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Posts with tag wrath-launch

The Lawbringer: No, you can't sue Blizzard over the Dance Studio

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Imagine, if you will, a time long ago. A time before we cared about dual specs, Ulduar, Sartharion, and the rest. Back before hard modes and vehicle fights. I speak of that fabled time at the end of The Burning Crusade, when Kil'jaden was reentering the world through the Sunwell and there was something about a girl and some manga ... There was a lot of supplemental reading. Wrath of the Lich King was announced, and we were all excited.

One of the more community-jolting announcements during the Wrath of the Lich King launch trailer related to new character dances. Since then, the Dance Studio has become a legend in its own right, being called everything from the second coming of the WoW messiah to a dumb waste of time for designers and developers who could be working on more "important" projects. Some people believe it will never come, and others still hold onto embers of hope.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Breakfast Topic: Realm (in)stability


In general I've been pleasantly surprised at how stable my own realm has been since the launch. Yes, we've had queues, restarts, lag, and yes, we've also had an insanely annoying subgroup of people with absolutely no scruples over stealing quest spawns (to be fair, this isn't Blizzard's fault, unless you count their refusal to allow us to kill members of our own faction. I have been sorely tempted over the last few days). But in general, play has been pretty trouble-free apart from the crowds you'd expect at all the usual quest hubs, and the response to the expansion has been universally positive from everyone to whom I've spoken. Wrath, at least on my own realm, has gone live to a very happy and excited bunch of players.

But with a look at WoW Insider's inbox, I'm not sure it's worked out that way for everyone. We've seen a spate of recent complaints about server crashes and giant queues, and this weekend we've gotten a lot of them from people playing on Oceanic servers particularly (one of our readers, James Flannery, wrote in to tell us about an Oceanic server queue that went from 86 to 161 minutes during the half hour that he'd already been waiting). While in general I think it's safe to say that Wrath's launch went much more smoothly than Burning Crusade's did, I'm not sure everyone's benefited despite Blizzard's efforts. Possibly it's a function of Wrath being even more popular than anticipated in certain regions. If you play on multiple servers, which realm(s) seem to be doing best and worst? Have queue times (if they existed) and server lag improved for you?

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: What did you level first?

Our topic for today comes from one of our readers, Grindal. He (she? Sorry!) wrote in suggesting we ask all of you a question. What did you level first? Did you level your main right away? Did you try out an alt in Northrend? Did you roll a Death Knight? Heck, is your new Death Knight your new main?

Personally, I went straight to my main. No questions about it. I hit the Howling Fjord and started questing like crazy. Eventually I rolled my Death Knight with the name I had been reserving for months now, but I didn't really play it at all. I just wanted to start accumulating rest. That's about all I did on all of my alts, actually. I made sure my 70s were in inns. That's it. Beyond that, it's been all Shadow Priest all the time. I was lucky in that I got into Northrend a little bit ahead of the crowds, so I'm usually a zone ahead of most people. I just finished the Dragonblight last night just as the masses rolled in, and now I have the Grizzly Hills more or less to myself. Once people start flooding that zone, I'll be over in Zul'Drak.

How are things going for all of you?
What did you level first?
My main!8580 (66.1%)
An alt!2258 (17.4%)
I don't have Wrath yet and cry myself to sleep at night2143 (16.5%)

Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Death Knight

What level are you?

I think it's safe to say a good chunk of us have been able to play Wrath at least a little bit by now. What do you think? How's your leveling going? I managed to hit level 72 yesterday before I retired for the night, and while I'm not leveling as quickly as I'd like, I've deemed my progress acceptable. I did some pretty serious beta testing during the Wrath beta, so I've quested through every single Northrend zone already.

While I love the content and don't really mind doing it a second time, I'll admit that Nymh's accomplishment makes me a little jealous. At least that way if I could finish up with my main in a day or two, I could go right into my alts (who I didn't get to play much in the beta) until my friends caught up. It'd make things feel a little more new to me than they are. That's not really something I'm able to do though, so level 72 it is. I'm going to aim for a level a day, and if I manage something at least close to that I'll be happy. Do we have anyone nearing 80, or in the high-70s reading WoW Insider this morning? My server has a few already, so it wouldn't surprise me much at all!

Filed under: Priest, Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: So. How's it going?

I'm sort of wondering to myself whether there's any real point to writing a Breakfast Topic this morning. Some of you already have Wrath and have probably spent the last several hours in a caffeine-fueled genial haze exploring Northrend -- or, alternatively, cursing your server's lack of stability and punching holes in nearby walls. Clearly you are in no fit state to be enjoying any breakfast that's not Red Bull or espresso.

Some of you, like me, don't yet have Wrath and are anxiously awaiting a delivery or the opening of a store that's stocking it. Many of these folks spent a little time with me, Adam, and Mike in Ustream chat last night and got to witness: a). my first experience with IRC (painful, wasn't it?) and: b). a suspiciously-penned patch note of dubious veracity confirming that Ghostcrawler hates Paladins (see above), and: c). Mike deciding to fish instead of go to Northrend. For a few minutes, anyway.

And some of you are comatose WoW Insider staffers whose articles today will be written by your household pets. I don't judge. We're all friends here.

But I am madly curious as to what everyone's up to this morning, provided they're awake enough to click options on a poll. What are you up to in the day following Wrath's release?

What have you done in the hours after Wrath's release?
Got the game, and played it nonstop. Sleep deprivation ftw!2183 (21.3%)
Got the game but I'm being eaten alive by the Lag Monster.415 (4.0%)
I'm still waiting for my copy. Where the &$%# is my delivery guy?2448 (23.8%)
Going to head out today to pick up my copy.3100 (30.2%)
Eh, I'll buy it this weekend.1373 (13.4%)
Buy what?752 (7.3%)

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

Many realms back online after emergency maintenance

Realms are finally starting to come online after today's emergency maintenance. Most servers seem to be up and available now, though whether that will be the case for the rest of the day remains to be seen. It looks like they actually did manage to make progress on the issues, too.

Obviously, the free PvP gear is gone. The prices have been fixed and the purchased items removed from players' bags as expected. They've also made progress on the mail issue. Many players logging in now are finding their mailboxes packed full of the things they were missing after yesterday's extremely extended maintenance. Not everyone has received their mail yet (I haven't), but it's going to take some time as Blizzard mentioned. It's just nice to see they've made progress even with all of the other problems going on.

Now that they're up, let's hope they stay that way and Wrath of the Lich King has a clean, smooth launch.

Edit: Thank you to MechChef for reminding me about the official realm status page. It looks like only a small handful of servers are still down.

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

Wrath profession recipes in pictures


Screenshots may not be the cleanest way to present this list, but at least you won't have to worry about transcription errors, right? Here are some of the many trainable recipes we were able to find in Northrend. Remember that the Grand Master trainers are in Dalaran which you need to be level 74 to do the quest to enter. If you're not that level yet, make fast friends with a L74 Mage who has been up there and trained the Portal spell.

Also remember that some of these may have changed since beta. One thing that hasn't changed is that sweet, sweet ride, the Engineered Motorbike.





Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

Knaak signing at a midnight launch in Arkansas, Blizzard to release audiobooks

Live in Arkansas and can't make it to one of our meetups around the country tomorrow night? Author Richard A. Knaak will be holding a book signing at a store in Fayetteville, Arkansas. There will be copies of the new Night of the Dragon and Warcraft Legends vol. 2 available, but it's at Hastings Bookstore, so I'm not quite sure they'll have copies of Wrath there -- you may have to make a stop at a game store before or after. But if you're in AR and missing out on the festivities elsewhere (and are a fan of Knaak's Warcraft fiction), it's a place to be.

And speaking of Warcraft fiction, Blizzplanet has the news that Blizzard is publishing three of the extended lore books in audio form, read by Dick Hill, an award-winning "Golden Voice." No news yet on whether the books will be in iTunes (that's pretty much the only way I listen to an audiobook these days, is downloaded onto the old iPod), but it's probably what'll happen. So if you've been putting off reading up on the lore because words hurt your eyes, maybe your ears will be able to do the job for you.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Meet WoW Insider at the Wrath midnight launch


Blizzard's holding official launches across the world, various retailers in all sorts of places are planning out midnight launches, and we here at WoW Insider are no different -- we'll be covering the release all across the world, and we're inviting you readers to come out and join us wherever we are.

We've got a full list of meetup locations after the break -- I'll be in Chicago, co-lead Dan O'Halloran will be at the Fry's in Anaheim covering the Blizzard event there (Chase Christian will be in Santa Barbara, also in CA), and Elizabeth Harper will be in Austin, where Blizzard devs will be meeting and greeting as well. We've also got reader meetups planned in North Carolina and Minnesota (where BBB will be passing out buttons), and our own Jennie Lees will be picking up Wrath in Edinburgh, Scotland. And if you're in Orlando, BRK and Mania from Petopia are holding their own event down there.

Stay tuned to this post for more updates (if we've missed anyone on the team, they'll add their information here), and feel free to organize your own meetups and events in the comments. The second expansion launches next week -- let's party!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Blizzard, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

When will we see patch 3.0.3?

The devs have said all along that we'll be getting patch 3.0.3 before Wrath of the Lich King launches, and it's pretty obvious that we will. It's a pretty important patch overall. The game is playable without it, but there is a lot of balance fixes in the patch that is crucial to the launch of a whole load of new content. I don't doubt we'll get it before we hit Northrend. The question is... when?

Will we get it tomorrow? It's a possibility, but from the sounds of things it's kind of unlikely. I don't think we've ever had a patch didn't happen on a Tuesday (though I may be mistaken), so if it's not tomorrow that only leaves November 11th for a patch prior to launch. Alternatively, maybe they'll roll it out the night of Wrath's launch, so when you pop in those install discs you get to patch, too. Considering midnight launches though, it would be really unusual if they rolled out the patch the evening of November 12th. Personally, my money is on patch 3.0.3 being pushed live on November 11th, and if the devs announced patch maintenance for tomorrow while I write this I am going to eat my hat.
When do you think we're getting patch 3.0.3?
November 4th4513 (66.5%)
November 11th1953 (28.8%)
Some other day (Leave a comment!)319 (4.7%)

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

Can Blizzard fix all their launch problems in Wrath?

Our good friend Relmstein (who I was able to finally meet in person at BlizzCon this year) is back to blogging about World of Warcraft, even though he was on a WAR trip for a while there. But we're glad to have him back -- yesterday, he posted about how Wrath might tackle all the launch issues we saw with the Burning Crusade.

Everyone knows by now that Blizzard has split the entry area into two different areas (with four total Northrend entry points, one for each faction), and of course there's also Death Knights to roll, so hopefully the lag problem is helped (hard to believe it could actually be solved). But Relmstein has other ideas in mind: the dynamic spawn system (mobs will spawn faster the more people there are around killing them) causes some crazy repops last time, and hopefully that's been evened out a bit. He's also worried about the "leveling truce" on PvP servers -- during the last expansion, everyone was more interested in exploring than fighting for the first few levels, but if you missed that ad-hoc "truce," you had new level 70s beating you down as you were trying to explore the world. Hopefully the Lake Wintergrasp PvP zone will keep PvPers busy without griefing all of the people trying to see Northrend for the first time.

And later on, the Karazhan bump is a worry as well -- lots of guilds, early on in BC, were crushed by Karazhan's 10-man limit and the gear checks in there. Will 10-man Naxx also cause a ton of guild breakups, or will the 10/25 man split help guilds play what they want to play? We'll have to see how it all works out -- this is only the second time Blizzard has released this amount of content into the game, so while they're sure to have evened out some problems, you have to think that there will still be a few bumps in the road.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

More information about the Wrath of the Lich King midnight launch


Blizzplanet's got the deets on a Future Shop midnight launch going on in Canada (eh?), so plans of Wrath midnight launch events are starting to sneak out into the world. Blizzard will be doing their usual schtick in Los Angeles, and this time also in New York, San Franscisco, and Austin, where developers go out to stores to sign and say hi while people buy their game. Our good friends BRK and Mania are hosting an event in Orlando, Florida, and I'll be picking up my game at the Gamestop just south of Clark and Diversey in Chicago (and I'll probably invite you all out for a drink or two beforehand at a bar around here, if you're interested). We're also planning some more events around the country here at WoW Insider -- stay tuned for more information about when and where things are going down.

And if you've got information about a special midnight launch event going on around the country (or if, hint hint, you happen to work for a retailer and want to give us an inside scoop on what they've got planned, anonymity assured), please do drop a note on our tip line. The Burning Crusade launch was the biggest expansion launch of all time ever, and Wrath, with its return to Warcraft III lore and the increase in Blizzard's playerbase, is shaping up to be even bigger.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzard announces official Wrath midnight launches

If you're interested in getting Wrath of the Lich King at a midnight launch with Blizzard employees present to sign your copy and discuss the game, Blizzard will be holding officlal midnight parties around the globe. For the moment, it looks like Amsterdam, Anaheim, Austin, Berlin, London, Madrid, Mexico City, New York City, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Stockholm, and Taipei will all have official midnight launches, complete with extra copies of the Collector's Edition Wrath on hand and Blizzard developers, executives, and CM's around.

I've gone to the different WoW sites to see if there's any hard info on non-U.S. midnight launches and can't find it yet. I've possibly just missed it, so please let us know if there's information available on which stores outside the States will be hosting an official Blizzard launch. The one thing that we do know is that each site's launch will occur at midnight local time November 13th, and while there will be a ton of stores doing midnight launches, the official ones are just the locations where the Blizzard folks are going to be.

U.S. official launch sites ahead!

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Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items, Expansions

Blizz posts DK creation FAQ

38 days from now, Wrath of the Lich King will be released, and hundreds of thousands of people will be chomping at the bit to roll Death Knights, WoW's first new class. Blizzard knows this as well as anyone, so they've posted a FAQ on DK character creation. If you've been following the news for months, there is little new here, but it's good as a recap, because these questions are, indeed, very frequently asked. So go on and brush up if you have questions about what races can be DKs (all of them), or whether you can make it the opposite faction of your existing characters (yes, unless you're on a PvP server).

There is, though, one bit of news in this post. When Wrath launches, you will only be able to create a DK on a realm on which you have an existing character of level 55 or higher. Wryxian, that maverick crocolisk CM, promises that in the future, the option will be opened up to create a DK on any realm, provided you have at least one 55-or-higher character somewhere. The previous plan was to make this the rule at launch (55+ = DK on any realm).

The only reason I can think of that they would make this change is that they were having difficulties from a technical standpoint; maybe it's non-trivial when trying to create a character on one realm to check that account's characters on other realms. Anyway, I doubt this will affect anyone too much. I for one am certainly going to make a DK on my main realm before I branch out to realms that I don't have any high-level characters on.

Filed under: Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

What we're expecting from BlizzCon

As we announced earlier, BlizzCon tickets are on sale. Sort of. Kind of. If you can fight past the store servers. I know I've been getting nothing but the fail murloc pretty much all day. Still, I and the rest of WoW Insider's crack live team will be there come hell or high water, and we'll bring you the news you need to know. In the meantime, we're stuck here refreshing the Blizzard Store. To pass the time, we did a bit of speculation about what we might see in Anaheim on October 10th and 11th. Here's what we decided:

What we're sure to see

The Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic: Though we still have no solid announcement, Blizzard's already stated that they want to get Wrath out before 2008 is up. Considering that, they must have the opening cinematic pretty close to done. I would be surprised if we don't see it open the opening ceremony, to be completely honest. I'm expecting Arthas and/or a "rebel" Human Death Knight to feature prominently, as well as our first cinematic Gnome shot.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, Expansions, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

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