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Posts with tag wrath-of-the-lich-king-beta

WoW Archivist: More beta surprises

Sylvanas models through the years
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

As the Warlords of Draenor beta rolls onward, Blizzard keeps managing to surprise us. Recently we've learned about a huge overhaul to guild systems, random upgrades for quest rewards, and an extra-awesome core hound mount.

In the last WoW Archivist column, we looked at the surprises from the original beta and the betas of The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. This time, we continue with Wrath and also look at the surprises during the Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria betas.

(As before, I won't go into storyline surprises here. And I won't cover surprises announced at BlizzCon outside of a beta. BlizzCon already has its own feature for controversial surprises.)

Beta of the Lich King (continued)

Goodbye, night elf Sylvanas. Through vanilla and TBC, the Sylvanas model looked like a night elf rather than an undead high elf. With Sylvanas poised to play a big role in Northrend, Blizzard clearly needed to revamp her model. Players worried that they would have to look at the old night elf model through all her lore moments in Wrath.

A build in August 2008 gave her an initial makeover (middle image above) and lore-focused players breathed a sigh of relief. Clearly she still needed some work, but at least she wasn't a night elf anymore.

A later build in September gave her the fantastic model we see today. The same build also updated the models for Varian Wrynn and Alexstraza.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

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

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

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.

Read more →

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

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

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:

Read more →

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

Arcane Brilliance: Six things I love about being a Mage in the beta



Each week Arcane Brilliance takes a quick peek into the world of Mages. The peek has to be quick indeed, for to look any longer into that world is to invite madness. I mean, have you looked in there? There are people making copies of themselves, then their copies are turning people into penguins, then those penguins are getting set on fire and frozen, all at the same time...it's...it's not right. I don't know what it is, but it isn't right, people.

So...the giant nerf-patch of doom came down this week. It hit everyone. Except...Mages? Huh? What...how...who?

I had myself all braced for the nerf-bat to hit us, and well, I guess it whiffed? I dunno. Our Mirror Image is still awesome, our Deep Freeze still stuns, does good damage, and is instant, our Arcane Barrage is still on a glorious 3 second cooldown, and our Frostfire Bolt still benefits from every talent that affects either Fire or Frost spells. Surely Blizzard can't be happy with Mages being the actual, genuine kings of DPS in a physical universe that actually exists.

Virtually.

And only in beta form.

Cough.

We'll get a nerf in the cursed name of "balancing" eventually, I'm sure, but for now we get a reprieve. And I couldn't be happier.

This week, I'm going to list a few things--some of them big, some of them small--that I love about being a Mage in the beta right now. If even a few of these make it live, there is cause for rejoicing, and any that we lose in all of the class-polishing hobnobbery that goes on between now and that glorious day in which we install Northrend onto our hard drives will be cause to mourn. Join me after the jump for the list.

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

Breakfast Topic: If you could choose your racials

If you haven't already checked out the list of updated racial abilities, you should. Some have been nerfed, others were buffed, and new ones, like the "Voodoo Shuffle" were added.

While racials are a nice bonus, they can weigh heavily on your racial decision when rolling a given class. For example, many Horde warriors roll Tauren because of the 5% health increase. This conflicts with rolling the race that you'd prefer combined with the class you desire.

There has been much speculation about what it would be like to be able to choose your own racials, and reader Mike even came up with a talent tree method for doing just that.

If you were given the power to choose, which three or four would you choose, and why? Keep in mind the overall balance which generally includes a passive ability, an active one, and one or two minor buffs to stats such as resistances, health, or professions.

Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Draenei, Blood Elves, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

Beta realms down tomorrow for maintenance

The Wrath beta realms are down as I type this. Not news, I know, for those who are actually in the beta. The realms seem to be unavailable frequently. I chalk this up to the nature of beta testing. However, today we actually got a heads-up on planned maintenance downtime, scheduled for tomorrow at the same time the live realms will be offline. Now, this is news to me because so far the patches to the beta have been released without any announcement. In other words, the only way I've found out updates were coming was that when I try to log on, and then I end up waiting an hour for everything to download and install.

So now I'm intrigued. Will we need to install another beta patch after maintenance? Will the beta now move to planned maintenance instead of spontaneous crashes? (Okay, wait, that last question was just crazy-talk.) Or -- maybe the announcement of planned maintenance mean that the beta realms are ready for the release of patch 3.0.2 and all of its dreamy barbershop and achievement goodness! Oo, I can't wait!

UPDATED: According to the beta forums, the beta realms will be offline starting at 9:00AM Pacific time September 9th 2008 for one to two hours.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Skill Mastery: Mirror Image



This is so going to be nerfed.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be negative, but holy cow. For thirty seconds, this spell makes you a God.

Here's what Mirror Image does:

When used, it instantly conjures three copies of the Mage that cast it. These copies have their own health and mana pools, and act independently of you, like three like-minded pets set to "aggressive." The copies I was summoning would alternate between casting three simultaneous Fire Blasts and three simultaneous Frostbolts. These spells do more-or-less normal damage. The Fire Blasts were hitting for around 2,000 damage each, and the Frostbolts were hitting for slightly less, around 1,500.

I summoned them the first time in range of three level 70ish mobs. The copies immediately began attacking, one shotting two of the mobs before I even realized what was happening. I began casting at the third a second later, but it was dead before the cast went off. I then moved within range of the next mob and began casting a Frostfire Bolt at it. The copies followed suit, winding up three Frostbolts simultaneously. Their spells landed just after mine, and the level 71 mob died before it had even begun to move toward me. After thirty seconds, my copies died automatically, leaving three corpses that looked exactly like me lying at my feet.

At my computer, I burst into song, and lost control of my bowels.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

The Tuesday Morning Post: Treadmills, Bambi, and keyloggers in space

Good Tuesday morning, everyone! Most of us will be getting away just a quick set of rolling restarts at 5AM PDT today, but there is a handful of servers that will be going down for extended maintenance from 3AM PDT to 11AM PDT. Those servers include Azjol-Nerub, Bloodscalp, Bonechewer, Boulderfist, Bronzebeard, Crushridge, Daggerspine, Darkspear, Draenor, Dragonblight, Dragonmaw, Dunemaul, Eldre'Thalas, Feathermoon, Firetree, Frostmane, Gurubashi, Nathrezim, Perenolde, Scarlet Crusade, Shadow Council, Shadowsong, Silvermoon, Skywall, Smolderthorn, Spirestone, Stonemaul, Stormscale, Suramar, Terenas, Uldum, Windrunner.

As always, for those who play on the affected servers, or those who are unable to play WoW at the moment, let me suggest some articles from the past week. There was certainly a lot of news to discuss, with build 8885 going up on the Wrath Beta servers and a good smattering of con news as well. Let's check it out:

Hot News and Features

Read more →

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

Leatherworking recipes in 8885

Some exciting new abilities for leatherworkers have appeared in Beta build 8885. Namely, the ability to enchant our own gear, and not through the use of kits.

Soon we'll be able to line our armor with fur, creating a range of effects. All of the following can only be used on the leatherworker's bracers, and will cause the item to become soulbound.

[Fur Lining: Attack Power]:
Permanently enchant bracers to increase attack power by 120.

[Fur Lining: Stamina]: Permanently enchant bracers to increase stamina by 90.

[Fur Lining: Spell Damage]: Permanently enchant bracers to increase spell power by 70.

Aside from the above three, there are linings that increase fire, frost, shadow, nature and arcane resistance respectively, each by 60.

I love this addition because our kits cannot be used on bracers, and this will allow leatherworkers to personally modify their own bracers in ways that no one else can.

Filed under: Leatherworking, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Enchants, Wrath of the Lich King

New Darkmoon Faire cards in 8885


Two new Darkmoon Faire cards have cropped up in the latest Beta build, 8885.

[Darkmoon Card: Death]: Each time you deal damage, you have a chance to do an additional 787 to 913 Shadow damage to targets with less than 35% health.

I can see this coming in handy, especially since it works for casters, range and melee alike. There are many times when a group wipes because they couldn't get a boss down quite quickly enough, for example. It would also be useful for soloing, just to speed up the process and give a little boost.

[Darkmoon Card: Greatness]: Chance to increase your highest stat by 85 for 30 sec when dealing or taking damage in combat.

I especially like this one. It would work for anybody, and adds a bit of individuality I think. Granted, 85 isn't the highest bonus to a stat you can find on a trinket, but it has the potential to boost stats that existing trinkets don't.

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

WotLK bestiary update: The wendigo

The WotLK EU Bestiary has been updated with a new creature: the Wendigo. Rumored to be related to the wendigo living in Dun Morogh, the wendigo of Northrend seem to lurk close to their caves. And, like other family-minded spawns of Northrend, these wendigo are fiercely protective of their relatives. The Bestiary warns of "the sound of their savage bellows," so I definitely hope to see some kind of sonic-based attack from the cool looking monster. The Bestiary also talks about the wendigo's bone-piles, so they might have a little more habitat in their spawning areas than we're used to seeing.

Like Alex mentioned previously, the Darkfallen are the hypothetical next-to-be-revealed monster. But there's only three unrevealed mobs on the total list, so at worst, the Darkfallen have a 33% chance to be the next spotlighted critter. I'm most curious about the Proto-Dragon, so my money says that's going to be the last one detailed.

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

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