two different zones. Orgrimmar has been destroyed, prompting Garrosh Hellscream not only to rebguild the city, but to voraciously expand the Horde's territories. The Desolace shoreline was cracked open, allowing water -- and life -- back into the zone. Auberdine has been flooded and destroyed, forcing the Night Elves to move north. Everything and everyone is affected.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Cataclysm - Zones video

We've got video from Cataclysm, giving you flythroughs of a number of zones, both new and old, featured in the expansion. The Barrens, Ashenvale, Darkshore, Desolace, Stonetalon Mountains, Gilneas, and the Lost Isles are shown, and for the old Azeroth zones, great transitions between the old and new terrain is featured.

We'll have more videos for you as the day goes on, but for now, enjoy the view, and appreciate the grand scope of this expansion!


BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!


Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Cataclysm race-class combo matrix online

With official word that there will be new race-class combinations in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Blizzard has posted the official matrix of what races will have what classes available to them. Big surprises so far include Worgen Druid and Goblin Shaman!

The full matrix is above, and the text list below. All of our previous speculation was correct, so this should give rerollers plenty of opportunity to experience the new, shattered realm of Azeroth!

  • Human Hunter
  • Orc Mage
  • Night Elf Mage
  • Blood Elf Warrior
  • Dwarf Shaman
  • Dwarf Mage
  • Undead Hunter
  • Tauren Paladin
  • Tauren Priest
  • Gnome Priest
  • Troll Druid

BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Draenei, Blood Elves, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

BlizzCon 2009: WoW: Cataclysm site live

Following the announcement of the new WoW expansion, Cataclysm, at the BlizzCon 2009 Opening Ceremony, Blizzard has just launched the official Cataclysm website.

The site currently features story and art for the Goblin and Worgen races, as well as information on their starting areas, a FAQ, and the official trailer.

The art is absolutely beautiful! More details as we get them, but go check out the site now! The WoW preview panel is coming up shortly and we'll keep you updated.


BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there's some great looking costumes.

New expansion likely playable at BlizzCon

So, I'm sure at this point, the majority of you (the readers) are expecting the next WoW expansion to be announced during the BlizzCon opening ceremonies tomorrow. It's a pretty safe bet! And we're actually pretty sure it's gonna be playable, too. Here's why.

If you check out the BlizzCon map to which we linked earlier in the week, you'll see that there's a demo area set up on the right side of the convention center labeled "World of Warcraft". Unless they're having us play the Icecrown raid (probably not!) or open PvP, it's likely that this area is for playing the tidbits they'll have available of the new expansion. Playable starting zones for the new races, perhaps? A high-level zone or two? We'll just have to wait and see.

We'll have the WoW.com staff all up in that place, so we'll get you up-to-the-minute info on what they see and hear at those stations!


BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Who do you want to see in the Expansion?

So a while back, I asked you what races and organizations you'd want to see show up in the next expansion. But while races and organizations bring a lot of flavor and purpose to an expansion, there's nothing like a good charismatic figure to really stir things up. Be it Garrosh or Varian, Bolvar or Brann Bronzebeard, the figures of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion have certainly done a lot to inform the story and drive discussion and debate in lore.

With that in mind, I've been thinking of who I'd like to see take a starring role in a future expansion. Turalyon and Alleria are definitely the biggest stars I can think of who have yet to make an appearance. I'd love to see them come back through a portal from whatever world they're on, with all the drama that would bring. Does Turalyon still hold a grudge against the orcs for the death of Lothar? What will Alleria think of the Blood Elves and of what her sisters have been up to?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Lore, RP, NPCs

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