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Posts with tag wotlk-alpha

Arcane Brilliance: The Arcane tree in WotLK



Each week, Arcane Brilliance blinks in from out of nowhere to deliver an instant cast full of Mage info and analysis to the interwebs. Or at least it tries to. Sometimes it blinks sideways, you see. Sometimes, backwards. On rare occasions, Arcane Brilliance casts Blink and goes absolutely nowhere. Oh well, at least the sparkly lights looked pretty.


Let's hear it for no more NDA! Now we can finally talk in detail about things a lot of us have known about for months. I'm sure we're all underwhelmed by the Beta patch notes as they apply to Mages. Here they are, in full. Pull up a chair, these could take you a full 90 seconds to read:

Mage
  • Arcane Focus (Arcane) is now 3 ranks and increases chance to hit and reduces mana cost of Arcane spells by 1/2/3%.
  • Counterspell now costs 9% of base mana.
  • Frost Armor, Ice Armor, Mage Armor and Molten Armor are no longer Magic effects and cannot be dispelled.
  • Invisibility now makes the caster invisible after 3 seconds, reduced from 5 seconds.
  • Magic Attunement (Arcane) now also increases the range of your Arcane spells by 3/6 yards.
  • Polymorph now costs 12% of base mana.
  • Portal spells now cost 18% of base mana.
  • Prismatic Cloak (Arcane) now also reduces the fade time of Invisibility by 1/2 seconds.
  • Slow Fall now costs 6% of base mana.
  • Teleport spells now cost 9% of base mana.
Ok. Deep breath. Repress urge to kill. Repeat after me: "It is still early in the testing process. These notes are incomplete. Changes are likely coming. Mages will get something cool." Feel better? No? Me either. Still, there are some things worth discussing here, and with the lifting of the embargo on leaked Alpha talents, we do have a great many things to talk about. Join me after the break and we'll do just that, starting with the tree that has changed the most: the Arcane tree.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Around Azeroth: Crystalline perfection


This picture/wallpaper was sent to Around Azeroth by Mike two months ago. Due to our ongoing battle over leaked Alpha information, all I could do is shake my head and give it a new home as my desktop background. But now that we can post Wrath info, I can share the beauty of Crystalsong Forest with everyone. Don't the healing crystals just ease all the pain of not getting a beta invite? Yeah ... they don't help a bit. Nice to look at, though.

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wow.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more sunsets. I'm off to the beach for four days!

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth, Galleries, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: Why Frostfire Bolt could change everything



Each week Arcane Brilliance serves up a big slice of Mage-cake. Of course, Mages have a very different idea of what it means to "bake" and then "frost" something, so Mage-cake might not be quite what you're expecting. Unless of course you were expecting a blackened husk of indeterminate (vaguely Gnomish) origin frozen into a block of ice, in which case you'll get exactly what you thought you were getting.


So last week was fun, huh?

I have to say, I expected some controversy, but nothing like that. My earlier column about how much I love being a Mage got 32 almost universally positive comments, which seemed quite respectable to me at the time. This one, in which I bemoaned what I perceive to be a very fixable problem with the class (the fact that our DPS doesn't balance out our incredibly poor survivability) is at 200 and counting. Reading through them over the course of this week, terrified to post any sort of response lest I be torn limb from limb and devoured, it seemed like there was no middle ground. Responses ranged from "Please consider discontinuing this article from here on" to "I think this is the most well written piece on this site that I've ever read." Of the 200 responses, I'd wager 150 or so were negative.

So what have I learned? You guys prefer optimism. Apparently.

This week, I went in search of things to feel good about. I do still love to play my Mage--much moreso than any other character I have--and I truly want to be optimistic about the direction we're headed as a class. Once I went actively searching for happy thoughts, I found they were out there, in abundance. In fact, many of them were suggested within those same 200 comments.

You see, as it turns out, Frostfire Bolt has the potential to be very, very nice. In fact, Frostfire Bolt could actually change everything. Come back after the jump to find out why.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

The rise, fall, and rise again of the WotLK Information Wiki

This past Monday, June 23, The WotLK Information Wiki relaunched on a new web host after having been pulled down by a Cease and Desist order from Blizzard. Darkside, one of the admins for the WotLK Information Wiki, gave an interview to Medros over at All Things Azeroth to explain what happened. The interview was conducted as part of Medros' podcast Episode 53. Some highlights from the interview include:
  • Most of the information that the alpha wiki provides is a result of file and image extraction from Blizzard's publically-available alpha client.
  • The alpha client files contain all the information on the spells, creatures and environments to be tested and new things are added or subtracted each time the alpha is patched.
  • The alpha wiki folks set up a "sandbox" where they could fly through the new locations and spawn creatures for screenshots.
  • A small portion of the WotLK info -- some screenshots, for example -- has come from Blizzard employees under non-disclosure agreements the identities of whom the alpha wiki admins protect.
  • Blizzard, Vivendi, and Activision IP addresses had visited the wiki frequently since it began.
  • The Cease and Desist order from Blizzard arrived last Friday, June 20. Over the weekend the WotLK wiki admins tried several ways to appease the lawyers and eventually settled on moving to a new web host.
  • The wiki's readership is approximately 200,000 page views per day.
Go to All Things Azeroth to hear the rest of the interview. Make sure you listen to the first few minutes of the podcast to hear a very humorous and well-sung parody of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues called Pugging Kara Blues.

[Thanks, Matticus and uber.]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

PTR Brewfest includes summoned barmaid pets, rams and kodos segregated by faction

You may remember that we announced that a Brewfest Kodo was hidden in the WoTLK Alpha files some time ago. With patch 2.4.3, the Kodo did in fact get into this year's Brewfest. The Brewfest is currently open for testing on the PTR, and you can see the Kodos for yourselves - but only on the Horde side.

That's right. Blizzard has added the Kodo mount, but not in the way many of us had hoped. The Ram mount is now available for purchase only on the Alliance side, and the Kodo mount only on the Horde side. Kisirani has confirmed that this is intended. She says that they came to this decision only after much deliberation, but it's likely staying, although she'll listen to constructive criticism. As you can imagine, this has not been well received.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Dwarves, Realm News, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Bosses, Factions, Mounts

Insider Trader: Leatherworking in alpha, and profession changes for patch 2.4.3

Although there is information being leaked about the upcoming expansion Wrath of the Lich King, because of the alpha testing that is currently underway, it is too soon to tell what will make it into the final copy, and what will not. Furthermore, most things will be changed, and there are details that may never be leaked until, of course, release.

Still, it is a valuable experience to peer into Blizzard's process of designing, reforming, and progressing the game's professions. This week, Insider Trader will focus on analyzing the tentative progression of the leatherworking trade.

In addition, we'll take a brief look at professions-related changes in the upcoming patch 2.4.3. While mounts at level 30 and Haris Pilton might be first in your mind, Blizzard isn't overlooking the trade sector this round.

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Filed under: Mining, Alchemy, Cooking, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Patches, Items, Expansions, Jewelcrafting, Features, Making money, Insider Trader (Professions), Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

Combat stats and spellpower consolidated on Alpha

You may never look at this window the same way again.Sources are saying that a new Alpha build showed up on the WoTLK Alpha servers yesterday, featuring a few interesting changes. Kalgan's promised spellpower change we have mentioned, and it now appears to be on the Alpha servers. In addition, it looks like the dev team is working on consolidating even more stats. As of the latest build, all instances of haste rating, hit rating, and critical strike rating on gear will now modify both physical attacks and spells at the same time.

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Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Hybrid Theory: Shadow Priests and the Wrath Alpha


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

I really thought my excitement over Wrath of the Lich King would fade after the initial onslaught of alpha information and just come back around launch time, but that hasn't really been the case. It's been a pretty consistent type of excitement, and I pretty much devour every piece of information I can find.

We've talked about Druids already, but while I love Hybrids in general, my Shadow Priest is my main and my first love. Yes yes, I'm sure some of you still disagree with Priests being Hybrids, but I'm of the opinion that they are so I shall continue. If you want to disagree, do so in the Comments section below.

I adore playing my Shadow Priest, but I think all Shadow Priest players agree with me when I say there are some definite issues with the class on some level or another. Why don't we take a seat and see what might be on the devs' minds, eh?

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Talents, Buffs, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Koraa hints at the future of Shaman. Kind of. Maybe.

While it isn't especially earth shattering, class designer Koraa popped into the official Shaman forums (gasp!) to say something simple, yet intriguing. Eronar of Argent Dawn posted a thread asking the question, "Are you staying a Shaman in WOTK?" and Koraa's simple response was, "I think you'll stay." It could be a completely simple statement with no deeper meaning at all, but it isn't like the WoW community to let something like that go without coming up with some kind of conspiracy theory.

Last we knew, Shaman spells and abilities hadn't yet been implemented into the Wrath alpha. Could this be a sign that the devs are planning to move into the testing phase for Shaman soon? That's probably something to be excited about, if the other classes are any indicator. While certainly not everything in Alpha will make Live, things are looking pretty exciting so far, even for the classes and specs that have felt left behind in the past. Hopefully Shaman will feel the same. It's definitely something to look forward to seeing, at the very least.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Hybrid Theory: Druids and the Wrath Alpha


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

Last week we discussed Death Knights a little bit, and my personal stance is that their impending introduction to the game won't harm existing tank classes too much. Most likely, they'll have their own niche (magic tanking) but with some work be capable of tanking other things. Warriors, Druids and Paladins will still retain their own niches, even with the addition of a new tanking class.

I discussed that primarily because a lot of tanks, Druids especially, have voiced concern to me about losing their viability. How appropriate that Druids are the first pure hybrid class to have their new spells and talents implemented into the Wrath alpha. Before I start my analysis and slather my thoughts all over you, you can take a look at them on this Wrath wiki. To avoid spoiling those that want all of the expansion to be fresh come release, I've tucked all analysis behind the cut.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King

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