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Posts with tag wotlk-beta

Wrath of the Lich King beta quietly ends

Crygil sprung an odd announcement on us all tonight shortly before 2 a.m. EST: The Wrath of the Lich King beta is over.

I actually did a double take when I read this. Date check out? Yup, 11/4/2008. Time? Yup, 1:52:22 a.m. EST. Actual blue poster at forums.worldofwarcraft.com? Yup.

Ouch. Beta over at 2:00 a.m. PST.

No end event? No advanced notice? Just goodbye?

This hurts.

It's kind of like that girlfriend who you thought was really great, only to find one morning when you wake up that she's gone and all her stuff isn't there anymore. All you're left with is a note: "It's over."

Well maybe it's not that bad, but still. I know I wasn't the only one expecting an end event like they've had during past betas, or during some PTRs. Those were fun, had lots of people and interaction with Blizzard. There was even one PTR event where a few other writers and I got whisked away by a GM.

I gather we'll all have to wait to experience an end event in the future. Oh well. At least we have the memories of past fun to look back on.

Filed under: Patches, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: Post-patch madness



Each week Arcane Brilliance shows you what happens when Mages stop being polite and start being real. This week, Arcane Barrage gets all up in Living Bomb's face, and fireworks ensue when Hot Streak hooks up with Combustion. Can Netherwind Presence and Missile Barrage learn to live together? Will Arcane Blast come to terms with the fact that it got raped? Will Deep Freeze finally reveal that it has Aids? Find out in this week's Arcane Brilliance.

Anyone else's head spinning like that chick in The Exorcist? I'm not saying I need a priest to come and cast patch 3.0.2 out of my body or anything, I'm just saying that holy crap. That was a lot of stuff, all at once. Even though I've been playing the beta, and constantly scanning this site and various others for information to prepare myself for all that was changing when the patch finally went live, it was still overwhelming to log in when my server finally came back up late Tuesday night and see how crazy everything had gotten. To be quite honest, I'm still adjusting.

In a ton of ways, what we're logging into today is an entirely different game than the one we logged into five days ago, even though our levels are still the same, we're still doing the same quests, and playing the same end-game content. Our mounts are still there, but in a different place. The bosses we're fighting still look the same, but are now way easier to kill. Many of our talents have the same names, but now do completely different things. Spells that were previously good are now bad, and some that were useless on Monday are perfectly serviceable today.

With the information overload we've all been presented with, I have found it best to focus on one or two things at a time, instead of attempting any sort of larger view. I look at each change as I notice it, rather than trying to address them all at once, purely out of fear of my head exploding. If you missed them in all the chaos, Arcane Brilliance did a two-part preview of the major changes, and you can find those here and here. After the jump, I'll go over some of the sparkly newness I've noticed but haven't covered yet in this space, both documented changes that managed to surprise me as well as those that flew a bit more under-the-radar.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Enchants, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Preparing your Mage for patch 3.0.2, part 2



So...tomorrow's the big day, huh? When you log in tonight, be sure to open up your talent interface. Take a long look at your talents. Give them all a nice, long, figurative kiss goodbye. Do this because the next time you see your talents, you won't recognize them at all.

Since we have 8 billion things to talk about and substantially less than 8 billion words with which to talk about them, we'd better get started.

Patch 3.0.2--the pre-expansion patch that we're almost certainly getting tomorrow--changes a crapload of things. We went over the more general Mage-related changes in Arcane Brilliance on Saturday, so if you haven't seen that yet, take a look and then come on back.

Today, we'll look at the vast, sweeping modifications our talent trees have undergone. Trust me when I say a lot has changed. Did I mention the changes were sizable? Well they are. Come back after the jump for a massive review of new and remodeled Mage toys.

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

Scattered Shots: What we didn't get

Welcome to another week of Scattered Shots, WoW Insider's column for Hunter miscellany and mischief.

So with Wrath of the Lich King coming closer and closer, classes are probably getting more or less close to what they'll look like when it ships. Maybe.

As for Hunters, We have our problems, be they a 41 point talent that won't be done in time for Wrath, an Aspect of the Viper identity crisis, or a new skill suddenly removed. But honestly, with the removal of shot clipping, the new Disengage and the new Pet talent system, I'm actually cautiously optimistic about our place in Wrath. We may need another patch or two before we're really settled, but we're getting some very basic class changes in Wrath that have been long overdue, and I'm hopeful that the class will end up solid by the time people are picking out their Arthas-killing teams and/or Season 6 Arena teams.

But that aside, permit me this week to opine upon some of the stuff we really did miss out on. Why did Blizzard take it back? Did we need it? Should we get it back again?

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Model changes for Varimathras and Alexstrasza


We certainly enjoyed the model changes to Varian Wrynn and Sylvanas Windrunner, and now Blizzard's finished the unique models for Alexstrasza (human form, that is; you can see her dragon model update here) and Varimathras, as befits their key roles in the storyline for Wrath. I'm a tiny bit disappointed with Alexstrasza's model; her armor is mostly a red copy of Sylvanas' new threads, which are admittedly all sorts of awesome but makes me wonder if there's some kind of Armor Barn in Azeroth for hipster bosses. Alexstrasza does, however, show even more skin than Sylvanas does, so from some peoples' perspectives this might be a feature rather than a bug.

Varimathras is a nice update although he retains his old animations and emotes (you can't really see it from the perspective of the screenshot above, but I think his legs and hooves are a significant improvement on the shaky anatomy of the current dreadlord model). Both he and Alexstrasza's changes are somewhat less shocking than the complete overhaul to Wrynn and Sylvanas, but we're still pleased to see Blizzard taking an interest in the visual badassery of major faction leaders and NPC's. I would tend to agree with Zach Yonzon's contention that it would be amazing to see an update to all the faction leaders if Blizzard could swing it at some point, although I have the sneaking suspicion, judging from what CM's have said about the difficulty of programming in new Druid forms, that this is a fairly lengthy process. However, after seeing the model changes in the beta, I don't think anyone's going to argue it's not worth it, and a number of people have argued for player model changes as well. The extraordinary design work in Northrend will probably add fuel to that fire.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Bosses, Factions, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: So you're in the Beta now too

If you've hopped onto the Beta realms recently, you may have noticed the heavy lag that's been going on ever since the last wave or two of testers were accepted.

If you are one of those testers who entered so late in the process, then you, like myself, might be finding that despite your best efforts, the lag does tend to color your opinions and feedback about the various quests.

Personally, I try to add into the comments section that I might have rated the quest as more fun had I not died twice, failed to pick up the items faster than the characters with whom I was competing, or spent what felt like forty minutes trying to kill X number of mobs.

Nonetheless, while certain experiences seem so novel and interesting, others can drive players right back to the live realms because they get sick of investing so much time and effort into something that simply does not work with so much lag, or listening to the complaining and counter-insulting that goes on in the chat channels.

Are you stuck wishing you'd been able to enter the Beta when the population was more stable? Are you forging on, or have you mostly forgotten about your key and chosen to wait until release on November 13th? Were you an early tester who is now annoyed with the increase in lag and annoying behavior?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Beta grief

Although the Wrath of the Lich King Beta has been up for months now, I acquired my key rather late, and one thing I noticed right off the bat is that the quality of player behavior takes a sharp dive on the realms.

It's a well-known fact that Internet anonymity morphs regular people into asshats, but because Beta testers are not connected to their guilds, in-game names, realms or friends, evidently, the anonymity factor hits the roof.

My minty new Death Knight had her deathcharger "stolen" from her, among other things, and mobs and pick-up items are high commodities. The general chat is filled with derision and insults, and the extreme lag helps none of this.

What kinds of experiences have you had in the Beta, with either surprisingly helpful players or extremely aggravating ones?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

The state of Inscription

One thing I know is this: the 8962 beta patch which downloaded last night is not going to be the last beta patch we see. How do I know this? Because there are still no Warrior, Death Knight, or minor glyphs available to train yet. Yes, I know what some websites are reporting about Death Knight glyphs, but I assure that these glyphs are not at the trainers. The lack of clear information on the topic is making it interesting to be a scribe on the beta servers. (And by "interesting" I mean "lame.") While I'm standing in front of the trainer looking at the list of available glyphs, people on the Trade channel are calling me an idiot because I have no DK glyphs because they read about them. (Lolwut?) But my graphic for this post is my proof. They're not available yet, people!

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Filed under: Warrior, Herbalism, Enchanting, Items, Expansions, Making money, Enchants, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

The Tuesday Morning Post: Patches, release dates, and racials

Welcome to another bright and sunny Tuesday Morning. Downtime is a little complicated this morning. Most Realms will be getting some short rolling restarts at 5 AM, but a handful will get a 2 hour downtime instead, while another handful will get a full 3 AM - 11 AM PDT extended downtime. Hardware upgrades for Wrath, perhaps? You can get the list of downed realms here.

It was actually a rather big weekend in news this time around. Not only did Patch 3.0.2 hit the test servers, but we finally got our hands on a solid release date for Wrath of the Lich King and a look at the Collector's Edition. As if to top it off, yesterday bought us some pretty awesome Priest news in the form of the abolishment of racial spells.

This means there was plenty to talk about this week. Why not get caught up on it now? You can look below for a selection of some of the hottest topics of the past week, or start browsing through the tag, category, and author links to the right if that's more your speed.

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

Ask a Beta Tester: Flying in the snow, etc


FoSho asked....

Maybe I'm in the dark here, but how does one get to Dalaran since its floating in mid air. Is there a portal in a town, or do you have to be 67 to get there? I keep on hearing its "dangerous" to get to Dalaran, how so?

I wouldn't call it dangerous, but you aren't going to be able to get there at level 70 without the help of a Mage or Warlock. Because Dalaran is floating high above Northrend, you need a flying mounto reach it, and when you first arrive in Northrend, your flying mount simply doesn't know how to handle the cold weather. You'll need to complete a level 77 quest chain to obtain Cold Weather Flying and reach Dalaran on your own. Alternatively, there's a quest at level 74 you can seek out in certain inns that will take you there.

For more of your beta questions -- and our beta answers -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

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Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

Lichborne: Dual wielding and weapon scaling

Welcome to Lichborne, your (slighty late this week) weekly window into the zen of being a Death Knight.

As the dev team works to firm up Death Knights and get them ready for release, there is a debate that rages on among beta testers and the Death Knight community at large. I don't mean whether the recent huge nerf to Death Knight damage was justified. Rather, the argument I'm talking about is over the clash of 2-handers and dual wielding.

2-handers have been the Death Knight weapon of choice in the modern era of the game up until recently. Frostmourne, the ultimate Death Knight weapon, is a massive two-handed claymore. In the early to middle part of the classic end game, Baron Rivendare was the Death Knight that loomed large in everyone's thoughts, and he too wielded a much coveted two-handed runeblade.

Because of this, many Death Knights have no plans to ever pick up 2 weapons. The massive bloody two-handed runeblade is the classic Death Knight emblem. It's part of the lore and the feel of the class and, they say, there's no reason to change it.. At the same time, many other Death Knights say that dual wielding is here to stay. New prominent Death Knights such as Lord Darion Morgraine dual wield. It's now part of the lore, and 2-handed lovers should just suck it up.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Raiding, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Victory in Lake Wintergrasp yields a raid boss

If you're one of those people that absolutely hates PvE in PvP and vice versa, you're not going to be much of a fan of an aspect of Lake Wintergrasp that was introduced recently. After your faction wins in Wintergrasp, a raid boss becomes available to you for four hours afterwards: Archavon the Stone Keeper. Like all Wrath of the Lich King raids, this instanced raid comes in both 10 and 25 man flavors. It seems like a rather quick and easy fight, and its rewards are a bit curious. Beating this boss yields high end PvP gear. You know, Hateful Gladiator. And the 25 Man version? 4 pieces of Naxxramas equivalent gear.

Currently, the encounter is trivial according to just about everyone that has tested it. The 10-man version is a breeze, and the 25-man version can be done with 10 people. I think it's safe to say this encounter isn't complete yet, or at least it needs some major retuning. I'm not sure how I feel about what loot this encounter drops. If it's intended, it seems like a rather trivial way to award those things. Season 5 armor from a raid boss? I know around Patch 2.4 they put in the ability to trade armor tokens from dungeons for old season gear, but this boss is essentially awarding the cutting edge arena gear for a 10 minute jaunt into a dungeon. Granted, your faction needs to have control of Wintergrasp, but the point remains. It's really, really easy to get gear that should take a little effort to get. There's still the RNG to deal with, but I still think this boss should have a wholly different loot table.

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Filed under: PvP, Expansions, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum Post of the Day: How do you like DEM clams?


I love it when an amusing blue response to a forum post crops up, and this one made my day.

Earlier in the week, Ghostcrawler made a light-hearted and funny little post mimicking a Beta tester testing a talent tree that includes such gems as "Clever Banter" and "Sarcastic Yet Suspiciously Unfunny."

At the end of it, she announced that clams are becoming stackable items in order to cheer us all up.

As good-natured as all forum-goers are, the jokes surfaced about how amazing this change is, how it's going to crash the clam market, and how Blizzard is clearly pandering to casuals again.

In response, Ghostcrawler wrote up the product of a fictitious emergency developers meeting, held with the goal of bringing clam-related things to do for the hardcore.

I actually laughed out loud: this one is not to be missed.

Filed under: Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Naxxramas gone from Plaguelands in 3.0.2

You've already heard that the Amani War Bear is disappearing from the live servers ahead of schedule in 3.0, but here's one more thing for you to hurry up on: 40-man Naxxramas. As of now on the 3.0 PTR, Naxxramas is gone from Eastern Plaguelands.

The whole of the Eastern Plaguelands has already changed, in fact. When you open your map, you can already see Archerus looming ominously over Light's Hope chapel and the remains of the Scarlet Crusade's holdings in Eastern Plaguelands. As a result, the entire map has shifted, but I still combed the Plaguewoods looking for the entrance to Naxxramas.

Due to the map shifting, the old locations for Naxxramas are rather off. At the original location coordinates for Naxxramas stands one of the old ruined villages that dot the area. The area where Naxxramas used to be relative to that Scourge ziggurat on the map is now marked by a plague cauldron. Regardless, It looks like the entrance is gone. Come 3.0, it looks like Naxxramas will have retreated to Northrend, and we'll have to bide our time before we can follow it.

So if you've been waiting on getting those last few splinters, or you've been thinking about picking up a Corrupted Ashbringer or what have you, you'd better get on it fast. When the 3.0 leaves the PTR and goes to live servers, 40-man Naxxramas will be gone indefinitely.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Items, News items, Raiding, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.0 PTR round-up


The public test realm has just gone live, and if you've got any characters on it (or if you'd like to go copy some), you can head on over to enjoy all of the patchtastic frivolity likely to descend sometime soon.

In case you're catching up to the rest of us, patch 3.0 is another large content patch specifically designed to transition the player base to the upcoming expansion Wrath of the Lich King. We won't be seeing Death Knights or Northrend (or at least, we're pretty sure we won't, unless they're planning on a big surprise). We will be seeing all of the 1-70 class changes, new features added to the default UI, barbershops, Inscription, a raid buff system overhaul, and more, in addition to four European servers closing due to Russian player migration. Read on for a quick guide to what you can expect:

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Patches, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Expansions, Mounts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

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