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Posts with tag wrath-alpha

Hybrid Theory: Healers, hit, and homogenization

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.

Brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen. Today's Hybrid Theory is purely guesswork and speculation. In no way will I pretend that these are facts, and you should not take them as such. It's a topic that grabbed my interest, and it's something I really enjoy trying to figure out despite the missing pieces of information we don't have yet. I welcome all of you to add your thoughts on it in the comments section below. Perhaps we can get a decent idea of what's to come.

Let's get started, shall we? In the previous weeks of Hybrid Theory, we've discussed all we knew about some of our favorite classes. During this discussion, matters of itemization often came up. Most notably, the new Spellpower mechanic. This would allow healers and DPS classes to use the same gear, but Healing spells would get twice the benefit.

First thought is that DPS and healers will share gear. Right? Well... maybe. Possibly. There are a lot of factors we don't really know yet. While it isn't always the case, for some classes there is a pretty large divide between gear that is good for a caster and gear that is good for a healer, and the deciding factor isn't how much damage or healing is on that item. In some cases you'll be able to switch seamlessly from DPS spec to Healing spec and not need to change your equipment, but trying to optimize your gear in both cases is not going to be so easy.

Read more →

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

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

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

Hybrid Theory: Shaman 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.

The seedy underbelly of the internet continues to supply the goods. Just in time to follow up on our look at Druids and Shadow Priests, we're supplied with some potential Shaman information. Let's hope Paladin timing will be as convenient, though it seems unlikely.

As usual when discussing Alpha information, it's always wise to remember that much of it will likely change by launch. Stay optimistic, but cautiously so. That way you can get excited without your hopes being crushed later on. Now, with the disclaimer out of the way, let's dig right into the Shaman talents and abilities. A lot of the previous weaknesses of the class are being addressed (much like they were for Shadow Priests) with a few new interesting things tossed in, accompanied by a side of itemization band-aids.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding, Talents, Buffs, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King

LotRO-style achievements coming to Wrath?

One thing I like about the history of MMO development so far (and game development in general, I suppose) is the tradition of borrowing the best parts of other games for your own games. Heck, WoW (as it's often said) had very little in the way of sheer newness when it was launched; rather, it polished and perfected concepts and trends started in Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, and others. If you are willing to do a little interpretation on some leaked screenshots from the Wrath alpha, it looks like Blizzard will be adapting another feature into WoW, this one familiar from Lord of the Rings Online (and Xbox Live): achievements.

Basically, an achievement is an unlockable something, unlocked by reaching a certain goal. That's a vague definition, so here are some example goals hinted at by what's leaked out:

  • Reveal the whole map of Outland
  • Do at least one daily quest a day for five days
  • Get a character to level 80 on both factions

Achievements are clearly not yet implemented, even in the beta; many of the numbers in the screenshots are placeholder values, and the rewards for completing the achievements, whatever they may be, are completely unknown. It does look like there is a point system – the UI implies that each of the above achievements is rewarded with 50 points – but what might these points be used to purchase? Well, gear, most likely, but it's also possible that they may be a way to get prestige items, like special mounts or titles. Either way, I welcome yet another advancement path; more importantly, achievements are just plain fun!

Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors, Achievements

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

Blood Pact: The Warlock's way ahead, part 2

In my last article, we looked at the Warlock in alpha: Atrocity, Metamorphosis (yay, demon form!), Decimate, and new synergies between our spells. All three top tier talents seem to have more utility in PvP and the Arenas, with Atrocity possibly having some amazing utility in some PvE situations. The synergy between DoTs and nukes is something to watch, particularly Eradication and Everlasting Affliction. New additions to the Destruction tree that seem to encourage cross-school casting turn out to be just minor improvements to the tree's PvP viability in their current form.

We turn our attention now to the other talents, and Blizzard definitely plans to make Spirit matter to warlocks.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Wrath of the Lich King

Reminder: The Wrath Alpha is not open to the public

We've mentioned this already, but let's reiterate something: Though the Wrath Alpha client is floating around out there, be very very careful about what you download or try to access. The Alpha servers are not for you, and attempting to download the client isn't wise. My recommendation is simply to not do it.

We all know how many accounts have been stolen due to keyloggers hidden in links, ads, and other things. Keep that in mind before you click on a download link. A dirty .exe with a filename disguised to look like a Blizzard downloader for the Alpha client is out there. There are probably more than one. Nobody wants to lose their account, and we don't want you to lose yours, either.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Account Security

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.

Read more →

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

WoW Insider Show live tomorrow (with guest Veronica Belmont)

Our weekly podcast goes back on the virtual airwaves tomorrow over on WoW Radio, and it's going to be a good one. I'm back from my vacation last week (thanks to John "BBB" Patricelli for hosting last week), and we've got a special guest on: Veronica Belmont, uber hip tech blogger, podcaster, and generally all around cool chick (you may remember her from her interviews with Leeroy Jenkins and The Guild) will be on to chat about the biggest stories in the past week of WoW with us. Of course, we'll be talking about the Wrath leaks, and since Veronica has been dealing with gadgets and tech journalism for quite a while, hopefully she'll help us provide some insight on that.

Turpster will be on as well, and we'll probably have one or two other familiar voices on from this site, too. Also, we'll chat about exactly who Karazhan is for, all those Glider bans that Blizzard laid down, Death & Taxes meeting its death, and what effect, if any, the Age of Conan launch had on our favorite game. And of course we'll be answering emails -- send yours to -- and we'll be on IRC at in the #wowradio channel.

Should be a great time. See (or hear, as the case may be) us tomorrow afternoon live over on WoW Radio starting at 3:30pm EST!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Raiding, WoW Insider Show

Insider Trader: Wrath alpha edition

As Wrath information is leaking from the alpha testing, we are seeing more and more glimpses into the expansion than ever before. This week, Insider Trader will be analyzing some of the changes and new abilities on the horizon for craftsmen.

Because some people would really rather not know this information, I'm placing all of it beyond the break. It should be noted that none of these details are set in stone, and in fact, many will never make the actual expansion, or change significantly before it.

Still, it is interesting to look into Blizzard's process, as they expand and evolve the professions, and create a new one. A few of the changes indicate that they are indeed listening to some of the ideas craftsmen have put forth for what they'd like to see, and I think we should be excited about some of the developments on the horizon.

Read more →

Filed under: Mining, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Burning Crusade, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions), Rumors

WoW Insider Show Episode 33 now available

Yes, episode number 33 of our podcast is now up for download over at WoW Radio, and if you're a big fan of the show, it's a doozy. Since we haven't done our "normal" show in a few weeks (because of the interview with Xzin last time around), we decided to go all fan service, and caught up on all the shout-outs, fan email, and other fan shenanigans we usually do (there's even some Turpster love poetry). But even if you're not down with the silliness, there's lots of good WoW news in this week's episode, including:
  • Some good discussion about the Wrath alpha news and what it means
  • A look at what's going down on Sunwell Plateau, including the Aldor and Scyer neckpieces
  • And a little bit about the Gurubashi Arena in STV
  • Plus we answer all kinds of email questions, including rested XP in expansions, what's wrong with Blackout in a shadow priest spec, and whether we should call the new five man MrT or MgT
Lots of good stuff with John P, Turpster and myself. As always, if you have questions or comments for us, feel free to drop an email: send it to

And of course, you can always listen live -- we go live on the air every Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm EST over on WoW Radio. Tune in next Saturday and every Saturday for the WoW Insider Show -- it's just like this very site, except in audio form.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Show goes live tomorrow afternoon

Yes indeed, after our short foray into multiboxing last week, the WoW Insider Show is back in its original form this week -- not only will Turpster be back in the WoW Insider Show studios, but WI's Zach Yonzon will be on with me, and we'll have all of our usual features: listener mail (you too can email us at, shout outs (I swear I'll remember to do them this week, guys), and the best gosh-darned discussion of the biggest news in the last week of Warcraft, including, but not limited to, yesterday's Wrath alpha news, how all the servers are doing on the Sunwell dailies, and everything else going on at the Sunwell.

As requested, we'll also have some nice PvP discussion -- I especially want to take issue with Zach on what he said about WSG, as in my experience, things still aren't hunky dory in there. And we'll talk about the Arena tourney as well, I'm sure.

Tune in tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm EST on WoW Radio for episode number 33 of the WoW Insider Show, and feel free to join us in the IRC chat as well: it's at in the #wowradio channel. See you tomorrow afternoon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Odds and ends, WoW Insider Show

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